Monday, August 1, 2016

Reading Some Great Picture Books - #IMWAYR

I made a quick stop at the library today on the way to babysit my grandchildren. Of course, I left with a stack of books we all enjoyed. There is something special about sharing a stack of new picture books with your grandchildren. These books would also be great additions to the classroom library and great choices for read-aloud.

Hannah and Sugar 
by Kate Berube

I loved this story of a little girl, Hannah, who is afraid of the dog, Sugar. One day Sugar is missing and Hannah sets out to find the dog. Hannah overcomes her fears and learns to love Sugar. It's a great story about overcoming fears and loving a pet.

The Whale 
by Vita Murrow and Ethan Murrow

I was fascinated by The Whale. This wordless picture book was written by Vita Murrow and illustrated in beautiful graphite sketches by Ethan Murrow.

I think this wordless picture book is well-suited for the upper elementary classroom and older students.

There's a legend that a great spotted whale was seen 50 years ago but it has never been proven. Two young whale watchers set out to look for the whale. One has sound-recording equipment. The other has a camera. A well-told story with all the drama the ocean has to offer.

Willow's Smile 
by Lana Button

Many of our children will be lining up for school pictures this fall. This is the story of Willow who has a difficult time smiling on picture day. When she has a chance to help the photographer she realizes that her friends have unique looks of their own. And when it's time for Willow's picture she knows that she just needs to be herself.

This is a great book to share in the fall when picture day is right around the corner.

Summer of Learning - Part Four

Forms and Formats of 
Self-Directed Learning

It has been a busy summer so far, and I am feeling so inspired by the last few months of professional development and collaboration with colleagues. I marvel at the variety of formats in which I learned. Years ago, our professional development was a sit-and-get format but when we take an active role in our own learning we find that learning adventures come in many forms.


When you drive to conferences it's always nice to car 
pool with others. I was able to spend my four hour drive to Michigan and my two hour to Covington, Kentucky with colleagues. Our conversations were rich with ideas about school, children, learning, teaching and leading. Although we often talked about family and summer vacations, we always came back to those conversations that make us better learners, teachers and leaders.

Thanks to Karen Terlecky, Cathy Mere, Julie Johnson and Franki Sibberson for some great CarPD.

Reading Children's Literature (Middle Grade and Young Adult)

While I read a few adult novels this summer, I spent most of my days reading middle grade and young adult novels. I could not be bothered by cooking or cleaning when I was in the middle of reading some of the best books I have ever read. Here's my list of summer reads so far:

Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Raymie Nightengale by Kate DiCamillo
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Etrada Kelly
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt
The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Hour of Bees by Lindsay Eagar

Even though folks would always see me with my nose in a book, my stack of children's novels seems to have grown rather than shrunk. I am in a happy place when I read these superbly written books.