Wednesday, August 10, 2016

10 Picture Books I've Purchased Since Moving to Second Grade - #pb10for10

I've been teaching second grade again for two years now and I'm getting ready to start my third year.  I tried to get creative with a theme but that didn't feel right.  I tried to think of my ultimate go to picture books but felt the core set has been shared in previous years.  Then I began wondering about what I've purchased since moving up to second grade.  My account history shows more nonfiction/content picture books, and early chapter books and honestly not as many picture books.  Since I'm purchasing fewer picture books, I believe these are going to turn into those must have picture books and as I look over this collection they are all books I use at the beginning of the year.  I bet I discover some must have picture books today for later in the school year from everyone joining #pb10for10.

How to Read a Story by Kate Messner
A great way to share the process readers use while reading.

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Wishes aren't just for birthdays or seeing the first star at night.  I usually read this story at the end of the year but I'm thinking about starting the year with it and then revisiting it at the end of the year.

What Do You Do with An Idea? by Kobi Yamada
Let your ideas sit with you and grow into something big.

Rufus the Writer by Elizabeth Bram
Why have a lemonade stand when you can have a story stand?

Limelight Larry by Leah Hodgkinson
Limelight Larry discovers it's always better to do things together than on your own.

Wolfe the Bunny by Amy Dyckman
We need to model and encourage bravery.

My Cousin Momo by Zacharaha O'Hora
We need to encourage and embrace doing things differently.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Who doesn't need a great book about persistence.

My Teacher is Not a Monster by Peter Brown
Not that anyone would think I am a monster but I find this a fun light hearted book to help dismiss little worries about the new teacher.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein
We all need to know mistakes help us learn.

Picture Book 10 for 10 is HERE!

Cathy Mere and I are so excited to have so many people join us today in sharing ten picture books you just can't live without.   It increases the positive energy of a new school year.  It brings educators together around something positive and encourages sharing, what a great way to start a new school year.

Here's some tidbits for joining us.

  1. Grab a Badge (I like to select the image and save image as...)
  2. Join the #pb10for10 Google Community
  3. Choose Your Favorites:  All you need to do is choose ten picture books you cannot live without for whatever reason.  In the first days of this event, everyone shared their ten very favorite titles.  This still works.  You will notice, however, that many past participants choose some type of theme to determine their selections.  We'll leave this up to you.
  4. Narrow Your List to Ten:  It isn't easy, is it?  We've seen some crafty ways to get around that number, but really ten is plenty. 
  5. Write Your August 10th Post:  Write a post about the ten books you cannot live without.  Share your post on August 10th and link it to the Picture Book 10 for 10 Community.  
  6. No Blog?  No Problem:  If you don't have a blog, this might be the perfect time to start one --- or now with the Google Community it is quite easy to just post your favorites directly into the community without a blog.  We will also be tweeting from the #pb10for10 hashtag.
  7. Comment:  On August 10th (and maybe for a week --- there are a lot of posts) take some time to read posts from other participants.  Please comment on at least three.

Monday, August 8, 2016

What A Beautiful Morning by Arthur A Levine {Blog Tour}

I am so excited to be hosting today's blog tour for the book, What A Beautiful Morning by Arthur A. Levine with illustrations by Katie Kath.  The front cover of this book peaked my interest right away with the joyful smiling faces of a young boy and an older gentleman.  Right away my relationship prediction was confirmed and the reader learns these two love being together.  They love to be perky and happy in the morning starting their days with walks and different songs.  They even sing through breakfast.  

This year things are a bit different.  Grandpa can't seem to remember various things; how to cut his food or who people are.  Grandma's advice to Noah just tugged at my heart, "So we have to appreciate what he still has, not focus on what he's lost."  I found Noah to be a brave young boy.  He decided to carry on with their morning routine without Grandpa.  Noah is completely surprised when Grandpa joins him in song with his perky and happy voice.   Noah experiments throughout the day with singing as a way to connect with Grandpa and once again Arthur A. Levine careful language tugged at my heart, "It was like the sun breaking through the clouds."  The ending of this book show acceptance, love, and beauty.  We need more books helping children understand challenges our elders face.  

This book is the perfect mentor text for showing movement through the illustrations.  Katie Kath has done a beautiful job in showing emotions, thinking, and thought through facial features.  She shows movement with the positioning of the arms and legs while using little movement lines young authors love to try.  Every time I read this book, I see more reasons to make this a go to book for studying movement and action.

Thank you Running Press for Kids for my review copy.  Make sure you stop by these other blogs to read more thinking about this beautiful book, available August 9, 2016.

8/3 MomReadIt
8/11 Bildebok

Monday, August 1, 2016

Smarter Charts for Math, Science and Social Studies

I really embraced their first book Smarter Charts and shared my thinking in September of 2013.  This book really dissected chart making and gave guidance for precise chart making with purpose. So  you can imagine how excited I was when Smarter Charts for Math, Science and Social Studies by Kristine Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli was published.  I'm also thrilled to have it out of my to be read pile and if it's in yours move it further up.  I knew I had to finish this book when in the introduction Kristine and I had the same situation.  Her principal shared he/she could easily see what was being taught during reading and writing by the charts on her walls but asked about the other content areas.  "Along her math wall, lonely tumbleweeds blew in the barren land below the number line."  Changing grade levels and keeping up with things is challenging but I don't want others to feel there are tumbleweeds in my room.

These are the nudges I found for the upcoming school year.

- Make more charts in content areas!

- Ponder more the idea of routine charts in second grade, they could still be needed.  Routine charts are not just for getting ready but cleaning up.

- Make a fire drill chart.

- Really study and think about strategies and the process required to do that strategy.

- Make exemplar charts with annotations - powerful chapter - reread.

These are some quotes that are sticking with me and might interest you in looking at this book more.

- "Remember, a chart is not just a thing on the wall:  It is an artifact of your teaching and a tool for students to use when learning a new challenge."

- "Charts are never static."

- "In other words, a process is a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a desired outcome.  This could also be the definition of teaching."

-"Process charts take complex skills and present them in a bite-size steps until children gain familiarity and fluency with the process."

-"Revision without justification simply seems like a substitution, rather than a thoughtful evolution of an idea."