Coming soon….

I will be back over the next few days.  I am consumed with shutting down school, entering grades, and packing up my classroom right now.  I barely even have time to read!

48-Hour Book Challenge Update

Time Reading: 10ish hours?

Books completed: 8

Time Blogging/Social Media: 3.5 hours

Pages Read: 1337

Completed book listThe Strange Case of Origami YodaThe Jaguar Stones, Book One: MiddleworldThis Is Me From Now On Shakespeare Bats CleanupThe Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field Series)The Kite FightersSeaglass Summer, Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series)

BEA, Here I Come!

I got my approval today to attend BEA on Wednesday!  I know there is a Kidlit drink night that night, and I plan to stop by, but who else will be around during the day?  What is a “can’t miss”?  I haven’t even looked at the schedule yet…..

Sister to Sister

My eleven-year old sister is too much like me. This is the text message she sent me at 10pm. “Don’t tell mom cause I’m supposed to be in bed right now, but do u know where they sell cheap book lights? Flashlights are too hard 2 hold & read at the same time so I need 1 that clips onto the page. Or do you have one? Cause I read at night.”

Needless to say, I just ordered her a booklight and it’s on its way. I told her not to tell Mom. :)

Staying Positive

For those of you who don’t know, I teach in NJ.  The state budget is in dire straits and education is taking the hardest hit under our new governor.  As a result of the awful budget situation, I received my RIF letter on Friday.  I’m staying positive and hoping that I am brought back after this all shakes out, but I am also drafting various contingency plans.  I can’t imagine not teaching, so I am crossing my fingers that there is a spot for me come September.

However, today was an amazing day, spent with my best friends from college, their husbands, dogs, and kids.  We went to Ag Field Day at our alma mater and it was amazing.  Thank goodness for good friends!  And cute babies.  :)

NJ School Budget Elections

Tomorrow, April 20th, is the NJ school budget elections.  Please get out and vote if you are registered in NJ.

Share A Story-Shape a Future: The Nonfiction Book Hook!

Share a Story - Shape a Future

Way back in the summer, when we started planning this year’s Share a Story-Shape a Future Blog Event, we knew that we wanted to spend a day focusing on nonfiction reading.  I immediately volunteered to host today’s event because nonfiction reading has been a personal focus for me this year.  Over the past five years I’ve noticed that my middle schoolers frequently pass over nonfiction books because they tend to see them as “research books” and not something to be read for pleasure.  This year I have made it a goal to include more nonfiction in my classroom and in my booktalks.

It’s working!  I’ve had more students than ever pick up nonfiction books- biographies, memoirs, informational books, literary nonfiction, and everything in between.  Access to nonfiction opens so many doors and today’s posters are here to help us find more doors and windows to open in the house of nonfiction reading with readers of all ages.

The Nonfiction Book Hook


Fiction or Nonfiction Reader at Imagination Soup

There are two kinds of people in this world.  Fiction and non-fiction.

Think about it.  Some of us naturally prefer reading fiction (me) while others naturally prefer non-fiction (husband, eldest daughter).   For those that are naturally inclined to non-fiction, they will read voraciously in that genre without needing much encouragement.   If you’re not a natural in non-fiction, you may need some help to child to engage with and enjoy non-fiction.  Let me give you some ideas.


Hooking Reluctant Middle Grade Readers (You Choose and Wicked History Series) at 26 Letters

Jessica takes a look at two series of nonfiction book that appeal to middle grade readers, especially reluctant nonfiction readers!


In the Classroom: A Smattering of Nonfiction at Educating Alice

A fourth grade teacher, Monica Edinger helps us look at nonfiction and its use in the classroom.


After Little House, what? at Kidlithistory

Melissa takes a look at a few series that are similiar to Little House (based on childhood memories, etc) but occur later in tieme and the different lessons they can teach.


Real World Reading with Preschoolers at Links to Literacy

In a recent Washington Post column, Jay Matthews brought to light the fact that middle and high school reading lists have very little nonfiction on them and that really bothered him.  His column made me think:  what if we began with our youngest learners?  What are some ways we can introduce nonfiction into the lives of preschoolers?


Sharing Nonfiction with New Readers at 5 Great Books-

The wonderful Anastasia Suen is here to help us hook new readers using nonfiction.  It can be intimidating to find good nonfiction that new readers actually want to read, but Anastasia is here to guide us.


Hook, Line, and Sinker: Pairing Nonfiction with Fiction to Reel in Readers at TheReadingZone-

One of the best ways I have managed to “hook” my students on nonfiction is to use their natural curiosity.  Many students have questions after reading a novel of any genre.  Don’t we all?  I know I have been caught more than once googling a topic that intrigued me in a novel.  We need to grab on to our students’ natural curiosity, sink our claws in, and guide them toward answers.  Forget the internet- the answers they seek can be found in nonfiction books!

Everyday Nonfiction Newspaper Reading at Teach Mama-

Newspaper reading can be a really useful–and sneaky!–tool for incorporating nonfiction reading into the lives of our emerging readers. Great idea, Amy!

Nonfiction for Early Readers- What’s a Parent to Do? at Maw Books Blog-

How do parents find nonfiction for early readers?  There are plenty of picture books out there, but how does a parent find a nonfiction book that is interesting, not over their child’s head, and fun?  Natasha shares the four most important thing she has learned.


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