Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Assessing Young Writers by Carl Anderson February 5, 2009

51mc6ahuwkl_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_I just finished reading this 2005 book by Carl Anderson and it is great! I wish that I had read it the year it came out at the same time as I was first reading Units of Study by Lucy Calkins. It would have been so helpful to me as a classroom teacher and really has helped gel my thinking about writing workshop. 
I highly recommend you add this book to your professional reading list! 


This review at Amazon sums it up very well:

I wouldn’t be as good a teacher of writing without this book. No kidding. It provides the daily nitty-gritty practical solutions to common writing workshop problems, and has great ideas for conferring, unit planning, troubleshooting, and more. This is for the every day teacher and college folk alike. 

Some of the blacklines from this book are ESSENTIAL to my organization of workshop. I can’t imagine trying to do it without his advice and guidance. His book was the “Miracle Grow” to my Calkins kit experience. The piece I needed to REALLY pull it off and feel good about it. Heworked in the project with Ms. Calkins, so his ideas line right up with the ideas I already have in motion. I don’t work for anybody, but I heartfully encourage you to help yourself by getting this one (and I love his How’s It Going? too…)


New “er” Read Aloud Titles for Intermediate Aged Students part 2 August 25, 2008

Filed under: books,kidlithosphere,read alouds,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:58 pm
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The fifth grade staff asked me to make up a list of newer titles for read alouds that I really like. I tried to make a different list so that if they ended up really loving a book, that they wouldn’t be frustrated when they went to read it aloud and part (or all) of their class had heard it the previous. I am not a big fan of claiming book titles as “ours”, but knowing that this issue comes periodically in my building, I decided to be proactive. As always, I recommend previewing a book before reading it aloud. Just because I really liked, doesn’t mean it is right for you or your particular group of students. 

Red Kayak by Priscialla Cummings

I could not stop reading this book last summer! In a nutshell, Brady is at first considered a hero for rescuing a young boy from a freezing local river after he and his mother were reported missing.  Soon he makes some discoveries that put him right in the middle of issues of loyalty to friends and doing what he knows is right. I found this an amazing book that combined modern day issues kids face with peer pressure, but also family issues of loss and how one deals differently with a loss.



The Top 10 Ways to Ruin the First Day of Fifth Grade by Ken Derby 

            Fifth-grader Anthony loves David Letterman’s Late Show–especially the jokes, the Top 10 Lists, and Stupid Human Tricks. Determined to appear on the show as a guest, he tries all kinds stunts, including getting his foot stuck in a toilet, starting a food fight at lunch, and xeroxing his rear. After he steals the ball at a NFL and runs for a touchdown in a bear costume, Letterman invites him to the show. A fast, fun read aloud.





Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

            This is the first book in her newest series. I loved it and it has gotten some great reviews from other intermediate teachers and librarians. There is a link for a video the publisher created for the book that gave me the chills.  I loaned it a couple students over the summer who also really liked. You don’t have to like the Among the Hidden series to like this. Two boys, one knows he is adopted, the other doesn’t. They both get letters telling them they are “one of the missing”. It is part mystery and part time-travel.  

Check out the above link if you aren’t sure it is for you!


Listening for Lions By Gloria Whelan

Here’s a quote from a teacher who read it aloud in another district:

“I read LISTENING FOR LIONS, Gloria Whelan’s 38th book, as a read-aloud to my fourth graders from the newly released galley of the book. While I am not usually wild about books without much “action,” my students and I were really hooked into this book, due to Whelan’s character development and interplay. The book was (as many of Whelan’s books are) great at illustrating for students the use of symbolism in writing (see also Whelan’s HOMELESS BIRD and MIRANDA’S LAST STAND, among others, for examples of symbolism that students can grasp). At the end of the book, my students even broke into spontaneous applause!”

Sounds like a winner to me and I liked it very much



I am now trying to finish The Underneath. If it doesn’t win the Newbery this year, I’ll be shocked!