Final Project

For my final project, I wanted to do something for the holidays we cover or come close to during this semester. I picked three books, one for Halloween, one for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas. For Halloween and Christmas, I picked books that were pretty general so I could avoid upsetting anyone as much as possible.



The first book I picked was for Halloween and this was I Want To Eat Your Books by Karin Lefranc and Tyler Parker. This is my favorite book out of all three because I think it takes something that is super scary and adds a comedic touch. This books is about a book-eating zombie who eats everyones books. In the end, the zombie eventually wants to read the books, not eat them. With this in mind, I created a craft for the students. I would want them to draw a cover to a story they would tell. This would be the story they would read to the zombie if they were in the book. Once we are done, I would want the students to show the class their cover and the story behind it. Here is one I did but I included a story with mine. If the students did include a written story, I would not make them have it as long as mine.

IMG_6690.JPGThe next book I picked was for Thanksgiving and this is A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman. This story is about a group of people that is having a Thanksgiving without turkey so they put up signs looking for a “Plump and Perky Turkey”. They have the idea to make a contest of the best turkey so they make turkeys out of spuds, clay, rope, oatmeal, paper, and soap. However, in order to make a correct turkey, they need a model turkey so they can sculpt it correctly. A turkey sees this and goes to the people for the job. The turkey did not know that it was all a set up so the people could eat the turkey! This soon failed because the people made so many turkeys that they couldn’t tell who was the real turkey! While the people had a turkey-less dinner, the turkey goes to the beach and celebrates with the other turkeys. Since there is a competition in the book, I thought it would be fun to make different kinds of turkeys in the classroom. For this project, I used a basic template when the students make the turkey face and feathers using their handprints. After this, the students will be free to decorate their turkey the way they want and present them to the class. For mine, I made mine a candy turkey with lots of different candies in his feathers.

IMG_6691.JPGThe last book I picked was Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. The story starts with Mr. Willowby and his tree. This tree is to big to fit in the corner he wants so he has the butler cut off the top and give it to the maid. This starts a chain of events so every tree gets the top cut off and someone else gets it. Eventually the area keeps getting smaller and smaller and eventually the top of the tree is so small that even the mice get a Christmas tree! Since this is all about a Christmas tree, I wanted students to create Christmas trees for someone. This could be someone they know, a group of animals, Mr. Willowby, or themselves. They will present to the class who the tree is for and why they decorated it the way they did. For my project, I created four general Christmas trees so there is a variety of ideas the students can have.

I really liked all the project I did. I think they all connected well to the story and allow students a lot of freedom to express themselves.

Until next time,



Top 10 Lists

Here is my Top 10 Lists… Enjoy!

If you want more information about these books, they are all featured in my “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?!” posts!

Top 10 Reads of the Semester

  1. Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio
  2. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  4. Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  5. Job Wanted by Teresa Bateman
  6. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
  7. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback
  8. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka
  9. Alice in Wonderland by Disney
  10. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


Top 10 Books to Use in the Classroom

  1. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
  2. Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  3. Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio
  4. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  5. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  6. A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman (For Final Project)
  7. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry (For Final Project)
  8. I Want to Eat Your Books by Karin Lefranc and Tyler Parker (For Final Project)
  9. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  10. Bedhead by Margie Palatini


Top 10 New-To-Me Authors I Read This Semester

  1. Katherine Applegate (The One and Only Ivan)
  2. David Shannon (David Gets in Trouble & A Bad Case of Stripes)
  3. Ian Falconer (Olivia)
  4. Roald Dahl (The BFG)
  5. Kevin Henkes (Waiting)
  6. Chris Raschka (A Ball for Daisy)
  7. Jon Scieszka (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales)
  8. Bob Hartman (Grumblebunny)
  9. Audrey Penn (The Kissing Hand)
  10. Bill Slavin (Who Broke the Teapot?!)

Hope you enjoyed!

Until next time,




Mock Newbery and Caldecott

While reading about the process of the Mock Newbery and Caldecott awards, I was trying to think about if we did this while I was in school. Although I cannot remember for sure, it was a long time ago!

I think this would be such a fun activity to do in the classroom because it really connects the kids to the authors more! It would be fun to pick a book as a class and wait to see if “we” won or not. The only problem I could see with this is not being able to pick one book for the award because of the variety of different students. The second problem I can see is the disappointment if a book of theirs is not picked to win. Depending on the age, this can ruin their entire day.

After reading Mr Schu’s list, I found a lot of great books that I am looking forward to coming out. My list is the following:

After the Fall by Dan Santat

After The FallI think this book sounds great because it is a take on a classic story. I’ve always liked remakes on classic tales because it is fun to see all the different ways to see the story. I have to admit, the beginning of the book trailer scared me a little bit because it sounded a bit scary but overall, I will look forward to reading this.



The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

The Book of Mistakes


“Everyone makes mistakes.” The line that everyone has heard at least once. I love that this book covers this topic because I think it is so, SO, important for kids to understand that everyone does make mistakes. It is important to learn from these mistakes and be better the next time.



Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Wolf in the SnowThis book is the one I am looking forward to the most because it seems so sweet and heartwarming that I think it is perfect to read. I loved the book trailer because it gave me an idea of what the book was about and pulled me in but it kept the end a secret!



Until next time,


*All images are from* 


The Skyping Renaissance

Image by: ebayink

After reading Kate Messner’s article, The Skyping Renaissance, I learned a lot about author skyping. I think the most surprising thing for me was that this even existed. I had no idea that author were willing to do this. I think it is a great thing because it can allow students to ask questions about the writing process and inspirations of a novel from the exact source!

I would love to set up an author visit for my classroom because I think it would be fun for the students and the author. I am a little bit of a book nerd so I can not tell you the excitement I would have if I were able to meet one of my favorite authors! Even if students are not into reading, talking to the author could change their minds.

As I said, an advantage of this is having students ask questions about the writing process that an author has to go through. Another advantage is it is generally available to a school even if they are not a highly populated school or a school that has a lot of funds. Since Skype is a free program, there is just the problem of finding a time.

Some disadvantages I see is the students not paying attention to the author and messing around. Just based on my experiences as a student, there are students that do not pay attention when a speaker comes to the classroom. I think this is rude because the speaker is giving us our time to talk about something they are passionate about, the least we could do is pay attention. To solve this, I would have each student write two questions and they have to ask the author at least one.

For my ideal author visit, I would love to have Harper Lee because she is so interesting as an author. Not only did she write To Kill a Mockingbird, this was her only books for a majority of her life. However, nearly 55 years later this changed. In 2015, she wrote the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman. Sadly, this author visit would not be possible because she passed away in 2016.

Until next time,



Reading Aloud in the Classroom

Image by: Madonovan

When I saw that this was the topic of the week I was so excited because I strongly, STRONGLY believe in reading aloud. This is something we never did when I was in school until about 7th grade. I truly wish I would have been forced to read aloud at a younger age because it would help me so much now. I personally hate reading aloud because I get conscious of my tone and pronunciation of words. If I started reading aloud at a younger age, it would have gotten me use to it as I got older. Even now, I am working on reading aloud by reading the picture books and a majority of my middle level novels out loud. This being said, I will have my students read aloud during class because it is something that is so simple yet so difficult for students.

Building Read Aloud Routine in 3rd Grade Reaction:

This was the first article I read and I found it very helpful. The main thing I took from it was the use of audiobooks. In past posts, I have talked about my take on audiobooks….I love them. I think they are a great tool to use in the classroom and in personal life. The only problem with audiobooks in the classroom is they do not have the correct tone that you want them to have. I’ve been using audiobooks in my personal life for years now and I cannot tell you the terrible readings I have come across. There was one (Don’t remember the title) that was completely monotone….you can imagine my frustration. The only problems I see with using audiobooks in the classroom is going through the multiple different readings of one book and the students are not actually reading, they are just listening. However, I think audiobooks would be a great break for students so they do not have to read the entire time but they can still listen to the book aloud.

*If you wanna check out the article, the link is:*

Read Alouds Reaction:

Something pointed out in this article is teacher’s reading aloud to their students. I think this is incredibly important as well hence why I am trying so hard to improve my reading aloud skills. However, the way I want my classroom to read is a majority of the students reading with me in between. Depending on the difficulty of the novel, I would stop after each chapter/ couple chapters and have a discussion on what happened. This way I can assure that my student are retaining the information they are reading.

*If you wanna check out the article, the link is:*

My Top Ten Reading Aloud List for Middle School

*Some of these are not in my Monday Posts, just things I’ve read in the past I want in my classroom*

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


Diversity in Children’s Books

This week, we were assigned to read two articles that had to do with Diversity in Children’s Books. For this post, I will be giving my responses on this issue.

The two articles we read were Here I am by Brian Pinkney and Children’s Books: Still an All-White World? by Kathleen T. Horning. I personally liked Here I am better because it is more story based while the Children’s Books: Still an All-White World? is more fact based.

I think diversity in Children’s book is something that had gotten better over time. This could be because of stories like Pinkney or because of people realizing that there is not a lot of diversity and they want to change that. Either way, it is pretty clear that diverse children’s book are not as popular as non diverse books.

Image Credit: Sharon Fabri

Looking at Horning’s article, she uses a lot of interesting points involving many statistics and has a handy chart. However, one thing I found important in this article is when Horning writes, “A lot of people are quick to blame the publishing industry. But publishers can’t just make manuscripts magically appear.” I think this is so important to understand because in my opinion, the blame for less diverse children book’s is not just on one group.

As I said before, it seems like diversity in children books is getting better and better but we still have a ways to go. This can be helped by teacher immensely. If teachers use a variety of book in their classroom. This exposes the students to things they encounter throughout their lives. Exposing them to a variety at a young age will only do good for them. Of course, this is a teacher’s decision and how they want their classroom to run. I just think it would be a great idea.

Until next time,



Reading Challenge Check-In


Image by christyane QUAN-KESSLER

A couple weeks ago, I set a reading challenge to read 5 picture books and 2 middle level books a week. This challenge is going okay. I have been able to meet the goal every week since I have set it so I suppose that is a good thing! The problem is, I am not reading the middle level books that I want to teach. These two books a week are pretty small books and are things my students would read but I would not teach. Another challenge that I have faced is this readings take me more than four hours to do so throughout the week, I have read for about 7/8 hours. This is not a bad thing but I found this to start to interfere with my other classes and their readings. So based on these reason, I want to change my reading goal.


I’ve thought about this for a little while about how I would want to change it but incorporate it in both elementary and middle grades. I decided to keep my 5 picture books a week because those are not very time consuming and I am finding a huge variety of books! The problem stands with the middle level books. I decided to choose one “big” book to read over 2 weeks. So my plan is to read a different books every two weeks. Since I will not finish it by the Monday post, I am going to have my middle level section be a check-in section about what has happened and my thoughts of the book so far. At the end of two weeks, I will talk about my final thoughts of the book and my plans on using the book in the classroom. These can include project ideas I want my students to do, or if we are going to read the book together, or if I am going to read it to them completely. I think this will equal my 4 hours a week if I span the middle level book across two weeks.

Until next time,



Book Beginnings on Fridays

From There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis SacharIMG_6420.JPG

“Bradley Chalkers sat at his desk in the back of the room– last seat, last row. No one sat at the desk next to him or at the one in from of him. He was an island.”

My first impression is that this is going to be about something sad. A kid isolated from the rest of the class is something I see as sad. Since Bradley is the first character introduced, it is safe to say that he is going to be the protagonist in this story. Based off the cover, I picture a middle school aged boy in a classroom with not many students.


Thursday Quotables

This week, I have been making my way through The BFG by Roald Dahl. Here are some quotes I liked the most. I based my picks off if they were cool to be and if they can be used in life.

“Two rights don’t equal a left.”

“Words,” he said, “is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life.”

“Meanings is not important, said the BFG. I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.”

“Let your love out.”

“Human beans is the only animals that is killing their own kind.”

Dreams are full of mystery and magic… Do not try to understand them.”

These are just a couple of my favorite quotes from The BFG. If anyone else has read it, please share your thoughts!

Until next time,





Reading Challenge

For the rest of the semester, I wanted to choose a challenge that would help me the most in my teaching career. Since I am planning to teach elementary and the middle grades, I thought I should read a little bit of both!

For my reading challenge, I want to read at least 5 picture books and 2 middle level books per week. When choosing the books, I have found multiple lists that have the “Most Popular” ones and these lists will be what I plan on basing my challenge on!

This challenge is very important to me because I think it is so cool to have already read the books that your students could be reading. This could help the students in discussions or if the students have any questions about the story, they can come talk to you!

This week I have already finished my picture books and my middle level picks are “Wonder” and “Double Fudge”. Of course these all will be featured in more detail in my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?!” post this coming Monday.

If anyone has suggestions for me, I would love to hear them in the comments!

Until next time,