Saturday, August 22, 2015

Wake Up and Boogie! Dancing in Movies + Michael Jackson = Win!

Did you dance yet this morning?  If not, here is a new video for your weekend.  I'm totally regifting this one.  Thanks Aunt Beth!!

Me and Michael!

Monday, August 17, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set....Go! Over 100 Book Suggestions to Start Your School Year

You know what time of year it is.  You wake up in a sweat in the middle of the night because you have had yet another dream in which the students take over the classroom.  You start google searching things like, "101 creative things to do with tissue paper in a classroom," or "10 steps to avoid teacher burnout from the beginning."  You feel your heart rate go up walking through Target because WHY THE HELL DO THEY HAVE BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES OUT IN JULY???

We got the back to school blues
Yes folks, it is time to go back to school.  Our kiddos start a week from Thursday and my meetings start a week from today. This summer I had one of my busiest on record.  (More on that in a non-book related post later.)  I unexpectedly managed to get almost all of my summer reading list read. The only outlier was Gulliver's Travels.  Man, that book was just not doing it for me. Unapologetically, I let it go.  

My first day as a teacher ever...
About to start my 11th year as a teacher!

I've been seeing Facebook posts and getting some emails about what books to stock up on for the upcoming school year.  Here's what I do.  I read the twitter-sphere, the blogs, the reposts of old posts, and I keep my Boston Public Library account page open in a tab.  Then I request the books immediately or put them in my "For Later" shelf.  Pro-tip: There is much power in the For Later shelf.  I used to have stacks of books everywhere that I couldn't get through.  Now, I keep those suckers queued up so I am ready with a new book once I finish and return the other library books.  

Without further ado, here are some links to the lists I've been pouring through as well as some lists I've compiled myself.  I counted 'em up and there are over 100 books here.  I also added a bonus section at the end with even more books!

Beach Books that you should read if you are desperately still clinging to summer

A recent Facebook post I saw asked for good read alouds for kindergarten on the first day of school. Here is the list of books that were named:

  1. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes 
  2. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen 
  3. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  4. My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown
  5. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
  6. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip and Erin Stead
  7. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
  8. Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
  9. P Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis
  10. Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor
  11. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett
  12. Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  13. Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
  14. Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber
  15. Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
  16. Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathmann
  17. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
  18. The Day the Crayon’s Quit by Drew Daywalt
  19. Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman

Hoot, one of my favorite characters of 2015

EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS!  Get ahead of the crowd with this list!

Books from the future (Publisher's Weekly's list of new books coming in Spring of 2016)

Alright, no more panic attacks or have lists!  (Just kidding, I know you will still have panic attacks and nightmares.)

Monday, August 3, 2015

All the Stacks

I fully admit that I am one of those folks who has romanticized the stacked books that pile up in "real book lovers'" homes.  Surely it must say something about a person when they are surrounded by stacks and stacks of books.  Certainly they must love books more than anyone else, right?

Thanks, interwebs!  I learned this because of you!

While I have always pined over the cozy apartment with my own stacks, my gypsy spirit has kept me from ever really getting some good stacks of my own.  In the past 18 years, I have only stayed in one apartment for 2 years, at the most.  Sometimes I've even been there less than a year.  While I have always prided myself in hauling my enormous collection with me, the consistent purge in my life seemed to keep the stacks away.

As I mentioned recently, I have signed on for year 3 in my current apartment.  This being summer vacation, I decided to take some time and give the apartment a good once over.  This is mostly because one day it seemed as if the walls were caving in around me.  When did I acquire all this...stuff?  One thing that was most certainly present was my own collection of book stacks.  In fact, it seemed things were out of control.

Stack of unread books...right next to my unplayed guitar.
My neglected things.  Wah wah. 

What to do?  I don't think I've rid myself of a book, other than sharing it with someone, in...well, maybe never!  Alas, I share my space with two lovelies and it isn't quite fair for them to have to put up with my growing collection.  They have been very tolerant so far.  I have also been trying to save money, which means the library has been my main squeeze for the past year. I really didn't need to keep all of these books if I could just check them out.

I set to the task of "curating" my library.  It took me about 4 hours but in the end I felt much better.  I discovered that sometimes I own multiple copies of the same book.  I donated all the books to the elementary school around the corner. All books now fit on shelves. They are organized at last. There are no more stacks. I even made room to store my bike and incorporate a new chair into my bedroom. A chair for...reading books!

Goodbye books!
Do y'all have stacks? One of my favorite children's lit bloggers just tweeted this post the other day and I giggled at the perfect timing. I'm curious how many people actually have these romantic tsundokus and how many just dream of them like I used to. Whatcha got world? Show me your stacks!