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Reading Blog Kick-Off!…and two book reviews!


In an effort to try and connect with book recommendations and happy summer reading vibes, I would like to offer up this blog as a place to do just that…a place to share books!

I will start this work off by reviewing my first two summer reads.  Please check in here if you are looking for a book to read or just want to find out what your friends are reading.  Every student who posts at least three book reviews will get to order a book of their choice in the fall!  If you see your friends over summer, encourage them to check out blog our and let’s see what we can create as a community!

Happy Reading!

I finished my first book, This is Where it Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp.  It is told from four different perspectives, within a 54 minute time frame, and is about a school shooting…so parents please review before you let you child read.  I would give it a 5 on a scale of 1-10.  It was kind of confusing to keep the characters straight because they were all pretty one dimensional…not much character development.  It was a very quick read as I really wanted to know what was going to happen, but it was also pretty predictable.  To me, the book was more rooted in the possible effects of bullying than a school shooting itself.  I’m glad I read it, but it would not be my first recommendation for a summer read!


I just finished my second book, Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate.  I loved, loved, loved this book!  It was short (written in prose) and told through the eyes of a child who is a refugee here in America.  From his perspective, I was able to get a sense of how people from other countries, especially war torn ones, view things in America (he has fled his country because of war and is awaiting to hear the fate of his mother, whom he was separated from in a raid).  He calls the trees in winter the “not dead trees” because he learns that trees without leaves in Minnesota are not dead; they just don’t have leaves during winter.  These things totally confuse Kek, the main character, but through his new friendships, one with a cow, he learns how to adapt to a new place, all the while missing his familiar home.


So who will be next to put a recommendation on our new blog?  Help me make this blog a great “go-to” spot for good reads!

If you have a kindle and need a new book, don’t hesitate to email me with the titles and authors and I will get those to you ASAP.  Also, if you want to come and book shop in our classroom, email me and we can set up a time to come and book shop!

Well, I am off to read my next book, As Brave as You Are.

Happy Reading and Happy Summer!  Stay tuned for a Pop Up book share in July!


Noah Reads…Finally!

After a week of creating a summer reading habit, Noah is finally enjoying his reading time!

After a week of creating a summer reading habit, Noah is finally enjoying his reading time!

Here is the only one of my three children who claims to not love reading.  He is the one who constantly wants to play video games and read gaming magazines, reviews, and cheat guides.  Where I DO view this as reading, I still long for him to get lost in a good book!  After a week of working on creating a reading habit (1 hour a day), today I came into the living room and found him  here…all on his own!

Tips for Summer Reading Habits:

Don’t get discouraged and be consistent!  One hour a day.

Shut down all distractions BEFORE you snuggle in to read.

Find a cozy spot.

Sit with your child and read.  Be a good role model.

Talk with your child about what he/she is reading.  Reading IS a social activity!

Look forward to it and treat it as a sacred time.  Treat yourself to a strawberry basil lemonade while reading!

If anyone has any other tips to share that worked for their families, please post in the comments section.

Thanks and Happy Reading!



“I Hate Poetry”


…said the middle school boy slumped in the comfy chair.

I glared at him.

He glared at me.

A showdown.

“Found Poetry”, I said.

“What?” he quipped.

“Watch”, I said.

Smile, I saw.

Laugh, I heard.

Sometimes you just have to let them play.

With words,

and phrases,

and sassiness,

and subtle compliments.

With funnies,

and rhymes,

and something that is plucked out of nowhere to someone who heard something there,

and let others borrow it for their own.

Found Poetry.

Try it.

Sailing Away…


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 

~Mark Twain

And so I sailed away…from my safe position in my safe district of 20 years, from my safe colleagues and safe peers, from my safe students and safe families.  I threw off the bowlines that kept me tied to my safe harbor and this summer I began a new adventure, in a new district, with new colleagues and peers, new students and families, new administration, and a new community.  The trade winds are beginning to pick up speed and fill my sails with opportunistic trade winds.  Here I go…to explore, dream, discover.

This year, I look forward to getting to know your children, your families, the community, and my new digs here in Hartland.  My hope is to instill a relationship with literacy, not only with your children, but with you as well.  When kids see us valuing literacy, we model for them authentic ways in which to interact with the world in a literate manner.   This is a partnership.  We will work together to establish relationships with literacy that are authentic, purposeful, and meaningful and that will further and enrich our lives now and in the future.

We will use this blog throughout the year so please favorite it or do whatever you need to do to remember to check back  here at least once a week.  I will send a reminder at the end of the week so that you can begin to make checking in a habit.