Latest Reads

I LOVE reading children’s literature-like really can’t get enough of it.  It gives me the opportunity to be a kid again and be full of the light that I experienced as a child when I found books I couldn’t put down.  It’s also so intriguing to me to sit down with a children’s book and try to look at it with adult perspective and then remove all inhibitions, and look at it with a child’s wonderment.  This was never more apparent to me than an experience I had this summer.

thebestworstthingI was working at an enrichment camp, and we would bring the children to the library every Tuesday.  As I looked through the display of new books, a budding fourth grade girl commented that the book in my hand, The Best Worst Thing by Kathleen Lane, was “amazing”.  So naturally I had to get it.  I finished the book in a day due to it’s easy prose and quick, snippet chapters.  It tells the story through the narration of Maggie, who is about to start middle school as the book opens and immediately Maggie’s quirky personality resonates through all of the events that take place.

The whole time I read it I couldn’t decide how I felt about the story-and I couldn’t help but think that this may have been intentional on the part of Kathleen Lane.  The events and the emotion of the young characters felt authentic and the undertones of the adult relationships also were depicted beautifully through the perception of a child.  But the whole time I kept asking myself, what about this was amazing in the eyes of that camper?  Perhaps it was the eccentricity that I could see in this child and was apparent in almost every character in the book.  I’m not sure.  But I challenge you to give this book to a young adult reader and then sit down to discuss and try to see the world that Kathleen Lane created through the eyes of a child.

littleoneA picture book I read this summer and really enjoyed was Little One by Jo Weaver, @joweaverillustrations.  The charcoal drawings are magnificent and ground the story about Big Bear and Little One in the serenity that nature provides.  I nearly cried as Big Bear shows Little One all the possibilities that are outside their den and gives gentle reminders of what life has to offer.  As a mother of a two year old this truly grabbed my heart in a vice to connect with the big role we have to show our children what life has to offer and guide them towards understanding life on their own.

From a teaching perspective, I think this could be a great read aloud that could connect to science for K-1 through furthering a discussion about the seasons, hibernation, etc.  It’s also a great one for just stopping and noticing what the pictures have to add on to the text.  I have no doubt whatever use you find for it your students will be captivated and calmed by the story and beautiful illustrations.

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New Start, Endless Possibilities

Last year I served as a literacy coach in Sussex-Wantage School District in New Jersey which was an incredible learning experience as it was my first year coaching.  There were ups and downs and in reflecting, I learned more from that experience than any other professional experience I’ve ever had.  I firmly believe it was this experience that allowed me the opportunity to come back home to the district I taught in, now as an instructional coach, and I am BEYOND thrilled to be doing so!

My new role is slightly different because it will not only be literacy rather I will be focusing on the needs of basic skills and gifted students, while also working with teachers to hone in on best practices of instruction for all learners that can be present in any given classroom.  I am proud and honored to be part of a district that is continuously reflecting and working on enhancing the academic opportunities it provides.

My goal in creating this site is to develop a community of educators that I can go to for advice and gain a greater perspective on what I’m doing and what other educators are doing to improve instructional practices.  The greatest honor would be for me to be able to do the same for others.  Coaching can be a more solitary role than a classroom teacher, and I am fortunate to have three other coaches in my cohort to work with.  Nonetheless, coaching is still a relatively new concept, and I believe that using technology and social media can be an excellent way to continue my own professional development through learning from each of you!

So may I take this opportunity to wish all of you a wonderful 2016-2017 school year that challenges you to push your limits and allows you to breath in the fresh air of the endless possibilities!  Remember why you got into this profession-because you love kids and you love seeing that spark in their eye. Even on the hardest days, never forget that.