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YA Book Love

This week, we’re thrilled to have librarian Lisa Teixeira with us to share some titles that will no doubt appeal to high school students. Lisa has been leading book discussions with her school book club—Better Than Oprah—playing literacy games with visiting English classes, teaching information literacy to students, and reading lots of wonderful YA literature.

The following 7 books (7 is her lucky birthday number, which she actually shares with her favorite YA author, Sherman Alexie) are her favorites from the past year. Read more

Revisiting a Closer Look at “Close” Reading

Falling in Love with Close ReadingBy Lynne R. Dorfman

* As we look at strategies that work in our classrooms, we thought it was time for another look at “close” reading. So this week, we’re reposting Lynne Dorfman’s wonderful post on what close reading is and isn’t from last year. Enjoy!

Kate Roberts, Maggie B. Roberts, and Chris Lehman engaged a rather large audience in their interactive workshop session about close reading texts and close reading lives at the 103rd Annual NCTE Convention in Boston. They gave us some practical advice and helped us define close reading in terms of what it should not be and what it could be. Read more

Moving Students Forward: Be Generous with Time and Space

By Janice Ewing

Time and SpaceWe all know that a teacher’s new year starts in late August or early September, but still, during the months of December and January, as the rest of the world closes out one year and starts the next, it seems appropriate to focus on the theme of moving students forward as readers, writers, and thinkers, and that’s what we’ve been doing on our blog. Moving students forward is what we’re all about, even if that movement is inconsistent or even imperceptible at times.

Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means to “see” growth in our students – whether in test scores, conferences, writing pieces, or observation. What’s happening when growth is not evident, and how should we respond? Read more

Gatsby, Hawthorne, and Being Sixteen

By Tricia Ebarvia

One of the last books I read in 2014 was Gabrielle Levin’s delightful novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.  At one point, the main character—a somewhat odd and sometimes churlish bookseller named A.J. Fikry—tells his daughter to remember that “the things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the same things we will respond to at forty and vice versa. This is true in books and also in life.”  He adds, “Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time.”

Many years ago when I first read The Great Gatsby in high school, I didn’t like it very much. I remember listening to a classmate discuss how much she loved the book. “Gatsby,” she gushed, “The way he could change his entire life to win Daisy over? It’s soooo romantic.” I didn’t get it. Read more