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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Tuesday: Student Voices: “We Shouldn’t Be…” (A Poem) by Monika & Jordan with an image by Serine

Thursday: Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Friday: Teachers’ Guide for Barkus series updated with Barkus: Dog Dreams by Patricia MacLachlan

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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Kellee

  • Truman by Jean Reidy is one of my new favorite picture books though I am bias because I love land tortoises!
  • Catwad by Jim Benton is like an even grumpier Garfield.
  • Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger: “Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go.”
  • Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos: “A heartrending and hopeful debut novel about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration.”
  • Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein: “An #ownvoices contemporary/realistic YA debut. 14 year old Erica “Ricky” Bloom, is newly diagnosed with a painful chronic illness and pretty pissed off about it.”

Ricki

While visiting my son’s new elementary school, we checked out the gorgeous library. We saw The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros on display. Whew. This book is powerful. It took all of me not to start sobbing in the middle of the library.

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Kellee

  • Reading: The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen
  • Listening To: What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman
  • Reading with Trent: Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey

Ricki

I’m reading an NCTE friend’s book draft, and it is fantastic. It is a secret, so I am not able to reveal much more. 🙂

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Tuesday:  OCPS Appetite for Instruction Podcast with Kellee: Unleashing Young Readers

Thursday: The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros

Friday:  Educators’ and Discussion Guide for What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers

Sunday: Author Guest Post: Self-Esteem and Students by Karen S. McGowan, Author of Kelly’s Adventures

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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Barkus: Dog Dreams
Author: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrator: Marc Boutavant
Published: August 7th, 2018 by Chronicle Books

Summary: Barkus is back! With new tricks. New friends. And lots more fun.

The lovable Barkus and his lucky young owner romp through the pages of this delightful series from Newbery Medal–winning author Patricia MacLachlan. The simple text told in short chapters is just right for children ready to take their first steps toward reading on their own.

View my post about Barkus to learn about book one.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation and Discussion Questions: 

Please view and enjoy the teachers’ guide I created for the Barkus series:

You can also access the teaching guide here.

You can learn more about Barkus on Chronicle Book’s Barkus Book 2 page.

Recommended For: 

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Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Author: Brian Floca
Published April 7, 2009 by Atheneum

Summary: Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure and discovery—a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.

Praise:

“Like the astronauts’ own photographs, [Floca’s] expansive, heart-stopping images convey the unfathomable beauty of both the bright, dusty moon and the blue jewel of Earth.” –New York Times Book Review, July 1, 2019

Ricki’s Review: I thought I knew a lot about the Apollo 11. This book made me realize that I had so much to learn. My sons and I cuddled in one of their beds and read this one together. I whisper-read it because it felt too beautiful to read in a voice that was any louder. My kids followed this model and whisper-asked questions in awe. This book is a masterpiece. There are so many books out there about the Apollo 11, and although I haven’t read them all, I feel confident when I say that this is the best on out there. The illustrations are captivating, the story includes just the right amount of science, and the words dance on the pages.

Kellee’s Review: I love reading about space and have read dozens and dozens of picture books with my son about the topic. This book stands out from the rest. Brian Floca masterfully creates a story that is both engaging and scientifically accurate. This book offers so many possibilities for the classroom for teachers. The words are written in a poetic format which makes the pages easy to read and an excellent balance with the stunning illustrations. If you read just one book about the Apollo 11 this summer, let it be this one. It will knock you off of your feet.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Our minds were buzzing with possibilities after reading this text. Teachers might use this book at the center of a unit on space, or they might use it to catapult students into research studies about any topic of science. We can see this book in classrooms from pre-k through high school. It could be used as a creative writing mentor text or as a text at the start of a high school science unit. It beautifully balances scientific information with narrative, so we think it would be incredibly appealing to teachers of all content areas and grade levels.

 Discussion Questions: 

  • What did you learn about the Apollo 11?
  • How is the information in this book similar or different from what you already knew about the Apollo 11?
  • Why do you think the author chose the poetic format for the words?
  • How do the illustrations add to your understanding of the text?

Flagged Spread: 

Read This If You Love: Moon by Stacy McAnultyThe Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk, Once Upon a Star by James Carter, Space Encyclopedia by David AguilarYou Choose In Space by Pippa GoodhartA Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin, Star Stuff by Stephanie Roth Sisson

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Audrey at Simon & Schuster for providing copies of the book for review!!**

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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

We Shouldn’t Be… by Monika & Jordan, 7th Grade

We shouldn’t be scared, 
scared of the guy with the bullets
who can end our lives with a push
of a trigger. 
Shouldn’t be scared of the people
who have jobs to protect us, yet murder
us without thinking what we’re up to. 

We shouldn’t be scared
scared of the big bad men
who look at us like we’re a meal
and lick their lips hungrily.
Shouldn’t be scared of being beautiful
even though we were all made gorgeously. 

We should be scared
Scared of loving the wrong person, 
scared of THEM who will judge us
because of who and what we love. 

We shouldn’t be scared 
Scared of being judged by what we wear
or how we do our hair instead
of being judged by how we act
and hand situations. 

But guess what? We are. 

We are scared of the bullets that are
out there in the wrong hands. 

We are scared of being beautiful
because those men would kill for us. 

We are scared of loving because 
THEY end up hating us. 

We are scared of wearing the 
wrong thing or saying the wrong thing
because of THEM.

They, them
It’s the world. 
We are scared of the world. But we shouldn’t 
be anymore. Let’s stop being scared. 
We are strong. We can overcome the 
fear, only if we come together. We 
don’t have to constantly be in fear. 

We need to listen.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Tuesday: Student Voices!: Pros and Cons About Digital Schools by Maelynn

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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Kellee

I’m back!!!
Thank you so much for understanding about my summer. It has been an eventful one. First was ALA then we moved then we were out of town for 16 days and then we had the loss in our family. On top of that…

I am now the librarian at my school! AH! I am so excited (and nervous)!
So that meant I had to move at school also.

Now, I have been away from IMWAYR since June 17th, so I am just going to share the images of the books I read (top are the most recently read). Check out Goodreads to see more about them:

Ricki

Wow, Kellee! I can’t get over that list!

My son is obsessed with High Five by Adam Rubin. He loves the interactive nature—he gets to create a silly chant and high five the characters on the page.

All three of my boys were cuddled in the bed and captivated by Moonshot by Brian Floca. I think he is one of my favorite picture book authors. I am in awe of his talent.

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Kellee

Currently Reading: Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger

Currently Listening: Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

Currently Reading with Trent: Science Comics: Polar Bears by Jason Viola

Ricki

I was in a bit of a reading rut post-baby. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo is pulling me out of it. I am really looking forward to listening to the rest of this book!

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Tuesday: Student Voices: “We Shouldn’t Be…” (A Poem) by Monika & Jordan with an image by Serine

Thursday: Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Friday: Teachers’ Guide for Barkus series updated with Barkus: Dog Dreams by Patricia MacLachlan

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!

Pros and Cons About Digital School by Maelynn, 7th Grade

Schools all over are starting to go digital; however, this leads to a heated debate about whether or not schools should have their students using computers. Some see them as a useful tool to make learning fun and easy and others see them as a big distractor. Here are 10 pros and cons about students using computers. 

PROS-

  • New skills: Because of being at a digital school, students learn how to type. Not only will it help them now, it will help them in the future. Most people nowadays type up their resumes and other reports. Also, tons of jobs now use technology. Learning how to work and run a computer could be proven helpful later on. With technology popping up more and more, digital schools are providing students with a skill early. 
  • Research is easier: Most teachers eventually give out a research project for their students to complete. If those students go to a digital school, research will be easier for them. All they have to do is search something up. If they’re writing an argumentative essay, they can easily find evidence to support different claims because their laptops provide quick, easy access. They’re capable of browsing the internet to help them with school and expand their branch of knowledge. 
  • Establishes responsibility: Like most electronic devices, you have to plug laptops in to charge them. At a digital school, students can establish a new form of responsibility by having to plug in their laptop each day. As a student, I’ve witnessed other students not being able to do certain things because their battery died. Charging one’s laptop is similar to walking one’s dog–you’ve got to do it or there can be consequences. 
  • Typing is faster: Typing is a lot faster than writing. If you’re typing an essay, report, or something else, typing is way faster because you aren’t writing something word for word. Since it’s faster, students will be able to get more time for their own time like hanging out with family and friends. More free time also means less time on your laptop which is good because of the screen time at school already. 
  • Makes learning fun: As a student, I know technology helps make learning more fun. Teachers like using games to test their students’ knowledge (like Kahoot, Quizizz, Gimkit). Certain games also allow teams letting students interact with each other. Students can be very competitive, so this is a good way for them to blow off steam, have fun, and learn all at the same time. 

CONS-

  • Big distractor: Laptops can be super distracting. As a student, I’ve witnessed kids playing games while the teacher is talking. Instead of doing work, students decide to play games first and assignments later. Games such as Minecraft and websites like CoolMathGames.com tend to be what students mainly play. Since students have tons of websites at their fingertips, it can be hard to not get distracted. Also, games can be distracting to surrounding students who have a view of the screen. Now the student playing the game and the other students are focusing on the laptop distracted from learning. All of this can lead to bad habits. 
  • Can be unreliable: Every once in a while, wifi can stop temporarily or certain systems shut down. But what happens if things start shutting down at a digital school? Teachers may not be prepared for an unexpected internet issue and this leads to them spending the period figuring out a plan. Shut downs hurt students, too. With the wifi down, they can’t work on or submit any assignments. This usually means students have to now do it for homework, biting away form their time. Being a student, I’ve witnessed systems not working during end-of-year exams, too. This particular scenario affects much of the school and those unlucky students get their exams rescheduled. 
  • Harmful effects: Students who go to digital schools spend a lot of time on electronics. Too much screen time can make it harder for the body to relax, according to research. Furthermore, most students continue to go on their electronics after school. Too much screen time can potentially be harmful. Students should try to spend less time on electronics and more time doing other activities. 
  • Easier to cheat: With laptops, students have access to lots of websites at their finger tips. With this in mind, what’s to stop a student from cheating? If a teacher assigns an essay, summary, or another type of report, it can be easy for students to search it up and copy and paste. Students can also go on certain apps to get answers for their math homework and other subjects. 
  • Writing benefits more: Research shows that writing benefits students more than typing. When you physically write information down, you get a stronger understanding than you do with typing. Research shows that writing is better than typing because typing is faster. Since writing is slower, you process information better. Also, when you write, you get more creative because you aren’t searching anything up for ideas. 

Thank you Maelynn for your analysis of digital schools!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Tuesday: Student Voices!: Thoughts on Middle School by Breno, Leila, Josh, Nick, Damon, & Nathan

Friday: From an Idea Series by Lowey Bundy Sichol

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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Kellee

I know I have been gone for a while but we suffered a family loss this last week, and I am taking off a bit more time from Mondays as we spend time as a family. Thank you for understanding!
(and I apologize in advance for the LONG Monday post when I do get back…)

Ricki

This week, my son and I have been reading many of the BOB books. These are great first readers and quite fun. We’ve also been learning about the value of coins. There was a fun workbook in Target this week. Normally, I don’t love workbooks, but there are some workbooks that are genuinely FUN! I haven’t read any YA books this week, and all of my nightly reading with the kids has been picture books.

However, I am excited to share that I’ve organized ten teacher call-out boxes for my book about YAL in the classroom. Several readers of this blog shared some great teaching ideas, and I can’t wait to send them on to NCTE! 🙂

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Ricki

I hit a bit of a reading rut because my baby is adjusting out of a swaddle. It turns out that this pulls away from sleeping time. I am hoping to get back into reading some good books soon. I am sorry—life is a bit wild right now, but I am working on getting back into reading some good stuff.

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Tuesday: Student Voices!: Pros and Cons About Digital Schools by Maelynn

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

 Signature andRickiSig