Category Archives: Independent Reading/SSR/Reader’s Workshop

Mentor or Teacher?

Monday will start my first full day sitting and watching someone else teach my class. I’m not sure how I feel about this. In theory, I’m pretty excited because I get to shape the next generation of teacher. In theory, I can use my 19 years of experience, my knowledge of young adolescents, my knowledge of literacy – both best practices and theory – to help mold this young teacher-to-be. That thought alone is pretty awe-inspiring. So what could be wrong with that?

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Cloudy with a Chance of Flurries

The blizzard has slowed to flurries with an occasional snow squall. I am happy to report that aside from the book I’m listening to on Audible, I am only reading one book at the moment. And while I want to start a whole bunch of new books, I’ve just started a new pile. This pile is really just my TBR (to be read) in an ordered list instead of  the books sitting nicely in no particular order on my bookshelves or in bags on the floor. Sadly, I have outgrown bookshelf space in my office, and my YA are relegated to the floor since they are transient anyway. My house is one stop before my classroom and then my students’ hands. I don’t devote a lot of shelf space to them. They get the floor.

This month alone I’ve read 14 books, and 10 of them were YA and another two could cross over from adult to YA. Book number 15 is on the coffee table. The cold and snow has helped me read this many books. But quite honestly, good writing has keep me reading.

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Book Blizzard

In a bizarre twist of fate two things are happening: 1)I’m writing a mid-week blog post & 2)I’m having a problem controlling the books I’m starting. Does this mean that the East Coast might finally be getting some snow? Is it a sign the world is going to end in 2012? I don’t know. Nor do I care. I declare the Reading Funk officially over! (for now)

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Paper or Plastic?

When my alarm went off on Monday, January 2, I was less then thrilled to get out of bed. It was dark and cold. And of course, I was still in vacation mode, having just had 5 days off from school. However, there were some perks of returning to school on the 2nd – one was absolutely no traffic on my commute and the other was reconnecting with my students. In homeroom on Monday morning, I expected a quiet bunch, and I got what I expected. However, as the day went on, I also got the run-down of gifts that Santa brought the good boys and girls I teach. I expected to hear about the video game systems and video games they got. Instead I got quite a surprise.

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And the nominees are…

Gentle reader, I need to thank you for your patience. Being a full-time middle school teacher and full-time doctoral student does not afford me lots of free time. While I fully intended to post a new blog discussing my students’ nominations for their book awards, the end of April was wrought with deadlines. And now I find myself in mid-May, wondering where does the time go?

As you know, my seventh-grade students have nominated books for their book awards. I have two groups of seventh-graders, so I have two different awards: The Spectacular Sevie Award and the The Ms. Schmidt’s B3 Class Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Excellent Writing (MSB3CAOAIFEW). The next step was nominating books. Each student nominated one book. I was a bit concerned. Would every student nominate a title? After all, no matter how much I rave, I do have some students who don’t read a lot outside of class. As one of my boys mentioned to me the other day, “The Hunger Games was the first book I read outside of DEAR, Ms. Schmidt.” (He’s now reading Catching Fire and not happy with it because, “They’re just on the train.”) The nominations came flooding in. My fears were unfounded. All the students nominated a book, and some wanted to nominate multiple books. Then I had to figure out how to group books and form “committees.” I didn’t have to figure this out; I just asked the kids how they wanted to handle it.

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