Dork Diaries Winner!

The winner of the Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life contest is…..



Congratulations, Carrie!  I’ll be emailing you for further info.  Enjoy the book-  it’s awesome!


Dork Diaries Special!/Nikki’s Purse Giveaway!

A few weeks ago I reviewed an awesome book,Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life, by Rachel Renee Russell. The girls in my class are passing this book around like I’ve never seen before. If you teach tween girls, I can’t recommend Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life enough!

Today, I am so excited to announce that Nikki Maxwell herself is stopping by the blog today! It seems she has lost her diary and is asking for our help. Play the video below to find out more.



Wow Nikki! Thanks so much for stopping by!



Rachel Renee Russell has graciously offered up a Nikki’s purse giveaway for one lucky reader of mine! The purse includes some of Nikki’s favorite items- a pink purse purse, a hardcover copy of the book, and tons of goodies (Love’s Baby Soft perfume, nail polish, gum, a fun pen, and even more).

Four ways you can enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post by  June 16th.
2. Blog about the giveaway (this will earn you TWO extra entries)
3. Twitter about the giveaway (1 extra)
4. Facebook about the giveaway (1 extra)

Leave a separate comment for EACH entry, meaning you can have up to FIVE comments!! Good luck!

Twenty Boy Summer Giveaway!

That’s right, it’s time for the second giveaway in my birthday month!



Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance.  Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie—she’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.


Listen to Sarah Ockler talk about her newest novel.


Five (5) winners from TheReadingZone will receive:

Twenty Boy Summer hardcover Book


How awesome is that?  And all you have to do is leave a comment by 6/25.  


How to Enter:

  • All you need to do is leave a comment on this post to enter. If you would make sure your email address is in the comment, that would make life easier for me. 
  • If you link to this giveaway in any way (on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) I will give you one extra entry for each link. Please leave a separate comment for each link, to make my life easier!
  • Open to US resident only (sorry!)
  • Contest ends June 25 at midnight Eastern Standard Time.



For more information visit   

Assessing Student Writing

One theme that rose to the top of my “What Do You Want to Know?” series was assessing students. In reading and writing workshop, assessment can be a struggle for those who are tied to a standard grading scale of A-F. However, Mark Overmeyer has a new book coming out in July, What Student Writing Teaches Us, that focuses on using assessment to empower and improve student writing.

“Assessment, when used correctly in a formative way, can empower students and teachers to not only improve, but better yet, to believe in themselves as writers and teachers of writing. And once you believe you are a writer, and a teacher of writing, any barrier, no matter how imposing, begins to crumble.”
—Mark Overmeyer

Right now, you can read What Student Writing Teaches Us on the Stenhouse website for FREE! What a fantastic way to start the summer.    Even better?  Mark Overmeyer will be answering your questions here in June 25th!  So get reading and come back to this post to ask Mark your questions about formative assessment.

And seeing as this is my birthday giveaway month, there is a contest you can enter, too!

 Contest details from the Stenhouse website:

In his new book Mark discusses how a writing prompt that might seem limiting actually helps students focus their writing. He talks about a second-grade classroom where students were excited to write about the following topic: “Your baby brother is inside the house and you are locked out and need to figure out a way to get back in.”

Your challenge is to write a quick, piece in 500 words or less for that prompt. Mark will select the winner, who will receive a free, signed copy of What Student Writing Teaches Us. Submit your entries by July 15 to The best entries will be posted on the Stenhouse blog and website.


How awesome is that?  I’m about halfway through the book and I’ve already taken copious notes- it’s a great book for teachers of writing!

The Clique Summer Collection Giveaway!

It’s June, which means it’s my birthday month!  I’m kicking off my month of giveaways with an awesome  prize- the Clique Summer Collection!  Perfect beach reads, these are a huge hit with my students!

How do you win?  Comment below and tell me about the best summer of your life!  What made it so special?

How to Enter:

  • All you need to do is leave a comment on this post to enter, telling me about the best summer of your life. If you would make sure your email address is in the comment, that would make life easier for me. 
  • If you link to this giveaway in any way (on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) I will give you one extra entry for each link. Please leave a separate comment for each link, to make my life easier!
  • Open to US resident only (sorry!)
  • Contest ends Friday, June 19 at midnight Eastern Standard Time.


One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive:

The Clique: Summer Collection Series (5 books!)

    • The Clique Summer Collection: Massie
    • The Clique Summer Collection: Dylan
    • The Clique Summer Collection: Alicia
    • The Clique Summer Collection: Kristen
    • The Clique Summer Collection: Claire


The Pretty Committee is spending the summer apart, but they’re never far from drama… Five girls.  Five stories.  One ah-mazing summer. 

 The Clique Summer Collection: Massie 
Massie gets BE-yoo-tiful… 
After Massie Block gets kicked off her high horse and out of her ultra exclusive Westchester riding camp, her parents force her to do the unthinkable-find a summer job. Not one for dog-walking or brat-sitting, Massie comes up with the ah-bvious solution: She’ll be a sales rep for the cosmetics brand Be Pretty. Massie fully hearts her new role as fairy gawdmother of makeup-until she discovers transforming LBRs into glam-girls takes more than a swish of her royal purple mascara wand.  
The Clique Summer Collection: Dylan 
Game, Svet, Match… 
Dylan and her TV-host mom are off to Hawaii’s Aloha Tennis Open. While Merri-Lee interviews tennis’s wild child Svetlana “Tennis the Menace” Slootskyia, Dylan lets the tropical sun melt away the memory of getting dumped by two guys at the end of seventh grade. But between avocado mud masks and poolside naps, she falls in love with a preppy, tennis- obsessed hawtie. Dylan soon realizes the only way to score a date with him is to master the game. Can she convince moody Svetlana to spill the secrets of her tennis success, or will she end up oh-for-three in summer love? 
The Clique Summer Collection: Alicia
Alicia takes on Mission Spalfa: Spanish Alpha! Back in Spain to visit her relatives, Alicia discovers that Spain’s newest pop sensation ¡Ignacio! is searching for a true Spanish beauty to star in his new hit-single video. She can’t believe her luck! If Alicia is cast as a true Spanish beauty, Massie will never call her fake-Spanish again. The only trick: She’ll have to beat her super-bonita cousins to win the coveted spot. Adios, bimbos! 
The Clique Summer Collection: Kristen 
While the rest of the Pretty Committee have scattered across the globe, Kristen gets stuck spending her summer landlocked in Westchester. Just when she’s about to send an SOS to her friends to rescue her from her summer of boredom and solitude, she scores a job looking after hang-ten hawtie Dune Baxter’s younger sister, Ripple. Suddenly, Kristen goes from bored to board as she rides the wave of first love… 
The Clique Summer Collection: Claire 
Battle of the BFFs! 
Back in Orlando for the summer, Claire is reunited with her Florida best friends, Sarah, Sari, and Mandy, after a long year apart. Her FBFs haven’t changed at all. Too bad they think Claire has . . . and not for the better. Claire sets out to prove her loyalty by entering Kissimmee’s Miss Kiss pageant. But when a very special visitor shows up and vows to win the crown, Claire finds herself torn between Keds and couture. Will Claire finally kiss-immee her past goodbye-once and for all?


Find more information visit:


That’s right, you win all five books!  And they are so fun!

So tell me- what was the best summer of your life and why?

Happy Birthday to Me…..and to You!



June is my birthday month!  For the first time in my life, I will be in school on my birthday (June 23), which isn’t as fun as being off.  So, to celebrate my birthday, I have decided to dedicate the month of June on my blog to a big celebration.  What does that mean for you?  Giveaways!

Stay tuned for lots of giveaways in the coming weeks!  The first two will start this week!!!

Happy Birthday to me!