Tuesday, January 06, 2015

What happens on a snow day, really

A snow day, yay!  How did we get it?  I bargained with Mother Nature, of course.  I promised that I would do certain things if we got to stay home, boring, mundane things that were overdue -- but necessary.  How did I really spend the day, why I did them, of course.  I don't want to jinx snow days for everyone else. So I worked on everything I promised, and I cooked as I always do on a snow way.  I mean, what if the power goes out and I don't have a big pot of spaghetti sauce done?  And I sat in my comfy chair with my warm blanket in front of my fireplace and I read.  Actually, I had to read the boring, mundane things I had been putting off.  But that was okay, I was in my  pj's in front of the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate.  And for a while, I just stared out the window, enjoying the show put on by Mother Nature.  So that's my snow day, what is yours?

Saturday, January 03, 2015

I read, you read, what about your students?

What makes a reader?  Many books and articles have been written on the subject, studies have been done and yet it seems to get more difficult all the time for students to actually check out library books.  Is it time, everyone is so busy all the time -- is reading the thing that gets dropped?  Is it technology?  Do we want pictures instead of words?  Are there no good books left?
I like to think that a lot of it is based on enthusiasm. The best thing is if the reader has a passion and zeal for reading -- these individuals will make the time to read, and demand that books are made available to them.  If this is not the case, then the "book seller" AKA teacher or librarian must be the one with enthusiasm, and be persuasive enough to entice one into at least trying out a new title.
Once in a while passion and "selling" are combined in a friend who will not rest until they share a great read with someone else.
I have a few choice books I offer to various reluctant readers:
  • "I Hunt Killers", a mystery about a teen age boy whose father is a serial killer (behind bars) and whose town has a series of murders, which he is convinced is a serial killer.  Has his father taught someone knew, is it the boy himself, or is it something else?  The plot moves fast with great characters, and enough plot twists to keep you engaged throughout.
  • 13 Reasons Why", a realistic fiction story of a suicide. A boy receives a box of cassette tapes (13 sides) which the girl who committed suicide sent to share the 13 things done by others she felt led to her suicide.  While it sounds like a real downer, it is well done and can lead to many great discussions.
  • "Cinder" a sci fi fairy tale retelling of Cinderella.  This is one of the most unique variations I have seen, with lots of action, fast paced, and not too girly.  Because it is the first book of a series, it is great for that reader who doesn't want to go through the effort of learning new characters and settings with each book.
Do you have any "go to" books you pull out when you are trying to reach a student?