Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Blog--Unleashing Readers

Unleashing Readers
A few days ago I was asked by Kellee (@kelleemoye), who I had gotten to know through Twitter and the blog Teach Mentor Texts, if I would be willing to participate in a blog hop for her new blog Unleashing Readers.  I first had to ask what a blog hop was; once I found out, I was honored to be asked.

There are five different topics that Kellee and her blog partner Ricki asked us to discuss.  Let me tell you, I really had to think on quite a few of these topics.

Leonardo, the Terrible MonsterThe first hard question was:  What is your favorite read aloud?  This one made me really think because as a Library Media Specialist I think in terms of primary read aloud books and intermediate read aloud books.  My favorite primary read aloud has be Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems.  I love reading this one aloud because the kids just hang on every word.  I've been able to use it in so many different ways.  I've read it and then had some great discussions about friendship and how to make/keep friends.  I've also used as a springboard for technology when the use a drawing program to design their own monster.  Once they had their monsters, we then used adjectives to describe them.  And then even worked on typing skills to type their sentences.  I just love when one book can be used in so many different ways.  

Thank You, Mr. FalkerMy favorite intermediate read aloud is Thank You Mr. Falkner by Patrica Palacco.  I never get tired of this book, no matter how many times I read it.  I always tear up when I get to the end of the book.  That to me is a sign of a great book, that it can still invoke such powerful emotions after many readings.  I use this book every year for a gratitude project.  My students have to pick someone (adult or child) that they want to say thank you to.  It is always an interesting project to see who the students pick.  Many of course, pick previous teacher or coaches.  I had one student, a few years ago, pick the nurse that came to his house to help when his mom was going through her cancer treatments.  It was a very touching project when he was finished.

This coming school year I will be trying to set up a Book Club, so I was excited when the next question was:  What is your favorite literature circle/book club book?  I will be working with Third Grade for my book club, so my book is going to be Marty McGuire by Kate Messner.  I just love the main character in this book.  The main character is such a great quirky kid.  And I just love all the life lessons that are taught in this book.  Also I just love how the school nurse has a role in this book because my school nurse will be running the book club with me.

Queen of the World! (Babymouse, #1)The question that had an answer come immediately to mind was:  What is your favorite book for the classroom library?  Being the Library Media Specialist, I couldn't just one book, I picked a genre:  Graphic Novels!  Everyone should have at least some graphic novels in their classroom library and in the school library.  Since I've been developing this section over the past few years I've had a chance to observe my students interaction with the graphic novels.  Many reluctant readers are more willing to pick up a graphic novel than a regular chapter book.  Once they feel successful with their first one, they keep coming back for more.  Most make the transition to reading some regular chapter books.  In the past few years, there have been so many great Graphic Novels that have come out, such as Babymouse, Squish, and Fangbone.

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1)The hardest question by far was:  What is your favorite book in general?  This question I had to really think about for a few days.  I kept going back and forth with different books that I love.  As one of my students said to me, after book talking a new favorite, "You really have a lot of favorites, don't you?"  My favorite book is one that I always keep rereading year after year, faithfully since I was an elementary student is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.  I found this book when I was in Fifth Grade.  I found myself identifying with Meg because I've always been a bit of an outcast and never fit in.  She made me feel like I wasn't alone in the world.  The story sucked me in, like no other chapter book ever had.  As I read the book I truly felt like a reader.  I didn't realize then that I was reading Science Fiction, I had always avoided these books.  Once I finished it, I wanted to start it all over again.  I've read the next books in the series, but they never spoke to me like A Wrinkle in Time did.

The only question that I struggled with was:  What is your favorite close read/analysis book?  I'm not as familiar with this topic being a Library Media Specialist.  I'm looking forward to reading what everyone shares about this topic.   

I hope I did alright during my first blog hop.  I can't wait to read all the other posts.  I also will be visiting Unleashing Readers because I'm very interested in their blog.  Best of luck to Kellee and Ricki.

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Throwdown Year 2

I was so excited when I saw that the Summer Throwdown was starting again this year.  The new twist for year 2 is that it is not librarians vs. teachers, but is librarians & teachers vs. their TBR (To Be Read) pile.  I love this idea!  Everyone I know has a huge TBR pile.  Mine seems to keep growing each day! On the spreedsheet sign up you have to decide how many books you are going to read in the month of July.  I challenged myself to read 20 books during this month.  I know that this will be a challenge for me, with all the other things that I want to get done this summer.  

My book gap is nonfiction books, so I'm hoping to have at least 7 of those 20 books will be nonfiction.  If anyone has any great suggestions feel free to share.  I'm just not really a nonfiction reader.  There are some that capture my attention, but I would much rather read a fiction book.  But with Common Core coming and many of my students always reading nonfiction books, I need to get more familiar with them.

If you want to join the Summer Throwdown Year 2, or just read about it, you can go to the blog Heise Reads & Recommends.  Even if you don't join, it is great to make a challenge for yourself.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, June 24, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey.  The kid's version was started by the lovely ladies at Teach Mentor Text.

I can't believe it is Monday again already!  It seems to me that times speeds up during the summer!!  I've been doing some reading, which has been great.  But I've also been sick since last Monday, so I haven't been able to start any of my summer "school plans" that I talked about last Monday.  I think I'm going to take a break until July.  I always find that work better on a schedule, so I'm going to create a summer schedule for me.  I'm going to allot time for my "school plans", exercise, really cleaning my house (meaning moving furniture so I can vacuum and dust behind it), reading and finish scrapbooking my vacation from 3 years ago.  I will have a set amount of time for each activity and set a timer, to make myself stick with it.

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of SpaceNow on to my reading!   I have read National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes.  Click here for a summary on Goodreads.  As I was reading this book, I realized how much I didn't know about space!  I was fascinated by all the neat facts that I learned.  For example I didn't know there were five dwarf planets!  I loved how this book was broken down into five "chapters":  Looking Up From Earth, Earth's Neighborhood, Earth's Other Neighbors, Far Far Away, and Exploring Space.  I really liked the parent tips at the end so that parents can extend their child's knowledge about space.  

A Tangle of KnotsA Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff is the second book I read.  Click here for a summary on Goodreads.  This was a very interesting book because of the way it is set up.  Each chapter is told from a different characters perspective.  I did have to go back and reread a bit in the beginning until I had the charachters straight in my mind.  I think that I really liked this book because I love puzzles and that's what I felt this book was.  Here is a little tease about the book if you haven't read it, cakes are very important.  The best part is:  there are many cake recipes included.  I can't wait to try a few out!  A few friends on Twitter have made some of the cakes and they said that they were wonderful!  

I've started The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.  I'm enjoying it so far, very interesting read.  I keep wanting to find out what happens next.  I will have to put it to the side for a bit, because I've got some books due to the Public Library and I can't renew them.

Since I read a space book, I thought it would be a nice touch to post a picture I took on Saturday night (June 22nd) of the super moon.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Creating a Button for a Blog

This afternoon, I didn't realize what I was in for when I decided to try and create a button for this blog.  There are so many directions and codes out there to help.  Little did I know that it would take me quite a few hours to get this simple little button done.  And it's STILL NOT RIGHT!!!  (Sorry for the shouting, but I'm frustrated at this point!)  The code is not showing up in the box.  If anyone can help, please feel free to comment.  Thanks for listening!  I think I'm going to go read for a bit and relax.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libaryjo92)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's Treat Tuesday!!

designed by the amazingly talented Shannon Houghton!

It's been a while since I've been able to post two days in a row!  So glad I was able to post on Treat Tuesday, though my "treat" is not edible.  My treat today is that I've been able to read two books in two days.  Just LOVE summer!!  And I'm getting ready to start on another tonight.

My goal has been this year to read at least 100 nonfiction books.  As of yesterday, I was only up to 8 nonfiction books.  I've got a lot of nonfiction books to read over the summer.  I consider nonfiction to be one of my book gaps.  It is not something that I would pick to read if given the option.  But I am finding that, as I read I am enjoying learning new facts.

These are my treats!  I have read National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes, A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff and I'm getting ready to start The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.  The last two are thanks to a friend on Twitter, Kelly (@mullerspace).

I'll post my thought on them all of them soon.  
Off to do some more reading!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, June 17, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey.  The kid's version was started by the lovely ladies at Teach Mentor Text.

Well,  I haven't been doing much reading at all!  In fact, I've only read one book since last week!  The end of school has left me very overwhelmed.  My wonderful assistant that I hired at the beginning of school, told me during the last week that she wouldn't be back next year.  I was crushed to say the least!  Leslie has been a wonderful addition to the library and she will be missed by the kids, the staff, and myself.  My only hope is that I can find someone as good as her.  It just makes me nervous to have to hire again.  I was hoping for a few years before I would have to do this again.

Penny from HeavenThe one book that I did manage to read was a good one, Penny from Heaven by Jennifer Holm.  I just loved this book.  I always said that I'm not a historical fiction fan, but I think that I was just reading the wrong books.  This book kept me on my toes with events that I was not expecting.  During one major event towards the end of the book, I sat with my mouth open because I didn't expect it to happen.  The one thing I really loved about this book was the author's note at the end of the book.  It was really interesting to see where Jennifer Holm got her inspiration for this book.  If you come across an author's note, make sure you read it.  You can get loads of information and insight.

This summer, I've got some major plans.  I'm revamping the way I'm teaching my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.  I'm working with another Media Specialist from my county because it is always great to have someone to work with.  I'm also keeping a list of all the chapter books, picture books, and nonfiction books I read this summer so that i can make a display to show the students what I read.  Another project is making labels with summaries for different chapter books to be put into the books.  Many times I go to recommend a book, and my mind goes blank because it has been a while since I read the book and I've read so many other books since.  And my final project is to start making a binder of "Miss Hazuda Recommends..." books.  I've got a template that I'm following.  I will have sections for different genres, poetry, nonfiction, graphic novels, and animal books.  This will hopefully help those students that i just can't get to during checkout.  I also have a student binder full of suggestions, called "Have I Got A Book For You".  You can read about it on my other blog.

I also plan to squeeze in a vacation or two during the summer.  What are your plans for this summer?

Happy Reading!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey.  The kid's version was started by the lovely ladies at Teach Mentor Text.

Doll BonesWith the end of the school year coming fast, I haven't done as much reading as I wished I could have.  The only children's book that I've read recently is Doll Bones by Holly Black.  The cover drew me to it before I even read the book jacket to find out what it was about.  Click here for a summary on Goodreads.  As I read the book jacket I realized that this was going to be more than just a story about a doll.  But I wasn't sure if this was going to be a good match for me.  Well, once I started this book I couldn't stop until I got to the end.  I had to find out how Zach, Poppy, and Alice's adventure ended.  I don't think it will be a hard sell to those students who are always looking for a "creepy" book.  Some will want to read it from just the cover alone.

Energize Research Reading and Writing: Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards, Grades 4-8

When I last posted on a Monday, I had just started Energize Research Reading and Writing by Christopher Lehman.  Click here for a summary on Goodreads.  Well, I've had a chance to finish this book.  It is so inspiring and really motivated me about the whole research process.  I'm still trying to wrap my brain around putting the ideas into practice in the Library Media Center.  I can't recommend this book enough to everyone!

Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime ReadersAnother really great professional book that I've read recently is Igniting a Passion for Reading by Steven L. Layne.  Click here for a summary on Goodreads.  This was another inspiring book that has motivated me to change.  I realized that I had been so focused on research, that I forgot about the other really important aspect of my job:  motivating students to love reading!  I have to strike a happy balance between the two thing, research and reading.  This will not be an easy task because sometimes it is just easier to forget about one or the other.  So this is my challenge for the next school year.

Up next for me is Curse of the Ancients by Matt De La Pena.  This is Book Four in the Infinity Ring Series.  I really like this series because I'm such a history buff!  Just like the 39 Clues Series, it feeds my need for reading and history.

What is the top book in your To-Be-Read pile?  I'm looking for suggestions for my summer reading pile!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)