Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Jen Vincent and Kellee Moye cohost It's Monday! What Are You Reading weekly on their blogs.   To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to check out their blogs Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

Professionally, I read Falling in Love with Close Reading by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts this weekend.  This is a must read professional book if you want to learn more about close reading and how you can teach your students to independently use close reading skills/strategies.  This book includes examples of student work, lessons, thinking prompts, charts, and more to help us teach students how to read closely for text evidence, word choice, structure, point of view/argument, and to compare across texts.  Each chapter also has a section at the end that explains how the skills are directly connected to the CCSS.

We are extremely fortunate to have Kate Roberts as our staff developer in our school district and are very lucky to have her coming today for professional development on close reading with our 6th grade teachers! So stay tuned to hear about that PD soon!

If you don't already follow Kate and Chris on Twitter or follow their blogs (Kate and Maggie's blogIndent and Christopher Lehman's blog), I highly recommend that you begin to follow them.  Thank you Chris and Kate for writing this professional book and sharing your ideas, lessons, and passion for close reading with all of us!

The I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis is a very popular series in my classroom this year and every year! I have read parts of the books, but did not read the whole series until this week and I now understand why they are always so popular and why I keep buying multiple copies of each one! I love how each book begins right in the moment of the terrifying event and then flashes back to tell the boy's story of what was happening right before the historical event took place.  This predictable structure helps readers navigate through the text and know which part of the story is flashback vs. flash-forward.  I love how Lauren integrates a fictionalized boy's story with true information about the historical event in each book.  I also love how she includes a section of factual information in the back of each book to give the reader detailed facts about the event. This series is engaging for all readers, but especially for reluctant readers who like action packed and thrilling stories to read! 

Enjoy reading this week! :)


  1. My kids LOVE the I Survived series! I have Falling in Love with Close Reading on my Amazon list. Might have to be making a purchase soon. I have heard a lot of good things about it! Would love to har more about that PD also. Thanks!

  2. I don't know this 'survived' series, but will look for it so I can recommend it, Melanie. I want to read Close Reading, but am doing other PD books now with teachers-no time. It does look good, & you are indeed lucky to have Kate Roberts with you!

  3. Melanie,
    I have to agree with your review of "Falling in Love with Close Reading" as Chris and Kate did a fabulous job of supporting their claim that close reading is for school, yes, but more importantly, independent close reading is important for life! The powerful student examples really brought the book to life! How thrilling to be able to have Kate Roberts for DAYS of staff development!

  4. This is the first I'm hearing of "I Survived" - interesting! Will have to look that one up. I also enjoyed Note and Notice - another professional development book connected to close reading. Looks like the one you just shared is also good! :) Have a great reading week.