2,372 posts categorized "Newsletter" Feed

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: March 22: Personal Responsibility, Education Research + Snowplow Parents

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #GrowthMindset, #introversion, #JoyOfReading, #literacy, #MentalHealth, #PersonalizedLearning, #ReadAloud, #SocialMedia, college, libraries, parenting, research, and teachers.

Top Tweet of the Week

I like this post from about taking responsibility for your choices + actions, not blaming things "happening" to you | Yes, It’s All Your Fault: Active vs. Passive Mindsets https://t.co/d0OpeW5jQu

Events, Programs + Research

LionWitchRead Like a Child, Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Competitive | Sally O'Reilly via |

The dark side of research: widespread bias | developer-funded research showed benefits 70% greater than what independent study found

The Fails to Close: Half century of shows mostly unchanged divide between haves and have-nots, + that gains at 8th grade level don't flow through to end of https://t.co/YzIWRKfk26

Wishing well as she heads out to Providence, happening THIS weekend. I'm sure her panel on will be useful. As for me, I'll be there in spirit but not in body

Building Teens Into Strong Readers — By Letting Them Teach | via |

Growing Bookworms

MissRumphiusThe Time for – Early March Edition is out from , covering + ideas for linking gardening +

15 Tips for Starting a Lifelong Conversation w/ Kids About Books |  

Higher Ed

Remember, It’s Their Years, Not Yours - | Sue Shellenbarger talks to various experts on overly involved parents who project their own needs +/or pressure their kids re:

Is Worth It? Wealthy parents who spend to get their kids into top schools aren’t giving them as big an advantage as commonly thought, research shows

Parenting + Play

RaiseAnAdultHow (who move every challenge out of kids' paths) Are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood +

Is Now Required by Law in Several U.S. States | Sad that they have to legislate this, but good to see kids getting more | https://t.co/e5MCHg2Yau

Getting Little Boys to Sit Down and Learn. "Nourish first their deep instinctual need to move, wear them out physically. Then they will be able to sit for a time"

Publishing

In , Where Is the Line Between Criticism and Cancel Culture? Lots of food for thought in this piece by | My friend is quoted, too!

Schools and Libraries

MindsetSchools love the idea of a , but has its application in been shown to have an impact? Does self-concept drive achievement, or vice versa? via https://t.co/leVxBbRfAT

Oral Reading (kids in class): Making it Useful or Making it a Waste of Time? should work to keep it enjoyable + fun

research: Schools should invest in arts and PE to boost adolescent students' attainment and engagement | via https://t.co/jHyUhkEcri

Explicit Instruction: It's Not Just for Students With - |

Five Myths and What You Can Do to Overcome Them –

13 ways educators can transform | | Give students time to read, think, write + dream

Expecting Too Much — and Too Little? — of | musings from

9 Unexpected Perks That Come with Having a Library Card | via |

Self Awareness, Screen Time + Mental Health

QuietSusanCainThis fits w/ my experience: Why Might Be the Best Career Path for Introverts |

Rise In Depression Among + Young Adults Could Be Linked To Use, finds new study headed by |

Brazilian Researchers Say Is Real, And That It’s Associated With Impaired Decision-making –

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.


Literacy Milestone: Wanting to be a Journalist

LiteracyMilestoneAThis won't come as a huge surprise, given her earlier newspaper creation project, but my daughter announced recently that she thinks that journalism might be a good future career for her. What made this stand out for me was that she had actually thought it through, based on the things that she likes to do and the things that she's good at. More and more, she's self-identifying as a person who likes to / needs to write. 

I'm not sure exactly where the idea of journalism specifically came from, but I had recently gotten her a subscription to a monthly printed newspaper written for kids called Xyza News for Kids. [It's pretty cool - I do recommend it.] She also knows that I read two newspapers every day. She has in general been asking me about news events lately, both current (Momo) and historic (the Holocaust), as she hears about things.

As a result of her interest, I've started being more proactive in telling her about news stories I think she'll find relevant. For instance, I told her about the recent college admissions cheating scandal. Her question there was: "What's going to happen to the kids who are in college?". Which is an excellent question. Of course I am selective about what stories I tell her about. 

But she has her own ideas about what she's ready to hear about, anyway. She got it into her head this week to research people who had escaped from prison and were still at large. I printed out an article that I found listing a bunch of escapees from New Jersey prisons. She made a little crime notebook about them. This notebook makes her feel like a journalist, and I guess that's the real point. 

LandryNewsI can't say that I would want to see her decide to be some sort of international war zone correspondent in the future. But in the relatively near term, if she wants to get involved in school newspapers, I think that could be a good fit for her. I slipped a copy of The Landry News by Andrew Clements into her book basket this weekend, and have a couple of other journalism-themed titles on her wish list. And, of course, I keep feeding her notebook habit (which is not small task - you would not believe how many notebooks she has accumulated). 

Reading and writing are so intertwined. I remain thrilled that my daughter is passionate about both of them, in whatever ways she chooses to express that. Thanks for reading!

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: March 15: A College Admissions Scandal, A Reading Crisis + More

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this busy week include #BookLists, #CollegeAdmissions, #Focus, #Grit, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #HigherEd, #Introversion, #KidLitCon, #Literacy, #Mindfulness, #ScreenTime, #Testing, #WorldBookDay, grading, libraries, parenting, reading, and schools.

Top Tweets of the Week

We Have a National Crisis in - , + | work is a both/and re: + sharing rich texts w/ kids

THIS! Celebrating One Year of The Image | | Parents should focus on kids' + , not on as a competition. [This one was added too late to have received a lot of responses yet, but I WANT everyone to read it.]

Book Lists + Awards

JuliaMorganThree on a Theme from | about Female Architects |

8 to Celebrate , from

: About 99 Real-Life Mighty Girls & Women | from https://t.co/Ldrt5twKnk

A particularly fun today from | Top Secret! Spy Books for Kids, fiction + nonfiction

GreatGreeneHeistAnother fun from | Books Like : Heists, Thrilling Missions and Spies! |

Press Release Fun | The 2019 Book Prize Winners Announced! — I love these awards that celebrate in

Events, Programs + Research

is coming up! Bring your current ARCs to swap! Bring spare tote bags! Bring books to donate to a good cause! |

Author/illustrator book sale and signing event open to the public both evenings of (4-6pm, 3/ 22 + 23) – Providence, RI

Happy 60th Birthday to . She looks pretty good for her age:

GritResearch scholars to air problems with using at - | Author shares responses from to

Objections to 's Take on + from +

Growing Bookworms

Set the children free – show them the joy of for reading’s sake | via

Parents urged to keep to children "well into their teens" - via |

How to to a Child That Won’t Sit Still |

BookLoveTaylorHow Easy Books (Some of the Time) Benefits Your Child | Good points from via

Higher Ed

This is insane: Federal Prosecutors Charge Dozens of Wealthy Parents in Cheating Scheme - | Faking recruited athletes + cheating on tests just to get into certain schools. Sigh.

One Reason Rural Students Don't Go To : Colleges Don't Go To Them | |

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

QuietSusanCainIntroverts Unite! (separately) – "The entire world is designed for noisy coffee lovers, why can’t we keep this one little bit of it (the library) quiet? |

Schools and Libraries

Four Practices That Discourage | via

‘If all of that had been improving us, we would have been the highest-achieving nation in the world.' Here’s what does work in | quotes https://t.co/5eKYhbrYBs

Movement And Breathing Breaks Help Students Stay Focused On | |

A depressing report: 'It's dangerous': full chaos of cuts in England's revealed by@guardian investigation | +

Screen Time, Parenting + Play

OrchidAndDandelionIs Your Child An Orchid Or A Dandelion? Unlocking The Science Of Sensitive Kids | interviews author Thomas Boyce about a book that I found fascinating

Smartphone Addicts’ New Tactic to Break Their Habit: Buy a Second Phone - | Personally I found it easier to delete + other apps from my regular phone, but this was interesting |

What I Gave My Kid Instead of a Smartphone – Some excellent advice in this piece about kids + technology by via |

How Does Generation Z Read? (+ how does that affect ) | Kelly Jensen talks w/ |

A timely reminder from that sometimes we need to tolerate the messy in favor of allowing opportunities | https://t.co/kcA39Q37fn

Raising a Nonstarving Artist - guest post from

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: March 8: Online #BedTimeStories, #WorldBookDay and Damaging #Homework

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #ExtraCredit, #Focus, #homework, #JoyOfReading, #KidLitCon, #reading, #ReadingAloud, #ScreenTime, #WorldBookDay, #YA, parenting, publishing, schools, and teaching.

Top Tweet of the Week

This elementary school principal reads books on Facebook to ensure her students have a bedtime story

Book Lists

Tweedles | A new from , organized by time period + region https://t.co/7ebfN8EwEY

ABC Books for Kids that Parents Will Enjoy Too! Another from

A Few to Celebrate from https://t.co/lnbHNfqi1R

Great stuff on this from Jennifer Wharton: RA RA Read: adventures across the genres (gadgets, secret societies, + more)

Events, Programs + Research

KIDLIT_con_poster_final_web_smAnnouncing some program changes and additions! – Providence 2019, March 22-23

"should be about getting children excited about books and ", something should be doing every day

A Few Suggestions from for Celebrating on March 7

Mrs. P’s FREE website refocuses mission on making reading No. 1 and ends annual contest! Read all about it! https://t.co/UgI9sUBYWx

Growing Bookworms

DeathlyHallowsKeeping Magic in (or How We Reorganized our Middle School to Improve Reading) by Tara McCabe

Schools should include for older kids (as should parents) to halt fall in young readers, urge experts |

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Interesting post from about how she is able to read + review SO MANY books, w/ a few tidbits on what her students care about

Terry has posted her March Question for | "What life habits or interests have come from being a reader?" | Share your thoughts here:

He Was Part of a Twitter Mob That Attacked Young Adult Novelists. Then It Turned on Him. Now His Book Is Cancelled |

Parenting + Play

GiftOfFailureHow the Momo challenge and other remote but outrageous + viral threats distract parents from real dangers -

Schools and Libraries

"Despite the very good intentions behind giving , the results are damaging to just about every aspect of " says | Post also calls "damaging"

, See as Students Do, urges | "It is our job as to sprinkle fairy dust and create the circumstances that engage and excite learners" https://t.co/Zjj8PD7wpi

Screen Time

Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain - via

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: March 6: Post-Vacation Edition

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is usually sent out every three weeks.

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have a post about things I've been doing to improve my focus (with book recommendations). I also have two literacy milestones for my daughter (appreciating the smell of new books and being librarian for a day at school) and a post about how I try to validate her reading choices. Finally, I have three posts with links that I shared on Twitter, full of reading- and literacy-related news. 

Reading Update:  In the last three weeks I finished two middle grade titles, one young adult titles, and five adult titles (two fiction and four nonfiction). I went to Florida with my family, and was able to get in some reading time on the airplane and in the theme parks. I read/listened to: 

  • ItWasntMeDana Alison Levy: It Wasn't Me. Delacorte Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade/Middle School Fiction. Completed February 10, 2019, print review copy. This books is basically a remake of the Breakfast Club, but with a mystery (who defaced the photos taken by Theo?). It's a little contrived as a result, but very well executed. I flagged a variety of passages, and laughed out loud many times, too. One of the characters is Jax Fletcher from Levy's books about the Family Fletcher, a nice continuity.
  • Jeff Kinney: The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: How Greg Heffley Went Hollywood. Harry N. Abrams Books. Middle Grade Nonfiction. Completed February 16, 2019, read aloud to my daughter. This isn't something I would have read on my own, but I actually learned a fair bit about how movies are made. And my daughter, a Wimpy Kid fan, loved it. 
  • VanishingStairMaureen Johnson: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2). Katherine Tegen Books. Young Adult Mystery. Completed February 18, 2019, on Kindle. This was an excellent read, well-plotted and with strong characters. My only complaint is that I'll presumably have to wait a year for the next book, with several major unresolved issues nagging at me. 
  • Pernille Ripp: Passionate Readers. Routledge. Adult Nonfiction. Completed February 12, 2019, on Kindle. I love Pernille's blog, and enjoyed reading her thoughts about how teachers can and should nurture passionate readers in the classroom. 
  • Lisa Damour: Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. Ballantine Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed February 20, 2019, on Kindle. This book, by a clinical psychologist, has a lot of useful information about helping girls cope with the various pressures around them. I need to go back and review my many highlights, and may write more about this book in the future. 
  • BurglarThomas Perry: The Burglar. Mysterious Press. Adult Mystery/Thriller. Completed February 27, 2019, on Kindle. I enjoyed this mystery, about a female cat-burglar who accidentally stumbles upon a murder scene, and has to go into hiding, and try to solve the crime to save her own life. I hope this proves to be the first of a new series. 
  • Celeste Headlee: We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter. Harper Wave. Adult Nonfiction. Completed March 1, 2019, on Kindle. This is a quick read about how to have better conversations. It actually fit in well with my current focus on focusing better, because being focused on the person you are talking to (and not on your phone) is one of the author's first and strongest suggestions. I liked this book enough to go back through my highlights and make a document with recommendations that I can review over time. 
  • C.J. Box: The Disappeared (Joe Pickett, No. 18). G.P. Putnam's Sons. Adult Mystery. Completed March 4, 2019, on MP3. I delayed listening to this installment of the Joe Pickett series for some reason. I'm glad that I did, because the next book will be out next week. I have already pre-ordered it, which should tell you all you need to know. 

TheGetawayI'm still reading Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey, having taken a break between Part 1 and Part 2 (the downside of reading in print is that I don't want to take print books on vacation). I hope to find some focused time to finish this one soon. I'm also reading No More Mean Girls by Katie Hurley. I'm listening to Murder in an Irish Pub by Carlene O'Connor. I'm reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney aloud to my daughter. 

In terms of her own reading, my daughter has been re-reading the first two Five Worlds books by Mark Siegel et. al. and other graphic novel favorites. She never gets a ton of reading done when we are traveling, but she did enjoy Edison Beaker, Creature Seeker: The Night Door by Frank Cammuso and a graphic novel version of Tom Sawyer. We're also trying to catch up on our Word A Day calendar, after falling behind over vacation. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Literacy Milestone: Librarian for a Day

LiteracyMilestoneAMy book-loving friends would have been cheered by seeing my daughter dance around the kitchen with joy after she learned that we had won our bid for her to be Librarian for a Day at her elementary school. The fact that we were the only bidder was a bit sad in theory, but worked out for us. 

Her actual experience being Librarian for a Day was last week. She was very proud. She came home talking about what kinds of research projects that kids in the upper grades were working on, and which friends from other grades she was able to see when they visited. She especially enjoys checking out books and adding tape to the corners of new books (something that she experienced last year, in her first librarian incarnation).

It makes me happy that my daughter loves the school library, and the librarian, enough to be utterly delighted to do this two years in a row. We'll see what next year brings!

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: March 1: Friendship Books, Reading Levels + Teacher Pay

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. This is a relatively brief post, because I was on vacation for much of the time, and didn't spend much time online. But I do have a few links for you on #BookLevels, #BookLists, #BookRecommendations, #DiverseBooks, #GrowingBookworms, #LoveOfBooks, #mindfulness, #ReadAloud, #reading, #TeacherPay, parenting, and teaching. Happy reading!

Book Lists

SunnySideUpRA RA Read: Real Girls, Real Friendships and Best Frenemies, books that librarian Jennifer Wharton recommends frequently, +

2019 – Winter & Spring | w/ blurbs from

Growing Bookworms

I agree w/ | Stop Freaking Out About | "shouldn’t be entirely leveled, parents shouldn’t prevent a child from picking a book they would enjoy. We have to stop this book leveling madness."

A mom mourns the realization that her bedtime sessions w/ her daughter are ending | | Kiley Frank

Top Ten Reasons School Counselors Want Students to Read: Social-Emotional Learning Opportunities! by

Passing on A Few (Book) Recommendations – where teacher gets + book ideas | + more

UK study finds only 1/4 of pupils get recommended reading for pleasure time in school |

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Remote Control Reading by | Defending the reader's right to read multiple books at one time, fall asleep while + more https://t.co/uJkg1Z6nWW

Parenting + Play

UnderPressureHow Can Help Kids (and Parents!) Weather Emotional Storms - via |

Schools and Libraries

Higher Pay Leads to Smarter Teachers, Global Study Says - | Teachers have stronger cognitive skills in countries that may them more |

STEM

Non-profit teaching to girls from kindergarten up -

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.


Growing Bookworms: Seizing the Opportunity to Validate #ReadingChoice

MaxAndTheMidknightsI recently bought my daughter a new book that I thought, based on reviews that I had seen, she would like. The book was Max & the Midknights by Lincoln Pierce (but could have been anything). She read the book, or part of it, anyway. Then she asked me how much the book had cost. Not sure where she was going with that, I gave her what I figured was the approximate price, $10. At that point she apologized to me because, as she tentatively explained, she didn't really like the book. She felt guilty about this knowing that I had spent money on it. 

I was surprised by this guilt, because I am a huge advocate of giving kids choice in their reading. To me it was self-evident that there would be books that I would give her to try that she wouldn't like. But apparently, I had NOT made this evident to my daughter. At least not when the books were paid for.  

As you may imagine, I was very quick to tell her that it was totally fine not to like the book, or any book, and that in her home reading she never has to finish a book that she doesn't like. [There will be books she has to finish for school - I can't help that.] I think she was relieved. 

InvisibleEmmieBeing too lazy to return the book (purchased online), I suggested that we could give the book to a friend who I thought would be more interested, or donate it to a toy and book drive going on at school that week. She decided to hold off on that for now, because she might want to give it another try at some point. Of course I told her that was fine, too. She had recently discovered that she loved a different book that I had bought for her a year earlier that she hadn't liked at first, so this made sense. 

Everything that I have read about growing bookworms (and I have read a LOT on this topic) says that the number on thing that keeps kids reading for pleasure is having free choice in what they read. I thought that I was giving my daughter free choice. I have hundreds of children's books in my house, many from publishers and many that I have purchased or received as gifts over the years. I take her to the library every week, too, and let her pick out whatever she likes. I buy her new and used graphic and notebook novels when I learn about them because she loves them and those are areas in which my own collection tends to be weak. I have always tried not to pressure her to read or finish certain books.

Despite all of that, she still felt guilty when she didn't like a book that I had picked out for her. I'm truly not beating myself up over that. But I do think it goes to show that kids really, really need us to tell them that it's ok NOT to like certain books. My message to other parents out there who want their kids to love books is, once again, do anything you can to preserve your child's reading choice. Tell them that you are doing so. Tell them that it's fine for them not to like the books that you liked or picked out, and fine to abandon books (even if they cost money). Seize opportunities, as I did this one, to validate reading choice.

The love of reading is a precious thing, and it can be more fragile than you think. Protect it where you can. At least, that's what I intend to do. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.


Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: February 15: Benefits of Reading Fiction, Stories about Girls, and Intrinsic Rewards for Reading

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookAwards, #BookLists, #GraphicNovels, #GrowingBookworms, #IntrinsicMotivation, #Literacy, #LoveOfBooks, #math, #parenting, #play, #Podcasts, #RickRiordan, #schools, #STEM, and reading. I'll be taking next week off from Twitter for my daughter's school vacation week, but I'm sure that I'll save up some links for the following week.

Top Tweet of the Week

Fiction Really Will Make You Nicer and More Empathetic, New Meta-Analysis Says | | showed small improvement in social-cognitive performance vs. not reading or reading

Book Lists + Awards

AllOfAKindDon't miss the for the 2019 , honoring the "best in Jewish literature and scholarship" from

The 2019 Awards as unofficially selected by elementary | Featuring +

The 2018 Winners were announced this morning, titles ranging from to , inc. fiction, nonfiction, +

On a quest NOT to fill her daughter's lunch box with bad jokes, identifies a few recent for kids that are actually funny |

14 Children's Books with Characters Who Have Medical Challenges | the newest from

Jennifer Wharton rounds up 's own books + imprint, as well as other mythic fantasy series. Great guide for anyone looking to keep + fans

Diversity + Gender

LostGirlWhat about the girls? What do they hear when we treat their stories as if they don’t matter, as if they take up too much space? by

Events, Programs + Research

100th Anniversary Children's Book Week Poster w/ artwork by Revealed | |

Children’s Book Creators Join Forces to Provide High Quality Books to Two Worthy Organizations by |

Growing Bookworms

Great post challenging approaches that are used to nudge kids towards : "We are actively training them to think ‘books = hard, boring compulsory work that I should be rewarded for.’"

I could relate to: How Visiting My Local Library Makes Me a Better Parent by |

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

BookLoveTungThese are wonderful: 14 Stunning Illustrations / from That Perfectly Capture the Introvert's | Can't wait to show daughter

are Books, Too! by 5th grade ELA | learn vocabulary + inference, find difficult topics more accessible, + lots more

Parenting + Play

One more reason to let kids : Research suggests that young kids can learn through | via |

UnderPressureWhy Girls Beat Boys at School and Lose to Them at the Office | "What if school is a confidence factory for our sons, but only a competence factory for our daughters?" | Parents, stop praising inefficient overwork

Is It Healthy to Study in Bed? Experts weigh in. Sounds like it's ok, but kids should re-read things from right before they fall asleep

Schools and Libraries

I liked this OpEd by about how CA are setting a poor example for re personal +

STEM

HiddenFiguresYAWomen's History in Is Hidden in the Footnotes - | New study uncovers female programmers who made important but unrecognized (beyond footnotes) contributions to |

and with Confidence by Jerry Burkhart via | Lack of confidence in math traces to past experiences + inaccurate beliefs about learning |

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.


Things I'm Doing to Improve My Focus

Focus3_1I thought I'd do a quick update on how I'm progressing on my word of the year: FOCUS. It's going well. I have been making various changes inspired by several of my recent reads. [Links are at the end of the post.] Most importantly, I try to work for an hour or so in the mornings with no email or other notifications. I go to a different room from the one I usually work in, to provide a visual separation that says: "This is focus time." I really love the focus / deep work time, and hope to be able to expand the amount of time I can commit to it.

Even when I'm not doing that deep work time, I'm trying to work and live in a less distracted mode. Here are some of the things I'm doing for that:

  • DeepWorkI turned off text notifications on my watch and my laptop. Instead of getting actively alerted, I just check for texts when I'm already changing tasks. This does mean that I'm a bit less responsive to family and friends, but it also means that my attention is disrupted much less often. I especially appreciate this when I'm with my daughter. It's a slight headache when I'm actually expecting a text, because I have to keep checking, but I still find it worthwhile overall (and of course I could re-activate notifications in that case if there was something critical).  My phone does still vibrate for phone calls, which is how I would be notified if there was some problem with my daughter.
  • MakeTimeI removed social media from my phone (including Facebook messenger), so that I'm not tempted to use random moments of downtime to scroll down the various rabbit holes. I still have Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on my iPad. I check them briefly in the morning after I read the paper. And I do check in on them on my computer sometimes during the day (and share things), but I try to always close the tabs in between checks, and only check when I'm between other tasks. I don't have any active notifications for social media (except for notifications of LinkedIn messages that go to my work email account).
  • I removed news apps from my phone and "breaking news" notifications from my watch. I read two newspapers every morning and usually check the WSJ app for updates while I eat lunch. I don't need other notifications in between.
  • I unsubscribed from a number of blog feeds, email newsletters, and podcasts. I'm trying to spend more time reading and listening to books.
  • I turned off email updating on my phone and erased the associated passwords. I left the app installed in case I get in to a situation where I really need to log in, but having to enter the password(s) is a real deterrent.
  • HyperfocusI started reading with a notepad and pen next to me, instead of my having my phone within reach. If I get distracted by something, or want to add a book to my reading list or something, I can write it down, instead of pulling out the phone. This makes me less likely to be distracted by some incoming text, etc.
  • On my computers (I have separate ones for work and blog/personal use) I shut my email programs down when not in use. I've had notifications for new email messages turned off for a long time.

These suggestions were compiled from the books below. I would recommend any or all of them. 

All in all, I'm pleased with how this journey towards being more focused is going so far. I feel less distracted, and like I have more of a sense of purpose about the work that I'm doing. These are both good things! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.


Literacy Milestone: Appreciating the Smell of New Books

RevengeOfTheSisThis week an early copy of the upcoming Jedi Academy book by Jarrett Krosoczka and Amy Ignatow, Revenge of the Sis, landed on my doorstep. I knew that my daughter would be excited. I put the book in the car and gave it to her  when I picked her up from school. Perhaps some of you heard her piercing squeal of excitement - I am still recovering my hearing. 

The next thing I heard from the back seat was: "Oh, I love how new books smell!", accompanied by a deep sigh of satisfaction. Nothing more was heard from the backseat until we had arrived at our destination. As it should be.

BookLoveTungI don't believe that I've ever talked with my daughter about the wonders of "new book smell," though she did recently see this concept in a cartoon by Debbie Tung. [Click through to see 14 examples from Debbie's new book, Book Love, at Introvert Dear.] But here she is, showing yet another sign of becoming a true book lover. It was a small moment, but it made me happy. I thought that my book-loving friends would enjoy it, too.

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms!

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: February 8: #Reading Deeply, Improving #Memory + Encouraging #Boredom

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookAwards, #BookList, #boredom, #DigitalReading, #dyslexia, #EducationalEquity, #Giftedness, #grades, #JoyOfReading, #KidLitCon, #MentalHealth, #phonics, #Play, #reading, #SchoolChoice, #sleep, #SocialMedia, #WorldReadAloudDay, parenting, schools and teaching. This week's "Top Tweet" has been circulating really well - it is apparently resonating with teachers. 

Top Tweet of the Week

Understanding a Teacher’s Long-Term Impact | Fostering skills like does more for students' futures than helping them raise their https://t.co/wKjr2IScGc

Book Lists

YouAreNotSmall50 Of The Best Books For Beginning Readers | Katherine Willoughby via |

Favorite and Funny Books for 9-10 Year Olds, kid-tested from | Many kids are hooked on via funny books https://t.co/KELCowPwBq

Diversity + Gender

Only 2% of are black men, yet research confirms they matter. So why are there so few in ?

Events, Programs + Research

KIDLIT_con_poster_final_web_smCongrats to our Panelists honored at Awards! – | is March 22-23 in Providence

Celebration! talks w/ 4 educators + authors about joys of

Who knew? Rock-A-Bye Adult – Study Shows Grown-ups Enjoy Better And Consolidation In A Rocking Bed – https://t.co/5p8WyM5JIS

Growing Bookworms

Technology is the enemy and how I (still try) to get my kids to read | The mom at I love kids books laments letting the lure of video games get in the way of her boys |

Creating an Action Plan to Jumpstart a Better Experience for the kids who aren't there yet in their by https://t.co/aIc2pCICGt

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

ClariceBean'We need to talk about children’s books in a grown-up way’ | Lauren Child joins judging panel for | Wants to champion "left-field ways of looking at the world" in

Excellent conversation-starter today | Has changed how (and what) we read? Do we still read deeply? What about digital natives? | In my response I referenced + |

Thought-provoking article about how compounds knowledge by consuming information that is focused + has a long half-life (vs. that expires fast)

Books Are Not Dead. They're More Essential Than Ever | is fundamental to human beings. strengthens our imaginations. |

Parenting + Play

YesBrainHow with Your Children Can Help Them Develop a ‘Yes Brain’ | |

Opinion | Let Children Get Bored Again - | is useful, especially when you let your mind wander

When your gifted child disappoints: Good stuff in this post about struggles that can arise when a child struggles w/ relationships, underachievement, difficulties w/ socialization + more

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About Canceling Extracurriculars | I love this@HonorsGradU equation | Stress of making activity happen > benefit of activity = CANCEL regret-free! |

'Sharenting': Can Parents Post Too Much About Their Kids Online? | via

Schools and Libraries

PowerOfQuestioningGo Rogue, But Be Prepared for a Fight When it Comes to Giving Up - It "isn't just about not labeling ..., it is about shifting a mindset about what learning is and how it should look in a classroom" https://t.co/smTkOdAqFY

Meet the ‘crazy’ moms saying one of Pa.’s top-rated school districts can’t teach |

An Open Letter: To , From a explores reasons some people depend on more flexible options, as well as some reservations https://t.co/vIsRJT8eO5

Isn't , It's A Million Little Mutinies, people making choices for their families |

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.