Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday Night Reads- Book Lovers Unite

Friday nights in our house are reserved for listening to In Tune with Sara Willis on MPBN radio and reading. In Tune is a fabulous local music program on our public radio station that airs week nights at 10, Friday nights at 8 for three hours, and Sunday mornings at 10 for two hours. Sara plays some fabulous music and often will feature local artists. Friday nights we put the radio on and settle in with a good book. Some weeks I’m so tired I don’t make it the whole three hours and I fall asleep reading. Other weeks I finish an entire book. Both last week and this week were the latter.


Last week I read I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora. This is a book that I have been hearing about from many people, and it did not disappoint. It is a fun book. It takes place over the summer between 8th & 9th grade for three friends. The new English teacher has assigned among other wonderful books, To Kill a Mockingbird. Not everyone is excited about the list, and Lucy, Elena, and Michael come up with a plan to get everyone talking about the book. But the plan gets away from them. Acampora creates a beautiful blend of friendship, growing up, love for books, and teenage decision making (which, as anyone who has teens or works with teens knows, isn’t always well thought out!) I kill the Mockingbird is a slim novel, but one that I’m looking forward to reading again because it has so much depth.


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This week I read Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. Again, another book that I have had recommended to me by numerous people. It’s been sitting on my shelf for close to a year. I’ve wanted to read it, but hadn’t gotten to it yet. Last night I picked it up, and I am glad I did! Anyone who loves books, games, puzzles, and libraries will enjoy this story of a group of 12 years who get to spend the night in a brand new library playing games and reading books. In the morning they discover they have the opportunity to participate in an ultimate game: find their way out of the library by finding and solving clues and in the process, learn the value of libraries and reading.








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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Student Book Recommendation

Today Jenny shared Stolen by Lucy Christopher with the seniors. This is a book she read awhile ago, but it has stayed with her and has left her wishing for a sequel!


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Monday, November 17, 2014

It’ Monday, What Are You Reading?

Today we had two student book shares. Sam shared Cormac McCarthy’s The Road with 10th grade and Heather shared Hunger, the second book in Michael Grant’s Gone Series. You can see she is already on to Plague. She is very much enjoying this series! Sam requested I not take his picture.


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Student Book Share: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Allison highly recommends The 5th Wave and is currently reading the second book, The Infinite Sea. Sure alien invasion has been done, but Yancey writes it in a way that doesn’t feel cliche.


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Friday, August 15, 2014

Gearing Up For a New Year

Just one more week of official summer vacation left. The last week of August we have back to school teacher meetings. Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting in on the Elementary teachers' summer meeting. It was fun to hear about the ways God has been work in their lives over the summer, and to hear their excitement for the coming school year.





Between tutoring and sitting on the back porch with my kitties, I have spent the last few weeks moving into a new classroom. I'm very excited! We got new carpet installed in two of the high school rooms, and I've been moved into the slightly bigger room. My student who is advising me on color schemes (she's hoping to go into interior design) stopped by yesterday, her response was, "It looks so homey!"

For most people, what they first notice is the books. I get comments such as, "you have more books then the school library!" (which is sadly true), and "people will mistake this for the library". I've also been asked, "Is this your office?" No, no. This is my classroom!

Last fall at the NERA conference in Portland, Donalyn Miller asked the audience, "How do people know that books are your brand?" I chuckled. There is no doubt in people's mind that books and reading is "my brand". My classroom, my Facebook feed, my Twitter feed. Books, books, books.

I'm a literacy teacher. Kids need to be exposed to books if they are going to learn to read and write!

In addition to my new learning space, I'm planning to bring some new practices into the school year. We will be using the Whole Novel method of studying literature (see Whole Novels for the Whole Class by Ariel Sacks); we will be using a new vocabulary study website, Membean, and we will be doing 20% Time (also known as Genius Hour).

Here is a brief video tour of my new classroom.

I am excited for this new school year, although I still have a lot to do to get ready!



Thursday, July 17, 2014

ARC Blog Tour



I am very excited to announce that I have an ARC of Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Fish in a Tree, due out 2015 from Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin! I'm announcing this because I'm excited for this book and thrilled that Lynda & Nancy sent me an ARC. I love One for the Murphys, Lynda's first book. I also had the opportunity to meet Lynda at nErDcampNNE last January. She is a delight!

The real reason I am announcing that I have an ARC is that I'm going to share it! This beautiful book is going to travel about the country! The list is growing, but there is still plenty of room for you! If you would like to be a part of this tour, leave a comment on this post.

Lynda and her publisher have not attached any strings to this tour, therefore, I encourage you to do at least one of the following:
*blog about it
*share your love for it on Twitter & Facebook
*buy the book from your local independent bookseller when it comes out
*post a review on your GoodReads account
*post a review on Amazon (you'll have to wait until we get closer to the publication date for this one)
*tell people about the book
*encourage your local library to buy it

The ARC just arrived at my house today and both my husband and I have to read it before I send it out to the first person on the list. Once the book begins it's journey, I'll put up a post where those who are reading it can link their reviews.
I'm so excited!

Monday, February 17, 2014

I went to the woods

When I was single and living in New Hampshire, I lived for getting into the woods. Every weekend practically, I'd be hiking or skiing. I lived in the perfect area- practically on Lake Winnepasauki, a short drive to North Conway or to the western side of the lake. I could hike the Whites or the Sandwich range. I could ski Gunstock, King Pine, Cranmore, Attatash-Bear Peak, Cannon...there were several friends that I could call up and say, "Let's hit the slopes". And I often went on my own. 

I miss that life. I've become too sedentary. I have a wonderful husband who loves the outdoors as much as I do, yet, we hardly every go to the woods. We have a canoe and live on a wonderful little pond. We're in an area, maybe not quite as perfect as the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, but the Lakes Region of Maine is pretty darn close. We have snow shoes and hiking boots. My husband can't down hill ski anymore due to severe knee injuries when he was younger, but he still hikes and snow shoes. 




This weekend we got out snow shoeing two days in a row. Sunday we went through our backyard to the pond and today we climbed the ridge across the road from our house. It was spectacular! It felt so good to get out, to be in the woods. I want very much to get back to the woods on a regular basis. Hopefully there will be many more snow shoe treks before this winter is over, and that this spring and summer will find the two of us exploring the woods and trails of western Maine and rediscovering my favorite trails in New Hampshire.