Best Book I Have Not Read

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

NCTE here I come! October 31, 2008

Filed under: professional development — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:36 pm
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I am so excited! I just made my reservations to go to San Antonio NCTE 2008! This will be my first national convention and I’m practically doing a jig! Tomie dePaola, Two Writing Teachers, poetry from one of my district’s Middle School teachers. Should be fantastic!


Kelly Gallagher October 14, 2008

This is not Kelly Gallagher’s finest photo but I had to include it. Once again the Literacy Connection of Columbus has offered a wonderful opportunity to teachers in Central Ohio. For $50 I was able to attend a presentation by Kelly Gallagher on Saturday from 8:30-2:30. He really touched on all of us books, but started with a keynote on Teaching Adolescent Writers. I took copious notes and was once again impressed with him-as a teacher, a presenter, and someone who is passionate and dedicated to literacy. He is a practicing teacher in Anaheim, California. I am planning on adding to this post with highlights from the notes I took as time allows this week.


Carl Anderson and Kelly Gallagher September 18, 2008

I just caught up with a friend who reminded me of the newsletter that came out last week for a group known as Literacy Connection. This is a great Central Ohio group that has been around a number of years and brings in two nationally known speakers a year. The cost of membership is only $10 to get their newsletters-what a bargain.

This year there are two presenters. First is Kelly Gallagher (smart and good looking!) from California whose focus is Adolescents. He has several great books out including Reading Reasons, Deeper Reading, and Teaching Adolesent Writers. I have had the opporunity to see him do a short presentation and it as not only fantastic, but also motivating and had ideas I could take back to my classroom.  The other speaker is Carl Anderson (Conferring Guy) from Columbia Teacher’s College. His speciality is conferencing with young writers. He has several books out including: How’s it Going and his newest one, Assessing Writers. I’ve also had the opportunity to see him present at Lakota Literacy Conference for the past two years. He is a Steve Carell look-alike (happens to be my favorite comedian, but that’s just a coincidence). Carl Anderson’s newer book (Assessing Writers) will be the focus of a year long book study with two sessions-one fall and one winter. Then in early spring you get to see him in action over live-circuit television conferring with first primary students and then intermediate aged students. The following day you come back and get to meet with/debrief what you saw in action.

Last year’s book study was Lester Laminack and if you ever get the opportunity to attend a workshop with Lester or see him in action, you should defintely do so! I have been fortunate enough to see him through Literacy Connection and also at Lakota Literacy View. More on Lester some other post.

If you live in the greater central Ohio region, you should check out the Literacy Connection for more information. It is very reasonably priced professional development that you can take for Ashland University credit (if you want).


Best Book I Have Not Read August 10, 2008

Filed under: books,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:27 pm
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Why the title of the blog?? You know that big stack of books you keep next to your bed, in the family room, in your classroom, scattered throughout the house? That next book you can hardly wait to read? Well I am one of the queens of having a stack that I can hardly wait to read. Then the school year starts, my children’s schedules become fuller and it is hard to spend as much time reading as I would like. The stack keeps growing until I decide I am being selfish and that the students will be able to read them and tell us about them much more quickly than I will get to.

The most recent additons to my stacks: Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi (I love The Spiderwick series), The Host and Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (I hate vampire books-go figure!), The Complete Four for Literacy by Pam Allyn (this got good recommendations and I try to read everything that comes out from anyone who works/has worked at Columbia Teachers College), Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest by Matt Haig, Into the Wild by Sarah Durst (if it’s good enough for a sequel, I’d better get busy!), Getting Started: Recalculating Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities by Robert Eaker and Richard DuFour (preparation for the new job), what have you lost? poems selected by Naomi Nye (I love all her work, so if she picked it out, I’ll probably like it as well), About the Authors: Writing Workshop with Our Youngest Writers by Katie Wood Ray (I love Katie Wood Ray and got to see her present for the second time this past summer. Also my speciality has always been intermediate aged students, so I want to be on my best game for primary students. Who better to help me brush up?), and The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (So many wonderful reviews by people whose taste in books I admire).

When I look at the list in writing, it probably seems pretty random to someone else but the books tend to fall into four categories: children’s books for my fourth grade classroom, professional development books that focus on education and specifically any area of reading, writing, literacy, or language arts, and adult reads for the book club I belong to.

I’m sure the next best book is in that stack!