Summer Reading Series - Week 4: My Grown Up Summer Reading List

Sunday, June 28, 2015

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Welcome to the fourth and final week of my summer reading series! 

I thought I would make myself a grown up summer reading list. We leave for Las Vegas in 9 days (can’t wait!) and I need some reading materials for all the travelling! I came up with a list of books I’m going to read for the trip and hopefully over the rest of the summer! Not professional books.. Not kids books.. But actual fun grown up books. It’s a shame I don’t read those as much anymore, but summer is the perfect time to catch up!

Michaela's Grown Up Summer Reading List:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A New York Times Bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. 

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
Cecilia Fitzpatrick finds a letter from her husband to be opened in the event of his death, but he is not dead. What happens next changes her existence forever. 

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
The little-known history of North Carolina's Eugenics Sterilization Program, in effect from 1929 to 1975. While working with 15 year old Ivy and her family, Jane Forrester, a social worker, encounters the state program that seeks to sterilize "mental defectives". 

The One and Only by Emily Giffin
33 year old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas. When an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit community, Shea's world is turned upside down. She discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she's always trusted most and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets. 

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
This psychological thriller will be released on July 28, 2015. Heidi Wood sees a teenage girl standing on a train platform clutching an infant in her arms. She invited the girl and her baby to take refuge in her family home. Clues into the girl's past begin to surface and an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could've anticipated. 


I’m always looking for new books to read. What’s on your grown up summer reading list?
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Summer Reading Series - Week 3: Professional Books

Sunday, June 21, 2015

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Thanks for checking out week 3 of my summer reading series! 

In week three, we're focusing on professional books. I know most of you are already out enjoying summer vacation. We are SO close. Two more school days! When I am on vacation, I try to keep up to date by reading professional books over the summer.

I chose this book because I’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of teacher language. This is a short read, only 120 pages. It suggests that how teachers talk to children is critical to how they develop as learners. Creating a healthy environment  in the classroom through appropriate lessons is just as important as selecting content.

This doesn’t necessarily have to do with school, but I felt like it might tie in enough to include! I’ve been thinking a lot about my own experiences as an introverted teacher. It’s difficult, especially among my many extroverted colleagues. I think it could be particularly helpful when thinking about those introverted kiddos in our classrooms.

Falling in Love with Close Reading

by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts
Close reading has been a hot topic in ELA this year and I’ve been wanting to learn more about it! I work strictly with struggling readers and hope that the strategies of close reading can help them to dig deeper and strengthen their comprehension skills. The authors give a three step close reading ritual that students can apply to any text.

Reading in the Wild
by Donalyn Miller
I loved the Book Whisperer, so I know I will be just as engrossed in Reading in the Wild! This book offers advice and strategies on how to develop, encourage, and assess five key reading habits to instill a lifelong love of reading in our students.

I was given Teach Like a Champion by my principal during my first year of teaching. I love the book. I found it very easy to read and I still use many of the strategies I learned to this day. Teach Like a Champion 2.0 gives 62 techniques that put students on the path to college. Many of these techniques are included from the first edition, but have been refined and adapted by teachers.  I’m especially excited about this book because there is an online community available with videos of teachers modelling techniques in their own classrooms.


What professional books are you reading this Summer?
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Motivate Reluctant Readers this Summer

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Head over to Who's Who and Who's New to read my newest blog post: Motivate reluctant readers this summer! 

We all know a reluctant reader, whether they are our students or our own children. What can we do to ease the stress and tension summer reading creates for families? Read my blog post for some easy tips! There just might be a really fun FREEBIE - so check it out


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TPT Seller Challenge - Week 1: Makeover Madness!

Monday, June 15, 2015

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I've joined up with Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Teach Create Motivate, along with about a zillion other amazing TPT sellers for the TPT Seller Challenge! 



I may be in a little over my head since I STILL have three weeks until I'm on Summer vacation, but I'll do my best to keep up!

This week, the challenge is to makeover a resource from my store. Luckily for me, I am in the midst of completely overhauling everything in my store!

All of the products featured below sell in my TPT store for $5. In celebration of their new makeovers, each of the items will be on sale for $3 through June 18th! If you already own them, be sure to check your purchases tab on TPT and download the new and improved versions! 

The original product contained 30 themed postcards. I have created an additional 10 postcards, updated all of the fonts, and added beautiful new clip art! I LOVE the new look for these postcards and so will your students! They will be perfect to get your students excited for the new school year. 

The set below is not grade specific. If you're looking for a specific grade level, check out my other postcard sets:  
Kindergarten Postcards 
1st Grade Postcards 
2nd Grade Postcards 
3rd Grade Postcards 
4th Grade Postcards 
5th Grade Postcards 



I loved the content and layout of everything within the product, but was not impressed with the cover, so I gave it a facelift! This is one of my very favorite products and can be used with ANY text! It includes 7 posters, 24 task cards, 24 question stems, and a graphic organizer to help students develop critical thinking skills! 


Don't forget to check out #TPTsellerchallenge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to find hundreds of other teacher authors who are participating!
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Summer Reading Series - Week 2: Books for Kids

Sunday, June 14, 2015

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Welcome to week two of my four week summer reading series!

Last week, I wrote about ideas to make summer reading more "social". Today I’m going to focus on some amazing books for kids!

Here are some of my personal picks:

Picture Book:
The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
I am obsessed with this book! It is SO adorable and funny! Kids of all ages will be enchanted with this book.The Day the Crayons Quit is about a young boy, Duncan, who just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit!

Early Chapter Book:
Clementine (Series) by Sara Pennypacker
Series are a perfect way to get children, especially our reluctant readers, hooked on reading! Clementine, a third grader, tries to help out her friend Margaret, but ends up in a lot of trouble. Things get worse each day of the week and Clementine worries that her family might think they'd have been better off if they only had her little brother. 

Middle Grade Chapter Book:
I could give you a list of 1,001 phenomenal middle grade books. My 5th graders would always tell me "Mrs. Almeida, every book can't be your favorite book!" I just LOVE this age range!

I stumbled upon this book in a gift shop on our field trip last year. We were studying the American Revolution and one of the kids asked if I'd read it. I bought it and read it all the way home on the bus.. and at my desk after school.. I couldn't put it down! The opening chapter is RIVETING!

Sophia's War by Avi 
In 1776, Sophia Calderwood witnesses a horrific event and resolves to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army is switching sides, but their identity is so shocking that no one believes her, so Sophia decides to stop them herself, at great personal peril. 




Even More Book Lists:
Stay tuned next week for part 3: Professional Books to Read this Summer
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Summer Reading Series - Week 1: Social Summer Reading

Saturday, June 6, 2015

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This is the first part of a one month series about summer reading!
In this post, I want to share a few summer reading ideas for schools and families! It is so important that students continue to read over the summer. According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association: "A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months (roughly 22 percent) of the school year.” So let’s prevent the summer slide!



Here are some fun ideas to make summer reading more "social":

(be super careful. Apple’s emojis are copyrighted, so don’t use and distribute them illegally!) I've created a freebie perfect for student responses to summer reading! Download it here


#SummerReading2015:
Does your school keep in touch with families through social media? Create your own hashtag! For example: #Yourelementaryschoolsummerreading
and encourage parents to post pictures of their children reading over summer vacation. One of the elementary schools in my district did this over Spring break and it was a HUGE hit! The teachers even set up a slideshow of pictures to show students upon their return. We all know how connected everyone is to social media these days! This could be a way to keep students and parents motivated!

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge – Power Up and Read is
a free online program for students to log their reading minutes with the goal of setting a new world record! 




Stay tuned for part two of my Summer Reading Series: Must Read Books for Summer (Grades K-6)
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Book Theme: Perseverance

Monday, June 1, 2015

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June Theme of the Month: Perseverance



I think we all need a little perseverance when it comes to the end of the school year, especially with 17 school days ahead of us (it was a particularly brutal winter in New England and we’re paying for it now). This is one of my favorite themes and it is SO important to instill this in our students.

Perseverance through a difficult assignment, persevering through an emotionally tough time in life, these are all things are students are going to encounter as they grow. They need to realize that it is possible to never give up when faced with these difficulties, because they are inevitable and how we respond can shape our lives.

An amazing book with the theme is The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. I love this book! It is so relatable!

Here’s a book trailer for The Most Magnificent Thing: 




Activities and Resources for The Most Magnificent Thing:

Other books with the theme "perseverance":


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