The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This is a slow read, and I'm still working on it. I've made it to about page 400 out of 550 pages. I'm still enjoying it, but wish ot was a quicker read.
With the Family
My Friend Bear, by Jez Alborough: This series is one of my daughter's favs. She asks for it every time we read together. I try to avoid reading it (without success), not because it's not an excellent book for toddlers (it is), it's just not also targeted to my demographic. It's a little quirky, but has a good rythm scheme.
Hit the Ball Duck, by Jez Alborough: A group of animal friends is playing baseball when the ball gets stuck in the tree. They have to work together to get the ball out of the tree. This is an enjoyable book with a good cadence.
Snowballs, by Lois Elhert: Elhert is a well-loved author and this book gets good reviews on Amazon. I am not a fan of this book. This book is missing a little depth and background. It seems more like an informational how-to book, when I was expecting a narrative.
Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag: The refrain in this book is great (Hundreds of cats, Thousands of cats, Millions and billions and trillions of cats), probably the reason why it is so well-loved. But the cats fight over who's the prettiest, start clawing at each other, and they end up eating each other.
All in all- these picks are all slightly odd, but my daughter seems to like them...and they are well-loved for some reason or other.
When Stella Was Very, Very Small, by Marie-Louise Gay: My daughter is taking a lot of big girl steps this month, including potty training. She has started to say that she is not little, but big- a kid. This book is about Stella who is little, at first. This book is sweet and shows how Stella grows up through how she plays (When Stella was very, very, small, she explores the great tropical jungle behind her house). In the end, she becomes a big sister to Sam, and teaches him how she used to play when she way very, very small. This would especially be a great gift to a big sibling of a little sibling. Or a great book to a mom expecting a 2nd child. Or a great book for my little girl, who now see herself as a big kid!
Grandma's Pear Tree, by Suzanne Santillan: A sweet bilingual (English/Spanish) book. The plot is identical to the duck book, where a ball gets stuck in the tree and everyone works together to get it down. A great plot device, indeed.
A Hippo's Tale, by Lena Landstrom: This book is a fine bedtime story, but I won't be checking it out from the library again. The main character lives in a Hippo community. A Hippo gets thrown when her daily routine is disrupted. She learns to be a little flexible, but doesn't learn to live/work with others in the community.
Louella Mae, She's Run Away!, by Karen Beamont Alarcon: This is a fun-spirited ryhming book. Louella Mae is a pig that's run away.
In the Garden: Who's Been Here, by Lindsay Barrett George: I love this book. We just planted veggies out in the garden. In this book, two kids go out to the garden to pick veggies for dinner, and they discover that other animals have been in the garden too. I love that it can start a dialogue between my daughter and me about the life in the garden.
PinningI pinned this a couple of days ago....an awesome reading site the Teach 21 Strategy Bank from the West Virginia Department of Education. It has a lot if useful teaching resources.
The Teach 21 Strategy Bank is designed to be a dynamic resource for educators. It contains a multitude of research-based strategies teachers can use to make their classroom instruction more effective, and to address the needs of their diverse students. These strategies have been collected from a variety of sources, including the standards-based units available on Teach 21.
I have 3 weeks left of school, which means it's assessment time! I have to do a bunch of end-of-year assessments on my students starting next week.
So, I am planning on not returning to my position next year. I love being a reading specialist, but the demands of a charter school schedule have taken away from the QT I get with my 2 1/2 year old.
I've taken a part-time position (60%) at a faith-based non-profit that I used to work at, Harbor House. I'll be the Director of Education. I'm excited for this transition. It means that I'll get to learn new management skills and I'll get to work with all ages- which I look forward to.
I've also enrolled my daughter in a co-op preschool. So, I'll get to help out there one morning per week.
I know I've been MIA this last month. I've been terribbly busy. I look forward to summer, and not having to start work until Septermber!