Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3.21.16

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is an opportunity for everyone to share their book journeys: where we've been for the week and where we plan to go next. To learn more about It's Monday! What Are You Reading? with a kidlit focus, jump over to Jen Vincent's blog, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee Moye's blog, Unleashing Readers.

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It's spring break here on the Oregon coast. We started out our break at our local public library. Here's the Vine of our visit today:

I'm spending my break trying to get our house super cleaned, walls painted before new carpet is installed (lofty goal), and get our taxes taken care of. I'm struggling with paint colors - I'm kind of a neutrals person and we have limited access to paint options that don't break the bank. As a family, reading is a big part of what we do...the break just gives us time to begin and end our days in our leisurely manner with books. :)

I misplaced my copy of Circus Mirandus and found it buried under one of the piles I cleaned up. This book is on the priority to finish this break. 

Circus Mirandus

I'm also excited to begin reading books I checked out from the library: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty and Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger.
Serafina and the Black Cloak (Serafina, #1)Fake Mustache
I am also in the middle of a couple of professional learning networks in my district that focus on literacy. I'm reading portions of the books that are part of the PLNs this week, too. 

The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled ReadersJoyful Literacy Interventions: Early Learning Classroom Essentials

The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo is a part of a district wide book study that started out as a Facebook post by a good friend of mine. As more and more of our schools are going toward Daily 5 structures, I'm appreciating this book as a resource for what teachers can be teaching to address specific skill needs. Joyful Literacy Interventions by Janet Nadine Mort is the book utilized by our district kindergarten cadre. Our district has adopted an inquiry based model for full day kindergarten and this book addresses the balance between inquiry and explicit literacy instruction. I mentor a 2nd year kindergarten teacher so this helps drive (and helps me better understand early literacy) feedback and support I provide.

It's a busy week, but I'm appreciating the time to enjoy my husband and daughter, clean, organize, read, write, and reflect. 

How about you? What are you reading?

Monday, January 18, 2016

It's Monday What Are You Reading? 1/18/16

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is an opportunity for everyone to share their book journeys: where we've been for the week and where we plan to go next. To learn more about It's Monday! What Are You Reading? with a kidlit focus, jump over to Jen Vincent's blog, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee Moye's blog, Unleashing Readers.

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I always have the plans to post. I really do. My reading life seems to be really slow right now - slow in that I am not finishing a lot but starting plenty of books. I'm actually going to address this in a later blog post and really try to write my way to or through the issues I'm having in my reader life.

One issue I have that seems appropriate to bring up right here is that because I'm slow in my reading right now, I feel like I have nothing to offer in my blog posts. And then, one of my Twitter pals, Stacey H. (@libraryjo92), posted tweeted this link to her blog today:
I checked out her Monday post and felt comfort knowing that there's at least one other out there that had a slow down in her reading life. It's just a reminder that we life happens - this isn't a contest. It's about sharing where you are, celebrating what you've read, planning for what you are going to read, and garner support from your tribe when you struggle.

Here's where I'm at - I'm STILL reading Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley. It's an incredible book and I carry it with me where I go right now so I can sneak in a moment here and there. 
Circus Mirandus
This past week I finished listening to Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. It was incredible - there were a number of times that I had lump in my throat. I loved it so much that I will be purchasing a copy of it to donate to a classroom in one of the schools where I mentor. 
The next book I will be listening to is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. 
Thank you Stacey H. for your short post and for tagging me in your #IMWAYR tweet. You motivated me to post my own. :)
Have a GREAT reading and writing week! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/7/15

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is an opportunity for everyone to share their book journeys: where we've been for the week and where we plan to go next. To learn more about It's Monday! What Are You Reading? with a kidlit focus, jump over to Jen Vincent's blog, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee Moye's blog, Unleashing Readers.
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Well, my reading week did not go nearly as planned. I read, but finished nothing, and did not post two blog posts that I had committed to last week. To make things feel more achievable this week (first week of school for Lincoln County schools), I am setting my blog goal to be a post for Slice of Life on Tuesday. 
Last week, I did not finish Jack - The true story of Jack & the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff so my goal is to finish. The virtual book club Twitter chat (#vbcbooks) is coming up on Monday, September 14 at 6:00 PM PST. 
Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk
School starting means I am back on the road traveling to the schools where I mentor 1st and 2nd year teachers which means quality time listening to books. This week I am listening to Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. 
I'm looking forward to having a more productive book week.
How about you?
What are you reading this week?

Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/31/15
 It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is an opportunity for everyone to share their book journeys: where we've been for the week and where we plan to go next. To learn more about It's Monday! What Are You Reading? with a kidlit focus, jump over to Jen Vincent's blog, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee Moye's blog, Unleashing Readers.
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That's the sound of the dust I blew off of this blog. I've actually been thinking about my blog quite a bit and missing it. Missing the connection with others and missing my own writing time. The short version of where I've been is that I bit off way more than I could chew for the 2014-2015 school year. That bite had a ripple effect to every other aspect of my life. I'm still a reader, but I found myself Tweeting less frequently, missing out on Voxer conversations, and the Buzz became dormant. This summer, I took some much needed time off and played with my daughter and hung out with my husband as much as possible. Again, I have been reading, maybe not as voraciously as I would normally during the summer, but I could still be found with my nose in a book during free moments. 
I must say, I'm happy to be back posting for It's Monday! What Are You Reading? When I first started blogging regularly, this weekly post was one that I enjoyed sharing and reading from others so it makes sense that my return would start with IMWAYR. :)
Today, I celebrated my 45th birthday and treasure this book that I received from a very close friend. I look forward to reviewing it later in the week.
Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Life
In preparation for September's Virtual Book Club on Twitter, I'm reading Jack by Liesl Shurtliff.
Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk
While on an impromptu trip to Bi-Mart, I found because of mr. terupt by Rob Buyea. Assuming I finish Jack before the weekend, this one is up next. 
Because of Mr. Terupt
  Like others, I am rereading Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer.
The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
I was introduced to the Book Whisperer more than five years ago when my district's then assistant superintendent handed me Donalyn's book. Donalyn spoke to my heart and articulated everything that I believe to be true about students and reading. She is the one who helped me find my voice in the ways that I advocate for children and teachers when it comes to choice reading. I reread her book before the start of each school year as my "booster shot" for choice reading advocacy.
I am also rereading The Daily 5 (2nd edition) in preparation for supporting teachers that I will mentor this school year. Most of the teachers I mentor, come to my district with some Daily 5 experience and seek support in establishing the procedures and routines for a successful implementation of the structure. 
Daily Five, The (Second Edition): Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades
Reviews and other blog posts for this week are the following: 
Discover. Play. Build.
Rodeo Red
I also begin checking in one-on-one with the teachers I will mentor for 2015-2016. Be ready for a blog post that features what "my" beginning teachers plan to read for their first day of school read alouds. :)

I am looking forward to reconnecting with other IMWAYR bloggers. 

What are you reading?

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/19/15
 It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is an opportunity for everyone to share their book journeys: where we've been for the week and where we plan to go next. To learn more about It's Monday! What Are You Reading? with a kidlit focus, jump over to Jen Vincent's blog, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee Moye's blog, Unleashing Readers.
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One of my goals for 2015 is to make sure that I prioritize my time. I need to prioritize so that I am taking care of things on time, maybe even ahead of time, so that I'm not completely stressed out with deadlines, commitments, etc. Prioritizing will also give me the time to do what is important to me. One such important priority is my blog.
I am within two classes of finishing my Continuing Administrator License (CAL) program. Earning your CAL is a licensure requirement in Oregon - there's time limitations on how long one can have his/her initial license before earning the CAL. I'm close and have to push to finish. Why share all of that? Well, right now I'm registered for two semester course at George Fox University in order to finish up the coursework by the time I have to renew my license in August. I'm not in an administrative position but worked hard for the initial license and feel compelled to maintain the license. The CAL coursework means I will be spending a lot of time reading for the two courses. However, I will cut out time to read some books for my own professional interests as well as for pleasure.
Here's where I plan to travel with books this week:
Daily Five, The (Second Edition);Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades
As part of the literacy PLC I facilitate, I will continue reading and providing support with The Daily 5.
Fred Jones Tools for Teaching
I've been supporting teachers I mentor who are interested in implementing the classroom management framework laid out by Fred Jones.
School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results
This book is actually on my TBR, but as part of one of the courses I'm taking, we are reading a working paper by Marzano and Waters the focuses on "The Effect of Superintendent Leadership on Student Achievement" and follows the process of the work described in this book.

It's not all about professional books and graduate coursework. I'll also be reading:
El Deafo
I'm reading this in preparation of #SharpSchu and #vbcbooks book clubs.
Maddie and I go to the public library on Tuesdays now so this week I'll do a much better job of posting my #bookpic photos on my Twitter. Check out the hashtag to see what picture book journeys Maddie and I take this week. 

Check me out this week for short blog posts for:
Tuesday post
smile book
#booksmiles Thursday post
Discover. Play. Build.
Saturday post
What are you reading and writing this week?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Slice of Life: The Magic of the Ninja Red Read Aloud

  A Slice of Life is a weekly blog hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Ruth Ayers and Stacey Shubitz. Click on Two Writing Teachers to be taken to their website to learn more about this week's 
Slice of Life.
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As a beginning teacher mentor, I miss out on the day to day joys of sharing books with students. Don't get me wrong. I carry books in my bags and show teachers and their students what I'm reading. If I pass a student in the hallway with a book, I ask about what they're reading. So, I guess I dabble in book sharing, but nothing like when I was in the classroom full time.
I also miss the read aloud. I love it all - picture book read aloud, poetry read aloud, middle grade chapter book read aloud, well, you get the idea. I love a read aloud. And, trust me, I don't shy away from "the voices". 
This week I'm partnering with one of the teachers I mentor. I spend some intensive time supporting strategies that she wants to focus on for her own professional growth and she allows me to borrow her students for some instructional strategies I want to refresh and refine. 
The motivation was that I wanted to be a part of coaching students through redeveloping stamina through the Daily 5 structure. Both of the elementary schools where I mentor are implementing Daily 5. As a result, the reading teacher from one school and I are leading both schools through a Daily 5/CAFE book study and professional learning community. (Side note: if you have not read the 2nd edition of The Daily 5, then I highly recommend that you do. It's even better than the 1st edition.)
Daily Five, The (Second Edition);Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades
Today, during the first "round", the students I was with held stamina for 3.5 minutes. After pulling together to reflect and reteach the i-chart for Read to Self, I sent them on their way and they increased to 6.5 minutes. A read aloud seemed like an appropriate "lesson". Yesterday, I brought a book off of the Oregon Battle of the Books list that is next on my TBR pile for the read aloud. They did not really engage with the story the way that I had expected them to. I decided to change things up for today and I brought with me several of my favorite picture books from 2014 to read aloud during one of mini-lesson times. The book I chose to read with them was none other than Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz.

Ninja Red Riding Hood
Based on previous visits to the classroom for teacher observation and feedback, I had witnessed this group of 5th graders to be particularly squirrely. Twenty plus years of educator experience led me to suspect that this squirrely bunch would love a picture book read aloud as much as classrooms of my own students from the past. Yet, strangely, I was a tad apprehensive about how this group would receive being read a picture book.
After the first page, one student stopped me so she could "move to a spot where (she) could see the illustrations better".
At one point, I looked across the carpeted space (yep, I bring 5th graders closer to me...especially for a read aloud) and witnessed magic. 
Not a single student moved.
All eyes were glued on the book.
No one student said a word. (I actually wondered if they were breathing.)
This squirrely group of students was under the spell of the picture book read aloud. I knew it but today it was reaffirmed the interest that our students, our larger, middle grade students, have with not just a picture book, but also having a picture book read to them. 
Since the students are not students of mine, if felt like a small gamble. The gamble paid off. The classroom teacher was able to witness the power of the picture book read aloud. I was able to experience that feeling again of sharing book love with students. It made me miss having a classroom of my own.
For now, I will be looking for ways to invite myself into more classrooms for that magical moment that comes with a picture book read aloud.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Celebrate! 12/13/14

Discover. Play. Build. 

Here are the things I loved about my week:

1.     Monday was the Artist’s Tea at Maddie’s preschool. The highlight for me is always the fact that Teacher Rhonda teaches the preschoolers to serve drinks and small treats to family members. And it is all served on glass plates and cups (say, what?!). It’s amazing to watch Maddie ladel hot chocolate into small GLASS cups and then serve the plate and cocoa without spilling both her dad and me. It shows me that I step in and do too much for her sometimes – she is far more capable and independent than I give her credit for. 

2.     Wednesday I had time to meet with the amazing Jennifer Napoleon, Reading Teacher at Oceanlake Elementary, to discuss our Daily 5 PLC. In essence we are leading two schools through a book study, and providing support through observation, modeling, co-teaching, and planning yet have limited time to really talk about what we are doing. Often times, our conversations take place through Facebook posts or text messages. Jennifer has a deep understanding of Daily 5 and coaching teachers through implementation. I learn something new from her every time we meet and consider time with her a bright spot in every day, every week. 

3.     Speaking of the PLC, we met on Wednesday evening. The PLC interactions began as blog responses but I'm seeing and hearing that the format does not work for every PLC participant. We pulled everyone together for our first face-to-face gathering. I am always so impressed with teachers when they pull together on their own time and that they choose to do so. This is just evidence of what teachers will do when given a choice about what they want to read and how they want to grow professionally. I wish that we provided more choice for professional development that is embedded into their work day. They are stretched incredibly thin and they still show up. 
       Anyway, we gave participants time to engage in a collaborative assessment process that we use in our mentor program giving participants an opportunity to celebrate what they are doing well with Daily 5, challenges with Daily 5, identify where they are headed next, and then supports they need to continue to move forward. I loved hearing and seeing their reflections – I couldn’t help but feel proud of the teachers for their reflection, their honesty, their willingness to make themselves vulnerable. I work with amazing, dedicated educators. 

4.    Friday morning was a time for the mentor team to pull together for a monthly business meeting. Although the mentor project has been a part of the way we do business in my district for seven years, the mentor team is relatively new. We begin talking now about specifics of the January beginning teacher seminar so we aren’t planning at the last minute (I’ve done it but I cannot function well that way). For the first time since I joined the team, I feel like we are doing a better job of intentionally connected the topics of the seminars. Last month, we focused on formative assessment (and really differentiating it from summative and interim assessments). Next month, we take what they learned from formative assessment and apply it to the work we will do with analysis of student work. The seminar after that will focus on differentiating instruction and will build upon what they do with their analysis of student work. I guess, like new teachers, now that I’ve survived my beginning mentor years, I’m finally seeing how the seminars are interrelated or it really could be that we are better about connecting everything. For me, there’s just satisfaction in knowing that while we follow general themes in seminar from year to year that the way we are presenting them this year makes more sense - they're more interconnected and I believe are being facilitated in a way that will push teachers further in their practice.

5.    Today we get our Christmas tree. I know, I know. Christmas is less than two weeks away. Maddie is at the age now where the anticipation of the holidays is fun. While we are working on the constant “wants” and being honest about not getting everything you ask for along with doing something for others can grow to be exhausting, she “gets” the season. She is excited about Christmas lights, loves the Elf on the Shelf (we are VERY low key about it), has had her picture taken with Santa, and wants to be part of every aspect of Christmas. She has already stated that she wants to be the one to put the star on the tree because she’s “never been able to before, mom”. She is just shy of 5 and I can't help but be in awe of watching her develop into an amazing, engaging little being. I love being her mom.