Sunday, July 19, 2015

What'cha Reading?

This summer has definitely been the summer of reading for me.  I've read 25 adult fiction/nonfiction books, 3 professional books, and I'm working my way through a box of 55 Scholastic chapter books for the upcoming school year.

So, I've read a lot of must-reads and a lot of not-so-great reads.  I've learned over 16 years of teaching that sometimes the books that I choose for my kids that I absolutely love, may not have the reaction I was hoping for.  Hope at Elementary Shenanigans did a great Periscope about this on Saturday.  I jumped on the Wonder train at the beginning of the school year and thought it would be an amazing book for my 5th graders.  While some thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn't wait to tackle the text, most were very indifferent.  So, I went back to the drawing board.  I want my kids excited about reading just as much as I am.

Here are some of my TOP reads from the year.


We started the year with this book and my students fell in love with it.  It is told by 6 different narrators and was a little complex, but after getting used to the format, my students loved it.  The story focuses on the relationship of teacher and students.  Previously, the group of characters proved to be quite the handful, but Mr. Terupt has a way of impacting their lives forever.

Most appropriate for 4th-5th grades.


My class chose this one as their all time favorite of the year.  We used it as a mentor text during our unit on Social Justice.  My kids connected to Ivan and shed tears over his confinement in a local carnival display.  It lead to great discussion about the treatment of animals and allowed us to stage classroom debates.

Most appropriate for grades 3rd-5th.

My top reading group loved this one.  Anything with a little mystery got their goat.  This was a group of all boys and they couldn't wait until reading group time so they could devour the book.  This is book one in a series, so throughout the year, I saw multiple kiddos finishing up the set.

Most appropriate for grades 4th-6th.

I've read a few this summer that were amazing!  It was nice to see Elementary Shenanigans include some of them on her list as well.


All I can say is WOW!  This book was amazing!  It gave a great perspective of life from a child with cerebral palsy who was unable to talk.  I read it very quickly and added it immediately to my must read aloud to my students.  I'm always looking for books that help to build empathy.





This has always been one of my favorite movies, but I didn't sit down and read the book until this summer. I loved it!  It was light, positive, and comical.  I can't wait to share it with my kiddos.



Now, this book, this is my book of the summer.  Jacqueline Woodson did a bang up job of sharing her family history.  I had a special connection with this text.  It is set in the city that I teach - Greenville, SC.  The book is set during the civil rights movement and Woodson uses free verse poetry to tell her story.  It's powerful and moving.  I plan to pair it with our civil rights non-fiction texts,  The Watson's Go to Birmingham,  and Bud, Not Buddy.

I would love for you to share your top reads for your class below.



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