Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

What’s Up??!?! November 12, 2011

Filed under: ALAN,books,NCTE — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:40 pm
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Where do I start?

I could start with the pile of books that I bought last week at the middle school…

13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (book commercial)

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

 

Or how about a blog that is new to me that I am enjoying?

The Thinking Stick

 

Or how about the countless hours I’ve been spending finishing up elementary principal certification, due at the end of the month?

 

Or about all the rest of the hours I am putting in on tweaking my cover letter and resume as I apply to international schools around the world in my quest for a principal position?

Or the search for the bottom of the dirty laundry pile so I can pack for NCTE/ALAN-leaving Thursday

That’s mainly what’s up….

 

In My Mailbox 4 November 14, 2010

Filed under: In My Mailbox,Uncategorized — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:27 pm
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Bemouth by Scott Westerfield


Infinity by SherriLynn Kenyon (audiobook)
Storyteller by Patricia Reilly Giff

 

Reviews written:
A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Trance by  Linda Gerber

 

Weeding in Winter? January 2, 2010

Filed under: books — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:30 am
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Franki over at a Year of Reading posted about book weeding (the process of removing books from a collection) and it is pain I relate to! As we prepare to move to a new home, the realization that I probably won’t be going back to a classroom anytime soon, and the sheer number of new books I’ve accumulated since mid November of 2009, has had me weeding as well! I have found it can be a very painful process. Like Franki, I also had my classroom library at home in the basement. Last year I donated half of it to a new teacher in our district. As our home has been on the market this fall (and in preparation for a move), I have taken a box or two a week from my basement to the different buildings (elementary, intermediate, and middle) for teachers to take to add to their own classroom libraries. Even though I have come to a good place in my head about getting those books back into kids’ hands (and not just gathering dust in my basement), some days when I walk by the pile in the teacher workroom and see a personal favorite languishing and not having been already snapped up, my heart does sink a little. Don’t they realize what a gem they just passed up?

To counteract that feeling, I’ve also taken to selecting books from the boxes to deliver to teachers who I know have certain interests in let’s say historical fiction or fantasy, etc. To see their face light up (and their students) when I walk in with a armload of books does my heart good. My daughter has dubbed me the book fairy, which I have to say I like better than when the school secretary nicknamed me the book slut last year!

I come to book hoarding naturally. My father has floor to ceiling bookshelves in his office that have books sitting two deep. While being surrounded by books is something I associate with good feelings, I realized that there is no way that I will probably reread even 1% of the books I own. Books are to be loved and shared. The best way to do that, is to pass the book on, not keep it on a shelf.


 

I find a school visit to be one of the most powerful professional development tool October 17, 2009

We are taking the following books to Public School 41 when we go for our school visit next Friday. A small thank you token to the teachers, administrators, and staff…We are going to take 6 copies of each so teachers whose classrooms we visit feel appreciated.

Jackie robinsonTesting the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson & Kadir Nelson

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes only in dreams

Only in Dreams: A Bedtime Story by Paul Frank

old bear

We are also taking along copies of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Interesting Items About their school:

  • There is a School District Parent Coordinator whose job is to facilitate communication at the front-line between parents, teachers, and staff
  • There is an Extended Day option for students who need extra instructional support in a small group setting that can be mandated or voluntary from 8:00-8:50 Monday-Thursday
  • Reading Recovery is a reading intervention program used with First Graders
  • 2 times a month there are Family Mornings-families are then invited to stay after drop-off to observe literacy and math
  • Cluster classes are part of regular classroom instruction throughout the school year and include: Science, Physical Education, Art, Music, Computer, Theater and Movement.
  • Choice is an additional double period cluster class chosen by the students in 4th & 5th Grade. Past offerings have included Expression Art, Computer, Violin, Physical Education, Chess, Art, Science, Math Enrichment, Music and Chorus.
  • There are two part-time literacy staff developers  and one full-time math staff developer assigned to the building. In addition they have a TCRWP Staff Developer who comes in and leads classroom lab sites in reading and writing as well as study groups
  • Collaborative Team Teaching Class (CTT) -Their CTT class is a model for the entire New York City school system. At PS41 each grade has one CTT class, which has one full time general education teacher and one full time special education teacher.
    • In the CTT classes, the ratio is approximately 60% general education students and 40% special education students. Our inclusion classes provide the same curriculum as our other classes, with the added benefit of a higher staffing ratio and a great deal of support.
    • The Committee for Special Education (CSE) places the children who are on the special education side of the CTT class. The school administration places the children on the general education side of the CTT class. Children on the general education side are “model” students — they must model excellent behavioral and learning habits — and cannot be receiving any special services themselves to be in a CTT class.
 

Going to Make It to Goal! October 11, 2009

Filed under: books — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:39 am
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It’s not very often that I am able to set a goal and actually meet it. Maybe it’s the kind of goals I’ve set in the past. They usually have to do with healthy eating, weight loss, running so far so many times a week. Maybe this time I’ve actually hit upon a goal that I can realistically meet! As part of J. Kaye’s 100 + Reading Challenge, I’ve been tracking the number of books I’ve read this year. I’m up to 84 and I still have the rest of October, November, and December to get there.

I’m patting myself on the back. It feels good to actually be in reach of accomplishing a goal

 

What we are Reading September 11, 2009

Filed under: books — bestbookihavenotread @ 4:55 pm
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We’ve torn through the Alchemyst series, Percy Jackson, and City of Bones. What will dear hubby and I read next?

 

Books for Teachers June 24, 2009

Filed under: books,Calkins,independent reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 4:25 pm
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I had the privilege (really read-giant blast) of purchasing books for teachers again. I’m not sure there is much greater fun for me in the world! These are books for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade independent reading within classrooms. 

AlvinHoHere are some of the newest gems I am so excited about:

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look

Mudshark by Gary Paulsen

The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino

Extra Credit by Andrew Clements

City I Love by Lee Bennett Hopkins

The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson 

Billie Standish was Here by Nancy Crocker

Septimus Heap: The Magykal Papers by Angie Sage

 

 I am embracing the idea put forth by Lucy Calkins in The Art of Teaching Reading regarding independent reading-(Oops-you can tell I got distracted during writing. The reference to Calkins’ Chapter 17-September in a 2-8 Grade Reading Workshop: Reading with Stamina and Comprehension)-One of the sections is titled “Reading Easy Books with Understanding”. Calkins recommends that “every teacher of reading starts the year by steadfastly directing children toward reading a lot of easy book, and reading these books fluently and smoothly, with clear comprehension, and at a good pace” (p. 339). Calkins states that this is a TEMPORARY goal-I loved this section! It so clearly puts in words what I have known about students, but had a hard time explaining to parents who fret about their fourth grader loving Babymouse or insisting that they are ready to reading Twilight at the beginning of fourth grade.  Often parents’ sense of self is so tied to their child being a good reader that they have a hard time seeing the trees in the forest. This has continued to be a big issue every year I taught fourth grade.

Calkins also has a great section in this chapter about how often students use their desire to be a good reader by picking books to “read” that showcase their future selves, rather than their current reading selves.  

 

Here are some of the other titles I bought for their classrooms.

Percy Jackson and the Olympiads series by Rick Riordan

The Warriors: Code of the Clans by Erin Hunter

39 Clues Series   

Babymouse Series by Jennifer Holm

Castaways of the Flying Dutchmen series by Brian Jacques

The Mysterious Benedict Society #1 & #2 by Trenton Lee Stewart

Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism Series by Georgia Byng

Patricia Reilly Giff books

 

For my own reading pleasure I picked up When Readers Struggle by Pinnell and Fountas and plan on reading all the new books I can before giving them to the teachers in August. 

My daughter picked News for Dogs by Lois Duncan, the sequel to Hotel for Dogs and The Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Wisdom & Wonder by Andrea Buchanan. news for dogs

My son picked by Roscoe Riley Rules #6: Never Walk in Shoes That Talk by Katherine Applegate, Magic Tree House #34, and The Curious Boy’s Book of Adventure by Sam Martin. He is still obsessed with us reading all the Hardy Boy original books aloud to him, but he sometimes takes a break for other things :)

 

 
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