Monday, May 19, 2014

Newbery Checklist

If you are anything like me, you like to make goals. While some people make goals for health, or budgeting, etc., I tend to stick to my hobbies. A few weeks ago my 6th grade students and I began reading Shiloh. I noticed it was a Newbery Medal winner, and I started thinking about how many Newbery Medal books I had read. While I can think of a few off the top of my head, others I am not so sure about. I found many lists online, but none that I liked, so I came up with a checklist for my students and myself. You can download it for FREE at my TN store!

Checklist Link

I'm not even sure where one would go about getting some of the older titles, but it's my goal to read as many of these books as I can within the next year. I've already knocked two off the list (Shiloh and Maniac Magee) within the last two weeks!

If you are interested in using this in your classroom, I think it's always neat to look up authors who have won the NM more than once. I also think it's interesting to discuss what exactly makes something "great" literature for students. Caddie Woodlawn supposedly has racial undertones that would not fly today. Maniac Magee looks at racism from multiple perspectives, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry focuses mainly on the injustices a black sharecropper family  faced in the early 1900's. I have not read Caddie, but both Maniac and Roll have made lasting impressions (so much so that I distinctly remember reading them in elementary school, which is at least 18 years ago for me!).

If you don't normally read YA books, I recommend you begin! With the exception of a few books, I have been more challenged to think outside the box when reading a novel meant for teens, than with many of the books for adults I have read. If you would like any further recommendations from me, I will be happy to help where I can. I recently finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and I plan on writing something up for it very soon.

Summer is almost here! Hold on!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Computer Crash

A few weeks ago my two-year-old daughter decided it would be fun to flip the light switch multiple times. My husband and I caught her initially, but she snuck back in for a second go around and totally crashed the computer. I thought we had been backing everything up. I was wrong. I lost EVERYTHING. Baby pictures, Teacher's Notebook creations, grad school assignments, etc. Heartbreaking, right? To make matters worse, my camera was stolen when we had carpet put in, so I literally have no backups of pictures of the twins' birth. Thank goodness for my mother. She has probably 20k pictures (and no, that is not an exaggeration) of the babies' every move since they were born. She also purchased an embroidery machine and I have been spending my computer-less days and nights being creative. So, in short, while I hated being away from my blog, my little hiatus was much needed. My house is cleaner, supper is cooke, toys are picked up, and things are generally getting accomplished. I did create a few things at school that I plan on putting up soon. One is a Newbery Checklist that I am pretty proud of, and another is a Color by Parts of Speech. It's too pretty to be inside, so I'm keeping this brief. Enjoy your weekend!