Thursday, October 29, 2015

Final Post #GNCelebration


As we are nearing Halloween, I decided to share the Lost Boy by Greg Ruth.  The main character, Nate moves into a new house and stumbles across a tape recorder in his bedroom.  He is immediately transported into an unsolved mystery of a boy who went missing many years ago.  The artwork in this book is amazing and well worth looking at.  I found myself going back and just looking at the pictures without rereading the words.  It is illustrative beauty.  Add this one to your list and you will not be disappointed!

Review: Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid

Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid by Ralph Fletcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Ralph Fletcher. I have wanted to read this book for awhile and I am so glad I had the opportunity. It is such a well written memoir that is easily digestible for young readers. A great mentor text to use when teaching students to write about an important life moment or thinking of a small moment. Add this to your box of memoir books, you won't be disappointed.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 26, 2015


This week I am still on a scary read theme.  I have just started reading the second bool in the Asylum Trilogy.



I'm still plugging along at the short stories in this collection.  I don't know if I will finish by Halloween.

I recently finished...

My Goodreads Review

I just pre-ordered this new title from Ralph Fletcher. I attended an event were he was the key note last year and he talked about writing this book and I knew I needed to jump on it.  Ralph has such a great eye when it comes to teaching nonfiction writing.  He read us a piece he wrote called "An Interview with a Coho Salmon". It was such a fun creative way to think about writing factual information.  I can't wait to get my hands on it.  If you order before Wednesday from Stenhouse, and put in code NLDH, you will get $10 off.  

Happy Reading!  I look forward to hearing what you are currently reading.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Each Friday I will be posting a poem, talking about poetry or my favorite poems.  Please join me by sharing your favorites or just to take a few moments to read a poem.

A Valentine for Ernest Mann 
You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
 Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two" 
and expect it to be handed back to you 
on a shiny plate. 

Still, I like your spirit. 
Anyone who says, "Here's my address, 
write me a poem," deserves something in reply. 
So I'll tell you a secret instead: 
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes, 
they are sleeping. They are the shadows 
drifting across our ceilings the moment 
before we wake up. What we have to do 
is live in a way that lets us find them. 

Once I knew a man who gave his wife 
two skunks for a valentine. 
He couldn't understand why she was crying. 
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes." 
And he was serious. He was a serious man 
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly 
just because the world said so. He really 
liked those skunks. So, he reinvented them 
as valentines and they became beautiful. 
At least, to him. And the poems that had been hiding 
in the eyes of the skunks for centuries 
crawled out and curled up at his feet. 

Maybe if we reinvent whatever our lives give us 
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock 
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite. 
And let me know. 

--Naomi Shihab Nye

Thursday, October 22, 2015

#GNCelebration Week #4

This week I have decided to share Lumberjanes Vol.#2  This book has just come out and if you have not jumped on the Lumberjanes band wagon, please do so.  These girls are amazing and are such rockstars.


Goodreads Review

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Every Wednesday, I am going to challenge my followers to "Write it Out".  I have spent the last several months working on myself as a writer and throughout my time with the Hudson Valley Writing  Project, I have discovered that writing is not a chore, but a way to relinquish ones ideas, frustrations and triumphs.  It can also be very cathartic.  Likewise, if you are a teacher of writing, there is no better way to refine your teaching of writing, than by writing your self.   Here is where your challenge comes in.  I want you to make time to write EVERY day.  Think about what you currently do and how can you carve out some writing space?  I have decided that I am going to write for 15 minutes at the end of every school day.  The kids get on the bus at 3:15 and I will write until 3:30.  I do not have a plan for what I will write about, but I will write something.  I have been looking through Kate Messner's 59 Reasons to Write book.  It is fabulous.  I have found so many ways to incorporate writing into my day because of it.  I also enjoy the daily warm-ups.  

Here is a piece of what I wrote yesterday...

I'm not really sure where I got you, but I know you were a gift. You were chosen because I like to read and I like owls.  Your happy inscription-Think Happy Be Happy is well needed right now.  I need to hold on to something as everything I own is packed away and put into storage.

Go on, you can do it...Write it Out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
-Mark Twain

When I first read this quote, I was struck by the fact that some of us find out why we are on this Earth earlier then others and some of us never seem to quite figure it out.  It makes me think of all of the children that are cursed with an incurable ailment.  What are they here for?  To teach others to be thankful for what they have, to prove a point?  Why should they suffer the consequence of a short life?  I guess what I am trying to say is do something with your time here.  Whether you find out what your purpose is early on or it takes you your entire life to figure it out, make it count.

I don't feel like I am not supposed to be here, but I'm not sure if I have found out why yet.  I have a wonderful career, husband and children.  We are in the process of buying our house, but is that it?  I don't mean to trivialize my life's path, but I want to fulfill my purpose here.  Am I just a mother, wife, educator, sister, daughter, granddaughter...Yes, I am!  It is okay to be just.  I am here to be a mother to two spitfire boys.  To show them that life is amazing and hard and scary and worthwhile.   I am here to create moments of joy that become imprinted into their brain. I am here to be the wife to a man who loves me. I am here to be the sister that my siblings can look up to and be proud of.  I am here to be the daughter that appreciates her parents decisions even if it was hard to make those choices.  I am here to be the granddaughter that remembers and holds onto and passes on the traditions.  I am here and that is why.  It is just enough.

Have you found out why you are here?  Does it matter if you ever find out?

Monday, October 19, 2015

It's Monday...What are you reading???


So, I am starting something new with this post today.  Each Monday, I will post what I am currently reading, both personal and professional and also share some books that are on my TBR shelf.  Please share with me what you are currently reading, I love getting new recommendations.  Happy Reading!!!

It appears that I am on a spooky read theme this month, which makes sense in light of Halloween.  I am trying to finish These Shallow Graves by November 1st so that when I attend her event at Oblong, I will have finished the book. I love reading Slasher Girls and Monster Boys because it is a collection of short stories that I can pick up when I have a few free minutes of down time.  Short story collections are a great way to get your reading in if you are "short" on time...haha.  No More Phonics and Spelling Worksheets is part of a book study group I am leading with some of my teachers.  We are going to discuss the book over three sessions and create some understanding around word work and think about how best to teach children to understand words without given the dreaded worksheet.

What I am currently reading...
24187925These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
19364719Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
No More Phonics and Spelling Worksheets by Jennifer L. Palmer and Marcia Invernizzi

I have just finished...
13597728Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Check out my blog post or my review on Goodreads

What I want to read...
18812716Sactum by Madeleine Roux
23429355Catacomb by Madeleine Roux

Review: Asylum

Asylum Asylum by Madeleine Roux
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so it's been awhile since I have read anything scary or twisted and I'm glad I had the chance to get back into a genre I so frequently read when I was younger. Let me preface by saying, I only gave this book three stars because most events were very predictable. I think in part because I have read so many books like this, I picked up on clues very early on that lead me to believe a certain character was just not right or this happened because it means this. The book does leave off with a cliffhanger and I have taken out the other two books in the trilogy from my library, because I am curious to follow Dan, Abby and Jordan. I also still have some questions that I am hoping to find out the answers to in the subsequent stories. All in all it was a good read and I'm sure will be an interesting discussion at next month's book club.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's Week Three!!! #GNCelebration

This week I would like to talk about some more advanced Graphic Novels that I have had the pleasure of reading.
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash Goodreads Review

17265276   The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth Goodreads Review

18465566  This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki Goodreads Review


Thursday, October 8, 2015

#GNCelebration Week #2 The Baby Sitters Club in Graphic Form!!!

As we get into week two, I would like to shout out Raina Telgemeier's graphic adaptation of Ann M. Martin's The Baby Sitters Club.  More particularity Claudia and the Mean Janine.  This was always my favorite BSC book, because my name is Janine.  I know, but that's all it took when I was a kid.  For the record, I am NOTHING like Claudia's sister Janine.  I am so thrilled that The BSC is now in graphic form.  I think it totally reinvents itself to a whole new generation of readers as well as to graphic novel fans.  I am eagerly awaiting the release of every single one.  I also really appreciate the black and white pictures, it has that traditional comic appeal.  If you are a BSC fan and have not read this adaptation yet, please do so.  Also, if you are just a fan of graphic novels in general or Raina's, please read it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Writing Instruction That Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School Classrooms

Writing Instruction That Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School Classrooms Writing Instruction That Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School Classrooms by Arthur N. Applebee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the chapters devoted to the other disciplines. As a literacy coach, I am always looking for more ways to incorporate authentic writing into all disciplines and help kids to see the transference. At times, I felt parts of the book were too wordy and I just wanted to move on to the next chapter. All in all it is a good resource to have on my shelf.

View all my reviews

Calling All Teachers.....Do you like Wine, Cheese, Books....FREE stuff???

Oblong Books in Rhinebeck is offering a teachers night that is sure to satisfy the book nerd in all of us.  Please come out to support teachers and local indie bookstores.  Tuesday October 13th, hope to see you there.  Click on the link below for more information.

Fall Teacher Night

How To Raise A Reader

Have you ever wondered, "How can I get my kid to understand that reading is important?" or "How can I get my kid to read more?"  Well here are 10 things you can do to help raise a reader.  Have fun, create reading nights in your house, visit the library together, attend author events at your local bookstore.  Reading is a great family activity that promotes love of reading, conversation, family bonding and helps develop your child's sense of who they are.  Happy reading and feel free to post pictures, comment or share other fun family ideas.

1. Have books everywhere.
2. Let them see you read.
3. Celebrate books and acknowledge authors as the rock stars they are.
4. Give books as gifts.
5. Keep it fresh. Find out about new books coming out.
6. Encourage unsupervised reading.
7. Let “going to the library” be more than just checking out books.
8. Help them find books that align with their interests.
9. Never force it.
10.Create a bedtime reading routine.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

An Interview with Brian Selznick

I love all of Brian Selznick's books and The Marvels is no exception.  I received an ARC in May and immediately dove in with eyes wide open.  Brian's drawings are so spectacular that you almost don't need the words to tell you a story.  However, the narrative is particularly inviting and the way he weaves the two stories together is spell binding.  If you haven't read this book yet, don't wait any longer.  Better yet, check out his interview with Joe Donahue on WAMC.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Current Lit Coach Recommendations
So many teachers as me for book recommendations or what are you reading, that it usually sparks a conversation instead of a one word answer.  I usually read several books at a time and keep at least a dozen on my teacher rec. shelf.  I decided to share what is currently on my shelf.  It ranges from graphic novels to middle grade to YA.  Enjoy and post your feedback or tell me about what's on your recommend shelf.

Click for Options
Roller Girl
-Victoria Jamieson

This is by far, one of the best graphic novels I have read thus far.  Astrid is a twelve year old that has always done everything with her best friend Nicole.  Now as the two girls enter into a new phase of life, their lives seem to be taking different paths.  Enter the world of Roller Derby...I was super excited to see this sport woven into this story.  I also love Astrid, following her journey of self discovery is awesome.  This is a great story for girls, roller derby fans, anyone who wants to read a story that shows readers it's okay to be who you are should read this novel.  You will not be disappointed! #GNCelebration