Category Archives: Professional Books

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Professional Reads for Summer 2017

top 10

Well, summer is here!  Time for family, relaxing, travelling, holidaying, sorting cupboards, cleaning garages, and best of all – TIME TO READ!!!  And while the school doors might be closed, I find summer a perfect time to catch up on my professional reading!  From Inquiry-Based learning, Growth Mindset and Maker Spaces to reading, writing, and thinking strategies – there are some GREAT new resources to help motivate, inspire, and refine our practice, including some resources to support the new BC Curriculum.   (Please note that I have not read all of these books, but I am including them because I have heard good things about them and/or they have caught my eye and look very inspiring!)

Here are my top 10 recommended professional books for summer reading….

1 Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters

Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

Three years ago, I presented a workshop at a Reading Conference in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan.  The conference was held in a hockey rink – in my memory, the zamboni came to clean the ice between each speaker (actually that didn’t happen – but it felt like it could have!). Presenting at the same conference on their then new book Notice and Note were Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.  I attended one of their sessions, and they mine.  We drove back to the airport and the hotel together.  I was star struck, if I’m being honest, and although I tried very hard to be “cool” in the car ride across the flat prairies, it was difficult for me not to start patting their arms or squeezing their legs. I’m THRILLED to have their new book on the top of my summer TBR pile!

2. The Writing Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers Jennifer Serravello

I LOVED Jennifer Serravello’s first book The Reading Strategies Book, so am very excited to read her new book on writing. Her books are VERY practical and have lessons you can use right away. I can’t wait to read this one!

3. Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact, Low Stakes Writing – Ralph Fletcher

I am a huge fan of Ralph Fletcher and have many of his previous books on teaching writing.  As a writing teacher, it is hard to find the balance between teaching structure and giving kids a chance to “just write”.   In this book, Ralph Fletcher proposes a new concept:  greenbelt writing. Writing that is “raw, unmanicured, uncurated…I am talking about informal writing…I am talking about low-stakes writing, the kind of comfortable composing kids do when they know there’s no one looking over their shoulders.”   I am very excited to read this and learn some new strategies for less structure and more “joyful, whimsical, playful” writing time.

POIbook.jpg

4. The Power of Inquiry – Teaching and Learning with Curiosity , Creativity, and Purpose in the Classroom Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch, from Australia, is the “guru” of inquiry based learning and I am a new fan girl of hers.  I have heard nothing but rave reviews about her and this book so am eager to dive in.  Here is a quick preview of her talking about this book.

5. The Nerdy Teacher Presents: Your Starter Guide to Maker Space – Nicholas Provenzano

I have to admit the concept of “Maker Spaces” is a new one for me… and with so many ideas floating around, I was on the lookout for a simple guide with practical suggestions and real-classroom ideas to help a newbie like me get started.  I believe this might be just the book I am looking for!

6. SPACE: A Guide for Educators – Rebecca Louise Hare

“It is not about decorating learning spaces.  It is about designing them to amplify learning.”  Okay – I did judge this book by its cover – and the simplicity of the cover with the sophistication of this quote captured my attention.  LOVE the phrase “amplify learning“.   I also liked this description:  “In addition to nudging thinking forward, SPACE provides practical design tips and uses images and testimonials for hacking learning spaces on a realistic budget. This book is designed to motivate, grow capacity, and energize educators to begin shifting their learning spaces to support modern learning for all students.”

Shift This!: How to Implement Gradual Changes for MASSIVE Impact in Your Classroom

7. Shift This!: How to Implement Gradual Changes for Massive Impact in Your Classroom – Joy Kirr

I often refer to a “shift in thinking” in my workshops – small movements of thought that give you a new perspective.  This book caught my eye simply because it had the word “shift” in the title, but after glancing through the contents and a quick “flip read”-  I already have some take-aways:  having a sign out sheet by the door for the students to be in charge of their own bathroom breaks; changing “homework” to “independent practice”.  A perfect summer Pro. D. read!

8. The Growth Mindset Coach:  A Teacher’s Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve – Annie Brock and Heather Hundley

Yes, I am a teacher of routine and planning and I also love practical.  So I am ALL OVER a book for teachers written by teachers that has well-laid out lessons broken down into a month-to-month plan!  YES!  Practical and applicable and includes:
– A Month-by-Month Program
– Research-Based Activities
– Hands-On Lesson Plans
– Real-Life Educator Stories
– Constructive Feedback
– Sample Parent Letters

Major pre-read book love!

9. ThinQ Kindergarten:  Inquiry-Based Learning in the Kindergarten Classroom – Joan Reimer, Deb Watters, Jill Colyer, and Jennifer Watt

Kindergarten Teachers!  I haven’t forgotten about you!!!  Here is a book focusing on inquiry-based learning especially for the kindergarten classroom.  Easy to follow with lots of helpful tips.  A version of this book for middle grades is also available:  ThinQ 4-6: Inquiry-based learning in the junior classroom.  

Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day

10. Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day  – Dean Shareski

Through all the changes and challenges we face each day as teachers, we sometimes forget to have fun!  In this quick read, I was reminded how much we have to be joyful about in education.  A great reminder to find and embrace that joy because our students deserve it.  Full of practical ideas to bring joy back into your classroom – this is a great summer read!

What professional book will you be reading this summer?  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under Growth Mindset, Inquiry Based Learning, Maker Spaces, Professional Books, Top 10 Tuesday, Writing Strategies

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Professional Books For Summer Reading

top 10

Summer time means a little more time to read and reflect on our teaching practice and a chance to catch up on some new professional books.  With the full implementation of the redesigned here in B.C.,  I’m turning to many of these books for ideas and inspiration.  While I do not anticipate getting through ALL of these books, I have some of them beside my bed, some on order and am hoping to get my hands and head through all of them before summer is over.   Certainly these books are getting the ‘BUZZ’ in teacher circles… and I’m proud to say that many of them are written by true north strong and free Canadian writers!  flag

Here are my top ten professional books in my summer TBR pile…

51ncEzIybeL._SX387_BO1,204,203,200_

1. One Without the Other: Stories of Unity Through Diversity and InclusionShelley Moore   flag

Seems fitting that number one on my list is called ONE!  Shelley Moore is a teacher and inclusive consultant in Richmond, B.C. who is rockin’ it as a presenter, TED Talks speaker and now published author.  She is dynamic, funny and passionate about inclusion. Her ‘7-10 split‘ bowling metaphor for inclusion is extraordinary.  If you have never seen it, you can watch it here.  This book is on the top of my must read books this summer!

2.  Innovate with Ipad; Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom – Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen  flag

I’m SO excited (and proud ) to read this brand new book by these two amazing Canadian teachers and Ipad experts.  I know Karen personally and know how hard she has worked and what extraordinary, innovative things she does with iPADS in her classroom.  This is a must have book for every school!  The book is clearly laid out and shows teachers some basic aps that you can download which can help engage your students in learning and creating independently and creatively.  I love the way they include sections for beginners and more advanced learners, along with quick tips and suggestions on how best to integrate Ipad lessons into all aspects of your teaching.  I also appreciate the fact that these are real teachers who have tried all of these lessons as well as the adaptation of the lessons for teachers who may only have access to one or two Ipads rather than a whole class.  Great job, Karen and Kristen!

2. DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor and Independence – Kate Roberts & Maggie Beattie Roberts

There has been a lot of recent buzz about this new resource and I’m excited to share it.  (Just in case there are any teachers who are old like me, DIY stands for ‘DO IT YOURSELF’! )  Maggie & Kate Roberts share four visual teaching tools–demonstration notebooks, bookmarks, charts, and microprogressions–that, if used well, can assist students in becoming truly independent.  This is another wonderful, practical guide for improving your classroom practice!  Wise. Smart. Practical. Doable. Funny. Inspiring.  So easy to read.  The authors provide additional materials on their website, blog and through WEBISODES (another new concept for me!) so there is a lot of additional material to supplement the book.  You can read more about the book and the authors here – http://www.heinemann.com/blog/what-does-diy-literacy-mean/

41OwImgEK+L

3. Writers ARE Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction into Writing Opportunities –                  Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth,

Long before Reading Power was ever developed, I did my masters on the  READING-WRITING connection. This book re-affirms everything I know about how reading and writing are so closely linked and that teaching them in isolation is not how we should be teaching.  There are many things to love about this book, but for me, it is the readability of the text and the easy conversational tone that puts it high on my new favorite list.   It feels as if the authors are sitting in your living room talking to you for part of the time and then you are suddenly in a classroom watching them teach.  It’s like having a literacy coach, a master teacher and a literacy expert every time you open the book.  LOVE this one!

4. Developing Self-Regulated Learners – Deborah L. Butler, Leyton Schnellert,  Nancy E. Perry  flag

So proud to be teaching in a province so filled with amazing, dedicated and passionate educators like the authors of this book.  This book focuses on research, theory and practice into SLR – Self Regulated Learners.  It is designed to support special education, classroom practice and educational psychology courses in Teacher Education programs.

5. Craft Moves – Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts – Stacey Shubitz

While it is not a new concept to me to use picture books to inspire writing, in Craft Moves, Stacey Shubitz, co-founder of the Two Writing Teachers website, uses twenty recently published picture books and creates more than 180 lessons to teach various ‘crafts’ – otherwise known as traits or techniques.  I appreciate that the books she uses are recent,  that she promotes the use of picture books in both lower and upper elementary and that she includes sample lessons and suggestions for managing writer’s workshop and effective small groups.  This book has just been released so only available through STENHOUSE.  

6. Marvelous Mini-Lessons for Teaching – Nonfiction Writing K-3 – Lori Jamison Rogg  flag

If you are  primary teacher, Lori Jamison Rogg’s ‘Marvelous Mini Lessons’ books are a ‘must have’ for your professional collection.  They are clear, practical, and filled with catchy phrases and easy-to-teach strategies.  Her latest book focuses on writing in the content areas and helping young students learn to write about subjects they care about.   Lori is moving to Vancouver from Toronto this summer so I look forward to seeing more of her and attending a few more of her dynamic presentations.

7. A Mindset for Learning –  Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth – Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz

I had the privilege of hearing one of the authors of this book present at the Reading for the Love of It conference in Toronto this past February and, of course, I bought a copy and got it signed like a groupie!  Based on Carole Dweck’s ground-breaking research around fixed and positive mindsets, these two teachers have developed practical strategies to help foster independent, compassionate caring students and to help them be more responsible for their own choices!  I love this book!

8. Multiple Paths to Literacy – Proven High-Yield Strategies to Scaffold Engaging Literacy Learning Across the Curriculum K-2  –  Miriam P. Trehearne   flag

Canadian consultant and author Miriam Trehearne new book for early primary teachers is definatetly going to get some ‘BUZZ’ starting.  This book is packed full of ideas that link to the new curriculum including: Inquiry, Play, Art, Technology, and Self-Regulation.  I appreciate that Miriam’s books are very practical with lessons you can use, student samples, and assessment tools.  K-2 teachers – take note!

9. Launch – Using Design Thinking To Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student              John Spencer and A. J. Juliani

Love the title ‘LAUNCH’ and the fact that this book is all about creative thinking – another component to our new curriculum.  I really like clearly laid out books with a structure and process to share with students, along with a common language that can be integrated at every grade level.  ( Now if they only had a song… LOL!)
Here is the basic structure of the creative thinking outlined in the book:
Look, Listen, and Learn
Ask Lots of Questions
Understand the Problem or Process
Navigate Ideas
Create
Highlight What’s Working and Failing

1o.  IQ – A Practical Guide to Inquiry-Based Learning – Jennifer Watt and Jill Colyer

Attention all BC teachers who are looking for a book to help them launch the redesigned curriculum!  I love practical books and this one is I know I will use as we begin to shift into a more inquiry based approach to teaching and learning this fall.

Powerful readersr-sec-comp [3]

COMING SOON!!!!!

Powerful Readers Thinking Strategies to Guide Literacy Instruction in Secondary Classrooms

Kyla Hadden (and me!)  flag

I just couldn’t make a list of professional resources without a shameless plug for this book!  Kyla and I have been busy working on the edits – lots of work but the book is coming together so well.  I’m excited for it’s release and for Secondary teachers to get a first hand look at Reading Power strategies in action!  Three cheers for Kyla!

Thanks for stopping by!  What’s in your summer professional TBR pile?

Leave a comment

Filed under Professional Books, Reading Power

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Professional Books for Summer Reading

IMWAYR

It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

With summer just around the corner and the school year coming to an end, I’m excited about the thought of having a little  more  time to catch up on summer reading.  Part of that includes my pursuit of the latest and greatest professional books that will help me in my goal of “reflecting and refining” my teaching practices.  Here are the books I’m excited about reading this summer…

25438683

The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers – Jennifer Serravallo

First on my list is Jennifer Serravallo’s new book from Heinemann.  I first learned about this book from my wonderful far-away teacher friend Sharee Gaiser.  She shared the book with me on Facebook and told me she was making many connections to my book  Reading Power.  So now I’m excited and curious about reading it!  Jennifer Serravallo has a few other books that also look interesting – one on small group instruction and another on conferencing.  Watch a short video clip of Jen talking about how her books go together.

22609620

Grammar Matters: Lessons, Tips and Conversations Using Mentor Texts K-6 by Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty

I often have teachers ask me for references for grammar books.  While I am not a big supporter of grammar excercises in isolation, children do need to learn correct usage and structure of the language within the context of their writing.  So when I saw this new book by the authors of Mentor Texts, Nonfiction Mentor Texts and Poetry Mentor Texts – all three are well used books in my professional collection – I was very excited!    This book is a handy reference for helping students learn about parts of speech, idioms, usage issues, and punctuation and, like their other books, uses specific mentor texts (picture books) to support the lessons.  Who knew I could get excited about teaching grammar?!

59 Reasons to Write: Mini Lessons, Prompts, and Inspiration for Teachers Kate Messner

 “One of the greatest gifts of writing is the way it nudges us to look more closely not only at the world but also at ourselves.”   I  love everything Kate Messner writes -her picture books, her novels and her professional books.  She is my hero!  This book grew out of Messner’s popular online summer writing camp, Teachers Write.  It is her strong belief that if we are going to help our students to be writers, we (teachers) need to be writers ourselves.

unstop

The Unstoppable Writing Teacher – M. Colleen Cruz

Isn’t this a GREAT title?  And cover?  And if that weren’t enough – forward by Lucy Calkins?   “Veteran teacher and author Colleen Cruz takes|common concerns, struggles, and roadblocks that we all face in writing instruction and helps us engage in the process of problem solving each one.”  This one is a MUST read for me this summer!

                                             22775554      thinking

Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners.

Creating Cultures of Thinking:  The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools

by Ron Ritchhart

Yes, it still is and always will be about thinking for me!  I discovered this author by accident when I was presenting at SENSE Charter School in Indianapolis last month.  Making Thinking Visible was sitting on a table and I was immediately drawn to the title because thinking and metacognition is at the center of all that I believe.  I’m looking forward to hearing his message in both of these books.

beers

Reading Nonfiction:  Notice and Note – Signposts and Questions – Kylene Beers & Robert Probst

 I met Kylene Beers and Bob Probst at a reading conference in Saskatchewan last year and heard them speak about their previous book Notice and Note: Strategies for Close ReadingIn this book, I learned about their term “signposts” – places in text that alert readers to significant moments readers need to “notice and note”, then question and explore them through their own interpretations.  I’m eagerly awaiting the release of their new book, which will not be until October (but I’m including it on my list anyway) and learning about Nonfiction “signposts”!

well played

Well Played: Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games and Pictures Gr. 3-5    

             Linda Dacey, Karen Gartland, and Jayne Bamford Lynch

I make an effort to move out of my comfort zone and read ONE non literacy book every year.  I am the first to admit that Math is not one of my strong subject areas so this book looks like a perfect choice – and it has “thinking” in the title!  (This book comes out June 30th)

So there you have it…. my list of professional reads for the summer!  I may not get through them all but I’m going to try!

What professional books are in your TBR pile this summer?

12 Comments

Filed under It's Monday, Professional Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – Exciting Releases for Fall!

IMWAYR

It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

Despite my heartbreak at the fact that I will not be sharing these books with my students tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day after that due to the ongoing teacher’s strike in B.C., I am happy to share them with you in the hopes that you are not on strike and can share them with YOUR students! I’ve had a little more reading time this past week so was able to read a few longer books.

The Boundless

The Boundless – Kenneth Oppel

WOW!  This is an action packed adventure that I could not put down!  It tells the story of a young boy, Will Everett who is a first class passenger on The Boundless, the greatest train ever built.  (Think Titanic only a train!)  I loved how Kenneth Oppel has woven Canadian history and famous Canadian personalities (including Sasquatch!)  throughout the book, making it an excellent link to Social Studies.  Add a little magic and a few creepy bits and you have a fast-paced read-aloud!

Egg and Spoon

Egg and Spoon – Gregory Maguire

Another wow for this YA book!  Egg and Spoon reads like a Russian fairy tale.  It is filled with exquisite writing, laugh out loud humour, fascinating and often twisted characters. It is the story of two young woman: a city girl born of privilege and a country girl suffering from poverty and loss.  After a case of mistaken identity, both Elena and Ekaterina, or Cat,  begin an adventure across Russia and up to the North Pole on a quest to save their country.  I really liked how Maguire wove Russian culture, legends and characters, including Baba Yaga,  through the story.  At times, I felt the plot was more suited for younger children but the writing style and complex plot makes it definitely one for the older crowd.  If I’m being completely honest, I felt that some parts were a little confusing and complicated and other parts went on too long – but overall well worth the read!   

The Swallow: A Ghost Story

The Swallow – A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

Interesting that I happen to read two books featuring two female characters whose lives become entwined.   This one is AMAZING – I could not put it down!  It tells the story of the friendship of two 12 year old girls living in Toronto in 1963.  Polly – outgoing, bubbly, passionate… Rose – introverted, quiet and loves to sing and who, we discover, can see and talk to ghosts!  The story goes back and forth between the two different points of view.  This is truly a MUST READ book!  Enchanting, magical, mysterious – a great ghost story and a wonderful story of friendship.  I LOVED it!

Everybody Bonjours!

Eveybody Bonjours!  by Leslie Kimmolman

This book follows a little girl and her family on a trip to Paris. The text is simple, the illustrations are charming.  Lots of French sites, sounds, smells and tastes – a peak into French life.  I think this would be a wonderful anchor book for writing about Canada or other countries.  There is more detailed information at the back of the book.  I want to go to Paris now, please! 

And Two Boys Booed – Judith Viorst

This new Judith Viorst book was released this week! It is an adorable story of a little boy who gets an extreme case of nerves when he has to sing in the talent show. Perfect for making connections! This book rhymes, it has lift the flaps and has a song that you will all be singing after just one read! Love Judith Viorst and I LOVE this book!

Bluebird

Bluebird – Lindsey Yankey

I was totally drawn to this book by the cover.  A bird’s eye view from a bird’s eye view.  This is a charming story about a bluebird who is searching for her friend, the wind.  The repetitive text and the extraordinary details in each picture makes this a perfect read-aloud or quiet bed-time sharing.  I love how determined the little bird is.   As soon as I got to the last page, I went back and read it again!

Take Away the A

Take Away the A – Michael Escoffier

What fun this book is to read!  It’s a delightful alphabet book goes through the alphabet and offers words where you take away a letter and get a new word. So, for example, for letter A, “beast” becomes “best” when you take the A out. The concept is a simple but so clever and humouous! I have already thought about ways of using this in class – having the students try to create their own “take away” words! 

I'm Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes

I’m Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes – Marilyn Singer

Sadie is all packed for her rustic family camping trip:  patent shoes? check!  ballerina skirt? Check!  Sparkly suitcase? Check!  I loved the spunk of this girl, who despite her “girlie-girl” appearance is a great role model for girl power!  She is fearless and determined to find Bigfoot and protect her family.  Great rhyming pattern and bright, colorful illustrations!

 

Dojo Daycare

Dojo Daycare – Chris Tougas

Six rowdy children spinning out of control in their Dojo daycare, despite their master’s effort to demonstrate “honor, kindness and respect”. Fun, great illustrations, wonderful rhyme – a perfect read-aloud. Kids will LOVE this one!

The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing

The Writing Thief – Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing – Ruth Culham

“It’s been said that mediocre writers borrow, but great writers steal” Using children’s literature to teach writing – could there be a more perfect book for me? And since it would appear that I may have some more time on our hands next week, I’m excited to be spending it exploring this new book by Ruth Culham! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Please let me know which book caught your eye?

13 Comments

Filed under Alphabet book, Friendship, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Novels, Professional Books, Read-Aloud, Social Studies, Writing Anchors

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – New treasures from Kids Can Press

IMWAYR

It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

Despite my heartbreak at the fact that I will not be sharing these books with my students tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day after that due to the ongoing teacher’s strike in B.C., I am happy to share them with you in the hopes that you are not on strike and can share them with YOUR students!

Kids Can Press is a prominent Canadian publishing company.  I am fortunate to be on their list of people who receives samples of some of their new releases twice a year.   Last week, their fall books arrived at my doorstep!  Book joy!  I’m happy to be featuring some of these books in my IMWAYR post today.

Stop, Thief!

Stop, Theif! by Heather Takavec

I instantly fell in love with the main character in this book – an adorable little dog named Max.  Max lives on a farm and one day the farmer asks Max to help him catch a thief who has been stealing carrots, lettuce, beans and cherries from the farm.  Max is eager to help and begins asking all the farm animals if they know who the unidentified thief is.  The humor, of course, is that all the animals Max asks tell him they know nothing about a thief, while they are eating carrots, beans and lettuce!  This is definitely a fun book that will have young children laughing.  A great addition to books about farm animals, as well as for practicing simple inferring.  Charming illustrations!

Super Red Riding Hood

Super Red Riding Hood – Claudia Davila
This book is a perfect blend of old and new and I really enjoyed this modern twist to a classic fairy tale. When Ruby puts on her red cloak – she becomes Super Red Riding Hood!  Strong and spunky female character and bright and colorful illustrations.  A perfect addition to your fractured fairy tale collection and a great read-aloud for primary students.
Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
Hana Hashimoto – Sixth Violin – Chieri Uegaki
My friend Carrie Gelson has a special fondness for intergenerational picture books and books that promote the special bond between children and their grandparents.  I saw this book first on her blog (There’s a Book for That) and was excited to find it in my box of treasures from Kids Can Press.   It is a delightful story filled with so many wonderful themes – being creative, being determined, being brave.  Young Hana enters a violin talent contest and is determined to win.  Her Ojiichan (grandfather), himself a renouned violinist, is her strongest influence and plays a role in her efforts to face her fears.  I held my breath when she walks onto the stage and begins to play.  Beautiful writing, beautiful illustrations and a true celebration of music and family.
 Into the Woods (BIGFOOT Boy #1)The Sound of Thunder
Bigfoot Boy  – J. Torres
This graphic novel adventure series is action packed and perfect for readers grades 2-5.  The art is rich and colorful and the characters are humorous and fun.  What I like about this series is that it weaves aboriginal themes, characters and artifacts into the story.  In Into the Woods, the main character Rufus finds a totem necklace that turns him into a sasquatch.  In the Sound of Thunder, the story continues when someone steals the magic necklace from him.  His pal, Penny is a great addition to the second  book.  I am definitely going to share these with my librarian and get this series into our school!
Product Details
Loula and the Sister Recipe – Anne Villeneuve
This charming book is about a little girl who is tiring of her younger triplet brothers and asks her parents to “make her a sister”.  Her father explains, “Making a sister is . . . well, it’s like making a cake. You need the right ingredients…..a papa and a mama, butterflies in the stomach, a full moon, a candlelit supper, kisses and hugs and chocolate.”  Loula then proceeds to “follow the recipe” to make her own sister.  The ending will surprise you!  While reading it, I was visualizing a class listening to the story and possibly tricky side track conversations that might ensue about baby-making!  Other than that, I enjoyed the story, particularly the character of Loula – she is observent, determined, cheerful and very creative!  Apparently, this is the second Loula book but I will now be searching for the first.
The Best Part of The Day
The Best Part of the Day – Sarah Ban Breathnach
Part of my bedtime routine with my boys when they were little was to do “gratefuls” –  listing things and people we were grateful for that day. This book would have been the perfect addition to that ritual.  It is a lovely bedtime book I would recommend for parents but also a great book for making connections and one that would certainly stimulate younger children writing about the best part of their day.   The illustrations are gorgeous – detailed and meant for savoring.  The writing is lyrical with a simple rhyming scheme that young children would be reciting with you.  A perfect gift book for pre-school age children.
Little Elliot, Big City
Little Elliot, Big City -Mike Curato
There is nothing I don’t love about this charming book about the challenges an adorable polka dot elephant named Elliot faces in the big city.  This book includes SO many teachable topics – embracing differences, making friends, facing challenges and experiencing greatness. The illustrations are amazing! A must read aloud! (and serve cupcakes afterwards!)
Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success
Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success  by Regie Routman
I have just started reading Regie Routman’s new book called Read, Write and Lead.  My good friends in Kelowna, Lisa Wilson and Donna    , are using this book as a professional book study and have invited me to join in their discussions via Skype.  Regie Routman has had a strong influence on my teaching practice – I find her books practical and full of wisdom and I’ve used them both in my teaching and my writing.  This book looks at what is needed to create a supportive literacy community in your school and  increasing joy in teaching and learning.  It is definitely one I would recommend for a school book study and I am looking forward to implementing her ideas (as soon as the strike is over!)
Thanks for stopping by!  Please let me know which book caught your eye?

 

 

16 Comments

Filed under graphic novel, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, making connections, Music, New Books, Professional Books, Read-Aloud