My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.



June 21, 2011

Reading up a Storm

I'm having a GREAT reading summer!  I've been out of school for a week, and I've read 5 chapter books.  Woo hoo!  Every summer, Donalyn Miller (author of The Book Whisperer) challenges people to participate in the "bookaday challenge".  I see this as an incentive to read each day, not as a contest.  When I tweet about the book I'm reading, I use the hashtag #bookaday.  I didn't get stressed when it took me 4 days to read The Hunger Games last week.  The whole idea is to read and share what you're reading.
Here are the books I've finished during my first week of break, in between driving my teens around town:

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech 
This was a great book to read in an hour.  I read it's prequel, Love That Dog, with my 5th grade group this year.  I'm thinking of sending them a copy of Hate That Cat, and I said as much on Twitter.  To my delight, Sharon Creech (the author!  the FAMOUS author!) responded that she loved my tweet!  I love her books!


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I didn't think I would like a book about a killing game in a dystopian world.  Boy, was I wrong!  The characters are truly survivors you can relate to, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. 




Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
This one is definitely a teen book.  This has been my heaviest read so far, but I still had to read it to the end to figure out what happened to Vera's best friend, Charlie.  There's some tough subjects (drinking, drugs, stalkers) in this book, but I wouldn't keep my teens from reading such a good story. 
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
This was a great read, especially because the book goes so much deeper into Mia's character than the movie (which I saw first).  I love that her father is in the book, and he's completely stuffy and royal.  Mia's Grandmere is a royal pain!  I plan to read more of the books in the series.

Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
Here's the most refreshing book I've read this week.  Park writes a middle-grade novel about two friends, Julia and Patrick, who live in Plainfield, IL and participate in a club like 4-H.  Their project is to raise silkworms, but they have to find a mulberry tree.  The author takes a few pages in between each chapter to have a conversation with Julia about the book.  I really enjoyed these pages, and the whole story.

Now, it's back to the books!  I LOVE summer reading!

June 12, 2011

They're gone for the summer...

I felt a sense of loss at 12:00 noon on Friday.  I stood at the side of the hallway, watching all of our students leave the building on the last day of school.  I gave high-fives, hugs and pats on the back.
<sigh>

I feel like I didn't even get to half of what I wanted to read and learn with them. 

I'm happy that my students now get to spend more time with their families and friends.  I'm excited that they can enjoy lazy summer days at the pool, at the park, and on the soccer field without the interruption of the school bell.

I worry that some students won't see much outside of their apartment, as they must watch younger siblings or wait inside while their parents work long hours. 

I do plan on keeping in better touch with my students this summer.  I kept our Kid Blog site up, and I've got a pile of envelopes and summer notes to mail them throughout June, July and August.

I'm sure to stay busy this summer, reading books, collecting ideas for next year, and reconnecting with my own family and friends. 

I hope my students have a sweet summer as well, but it sure was tough to see them leave.