Monthly Archives: September 2013

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013


At long last I am writing about my reading again. Somehow the start of this year has felt busier than ever and blogging has fallen by the wayside (as has lots of reading:( ).

This week I read:

The Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors. This book came highly recommended and I loved it! I can’t wait to pass it on to animal lovers in my class. 4/5 stars


I was so excited to finally receive The Illuminated Adventures of Flora and Ulysses by Kate di Camillo. I raced through this book and loved the voice and humor. I think this would be a great read aloud.


I visited a local book shop and found the next two picture books there. The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty spoke to something I have been thinking about lately. Many students I ask are no longer being read to. Some of my most precious parenting memories are reading aloud to my boys and it is sad (to me) that some students and their parents are missing these times. Kids can access so many great book when they hear them that they can not independently read. The best part of reading great books aloud is that it also gives those involved a shared language as connections can be made from these times.


Hello, My Name is Ruby by Philip C. Stead tells the story of a bird looking for friends. The illustrations are beautiful.


This week we begin reading Marty McGuire aloud for the Global Read Aloud and I can’t wait to have my class connect with lots of other learners!

Happy reading!

Don’t forget to look at and for more great reads!



5 Things I Loved About Last Week

Thanks @colbysharp for the great idea for a regular reflection post!

Last week I loved:

5. More new books– more new books have arrived in our class (and some that former students borrowed over the summer have found their way back) and the students are eager to get their hands on them!

4. Second chapter book finished– We finished Mercy Watson to the Rescue and it has inspired students to read the other books in the series. This series is just right for many of our readers and the fact that we read the first one in class gave the series street cred.

3. Blogging– We started blogging this week and the students were so excited! It was great to see them so interested in getting their writing published and commenting on other students’ posts. I am so glad that it has worked out for my students to blog publicly as long as I moderate their posts and comments (which of course I would do anyway!). You can find us at :

2. Stamina– The students are showing that they have developed more stamina for reading, writing, and group work. It has been wonderful to see students get into their flow more easily.

1. Dot Day Assembly– Our class was the first to host an assembly this year and we focused on Dot Day. We made and Animoto of our favorite dots, shared our thinking about what Dot Day means, and painted the sidewalk next to the boarding school with dots (and showed this at Assembly). Every student participated in the assembly and they were fabulous speakers with limited preparation. We celebrated with a dotty snack.

Next week we look forward to starting our second unit of inquiry, focusing on identity. It is hard to believe that we need to get moving on preparing our portfolios for conferences coming soon!



5 Things I Loved About Last Week

Colby Sharp (a grade 3 teacher I really admire @colbysharp) has posted with this title the last two weeks and I think it is a great way to think positively on a Sunday, so with his permission I have taken the same title.

Last week I loved:

1. New books–  I brought in new books to the classroom and quickly book talked them and had kids search them out shortly after. I love bringing in new books and I am happy that this new class is finding lots of books to fall in love with already.

2. Our second author Skype- Ame Dyckman (author of Boy + Bot and the upcoming Tea Party Rules) Skyped with us this week. Not only is she a really positive person, but she sent us a great big package of great book swag- the kids were so excited. I was wowed when one of the students asked if Ame could read some of her new book and Ame read the whole thing! Needless to say I have already preordered it. I love authors who inspire students. It was informative to hear what they learned from the session.

3. Kids from other classes keep borrowing books from our classroom- I LOVE that students feel like they can come in and borrow books and I love that it sends a positive message about great books being in our midst. Books are my main splurge and I love to share.

4. Dot Day– International Dot Day has been a lot of fun! We have not limited it to one day. We have used the colAR app to bring some dots to life, created dots in class and in art, Skyped with a class in Istanbul, and have plans to paint the sidewalk with dots next week. We will lead our first assembly of the year with a dot theme next week!

5. Planning Ahead– Global Read Aloud begins September 30th and we will be reading Marty McGuire and collaborating with a number of classes all over the world. That means that this week we share videos with a few classes, so last week we filmed short introductions. We will start blogging in earnest next week and the students are getting into being connected learners.


BONUS- Our school is piloting a home language program for the six most common languages in our elementary school. German, English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and Dutch now have special sessions once a week. Students who speak a language not represented in a large enough number are also meeting in a small group. We started this week with a lesson across the elementary school about what our names mean. It was so fabulous to see our kids working in small groups with their home language tutor. The pride they took when they saw the name cards they made displayed on our door was obvious. I look forward to seeing how the program evolves.


I can’t wait to see what great stuff this week will bring! Happy Autumn!