Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Monday....What Am I Reading?

It is Monday and it is time to share what I am reading this week.  It has been an insanely busy week as I wrap up the last week of color guard, but I am proud to say I did manage to read a book of my own along with some books with my kids.

At home I am on my second book in an adult series.  I started the first when I was on the band trip this weekend and finished it quickly.  I was sad to not have wifi to get the next book on my kindle.

At school I am still reading Wonder with my students.  We just started the section for Justin today.  The kids seem to really be getting into things.  I love hearing them talk about their experiences in comparison to the characters' experiences.

I also finished the first book in the Mal and Chad series this week with a student.  We laughed a lot and got right into reading the second book.  We also started Squish book #1.  This is a great graphic novel for my kids in 7th grade science for sure!

Now to get together a list of books to buy at the Barnes and Noble educator days at our local store.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wonder Party!

This Wednesday 10/10/12 my class had a birthday celebration for August from our class read aloud story Wonder. As a part of our book we made posters to hang in high traffic areas to remind other students to be kind. Here are the posters we made.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wonder of Wonder

This school year I began my year by reading the book  Wonder with my sixth grade reading group.  I work with students in my school that have reading difficulties.  Students are on an IEP with a diagnosed disability.  I have five sixth graders in my class that read or comprehend below grade level.  They are a great group of kids and I enjoy starting my morning with them each day.

I read Wonder last spring for the first time and loved it!  I thought it was a book that everyone should read.  As a middle school teacher I have seen how cruel kids can be to other kids at times, but I have also seen a community of learners who are kinder then most adults you meet on a daily basis.  We have a strong climate of kindness in our school building because that is what we expect from the students and they strive to meet this expectation. 

My students while reluctant readers at times have enjoyed Wonder we have chuckled many times at the antics of the characters and we have questioned how kids could be so cruel.  We are about half way through the book right now and are getting into the strongest part of things.  They have enjoyed the story and I hope it is a book that has an impact on them.

As a part of our reading Wonder we created Vokis, which are virtual avatars.  We created characters and typed 3-5 sentences about the book.  This was our first time creating vokis and writing about this book so we kept it simple this time.  My kids were excited to share their thoughts and ideas.

Here are the Vokis we created...


Monday, October 8, 2012

What did I read this week.... 10/1-10/8

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It's Monday which means it is time for another edition of What Are You Reading?  As it is the school year I am deeply involved in reading picture books and young adult fiction, which is okay with me, because I love these types of books.  It has been a very busy week, so my reading time has been limited.  I was out of town all weekend, but still managed to finish a book.

In my realm of personal reading I finished Insurgent By Veronica Roth.  This book was excellent!  I loved all the drama and the new characters introduced.  I can't believe being Tris and having to make the decisions she has to make in this book.  I loved how we learned even more about the different factions and the factionless in the second edition.  This edition also delves more into the views of other characters we have met in the story.  I recommend this book to older readers and adults who love a good story that leaves you fighting alongside the main characters.  I can't wait for the third book in this series, but I am sad I will have to wait so long.

I am still reading Wonder and Food Fight with my sixth grade students.  I look forward to celebrating Wonder on Wednesday!

I am bring home two books to read at home today to tomorrow Babymouse: Queen of the World and Squish: Super Amoeba .  These books were both recommended to me by the #titletalk crew on twitter.

For the Record

This year at my school the theme is rock n roll. Specifically the theme is where the middle rocks. We have been recognizing students and staff with short notes about why they rock. The teachers are passing a large record around with an envelope attached. I was very excited to find the record in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago, but perhaps more excited to have the chance to recognize a peer. Today I passed along the record to a rocking English teacher in my building. It was fun to be able to jot down things I notice that make her a great teacher :-).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Banned Book Week! 2012

Taken From http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellinahandbasket

As a part of Banned Book Week I thought I would go back and check out the books from my middle school/ high school days that were considered banned.  I looked at the list from 1990-1999 at American Library Association.  Which books have I read off of the Top 100 Challenged Books?

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- By Mark Twain
  •  Of Mice and Men- By John Steinbeck, read in 11th grade English
  • Forever- By Judy Blum,  I was a huge fan of all of her books growing up
  •  Bridge to Terabitia- By Katherine Paterson, a book enjoyed without any worries of it being "bad"
  • The Catcher in the Rye- By J.D. Salinger, this is probably my favorite from 11th grade English.  My teacher loved books that created discussion and dissent.
  •  My Brother Sam is Dead- By James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, this was read as a required read in middle school during the summer
  • The Giver- By Lois Lowry, I read this as my 7th graders did a few school years ago
  • Alice- By Phyllis Reynolds Naylor-  I remember reading this just to see what the fuss was about
  • The Color Purple- By Alice Walker, we read this before watching the movie in school
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins- By Katherine Paterson, I have read this as a student and with students
  • The Witches By Roald Dahl, I am a fan of all of his work
  • A Wrinkle in Time- By Madeline L'Engle, this is a book that we read in 6th grade that I did not care for
  • Go Ask Alice- By Anonymous, this is another book I read because of the controversy, I also thought the cover was intriguing.
  • Blubber- By Judy Blume, once again I am a huge Blume fan!
  • The Outsiders - By S.E. Hinton, the book all rebels must read :-)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird- By Harper Lee, I loved this book and was excited to be in the play in high school
  • Deenie- By Judy Blume, again I am a fan!
  • Flowers for Algernon-  By Daniel Keyes, I read this in 8th grade.  I remember reading it then getting to go to a theater downtown to watch the movie.  It was quite the big event.
  • James and the Giant Peach- By Roald Dahl, I have read almost all of his books
  • A Light in the Attic- By Shel Silverstein, I love his poems, it was my first book of poetry as a kid
  • Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret- By Judy Blume, I remember thinking how crazy it was that all this was in a book, but didn't think there was anything wrong about it.  Big Blume Fan!
  • The Face on the Milk Carton By Caroline B. Cooney, I loved all of her books.  This one really made you think.
  • Where's Waldo By Martin Hanford-  Who didn't read these growing up?
  • Tiger Eyes-  By Judy Blume, as I said a few times now I loved all her books!

Monday, October 1, 2012

What I am Reading... 10/1

It's Monday and Kelly and Jen from Teach Mentor Texts are once again hosting their "What Are You Reading?" Monday blog share/hop.  I am excited this week to share what I am reading as my first blog entry on this blog!

So what am I reading?

I am reading with my students the amazing book Wonder.   We are loving this book in my classroom!  It is our daily read aloud. I read this book last spring and could not wait to read it with my class.  I think it conveys a message every middle school student needs to hear.  I wish I could buy a copy for everyone of my colleagues as well.



On my own I am reading Insurgent.  This is the second book in the series by Veronica Roth.  I am loving this book as well. It is thrilling and captivating.  It is a great addition to the Utopian realm of reading.  I wish it was a little less gory so I could recommend it without any hesitation, but like the Hunger Games I recommend it with caution, especially to younger readers.  I have a student who is reading this series as well and I am very excited for him to finish the first book so we can have book talks together.



I always seem to have trouble just reading a book at a time so I am also reading Stephen McCrainie's second novel Food Fight.  I am waiting for his first book to arrive at my house in the mail this afternoon.  I have only read one chapter, but this book as all of his work is hilarious.  He captures kids so well.  My students love hearing this read aloud complete with sound effects and silly faces.
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