New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers

The Cornerstone Blog has a great post about New Year’s Resolutions for teachers.    We all catch ourselves doing it.  You know, saying, “Next year I won’t let *blank* happen!”.  But why wait until next year?  From The Cornerstone Blog:

“So in light of this, I present the “Not Waiting for a New Year” resolution. What do you want to change NOW in your teaching practice? What thing is so important that you can’t afford to write off this year’s kids and wait for a fresh start in the fall? What’s really pressing for you?”


So head on over and post your New Year’s Resolutions!  


My resolution?  To give my students more time for independent reading and writing.  I have somehow managed to lose focus as the year has moved forward and that independent time has fallen by the wayside.  So I will be reworking a few routines and procedures so that I can make that time every day.

Kelly Gallagher Is Coming!

On January 26th Kelly Gallagher will be stopping by to answer questions from you, my readers!  Kelly has a new book coming out and it is amazing. Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do about It is being added to my list of “bible books”.  I am only about halfway through it right now, but I just keep finding myself nodding along with it and sometimes yelling, “YES!”, after reading a chapter.  

Don’t worry, around January 14th I will be able to share a link to the full text of the book so that you can also read over the book before asking Kelly your questions.  This is an amazing opportunity from Stenhouse and I am so excited to be a part of it.  So mark your calendars!k

Best of Cybils Middle Grade Round-up!

Let me tell you, I am so proud of the job my panel has done.  It is harder than you can imagine to whittle down 129 nominees to one shortlist!  Obviously, we all have our favorites that just can’t make the cut.  For some reason, the judges just don’t want a shortlist of 50 books.  😉  In all seriousness, though, we all have our favorites!  We decided to do a round-up, on our individual blogs, of our favorites from the Cybils middle grade nominees.  (Some of these could make the shortlist, but obviously they all can’t).


Tennyson by Lesley M. M. Blume- My review

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt- My review and a post about using it as my first read-aloud of the year.

Aloha Crossing by Pamela Bauer Mueller- My review

Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass- My review

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost- My review

Dog Lost by Ingrid Lee- My review

Meeting Miss 405 by Lois Peterson- My review

Six Innings by James Preller- My review

Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth-My review

These were Cybils nominees for Middle Grade Fiction, but they obviously all can’t make to to the shortlist of finalists that will be announced on January 1st. I liked several books that my fellow committee members didn’t care for, and vice-versa. Hopefully you will enjoy some of my selections that didn’t make the shortlist!

Sherry’s list
Matt’s list
Alysa’s list
Kim’s list
Mary’s list