Stacked in Our Favor

Thoughts about libraries, education, children's literature, writing, art and being connected

Sunday, December 2, 2012

MotherReader: 150 Ways to Give a Book

Many of us are in the process of doing holiday shopping. Mother Reader has made a list of 150 ways to Give a Book. I know that I have a whole new set of gift giving options.

MotherReader: 150 Ways to Give a Book: For all of your holiday shopping needs, here are 150 Ways to Give a Book , grouped by (approximate) age. They are all MotherReader-approved ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNo's Eve

I haven't been posting on any of my blogs lately. I've been completely focused on the work of reconfiguration of schools, serving a wider age range of students and catching up on middle grade reading. Revamping a library to serve a new range of students is certainly time consuming, but very exciting at the same time. 

My writing has been mostly of the school related sort. I was delighted to see that one of the goals of my new school is to foster the writing skills of our students. So I suggested that NaNoWriMo would be a perfect project to have our students not only writing, but also excited about writing. Don't know about NaNoWriMo? It's National Novel Writing Month. If you don't already know this, NaNoWriMo has a curriculum of lessons that align with the Common Core. Sweet. 

I decided to have students have the option to sign up for NaNoWriMo or be critics. Before I left school today there were 142 students signed up and ready to write. 

To figure out word count for each student I assigned them a 10 minute writing test. They wrote story for 10 minutes. Then I developed a formula to calculate the number of words they could write during their library block during the month of November. Lastly, I conferenced with them and allowed them to choose to set their word count higher, lower or exactly the same. I thought it was interesting to note that most students elected to set it higher. 

Tomorrow we start writing our novels. It's going to be a crazy ride. Not only will I be writing my own novel, but I will be cheerleading 142 students as they write their novels. Coordinating extra writing time   before school, during recess and lunch and providing incentives. How I'll juggle it all, I don't know yet. 

As if that isn't enough, I've signed up for PiBoIdMo as well. 

I'm excited for this month. The writing samples students have shared with me are inspiring. I can't wait to see how it will all unfold. 

So tonight is NaNo's Eve and tomorrow I'll wake early to jot down a few words before I have to head off to school. 

Hoping your writing is sweet!

Friday, July 13, 2012

I finally decided to sign up for the Good Reads Reading Challenge. I generally like a challenge. I love reading. So it seems like it would be a natural step to join. I found myself, however, worrying about whether I could read as many books as I set out to. I worried about whether it would be embarrassing to fail. This morning as I saw that button on my Good Reads account, I thought of my students. How they feel about reading challenges. Some of them may love them. Some of them may dread them. While I can't change their feelings about this summer's challenge, I could at least take the plunge. So here I go, in the middle of July setting an arbitrary goal of 200 books for 2012. 

I realized that the additional benefit of declaring my goal is the incentive to remember to log in books that I have read. When I remember to log in books I don't usually take the time to review them. My reviews are more like notes to help me remember how I want to use the book. Occasionally a book will inspire me to write a review, but the lack of a review does not mean that I did not like it or that I was unenthusiastic about the book. I know that I spend time on social networking sites and I've learned to put limitations. I use Good Reads as a way to track my reading. It suffices at the moment. 

Want to see my progress? The widget on my sidebar is my goalkeeper.