It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


August 15, 2016

Here are some of the great titles I have read in the past few weeks.   To see all of my #IMWAYR posts, you can click here.  

Children’s Lit


This month, I decided to highlight some books that were chosen for the 2016 Global Read Aloud project.  The Global Read Aloud project was developed by teacher, author and blogger Pernille Ripp.  The idea is that teachers or parents read these books aloud to their students and then share their thoughts, questions and ideas with others who have also read the book.  It’s a way to virtually connect with other teachers, students and classrooms across the country and around the world.  This year’s Global Read Aloud project will take place from Oct 3 – Nov 11.  To find out how to sign up and for more information you can visit the Global Read Aloud page.

There are different categories of books you can choose from depending on the ages of your students.  To see the entire list of books, click here.  This week, I will be highlighting some of the Picture Book selections centered around the work of author and illustrator Lauren Castillo.  


This sweet story is about a boy who goes to visit his Nana in New York City.  At first, he is afraid of all the hustle and bustle.  Even Nana’s apartment rumbles and shakes when the train goes by.  The boy does not feel like the city is a good place for him or his Nana!  But that night, Nana knits him a superhero cape to wear around as they visit all the “extraordinary places” there are to see.  They go to Central Park and Times Square; they see street dancers and dog walkers; and all the while, the boy feels very brave in his cape.  When it is time for the boy to leave, he leaves his Nana the cape so she can feel brave too and he realizes that the city is a great place to be!

In this story, Lucy and her family spend a fantastic day at the beach, digging holes, running in the waves, rolling down the dunes.  When it was time to go, everyone yawned – they were so sleepy.  That evening, Mom yawned and fell asleep as she read to Lucy.  Lucy went to get her stuffed animals and they were all  tired too.  She decided to take them into bed with her as well.  After everyone is settled, Lucy and all her stuffed animals yawned, her family in the pictures yawned, even the moon yawned before Lucy fell into a contented sleep.
yard sale

This is a sad story about a family going through financial difficulties.  They have to move into a smaller apartment and so must sell their belongings that won’t fit into their new space.  They hold a Yard Sale and many people show up.  It is very difficult for Callie to watch all her things get sold, especially her headboard that she scribbled tally marks on to count all the times she read Goodnight Moon, and her red bike with training wheels.  Her neighbor and friend Sara, offers to let Callie move in with their family.  But Callie knows that she would miss her family too much.  When a customer tells Callie that she is so cute and asks how much she costs, Callie gets very upset and runs to her mom and dad.  They assure her that they would never sell her.  Callie realizes that it is not the things you own, but the people you live with that makes a home.    

Nothing makes Sierra happy like soccer.  She loves kicking the ball and running down the field.  But soccer also makes her sad because all her games end up on Saturdays, which is a day that her auntie can’t come to watch her.  She’s very busy at work.  Sierra really wants someone to be there and cheer her on, someone who knows her and loves her.  She gathers up her courage and talks to her coach about it.  At first, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work.  But in the end, her auntie is able to make it and Sierra is thrilled.  Happy Like Soccer isn’t on the list for Global Read Aloud, but is a good one for the open choice in Week 7.   We were introduced to this book by our wonderful staff developer, Emily DeLiddo and many of our teachers use it for read aloud.


Professional Read


This book is based off the research from John Hattie’s original Visible Learning, which looked at over 800 meta-analyses focusing on achievement.  This book organizes the research into sections around teaching:  Preparing the Lesson, Starting the Lesson, The Flow of the Lesson, Feedback and the End of the Lesson.  It also discusses the 8 Mindframes that teachers have to possess in order to obtain the highest levels of achievement.  These 8 Mindframes are my favorite thing about this book and something that we are beginning to explore more with the teachers in our district.  

These 8 Mindframes are:

  • My fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of my teaching on students’ learning and achievement.
  • The success and failure of my students’ learning is about what I do or don’t do. I am a change agent.
  • I want to talk more about learning than teaching.
  • Assessment is about my impact.
  • I teach through dialogue not monologue.
  • I enjoy the challenge and never retreat to “doing my best”.
  • It’s my role to develop positive relationships in class and staffrooms.
  • I inform all about the language of learning.

The research in this book is important for educators to know and understand when talking about and making decisions about how to raise achievement for students.

Fun Read


This book is about a writer who gets very ill and has to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time.  The doctors cannot figure out what is wrong with her.  Her husband does not like hospitals, and so does not show up often in the book.  He stays home with their two daughters and takes care of them.  Lucy’s mother, whom she has not seen in years, comes to stay for a week and does not leave her bedside.  It is through this visit that Lucy gets to know her mom by revisiting  her painful  past and it is then she begins to make peace with it.  This book was longlisted by the Man Booker committee for 2016.  I always look to this list for book suggestions and this book didn’t disappoint.

Join Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to share the reading you have done. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read – it’s a great way to discover what to read next!

12 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

    • Me too! Read aloud is such an important time in the classroom. Sometimes I worry it gets pushed to the side with all the other curricular demands. Global Read Aloud is such a great way to bring read aloud back to the forefront!

  1. Hurrah for Lauren Castillo! When I read about these great teaching books I feel a bit sad that I am retired, but of course, I’m happy that you reminded me of the Man Booker list. I’m actually looking forward to reading more adult titles and have put My Name is Lucy Barton on hold as an audiobook. Do you think it will work in that format?

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