Look at my happy rainbow!

My Journey Continues as a Literacy Strategist

The Unstoppable (Writing) Teacher – Review

Full disclosure, the title of the book is actually The Unstoppable Writing Teacher – no parentheses, but as I read Colleen Cruz’s book, I couldn’t stop thinking, this book isn’t really just about writing, it’s about teaching. I’d argue there are some chapters that have very little to do with writing, but are all about becoming the best, most effective, passionate, yet productive, teacher you can be.  I can’t really.. Read More

10 for 10 Picture Book Day (#pb10for10)

10 for 10 Picture Book Day (#pb10for10) is here!  I’m excited to share some of my all time favorites with you!  Compiling a list of ten wasn’t easy, but for the ones I had to leave off (or forgot), there’s always next year.  So, without further ado, in no particular order, here’s my list: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – It was hard for me to pick just one.. Read More

Ralph Tells a Story

Recently, I was introduced to Abby Hanlon‘s sweet early chapter book series, Dory Fantasmagory.  I read the two books in the series and loved the charm and imaginative characters in these early chapter books (perfect for K-1 read aloud too).  I was so delighted by Hanlon (I’m a sucker for classroom teacher author/illustrators) I investigated what else had she written and/or illustrated. When I saw the picture book, Ralph Tells.. Read More

Feathers: Not Just for Flying

As I continue to look for inspiring and unique non-fiction texts to share in classrooms this school year, I came across Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah Brannen.  This delightful book struck me as a unique teaching tool. The illustrations have a naturalist quality to them, yet readers will recognize they aren’t the photographs usually found in non-fiction.  Brannen also includes the location of.. Read More

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

Always looking for engaging non-fiction books, I recently picked up Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker with illustrations by Jonathan D. Voss.  I never knew Winnie-the-Pooh was actually inspired by a real life bear (also named Winnie) and I’m guessing most kids won’t either. The tale explains how a military veterinarian named Harry, enlisted to care for military horses, comes to find a bear.. Read More

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich – Book Review

Part of my new job this fall will be working with a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom, so I’m trying to devour as many books for that age group as possible this summer.  The bulk of my classrooms will be K-2 and of course, I’m still (and will always be) a sucker for a new picture book.  I’d heard good things about The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia.. Read More

Read-Aloud Handbook – Chapter 10: A Hyper Kid’s Road to Reading

When the blogging group I work with on our Summer Book Study offered up the list of chapters to write up and I saw one titled ‘A Hyper Kid’s Road to Reading’ it was clear – I was meant to author this final chapter synopsis. If you think, much as I did, this chapter would offer generic strategies for helping hyperactive children to read, you’d be wrong… kind of.  At.. Read More

Read-Aloud Handbook – Chapter 9: Dad-What’s the Score?

Do not train boys to learning by force and harshness, but lead them by what amuses them, so that they may better discover the bent of their minds. – Plato Chapter 9 of The Read Aloud Handbook begins with this quote from Plato and it really resonated with me.  As with the rest of the book, Chapter 9, titled ‘Dad – What’s the Score?’ is full of anecdotes, quotes, and.. Read More

Teasing, Tattling, Defiance, and More: Positive Approaches to 10 Common Classroom Behaviors

As anyone who reads here regularly knows, I’m a big proponent of the Responsive Classroom approach to classroom management.  There is something inherent in it, just the name ‘Responsive’ always guides me back to the children.  What do they need at this particular moment?  Maybe it isn’t in the lesson plan or on our schedule for the day, but my job as a teacher is to ‘be responsive’ to the.. Read More

ESGI… better and better.

From time to time folks contact me to review things (books, products, etc.) on the blog.  Depending on the item, I may or may not take the bait, but recently, I reached out to a company and asked if I could review their software – something I never do. Last year, I discovered ESGI Software (Educations Software for Guiding Instruction) and I can’t speak highly enough for how it has.. Read More