Slice of Life Tuesday: Books That Changed My Life

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I read a challenge on Facebook last week: “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard. It is not about the right book or great work of literature — just ones that have affected you in some way. The list does not need to be in order…”

I could not possibly list ten books that have stayed with me. Maybe 25 or 50, those are more realistic numbers (for my lifetime). Not more than a few minutes to think? I’m a stubborn Taurus perfectionist, and I analyze everything, so I definitely need more than a few minutes, and I will spend time thinking about it before I let others see my list on Facebook (or anywhere else). To meet this challenge, I did think about what would sound good to readers of a teacher’s blog. Then I thought, “Oh, brother…just make the list already!” My list is unusual compared to the others I’ve read in the past week. Maybe some other people think like me, and don’t want to embarrass themselves in a public forum; maybe they read more mature and publicly acceptable books than I do. Anyway…challenge accepted! Here’s my list of books that have stayed with me over the years:

1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin, Jr.

2. Nancy Drew Mysteries (series), by Carolyn Keene

3. How to Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell

4. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

6. A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute

7. Daybreak, by Belva Plain

8. When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do, by Kylene Beers

9. Zoom, by Istvan Banyai

10. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris

I have another whole list of notes, categorized by childhood, teen, and adult reads, and broken down into genres. Like I said, I could not possibly list just ten.

 

“What Did She Say?” — My Answers to Twitter Chat Questions This Week

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What Did She Say? My responses to the Twitter chat, #titletalk

Hosted by Donalyn Miller and others on Twitter

September 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm EST

Q1: What is your definition of “uninspired reader?”

(A1: T.S. said, “ An “uninspired reader” is one who hasn’t had the chance to form a reading identity, feels no sense of ownership.)

My A1: Agree! Many students/people don’t have a chance yet to be inspired.

Q2: Considering your definitions of uninspired readers, what can we do to help Ss find reading personally inspiring?

A2: I make sure I allow my students to like and dislike – and share my likes and dislikes. Opens a door.

Q3: How can we negotiate academic and personal reading goals with our students, so they find reading personally inspiring?

A3: It’s hard to find time for everything. Reading is a non-negotiable. Even 15 minutes a day. Do it for you.

Q4. How can we engage a school/home community in the goal of inspiring more readers?

A4: Many families don’t have books or other reading in the home. Ss and P-T conferences help. Also ads for book clubs.

(E. S. said, “I have a future NBC post on this topic. My own children became uninspired readers because of AR.”)

I replied, “My 2nd daughter hated AR! Wouldn’t read at school. Is a wild reader at home!”

Q5. What books, series, authors have sparked uninspired young readers who you know?

A5: Scieszka’s KNUCKLEHEAD had the whole class rolling! Wild reading of wild stories! Also:

So many! Percy Jackson, Divergent, and 39 Clues, as well as Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Just starting…

(K said, “Several mentions of read aloud as powerful. It really helps level playing field for those who can’t quite access certain texts.”)

Q6. I just finished Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. Intriguing connections to Plath’s Bell Jar.

(I didn’t respond here. I lost the conversation for a bit.)

Q7: Last minute BONUS question: What are you reading your students this week? 

(W.C. said, “Whatever they want!”)

A7: I agree. I said, “I agree with W. They choose. Class reading is The Tiger Rising. Studying setting etc.”

Thank you so much to Donalyn Miller and others who host these amazing Twitter chats! I had a great time becoming part of the conversation!

Curriculum Tip: April 2, 2013

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Taking a Break

It’s spring break here, and I was just thinking about how great it is to have some time to read for fun. No homework, no lessons, no projects. Just reading. Research concludes that any time spent reading helps one to become a better reader. What are you reading?

Spring Break Book List — Feel free to share your list with us!

Life of Pi (Martel)

The Happiness Project (Rubin)

Liar & Spy (Stead)

The Last Lecture (Pausch)

My Beloved World (Sotomayor)

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