Thrive-The Book Every Teacher Should Read

I’ve known Meenoo Rami through Twitter for a few years and we have worked together on #engchat for the past couple of years.  We met in person at NCTE Las Vegas (despite the fact that we live only an hour or so away from each other!) and I was blown away by her passion and dedication to the teaching profession.  Needless to say, when her new book Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching was published a few weeks ago I read it cover to cover. (Ok, to be fair, Meenoo also asked me to write a few paragraphs for the book, so there were a few reasons I wanted to read it immediately…haha)

Thrive  is a book I want to send to every teacher I know.  I want every teacher education department to give it to their teacher babies.  I want to hand it out at every PD session I attend.  It’s just that amazing.

It’s a tough time to be a teacher.  We all see it and sometimes it’s hard not to feel beaten down.  But Meenoo’s book is a bright light in the darkness.  She learned early in her career that teaching can be a lonely career if you don’t reach out to the community around you.  In Thrive she shares the strategies that she uses in her professional life and the ways that teachers can apply them to their own.  I’ve seen this firsthand through Twitter and Meenoo was one of the first teachers who reached out and walked me through community-building on the network.  When I stumbled upon #engchat I knew I had found one of my tribes and I’ve been a fixture in the chat ever since.  There are days when my Twitter PLN keeps me sane and I’m so glad Meenoo has captured the importance of that community in her book.

But it’s not all about social media.  No!  Meenoo shares ways that teachers can reach out to colleagues in their departments, their buildings, their local and national professional organizations, and much more.  Teaching is a profession that works best when we mentor others and allows ourselves to be mentored. Thrive is perfect for first-year teachers who are just entering this crazy world of education, and it’s also the rejuvenating spark that veteran teachers need! We should be reaching out and helping our colleagues while also recognizing that teachers are life-long learners who can learn from their colleagues and students.

Thrive will help you (re)discover the joy in teaching.  I can’t wait to give a copy to my student teacher. And my sister. And my best friend.  I imagine Thrive sitting on the shelf next to Harry Wong’s First Days of School and other vital teaching resources.  It’s that important.  Be sure to pick up a copy today!

Make sure you are following Meenoo on Twitter because she is always sharing ideas and inspiration. And check out her  blog!

Be sure to check out some of the other stops on the Thrive blog tour!

Yesterday: Kira Baker Doyle at Kira J Baker-Doyle, Ph.D.

Tomorrow: Christina Cantrill at Digital Is (National Writing Project)

 

 

 

 

Meenoo Rami is a National Board Certified Teacher who teaches her students English at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA. Mixing moments of joy, laughter, risk and encouragement, Meenoo pushes her students to think critically about their connection to the word and the world. Meenoo did her undergraduate work at Bradley University in Illinois in areas of Philosophy and English and completed her Master’s degree in Secondary Education at Temple University.  Meenoo also contributes to the work of school-wide events and professional learning communities at SLA. Meenoo works as a teacher-consultant for the Philadelphia Writing Project. She has shared her classroom practice at various conferences  such as: NCTE, ISTE, ASCD, EduCon, Urban Sites Conference for National Writing Project, and #140edu. Meenoo also runs a weekly twitter chat for English teachers called #engchat which brings together teachers from around the country to discuss ideas related to teaching of English. Her first book, THRIVE  from Heinemann will be out in March 2014. In her free time, Meenoo can be found on her bike, on her yoga mat or in her kitchen tinkering with a vegetarian recipe.  

To connect with Meenoo, you can find her on these social media networks:

Thrive

meenoorami.org

Twitter

Facebook

Google Plus

 

 

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Full disclosure- I’ve known Kate through Twitter and blogging for a few years now.  We finally met in person this past November, but we’ve been chatting for years.  She taught 7th grade when I taught 6th grade and I was always amazed that she could be a real writer and continue to teach.  She was a teacher-hero. :)  Now Kate is a lucky lady who gets to write full-time because her books are awesome!

Capture the Flag is the perfect middle grade mystery but it also kept this adult intrigued.  I’m a huge fan of the movie National Treasure and Capture the Flag is similar, but much more well-written!  Kate Messner has crafted a fabulous trio of kids that read like kids I know.  And the Jaguar Society? So cool!  I want to be a part of the club!  Not to mention, the history sprinkled throughout the story will keep readers interested and I think it will inspire a lot of readers to go out and do some more research on their own.

Anna, José, and Henry are brought together at the airport in Washington, DC when all flights are cancelled due to a blizzard.  They don’t know that their lives are connected until the Star-Spangled Banner is in the news after being stolen from the Smithsonian Museum.  Anna, who is certainly a leader, decides that she is going to track down the thieves, who must also be stuck in the airport because of the snow.  But it’s not that simple- accusations are lobbed at all kinds of people, the kids’ parents don’t want them wreaking havoc in the airport, and the flag is still missing!

Capture the Flag is a great mystery for middle grade readers.  Highly recommended for middle grade libraries and I think it would also make a great read aloud for a history class that is studying US history.  Kate’s writing will keep readers guessing and the history will keep them learning.  And it’s the perfect summer reading book for July!  :)

 

 

#48hbc Finish Line Post!

And I’m done!!!  It was a busy weekend, crammed with a wedding all day yesterday, visiting the in-laws, food shopping, taking the dogs for a run/hike, and watching the Tony Awards.  But I did it!  I made my goal and got back into the groove of reading.  Plus, I am about to make a $30 donation to RIF.  :)

Final Stats:

Time spent reading:

12 hours, 18 minutes

Time spent blogging/tweeting/encouraging others/catching up on the challenge:

1.5 hours

Total time: 13 hours and 58 minutes

Books completed:
Capture the Flag- Fantastic MG mystery.  I loved it!
One for the Murphys- Get your tissues ready.  Loved the connection to Wicked.
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo- A Christmas gift from my baby sister, which came highly recommended.
Salvage the Bones: A Novel- I am too much of a dog lover to be able to enjoy this book.  I appreciate that it is well-written, but it left me feeling sick to my stomach.  Warning: excessive focus on dog fighting.
Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories (Karen and Michael Braziller Books)- Looking forward to using this with my freshman next year.  Some of the stories are really powerful!
Mangaman- A student recommendation. Not my favorite, but enjoyable. I’m not a graphic novel reader, yet.
Trafficked- So, so good.  I love watching Law & Order: SVU, and this read like an episode of the show.
The Polar Bear Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series)- I love this series so, so, so very much.

I also got halfway through the e-galley of Rebecca Stead’s upcoming Liar & Spy.  It was my “squeeze in some reading” book, because I try to avoid reading on my iphone unless I have to.  But it’s so worth it!

#48HBC Update (Sunday)

Update!  It’s strange not dedicating the entire weekend to the challenge, but I’m happy with what I have done so far.  I think with blogging/tweeting/cheering people on, I will just hit the 12 hour mark.  I’ll be thrilled with that, considering I lost an entire day to previous commitments.

*Edited at 2:41pm

I’m reading in hour-long increments now.  So many distractions today!

*Edited at 7:37pm

Had to take the dogs for a run/swim at the park.

*Edited at 9:05pm

Time spent reading:

11 hours, 15 minutes

Time spent blogging/tweeting/encouraging others/catching up on the challenge:

1.5 hours

Total time so far:  10 hours, 39 minutes

Books completed:
Capture the Flag- Fantastic MG mystery.  I loved it!
One for the Murphys- Get your tissues ready.  Loved the connection to Wicked.
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo- A Christmas gift from my baby sister, which came highly recommended.
Salvage the Bones: A Novel- I am too much of a dog lover to be able to enjoy this book.  I appreciate that it is well-written, but it left me feeling sick to my stomach.  Warning: excessive focus on dog fighting.
Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories (Karen and Michael Braziller Books)- Looking forward to using this with my freshman next year.  Some of the stories are really powerful!
Mangaman- A student recommendation. Not my favorite, but enjoyable. I’m not a graphic novel reader, yet.
Trafficked- So, so good.  I love watching Law & Order: SVU, and this read like an episode of the show.
The Polar Bear Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series)- I love this series so, so, so very much.

48 Hour Book Challenge Update #48HBC

Update!  I spent the day at my in-laws, running around with the dogs before heading off to a wedding. I read in the car on the way there and on the way back (my husband drove!  No worries. :) )

Time spent reading:

4 hours, 15 minutes

Books completed:
Capture the Flag- Fantastic MG mystery.  I loved it!
One for the Murphys- Get your tissues ready.  Loved the connection to Wicked.
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo- A Christmas gift from my baby sister, which came highly recommended.

48 Hour Book Challenge!

As always, I am participating in MotherReader’s 48 Hour Book Challenge.  I have a busy weekend this time, with a wedding and a day spent down south, but I’m going to squeeze in as much reading time as I can.  I plan to read in the car while driving, and hopefully spend a good deal of time reading tomorrow.  My goal is 10 hours (so sad!  Much lower than in the past!).  I am pledging $2/hr to RIF for the challenge.

Finish Line Post #48hbc

I love MotherReader’s 48 Hour Book Challenge!

Stats :

Time spent reading- 15 hours and 14 minutes

Time spent blogging/tweeting- 2 hrs and 40 minutes (#YAsaves totally counts)

Total:  17 hours and 54 minutes!

Total Pages read: 3135

Total Books: 13

Books Read:

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater-  My favorite Maggie Stiefvater book.  Water horses?  Umph.  I didn’t want this to end!
The Fox Inheritance (The Jenna Fox Chronicles) by Mary Pearson- A fantastic follow-up.  Can’t wait to share with my students, especially my students who are really into science/genetics.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray- I can not remember the last time I laughed this hard while reading a book. Fantastic and funny!
The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner- Great contemporary YA that I think will be very popular with me freshman!
A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd by Patrick Ness- Oh, oh, oh. There are no words. Still wiping tears from my eyes.
The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) by Donna M. Jackson- Another great addition to the Scientists in the Field series.
Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle- Great verse novel. I learned a lot!
Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan- Like a verse novel version of my favorite musical, Hair. Great for older teen readers.
Liar, Liar: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Deception by Gary Paulsen- A book that will have you laughing out loud!
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr-A book that’s been on my TBR pile for ages. Why did I wait so long to read it?!
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn- An English teacher’s dream. Haha
Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray- Wow! I enjoyed this one a lot more than I ever expected to!

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