literacyeverywhere

Saving the World Through Literacy!

My Orange Duffel Bag

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Monday night I went to the Decatur Library to see Sam Bracken & Echo Garrett.
Sam shared his amazing story. His story reminded me of so many of my students. Sam grew up with extreme abuse and in a family that used alcohol and drugs. The amazing part of Sam’s story is that he earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech, even though he was homeless at the time.
During his talk, we laughed and cried. Sam’s story is a powerful one. So much of it will be with me always. But one thing will never leave my heart or mind. He told us that it just took one person who cared about him more than he cares about himself. One person. That’s what changed his life. Amazing.
As a teacher, this hit me like a bus. I want to be that person for my kids. The lost ones, the lonely ones, the scared ones, the hungry ones, the ones that just don’t have anyone. Sam’s words were a call to action for me. A powerful call to action that reaffirmed my calling as a teacher.

Echo Garrett talked to us about the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation and their work with young people. She shared the sobering statistics about homeless and foster kids that I am too aware of. Most of them don’t graduate from high school. Most jobs require at least that.
These two amazing people touched my heart. We need more people like Sam & Echo in the world.
Check out Sam’s book here:
http://www.myorangeduffelbag.com/
Check out the foundation here: http://orangeduffelbagfoundation.org/

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Proud to be Nerdy!

Two Worlds Collide!

Today, my books and bling life and literacy teacher life get to collide again. I love when this happens!

I love reading. Even more that that, I love people who love reading!

So, when I had the chance to write a post for the awesome Nerdy Book Club, I was all in! These are my people! I feel so at home with the Nerdy Book Club. Though I try to visit a variety of blogs, this is the one I never miss!

Check it out here: http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/my-kids-hate-reading/

I hope you join all the Nerdy Book Club awesomeness! It really is great to be Nerdy!

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Common Core: Woes, Oooohs, & Yos!?

Common Core is Coming…Ready or Not!

education newspaper

I’m curious as to your Woes, Oooohs, and Yos! What do I mean? Let me explain:

Woes: What are you worried about? What is aggravating you? What do you need?

Oooohs: What are you wondering about? What have you heard that needs clarification? What is your “Oh! It would be awesome if …”

Yos: What have you found that is so awesome that you want to yell, “Yo! Check this out!”

I’d love to gather your Woes, Oooohs, & Yos and share them. Together we can do anything!

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Summer Reading Lists #1

I simply cannot wait to have days & days to read this summer, but I know many of my students don’t feel the same way.

I can’t (as much as I try, wish, pray, & dream) make anyone love reading or use magic to zap my non-readers into Reading Rock Stars!

What I can do, and really love to do, is share awesome book titles with students and parents. Maybe one (or two, or three, or more) of those books will click with a kid, or inspire them, or lead them to other books. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

I am not a fan of summer reading assignments for my students. I have tried a million different things (well, maybe not a million, but quite a few) to get kids to read over the summer. Assignments that force reading just don’t work for my students. It’s hard enough to get some of my kids to read during the year, so I sure don’t have any pull over the summer! Most of my kids don’t think about school at all during the summer. Summer assignments get ignored, forgotten, and unfinished. Then they start off a new school year already behind. It is huge DISLIKE all around! So, it doesn’t happen in my classes. I always suggest books, have lists available for students and parents, and hope that they read. If your kids (and parents) participate in summer assignments, YAY YOU! Do what you know works for your students!

Here are a few of the Summer Reading Lists that I’ve seen floating around. I’ll keep posting them as I find more.  

Be sure to check out your local libraries and book stores, too. They always have super awesome things going on-most with prizes! 

If you have a great list or a book you think kids will love, do send it my way. 

Scholastic Summer Challenge

The Teacher Report: 20 Summer Reading Picks

Georgia Children’s Book Award Nominees for 2012-2013 (great list of awesome reads!)

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The Post Where My Worlds Collide-Chicago Edition

This week I’m in Chicago at the International Reading Association’s 57th Annual Convention.

IRA 2012 Chicago

Two of my favorite things are combined: Reading and Education!

I don’t usually mix my two social media personalities, but this week Books and Bling and on Literacy Everywhere are mixing together in an epic pairing of awesome!

Yesterday, Schmoopy and I took a LONG WALK to see where Merit of the Chicgoland Vampire books lives-Go Cadogan!. Chloe Neill even posted my pic on her blog!

Cadogan House!

This morning, I got to see Dr. Steve Perry speak. He was really inspiring!

Dr. Steve Perry at IRA 2012

Then I met Michael Buckley and he loved the Bling! I’m a huge fan of his NERDS series! He is just as awesome in person as I thought he’d be!

Michael Buckley & the BLING!

 

Awesome NERDS Signed Copy Bling! YAY!

Next, I heard Nick Bruel speak and got him to sign some Bad Kitty books for me. I even snagged one of his Bad Kitty drawings from his presentation. AWESOME!

Bad Kitty for President! You’ve got my vote!

 

Bad Kitty Sketch!

Basically, I’m learning tons and fangirling my way through this awesome town! Well, we’re eating a ton of great food, too! Chicago is super yummy!

Here are some more of our fun Chicago pics!

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