top 10 lists

Over the course of this semester, this class has renewed my love for reading. I was struggling to find time before this. I wasn’t reading hardly at all and I wasn’t fully enjoying the books I was reading. I am so excited to keep reading and to further my love and pass it onto my own classroom someday. I have come up with 3 lists to help summarize my favorite books over this semester.

Top 10 reads of the semester:

  1. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  2. Pirate Pete by Kim Kennedy
  3. Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
  4. Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
  5. Holes by Louis Sachar
  6. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  8. The lion the witch and the wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  9. The one and only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  10. We forgot Brock! by Carter Goodrich

The Book shop in Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway is Scotland’s largest second-hand ­bookshop. A mile of ­shelving that holds books on all subjects makes this local stop a "work of art." Local history books are a ­speciality.

Top 10 books to use in the classroom:

  1. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
  2. A different pond by Bao Phi
  3. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford
  4. Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth
  5. The noisy pain box by Barb Rosenstock
  6. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
  7. Blackout by John Rocco
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  9. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  10. Daisy’s Crazy Thanksgiving by Margery Cuyler

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Top 10 books I’d want on a desert island:

  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Holes by Louis Sachar
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  5. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  8. Rule #1 You can’t Date the Coach’s Daughter by Anne-Marie Meyer
  9. The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  10. The last song by Nicholas Sparks

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

This past week I chose to continue with my reading challenge and Harry Potter series so I read Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. This is the 5th book in the Harry Potter series and it’s actually one of the books/movies that I forgot about. After reading this book I remembered the movie but I kind of forgot about it in the beginning.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: | 7 New Must-See "Harry Potter" CoversJust like every other Harry Potter book so far Harry, Ron, and Hermione are left to defend the wizarding world and defeat Voldemort. At the beginning of this book, Harry is attacked by dementors while he is at his aunt and uncles. He is forced to use magic and is forced to go in front of the ministry of magic. Harry also learns about the Order of the Phoenix. The order of the Phoenix is just a group of wizards that Albus Dumbledore leads who are dedicated to defeating Voldemort and evil.

When Harry returns to school there is a new teacher who soon works her way up to being headmaster. Her name is Dolores Umbridge, she soon turns Hogwarts into a prison basically. She hangs rules all over the school and even physically hurts the children. Harry is forced to face Voldemort again. He does this in the ministry but Voldemort and Lestrange escape before the ministry can get there to help. Sirius is killed during this fight and Harry also learns why he has to stay with his aunt and uncles every summer.

Mock Newberry and Caldecott

June 14- Caldecott medal first awarded in 1937-- Plan a trip to the library!! The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

This week we were assigned to read two articles. One was about a teacher who decided he wanted to do his own mock Caldecott book ratings. He decided to have the second graders from his school participate in this and have them rate the books he chose from 1-5 for illustrations and then 1-5 on the story. He got two copies of each book and circulated them around for each classroom. The kids would read the book and as a class they would rate the books. Travis (the teacher) found picking out the books to be the hardest part of this mock trial. He had to make sure he picked books that really had a chance to win the Caldecott award.

I think doing a mock Caldecott book rating would be such a good idea for my classroom. I can see it being such a great way to get kids reading and excited about it. It would be perfect for a bigger school system that had many level of a single grade. If you chose a school with only 1 class of a grade level it could be more difficult because then there would really only be that class judging the books.

abc books chalk chalkboard
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If you could find a school with enough classes this would be a great way to have the kids really give their opinions on different books. Kids might even realize they like a certain kind of book and start reading more. They might even refer a book to a friend. You never know.

The second article we read was an article from Mr. Schu. He made a list of books he thought he would use for a mock Caldecott as well. He chose some great books to use for his and I loved that he put a book trailer with almost every book and really took the time to talk to us about most of them. If I had to pick a few books from his list to use for my own mock Caldecott I would have to pick,

  1. A Boy, a Mouse, & a Spider: The Story of E.B. White by Barbara Herkert; illustrated by Lauren Castillo                                                                                                                                  – This author is the same author who wrote Charlotte’s Web and so I think that this would be just a fun interesting book for kids to read. The illustrations that he pictures with the book look really simple but detailed at the same time.
  2. All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Mike Curato                                – There isn’t a description that goes with this book but just looking at the front cover of it I was wowed. The detail that was on the cover of that book just made me want to read it for myself.
  3. That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares                                                                                           – Once again this book doesn’t have a description with it but the art done on the cover just blew me away and I just knew that I wanted to read this for myself.

It’s Monday What are you Reading?

This week I strayed from my reading challenge and read the book Rule #1 you can’t date the coach’s daughter by Anne-Marie Meyer. I had to drive home for Thanksgiving so I decided to just listen to this book in the car. I’m not really sure why I chose this book other than I thought that it looked interesting and had good reviews on audible.

Image result for rule #1 you can't date the coach's daughter by Anne-Marie meyer

This book is about a girl named Destiny. Her father is the high school football coach. He makes Destiny help be the water girl every football practice. All football players have a set of rules but the number 1 rule for them or really any boy in school is don’t date the coaches daughter. Now this is a problem for Destiny because she has a huge crush on the quarterback named Tyson. Tyson and Destiny end up sneaking around together until Destiny’s dad finally founds out and to really decided what he wants to do about the situation.

This is a good book honestly. I probably wouldn’t suggest it to a boy just because it is from the girls point of view and it is quite girly. It would be a great book for the high school level. It’s an easy read but with some of the content I think the readers just need to be a little more mature.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I continued with the Harry Potter series this week and read; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. I chose to listen to this book on my way home this past weekend and then finish it over the weekend. I say it every time but once again…I love the Harry Potter series!

Image result for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In this book Harry gets his name put in the goblet of fire and if forced to compete in a series of trials against other wizards from other schools. Harry and Ron also end up fighting for most of the book because Ron thinks Harry always has to be the center of attention. Harry gets help from a few of his friends to complete the trails. In the last trail as soon as Harry touches the goblet it takes him to a different place where he is forced to defeat Voldemort once again.

This would be a great book for the middle school age level. It is longer but it keeps it interesting so the kids won’t get bored and quit reading half way through.

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

This past week I decided to continue with my Harry Potter series and read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. I’ve said it once and i’ll say it again. I love Harry Potter! This will forever be one of my favorite series. I have watched the movies over and over at least 30 times now. For me to go back now and read the books it is a little different because I have an idea of what happens in the movies and so I have to remember to not presume anything.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)  by J.K. Rowling

This is the third book in the Harry Potter series. In this one Harry gets to meet his godfather Sirius Black. Sirius Black is suppose to be in Azkaban. A high security with prison. He escapes though and finds his way to Harry. We learn during this book though that Sirius is actually a really good person and was put in Azkaban for the wrong reasons. Once again it is up to Harry, Ron and Hermione to save defeat Voldemort and save the witching world.

I love the Harry Potter series and I remember the first time I watched this movie it really threw me for a loop so having that knowledge before reading the book was kind of different but I still loved it!

Read-Aloud’s in classrooms

Reading aloud to students is such an important thing for elementary teachers to take advantage of. This is a time for students to relax a little bit and to be able to just listen and enjoy a book. They may think that this is just a fun time but they are actually retaining more than they think they are. When we do read aloud’s children actually pay attention especially if we do a chapter book. When we do a chapter book it pushes the students to remember what we read the day before or several days ago.

two boys reading a book
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My top 10 children read aloud books I will use in my classroom are:

  1. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  2. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  3.  Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
  4. The Christmas Humbugs by Colleen Monroe
  5. Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
  6. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  7. Holes by Louis Sachar
  8. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson
  9. Diary of the Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  10. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
kids sitting on green grass field
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These books are all good books. I chose a couple younger age level books but mostly chapter books because that is the reading level of most of the kids I will be teaching.

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

This past week I decided to stray from my challenge a bit and read the second book in the Harry Potter series. I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling. Honestly, i’m a Harry Potter nut. I’ve watched all the movies several times and yet i’ve never read the books. So this week I decided I wanted to make a little more headway on my Harry Potter goal.

I got Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets! We Know Which "Harry Potter" Book Is Your FavoriteThis is the second book in the Harry Potter series. The book starts with Harry in the summer still living with his awful aunt and uncle. Right before Harry goes back to Hogwarts a house elf named dobby tries to warn Harry not to go back this year. Of course Harry doesn’t listen so Harry goes back at Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione. There are strange things happening again this year and the three take it upon themselves to save Hogwarts again. The three unlock the chamber of secrets inside on of the girls bathroom. Inside the chamber harry finds a giant snake and Tom Riddle. Tom Riddle is later learned to be Lord Voldemort.

This is such a great book and would be great for so many children. I definitely think Harry Potter is one of those series that will turn into a classic and be read for years to come.

Diversity reaction articles

The first article I read was “Here I am” I found this article to be really motivating actually. I come from a small town where there isn’t any diversity really. It’s just a small town in southern Nebraska filled with farmers. I grew up with the same people my entire life basically. Yes I moved as a kid but even moving the people never really changed. They were the same type of people everywhere. It wasn’t until I went to college that I really got to understand diversity a little more.

group hand fist bump
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This article really does a good job of telling the story of this illustrator and author and how he got to be where he is today. I love that it goes from “where am I” to “Here I am”. I also really liked that at the end of the article it gave us a few steps as teachers to help us get from “where am I” to “Here I am”.

group of people taking photo
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I think we as teachers need to do a better job about picking books for our classrooms and making them more diverse. We need to really think about the lessons that will go along with our book and how we will bring this into the children’s everyday lives.

I didn’t read a second article because when I went to open up the link it kept saying page not found.

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday is back and with one of my absolute favorite series as well. I chose to shine a little light on the Diary of the Wimpy kid series by Jeff Kinney. This series was one of the first series I was able to read on my own as a kid. I use to really struggle with reading. I don’t know why I use to be a slow reader but all of a sudden when things started to make sense to me this was one of the first series I started reading.

Image result for Diary of a Wimpy KidThe diary of a wimpy kids series has quite a few books in it and has even had a few turned into movies. It all is about the life of a kid named Gregg. Gregg is just like every other middle school just trying to survive. This was such a good series as a because I felt like I really could relate to everything that happened to Gregg. I would definitely suggest this series to any middle schooler or 4th grade and above.