Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 3/18 (Slice 18 of 31)

I am doubling up on posts again today.  I love the It's Monday meme because I get to really reflect on my week of reading and share my thoughts with you all and I love the Slice of Life challenge because it is really challenging me to find time to write every day.  I have already realized how much more I notice because I am looking for things to write about.  I also have noticed an increase in my creativity with lessons for my language arts classes.

This post is a part of the Slice of Life challenge which is hosted on the Two Writing Teachers blog.  The month of March the challenge is to write a blog post a day.

Every week I participate in the It's Monday meme which is hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts. It's a chance to take a step back and reflect on what I have been reading this week and to think about my plans for the week to come.

Books I Finished This week:

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger was a fun read!  It will definitely appeal to my students who are interested in humor writing like Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  I enjoyed the story throughout even though it was not very believable but that is part of the humor of it.  Wow! It is amazing what power a good fake mustache can have!  I will recommend this one to readers who need an easier reading level but are interested in a funny story.  I can see how fourth and fifth graders would eat it up!

When I was having a hard time deciding on the next book to read earlier this week, I sent out an SOS on Twitter.  I got a few replies and two of those people recommended that I read this one next.  (Thanks Cynthia and Jen) It was absolutely decided when Matt de la Pena chimed in.  Okay...WOW!  I love that Twitter lets us connect to authors in such a cool way.  I have to say that I really enjoyed Mexican Whiteboy and I know my students will love it too.  Being hispanic urban students, they will absolutely be able to connect with the characters in this book.  I can't wait to booktalk this one.  I know there will be a waitlist!

I read Hard Love as a part of the Nerdprintz challenge.  I will be reviewing it on my blog soon as a part of this challenge as well.  This book is absolutely deserving of the Printz honor it received.  I fell in love with the characters and thought that the message was well done.  I think that teens would absolutely be able to connect with the characters and the themes in this book.  I like that it deals with homosexuality in a way that helps the reader understand it better without glorifying anything.  I also am intrigued by the zines that the characters write.  Does this medium exist?  I am sure it does and now I want to find some examples.  I will recommend this book to my students that are interested in writing.  Really this book could appeal to any teen who is trying to define his or her identity which is pretty much every teen.  I highly recommend that you read it!

Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry by Jeffrey Wilhelm gave me some concrete strategies to start using immediately in my classroom.  After seeing him speak at the WSRA conference, I was happy to find one of his books that really helped me get a glimpse of strategies that he uses in the classroom.  The book reviews the principles of backward design and gives great examples of how to use inquiry to teach the standards.  I definitely will be playing with these ideas during the rest of the school year and will spend some time this summer refining some of my units to include this type of inquiry.  I highly recommend this book to educators.  It is a quick read and will give you some excellent food for thought.

Books I am Currently Reading:

I am about halfway through the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  I am not too surprised by what she is saying in the book since my Master's thesis included many of her articles in the literature review.  I was curious about this book after hearing Dweck speak at the Learning Forward conference last summer.  I am glad I requested this one from the library because I definitely am enjoying the examples given.  I am again rethinking how I can bring this knowledge to my students ASAP because I can see some of the behaviors of fixed mindsets within my classroom every day.  I also am continuing to listen to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  As I have said every week so far, I am absolutely loving this audiobook.  I love the interesting and original ideas in the book as much as I love the way it is being read.

Books I Will Read Next:

I will start Unwind by Neal Shusterman tonight.  This will be one of the books I read for the dystopian challenge.  I have had it on my TBR pile for a long time and I am really intrigued by the premise.  I also will probably read Splendors and Glooms or Three Times Lucky or both.  I would also like to get to some nonfiction books this week.  Possibly The Great Fire or The Great and Only Barnum.  I am not sure how many books I will get to because I have parent-teacher conferences this week too.  I guess we'll see how the week goes.

Happy Reading! What is on your list this week?


  1. I just started We Were Here by Matt de la Pena, and it's another that the students will gobble up. I can't wait to finish and book talk it.

  2. I haven't given as much love to Printz Honor/Medal books as I should have - will definitely check this one out. We borrowed Tom Angleberger's Fake Moustache previously but didn't get a chance to read it. The Engaging readers book sounds inviting. Have a great reading week.

  3. Wow-while I've heard of some (& read Fake Mustache), I think I could put all the other books you shared on my TBR list, Andrea. What a lot of good-sounding books. I would most be interested in Mexican Whiteboy & Hard Love. Both sound really fine for teens-& important too. Thanks so much for sharing. BTW-I loved Splendors and Glooms, although I've seen others say not so much.

  4. I vote for Three Times Lucky! It is one of my favorites from last year.

  5. I'm going to share your site with my librarian friends. Wow! if I ever end up back in the library I'll have a bunch of reading to do.