Monday, July 31, 2017


#picturebooksareforbigkids #picturebooksformiddleschool

Are you always on the hunt for books that your kids will be obsessed with? 

This series is something that you NEED in your least one book from the series.

Not only am I obsessed with this How Big Is It? Book but students are too! Here are a few ways to use it in your classroom...and of course you should enjoy reading this book just for fun!

Just flipping through the beginning paragraphs you can't miss how catchy they begin! 15 different and quality introductions in one place...yes please!  So I love to use this to teach drawing the reader in with awesome first lines/introductory paragraphs. Defineitly shows that nonfiction is awesome and there's no excuse for a dry beginning.

In math we cover metric measurement to customary measurement conversions. YIKES. Definitely not my strength so I used this as a fun review to convert measurements between the two systems--and since the answers are doesn't get any better. I just washi taped over the measurements for students to figure them out!

We all know that outer space never gets old. Olympus Mons, Eta Carinae, Valles Marineris, Arecibo Radio Telescope...all have ties to outer space! And it's a little cooler to read about them out of this book.

I love using this text across subjects. If we want our students to revisit texts then we have to revisit them too! Rinse, reuse, and repeat with this awesome book!

I picked up my loved copy from Thirftbooks and I've also seen them on Amazon and eBay.

What are some of your favorite books? I'm excited to share some more of mine!

Over and out!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

3 Takeaways From Disrupting Thinking

Hello! How is summer treating y'all? In the midst of a huge move this summer I found a little bit of time to read  Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. Have you seen it? Have you read it?

I feel like tons of my favorite instagram reading teachers were reading this book this summer.

Holy guacamole! 

At the beginning of the book this totally caught my attention:
"Seriously, as you finished the book you most recently enjoyed, did you pause, hold the book gently in your hands and say to yourself, ‘This time, this time, I think I’ll make a diorama’?…Do you write summaries of what you read, make new book jackets, rewrite the ending, take tests over every text? Any text? Do you want your reading level put on a bulletin board for all to see. Do you even know your damn reading level?"

I knew I'd get along great with this book. ;) 

After I read this my brain was on fire thinking of all sorts of ways to ignite passion and do exactly what the title says...disrupt their thinking. So many thoughts, so many quotes, so many things I can't wait to try.

I resisted from highlighting it all..and took a few notes and underlined those things that SUPER jumped out at me.

It's easy to say I am obsessed with this book and you will be too!

The premise of the book is to disrupt our students thinking and get them actually caring about what they are reading. FIRST as teacher though we need to make sure it is relevant to them. There are several strategies shared in the book about HOW to get students to think more! Check it out on Amazon here!

 One of my favorite quotes from disrupting thinking says, "Reading gives us an opportunity to have an intimate conversation with the text, with the author, with oneself, and then ultimately with others." (p.43) Isn't this so true!?

 I really want to give my readers more time to talk and to become connected with what they are reading. So many thoughts and emotions swirl around when I read a book---so my students are having those experiences too. Talking and sharing is vital to reading...and scaffolding a reading community is totally necessary.

Our students want something that MOVES them. It's easy to want to capture kids attention with the funny books or exciting books but I've found once May rolls around the books like Wonder", "Out of My Mind", "Al Capone Does My Shirts", and "Mockingbird" are wildly hailed as the best books that we read all year.

Over the ghost stories, adventures, mysteries....these are the books that my students take to heart. So I'm looking for more stories that move my students and stories that center around what they want to know rather than just entertain them. Keeping in mind that relevance trumps interest.

I feel like we all have some time set apart for silent reading but I am OBSESSED with the notion of calling it FOCUSED Silent Reading.

 There are no centers or activities to be done, vocabulary activities, or options to work on writing assignments...just pure FOCUSED reading. I feel like I could totally focus more on reading if that was the WHOLE point. Assessment of how that reading is done with just a few simple questions...and I can't wait to implement it with my emoji status of the class as well! I think the quote below says it all.

I had SO many takeaways and these three are just a snippet of everything that I learned. TONS of awesome graphics and charts are in the book which I loved to mix up all of the reading. AND studies. There were so many studies to back up the importance of reading. If you are looking for a quick reading PD to finish out the summer or boost your love for reading anytime during the school year Disrupting Thinking will for sure hit the spot!

Over and out!
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