Confront and question

Things Fall Apart

A man decapitates someone and then hangs himself. A young man learns to return hate with hate. A powerful leader is assassinated via stabbing. An entire people group is nearly annihilated. A girl’s parents and two sisters die because of a corrupt government. A boy is raped in an alleyway, and his friend does nothing […]

Text sets for summer reading

Hatch

A few weeks ago, literacy coaches and librarians in my district gathered to plan for summer reading. We are well aware of the research that cites summer reading as critical for maintaining reading muscle and avoiding the slide that can harm our most vulnerable readers. Book-loving adults in our district care deeply about setting kids […]

Mr. Tiger love at last!

brown_mr tiger goes wild

Readers of Calling Caldecott — and all my students — will understand my joy at hearing the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards announced Saturday. FINALLY some award love for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild! You can read the press release and reviews of the winning books here. We’ll put up photos from the announcement soon and you […]

How I learned to stop worrying and write curriculum about Bomb

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

One of the projects I am involved in is a program where a group of retired folks work in schools to facilitate after-school reading groups with middle graders. One piece of my work is to write curriculum about books that (we hope) are high-interest and wide-ranging in subject, so groups will have many options as […]

High interest, low readability

High interest, low readability

One of the perennial struggles of teaching deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students is finding texts of interest for struggling older readers — high interest, low readability, as they are called. Not to get too research-y here, but studies show that the average DHH student graduates from high school reading at a fourth grade […]

Llama Llama Single Mama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama series has been one of the favorites of the four and five year olds in my classroom for years now. The fun rhymes combined with relatable stories and illustrations of the characters faces that are great at conveying emotions seem to really draw the children into the books. However, there is […]

Third Grade Reads…a lot of series!

Geronimo Stilton

This year, I’ve been fortunate to work in a school where the kids love to read for fun. Throughout the year, I’ve noticed a couple of standout books, the kind of book where there is waitlist for reading; the kind of book where if they can’t find a new book to read, they’ll reread one […]

A book outside the box

Not a Box

“That sounds just like my dad!” one of my students exclaimed. “That must be a grown-up saying that!” offered another. We were in the midst of reading Antoinette Portis’s Not a Box and my second graders were bursting with excited insights about just who the off-page narrator might be. On its surface, Not a Box […]

Making connections for middle schoolers

Thank You, M'am

This is my first year at a standalone middle school (having previously worked in a high school and K-8), and it’s definitely been a learning experience! In addition to their struggles with reading, my 6th-8th graders bring a host of emotional & developmental issues to the table, all of which I’ve realized I need to […]

Self promotion Friday

Huntsman by Caldecott

It’s time to let the bloggers have a breather and give you all a good old-fashioned link post. There’s so much going on online, much of it here on our website, so this will be the first of our occasional “Self promotion Friday” posts. Most of the teachers I know are experiencing major fatigue about […]