Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Reading

I already shared some of my thoughts for summer reading . . .

And then I saw this video:

And then I immediately shared it with my colleagues and shared some suggestions to talk up summer reading in an email:

Please talk with your students about the importance of keeping that reading brain awake all summer long!

Here are just a few ideas that I will be sharing with my small groups (depending on grade level) - If you are interested, there are more ideas on my Summer Reading pinterest page too (

*Set a reading goal or sign an agreement:   

*Share book trailers to entice their reading brains:  (or use Google)

*Share with students your book stack and have students create their own list of books they want to read.  

*Talk about reading places and spaces. Maybe we'll copy this for all students:
Inline image 1

Research (Rasinski) states that providing students 15 books for the summer is equal to the time spend in summer school.  We cannot provide 15 books for every student, but encourage them to visit the library!

Summer reading is about CHOICE and ACCESS!  I know we don't have control once they leave our four walls . . . but we can sure try!

Thanks and hope you found an idea or two to share!

And then this led to an important conversation with my 4th and 5th grade students and we created a plan for their summer reading.

We folded a piece of paper in quarters and then two more folds about an inch on the top and bottom.  The top is for the title: Summer Reading.  Each square is to think about and record Who? we can read with or to;  What? we can read (genres, authors, series, new titles);  Where? we can read; When? we can read (including every day!) and the bottom Why? it is so important to continue reading all summer.

Here are a couple examples:

I feel the sense of urgency to continue reading through the summer --

And now my students feel it too.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

sols: long weekends

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An extra day.  A holiday.   A long weekend.  A break for the end-of-the-year craziness.

And then I realized it's already Tuesday!

Whenever a Monday holiday arrives, my husband and I seem to cram in as much stuff to do and accomplish.  This weekend was no different.

Yard pruning
Weed (Is that a weed?) pulling
Flower planting

Farmer's market selecting
Little girls shoe shopping
Around the block scootering

Parade watching
Candy wrappers
Warm weather wishing

Three year old pictures
Let me say that again:
Three year old pictures

Exhausting - Look at the camera!
Stressful - Sit still!  Smile pretty!  Stop that!
Nerve wracking - Watch out for the lights!

After an hour and a half
I was done
with only a hope that there are a couple pictures to savor.

{Sorry Grammy and Grampy that we didn't get to chat or skype!  We owe you!!}

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

sols: summer reading

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Summer reading.

I can't wait.  I probably won't have the time to do a #bookaday.

But I will read.   I will read more than I'm reading now.

My reading life has slowed because my time is occupied with my three year olds, house work, and school work.  Soon the daily school work will be put on hold.  I'll still read a professional book or two. I'll still dig into the Common Core.  I'll still be learning for school.  But I'm looking forward to reading more books.  For me.

I'm ready to go read.  I have a plan.  I have a stack of books.  I have a promise to myself to read every day.

But what about my students?

You see, I work with developing readers where reading isn't natural or easy or a pleasurable experience yet.  We are constantly on the search for the book that will hook them to want to read, or to choose to read because they want to, or to read instead of that fake reading they try to perfect.

I know all too well about that summer slide and I try to explain it to my students and share the benefits of reading all summer long.

I'm thinking about the conversations I want to have with my students before school is out.   I want to talk about my plans for reading --
  • my goals (total number of books)
  • my summer stack (floor to ceiling!)
  • my #bookgap (reading those books that I normally would want to read)
  • my reading places and spaces (the porch, the hammock, the beach, the pool)

(Another reason to love Pinterest:
 I have a board full summer reading ideas!)

How do you encourage more reading?  Please share your ideas or suggestions for reading this summer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

sols: a nap

Slice of Life hosted at the 

It was a rough start to Mother's day with the girls up with the sunshine beginning their three year old disagreements.  After some hugs and a bath, we were out the door for breakfast (yummy!) that mommy didn't have to cook.

Quickly we hopped in the car and headed to church where our pastor provided an awesome prayer over all the mothers.  You know, I have to agree with him, the best thing you can do for a mother is to pray for her.  What a gift!

I still need lots of prayers!  Prayers of patience, strength, understanding.  Did I mention patience?

And then the second best gift of all -- my husband took the girls after lunch and try for a nap.  You see, I say try because over the course of the year, the naps on the weekend have dwindled or provided me with much frustration because they never nap, and instead, enjoy some loud jumpy play time in their bedroom.

This day, Daddy grabbed a pillow and blanket and took a nap with them on their bedroom floor.  Everyone was quiet.

Oh, what I could accomplish in the next two hours!  There were many items I'm my to-do list, but instead, I decided to take a nap too.

"There is a house
a napping house
where everyone 
is sleeping."

It was the best two hour nap in a long time.

Thank you God for the gift of prayers and naps.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

sols: in a blink

Slice of Life hosted at the 

And now they are 

My darling daughters 
celebrated their third!?!
 birthday last week with
a family party
on Saturday afternoon.

Everything was ready.
Decorations and balloons
all Minnie Mouse theme.
Snacks to nibble and time
to converse, catch up, and chat.

Family and friends
began arriving
with colorful
presents waiting
to be ripped opened.

The girls couldn't wait
any longer seeing
the gifts pile up.
Curious of what
was hiding inside.

A pink buggy for their baby dolls,
new doggies, and Minnie Mouse.
A rolling suitcase,
more books, and
clothes tossed on the side.

Time to sing
the birthday song,
make a wish, and blow!
Ice cream and cupcakes
with frosting all over.

More time to chat
outside to enjoy
the beautiful day
playing with new toys
up and down the driveway.

S  l  o  w  l  y 
the party ended 
until peace and
settled in our home.

And now 
it's time to enjoy 
being three before --
They are four.