Monday, June 29, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I'm still reading A Snicker of Magic and I love it!!  This book is taking me a while to read, but not because it's slow or I'm super busy.  It's taking me a while because I am savoring every page just like it's that delicious ice cream cone from the cover!  
It's been a long time since I've read a book where I want to copy down quotes from every page and hang them up all over my house, but this book is like that.  I love words, but Felicity Juniper Pickle (even her name is amazing!) loves them even more than me, and boy she knows how to pick them.  I think I'm going to have to reread this book with my own little blue notebook.  It's spindiddly!

So what are you reading?  Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a free book (even though it's summer vacation).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Yesterday was the first day of summer vacation, and so it was the first day the summer lending library was open.  As with anything new, I was a little nervous about how much it would get used.  Then I got a text from my principal:
First check out!
I am so thrilled that our kids are excited about books!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Last day of school

Well, it's the last day of school, and that means the first day of summer reading!  I am so proud of all the plans the kids have to read this year.  Having a concrete plan is the best first step possible to make sure those books get opened up this summer!  To help with these plans, I did a display on my windows...
It had a section for students and teachers to write their summer reading goals.
Then it had ideas for places and time to squeeze in some reading, even though we know summers are full of other fun things as well.
The kids that I work with in small groups also made and decorated plans to hang up somewhere important at home.  Somewhere that they will see it every day, like the fridge, their bedroom, or (my favorite) right over the TV.  Parents can really help their kids pay attention to these plans and encourage them to bring a book any time they might have a spare few minutes.  

I made one too!  I've already read 2 books, since making my plan.  I'm one tenth of the way to my goal!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Lending Library!

Some exciting news!  This summer there will be a mini library set up in the office at the South.  
We got an incredibly generous book donation this year.  Author Luanne Rice read about our school and donated all of the books from the Top 10 lists that we made during Children's Book Week!  We wanted the students to have access to these books as soon as possible, so we turned them into a mini library for the summer.
The books include a lot of favorite series, like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Dork Diaries, Harry Potter, Big Nate, Divergent, Hunger Games, the Who Was... biographies, the I Survived Series and more!
 Any time the office is open (during normal school hours) you can come to the office to sign out a book.   As soon as you finish a book, just do your best to bring it back quickly so that someone else can sign it out.  We really are so lucky to have this great book resource available this summer!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Speed Round Book Talks

Over the last few days, we've done two big speed rounds of book talks at the South.  Last Thursday, 20 fifth graders volunteered to talk about books they love to the whole fourth grade.  Just this morning, 20 sixth graders did the same for all the fifth graders.

The students prepared two minute talks about a book they really enjoyed.  These were books that they wanted to recommend to the next year's class as great options for summer reading.  Each group of kids spent two minutes listening, and then moved on to the next presenter.

 Some of the books that were talked about were: 
The One and Only Ivan
The Hunger Games Series
The Dork Diaries Series
Number the Stars
Because of Winn-Dixie
Smiles to Go
Dark Lord
The Percy Jackson Series.
and LOTS more!


 While they were listening, the kids had a bookmark to write down the titles of any of the books that interested them.  I saw some very full bookmarks! Even I added some books to my summer reading list! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

It's summer! What's your reading plan?

It's about that time to start thinking about summer reading!  This year, South is trying something new.  Instead of assigning a specific book for each grade to read over the summer, the goal is for the kids to read books all summer that they choose. They will get a packet that includes a reading log for them to record all these great books.  Towards the end of the summer, they will choose their favorite book that they read this summer, and write to persuade their classmates to read it too.

One of the keys to encouraging students to read over the summer is to send them out the door with a concrete plan.  This plan can help them visualize themselves reading all summer, and it gives them a clear idea of what they're going to read and how they're going to do it.  

This year, I designed a new template to help the kids plan.  Keep an eye out for them as they come home!  Hang it on the fridge, put it up next to the tv or computer, or keep it anywhere else that it can be referred to through the summer!  

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Happy Monday, everyone!  I'm so happy to finally see some rain, we needed it so badly.  It's also a good excuse to stay inside and curl up with a good book.

At the moment, I am actually reading two books.  One by myself, and one with my husband.  On my own, I'm reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  One of the challenges on my list is to read a book that scares me, and this one definitely fits that category.  It is a creepy story about a boy who is trying to honor his grandfather's dying wish.  It leads the narrator on an extraordinary adventure that is totally creepy. The really haunting part, though, are the real antique photos the author uses to illustrate the book.  Even if you love scary stuff, I would hold off on this one for a few years.  It's not really intended for middle grade kids.

The other book I'm reading right now is called Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston. This book is so unique and wonderful.  Its story is similar to a Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket book because the main character, Katrina Katrell, is abandoned by her terrible parents and left in the care of an evil guardian, Mrs. Krabone.  Within the first 50 pages, Katrina makes a daring escape and is off on her adventure.  The truly special thing about this book, though, is the text.  The entire novel is written in rhyme, like a Dr. Suess book!  This is why I'm reading it with my husband, this book BEGS to be read aloud.  Also, the words themselves dance across the page.
The first page.  Who could resist??

Eek! I was just looking at the website for the author, and there's a video of Alan Cummings reading the opening pages of the book!  

So, what are you reading?  Leave a comment with your book and you will be entered to win a free book of your choice!