The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!
Top Ten Favorite Characters by Isaias & Miguel, 6th Grade
The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!
Top Ten Favorite Characters by Isaias & Miguel, 6th Grade
- Rowan from Scythe: We like Rowan because he is thoughtful and caring to his best friends but brave versus his enemies. Rowan is smart and strong and shows these abilities throughout Scythe and Thunderhead.
- Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: We like Greg because he has very unique characteristics like being funny, dumb, lazy, and irrelevant. These traits make Greg likable.
- Peter from Peter Nimble: We like Peter because he is smart and so determined to do the thing that is special to him. In the book, he has a friend and he does anything that he can do to protect him. In top of all of this, he is blind. He is very likable and special.
- Sirius Black from Harry Potter: Sirius Black is brave and strong with his want. He is very unique and helps Harry a lot throughout the series. He does very smart things, and he is often misjudged. He is our favorite character in Harry Potter. He is very interesting and likable.
- Emily from Amulet: We like Emily because she is very kind to her friends and family. She is very brave against her enemies. She is very determined and if she has a goal, she will achieve it. This is why we put her on our list.
- Navin from Amulet: Navin is probably the smartest guy in the world. He can manage any electricity without practicing with it. Navin will do anything to protect his family. He is a very caring person to his friends. Never leaves a mission without his friends.
- Roderick from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick is kind of the mean and cool brother in the book, but he is funny (mostly when he is doing something stupid). He always makes you laugh mostly when combined with his brother.
- Citra from Scythe: In the book, Citra is stubborn, so it makes her personality very interesting while he fights her enemies. She is also kind and thoughtful to her friends. Overall, she is a very caring and strong character.
- James from Explorer: Mystery Boxes “The Escape Option”: James is proud and brave. He decides to leave and help his people. Because of these traits, James makes the list.
- Dog Man from Dog Man: Dog Man is very brave and kind. He helps so many people that we can’t even count. Dog man is also strong, smart, strategic, and in all the books he is the hero, and that’s why he’s on our list.
Characters We Love to Love by Max and Kaley, 8th Grade
- Eliza from Eliza and Her Monsters (Kaley): As a person who needs time to recharge my social better a lot, I could sympathize with Eliza who is the poster child for anti-social. Throughout the book, as she made strides with branching out, I rooted for her the whole time.
- Victoria “Vicky” from The Memory of Light (Kaley): As a young person with sticky relationships with a couple of my family members, I really felt Vicky’s hurt when her dad was a jerk throughout the entire book. I loved watching her step into herself, and she remains one of my favorite book characters.
- Mark from The Honest Truth (Max): Mark is a character I love because it shows how much he loves his dog. Even in the darkest moments, he only wants his dog to be safe.
- Brodie from Good Dog (Max): I love Brodie because he shows how much a dog loves you. It also shows that even after death, they will find their way back to you no matter what. That after death, they think about you.
Top 10 Favorite Characters by Ellian and Sujan, 6th Grade
- Prince Jaron from The Ascendance Trilogy
- Nicolas Calva from The Mark of the Thief trilogy
- Greg Heffley from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
- Rowley Jefferson from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
- Chaya Lidner from Resistance
- Dog Man from the Dog Man series
- Emily from the Amulet series
- Navin from the Amulet series
- Dog Man from the Dog Man series
- Greg from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
10 Book Characters We’d Date by Mariana & Daneila, 8th Grade
- Peter from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
- Josh from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
- Olly from Everything, Everything
- Bowen from Strung
- Augustus Waters from The Fault in our Stars
- Adam from Wish You Were Dead
- John from A Girl Named Digit
- Conner from The Land of Stories series
- Percy from Percy Jackson and the Olympians
- Aiden from Good Dog
3 Fictional Male Book Characters We Would Date If We Were In Their Book by Vanessa & Angelina, 8th and 7th Grade
- Prince Maxon from The Selection series: His is kind-hearted, understanding, protective, and puts other peoples’ safety before his own. He does whatever he can to make things right. Even though he doesn’t always have the nerve to express his emotions, he still tries to get his point across.
- Simon from The Traitor’s Game series: Sion is a protective, strong, shy, caring guy who just wants everyone to be safe. He feels like any injuries or issues are his fault and always questions if he should take the blame.
- Prince Tedros of Camelot from The School for Good & Evils series: Where do we begin…well, Tedros is strong, a prince, and an all around great person. People don’t know what is truly going on in his head; he has never truly been understood until he met Agatha.
Favorite Heroes by Nitya, 6th Grade
- Alex Bailey from The Land of Stories series: I like her because she has a lot of confidence, and she is outgoing. Also, she is very smart. Lasly, she is stubborn like me.
- Agatha from School for Good and Evil series: I like Agatha because she is adventurous and simple. She is also very smart and tactful. I want to be clever like she is in the books.
- Sadie Kane from Kane Chronicles trilogy: I like Sadie Kane because she is mentally strong. Also, she has a lot of talents. Lastly, she has found very good friends that support her.
- Thalia Grace from Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: I like her because she is very loyal to her friends and family. Also, she is so loving. Lastly, her strength both physically and mentally is unbelievable.
Thank you everyone for your great lists!
The best way to learn what kids are thinking & feeling is by listening to them, so I am happy to share my students’ voices!
Top 3 Authors by Emma, 7th Grade
- Chris Colfer: He is the author of a wonderful series, The Land of Stories. He created a fantasy world full of fairy tales. He also has more unknown books like Struck by Lightning and Stranger Than Fanfiction. He is also a character in Glee. Chris Colfer has opened my mind up to other genres.
- Rick Riordan: Author of many books. He created a mythological region for readers. In his books, Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase and others, he takes Greek tales and turn them into something different.
- Jennifer Nielsen: Jennifer Nielsen is the author of many amazing books. In her historical fiction books, like Resistance, she takes history and brings it to life. He allows readers to interact and connect to her books.
Top 5 Authors for Middle Schoolers by Maria & Lisa, 6th Grade
Racel Renee Russell
Top 10 Favorite Authors by Isaias & Miguel, 6th Grade
- Neal Shusterman: He is creative and very good at making books with themes and ideas that no one has ever come close to thinking about.
- J.K. Rowling: She is very creative when she things about magic. Her books are one of the most interesting books we’ve read. The ways she writes the books are impressive.
- Jonathan Auxier: His stories are so page turning. The way he makes his characters and explains everything are interesting.
- Rick Riordan: He is very good at including Greek mythology which makes his books more interesting and unique. The way his books add up make a good experience which shoes he does more than Green mythology.
- Kazu Kibuishi: His comics are probably the best we’ve read. He is creative with the creation of the story with magic and Emily and the bad people. It is interesting the way the book becomes a journey.
- Jeff Kinney: He is probably the funniest author. The way he makes his characters are unbelievably funny.
- Dav Pilkey: His books are funny and the concepts are so weird which makes it more enjoyable. He is another author whose books make us laugh.
- Lincoln Peirce: His books are interesting because of the way he describes his characters and what he has the characters do. They’re relatable.
- Lisa McMann: Her books are so creative, and the things she imagines we’ve never seen before. Such creativity. They are interesting and exciting.
- Michael Buckley: His books are very funny and exciting. They have lots of plot twists which make his books exciting and fun to read.
Top 10 Favorite Authors by Ellian & Sujan, 6th Grade
- Jennifer A. Nielsen: I like this author because she writes lots of adventure books. I loved The False Prince series, Mark of the Thief series, and Resistance.
- Jeff Kinney: I like this author because he writes my faovrite series for year, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
- Dav Pilkey: I like this author because Dog Man is one of my favorites of all time.
- Deron R. Hicks: I like this author because I love mystery books and Deron made one of my favorite mystery books.
- Dav Pilkey: Because of the Dog Man series
- W.C. Mack: Because of Athlete vs. Mathlete
- Lauren Tarshis: Because of the I Survived series
- K.A. Holt: Because of House Arrest, Knockout, and Rhyme Schemer
- Kazu Kibuishi: Because of the Amulet series
- Jeff Kinney: Because of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
Thank you everyone for your great lists!
Books That Made Me Realize I’m a Reader by Jacque S., 8th Grade
- So B. It: While reading this book, it put me in an emotional level and game me a reminder of reality.
- Dark Life: I loved reading this book. I really enjoyed reading it.
- Percy Jackson series: While reading this book, it was so good that I needed to talk to someone about it, so I recommended it to a friend so we could talk about it.
- Stung: This book blew my mind, and I just had to read the second one. I could reread this book and never get bored.
- The Eleventh Plague: This was one of the first books I read and enjoyed, and it got me into reading more.
- False Prince: While reading this book, there were many plot twists and it did surprise me.
- Feedback: This book was amazing! I never expected anything that happened. It was very suspenseful.
Top Ten Books for a Book Club by Jacob & Cooper, 6th Grade
- The Honest Truth: Lots of twists that create emotion and conversation.
- Mark of the Thief: Lots of action and plot twists that lead to intensity and conversation.
- The War That Saved My Life: Not predictable plot leads to mystery and entertainment.
- Life on Mars: An emotional book that keeps the reader turning pages and conversations flowing.
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: A bestseller that is very magical and has heart.
- The False Prince: Lovely book about truth and doing the right thing.
- Grenade: Lots of plot twists that keep the book exciting and readers talking.
- Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life: Very fun look at school that middle schoolers can relate to.
- Orphan Island: Very interesting book that leads to questions and mystery.
- Ravenmaster’s Secret: Did this one in class, and it was very fun. Many great conversations and opinions.
Top 10 Fantasy Series We’ve Read (in no particular order) by Maria & Lisa, 6th Grade
- Emily Windsnap series: It is a really exciting and colorful story, but there is also lots of adventures in it.
- Dog Man series: It is a really fun story and is also super funny!
- School for Good and Evil series: You won’t know what will happen next; it’s always a surprise! It’s so detailed and super adventurous. Lastly, you will find out something new each chapter.
- Ever After High series: A great series! It’s all about team work which makes the dream work. It has many books in the series. You will never know what will happen next!
- Phoebe and Her Unicorn series: Super funny and always puts our frown upside down. Lots of books in the series, and I hope there is more to come with Phoebe and her unicorn.
- Hazardous Tales series: Such a good series. It mixes history, fun, and excitement in one story.
- Warriors series: It has a lot of adventure and so many great characters. Such a great series!
- Amulet series: The drawings are super creative just like the story. Each book connects to the next!
- Captain Underpants series: It’s a great series! It is super funny and makes my day happy!
- Percy Jackson series: It makes Greek mythology into a story and an action packed adventure that keeps you on your toes.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: Super mysterious and adventurous.
Quick Book Talks for 10 Must Read Books by Jordan Klinkbeil, 7th Grade
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan: Percy isn’t expecting to wake up in a magical camp full of Greek demigods, but he does and he has to try and save his mother as well… fun.
- The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen: The prince of Carthya is dead… right?
- Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter: There’s no spy training school! Are you sure about that?
- One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus: Wait…what?! A major gossip-spreader dies in detention. Was it the jock? The brains? The beauty? The criminal?
- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick: What is up with the kid, Patch Cipriano? And why has Nora’s life spun out of control since he appeared?
- Renegades by Marissa Meyer: Tale of good versus evil, but who is the good and who is the evil?
- War Cross by Marie Lu: Hacking into a broad-casted video game? No problem. Get a call from the game’s creator? Problem.
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green: Cancer brought them together but loves keeps them together. Boring? Not.
- Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones: What will happen when an illness cure gives people superpowers?
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: Mare Barrow is a Red. A normal. However, how come can she control electricity then?
Top 5 Anthropomorphic Books by Alexandra, 8th Grade
- Lone Wolf (Wolves of the Beyond #1): Faolan, a wolf pup, was born with a splayed paw. The laws of the pack say that any pup born with a deformity is to be left to die. This book is a story about how Faolan defied his fate and survived, with help of a grizzly bear. This book is a good story about survival, feeling outcasted, and family.
- The Escape (Horses of the Dawn #1): This book is about a herd of horses who were thrown out to sea. Estrella, a young foal, knows the way to land. Once they reach land, it’s up to her to lead the herd to safety, away from the dangers of humans, and the wilderness. This book is really exciting to read, especially all the adventures the herd goes on and reading about all their new experiences on land.
- The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire #1): This book is told from the point of view of dragons, which is interesting to read about. The five dragonets are destined to fulfill a prophecy that will stop a war that has lasted 20 years. For now, they’re stuck living under a cave in order to stay hidden, but they want to see the world. Little do they know about the dangers that await them.
- Mez’s Magic (Lost Rainforest #1): In the world of Caldera, animals are separated by who is awake at night and who is awake during the day. Mez, a nightwalker panther, finds herself still awake during the day. Mez begins to discover mysterious powers and learns a big secret when a strange snake appears outside her den. This book is a great story told from the point of view of Mez, and there is a lot of action and mysteries in this book.
- Into the Wild (Warriors #1): Rusty, a housecat, has always been curious about the outside world. One night, he ventures out into the woods despite warning from his friend. There, he finds a few wild cats who invite him to join their clan. Rusty makes the choice to join them and finds it a challenge to fit in and live wild. This is an interesting book told from the point of view of Rusty, and it is a new concept of wild and stray cats forming clans and traditions.
Favorite Books Read this Year by Molly, 7th Grade
- The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen
- The False Prince is a fiction fantasy that puts 4 boys up to the test to be a prince. This book reveals the truth about Sage and everyone shows their true colors.
- Runaway King shows how everyone betrays each other. Sage has to overcome pirates with a few other friends. This book is amazing because the plot twists are brilliant.
- Shadow Throne shows how war is brewing throughout the kingdom.
- The Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu
- The Young Elites is a dark fantasy fiction. Many people are affected by the blood fever which also comes with supernatural powers.
- The Rose Society is an incredible book because it shows the inner thoughts and voices going through the main character, Adelina.
- Midnight Star definitely is the book that made me love reading. Adelina and her friends show courage, strength, and bravery. This book teaches sacrifice, kindness, bravery, and courageness.
- War Cross dulogy by Marie Lu
- War Cross is a science fiction novel about a virtual reality game where teams play to win it all. There are hackers, team players, romances, and friendships.
- Wild Card has Emika solving the mystery of who is actually the bad guy while she makes new friends along the way.
- Hate List by Jennifer Brown: A traumatic event at school changes everything.
Ten Book Series for 6th Graders (in no order) by Olivia, 6th Grade
- Jedi Academy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka & Jeffery Brown: The first 3 books of the series are about one group of kids and the next ones are about a different group of kids. I like that it is an illustrated novel, so it does have pictures but also a lot of words. It is a very joyful series.
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: I love this sereis because you go through all the books going through Harry’s and his friends’ lives. Also since the series is so long you can grow closer to the characters. Last, it is never boring and is always action-packed.
- Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson: I love this series because I love Diseny, and it talks about Disney but is not kiddish–it has a lot to do with villains. Last, the kids are in middle school, and I can relate to them.
- Smile series by Raina Telgemeier: I like this series because it is a graphic novel about the author’s life. It has one book about her and one about her and her sister.
- The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels by Ann M. Martin, Raina Telgemeier, and Gale Galligan: I love this series because you can read it as a graphic novel or a standard book. Also, each book is from a point of view of a different character.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney: I like this series because there are so many books. Also, it is an illustrated novel which I like.
- House Arrest series by K.A. Holt: I think this is a good series because it has action and drama. Also, it has an interesting storyline.
- Who Is/Was series by Various: I like learning about famous people in very fun ways.
- Track series by Jason Reynolds: I like that each book is about a different character. I also like that it is about track.
- I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis: This series is great because it teaches you about important events in history but in very interesting ways by having kids go through the events.
Recommended Books for Middle Schoolers by Damon & Nathan, 6th Grade
Five Books/Series You Should Read by Duda, 7th Grade
- Nyxia series by Scott Reintgen: Nyxia is about Emmett Atwater who is chosen by the Babel company to go to a planet called Eden and mine the strange substance known as nyxia. In return, he gets money to support his family forever; however, Emmett isn’t the only recruit, and they all need to earn their ticket to Eden. But the ship is full of secrets. Is the money worth losing his humanity? A super fun read with a complex, well-developed, and diverse cast. The plot is incredible with plenty of twists and turns.
- Heist Society series by Ally Carter: Many families have family businesses, but Katarina Bishop’s is especially interesting: her family business is pulling heists. But Kat decides she wants out and scams her way into boarding school… that is until her best friend, Hale, shows up with her expulsion. Five paintings have been stolen and her dad is the prime suspect. Will she be able to steal them back and save her dad? An amazing read. You can’t help but fall in love with the characters. Super witty and funny with a well thought out plot.
- War Cross duology by Marie Lu: Emika Chen is a bounty hunter tracking down players who illegally bet on the popular virtual reality game Warcross. She’s in a financial situation where she needs money, so she takes a risk and hacks into the International Warcross Championships and can be seen! She attracts the attention of the creator of the game, Hideo Tanaka. He wants her to spy from the inside to uncover a security issue. But when she discovers a plot that could topple the Warcross empire, what will she do? Not only are the characters wonderful and the plot has an amazing pace plus incredible twists, but the setting adds an amazing element. It’s fascinating how the book completely transports you into another world.
- V is for Villain by Peter Moore: Brad Baron may be a genius but compared to his superhero brother, he’s pretty lame. Especially in a school full of people with superpowers. So when he meets the mysterious Layla, he decides to join her crew of like-minded individuals. He even hones his own power! But with wicked criminals, battles, and family secrets, what side will Brad choose? Complex characters and a completely different world will make you question who the good and bad guys are.
- Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling: Moving to a new school and house is always hard, but it is a little harder when you don’t have arms. But Aven Green doesn’t let that stop her! She can do whatever she wants including making a new friend who knows what it is like to have a disability. He joins her in uncovering a mystery and from there, the sky is the limit. An amazing and sweet read! Aven is an incredible narrator who puts a fun twist on her life when others can’t.
Books I Hope Get a Sequel (and that you should read!) by Elsa, Max, & Kaley, 8th Grade
- Maybe a Fox: Although the story had a great ending, I would have loved to see a story about Jules’s friend and how his brother came back from the war as well as his spirit animal.
- Ghost Boys: I loved how Ghost Boy was made, but I would love to see another book about how one of the Ghost Boys help MLK keep going and eventually make an act that all men are equal.
- Eliza and her Monsters: I loved the way that the plot of this book unfolds, I just wish it lasted longer! A sequel could include Eliza in college with her new-found confidence.
- Everything, Everything: (SPOILERS!) The end of the book purposely left a lot of loose ends, and I’d love to see how Maddy and Olly’s relationship develops in the new setting.
- The Darkest Hour: I’d love for a sequel to this book even though it may not need one. I would like to see how Lucie dealt with the after effects of the war and what job she would pick up after.
- Heartless: Simply because after reading Heartless, I was left heartless and empty. I want more.
Thank you everyone for your great lists!
Another school year is in the books! Time to celebrate and reflect!
And I know this is a long post, but I hope you’ll take the time to check out my students’ points of view and their reading choices 🙂
End of Year Survey
At the end of each year, I give my students a survey to help me grown and learn as a teacher but also for them to reflect on the year. Here are some answers from the survey:
This is about the same as last year. I did change my status check to only weekly instead of daily to see how it went (some kids were saying asking every day made it seem more of a chore), but I really think by not asking daily, I didn’t keep up with my students’ progress and conference correctly. Back to daily-ish next year!
This is a big deal for me because it is the first year that 100% of the answers were yes or yes, a small one! Yay!!
Does my classroom library benefit students? How did it benefit you this year?
- Yes. The library has a huge variety of genres of great books that even people who aren’t avid readers can enjoy. The library helped me reach my personal goal of reading 10 books this school year.
- YASSSSSSSSSSSS. I used to love fiction and I still do but I have also expanded my likes because of all of the genres in your mini library.
- Of course! I was able to expand my reading options knowing that I can get a book quick and easy.
- Of course, you can find any books in Mrs Moye’s library and there are so many kinds of books that everybody would enjoy, its like a second resource for anybody who could not find the book they wanted in the Media Center can find it in Mrs Moye’s library, or even find something better.
- It does because it gives them a way to develop their reading love and your system makes it easier. You also have many great books and you give many great recommendations based on our interests.
- You classroom definitely benefits students. It benefited me this year by giving me a wide variety of books to choose from.
- It does benefit students. It provides a wide arrangement of books that can satisfy the interests of students as well as providing new books and find new reading interests.
- Yes. It started my love of reading.
What would you say to someone that says that a classroom library is a waste of money?
I started asking this question after a friend of mine, on a post of hers, had a comment that said a classroom library was a waste of money.
- You are incorrect, goodbye. *turns and walks away*
- I would respect their opinion but I would say “I think it is not a waste of money because just 20 minutes of reading a day makes you very smart.”
- I would say that they have obviously not had a good one and they don’t know what there talking about.
- I would say the person who said that is wrong because yes it is a lot of money but in my opinion the benefits outweigh the cost.
- “Man, you are sure wrong”
- It’s not! It’s a major benefit for students and lets them be able to explore more reading options. Also, if the library or other book source doesn’t have a specific book, that classroom library might save the day.
- It really isn’t. A classroom library makes it much easier to check out and return books. Especially when they belong to a teacher who you see almost everyday, while the school library is sometimes closed and can’t always be reached.
- I would say that a classroom library isn’t a waste of money because it shows how much that teacher loves to read and how much they care about our education as readers.
- I would start a whole argument about books (as usual…).
- that they need to take this class
- That they are wrong because with books you can block the real world and explore different worlds and enjoy it.
- I would say that a classroom library is actually useful because it helps students find books they want to read easily and allows a lot of options, and may motivate some students to read more.
- I disagree because throughout the year while there was a library that is easy to have access to, I have been able to read more book than ever before (19 books)
- I would bring up lots of evidence to show the benefits of reading and why it is more needed
- I would tell them that they don’t really understand classroom libraries. Classroom libraries are there to provide books. Books help to broaden people’s vocabulary and imagination.
Do you like how the classroom library was organized? Explain.
I ask this question because I used to organize by genre but did not find success with it, so I switched it back to A-Z but with genre stickers. This question helps me ensure that the way it is organized meets the needs of my readers. 100% of student said they do like how it is organized–yay! Here are some examples:
- I love how the classroom library is organized and it makes books really easy to find.
- I think it’s nice but they really should give you a bigger room to fill with books.
- I did like how the classroom library was organized. It was pretty easy to find books based on the last name of the author. It was also nice to have the stickers showing what genre it was and whether or not it was YA.
What would you say to a teacher who says independent reading is a waste of class time?
- Maybe it’s just you who doesn’t like reading.
- I would say that they need to understand that it’s a proven fact that the time spent reading is in direct correlation to higher test scores.
- I would say to the teacher that they are wrong because independent reading have kids learn and have fun at the same time.
- I would tell them they are wrong because there has been many studies done to prove that reading is fundamental.
- This also is not a waste of time. It’s proven that kids who read around 20 minutes a day get in the 90% percentile on tests. Reading only benefits kids.
- It’s actually the opposite. Independent reading, or just reading in general, can help with brain growth and increase skills that you may not even know you possess. Not reading doesn’t really effect you, but it can definitely benefit you a lot more than just reading 2 or 3 books in class with a teacher.
- That they are really wrong, that reading is such a good thing for your body and mind, by reading you can explore and create a world of fiction, fantasy and more, and it’s better for you cause people don’t disturb you while you are reading, which is one of the worse things that happens in life. (for me)
- “Shut your face.” (say it in my head because I don’t want to be rude)
- Have you tried it?
- Independent reading helps students to form ideas and inferences on their own. They can also learn more vocabulary if they have to figure it out themselves rather than being told.
What do you think the benefit of taking advanced reading is?
I want to make sure that my class is benefiting my students!
- It’s a life altering class. So some of the benefits are well, everything.
- You get to have fun with reading instead of reading something boring you don’t care about.
- The benefit of taking advanced reading is that you get to know things that other kids who are not in advanced reading don’t know.
- You read more, you get to learn about real life controversies and every side of it, and your language arts skills will improve.
- I think the benefit of taking advanced reading is knowledge. By using the tools, resources, and skills Mrs. Moye has taught us, we are able to use this and put it into the work we do. We will forever be able to use affixes when reading, to compare/contrast a play and a text, and so much more.
- Kids who don’t usually read can be exposed to a wormhole of books in your class and it can really become something different for them. So I think the biggest benefit of being in an advanced reading class is just, being given the chance to read.
- I think the benefits of taking advanced reading is so you can be around books (duh ;P) and you get to have an extra class that’s related to language art (so when the teacher calls on you, you’ll be like “WOW ME!”). Also, your vocabulary will get better (which is REALLY helpful.)
- You get to read more!
- The benefit of taking advanced reading is that it really helps with reading and writing skills.
- Advanced reading gives you the tools to think for yourself while reading and doing other activities.
What have you learned about yourself through the assignments in this class?
- That I’m able to do things that I didn’t know I could do.
- I think is that I should trust myself more with what I do and not second guess myself.
- I use more advanced vocabulary than most my age.
- I learned that I can do more things that I have thought if I really try.
- I have learned that sometimes you just have to try stuff, even if it isn’t your favorite, because you’ll never know what might happen. I did some things that weren’t exactly my favorite, and I ended up loving them.
- I learned that I should start reading more and to try harder.
- That I sometimes need to push myself harder but that’s alright.
- That I am a hard working and I should never give up and doubt myself.
- That I can achieve greater things with reading and reading can make you happier and smarter.
What was your favorite assignment or activity we did in class? Why?
- I really liked the book trailers; it let me express my feelings about the books that I love.
- My favorite assignment that we did was the Pygmalion myth play and musical analysis one pager. This was my favorite because it was a great story and the one pager allowed me to be creative while also pushing me to dig deeper and pull out the important things.
- My favorite activity was probably the weird but true facts. I learned a lot of weird facts and it was overall a really fun project that incorporated research.
- I really enjoyed when we did the thought logs in class. It pushed me to read an entire book of which I wasn’t entirely that interested in. And once we finished the books and the logs, it became one of my favorites. As well as the fact that I was in a group with two other students who I had never really spoken to before then.
- The book club because it was fun sharing yours and others people opinion of the same book that we were reading.
- My favorite assignment or activity was the Civil Rights Timeline. It was fun to work with all the classes to create one big timeline we can all view. It was also fun to research our topics and learn about all the other topics.
- Probably when we made the affixes to hang in the hallway to share with everyone.
- The one where we had to guess who did that speech in a high school and it ended up being Obama.
Favorite Books My Students Read This Year
My students read A LOT again this year! My 47 Advanced Reading students read 1,657 books! That is an average of 35 books per student! I am so proud of them!
Here are the titles they listed as their favorites on our end of year survey:
Top Checked Out Books from my Classroom Library
From 2011-2013, I taught an intensive reading class with students who had not been successful on the state reading test. Now, since 2014, I switched to teaching advanced reading, an elective that students choose to be in (and I still get to work with my striving readers through being reading coach–a win/win!). Students from all intervention reading classes and my lunch book club as well as my classes use my classroom library.
1. Smile series by Raina Telgemeier
2. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
3. The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen
4. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
5. Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
T-6. Track series by Jason Reynolds
T-6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
T-8. Embassy Row series by Ally Carter
T-8. The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
10. Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey
T-11. Divergent series by Veronica Roth
T-11. House Arrest series by K.A. Holt
T-11. Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman
14. Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt
T-15. Legend series by Marie Lu
T-15. Renegades series by Marissa Meyer
T-15. The Young Elites series by Marie Lu
T-15. War Cross duology by Marie Lu
T-19. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
T-19. Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
T-19. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Note 1: If a book is in a series, I placed the series at the spot of the highest ranked book from the series. This allows me to highlight more checked out books instead of listing all the different books from a series.
Note 2: I use Booksource’s Classroom Library to track my book checkouts, and my book checkout history does not reset yearly. Instead it counts for any student in the system. Since I have students that check out from me for up to 3 years, sometimes a book they checked out in 6th grade will still be counted when they are in 8th grade. I figure all of this will even out as 8th graders are removed each year since there is no way to change this setting.
Note 3: These series/books account for the top 40 checked out books of my classroom library!
Happy summer to all of my fellow teachers, and here’s to another awesome school year in the books!
P.S. Please continue to stop by on Tuesdays during summer as I share my STUDENT VOICES series of blog posts written by my students.
HAPPY FIFTH BIRTHDAY, TRENT!
I cannot believe my boy is five and will be entering elementary school next year. He is everything anyone would want in a kid including kind, respectful, empathetic, and smart. And not to mention, a kid who loves books!
According to Goodreads, where I try to keep as accurate as possible statistics on what Trent reads with us, he read 146 books in this year taking his total to 577 books in his life time!
Today, I am going to share with you his current favorite reads and his reasons why he loves them. He chose these books for me to include and the reasons why are in his own words:
“They have fliporamas! They show us cool stuff. Petey lets everyone go in their underpants. Dog Man is funny!”
“I like how Nibbles chomps stuff. I like that he gets away.”
“I like how Pooh talks, and he finds a balloon. Eeyore is my favorite. I like how Eeyore talks and sits. Bei Bei (Trent’s stuffed Panda) sits like him, too.”
“It is funny. Bob’s tongue gets stuck on Pluto. Pluto is cold and has a lot of ice. It’s the smallest planet and is in our solar system, but his new name is dwarf planet. Beep is an alien.”
“Pete makes a robot who is his friend robot Pete. Robot Pete does whatever Pete says to do. And Pete loves bananas though he ate a rotten one, so his mom tries to give him every food that there is.”
“I like about Dragons Love Tacos that they eat so much tacos. If there is salsa in the tacos, they will spit fire all over the place. It makes me scared, but I like it because it is cool.”
“The kitten thinks the moon is a bowl of milk. The kitten is sad because he can’t find milk. But the book ends okay when he goes to his house. The kitten is cute.”
“I want to be an astronaut when I grow up and study space, so I like these two books because they help me learn about space.”
“I like how they build a new bridge and everyone helps. Everyone has a job in Tinyville Town.”
“Grandpa promised to take the grandchildren to the park, but he lost some things, and I like finding things for him.”
“He tries to find life on planet Mars. He found a flower, but he didn’t see the big cat person. I want to go to Mars.”
“I like how they go in a cave. They are dragons. I want to get the third book to see what it’s about. I think they’re going to find their mom and dad.”
“I like how they honk. I like how they count.”
“I like how he misses friends when he is on the moon, and I like how he puts his flag on the moon. And I like how he runs on the moon. I like penguins. And I like astronauts.”
“I like how Jo sees that her dad is sick, so she tries to help him. She thinks the ocean has monsters, but it doesn’t. It has beautiful things and some islands.”
“I like how Bruce goes BRUGH, and Bruce always says bad things to the other animals, but Bruce isn’t bad. I like Be Quiet because I think is funny and I think the other one is funny too because the dinosaur eats her classmates.”
“I like how we slide the things over to see the animals. I like that I can read it by myself.”
“I like how they do different things like how they have a lemonade stand and how they get their things stuck in the tree and use a ladder to get their stuff. Everyone tries to get Little Duck’s kite. But all of their things get stuck in the tree. Even the ladder got stuck in the tree, too. I think they are good stories.”
“I like how the Pigeon doesn’t do what he’s supposed to like take a bath. The Pigeon is grumpy which is funny.”
“I like how I know how to read them!”
Happy birthday and happy reading, Trent!
Past “Trent’s Favorite Books” Posts
A First Year Full of Books: Trent’s Journey Through Books
**Check this one out if you haven’t–it is one of my favorite posts ever!**
“For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books that you want to commit to reading in 2019.
10? 20? 30? more? It’s up to you
Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and from any category: adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc. . All that matters is that they are books you want to be sure not to forget as that TBR list continues to grow! These aren’t the only titles you will read over the year, but a list to help guide your reading. A list to lure you back to a reading path you have set for yourself. Many, many new books will tempt you! Go ahead and read them but having a list like this ensures you will not forget some titles you were determined to read. That’s the intention and spirit of this challenge.”
Here at Unleashing Readers, we focus on novels and call our Must Read lists our HOPE TO lists 🙂
Without further adieu, here are our lists!
The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Completed February 3, 2019
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi Completed January 27, 2019
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
Odd One Out by Nic Stone
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera Completed February 19, 2019
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Read: 3 of 16
I may have gone a bit crazy this year, and I know that I probably won’t get to all of these amazing titles, but I couldn’t cut any once I made this list. (Anyone who has been an UR reader for a while knows that I am not good at narrowing down lists.) This led to my list having FIFTY titles. I cultivated titles from my Kindle, my students, and my Goodreads TBR to complete the list. We’ll see what I can do this year!
Update: Since I made this list, I had the honor of accepting a spot on an ALA Book Award Jury, so plans have changed a bit 🙂
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Chomp (and other Hiaasen books) by Carl Hiaasen
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Dash and Lilly’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan by Gia Cribbs Completed 1/13/19 Downsiders by Neal ShustermanRead Shadow Club, The Schwa Was Here, and Dark Side of Nowhere instead
Completed 4/21/19, 4/27/19, 5/14/19
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Fallout by Todd Strasser
First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Immoral Code by Lillian Clark
Inkling by Kenneth Oppel Completed 1/19/19
I Survived books by Lauren Tarshis
Killing November by Adriana Mather
Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (and its sequels) by Chris ColferThe Wishing Spell Completed 1/12/19
The Enchantress Returns Completed 2/9/19
A Grimm Warning Completed 4/9/19
Beyond the Kingdoms Completed 5/1/19
An Author’s Odyssey Completed 5/28/19
The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu Completed 2/4/19
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak by Pablo Cartaya
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina Completed 2/10/19 #MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil Completed 3/28/19
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage by 48 Authors
Over the Moon by Natalie Lloyd
Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo Completed 2/8/19
Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen Completed 2/16/19
Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
Right As Rain by Lindsey Stoddard
Rowling’s Novellas and Short Stories from Pottermore
Rules of the Road (and other Bauer books recommended to me by a student) by Joan Bauer
The Seasons of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
The Selection (and its sequels) by Kiera Cass
The Selkie of San Francisco by Todd Calgi Gallicano
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson Completed 5/23/19
Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Surface Tension by Mike Mullin
Survivor’s Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz by Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
Swing by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess
Tight by Torrey Maldonado
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzner
Tradition by Brendan Kiely
Two Can Keep a Secret by Kerry M. McManus Completed 4/2/19 Warcross (and Wildcard) by Marie Lu
Warcross Completed 1/26/19
Wildcard Completed 2/24/19
Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan
We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.
Read: 12 of 50
What are your #mustreadin2019 titles?
#MustReadIn2018 is hosted by Carrie Gelson at There Is A Book For That:
“For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books […]
#MustReadIn2018 is hosted by Carrie Gelson at There Is A Book For That:
“For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books (5? 10? 20? 30? more?) that you commit to reading in 2016. Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and be from any category (adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc.). As your TBR list grows, you promise you will get to the books on this list.”
I have not read any from the list since our Fall Update so no reviews today, but I am still so happy with my progress this year!
Laurie Halse Anderson
Vet Volunteers #1: Fight for Life 6/14/2018
Vet Volunteers #2: Homeless 6/19/18
Vet Volunteers #3: Trickster 6/19/18
Vet Volunteers #4: Manatee Blues 7/7/18
Vet Volunteers #5: Say Goodbye 7/19/18
Vet Volunteers #6: Storm Rescue 7/27/18
Vet Volunteers #7: Teacher’s Pet 7/27/18
Vet Volunteers #8: Trapped 8/5/18
Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker’s Story 7/21/18
“Choke” from Guys Read: Sports Pages 7/21/18
“Don’t Pass Me By” from Fresh Ink 2/26/2018
Some Kind of Courage 4/21/2018
Good Dog 4/28/2018
Prisoner B-3087 2/8/2018
Open Mic edited by Mitali Perkins including her story “Three-Pointer” 3/17/2018
Tiger Boy 5/15/2018
Rickshaw Girl 5/13/2018
The Memory of Things 1/22/2018
Reread The Lost Hero 7/13/18
Son of Neptune 7/29/18
Mark of Athena 8/16/18
House of Hades 9/1/18
“Confessions of a Black Geek” from Open Mic 3/17/2018
Two Naomis 3/27/2018
The Deadly Sister 2/11/2018
Mez’s Magic 2/25/2018
The Longest Night 1/6/2018
Forever Garden 1/11/2018
Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher 1/13/2018
Any Which Wall 1/13/2018
Seven Stories Up 1/14/2018
Bigger Than a Breadbox (reread) 1/15/2018
Good night, laila tov 1/16/2018
Orphan Island 1/17/2018
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed 7/19/18
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan 7/15/18
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy 8/12/18
The False Prince trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The False Prince 3/4/2018
The Runaway King 3/13/2018
The Shadow Throne 4/3/2018
The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer
Started, but then my library loan expired. Will continue listening as soon as it is available.
Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn 1/27/2018
A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket
The Bad Beginning 2/14/2018
Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta
Decided to wait until more of the series is out.
Solo by Kwame Alexander 8/18/2018
Stung series by Bethany Wiggins
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman 1/5/2018
What Girls are Made of by Elana K. Arnold 7/25/18
Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu
Young Elites 9/27/18
Completed: 22 out of 33
There’s a chance that my brother-in-law won’t read this post for the third year in a row and make fun of me for over-promising and underdelivering on my must read list. Ha!
When I create a list like this, I have a hard time reading the books because they feel like requirements. It really helps remind me that requiring reading (even of ourselves) is not the best practice. Instead, I end up circling around the books and reading other books instead. The funny part? For eight of the books on the list, I read half of the book. The eight books are still on my nightstand. I enjoyed them and was forced to read a different book that I assigned my students that week for classes.
The good news is that next semester, I am not teaching my YAL course, so I have much more time that I won’t need to reread YA texts that I love. Instead, I will be able to focus on the books I add to my #mustreadin2019 list! I am terrible at this list!
I read and loved Blood Water Paint and Ghost Boys since the final update. Perhaps I need to finish the others because I know I will love them. There are three or four that I will be moving to my next list. I am still sticking with 16, and I think I’ll actually make it this time. Other authors need to avoid publishing enticing books, please.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough December 2018 Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes December 2018
Completed: 2 out of 16
Have you read any of these titles? What’s on your #mustreadin2018 list?
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