Saturday, May 29, 2021

Text Sets: Professional Books for Summer Learning

Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. 
Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!  

 This week, I'll be sharing some professional books I am excited to dig into this summer. It's been such a great year for professional books and I am looking forward to time in the summer to really spend time with some of the newest professional books I've discovered. Summer is such a great time to relax, refresh and renew our teaching energy.  Professional books always help me with that and summer is my favorite time to dig into these. 

I read En Comuninidad this year and was able to hear the authors speak.  This is an area that I haven't learned enough about and these brilliant authors invited me into this learning.  My next read in Translanguaging will be Rooted in Strength which is brand new.  Such an important topic for all of us to learn about. Thanks to these authors for putting these incredible books out in the world.  

I was able to hear Dr. Detra Price-Dennis and Dr. Yolanda Sealy-Ruiz talk about their new book, Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education last month. It is definitely an area that I need to learn more about. And I've learned so much from Dr. Detra Price-Dennis about Black Girls' Literacies that I am looking to the upcoming book on the topic by Dr. Price-Dennis and Dr. Muhammad. (Black Girls' Literacies is due out in early to mid June). 

I loved Steph Harvey and Annie Ward's book From Striving to Thriving and am glad to see these two have written another book on a similar topic (with two other coauthors). Intervention Reinvention comes out in June and I know I'll learn so much about supporting all readers. And I just received my copy of Trusting Readers this morning.  I worry we have come so far away from trusting our learners and the focus on independent reading and trust got me excited about this book right away. I think we all need this one in order to talk against deficit language narratives in literacy teaching. 

I preordered Start Here Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community long ago and can't wait to dig in. I have learned so much from Liz Kleinrock on social media that I am so glad to see a book by this author!  

And one I am very excited that we are now able to preorder Reading and Teaching with Diverse Nonfiction Children's Books (The preorder link just went live this week--woohooo!)  I have been hearing about it on social media for months and it is a topic I need. These editors are incredible experts and the list of authors (listed on the preorder page) is just WOW! This book is a summer must-read for sure! 

Happy Reading!

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Poetry Friday -- Gratitudes

Dear Poetry Friday Peeps,

I feel like there has been a wrinkle in time, and I am right back where I was last week. 

A week ago, I had completed a rigorous day-by-day to-do list that culminated in packing for a weekend away at a Casting for Recovery alumni reunion. On Thursday evening, I ignored Franki's "How are you feeling?" text and crashed. I will finish my Poetry Friday post in the morning, I told myself. 

But you all had other plans for Friday, didn't you? 😁 😉

There are no words to describe what the gift of your words means to me. I've said "Gobsmacked" on more than one occasion. I'm also humbled, dazzled, blushing, teary, and filled with gratitude. To Franki for hatching this plan, to Irene and Christie for helping to make it happen, and to all of you -- thank you, thank you, thank you!

The hardest thing about this gift is that I've only been able to begin to take peeks at all of the posts. I tried to get started while at the retreat, but the weather was too nice, the bluegills were biting, and the trails needed hiking. Then, when I got home Sunday, I hit the ground running. There was another week-long rigorous day-by-day to-do list: the last of the grading, report cards, RTI plans, field day, final preparations of student gifts, bringing home the last big items from the classroom, and then, last night, after the In Real Life meet-up of my Wright Elementary and Depp Elementary Team Hahn students at a park halfway between the two schools, like last Thursday night, I crashed. I will finish my Poetry Friday post in the morning, I told myself. 

And now here I am. Friday. The last day of the 37th week of my 37th year of teaching. How am I feeling? Tired. Fulfilled. Devoid of regrets. Amazed. I did this thing. 

Finally, FINALLY, I will be able to read through last week's roundup and savor your words. You will help me to look back and reflect on a the magnitude of my impact. I think that's probably the biggest gift you have given me. In case I ever doubted myself (actually, for all the many many times I failed and doubted and despaired), you have shown me -- unequivocally -- that I've made a difference in the world. 

What a gift. 

Thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Text Set: Series Books Featuring Strong Girl Characters for Transitional Readers

  Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. 
Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!  

I love finding great new books for early chapter book readers. The stage of reading that typically happens in grades 2-4 is such fun and it often the stage where readers discover a series they fall in love with. I love discovering new series and new series book characters that may hook reader at this age. This week's text set focuses on series books featuring strong girl characters. Maybe you'll find a new series or two to add to your home, classroom or school library!

I was so happy to get to know Ryan Hart last year in Ways to Make Sunshine. The second book in this series Ways to Grow Love was just released a few weeks ago.  I could not be happier to see Renée Watson writing for this age. The character is one you'll fall in love with right away. These books are just under 200 pages so perfect for early middle grade readers. 

I have been waiting for Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-To-Be Best Friend since I saw it mentioned by Debbie Reese. From the new Heart Drum imprint, this new character made me smile from the first page.  Jo Jo is in first grade and this book is just 80 pages long with illustrations throughout. Jo Jo is an Ojibwe girl. Author, Dawn Quigley is a member of the Ojibwe nation. I can't wait to read more books about Jo Jo --she is a great new character who had me laughing out loud a few times! 

I heard Erin Entrada Klly ead from this book at a webinar a few months ago so I have been anxiously awaiting Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey that will be part of a series.  Marisol is a great character who is a bit scared of all things. There are plenty of illustrations throughout that add to the story. I love that young readers will be introduced to Erin Entrada Kelly at a younger age and then maybe grow into her other books.  This is one that would make a great read aloud! 

I love anything by Grace Lin and I was so glad to see the new covers on The Year of the Dog and this whole series a few years ago. Pacy is a great character and this series is a bit more difficult than the others on the list.  I had lots of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders who have loved this series.  Again, I love that Grace Lin has a series that might introduce readers to her middle grade books --then they go on to read all of her others.  

I love anything Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham. One of my favorite duos in children's lit. I have loved Princess in Black since the first book was released and I am so happy that it is still going strong. This is the perfect series for new-to-chapter-book readers.  Great stories, just enough humor, amazing illustrations and stories that young readers can hold onto over time.  

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous independent children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

#PoetryFriday #PoemsforMaryLee #MarvelousMaryLee

Join us in celebrating Mary Lee's Retirement! 
It's a Poetry Friday Takeover in Honor of #MarvelousMaryLee
Join in the fun with #PoemsForMaryLee!!
We love you Mary Lee!

I retired from Dublin City Schools last May and for the 33 years I was a teacher there, Mary Lee was too!  I can’t remember the exact moment we met but I know that it had to be some literacy committee or district book club that brought us together for the first time.  Over the years we never taught in the same building but we taught and grew and wrote and learned together throughout our careers. How lucky am I?  Mary Lee has been a gift to all of us who have learned alongside her as teachers, colleagues and friends.  Such an incredible career she’s had! Today, let’s celebrate #MarvelousMaryLee with #PoemsForMaryLee as she goes into her last week of teaching before retirement!


Mary Lee is retiring
And today we want to celebrate her
Retirement with a Poetry Friday Takeover!
(You know I love you if I attempt writing poetry for you.)

Let the fun begin!

Everyone join in sharing
Everything we love about Mary Lee!


I have been lucky for

So so long learning from and with Mary Lee!


Really, who gets to have a whole career with someone
Equally passionate about children, literacy and learning
Teaching together, but not in the same school, all these years

Is such a gift

Reaching so many students and supporting so many colleagues

Is what you’ve always done

Now it’s time to

Go on to enjoy your new adventures!


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Text Set: Reading and Writing Different Books on One Topic

  Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!  

This week, we'll at books with similar topics or ideas written by different authors. As writers, studying pairs or sets of books across a topic or idea can really help writers see craft moves the author makes and how the authors approach ideas differently.  As readers, studying books on similar topics helps readers think about the difference between topic and theme. It is helps readers talk about the author's choices and how that impacts the bigger meaning of a narrative.

Our children are living through an important time in history. These three books, Outside Inside, And the People Stayed Home and Keeping the City Going each capture some of what life has been like during this pandemic. Each book approaches the topic a bit differently and the bigger messages are different.  Each of these books can be studied for craft, big idea, and more. Reading them all within a few days of each other will invite critical conversations.

Both The Camping Trip and Fatima's Great Outdoors are about a camping trip. Both have these of family.  But there are lots of differences and writing moves. The Camping Trip is a great mentor for writers who are looking for a mentor for writing graphic novels. Both books give readers lots to consider and to talk about.

Writing about a person you love can be done in so many ways. Me & Mama and I Dream of Popo capture the relationship and love between a child and someone in their life.  The writing, the craft and the focus is different but the feeling is similar.  Both capture every day experiences woven into a different format.

Home is In Between and Amira's Picture Day are two stories of children living between two cultures--the celebrations and challenges told in two very different ways. I love how both of these stories capture the experiences in such different ways.

Picture book biographies about the same person provide great mentors for readers and writers. Malala's Magic Pencil and Free as a Bird are two books about Malala. When readers read several books about the same individual, they can discuss why some biographies include different information than others. As writers, they can study the details writers choose help create a message about the person being written about--they often highlight one important characteristic.

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous independent children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Poetry Friday -- Arrival


I await a
the first
to emerge
from its
underground burrow
at the oak’s
brown skirt.

at first
then red-eyed
and loud
there’s never
just one
they move
in a crowd.

I await a
the first
of the brood.
A seventeen-year

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

For more information about Brood X, check out Cicada Safari. Irene has the Poetry Friday roundup at Live Your Poem.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Text Set: Teacher as Reader-Taking Care of Our Own Reading Lives

  Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates! 

Summer is around the corner. So, this week's "text set" is about taking care of our own lives as readers. I am a true believer that to be a teacher of reading, you must be a reader yourself. And I am the first to admit that I don't give enough time to my own reading life.  I spend so much time reading children's books (which I LOVE) and books to share with children, that I don't always make time for my own reading. This week's list is to make sure that we can think ahead to summer--so that we can start building our reading lists with books that aren't for the children in our classrooms, but for us. Because taking care of ourselves and our personal reading lives is important.

I loved this book so much and I need everyone I know to read it because there is soooo much to talk about.  Klara and the Sun is fascinating and I think no matter what your taste as a reader, you'll enjoy it.  I read Kazuo Ishiguro's book Never Let Me Go and it's one that has stayed with me for over a decade. I think Klara will be the same. I started this with the audio and it is fabulous --then I moved to the book. I highly recommend either or both. I read this book several weeks ago and have been thinking about it ever since. If you read it, you must let me know so we can chat!

The Vanishing Half is by far one of my favorite adult fiction novels of all time.  Brit Bennett was a new author to me when I read this and I am so glad that I discovered her writing. I love books with complex characters that I love and this one has that.  I love so many characters in this book and it was pretty incredible how well developed so many of the characters are. Really one of the best books of the decade, I think. 

I read Such a Fun Age last summer and loved it. It is definitely a book that gives us lots to think about and another with characters I loved.  This is a quicker read than the last two but it is also powerful and important. 

Juliet Takes a Breath is a young adult novel everyone should read!  This author. These characters.  The writing. All of it.  There is a new graphic novel version of the book too--I haven't read it yet but I hear it is also fabulous!

I am not always a fan of graphic novels. I read lots of middle grade graphic novels but not very many graphic novels for myself. But Dancing at the Pity Party is one I am so glad that I read. This is young adult but definitely a great read as an adult.  Family. Grief. Traditions. Growing up. It is brilliantly done.

This week's books were linked at Brain Lair Books. If you are looking for a fabulous independent bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. 

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Poetry Friday -- To My Students

To My Students

I am the riverbank
and you are the water.
You flow past me
year after year
a little wild.

I do my best 
to ensure you
a safe passage
and teach you 
and the ways of the world.

But you rush on.

Time passes.
You return
to the familiar banks,
the remembered curves and shallows.

I will not know you,
and yet I will have
a deep memory of your passing.
Your passing
wore me down
changed my direction
made me new.

©Mary Lee Hahn, date unknown

Bridget has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Wee Words for Wee Ones.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Text Set: Immigration Stories

Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. 

Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates! 

Reading across a topic so that an idea doesn't become a single story is important. When we think about immigration we have to make sure to think about immigration as broadly as possible when we think about time period, reasons for immigration, representation and more. I was hesitant to put this text set together because even with 6-8 books, this list is still very limited.  But I am hoping these books create a starting point or fill in gaps to the stories you have.

Home is in Between and Lailah's Lunchbox are two picture books that share experiences of children who have immigrated. Both show some celebrations and challenges with an eye toward the experiences of young children.  Even though these are fiction picture books, both are based on the authors' experiences and the author's note is a critical component in each of the books.

These are two very different books but the language and word choice was what made me put them together on one slide. Dreamers is a beautiful book that can be read and also studied as a writer. Six Words Fresh Off the Boat is a collection of 6 Word Memoirs that capture the experiences of people coming to America. Six Words Fresh Off the Boat is not written for children, but many of the 6 Word Memoirs can be shared with children.

The voices of children are highlighted in these books.  While Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees spans decades of people journeying by boat, Hear My Voice focuses on the current crisis of children being detained at the US Border.  Hear My Voice is a brand new, bilingual book   with powerful words and illustrations. All proceeds from Hear My Voice go to Project Amplify.

Their Great Gift is filled with poetic language and powerful images that celebrate immigration. The photos show the diversity and experiences of immigrants. While other books focus on different time periods of immigration, this book focuses on the 21st century.

Wishes and Two White Rabbits both focus two very different journeys that families take to find safety. Wishes releases next week and is must-have new picture book. Much of the story in both of these books is told in the illustrations.

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous independent children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!