The One Book You Need This Year

This post contains affiliate links which means Amazon tosses me some change whenever someone makes a purchase through one of these links and allows me feed my book habit! 

I am reading The Reading Strategies book right now and you guys . . .

This may be the best book of all time.

There is a reason the tagline on this book is "Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers".  It's one of the most practical, I can use this in my classroom and make a difference in students' reading lives right now books I've ever come across.

The first eighteen pages is on goal setting.  Thinking about where your kids are as readers, where the breakdown may be happening, and then moving with them from there.  After that, there are 300 pages of one pages strategy instruction ideas that could be used with students individually, in small groups, or in whole class lessons.

Take a peek at The Reading Strategies Book
There are 13 goals addressed in this book:

•Pre-Emergent and Emergent Readers
•Teaching Engagement
•Print Work
•Fluency
•Plot and Setting
•Thinking About Characters
•Themes and Ideas
•Main Topic and Idea
•Determining Key Details
•Understanding Text Features
•Understanding Vocabulary and Figurative Language

•Supporting Conversations
•Improving Writing About Reading



Here's a breakdown of each section:

Brief 2-3 overview of the goal

One page overview of the strategies

Then lots of strategies!

I love the Teaching Engagement section.  Let's be honest.  How many of us complain about our students not actually reading during reading time, hopping from book to book, or spending the whole time book shopping.  Now, how many of us would maybe gloss over this section to get to the "heavier" reading stuff that kids need to be successful?

I would have.  We feel a lot of pressure to add "rigor" to our classrooms and push our curriculum from day one.  The weight of those standardized tests rests heavily on our shoulders.  Here's a quote from the book that significantly changed my outlook on this:

I'm not going to lie-this book is expensive.
It's in color which really drives up printing costs.  Have the sections color coded makes it so much easier to flip through them though.  Teachers are visual creatures.  We color code EVERYTHING.  It makes sense for a book that is so full of lesson ideas is color coded.

So, do you have it already? Are you thinking about buying it? I can definitely say The Reading Strategies Book was the best instructional resource I purchased this summer.

Happy reading!

Five on the Fifth

Happy Five on the Fifth to you guys! If you're new around here, I like to {try} to share five great ideas I've come across while reading blogs in the past month on the fifth.  You can see the other ideas I've posted about on Five on the Fifth's very own Pinterest board.

School is slowly sneaking up on me (or more like bearing down like a freight train), so it's time to start thinking about real school stuff.  Here are five awesome posts from ladies who were thinking about school stuff this past month.

Does anyone want to join my Amanda Madden fan club? Anybody? This lady is amazing.  Her is her second post in her Reading through Genres series and it's on teaching strategies in the classroom.  Perfect timing for back to school!

Speaking of back to school, Sabra from Teaching with a Touch of Twang has an awesome post just in time for back to school on having an interactive open house.  You'll want to head on over to read it.

Ummmmm, this is amazing.  The fabulous Jillian from The Starr Spangled Planner wrote this post over at iTeach Third.  Back to school friend wanted ads.  Get them writing AND building community right away.  Genius.

Ginger from Ginger Snaps shared a few snappy ideas (sorry, Ginger, couldn't help myself) on our collaborative blog, Owl Ways Be Inspired, to get kids talking and working collaboratively.

Huge class book resource here from the fabulous Molly at Lucky to be in First.  Want to make more class books but having a hard time coming up with good ideas or the time to create them (or am I just describing myself?)  Molly has monthly sets, and her September set would be amazing for the beginning of the year.

Five on the Fifth BONUS! Linda from Around the Kampfire wrote about using this book in her class the first week of school.  I kind of want to bust in somebody's classroom at my new school and borrow their kiddos for these activities.  Not weird at all.

Hope everyone has a great first day!