Sunday, May 31, 2015

5 Young Adult Books to Read to Help You Stay In Touch with your Students

You can know a lot about someone by what they choose to read during their free time.  Someone who loves horror stories is probably more likely to be a thrill seeker, while someone who loves contemporary novels may be more solitary and enjoy the creature comforts of home.  So reading some popular novels that your students may be reading this summer may help you to understand who they are, what they like, and what makes them tick.

The first set of novels I've chosen is the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.  This is actually a set of three books, with a companion novel, which has been out for some time, but is still very popular due to the movies which are currently being released.  The original book, Divergent, features Beatrice Prior who must make the decision of who she is and which faction of life she will follow for her future.  This dystopian novel has something for everyone including action, romance, self-realization, and thrills.  It's sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, continue to follow Tris in her path of coming to age and finding love amongst a chaotic and changing society.

The next novel you should undertake is Paper Towns by John Green.  Paper Towns is a stand alone book which is being released as a movie this summer.  It follows the close but yet complicated relationship of two friends, Q and Margo, and the quest that Q must undertake to find Margo when she goes missing.  This book features mystery, romance, and learning how to step out of your comfort zone.

Once you're done with Paper Towns, pick up the fun and quirky, relatable story Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  Cath and Wren are sisters who grew up with the popular novels "Simon Snow".  Now that they are going to college, Wren is starting to make her own way, but Cath is still dependent on her sister.  When Cath is stuck with a new roommate, and her clingy boyfriend, she has to learn how to be independent and live on her own.  This romantic, funny, coming of age story will have you looking for the next book by Rainbow Rowell.

An emotional, heart-wrenching work of fiction is If I Stay by Gayle Forman.  This book features Mia, a classical music loving, cello playing, high school student who falls head over heels in love with Adam, the resident rock star of the local grunge band scene.  Their worlds intertwine and collide until on a snowy, winter day, an accident happens that turns Mia's world upside down and forces her to make the biggest decision of her life.  This book will have you cheering for love and crying for hard choices.  The sequel, Where She Went, is also available.

Finally the thrilling, action book, The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, is an older series, but like Divergent, with the movies coming out is regaining in popularity right now.  This follows the story of Thomas, a boy sent into "the glade" to live amongst other boys, all trying to find a way out of the maze surrounding them.  This may sound easy but there are monsters lurking around every corner.  When a surprise person is sent into the glade, everything begins to change and the need to get out becomes that much more desperate.  This dystopian novel features thrills, action, and adventure and is great for the young men in your life who need something to read.

These five books will be sure to keep you busy over the summer and will help you to connect to your students in the coming years.  I hope you enjoy them and learn something about the youth of today.

** Warning: Being that these are young adult works, they may contain items that you find offensive.  Please be aware of that before beginning any of these novels.

To read another great tip of how not to waste your summer, visit History Gal's blog.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Congratulations to the Winners

I am so thrilled to be able to announce the winners of my 200 Followers Giveaway packages.  I had a great week celebrating my mini-milestone and want to thank everyone who stopped by my blog and entered for a chance to win.  I also want to thank everyone who donated prizes to my giveaway and were so generous during this celebration.  You all made my giveaway a million times better and I really appreciate your support.

Now, without further ado

I will be in contact with you ladies shortly, via email, to send you your prizes.  Congratulations once again!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

200 Follower Giveaway!

I am beyond ecstatic and completely in awe that I have 200 amazing and incredibly loyal followers on Teachers Pay Teachers.  In November of last year when I was at just 60 followers, I never could have imagined getting to 200 in just 7 months.  It's a pretty momentous feat for me and I am so grateful for each and every one.

So to thank my followers and celebrate this special occurrence, I am hosting two giveaways.  Both include a $25 gift certificate to TpT and over $40 of resources donated by other awesome TpT authors.  Giveaway One is geared for grades K-5.  While Giveaway Two is geared for grades 6-12.

There are many ways to enter, thanks to all the great people who contributed to this giveaway.  Please feel free to enter one or both giveaways and complete as many entries as you like. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to picking a winner in a week.

That Darn Watched Pot

I don't have any glorious new idea or handy trick.  There's no new wisdom here for me to impart.  There simply is an old adage that has raised it's head and is most assuredly reminding me to pay attention...a watched pot never boils.

This particular pot has been simmering for a good week now.  I thought it would boil on Thursday or Friday.  I was pretty confident on Saturday and I was boosting with pride in my pot on Sunday.  Now, now it's Wednesday, and my pot has still not boiled.  Me?  I'm frustrated and tired and feeling quite a bit dejected.

I've tried to not be consumed by the pot.  I've tried to stay busy with other activities.  Yet every single time I've heard a movement, a jiggle, a tinker of metal, I would check it.  And what happens with a watched pot?

It never boils. 



I'm to the point I feel like I'm banging my head into a wall waiting for this pot to boil.  Maybe it's just time to take it off the stove.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Favorite Things...May

I am linking up with the Teaching Trio for this month's favorite things.

This month, I just bought some more great clip art at the TpT Teacher Appreciation sale, so I'd like to share my three favorite clip artists right now.

If you haven't seen the work of these three talented stores yet, check them out.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Currently it's May

I'm linking up with Farley again to share what's happening this May.  I hope you enjoy checking in on things.

I've got almost 12,000 songs in my i-Tunes and my OCD has me trying to rate them all so I spend most days listening to my i-Tunes on shuffle.  And most of the songs aren't that good.  Yuck!

Even though I'm not teaching anymore and every day is like vacation for me, I'm tired of taking my daughter to school and monitoring homework, putting up with busy-work projects, and going to activities.  I'm ready for the break of summer.

I'm being selfish, but I'd really like to have a good sale on Tuesday and Wednesday.  My sales have steadily gotten better and better, but with the steady decline of the end of the year, I'm not sure what to expect with this sale.  I just hope it's enough to make my May goals early, so I can relax for the rest of the month.

I am very grateful my husband has a job he loves and that he is so needed and in demand, but I could use a few less nights of work per week.  He's been working crazy hours and he commutes about 75 minutes one-way for this job, so when he works until 7 or 8 or even later, it's quite a hassle.  Plus, he's the cook in the family, so we usually end up eating take-out or microwaved food and that all gets a bit old.  I've tried cooking, but my daughter has asked me to never do that again.  I apparently stink at cooking anything except for maybe Kraft mac & cheese.

Finally I expect to do a lot of gardening and yard work this summer.  I am always the one responsible for anything that needs doing outside as my hubby burns easily, plus as I said, he's never home.  I would love to take a trip this summer, but I don't really see it happening, so that's my hope.  And I can't really say anything about my dream, but it's just that - a dream.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my May.  Want to share yours?  Get over to Farley's blog and get going on your own Currently.