The beautiful weather this past weekend makes me think about all of the sunny days we hope to have over summer vacation! Perfect weather to bury your toes in the sand and your nose in a book. And the crazy storm Saturday night made me also think about those summer storm days when it's perfect to curl up on a porch and read with raindrops in the background. Yes, with only a few short weeks until summer vacation, it's time to start thinking about summer reading. Not summer reading for your students, summer reading for you! I love that I have more time and more energy in the summer and can move quickly through my "to be read" pile which is currently a leaning tower on my night stand about to fall over any day now.
Do you have a reading plan or have you been thinking about a reading plan for this summer? I do still work in the summer, but my schedule is certainly lighter during the day so one thing that I do is actually schedule professional development reading time and writing time. Might seem silly, but if it's on my schedule, I usually follow through with it. Think about creating a regular reading time and writing time for yourself.
Do you have books that people have recommended and you have tucked them away during the school year? Now it's time to dig them out so you can get ready to dive into them! You know I have a whole list of books to read for professional development, books to read so I can book talk with students, and books to read just for fun. How about you? What's on your summer reading list? Here are some books that I am excited to dive into this summer...
I am working on creating a plan for our optional summer book club with Katie Novak's book, UDL Now. Even though I have read articles, been through some coursework and implemented UDL components, I have not read this book. Looking forward to reading it this summer!
I have been skimming through another new professional development book, Welcome to Writing Workshop. I ordered several copies for any teacher who is interested in reading it this summer. Since we will be focusing on writing instruction as a staff next year, I want us to have some current resources to work with. I love that this book is full of video clips from current teachers and principals so you can read a section and then also check out a video clip about the topic.
One of my dear friends and one of the leaders who I worked with to form Moms As Principals, just wrote a book with Adam Welcome, the author of Kids Deserve It. This new book is called Empower Our Girls, and I am super pumped to get my copy in the mail this week. Can't wait to read this one!
I loved Serpent's Secret and loved that I was able to sit next the author during my Scholastic board meeting in February. I am presenting in CT for Scholastic at the Reading Summit in July and Sayantani Dasgupta will be speaking there. I will definitely be reading her second book before I see her in July!
Another book that I was given recently but am saving for summer reading is Front Desk. It's about an immigrant family who works in a motel and the main character is a 10-year-old girl who works at the front desk. I have heard rave reviews about this book and can't wait to dive into it.
Besides reading a ton, I hope to also do even more writing in the summer. I would love to get myself in more of a habit of writing in a journal. I have written in several over the years, but I can't ever seem to make it a true habit. After seeing Jack Gantos speak at the MA Reading Association Conference in April, I am excited to use his book to help me with my journal writing. I am also part of a group called TeachWrite, there is a Facebook page, Twitter chats, blog posts, and they even offer courses where you are able to connect virtually be motivated by other educators to write. I am thinking of doing this Monday course in July: https://www.teachwriteacademy.com/notebook-noticings?utm_sq=g31b2e8vax&fbclid=IwAR2sKnYmwI98NJsJxwIrcJWpCaFzEN5aYM07qEwOKGv9zGr1qhZCv9RUudg
I belong to a Book of the Month club. I keep trying to cancel my subscription because I can't keep up with the books that come each month! And then my brother just sent me a few free months as a gift. I have to fly out to Washington State to do a presentation, and I am thinking that will give me lots of reading time! One book that was delivered but I have not had time to read yet is Maid. I have read several good reviews about it so I know I need to read it.
I am excited about our book swap for the students on field day. I have heard from many of you that you might be interested in a staff summer reading book swap. How about if you plan to bring in books during the last week of school and on Thursday and Friday of the last week, I will set up another staff book swap in the conference room like we did back in December? Maybe you will leave for vacation with some "new to you" books to pack in your suitcase or add to your night stand!
And do you have any recommendations for me? I know I always have a long "to be read" list, but I love getting recommendations from fellow colleagues!
One of the many perks of being connected to Scholastic and serving on their Principal Advisory Board is that I sometimes get read advanced copies of books. I spent my Sunday morning reading White Bird by R.J. Palacio. You might remember this author? She wrote Wonder! (If you have not read Wonder, you should stop reading my post and start reading that book right now!). Her new book is a graphic novel and it's historical fiction. It tells the back story of Julian, a character who most of us did not like in Wonder because of how mean he was to Auggie. This book will be available to buy in October and I think it will part of the fall Scholastic Book Fair. Here is Colby Sharp talking about it...
I have a principal friend in California who just wrote a picture book about kindness. The book is called One Drop of Kindness by Jeff Kubiak. The book shows how one small act of kindness can create a ripple effect, and we see that we all have kindness within us. Sometimes it just takes a little work to bring that out of all of us.
You might have heard me book talking Peter Reynold's new book over the announcements the other day. His book is called Say Something. In the book, he encourages everyone to speak up through words, art, music, poetry, or simply by being present and showing support. It's a great message for all kids (and adults) to hear.
Monday - Happy Memorial Day, No School
Tuesday - Grade 4 team meeting @ 8:00, Mountview Middle School Concert @ 9:15 in the gym
Wednesday - Force and Magnetism Enrichment Program for 3rd grade, Liz at Dawson from 9-10 for a transition meeting, Grade 5/Mountview Transition Meetings from 3:30-5:30 in the conference room
Thursday - Liz at Central Office for PLT Meeting from 7:45-10:00, Grade 3-5 Spring Concert @ 2:00
Friday - Grade 3-5 Spring Concert for Families @ 10:00, Grade 5 End of Year Celebration from 6:00-8:00pm in the gym
Great things I noticed last week:
- Monday afternoon I stopped by in the yellow pod for a celebration of the amazing girls who participated in Girls on the Run. A big thank you to the staff that helped these girls conquer fears and push themselves: Merle Olson, Jamie Leroy, Shelley Brennan and Sarah Shaughnessy!
- Kindergarten Orientation happened on Tuesday night. We had lots of parents attend, and I showed them this quick video of our current kindergarteners explaining what happens in full day kindergarten!
- Even though I was not able to go on the 1st grade field trip to the zoo, I did get some photo updates. Looks like the 1st grade team had a ton of fun and loves the zoo...but looks like they are missing a few students?! ;)
- 5th grader Michael did an awesome job being the Principal for the Day on Friday! He read to a 1st grade class, visited classrooms, met with Mrs. Hurley, helped load buses, and enjoyed lunch with a friend...it was just another busy day at Mayo! Even though it was a half day of school, a lot was accomplished!
Here is another video clip of Colby Sharp. This time he is sharing some great ideas for the end of the year. I love the idea of having kids create favorite books from the year lists.
And if anyone needs a feel good cry for the day...here you go...seriously (ugly cry happening for me when I watch this!)