It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 8/17/15


Visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to participate in the kidlit version of this weekly meme.

On the blog:

  • A curation of the best online reading from last week
  • An interview with Kelsey Empfield about her student teaching experiences
  • A Top Ten list of the picture book authors and illustrators I’ve read the most
  • My #pb10for10 list: 10 picture books I can’t wait to share with my college students this fall

In reading:

from master teacher to master learner

Will Richardson’s new book, From Master Teacher to Master Learner, lays out a powerful argument about education reform in just 70 pages. Richardson claims that in this age of access to abundant information and knowledge, the role of the teacher and the role of school fundamentally need to change. He has so many smart things to say about the many dysfunctions of school–as well as sound practical advice for how to change. But where I think his book is most helpful is in its focus on what the individual teacher can do. It’s often difficult to see how we can change our institutions. It’s much easier to change ourselves and our classrooms, and Richardson tells us how to do this with one elegant and simple shift in perspective: teachers now need to be the master learner in the classroom. Highly recommended!

wild about us

Wonderful illustrations by Janet Stevens in this feel-good title about how we are all beautiful and right, just as we are. I truly never need a rhyming text, but I did rather enjoy Karen Beaumont’s writing. And I loved the message about celebrating our differences.
the cat the dog little red

A new favorite fractured fairy tale. Cat is trying so hard to narrate her favorite fairy tale, only Dog keeps interrupting with questions and comments that, according to Cat, are entirely beside the point. The use of white space is masterful, and the dialogue between Dog and Cat really hilarious. I especially loved Dog’s observation that Little Red isn’t very bright.

it's not fair

In preparation for Global Read Aloud, I’ve been adding to my Amy Krouse Rosenthal collection. It’s Not Fair is a title I hadn’t seen before. As always, Rosenthal provides many clever examples of situations that aren’t fair. There’s a wonderful shift three-quarters of the way through the story where the examples of “it’s not fair” become increasingly absurd, which underscores just how much we complain about situations that really aren’t that big of a deal. Lichtenheld’s cartoonish art is the perfect match for Rosenthal’s rabbit

A re-read for me, but a first read for my son. We’re Team Rabbit. This is such a simple concept and so brilliantly executed. The blank page after our unseen narrators scare the duck/rabbit away is especially masterful.





18 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 8/17/15”

  1. Myra GB Avatar

    The Master Teacher title sounds like a book that my own teacher students will most likely enjoy reading. And thank you for sharing another fractured fairy tale title. We had that for our bimonthly reading theme a few years back and we really enjoyed it!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Fractured fairy tales are such fun! I’m looking forward to introducing my students to them this semester. (Most have already read a couple but don’t realize it’s an actual thing.)

  2. runawaylibrarian Avatar

    Ooooh, there are several on here that would be excellent for my library, thanks for sharing. I’m especially psyched about the fractured fairytale, always big hits around these parts.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Glad you found something interesting! Cat, Dog, Little Red, etc., is definitely one of the more entertaining fractured fairy tales I’ve read.

  3. carriegelson Avatar

    So glad you also love this fractured fairy tale. I laughed aloud in the bookstore when I read it! So much fun. The Master Learner title looks fantastic. Sounds like a must read.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Will Richardson’s Kindle single, “Why School?”, is one of my favorite pieces of writing about education, so I was thrilled to see another book from him. He brings common sense back to education, which I appreciate. Soooo many things we do in school could be easily dispensed with if we would just apply a little common sense!

  4. Crystal Avatar

    The fractured fairytale sounds so fun. Thanks!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It is, Crystal. I really think you’d like it.

  5. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum) Avatar

    The Will Richardson title sounds really good. I definitely need to seek that one out!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      A very quick read–I read it while getting my hair colored, LOL. Full of smart thinking and a few solid practical strategies.

  6. Michele Knott Avatar

    I really enjoyed the message in Wild About Us. I hadn’t gone into it thinking it was going to be a book with a powerful message, so it surprised me. I like those books that can be used for a variety of age levels to get them talking about something!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I agree, Michele. Love those books that work with a variety of age levels. I do think the rhyme skewed it a bit young. My son hated the book–and I think that’s because he found it “babyish”–and the only thing I can put my finger on there is the rhyme.

  7. Linda Baie Avatar

    The Will Richardson book sounds like the way that we teach at our school, process of learning, not content of topics, and on. I’ll share this with colleagues, Elisabeth. And love hearing about Wild About Us. I haven’t kept up with her, but Janet Stevens is a former parent, lives in the Boulder area. I loved “The Cat, The Dog, Little Red. . .” so funny. Thanks for such a broad spectrum of books!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Your school always sounds so amazing to me, Linda–so different from the education my son is experiencing here. I have loved the Janet Stevens books I’ve read so really need to be a completist and check out the rest.

  8. Tara Smith Avatar

    I have put aside PD books for a bit , but the Richardsoon book sounds like such a worthy read, Elisabeth. Love your picture book offerings, too – especially Little Red.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I had hoped to squeeze 1-2 more PD books in this summer, but since school starts on Monday and it’s now Thursday, well… seems unlikely! I find it too tough to read them while I’m teaching.

  9. Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye) Avatar

    From Master Teacher seems super powerful and a book that I may need to pick up.
    So glad you loved The Cat… It is hilarious!
    I haven’t read that Rosenthal book–I will have to get my hands on it.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      The Rosenthal is very much worth it! So glad she’s the Global Read Aloud picture book author study this year. I love an excuse to revisit her work!

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