Archive | September 2012

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading? 9/17/12

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This meme is hosted by Jen and Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts.  Check out their blog…they are AMAZING!

What I read last week

With school starting, my reading numbers have gone way down.  I did finish the ARC of Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi.  I really enjoyed it!  It went in a direction I was not expecting and I loved what was learned about some other characters, especially Kenji and Warner.  This has made me even more excited to read Destroy Me which comes out in October.  I can’t wait for others to read Unravel Me come February so I can talk about it more!

What I am Reading This Week

I have so many books started it is not even funny.  I still have to finish The School of Night by Deborah Harkness, which I started this summer.  I started reading Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey because it was a free eBook.  I also started Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill when I came across it when picking out books for my new tenth grade historical fiction research project.  That’s just three!  I think though I am going to finish Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson this week because of all the amazing things I heard about it on Twitter.  I am liking it so far.  And I also plan on hitting a book store tomorrow to get my hands on The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater’s new book that comes out tomorrow.  Again, the buzz on Twitter and GoodReads has been too much to ignore.  I loved the Mercy Falls series and while it took me some time to get into it, I also enjoyed The Scorpio Races.  The others will have to wait; these two will be my focus this week!

I also plan on starting to listen to audio books again on my way to and from work.  A trip to the library today enabled me to pick up An Abundance of Katherines by John Green on audio.  He is one of my favorite authors, if not my favorite!

 SO….what are YOU reading?

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Passing on Reading

I had a new student start today in my fifth hour. This is the last class of the day and it can get a little loud and crazy. Of course, my phone was ringing off the hook and four students needed something as I was trying to get my new student set up. I have to keep constantly moving in this class so we can stay on track and get accomplished. It wasn’t until the end of class I had a chance to talk more with my new student.

I gave him the syllabus and told him a little about the class. A number of students who had finished the assignment for the day had started ready their SSR books (which I love to see!). I explained to our new student that we do SSR a number of days a week and he would need a book. If he already had a book, he could bring it, or he could feel free to borrow one of mine. I asked him if he liked reading. I could tell he wanted to say no but he dodged the question. I told him that it was ok; I have heard it before before. He finally admitted, “Not really.” I said I hoped having a choice in what he read would help and asked what he liked to read about. He told me realistic drama. I grabbed Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper and told him to look over that one. If he wasn’t interested, I could look for some other titles as well. He said that interested him, so I asked him if he wanted to check it out. He looked so surprised when he asked, “You mean I can take it home?” I was very happy to respond with a resounding yes! I let him know he could borrow it for as long as he needed. He seemed very excited and quickly filled out the notecard with a smile.

As students were dismissed for the day, I told him I hoped he enjoyed it and to make sure he brought it with him to class. He thanked me again. I was just floored once again to see how books and talking about books can connect me with students so quickly. I love putting a book in a student’s hand and the look on his or her face when that connection to the book happens. I really feel I have opened up communication with this new student and hope he feels comfortable in and a part of our class now. I know my words are not giving the moment justice but this is the type of moment that reminds me why I teach.

First Week Reflections

My goodness! This was one of the most exhausting first weeks of school I have had in awhile. Every day required a nap and when possible, I still went to bed early. However, I am still pretty excited about this school year.

My students are a pretty energetic bunch! I am looking forward to getting to know this group more. There are some comedians in the group, that’s for sure. I also love that I get one class of juniors with my students from last year. As much as I like my new group, I loved my students last year and am looking forward to working with them again.

The new name was interesting this week. After 7 years as Ms. B, I am now Mrs. Crawford. I still answer to Ms. B and noticed a did not respond to Mrs. Crawford or Ms. C a few times. It was funny to see the surprised look on some student faces when they realized this “new” teacher was actually me. I’m sure I will be used to the new name soon.

I am liking the desks in groups. Students are doing ok staying focused when needed and I love how simple partner/group discussions now are. The way they are arranged make it very easy to get around and confer with students and groups. Plus, my activity for Friday was all set up and ready to go at the beginning of each class. Huge time saver! I think this layout is a keeper.

I stole another idea on Pinterest for some positive reinforcement in the classroom. It’s giving the students a high five – a note on a piece of paper in the shape of a hand. I do not have access to a dye cut but I did find super cheap hand cutouts on Oriental Trading. I gave out some this week and they were a success. One girl expressed she wanted to bring it home and out it on her fridge because she has never received something like that. Two students asked for pieces of tape to hang them in their locker. Something so simple can have long lasting effects.

Finally, book check out was amazing this week! We did book speed dating on Wednesday and several students in each class checked out books. One student already finished This is not a Test by Courtney Summers and asked for more books by her. A variety of genres were checked out and more students found books on our first SSR day on Friday. I love seeing students with books in their hands each day.

Hope everyone had a great start of the year. Here’s to week 2!!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Check out Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts (http://networkedblogs.com/BGKh9) who host this weekly meme.

What I Read Last Week

Last week, I read two books I’m looking forward to sharing with students.  I finished Shine by Lauren Myracle.  It was a beautiful book that I am hoping to make a choice book for literature circles in the 10A class.  I also read Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally.  It was a very light read and I can see a number of my female readers enjoying it and passing it around this year.

What I am Reading This Week

First, I will be finishing Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.  I have loved every page of this book!  I am borrowing it from a colleague.  I love the satire and want my own copy for the classroom.  Teenage girls should read it to get some of the important messages the book sends.  

I also plan on reading the ARC of Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi!  Jillian over at Heise Reads (http://www.heisereads.com/) is hosting an ARC tour of this book.  I am next on the list and it was dropped in the mail Saturday.  Hopefully it is here tomorrow or Wednesday.  Everyone has raved about the book so I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

So…what are YOU reading?