Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Everyone must be IncludED!

Anyone who knows me, knows how important it is to me that all students see themselves in a classroom or library book collection.  It is for this reason that I was delighted when The Core Collaborative asked me to contribute a monthly post to their blog as part of their IncludED initiative.  I hope to provide literature selections that teachers and librarians can use to help guarantee inclusion and equity for all!

Here are links to my first three posts.


I am thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts about, and passion for, connecting kids with books that help them see themselves and better understand others.  Kindness, empathy and acceptance must be taught and modeled to ensure that all kids are includED!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mock Newbery 2018

Today, my district held its third annual Mock Newbery Committee meeting.  Since October, fourth grade students from our three elementary schools have been reading...reading...reading.  They have been meeting a couple times a month to discuss their reading with their respective school Newbery clubs.  Finally, today, they were able to meet with the other clubs from the district for a day of discussion, sharing and evaluation.

Working together with my amazing colleagues Carrie Davies and Leah Pietrusza we transformed our district's Board Room into our committee meeting place.

And then our amazing readers arrived.

Students were welcomed and given the agenda for the day!

Then, committee members were able to explore their gift bags...

Students started their day with a Skype visit with Newbery Committee member, Cathy Potter to learn about the process of becoming a Newbery judge and how she has managed the massive amount of reading involved.

The next large amount of time was spent meeting in small subcommittees to discuss books....

,,,and skyping with amazing authors, Elana Arnold (A Boy Called BAT) and Tamara Bundy (Walking With Miss Millie).  We, also, received a video message from author, Dan Gemeinhart (Scar Island). We appreciate that they took the time to share their inspirations and creative processes with us.

Committee members then had some time to reflect upon their thinking by quietly writing and sketching.

After having the opportunity to champion their book choice, students were finally ready to cast their votes.

Then,,,lunch time...complete with gold medal cookies!

Finally, it was time to announce our winners.

Our three honor books...

And our 2018 Mock Newbery winner was........

It was an incredible day with amazing kids, amazing authors and amazing books!  The depth of understanding and insightful discussions made me a very proud teacher.  And most importantly, these 33 awesome readers read 343 books from October-February.

Congratulations, Mock Newbery Committee on a job very well done!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Little Iffy Learns to Fly: An Interview with Iffy!

This September we had the pleasure of hosting Aaron Zenz at our school.  Aaron has a special place at our school and in our school district and we were so excited that he was returning.  Aaron was coming back to share some updates on a current project with which we had helped.

During the visit we were fortunate to get a sneak peek at the next book that Aaron would have coming out: Little Iffy Learns to Fly.

Students were delighted to meet Iffy!  I thought you might also like getting the opportunity to meet Iffy and his friends.  I'm so happy that Iffy agreed to a short interview!  Enjoy!


Me:  Hi Iffy... Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

Me:  I'm so glad that you took the time to visit.  Could you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Me:  Everybody has things that frighten them.  What are you afraid of?

Me:  You have some pretty exciting friends.  Can you introduce them to us?

Me:  You were created by Aaron Zenz.  He seems like a great guy.  How did he come up with his idea for you?

Me:  Thanks, Iffy, for your time.  I can't wait to share your book!

Me:  Iffy?

Me:  You can read more about Little Iffy on his blog tour here:

Mon Dec 4  :  
Mile High Reading  :

Tue Dec 5  :   
Seven Impossible Things  :

Wed Dec 6  :  
100 Scope Notes  :

Thu Dec 7  :   

Fri Dec 8  :     
Librarian's Quest  :

Sat Dec 9  :    
Amanda's Pile of Books  :

Sun Dec 10 :  
Kids Talk Kid Lit  :

Tue Dec 19:   
Nerdy Book Club  :

Mon Jan 1: