Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Best of 2015

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed your winter break and took the time to recharge and recalibrate!

In this week's newsletter, I am sharing some of the best books of 2015! One of my favorite blogs is The Nerdy Book Club. I highly recommend taking a look at the fiction and nonfiction titles that made their lists for the best books of 2015! I have also included links to materials for guided reading and a link to the Mystery Science website, which has wonderful lessons that connect to our curriculum.

Happy Reading (and Happy 2016!),


An Evening with Authors

Last year Jon and I took the kids to An Evening With Authors at Falmouth Elementary School. Children's book authors from around the state and New England set up tables in the school cafeteria to sell and sign their books. The best part was our kids had a chance to meet some of their favorite authors, like Cynthia Lord and Tamra Wight This year there will be 35 authors and illustrators from around New England! The event is free and open to the public. I highly recommend the trip to Falmouth on Friday, January 15 from 6:00-8:00!

Here is the link for more information on Author's Night. Check out the incredible list of authors who will be in attendance!

Nerdy Book Awards ~ Best Books of 2015

Best Fiction Picture Books

Best Nonfiction Picture Books

Best Early Reader and Chapter Books - Great book titles for read alouds in the primary grades!

Best Middle Grade Fiction - Many of our favorite titles at WES made the list!

Great New Read Alouds, K-2

Grace and I own a number of these titles, so let me know if you are interested in checking one out! We are huge fans of Shelter Pet Squad and The Princess in Black! We also enjoyed reading The Story of Diva and Flea, which is a new title from Mo Willems. I am hoping to meet Ellen Potter and buy Piper Green and the Fairy Tree at the Author's Night in a few weeks. The Atwood library has the two books in the Dory Fantasmagory series, which are hilarious! Happy Reading!

Guided Reading Resources

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One of the books I am currently reading is The Next Step in Guided Reading: Focused Assessments and Targeted Lessons for Helping Every Student Become A Better Reader. (Thank you to Nanette for the book recommendation!) If you would like to check this book out, let me know! It's filled with resources and practical advice for how to structure your small group lessons for students at all reading levels.

Here is a link to Jan Richardson's resources. On this page you will find resources for:

*Comprehension Scaffolds for Students

*Electronic Lesson Planning Templates

*Guided Word Study

*Guided Writing

*How To Strategy Cards for Teachers

*Lesson Plan Templates

*Materials for Book Clubs or Literature Circles

*Observation and Assessment

*Organizing Materials

*Prompts and Scaffolds

*Reading Notebooks


*Sample Schedules

*Website Resources

I highly recommend checking out some of the materials on this site to support your small group instruction and RTI interventions!

Ten Tips to Create Great Readers - I also recommend reading this great blog post about ten "game changing habits" that can greatly impact engagement and progress in our readers! (It's a quick read!)

Mystery Science

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In addition to materials from Science A-Z, you may want to check out the FREE materials on Mystery Science for Grades 2-5. Many of the topics on this site align to our curriculum, so before you start planning your next science unit, you may want to check out this incredible site. The lessons include activities and assessments. Enjoy!

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach, K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School