Monthly Archives: January 2015

In My Own Backyard

Many times books read for fun lead me to deeper thoughts on my teaching. This happened today.

Adventures in Education Reform

This afternoon I celebrated the end of two very stressful, busy weeks and National Readathon Day by reading Paper Things by Jennifer Richards Jacobson. The book doesn’t officially release until February 10, but somehow Letterpress Books of Portland was able to secure copies to sell at the nErDCamp Northern New England Author Night last week. I love Jennifer’s writing, I’ve been hearing good things about the book, so of course I needed to get a copy and have it signed.

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I wasn’t very far into the book before I was wiping my eyes, moved to compassion for Ari, the 11 year old main character/narrator. Ari, through a series of events completely out of her control, becomes homeless. The story takes place right here in Portland, Maine (called Port City in the book). This is a fabulous book that I really think should be read by every teacher and young person.

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First Book Shares of the New Year!

My students delighted me this week by doing books shares right back from vacation. I gave them the option of waiting until next week, when they’d had time to prepare themselves. In my 10th grade class, the student scheduled to share chose to wait, I was ready to do one, when Noah volunteered. He finished BZRK by Michael Grant a month or so ago and had talked about it as he was reading it, but hadn’t formally shared it. He did a fabulous job with his summary and explanation.

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9th grader Jordyn quickly scanned my shelves for one of the series she read in the past, and shared Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, explaining its connection to Clare’s previous series, and giving students advice on reading order.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d6e/69623540/files/2015/01/img_0973.jpg My seniors are challenging each other to read books that are completely the opposite of what they normally would select for themselves. Today Alex shared the book his classmates selected for him: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson.

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