What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: A Year of Reading, Most Recent at Top
Results 1 - 25 of 2,384
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
Two teachers think about and write about their lives as readers -- readers of children's books, professional books, and adult fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Yes, we still want to try to have read the Newbery, but our reading lives are much bigger than just that.
Statistics for A Year of Reading

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 71
1. Learning About Blogging!

We are getting ready to start our blogs at Kidblogs this week. These blogs will be closed to our classroom as students learn the power of blogging and connecting with others through writing.  This week, we'll spend much of our writing workshop time learning about blogging.
 

Learning to Study
One of my goals for the first six weeks of school is learning the power of study and mentor texts as writers. During these first six weeks, I want my students to learn to live their lives as writers, noticing all they can. And I also want them to begin to learn the power of mentors.  Studying quality texts and thinking "I'd like to do that in my writing." will be important throughout the year.  Our conversations this week will build on the bits we've already talked about in the area of study and mentor texts.

At the beginning of the week, we'll take a look at some blogs. We'll talk about the following questions:

What is a blog?
What is a blog post?
What is possible in a blog posts?
What makes an effective blog post?
How is this blogger unique?
What is the focus of this person's blog?
What can we learn from this blogger?

We'll take a look at a variety of blogs and blog posts written by kid bloggers. Some blogs we'll look at will be:
Behind the Scenes of the Cooperstown Bat Factory
DIY Locker Door
5 Interesting Facts about Electric Eels
Sunny Days
Baseball with Matt Blog
Tissue Flower Kit
This Kid Reviews Books

(I've found some of these on Blogs By Kids, which is a great resource for teachers looking for blog posts by kids.)


Paper Blogging
After some study, we'll do some practice.  I didn't buy into practice until I read Lee Kolbert's post on Paper Blogging and Learning to Comment a few years ago. I've followed her thinking for the past few years and it's led to some great blogging. We'll take a few days creating paper blog posts and we'll comment on each with sticky notes. This will take a few days but I've found that after this, kids are ready to blog and anxious to share their writing in a digital space!

Learning to Comment
Before we comment on the paper blogs, we'll watch this video by Mrs. Yolis's 3rd grade class. I have used it for a few years and it is a great conversation starter about good commenting.



Of course, we'll continue to build on this initial conversation but I know that commenting is as important as posting so I want kids to see what's possible in a comment. This video is part of a blog post on Mrs. Yolis's Classroom Blog: How to Compose a Quality Comment.

Moving Forward
We'll continue to study mentor blogs throughout the year as an integrated part of our writing. We'll look at classroom blogs as we work together to tell our classroom story.  We'll look at blog series such as Celebrate This Week, Poetry Friday,  and It's Monday! What Are You Reading?. These will serve as invitations for students who want to focus on their blog writing more seriously.  (I'll show them two series that past students have created--Ben's Book Reviews and Time to Interview.  We'll talk about Blog challenges and blog plans. I might eventually share this blog schedule to start the conversation about the importance of planning as a writer.

I'm anxious to see where this group of students goes with blogging. I am always amazed and surprised by all that kids find to do in the digital world as writers and this first step is always an exciting one.

This post was cross posted to Click Here Next.

0 Comments on Learning About Blogging! as of 9/2/2014 6:02:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Math Monday: Padlet


Visit Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for Math Monday link up!
(This post is cross posted at Click Here Next)

I don't remember where I saw Padlet used for math but I kept the idea in the back of my head.  This week,  I wanted to start embedding technology into our work across content as a natural part of the process. I didn't want to teach a lesson on Padlet or talk directly about the tool but I did want kids to begin to experience various tools could support thinking and learning.

So before school began, I started a padlet with the problem we'd be solving.  I didn't share it with students yet but, as students were working on a math problem, I bopped around as I always do, looking a student work and finding a variety of strategies. I decided to take photos of 4 students' work and add photos of each to the padlet. About 3-4 minutes before I gathered the class to share, I invited these 4 students to look at the padlet and to add their words to their work--what had they done to solve the problem. I had each child use a different computer so as the rest of the class gathered for share time, they could see the 4 students simultaneously adding to the padlet.  The talk was around math and the strategies each had used, but the power of the technology was evident.

Because we'd been talking about how we could learn from each other and how we might want to go back to a past problem to solve a new one, I wanted to make this something kids could easily go back to if they want to later in the year. I also thought it was a great opportunity to write a quick shared post on our class website. So we added our Padlet to the math section of our Weebly and wrote a quick blurb about the activity.  This hopefully gives students an anchor for talk at home about learning at school.

This was really simple and the addition of Padlet took no extra time.  The focus was still on math but Padlet helped us look at the possible strategies and to hold on to those in a way that we couldn't without technology.  By putting this on our class website, this resource can be accessed whenever a child thinks it might be helpful.


0 Comments on Math Monday: Padlet as of 9/1/2014 7:10:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. Celebrating Amy Ludwig VanDerwater!

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Will Clayton

Even though our blog birthday was on January 1, we are celebrating it all year! On our 8th Birthday, we decided to celebrate 2014 by celebrating others who inspire us every day. Each month, on the 1st (or so) of the month, we will celebrate a fellow blogger whose work has inspired us. We feel so lucky to be part of the blog world that we want to celebrate all that everyone gives us each day.

This month, we are celebrating teacher and poet, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater! Her blog, The Poem Farm, is an amazing poetry and writing instruction resource for teachers. On the "Find a Poem" page, Amy has all the poems on her blog indexed by topic and technique. There is also a link to her amazing A-Z Poem Dictionary Hike, her 2012 National Poetry Month poem-a-day project.

Amy shines a spotlight on teachers and students and the poetry work they are doing in the classroom. On her "Poetry Peek" page, you can visit the classrooms she has featured.

If you and/or your students keep writer's notebooks, you will want to check out Amy's other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks. In the introduction, Amy writes,
"Hello, nosy friends! This blog is written by many different notebook-keepers, highlighting pages from a variety of notebooks: paper, digital, napkin, any kind! Read here, and learn how students, authors, artists, teachers, and people of all types use notebooks to strengthen their thinking. After reading, you might wish to try something new in your own writing, drawing, thinking..."
Amy is the co-author of one of Lucy Calkins' Units of Study writing guides, and is in the midst of a beautiful swan dive into the crystal blue water of children's book authoring, with one published (Forest Has a Song) and FIVE more forthcoming.

If you read Amy's blog or follow her on FaceBook, you know that besides being a poet, writer, and teacher, she is mother of three, wife of a science teacher, and very much the farm girl of her blog's Poem FARM name. And you know that one of her (and her family's) passions is rescuing and placing orphaned cats and kittens. Although it veers a bit from our typical donation to a literacy or child-based organization, it just feels right to donate this month, in Amy's honor, to Colony Cats, a local organization that rescues cats as well as practicing TNR (trap, neuter, release) to support the feral cat colonies in the Columbus area. The cat who generously lets AJ and me share his house is a former Colony Cats rescue cat. He gave a twitch of his tail as the sign of his approval of this donation.


0 Comments on Celebrating Amy Ludwig VanDerwater! as of 8/31/2014 8:13:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. Poetry Friday -- Retro Post


I'M YOUR MOM

I'm your mom when you're in school.
I mom you sharply when you're cruel.
I mom you gently when you're hurt.
I mom the buttons on your shirt!

(I mom the music teacher's tie.)
I always mom you when you cry.
(I mom the plants on the windowsill.)
I mom you when you're feeling ill.

I'll never be your mom at home.
I'll never see what you'll become.
I'll never tuck you into bed,
Never hold your feverish head.

But I'm your mom when you're in school
And I'll mom you into shape with rules
Because I love you like you're mine...
I hope your real mom doesn't mind!

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2011


This poem first appeared on the blog in April of 2011, but besides linking to it in a post this week, and sharing it with my current students, I have connected with several students from former classes this week, and my heart is filled with joy that they carry good memories of being in my 5th grade class. As I set out on the year's journey with a group who won't be sharing memories or stories of influence for 7+ years, it's good to be hearing from these former students!

Jone has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Check it Out.


0 Comments on Poetry Friday -- Retro Post as of 8/29/2014 7:41:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. I May Never Actually Fancy Up This Chart



These are our Lessons From Cup Stacking, and they have turned out to be such important big ideas that I find myself referring back to this chart on a daily basis, at some point or another.

I keep saying that I'm going to fancy this chart up when I get time, but I actually like its organic roughness so much that I might never get the time! Maybe I'll give it a title, but that might be all.

The cup stacking challenge was given to "tribes" on the first day. They had a stack of six styrofoam cups and the only tool they could use to make a pyramid was a rubber band that had four strings tied to it. They couldn't touch the cups. They couldn't touch the rubber band. They could only touch the strings.

After every group was successful, we talked about what had happened.

The group that finished first automatically gave themselves a new challenge. We decided that would be the right thing to do ANY time you finished early.

We talked about how to handle disagreements. There were lots of strategies: go with the majority, try everybody's idea, really listen to each other, and talk it out calmly. If only our world leaders would keep these strategies handy!

We talked about the importance of struggle, and when struggle is a good thing. I assured them that I am here to make sure that their struggles don't overwhelm them.

We listed lots of different ways to name "keep trying."

They have the option to modify a task I give them. In this case, one group chose a new place to work, but we talked about other ways they could modify a task, but still do what they were being asked to do. That might mean they do things in a different order, use different materials, or accomplish the same outcome in a way I haven't even thought of. I want my students to be active participants, always thinking of the best way...for them. And, of course, I have the option to intervene and modify their task for them. I had to do that for the last group to finish. They were so close and they knocked one of their last cups down. I picked it up and put it back so they could put the last cup in place. For the geography challenge, I asked for "focus groups," but the IS was in to support a few kids, so I allowed for a homogenous group of four instead of a mixed group of 3. This point is helping me model flexibility.

We ended with some general big ideas for group work in our classroom: BE DEPENDABLE, use TEAMWORK, and have FUN! I assured them that even though I planned to challenge them to work really hard this year, I would always do my best to try to make the work fun!

0 Comments on I May Never Actually Fancy Up This Chart as of 8/28/2014 6:11:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. Learning is Social

free Public Domain image from pixabay

I started with the big idea: Learning is Social. With that in mind, I knew I would want my students to work in all different kinds of groupings. In the past, saying, "Get together in groups" took valuable time away from the instruction or task, and instead of making all feel included, often resulted in kids being left out until grudgingly accepted into a group, usually with me facilitating.

This year I decided to be more explicit about what I wanted from groups. As I introduced the various groupings in the first days of school, I gave team-building or curriculum-based tasks to the groups to complete. So they practiced making the groups AND working in them.

The biggest group is the whole class. Our family. You don't get to choose your family; you're born into it and you have to make the best of it, even when some family members get on your nerves. I'm the "mom" of our family -- a single mom with a LOT of kids! (It was fun to share my poem "I'm Your Mom" at this point.) We will defend our family members fiercely. We've got each others' backs.

The next group is your "tribe" -- the people with whom you feel most comfortable. I want my kids to know that it's natural, and in my room, acceptable, to want to work with your friends sometimes. Don't we all?

Another grouping is "focus groups." In market research, focus groups are made up of a wide range of consumers so that the researchers can get the most valid results. Our "focus groups" are a mixture of boys and girls, tribe members and non-tribe members.

The smallest unit is partners. Sometimes your partner is a tribe member, and sometimes I ask for mixed gender partnerships. Partners sit knee-to-knee to talk, and side-by-side to look together at a book or the work they are doing.

When we practiced making groups, the one rule was that the groups weren't formed until everyone had been included. We practiced asking to join a group, and we practiced inviting someone to join in.

Yesterday, when it was time to form focus groups for a geography challenge, I was amazed (pleased, relieved) to see how quickly the groups were formed and how no one had to invite themselves into a group -- groups invited singles cheerfully, not grudgingly. Mixed gender groups didn't feel weird or awkward because they are Focus Groups with many perspectives. Just about as quick as I could snap my fingers, the groups were made, and the geography challenge was on.

Life is good.


0 Comments on Learning is Social as of 8/27/2014 7:29:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. Questions for a Joyful, Kind and Reflective Classroom

·    


Over the summer I read a post by a teacher who asked her students in the morning class meeting what he/she was most looking forward to that day. I loved that question and the stage it set for each day in a classroom. I decided we'd use that in our morning meetings this school year.  As I continued to plan over the summer, I started to think about how all of our workshops have share times that could connect in some way. I wondered if we could connect learning across content with reflective questions that set the stage for joyful learning as well as reflection. With the help of Gretchen, our new literacy coach, I came up with a list of 10 questions to focus our conversations.  

I I wasn't sure how it would go but I created a sign for each question and posted the 10 questions in our meeting area. Before I even mentioned the question, kids were talking around them. They had noticed the questions and started thinking about them. So it has been easy to use these for general conversations and the kids have been amazing in the ways they are thinking about themselves in our classroom.  We use them throughout the day when we are gathered together for conversations.

I I have the questions posted and I plan to give them a copy of the questions on a single sheet for their notebooks.  These questions were a great way to kick off our school year and to help kids begin to think about what our year will be like. 

  What are you most looking forward to today as a learner?

·      What do you have to celebrate today?

·      What did you learn about yourself as a learner today?

·      How were you kind today?

·      How did you get through something challenging today?

·      What do you understand today that you didn’t understand before today?

·      What are you excited to share with someone today?

·      What did someone do to help you today?

·      How were you brave as a learner today?


·      How did your thinking change today?

0 Comments on Questions for a Joyful, Kind and Reflective Classroom as of 8/26/2014 6:05:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. Math Monday!




It's Math Monday!  Join Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for the Math Monday link up!



The first few days of math are always so interesting as I listen into conversations.  On the third day of school, we used our math time to do a "Numbers About Me" project.  I've seen this often on Pinterest and blogs and wanted to make sure we started the year thinking about math in our world.  It was an interesting conversation as their eyes lit up each time they realized the things in their lives that involved numbers.  They were simple things but making the connection to math made for a good conversation. We combined this with self-portrait work and the kids had a great time creating themselves with their Numbers About Me information.

*Please note that the 3rd boy in the top row made himself wearing an "I Love Mrs. Sibberson" shirt. Hysterical.  Gotta love 3rd grade :-)


0 Comments on Math Monday! as of 8/25/2014 7:37:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. Poetry Friday: So. Much. Joy.

by Hugh MacLeod at GapingVoid.com


’T IS so much joy! ’T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!

Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!

And if I gain,—oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!

by Emily Dickinson

From Bartleby.com (bibliographic record for the poem here)
You can see the poem in Emily's own handwriting here.


Lots of great conversations these first couple of days of school about the importance of struggle, of perseverance, patience, and practice. Growth mindset. We watched Kid President talk about inventing, and we read The Most Magnificent Thing. I think we're ready to dive into the hard work of fifth grade.

I splurged yesterday and bought a little purple Moleskine journal to keep track of my "trout of the day." We're two days in and I'm having a hard time picking one "trout." I'm thinking that bodes well for the year.


We've had a change in the Poetry Friday roundup this week. Irene is taking over for Robyn. Head over to Live Your Poem to leave your link.


0 Comments on Poetry Friday: So. Much. Joy. as of 8/22/2014 12:41:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Teaching With Heart



Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach
edited by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner
Jossey-Bass, 2014
review copy is my own, and will live on my shelf at school, ready to offer words of wisdom when I am in need

I have loved the first volume this duo edited, Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teachfor 10 years. The poems and accompanying essays have buoyed me up and carried me forward.

This new volume already has five poems sticky-noted for sharing, and dozens of others that made me nod and smile. In times when we have to keep stuff like this in mind, it is good to have a place to go where our profession is valued, understood, and truly celebrated. This is a book I will turn to and thumb through many times throughout the school year, in good times and when I'm worn down and worn out.

Plus, how much fun is it to find my Poetry Month pal, Kevin Hodgson (Kevin's Meandering Mind, @dogtrax), right there on pages 18-20 in the section "Relentless Optimism" sharing "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali (who wrote the introduction to the book)?!?!

In his introduction, Mali writes about still getting a feeling of "imminence" every fall, even though it's been since 2000 that teaching was his day job. He continues,
"For years I couldn't figure out why as a poet I still felt this way. But it makes perfect sense. Because on a very basic level, being a poet and being a teacher are inextricably linked. Whether teaching or writing, what I really am doing is shepherding revelation. I am the midwife to epiphany."
Today is our first day day with students. Nothing could be better than approaching this day as "the midwife to epiphany."



0 Comments on Teaching With Heart as of 8/20/2014 5:49:00 AM
Add a Comment
11. It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Head over to Teach Mentor Texts for the It's Monday! What Are You Reading? round up.


Scholastic has a boatload of great new picture books coming out later this month and in September! (ARCs provided by the publisher)


by Lucille Colondro
illustrated by Jared Lee
Scholastic, August 2014

I have a whole collection of "Lady Who Swallowed a..." books, beginning with my very first one from a Scholastic book fair when I was in elementary school. Lucille Colandro has written almost a dozen different versions. This one is okay, but if we're going to go with swallowing a fly, I like the traditional ending!




by Caryn Yacowitz
illustrated by David Slonim
Scholastic, August 2014

This version is hysterical! Not only does the old lady swallow everything you need to celebrate Chanukah, each item gets larger and impossibly larger, dreidel rhymes with fatal, AND...AND the illustrations are parodies of famous/sculptures in art history (details in the back matter)! So. Much. Fun.




by Diane and Christyan Fox
Scholastic, August 2014

Shelve this book with INTERRUPTING CHICKEN. Cat can't get very far with her reading of Little Red Riding Hood before Dog interrupts with some assumptions and questions. First of all, he hears "cape" and goes immediately to super powers. Then, he wonders (reasonably) why the wolf doesn't just eat Little Red right there in the woods. And so on.

Fun stuff from the beginning endpapers to the end endpapers.





Hope for Winter: The True Story of A Remarkable Dolphin Friendship
told by David Yates, Craig Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff, and Isabella Hatkoff
Scholastic, August 2014

Another great addition to this series (Owen & Mzee, Knut, Looking for Miza, Leo the Snow Leopard, Winter's Tail) about a rescued orphan dolphin who becomes a friend for Winter, the dolphin with a prosthetic tail.




And due out in late September, one I REALLY can't wait to add to my class library:


by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
illustrated by Molly Bang,
Scholastic, September 2014

Next up in the Sunlight Series, we learn how fossil fuels were made and exactly how the burning of fossil fuels is releasing carbon chains that have been stored for millions of year into our atmosphere and changing the climate of our planet. Narrated by the sun, this book (the whole series, actually) is a must-read for any student (or adult) who needs to understand energy and the role of our Sun in...well, everything!


0 Comments on It's Monday! What Are You Reading? as of 8/18/2014 5:13:00 AM
Add a Comment
12. Poetry Friday: To My Students




To My Students

I am the riverbank
and you are the water.
You flow past me
year after year
fresh 
eager
a little wild.

I do my best 
to ensure you
a safe passage
and teach you 
endurance
stability
and the ways of the world.

But you rush on.

Time passes.
You return
to the familiar banks,
the remembered curves and shallows.

I will not know you,
and yet I will have
a deep memory of your passing.
Your passing
wore me down
changed my direction
made me new.

©Mary Lee Hahn, date unknown



Yes, I used that photo for my SOL post on Tuesday. Then later on Tuesday, I filled a giant recycling can with most of the contents of a filing cabinet that then left my classroom, providing a space for a shelf (emptied of professional books which migrated to the back cabinet, which was emptied of...) yadda yadda blah blah classroom setup. That's not the point of this story (but maybe I'll share some before and after pictures next week).

The point being, as I browsed through folders before flipping them into the recycling can, I found a folder of my writing from years back, including this poem. It builds nicely on the fishing theme from my SOL post.

Heidi has the roundup this week at My Juicy Little Universe.


0 Comments on Poetry Friday: To My Students as of 8/15/2014 11:38:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. Whatever You Are, Be a Good One




Whatever You Are, Be a Good One: 100 Inspirational Quotations Hand-Lettered by Lisa Congdon
Chronicle Books, 2014


Why am I just learning about this artist? Why have I not been following a blog entitled, "Today is going to be awesome"?

I love this little book because I love quotes and I love calligraphy and I love giving myself crazy challenges (like writing a poem a day, or taking 30 pictures every month and then making a mosaic).

That's pretty much how this book was born (minus the poetry and photos). Lisa Congdon noticed that she gravitated toward art that included lettering, decided she wanted to get better at calligraphy, and then started a project where she published something hand lettered on her blog every day for a year in 2012: 365 Days of Hand Lettering. I could get lost in her archives. It's pretty amazing that she started by just doing single letters that look clunky and forced, but within a month, her own unique style began to emerge. And then she started doing quotes. They are beautiful...unique...a perfect marriage of text and art.

Last year, instead of posting any class rules, I challenged each student to choose their very own "Words to Live By." Instead of one set of generic rules for 20+ individual students, we had 20+ individual rules to represent the fact that each person is the boss of his/her own self.

This year I want to help my students think about the graphic design of their Words to Live By posters that will hang around the classroom all year long. This will be our mentor text.


0 Comments on Whatever You Are, Be a Good One as of 8/14/2014 6:08:00 AM
Add a Comment
14. Slice of Life: What We Don't Know





If I had known when we set out for our fly fishing trip to Vermont that I wouldn't catch a single fish, I probably wouldn't even have bothered to try.

Don't get me wrong, the trip was not a failure. There was the otter, the kingfisher, the B&Bs, the Orvis Outlet Store, Niagara Falls. There are a myriad of moment-uous memories. Just none that involved trout at the end of my line.

That got me thinking about high stakes testing. I "fish" my heart out for the entire school year, and invariably, I don't "catch" much. And then I beat myself up.

Well, this year's going to be different. I'm not going to worry about the year as a whole. Instead of taking one big trip that depends on a single outcome, I'm going to slice this year up into 180 daily jaunts. Whatever good comes with each day (whether I aim for it, or it happens in spite of my intentions) will be the "trout" of the day.

I know this isn't a new way of thinking, but it finally makes sense to me. And I'm going to go with it.

Let's check back in a couple of months and see how it's working out for me.

Until then, I'll wish you tight lines, and be sure you watch your back cast.




0 Comments on Slice of Life: What We Don't Know as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. Math Monday: Resources for Opening Routines


So excited that Mandy began a weekly time for us, as bloggers, to share our thinking about math teaching and learning.  Today is the first Math Monday!  You can find the round up on Mandy's Blog, Enjoy and Embrace Learning.

Last year, our Math Workshop went pretty well.  But not as well as I had hoped. One area I knew I had to work on was Opening Routines.  I had read Number Talks the year before and used the Number Talk routine daily. But I found that it became very rote when it was the only routine I relied on. So I have really focused on new routines and have found some great resources to kick off quick routines and also to build on those routines through the year.

I started in the spring exploring the Howard County website. There is a whole section on routines for 3rd grade so I read about some new routines that would support math learning.

Then I revisited Number Sense Routines: Building Numerical Literacy Every Day in Grades K-3. This is a book from Stenhouse that I was familiar with but revisited this summer with 3rd graders in mind.  As more of an intermediate teacher, it was helpful to remember all of the math tools that support kids when making sense of number.  3rd is on the upper end of primary but I find so many kids need more support than I think they do at this age. Lots of great ways to support number sense.

Finally, I discovered my favorite new resource for math routines.  It is Minilessons for Math Practice, Grades 3-5 (there is a K-2 version, also). I bought this book because Mandy had recommended it and I thought it would be filled with mini lesson ideas. But as I browsed through, they seemed more like opening routines to me.  I noticed that the blurb on the back of the book said, "Designed to use during transition times, mini lessons require little or no preparation and take only 5-15 minutes to teach. These activities can be repeated throughout the school year...".  These were the routines I was looking for.
called

The book focuses on Grades 3-5 and shares 27 routines. Each short chapter focuses on one routine.  Ways to introduce the activity, student examples and ideas for extending the activity are part of each chapter.  This is a great resource! So excited I discovered it!



0 Comments on Math Monday: Resources for Opening Routines as of 8/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Picture Books 10 for 10: Genius Hour

I can't believe it is already time for #pb10for10!  Thanks to Cathy (@cathymere) at Reflect and Refine and Mandy (@mandyrobek) at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for creating this great day of learning and books.  It always turns out to be expensive for me as I always discover so many great books that  didn't know about.  It's one of my favorite blog holidays:-)

I decided this year that I'd share 10 books I'll use to kick off Genius Hour.  I want my kids to understand what Genius Hour can be and each of these books give a message I want them to carry into Genius Hour.  I doubt I'll really get through all of these books early in the year but these ten will start conversations that will help us have a vision for what Genius Hour can be. Whether you do Genius Hour or not, they all have a great message about learning.



The Most Magnificent Thing- I reviewed this one here in May.   It's a fabulous story of a girl with perseverance and grit. She works through her obstacles to create something magnificent.


Going Places by Peter Reynolds is a great story about thinking outside of the box and how thinking together is often better than thinking alone! I like the collaboration theme in this one.


Someday by Eileen Spinelli is a great book that invites conversation around working toward goals, trying new things, etc.


The OK Book is a simple book that reminds us that it is okay to not be great at everything--to try things and to just have fun with giving things a try, learning, and having fun.


Rosie Revere, Engineer is a fun book about mistakes, not quitting and finding joy in the journey of discovery.


Bella & Bean is one of my favorites. I love that it is the story of two friends and that one has a passion for poetry. Letting friends explore their passions and celebrating those with them is something I hope this book invites conversation around.


Beautiful Oops! is a fun colorful picture book that reminds us that some of our best ideas come from mistakes!


Imagine a Day (Byron Preiss Book) will invite conversations about imagining a perfect day at school. What would that mean for you?  I want them to know they have ownership of their learning time.


In Rupert Can Dance, Rupert keeps his love of dancing a secret for a while.  We'll use this to talk about those things you always wanted to learn about or try.


Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Awards)) will remind us that it's okay to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.




0 Comments on Picture Books 10 for 10: Genius Hour as of 8/10/2014 5:50:00 AM
Add a Comment
17. Picture Books 10-for-10: Fairness


Thank you to Cathy (@cathymere) at Reflect and Refine and Mandy (@mandyrobek) at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for inventing and now hosting the FIFTH annual Picture Book 10 for 10 event. It's always fun to see what books everyone chooses and how much we all spend!!

I've shared my beginning of the year favorite read-alouds for community building with so many teachers that it's time to find a new group of books to use! Thank you #pb10for10 for helping me find 10 titles that will get my students and me thinking about issues of fairness. I'm excited to have a mixture of contemporary fiction, historical fiction, folktales, music, and nonfiction. I'll supplement these books with poetry on the same theme.

I found this image without attribution on another blog. This will be our first "text" to "read" and discuss as we think about fairness and justice.








 by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

This book will continue our discussions about fairness and equality.







by Rukhsana Khan
illustrated by Sophie Blackall


Sometimes we don't want to share, or take more responsibility 
because we are older.
But it's important to remember that what comes around, goes around.







Each Kindness (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards))
 by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by E.B. Lewis

This book will help us to connect fairness and empathy.
Hopefully we will never miss the chance to be kind
to someone in our world.






The Little Hummingbird
 by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Is it fair that the hummingbird is doing all the work?








Is it okay to make a situation more fair by using trickery? 







The Red Hen
 by Rebecca Emberley
illustrated by Ed Emberley

If you've done all the work, is it fair to keep all the rewards for yourself?







illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

With this book, we'll begin to connect fairness and Civil Rights. I'm hoping to read aloud the Kindle edition of Wiles' Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy)








Through My Eyes
 by Ruby Bridges

Is it fair for children of all race, color, ethnicity and religion to go to American public schools?








I'm a new fan of Duncan Tonatiuh after hearing him speak at the CLA Monday Workshop last year.
This book will broaden students' understanding of desegregation
to include the struggles of Hispanic families.







We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song
 by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The story of this classic Civil Rights song will give us the "So What Now?" in this picture book unit. What will we do to work towards more fairness in our classroom, our building, our community, and our world?



0 Comments on Picture Books 10-for-10: Fairness as of 8/10/2014 5:50:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Poetry Friday Roundup is HERE!




The last of my Summer Poem Swap poems will be mailed tomorrow. I have combined my poems and photos to make magnets. I just about snorted my morning tea when I read this poem from The Writer's Almanac last month:


Poem on the Fridge
by Paul Hostovsky

The refrigerator is the highest honor
a poem can aspire to. The ultimate
publication. As close to food as words
can come. And this refrigerator poem
is honored to be here beneath its own
refrigerator magnet, which feels like a medal
pinned to its lapel. Stop here a moment
and listen to the poem humming to itself,
like a refrigerator itself, the song in its head
full of crisp, perishable notes that wither in air,
the words to the song lined up here like
a dispensary full of indispensable details:
a jar of corrugated green pickles, an array
of headless shrimp, fiery maraschino cherries,
a fruit salad, veggie platter, assortments of
cheeses and chilled French wines, a pink
bottle of amoxicillin: the poem is infectious.
It's having a party. The music, the revelry,
is seeping through this white door.


Leave your links in the comments and I'll round you up after water aerobics tonight and between meetings and classroom work on Friday. 


0 Comments on Poetry Friday Roundup is HERE! as of 8/7/2014 2:06:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. Did You Know? A Fun New Informational Book Series


Last week, we went on an annual trip to IKEA and Joseph Beth Bookstore.  It is a fun way to get our heads back into school and to pick up some new books.  This year, I discovered a new informational book series for young readers-the Did You Know? series by Laura Lyn DiSiena and Hanna Eliot. It will be perfect for 3rd grade and I think younger and older students would like it too.

The first book I read was Hippos Can't Swim: and other fun facts (Did You Know?).  Kids LOVE facts. Isolated facts that are just fun to know.  I worry a bit about this because so many kids read nonfiction and just collect facts without going further.  This series of books is full of facts. I usually avoid books like that as there are enough out there. But this series is different.  The facts are more than just a sentence fact. They are embedded in an explanation and connected to other facts in ways that build some understanding.  For kids who are used to reading facts only, this is a great series to push them a little bit and to see how facts fit into bigger ideas and understandings.

These are great books for kids who need a bit of support reading nonfiction. I can see using them as read alouds or in small groups. But I think for all kids, these will be great reads for independent reading and kids will be able to read them cover to cover. The illustrations are fun with adorable animals doing crazy things everywhere. I think these illustrations will be great for kids who avoid nonfiction because they have a limited definition of what it can be.  These don't look like your typical nonfiction book.

Right now, I think there are 3 books in the series. But 4 more are due out over the next several months.  Woohooo!

0 Comments on Did You Know? A Fun New Informational Book Series as of 7/28/2014 7:08:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. Slice of Life -- Hemming



One of the jobs on Mom's to-do list for me last week was to hem a couple of pairs of pants for her.

I should back up to say that my mom was a Master Seamstress in her day, trained under the iron rule of her mother, who was a Home-Ec teacher. (Raise your hand if you even know what Home-Ec is...yeah, I thought so...) When Mom started to teach me to sew, we nearly came to blows. She is a perfectionist. I am a generalist. But she cared enough that I learn to sew that she bought me sewing lessons from a teacher who was a little less like her and a little more like me. I became a functional seamstress.

Teaching Lesson #1 -- If you are not the right teacher for a student, have the humility to find the teacher who can best teach that learner.

After we got the pants measured and pinned, I went to work. I wanted to do a really good job. I wanted to make Mom proud that I'm at least a functional seamstress, and maybe just a little better than that. But I was having problems. The legs of the pants were tapered at the bottom, so the hemming was turning out bunchy. Since I wanted to do a really good job, I asked for help.

Learning Lesson #1 -- If it's not turning out the way you want it to, have the humility to ask for help.

I didn't even have the question out of my mouth before Mom knew what the problem was: the tapering. She came and showed me that if I switched the pins from horizontal to the hem to perpendicular to the hem my work would lay flatter. Then she confirmed my suspicion that it would help to take bigger stitches. Then she left me to it.

Teaching Lesson #2 -- Give just enough help to get the learning going again and then get out of the way.

Hemming the second pair of pants when smoothly. I didn't have to cut any off, the fabric was more considerate, and I was back in the groove of hand-hemming. My stitches were quick and even.

Learning Lesson #2 -- Just because one task is frustrating doesn't mean that every task like that is going to be frustrating. Don't give up. Persevere when things get hard...but also remember to enjoy the feeling when things go smoothly.

Teaching and learning...and hemming pants. Good stuff.


0 Comments on Slice of Life -- Hemming as of 7/29/2014 6:46:00 AM
Add a Comment
21. A Few Books to Read Aloud Just Because

I'm really hoping to read a picture book a day this year as part of our morning meeting. I want to read one that is just for fun. So often I find great fun books but books with no real connection to what we are doing. I read lots of books aloud each day to my kids but they all seem connected to a lesson. I know the power of reading lots of books and I know that giving myself time each day to share one book "just because" every day will be something that grows. I think the books will come back into conversations and we'll have more books to learn from. This is really a routine that gives me permission to take 5-10 minutes to share a fun book--not as part of a mini lesson, not because it teaches something important, but just because it is a great book.  I imagine these books that I read every morning will be read and reread during independent reading time, just because they are great books.

Of course I Want My Hat Back and Carnivores will be on my stack. (I would read those two aloud every day if I could justify it!) But, here are a few new books that I am excited to share because they are just great books.

Here Comes the Easter Cat is just HYSTERICAL. I laugh every time I read it. And no, I am not going to wait until Easter to read this book. It is way too good for that. It is funny any time of the year.


Elizabeth, Queen of the Seascity.  This is a great story and one I fell in love with immediately.  I wouldn't call this a "fun" book but definitely one that will go in my Morning Meeting Reads basket as one I want to share with kids just because it's a great story.


Pardon Me! is an almost wordless book and I do love those.  It is a great story with amazing illustrations. And there are a few surprises along the way. I love a book with a good surprise!


I read EVERYTHING Peter Brown writes to my class.  Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Awards)) was a definite favorite last year. Peter Brown's new book, My Teacher is a Monster is his newest and  one I'm sure they'll love. I'm counting on this one to starts some great conversations too.

0 Comments on A Few Books to Read Aloud Just Because as of 7/30/2014 6:00:00 AM
Add a Comment
22. July Mosaic



This month I'll tell stories by request. Want to know the story behind one (or more) of these photos? Identify the photo by row or column and position and then be sure to subscribe to the comments so you can see my reply. We'll be traveling today, so I'll get back to you later tonight.


Almost every month, inquiring minds want to know: How do I make my mosaics?
First, I take thirty or more (and sometimes less) pictures every month.
Next, I make a set on Flickr. (This month's set is here, and there are a couple of bonus photos from last night at the Birdseye Diner that didn't fit in the mosaic.)
Then, I go to Big Huge Labs and use their Mosaic Maker with the link to my Flickr photoset.
Finally, I download, save, insert, comment, and publish!

0 Comments on July Mosaic as of 7/31/2014 10:06:00 AM
Add a Comment
23. Poetry Friday -- Retro Post


This post originally appeared as a part of my 2013 Poetry Month Project: Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations. I am working to gather my Poetry Month Projects and other assorted original poems on my website, Poetrepository. I'm not any where near finished yet, but it's been fun to look back. A huge thank you to Amy LV for her website, The Poem Farm, which was my "mentor text" for the design of my site. I chose this one for today because as you are reading it, I will be fly fishing in Vermont! 

Margaret has today's roundup at Reflections on the Teche. See you next week here at A Year of Reading for the Poetry Friday Roundup! Until then, I'll wish you "tight lines!"





I have been involved with Casting for Recovery since 2005, when I was a participant. I have written about it many times here on the blog. Use the search box ("Casting for Recovery") to find these posts, if the spirit moves you. And if you want, you can even "like" the Ohio CFR Facebook Page!

One of my favorite fishing memories happened in Maine when I treated myself to a trip to L.L. Bean's Women's Fly Fishing School. After I completed the classes, I fished on several rivers in Maine before returning home. One was much like the picture above, and although I wasn't dressed like that pre-1920's fisherwoman, I was standing on a large boulder, fishing alone. Alone, but not alone. A flock of cedar waxwings crowded the bank, chasing after the fly I was casting. I was having no luck with the fish, so I just stood quietly to enjoy the birds. When I had been still for a few minutes, one of the birds perched on the tip of my fly rod! My favorite fly fishing catch of all time!! Here's a haiku about that day:


RIVERBANK IN MAINE

Cedar waxwings flocked,
curious about my casts.
Calm fly rod: bird perch.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013


You might have noticed that there is no attribution for this picture. That's because it's in the Public Domain. Here's what Wikimedia Commons had to say about public domain as it relates to this photo:

"This Canadian work is in the public domain in Canada because its copyright has expired due to one of the following:
1. it was subject to Crown copyright and was first published more than 50 years ago, or
it was not subject to Crown copyright, and
2. it is a photograph that was created prior to January 1, 1949, or
3. the creator died more than 50 years ago.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.
Public domain works must be out of copyright in both the United States and in the source country of the work in order to be hosted on the Commons. If the work is not a U.S. work, the file must have an additional copyright tag indicating the copyright status in the source country."


The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I featured media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I uesed the media to inspire my poetry, and I invited my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!


0 Comments on Poetry Friday -- Retro Post as of 7/31/2014 9:06:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. Celebrating

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Will Clayton

Even though our blog birthday was on January 1, we are celebrating it all year! On our 8th Birthday, we decided to celebrate 2014 by celebrating others who inspire us every day. Each month, on the 1st (or so) of the month, we will celebrate a fellow blogger whose work has inspired us. We feel so lucky to be part of the blog world that we want to celebrate all that everyone gives us each day.


This month, we are celebrating the amazing author and educator, Kate Messner. We have learned from Kate Messner in so many ways. Real Revision: Authors' Strategies to Share with Student Writers was important for both of us as writers and teachers of writing. Her children's books resonate with readers and have an important place in our classroom libraries. And as a former teacher she shares generously --she is an advocate of classroom visits by authors, offering free Skype visits to classes for many of her books, and maintaining an extensive list of children's, YA, and adult authors who will also Skype for free.

But the reason we are celebrating Kate today is because of her blog and her initiatives to support teachers--especially Teachers Write! Kate has worked tirelessly for the past several summers to support teacher writers. The community is a strong one and the Summer Camp is amazing.

To honor Kate, we we are making a donation to one of our favorite local organizations, The Brian Muha Foundation. This is an organization that supports children in our local area. We love the story of the foundation and believe strongly in their mission. You can learn more about the foundation and the Run the Race Club on their website.


0 Comments on Celebrating as of 8/1/2014 7:14:00 AM
Add a Comment
25. It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Head over to Teach Mentor Texts for the It's Monday! What Are You Reading? round up.

I had a great reading week.  Vacation and being in the car for 25+ hours helped!  I've read some great books lately. I know I'll have far less time to read with school starting but glad to have read the books I did. Here are some of the great books I've read lately--love and recommend them all.  Every single one was fabulous!

I just don't fit enough enough adult fiction so I made sure to do that on vacation last week. Both were great.

Landline

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel


In anticipation of Global Read Aloud in October, I reread

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

WOW! I have always loved this book but haven't read it for probably 6 years. Loved it even more this time and am excited to share it with kids as part of Global Read Aloud.

A heartbreaking book set in the Lower Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina.  Love the main character of this one. A Must Read!
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere


A novel in verse that is set in Guatemala during the civil war.  A great book--I think this is probably intended for middle school.

Caminar by Skila Brown

A graphic novel (coming out in September) that I loved. Another Must Read!


El Deafo by Cece Bell





0 Comments on It's Monday! What Are You Reading? as of 8/4/2014 7:28:00 AM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts