Saturday, January 2, 2016

Must Read in 2016

Recently, I have really thought about my reading life. I somewhat feel as if I have been in a reading slump. I still read, but haven't been as good about it as I have in the past. It just seems as if I am letting little things get in the way.

This is all about to change. I was disappointed when looking at my reading on Goodreads. I know part of that is because I have been terrible about updating my reading on the site. This past year, I didn't set a reading goal for myself on Goodreads. Part of me wonders if maybe the lack of a goal is part of the reason for the slump. So for 2016 I have set a goal on Goodreads to read 250 books. I've surpassed that in the past, so I know it's a manageable goal.

But I'm going to take it a step further. I am coming up with a list of Must-Reads in 2016. I have seen other people do this in the past and enjoy reading about their progress. I am also hoping, by creating this list, I have a go-to place when I get in another slump. Most of these books I have wanted to read for quite some time. Others haven't been published yet. Some are professional books that I have started and haven't finished.

Without further ado, here is my list of Must-Read in 2016 (in no particular order):

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
Drowned City by Don Brown
The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Swan: the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlov by Laurel Snyder
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Moo by Sharon Creech
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
Full of Beans by Jennifer Holm
59 Reasons to Write by Kate Messner
Drive by Daniel Pink
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
In Defense of Read Aloud by Steven Layne
The Unstoppable Writing Teacher by M. Colleen Cruz
Raising Kids Who Read by Daniel T. Willingham

So there it is, my Must-Reads in 2016. What will you read?

Friday, January 1, 2016

One Little Word

For the last few days, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what my One Little Word for 2016 would be. No matter what I thought of, none felt right. If it doesn't feel right, I know I will have a hard time living it this year. I really needed to find a word that "spoke" to me.

As I was straightening things up in my kitchen, my eyes fell upon this plaque one of my students gave me for Christmas.

That's when it hit me; THIS is my word. I've read this plaque several times over break. I've really thought about what it means for me and for people around me. I've thought about how sometimes I need to inspire myself. I've thought about how I want to inspire my students. I've thought about how, as a literacy coach, I want to inspire my peers.

So this is it. The word I will live by this year. The word I will think about when doing things for myself or my family. The word I will hold close to my heart when thinking about my students and colleagues. How can I encourage someone, myself included, to be their best? How can I awaken those good, positive feelings in myself and those around me?

I don't really have the answers right now, but I know I will enjoy the journey finding the answers. Inspire.