Category Archives: Reading

#SOL19: A Mystery


My favorite series as an early reader was Nancy Drew.  Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock was the first one.

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I didn’t really understand college, the job of a defense attorney, nor a housekeeper but I devoured them all.  I did understand that there was a mystery for Nancy to solve and that she always ended up in more trouble before she actually solved the mystery named in the title. I was simultaneously working my way through the Hardy Boys and was even more clueless about what a “roadster” was other than what I saw in the picture as those didn’t exist in my world.

Courtesy of the Elementary Book Love Summer Book Club, I am rereading The Parker Inheritance.  It’s a mystery, a puzzle, and definitely historical fiction.  I’ve been fascinated by the time periods because they are similar to my life.

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There are two different sets of characters.  In the present we have:

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In the 1950’s we have:

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How will it turn out? Will Candace and Brandon solve the mystery?

Who is James Parker?  What happened to the Washingtons? 

What will happen to Candace’s family?  And what about Brandon’s future?

. . .  more sketching ideas to come.  This is totally a work in progress. The book study began Monday, July 1.  Join  summerbookclub.org and help put libraries in classrooms as well as discuss some great books!




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Celebrate Learning


Summertime . . .

Summertime . . .

Summertime . . .

Where and how will you be learning?

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In person?  Face to Face? 

The lineup includes: Jeff Anderson, Mary Howard, Maria Walther . . . Rockstars All!

Online Book Study?

Summer Book Love – Elementary and Secondary (FB Live with Cornelius Minor today from Boothbay!)  Supporting Teachers and Classroom Libraries! Register at Summerbookclub.org

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This is the lineup of authors already scheduled by Clare Landrigan for FB live sessions! (plus some surprises as well)

Literacy Essentials – Stenhouse Publishers on Facebook now

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Regie Routman:  Engagement, Excellence and Equity!

These 6 Things – Twitter Slow chat – check out the #These6Things hashtag

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Dave Stuart’s book is a must read for simplifying your teaching life!

Welcome to Writing Workshop – #cyberPD

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What a great way to revisit the basic components of Writing Workshop with Stacey and Lynne!

Reading to Make a Difference  – July book study on Facebook

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Lester Laminack and Katie Kelly . . .

Professional books abound.  These are some of my re-reads!

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And currently reading . . .

What will you be reading? What will you be learning?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: What Counts?


What do I read?

Mail, Blogs, Tweets, Chapters . . . and Books

I have always envied those who kept a list and reported out like Regie Routman here, here and here. Currently many are reporting out #BookADay now on Twitter or Facebook. For more information about #BookADay created by Jillian Heise in 2014 go here.

So during the winter break I decided one goal of mine was going to be to “celebrate” my reading in 2019.  And of course that would mean that I had to keep track of it somehow. So being ever mindful of this quote, I’m tracking my reading. (Note the key word: I)

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William Bruce Cameron

 

We aren’t quite to the midpoint of the year, but here is what my reading life looks like through most of May  . . .

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Search for a “balance” with NF labels a la Melissa Stewart

I’ve written about reading goals before here, but I found that round chart didn’t have enough spaces for my book count.  Holding on to one single list has not been helpful. I create stacks of the “done” books and record them every two, or three or four weeks. Based on my records thus far for 2019, I believe that I can confirm that I am a voracious reader.  But are there other ways to display the data as I think of students who want to make sense of their own reading lives.

So again this week, I saw a tweet that caught my eye about reading circle graphs and I replied. And then the learning began when Steve Peterson (@Steve1Peterson) replied with the fact that Excel and Google Sheets could make radar graphs.

And the same data above looks like this.  Fiction = 72, Nonfiction  = 52, Professional  = 50.

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This graph is quite interesting.  Having all professional books in one category quickly made it into an outlier in this format.  Five of the 10 remaining categories were in the 20-ish category with four in the single digits and only one category reporting a zero. (Radar chart)

No external pressure other than the public announcement.

No public accountability required.

No summative assessment.

Just recording a snippet from my life . . .

I am Wondering . . .

Is my reading varied enough?  

Varied enough? The good news is that I still have time to have a mid-course correction.  I will purposefully pick up some titles for those four single digit categories.  (And I am already plotting to combine some so that I will have fewer gaps – Yes, manipulating the categories.)

What does not show in this data?

What does concern me is that the data does not show my growth.  This year I have made a conscious effort to read more graphic novels, cartoons, and even narrative prose. Those books are represented in the totals for F and narrative NF but not as separate categories because they are not separate genres.   

What else?

The data also doesn’t share my frustration that tracking my books read over a year is cumbersome.  It’s easy to make a “pile” when reading at home.  But when I’m not there where and when do I record the data?  Do I really only have one list?  NOPE!  I have some post-its with some scribbles, some lists in my Kindle app, and who knows what else!

The lesson here was to give myself grace. My list does NOT have to be perfect.  The data is for me. It’s not a “controlled study” so error is fine.

So my final advice to myself . . .

Take a breath.

Take another breath.

LET IT GO!

NEXT!

Where, why, and when might giving yourself “grace” free up positive energy? 

When could you TRY something without trying it “forever”( so you have room to modify to match the needs)? 

When will you commit to JUST being the best that you can




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Really?


I blew it! What was I thinking?

Twitter Chats are easy. A few questions. A few responses. Let’s talk. And then taking my turn on writing a summative blog post.  Predictable patterns.

Book clubs . . . What’s the format?  What’s the end goal?  What’s my role?  More questions than answers. And each club . . . renegotiating the roles and the expectations.

Check. Deadlines met.

Check. Responses entered.

Check. Make no waves. Agree with the participants

Check. Check. Check.

I was focused on the product and got lost in FEAR!

I was worried if it was good enough and was frozen in time!

I rushed to task completing and forgot it was about the thinking!

This was the format for my early book club participation and it has followed me around worse than the groundhog’s shadow ever since.  Book clubs were a place of similar thinking; thinking outside the box resulted in social ostracism.

I went underground as a reader as I have had a LOVE/HATE relationship with book clubs.  Some have been fun. Some have been tedious. All have provided learning. But what was that learning?

I love talking about books. Mary Howard and I talk about a tweet, a blog post, or a book on a regular basis.  Her reading is also voracious! At CCIRA, Regie Routman handed me a book, I thumbed through it, and I had to order it. Penny Kittle told me about a book and I forwarded the title also to my sister and a niece.  I hadn’t even left Maria Walther’s session and I was forwarding the book list. Reading and talking about books is fun!

And then last night I watched this video of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. You can watch it too if you are a member of the Summer Book Love Club 2019.  What do you notice?  What would you name as the key points of the video?

Link

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A photo clipped from the video

And because the link does NOT work if you are NOT a member, here are the TOP 10 REASONS you should join Summer Book Love 19 from the Nerdy Book Club here.

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Elementary Book Club Books July 2019

Here’s what Penny said about the FB Live session:

“From Concord, CA… I’m here with Kelly Gallagher, my co-author and friend, to talk about the importance of book clubs in his professional life.”

The importance of book clubs in his professional life.

The sheer joy.

The number of books he has read as a part of a book club.

The fact that he, a good reader, learns something from every book club meeting and that they celebrate the different ideas everyone brings to the book club.

Somewhere

Somehow

Sometime

I lost the sheer joy of talking about books in a book club.

The book club became about the process of my notes, my annotations or my writing about reading.

The book club became more about compliance than learning!

I became that “kid” who completed the work but maybe didn’t invest very much of myself.

It’s book club season. I will be in several this summer. I will be watching my own learning.  And just as I detailed the process for “Professional Learning” in the last 5 posts about Repeated Reading, so will I also monitor my own learning, processes and products.  I think it will be critical to be brutally honest with myself.

And I can do that personally with a process that is also set up for bigger systems work.

How will I find the gold and the JOY in book clubs?



What is the process for professional learning?

  1. Set a Goal – Participate productively in book clubs
  2. Selection of Content which includes Checking the Research – Talk about the books
  3. Design a Process for Professional Development/Learning – Check the schedule and allow plenty of time. Refusing to allow lack of time to be an excuse.
  4. Teaching / Learning Opportunities – Checking in. What do teachers need to learn?           How will they learn it?  How can we set some measurable targets? – Pay attention to my “joy” meter.  When does it stop being fun?
  5. Collaboration / Implementation  Reading and Participating
  6. Ongoing Data Collection including Listen to the Students – Consider my responses to students with actions similar to mine
  7. Program Evaluation – Going back to the teacher data: Has there been growth? How do we know? Plan ahead – what will I do if  when I get stuck?
  8. Collecting / Analyzing Student Data – Is the gap closing? Are students growing          more capable?  Are students more independent?  Balancing “habits” of reading, attitudes, processes and products
  9. (WHY would I use a different process?)


I will be a part of at least three book clubs this summer and as the summer wanes, I will let you know if I was successful and how and when I will be celebrating the continuous JOY in reading and talking about books!

What is your experience with book clubs? 

What motivates you to continue to learn and grow as a reader? 

What learning targets would you consider?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Coming Soon

Repeated Reading: Part 4


Is my teaching working?

What about fidelity to the instructional model?

Those are tricky questions to answer because there are so many variables in any equation seeking to measure instruction. Process. Product. Growth. Learning. Knowledge. Evidence. The list continues and grows quickly when adding in all forms of literacy!

What might a path to studying implementation look like?

10 years ago, I might have believed that implementation study began with an initial study of the frequency of teaching moves and then moved on to consideration of the results as one part in an intermediate study of implementation.  We counted. We checked. We logged and logged and logged. That was the type of process we were using  in our state. In the case of repeated reading, it might have looked something like this.

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We would have collected the data from self-reporting, from classroom observations, leadership team observations, and from principal walk throughs to confirm this before we moved to another level of implementation.  We would have been monitoring student growth, but it wouldn’t have been a major focus YET!

Instead today, I would probably ask teachers to begin first with a self- rating, similar to this one, to determine the teacher’s perception of both their understanding and their role in instruction.

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This study of teacher’s perception of their instruction would be one way of considering some starting points and setting personal goals for teachers for future professional learning.  Some work needs to be done collaboratively across a grade level, some needs to be done vertically in order to strengthen the connections and expectations for students, while some needs to be done in smaller groups, with a partner or individually.  Just as we consider how time is spent for students, so must we be thoughtful about how we organize teacher learning time as well. These three structures could drive purposeful study!

The key to moving through the levels on this second data collection tool is that it is student-centered and allows for data collection around what students are doing as a result of instruction AND in response to instruction. It’s quite simply better aligned to instruction than a single summative assessment that results in a number.  Instead it includes the actions and habits that increase student learning.

The second tool is also “less rigid” about a lock step set of directions “1- 5 Do This” in spite of or without any regard for the students in front of the teacher. Or without any differentiation for the student who is “almost at the target” in comparison to the student who is just learning the skill.”

What professional learning would be your focus? 

What do you use as “targets” for professional learning? 

Who sets the goals? 

How do you know when the students are learning?




Big picture:  Research + Purposeful Instruction + Students’ Deep Learning + Professional Learning = Student Success

Repeated Reading: Part 3


“This is Station 1. We read poems, mostly funny poems.  Then we vote for the poem that we like best. We can record it for Seesaw. But the important part is that we have to read it without laughing but with expression so our audience can tell we like it.”

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Today’s Winning Poem – By Jack Prelutsky

“And this is Station 2. Here we practice reading information.  Today we are reading about sharks.  When we finish, we tell our partner two things we learned about sharks and if we have any questions that we would still like answered about sharks.”

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“And this is Station 3 and here we practice tongue twisters.  We try to read them as fast as we can but we have to make sure that we say each word exactly the way it is written.  Sometimes it’s hard. We try to beat our personal highest number of reading any one in  a row”

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“And this is Station 4 where you can read anything you want. We use this station last because it’s the most fun and if you are not causing trouble, you can stay here as long as you want because it’s important to build your stamina.”

What did you see and hear on this mini-tour of 4 Reading Stations? 

What did you learn about reading through the words of the student explanations? 

What were they working on? 

Can you see and hear these kiddos?




Where was I?

In a bookstore

Eavesdropping on two boys who were book shopping for real,

But also “playing school” . . .

There were so many questions I wanted to ask,

but I listened and watched as I sat reading my own book, hoping I was holding it right side up as I was also scribbling down notes as fast as I could write. The joy and the seriousness juxtaposed in their words as they read.

What routines would students take from your classroom to play school?

What would they tell an observer about your beliefs and practices? 

Repeated Reading: Part 2


ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If . . . 

I were to engage in Repeated Reading for whole class Tier 1 instruction, what would that look like?

Which of these would signal the beginning of quality instruction? 

A. “Read the passage. Record your time. Reread the passage. Record your time. Read a third time. Record your time. Turn in your passage and your scores.”

 

B. “Listen as I read this poem that I have put on the screen. Watch and listen especially for the ‘goal’ for my reading.  Class, today I am sharing one of my favorite poems because I want you to listen for both the rhyme and rhythm in this poem because – it’s almost like a song!  . . .”

 

C. “Today, I am going to demonstrate one way that readers read fluently and with prosody. Remember we have been talking about prosody which means sounding like ‘talk’ and your goals may be: volume, expression, accuracy, or phrasing. Listen carefully to be ready to tell your partner which you think is my goal focus as I read the first stanza . . .”

What are you thinking? 

Which one is the best choice? 

Of course, it depends . . .

It’s hard to tell from just a few sentences, BUT:

A. Telling. No instruction. NO!

B. Rhyme and rhythm are important, but what is the driving WHY?

C. Student goals sound like they are individualized and the talk about fluency and prosody sounds connected to student goals.

Focus

Continue to Study

Focus

Study the Students

What do they need? 

What’s your purpose?

 

(In case you missed it, Part 1 Here)

Repeated Reading: Trusted Sources


Perceptions?

What do you see?  paradox  Half full?  Half empty?

We’ve been using repeated readings in instruction and intervention for awhile.  Do we remember why?  Do we remember the purpose?

A Standard, Trusted Source:  What Works Clearinghouse

Repeated reading was found to have potentially positive effects on reading comprehension and no discernible effects on alphabetics, reading fluency, and general reading achievement for students with learning disabilities.” Source Link

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What did I miss?  The title was

“Repeated Reading

Students with a Specific Learning Disability” (color emphasis is mine)

DUH!

But nothing for K-4 . . . just noting that detail.

So with a re-check . . . I find:

“Repeated reading is an academic practice that aims to increase oral reading fluency. Repeated reading can be used with students who have developed initial word reading skills but demonstrate inadequate reading fluency for their grade level. During repeated reading, a student sits in a quiet location with a teacher and reads a passage aloud at least three times. Typically, the teacher selects a passage of about 50 to 200 words in length. If the student misreads a word or hesitates for longer than 5 seconds, the teacher reads the word aloud, and the student repeats the word correctly. If the student requests help with a word, the teacher reads the word aloud or provides the definition. The student rereads the passage until he or she achieves a satisfactory fluency level.”

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Checking the results . . . again for comprehension . . . two studies . . . grades 5-12.

Note:  NO Effectiveness Rating for Reading Fluency

(Note video available:  Using the WWC to Find Strong or Moderate Evidence – link)

209 Resources listed that are clickable to tell you what the results are. Link

A Second Source:  Visible Learning in Literacy  by Fisher, Frey and Hattie

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An effect size of 0.67 is an important one.  It has a strong potential to lead to accelerated growth for students matching those in the studies. Further digging into the actual studies to determine procedures, grade levels, instructional routines, etc. are warranted.

And yet . . . Cautionary Tale . . . . Surface Learning – Constrained Skills (Chapter 2 Link)

So how can TWO different reputable sources have different results?

  1. Their metrics are different.
  2. Their requirements for inclusion as studies are different.
  3. The years are different (2009, 2014)
  4. Maybe the grade levels are different?
  5. Maybe the students/classrooms are different?

NOW WHAT?

I headed to Google Scholar, not The Google, and found “2,560,000 results”.  And here was the first page of results with 2,850 citations used from these 4 sources.

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Rasinski, Torgeson, Samuels, Dowhower . . . No surprises in the authors. All credible.

Publications:  Journal of Educational Research, Reading Research Quarterly (2) and The Reading Teacher  . . . All credible.

1990, 1985, 1979, 1987 . . . hmmm . . . 30 years and more . . .

What is your response at this time?  Stop for a second and reflect.


By changing the search parameters to 2015, the number of studies dropped to 133,000 results. Less than 5 years. Out of curiosity, I tried 2019 where there were still 18,400 results.

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2019

No known authors.

No known journals.

And . . .

Curious?

Article 1 – Executive Functioning.

I did a search in the article. “Repeated reading” was NOT in the article (note the bolded words in the entry above). It was about testing kids and following them in Reading, Math, and Science to predict how they would do in school. (over-generalized, over-simplified summary)

Article 2 – location of study not listed in the abstract but principal author from Granada

Article 3 – study funded by German and Austria sources (location not listed in abstract)

Article 4 – location of study was Malaysia

My current summary:  Changes include different researchers, different countries where the research is taking place so it isn’t all in English (linguistic and orthographic implications) and it isn’t being published in the standard literacy journals.

Puzzled, confused . . . and a wee bit frustrated.

Previous posts that are applicable include:

Quality Matters

Due Diligence

Thinking Teachers are required.  There is no “one size fits all” in education.

Thinking . . .

Thinking . . . 

Thinking . . .

Who do we trust?

  1. What does your own data tell you?  For which students has repeated reading been successful?  For which students has it not been a success?  At what grade levels?  When possible can you study your own data across multiple years?
  2. What is the focus of your instruction?  Is it similar across multiple classrooms?  Multiple grades?
  3. What is the focus of your intervention?  How well is it aligned with core instruction?
  4. What is the student actually “doing” during this repeated reading? Is the “work” actually capitalizing on the amount of words the student reads daily?  Or is the student actually reading “less” than peers?
  5. What are your sources of information?  Is there an over reliance on one data source?  Do you have data from multiple sources that informs decisions and supports the work that you are doing?
  6. Is it time for diagnosis?  Is some intensive assessment in a specific area warranted?
  7. When it (whatever you are reading) sounds too good to be true, apply Nell Duke’s ideas.  Ask yourself:  “What is the goal of an author for those sources? Knowledge base? What is the type of information presented?”  Is it just an opinion?
  8. And as I write this, I am reminded of our studies of the SBRR – Scientifically Based Reading Research –  for Reading First.  It was not uncommon for the research to be conducted at grade levels “other than” those recommended for use.

More Research Needed!

Life-long learners required!

 

 

#SOL19: What do you rate?


The plate looks gorgeous. Colorful. Artistically arranged. White space. Yet organized. How well did it match my expectations when I placed my order?

Do I dive in?

Confirming and correcting my prediction?

Do I admire?

Savoring the physical attributes before it is consumed?

Do I snap a quick picture and send it off?

I take a picture but don’t send it anywhere.

Dinner

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Prime rib, baked potato &                corn on the cob

 

I have a friend who often uses snapchat or messaging to share her dining cuisine. It’s not a typical go to for me. But sometimes, I think, “Wow. I should take a picture of that.” It’s not that I am thinking of an award for cooking but awards have been on my mind.

Do I fill out surveys about food and service at restaurants?  Sometimes.  How consistent are my ratings from each time to time? And is the criteria the same?  That goes to reliability and validity.  How critical are these ratings?  Are they contextual?

How does this apply to life?

Awards:  Who is included?  Who is excluded?

Who gets nominated for the CMA Entertainer of the Year?  There were 5 male candidates? Why only men?

Part of the criteria is crowd size in large venues, meaning tours, so if women are not out on the road for long tours . . .  criteria is not met.

Wow!  Criteria for audience rating the winner is . . . audiences putting their bottoms in seats at concerts. So different from having a captive audience where the buses deliver students to school.

What about books?

Books:  How do you rate them?

Informal rating? Formal rating?

In your head?  On Goodreads?  On Amazon with formal reviews?

How do you share your response to books?

Book Rating:  What works for you? A? B? C? 

A.

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B.

   MUST READ!

   REALLY, YOU MUST READ!

   DESPERATE, YOU MUST READ!!!

C.

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My Goodreads account consists of mostly books rated 5 with a few 4’s sprinkled in.  Does that mean that all books I read are automatically that good?  I’m sure that you will be disappointed but books that would be below a “4” or “5” star rating on Goodreads, just don’t get entered. Selective memory?  Or was it once a conscious choice to only include the top books.  But you wouldn’t know that unless you knew my methodology for reporting. A bit erratic!  A bit unplanned. My concession to compliance and using someone else’s rating system.

Daily life decisions: Using skills and strategies steeped in literacy. Determining importance. Predicting. Confirming predictions. Re-predicting. Aligning expectations with the “real” thing. Comparing and contrasting. Developing criteria. Communicating.

How do your students rate their books? 

How do your students share their response to books?

What do they prefer?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Added:

And yes, the vegetarians in my family would rate the meal pictured above as a -10. The devout pork producers might rate it a 0. The poultry eaters might rate it a -5.  And then you all who hate any medium rare meat might not have gotten past the “shudders”!

It all depends on perspective . . .

and your own definition of a quality meal!

Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club


Penny Kittle announced on Twitter:

“Registration is open! Join the Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club to read with colleagues and learn from authors during our exclusive online LIVE events.This year we have both elementary and secondary book clubs. Check out summerbookclub.org @HeinemannPub @ncte @ncte_cel”

BLF summer.png

Secondary (Teachers of Grades 6-12+) June & July

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Elementary – JULY (+ guests Donalyn Miller & Debbie Miller)

So you will go to summerbookclub.org

Watch the video with Penny Kittle.

Watch the video with Clare Landrigan.

You will have three choices:

MS/HS book club (June-July) (Books, swag and online content)

Elementary book club (July) (Books, swag and online content)

Online resources only (open as soon as you register for discussion and specific “units” for each week of discussion)  BONUS – all online options see all discussions and content – the whole shebang.

See you at summerbookclub.org

What are you waiting for?

Conversations with teachers,

Conversations with authors,

And more libraries for teachers . . .

 

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