2,461 posts categorized "Newsletter" Feed

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: February 14: Valentine's Day Edition

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Just a few topics on this relatively light week: #BoardBooks, #BookLists, #KidLitCon, #Phonics, #SandraBoynton, #SchoolLibrarians, #ScreenTime, parenting, reading, schools, writing. No roundup next week - my daughter has school vacation and I don't expect to spend much time online. Wishing you all a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Top Tweet of the Week

Sandra Boynton Writes Children’s Books That Don’t Condescend - @warren_bass @WSJ ow.ly/mUIg30qg8a5 #kidlit #BoardBooks

Book Lists

The Absolute Best #PictureBooks about Friendship | #BookList from @momandkiddo ow.ly/RgBj30qgwap | Our fave from the list is Maddi's Fridge

Events, Programs + Research

#KidLitCon (March 27-28 in Ann Arbor, MI) announces 2nd Keynote Speaker @arreechung | @KidLitCon ow.ly/qC3I30qg5B3 #kidlit #YA

#KidLitCon 2020 Session: #YALit: Who Is Our Audience? | @KidLitCon ow.ly/BWHU30qhqNX #writing @aquafortis + more

Parenting, Play, and Screen Time

More students are learning on laptops and tablets in class. Some parents want to hit the off switch. @debbietruong @washingtonpost ow.ly/lqhB30qgib7 | Personally, I think the pendulum has shifted too far towards #ScreenTime in #Schools

#ScreenTime and the Brain | This is a balanced piece from @harvardmed w/ concrete tips from @mediatrician for minimizing device impact on sleep, family relationships + creativity https://t.co/jVnC8e3WrZ?amp=1

Schools and Libraries

Thoughts from @pernilleripp On Honoring Student #WritingIdentity ow.ly/bORZ30qfRd6 | Write your own imperfect models + show kids how to make them better, e.g.

A former #HighSchool Principal on the Nonnegotiable Role of #SchoolLibrarians | @scottabeck @NASSP ow.ly/wVNy30qg5DO | Nurturing 21st century skills, helping students think + grow, + lots more

There Are Four Foundational #Reading Skills. Why Do We Only Talk About #Phonics ? @EdWeekOpinion via @MindShiftKQED https://t.co/ckKiCwwGGe?amp=1

Is Character – “Caught” Or “Taught”? – @EmmaELYoung @ResearchDigest looks at recent efforts to include moral + civic virtues in #education ow.ly/VoLN30qhqRH @JubileeCentre1

© 2020 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 7: #WorldReadAloudDay, Curiosity, and Productive Praise

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this relatively light week include #BookLists, #FakeNews, #grading, #GraphicNovels, #STEM, #WorldReadAloudDay, motivation, numbers, parenting, reading, schools, and writing. 

Book Lists

2020 #GraphicNovels: An Accounting of Some #KidLit Standouts — @fuseeight ow.ly/d21c30qfoA1 | I added some of these to my daughter's wish list

12 #YA Couples for #ValentinesDay – Another timely #BookList from @literacious ow.ly/MNoZ30qffgK | For those looking for the perfect gift for a book-loving (+possibly introverted) romance fan ... here's an idea

Events, Programs + Research

I'm a numbers geek + I love this: Today's date 02/02/2020 is written the same backward and forward — for everyone in the world — which hasn't happened in 900 years | @DisrnNews ow.ly/qq1L30qel9l #STEM

For #WorldReadAloudDay I finished reading #MyLifeAsAYoutuber by @JanetTashjian to my daughter. We #ReadAloud every morning while she eats breakfast, but it was nice to finish a book today | @Scholastic @CPSLiteracy @litworldsays @MacKidsBooks | What are you reading?

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

The Illusory Truth Effect: Why We Believe #FakeNews + Propaganda - when something is repeated enough, our brains take a cognitive shortcut to save energy + start to believe it ow.ly/wdSk30qeCrE @farnamstreet

How 'Daybooks' Helped Get My Students #Writing - @arielsacks @EdWeekTeacher ow.ly/G9Vm30qel8v Getting adolescents to enjoy writing + helping them relax sounds like a win-win to me

Parenting + Play

In an uncertain world, #failure may be best lesson for kids says @DrMadelineL ow.ly/o9YL30qeaB3 @AJCGetSchooled | I'm looking forward to reading Levine's new #parenting book #ReadyOrNot

Schools and Libraries

How I Eliminated (Almost) All #Grading Problems In My Classroom via a student-centered approach ow.ly/3CJK30qel7g @terryheickedu @TeachThought via @MindShiftKQED #schools #grades

The Power of Authentic Praise in the Classroom: My Personal Experience by @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU ow.ly/NVqu30qfoAL | What worked in terms of positive, genuine praise focused on the teacher's own feelings (vs. motivation-sapping generic stuff)

‘Schools are killing curiosity’: why we need to stop telling children to shut up and learn | @WendyBerliner @GuardianEdu ow.ly/IIn730qdTE4 | Study finds asking questions even more important than focus for good school performance

End the “Easy A” - Tougher #grading standards set more students up for success - @SethGershenson shares research @EducationNext confirming that "“everyone gets a gold star” is not a victimless mentality" https://t.co/To2UQgg8PC?amp=1

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: February 3: Celebrating Words, Authors + Characters Who Kiss

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, especially bookworms. The newsletter is sent out about once a month, depending on how frequently I'm able to post on my blog. 

Newsletter Update: Happy February, readers! In this issue I have posts about two of my daughter's bookworm moments (shrieking with  joy because two characters kiss and singing happy birthday to authors). I also have a post about her newest literacy milestone: celebrating big words. Despite my previously announced quest  for "LESS", I have continued to share links regarding literacy, schools, and the joy of reading each week. I've included the most recent roundup of those links here. The others can be found on my blog

Reading Update:  Since my last update, I read two middle grade, two young adult, and two adult titles (both nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Gamer. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed January 9, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter from library copy.
  • MyLifeNinjaJanet Tashjian: My Life As A Ninja. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed January 22, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter from library copy.
  • Elizabeth Eulberg: Past Perfect Life. Bloomsbury YA. Young Adult Fiction. Completed January 7, 2020, personal copy. I enjoyed  this YA suspense drama (about a girl who finds out that she isn't who she thinks she is) very much. The ending was more satisfying than I had expected, and the characters are quite nuanced.
  • David Yoon: Frankly in Love. G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. Young Adult Fiction. Completed January 16, 2020, on MP3. I  liked this one, but found that it dragged on a little bit as an audiobook. This may have been because the events of the premise that  I had heard about unfold relatively early in the book, and then it changes into something else.
  • TinyHabitsBJ Fogg: Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Adult Nonfiction. Completed January 22, 2020, on Kindle. This is my new favorite book about habits and behavior (a genre I am admittedly addicted to). I have made a couple of what I think will be lasting changes for myself and my daughter using Fogg's methods, and highly recommend the book.
  • Tom DeMarco + Tim Lister: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams. Addison-Wesley. Adult Nonfiction. Completed January 25, 2020, personal copy. I read this book for work. It's about how tech company managers should put more emphasis into issues related to people (vs. technical issues). 

Although I had a goal at the start of the year to do more reading, that has, sadly, not panned out so far. One reason is that I'm having an audiobook slump, and listening to more podcasts as a result. Another is that I've been extremely busy with my (non-book-related) work. The nonfiction titles highlighted above also took me extra time because I'm trying something new when I read nonfiction. I'm keeping a pile of index cards handy, and writing notes on them when I come across something I want to remember (or act upon). This slows my pace, of course, but I'm hoping it helps me to absorb more. 

KillingNovemberI'm reading How To Have Impossible Conversations by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay and Killing November by Adriana Mather for myself. I've just started listening to Tularosa (Kevin Kerney, No. 1) by Michael McGarrity. I'm hoping that this one will break my audiobook slump. I'm reading My Life As A You Youtuber (My Life Series, Book 7) by Janet Tashjian and Jake Tashjian aloud to my daughter. We continue to enjoy the My Life books, and will be sad when we are fully caught up (soon). We have already pre-ordered Book 9, due out in April. 

On her own, my daughter continues to re-read her favorite graphic and notebook novels constantly, but hasn't added any new favorites recently. She is also still tackling, in small doses, The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots, from Carolyn Meyer's Young Royals series. She mentions it from time to time, but I'm not expecting her to finish it any time soon. I also picked up Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook for her, after Ms. Yingling reviewed the third book in this series. It hasn't completely grabbed her yet, but I think it will. She also brought home Luv Ya Bunches: Book One, by Lauren Myracle from the school library, and picked out Rocky Road by Rose Kent from my overflowing stacks. She's dipping in and out of all of these books, but I'm waiting to see which, if any, really grabs her. 

She has refined her graphic novel preferences a bit recently. She told me that other day that she  likes graphic novels, but doesn't like comics (e.g. some of the Big Nate books, which are collections of standalone comic strips). This made sense to me - I always like to really immerse myself in a storyline, and rarely find short stories satisfying. I think it's a similar instinct for a more involved story. 

NewKidShe was pleased to see a graphic novel win the Newbery Award this year, though Jerry Craft's New Kid isn't one of the books that she adores or re-reads. I think the recognition of graphic novels across the ALA Awards is a good sign that publishers will continue to focus on graphic novels, which is good news for us. 

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and book-filled February. Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Bookworm Moments: Singing Happy Birthday to Authors

FebruaryReadingCalendarFunThis one is actually more of a bookworm behavior than a bookworm moment. My daughter has been bringing me great joy over the past several months by singing Happy Birthday to children's and young adult authors and illustrators. This started in the fall, when her 4th grade teacher sent home a 2019-2020 Wild About Reading calendar from Scholastic. I believe this calendar was a Scholastic Reading Club incentive of some sort. While I'm not normally a huge fan of extrinsic rewards, this calendar is fabulous!! Thank you, Scholastic! 

Here's a sample page (all copyrights to Scholastic and anyone they negotiated with for the rights to the images on the calendar). Click to view a larger version. Book-related holidays are featured, as are author birthdays. 

Every morning my daughter checks the calendar and (if there are any) sings a quick round of Happy Birthday to each author/illustrator. If she forgets, she does a marathon session the next day. If you look closely you'll see that she looks ahead and adds stars to highlight particular favorites (a pen normally hangs down over the calendar).

For February we see Mo Willems and Jeff Kinney with stars. Bob Staake and Shanon Hale featured in January, as I recall. She is pleased when I can tell her that I a personally know author in question in some way. But, for the most part, her relative level of excitement has to do with how much she loves that author's books. As it should be. 

This morning she noticed that the calendar declares: "Take Your Child to the Library Day". She shrieked with excitement and came racing into the kitchen to let me know. She dragged me back to her room to show this to me (not that I would have doubted her word). Have I mentioned that I love this calendar? 

WildAboutReadingCalendarScholasticI have no idea how she came up with this idea of singing happy birthday to authors. But it makes me happy every time I hear it. I hope that hearing about this makes you happy, too. And if you are an author whose birthday is featured on the Wild About Reading calendar, feel free to picture an enthusiastic 9-year-old serenading you from San Jose. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms!

© 2020 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 this Week: January 31: #GraphicNovels, #ReadYourWorld, and (Sigh) #Homework

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #ALAYMA, #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #Diversity, #GraphicNovels, #Homework, #introversion, #JoyOfReading, #LoveOfBooks, #Mathical, #MentalHealth, #Phonics, #ReadYourWorld, #ScreenTime, #STEM, reading, and schools. 

Top Tweets of the Week

Planning for Another Year of Reading | @sljournal @donalynbooks shares thoughts on rejuvenating students’ enthusiasm for #reading during the winter blahs ow.ly/vY3z30qcfun #JoyOfReading

Further validation that YES, #GraphicNovels are real, high-quality books. Congratulations to @JerryCraft + @HarperChildrens

NewKidRT @JHarrisReads: I am so excited about NEW KID by @JerryCraft winning the #Newbery award. This is such an amazing book #graphicnovel #GISDLibraries #txlcaht #alamw20

Book Lists + Awards

2020 Youth Media Award Winners | @amlibraries #ALAYMA ow.ly/VDlH30qcJzZ #kidlit #BookAwards @JerryCraft @AS_King @KadirNelson @kwamealexander @StudioJJK + lots more!

This piece by @nycschlibrarian highlights the many #GraphicNovels recognized in this year's ALA Youth Media Awards. So wonderful! ow.ly/JaLM30qcYrg #ALAYMA @GoodComics4Kids @ALALibrary

RA RA Read: Categorized roundup of Pink and Fancy #PictureBooks (now with unicorns!) | from Jennifer at Jean Little Library ow.ly/xu4g30qcunN #BookList

Children's Books for 9-13 Year Olds that Address #MentalIllness ow.ly/ONkM30qcJzh #kidlit #BookList from @momandkiddo

25 Books To Get Your Tween Talking – from #FunnyBooks to #VerseNovels to #Nonfiction + more, well-organized #BookList from #librarian@literacious https://t.co/dq4pY6lQOx?amp=1

Events, Programs + Research

An intro to Multi-Cultural Children's Book Day (This Friday) from @gail_gauthier ow.ly/gVGN30qcE6I #ReadYourWorld #DiverseBooks #OwnVoices @pragmaticmom @valariebudayr_

Growing Bookworms

#GraphicNovel Reading is Real #Reading! (and now we have a Newbery winner to back it up!) – #SchoolLibrarian @MrBenjiMartin ow.ly/s5Rq30qdpO7 "The only way to get (kids) to love reading is to give them books that they love", like GNs

Don't Leave #SportsBooks Out of the Game: For some students they are a window to the world + a spark for a lifetime #JoyOfReading by @trublu24 @nerdybookclub https://t.co/5kQUK6oTd1?amp=1

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Ripping Books In Half and Other #Reading Taboos. I'm w/ @shirleyannemcm @AwfullyBigBlog on letting most of this type of thing go ow.ly/fl6B30qcung Just focus on #JoyOfReading, I say

How two women quietly reading books in an SF bar started an introvert revolution - @SFGate ow.ly/DWBg30qcEo0 #SilentBookClub #introversion #reading

Parenting + Mental Health

Research refutes link between tech / #ScreenTime + teen #MentalHealth problems says @larrymagid @mercnews ow.ly/yvha30qctWk | Don't ignore risks of #SocialMedia but don't conclude tech is the only factor

This makes sense to me: Why #procrastination is about managing emotions, not time. The task is one that makes us feel bad in some way - @Psych_Writer @BBC_Worklife ow.ly/6yxX30qcfxH #habits

Schools and Libraries

Should Kindergartners and Young Kids Have #Homework in Elementary School? This article (w/ updates about efforts around the country) says no + offers ammunition for parents ow.ly/mZJO30qdplv @goodhousemag @gailcornwall

Preservice Teachers Are Getting Mixed Messages on How to Teach #Reading - @madeline_will @educationweek ow.ly/M0xt30qcujS #Phonics

Rann Miller @UrbanEdDJ argues that A Truly Diverse School is one w/ diverse teachers, guidance counselors + texts (not just students of color) ow.ly/1mOG30qcEfW #Diversity @EducationNext

According to @Gallup in U.S., 2019 #Library Visits (avg. 10.5/yr) Outpaced Trips to the Movies by nearly 2X ow.ly/O2Kr30qcfIx | One would certainly hope so! But did kids spend more time #reading than watching video on screens?

STEM

Press Release Fun: @sljournal + MSRI Launch #Mathical Book Prize Collection Development Awards to purchase books that inspire a love of #math for Title I schools — @fuseeight ow.ly/g3gh30qdpVE #BookAccess #STEM

© 2020 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: January 24: #BookLists, #GraphicNovels + #BrainScience

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #Audiobooks, #BookAwards, #BookLists, #BrainScience, #Cybils, #eBooks, #EdReform, #EducationalEquity, #GiftedEducation, #GraphicNovels, #JoyOfReading, #ReadingAloud, and parenting. 

Top Tweet of the Week

Why You Should Encourage Your Child's Love of #GraphicNovels | "They have to do the work ... to understand the full story" + lots more ow.ly/kp4X30qbTcW #JoyOfReading @goraina @parentsmagazine

Book Lists + Awards

It’s Book Awards Season: Don’t Miss the #CybilsAwards ow.ly/arkY30qbl2L | @TheReadingTub has the scoop on this #kidlit #BookAward honoring literary quality + reader enjoyment

Beyond the Youth Media Awards, #BookLists for Kids and Teens – @literacious ow.ly/UQaq30qbTgX #ALAYMA @yalsa  @ALALibrary

Great stuff! 50 Best #MiddleGrade Novels of the 21st Century per @semicolonblog ow.ly/Ceeb30qaQbg | Sherry breaks out her overlap w/ similar #BookLists from @ALA_Booklist (14) + @FuseEight (3) + 33 more | #MGLit #kidlit

Book Talking 45+ 2019 #MGLit Books in 45 Minutes – #librarian @literacious shares the #BookList + presentation developed for her local middle schoolers https://t.co/GEKU29j3sP?amp=1

Events, Programs + Research

This is your child's brain on books vs #ScreenTime - Sandee LaMotte @cnnhealth ow.ly/3ejU30qaPY0 | #ReadingAloud to #preschoolers -> more organized white matter in language + #literacy areas

Reading #ComicBooks + #GraphicNovels can improve brain health — ow.ly/CEey30qaQ5K | @MaryWiddicks @qz | humans are naturally inclined toward the efficiency of visual storytelling, comics let kids strengthen brain pathways earlier + more

I'm late to share this but @JasonReynolds83 was Named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature this week. His platform: "Grab the Mic: Tell Your Story" ow.ly/eWx630qaeV2 @PublishersWkly #kidlit

Growing Bookworms

10 Steps that Don’t Involve Points, Pizza, or Prizes to Create a School Wide Culture of Reading – Lifetime #Literacy ow.ly/jWW930qb9ui | Nice ideas here but I'm w/ #EsmeCodell on need to also #ReadAloud to students | #JoyOfReading

The Power of Listening by @ClareLandrigan @nerdybookclub | "We cannot forget the need to also assess the habits and dispositions of our readers" + help them "spark the #LoveOfReading "

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

I don't think it's too late for: 5 Reasons to Make #Reading Every Day Your New Year's Resolution ow.ly/9WnA30qarJf @BookBub | But if reading every day is good, wouldn't reading ALL DAY every day be even better? I can dream...

Public Library #Ebook + #Audiobook Use Rocketed Up 20% In 2019, powered especially by 30% rise in audio over 2018 ow.ly/lfeo30qaeZI @Forbes @AdamRRowe

Parenting + Play

#Parenting Isn’t Over When Kids Grow Up - Dr. Mark McConville shares tips @WSJ for supporting young adults w/out enabling them ow.ly/SThm30qaDnA #FailureToLaunch @PutnamBooks

Schools and Libraries

Dr. King Would Have Shined a Light on Progressive Cities where racial + economic #learning gaps are higher. ow.ly/S4bf30qaPTm " How can you hold your political leaders to account for “world-class cities” where many children can’t read?" #EducationalEquity @citizenstewart

‘National Parents Union’ to Challenge Political Influence of Teachers Groups | ow.ly/Tlv530qaBvi @laurenonthehill @usnews @NationalParents #Education #EdReform #unions

No more ‘secret handshake’: Universal screening qualifies 600 more Memphis students for #GiftedEducation, inc. higher % of black students + boys ow.ly/3Ja330qaBrD @Chalkbeat via @MindShiftKQED

© 2020 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: January 17: Reading Bedtime Stories, Unplugging from Screens + Getting Better Sleep

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #FreedomToRead, #giftedness, #libraries, #ReadAloud, #ScreenTime, #ScreenFree, #SleepHabits, #STEAM, #STEM, parenting, schools, and teaching. 

Top Tweet of the Week

The Most Powerful Family Ritual? The Bedtime Story ow.ly/bBMG30q8wzD @Red_Tricycle #ReadAloud #GrowingBookworms

Book Lists

#SouthAsian #Kidlit 2020 - Winter Roundup from @darshanakhiani ow.ly/O0nV30q9d5a | by category + pub date

RA RA Read: Scary Stories from Beginning to End | Nice categorized list by age range from Jennifer Wharton ow.ly/zRlH30q9d1q | Includes standalone #kidlit, series, #GraphicNovels + more

Unplug with #PictureBooks about #ScreenFree #Play ow.ly/cHCO30q8nAc | Super-fun #BookList from @momandkiddo celebrating "the joys of putting down the iPad"

Books to Celebrate #MLKDay | 4 suggestions for different age ranges from @abbylibrarian ow.ly/sUiJ30q9d69 #BookList

Events, Programs + Research

Surprise! Exam scores benefit from months of regular sleep | Study finds sleep regularity accounted for nearly 1/4 of the difference among students’ grades, espec. for boys ow.ly/WZVg30q8P1t #SleepHabits @jrehm_sci @SNStudents

Growing Bookworms

This is delightful: Dad Builds Triple Rocking Chair So He Could Read To His 3 Kids ow.ly/Agdb30q93J9 #ReadAloud #JoyOfReading 

4 Ideas For Motivating Adolescent Male Readers @kennycmckee @TeachThought ow.ly/wOWp30q8P0S #JoyOfReading #literacy | Male #reading role models + more

School creates a library of high-quality children’s books (mainly #PictureBooks) for families to read and share at bedtime so that kids see "the joyous side of reading". I love it! ow.ly/RsI230q8B04 @smithsmm

This teacher was worried children weren’t getting bedtime stories. So she began reading them aloud — on Facebook. She's developed quite a following ow.ly/C00U30q8B2r @ByMoriah @washingtonpost

Parenting, Play + Screen Time

This is fascinating. Ron Srigley asked his college students to turn in their cell phones for 9 days + write about living w/out them ow.ly/niXh30q8P4V #ScreenTime #distraction @techreview via @MindShiftKQED

Schools and Libraries

Are Your Striving Readers Helping Others? How might this change their disposition towards #reading? by @TammyBMulligan @nerdybookclub ow.ly/ned930q8AYS #GrowingBookworms

Sigh. @literacious discusses a new effort in MO to provide "parental oversight" of #PublicLibraries, in conflict w/ the @ALALibrary #FreedomToRead statement https://t.co/7VYpKbPAFC?amp=1

This is fun! 6 out of 10 of the Most Frequently Checked-Out Books in the History of the @nypl are #kidlit, topped by #TheSnowyDay ow.ly/XnMi30q9cZu @CharlesPassy @WSJ #libraries

Academic acceleration (by grade or by subject): When is it the right choice for your child? ow.ly/t0C030q9NNx #giftedness #GradeSkipping #RedShirting #play @giftedchlnges

STEM

We Need #STEAM, Not #STEM #Education, To Prepare Our Kids For The 4th Industrial Revolution (creativity + innovation) ow.ly/x0Cm30q9NWV @BernardMarr @Forbes

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Bookworm Moments: Shrieking with Joy because Two Characters Kiss

MyLifeAsABookAs regular readers know, I read aloud to my daughter while she eats breakfast on school days. We are currently working our way through the My Life series by Janet Tashjian (highly, highly recommend them). The other day, an exciting event occurred in this tween series. I won't tell you which title this occurred in, but... A Boy Kissed a Girl on the Cheek! It's true.

My daughter, who has been immersed in this series for months now, shrieked with delight. I would imagine the neighbors heard. Perhaps you heard from wherever you live. She was very loud. She also got up from her chair to hug me, simply unable to contain her joy. Of course this reaction is partly due to her age (she is almost 10). But how great is it that she was so invested in the lives of these characters that she could not contain herself? 

It was a great start to my day. Hope the story brightens yours. 

© 2020 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: Collecting Words (the Bigger, the Better)

LiteracyMilestoneAMy daughter has been writing since she could pick up a pencil, more or less. Right now she's going through a stage that I remember going through myself (though I was older): collecting words, the bigger the word, the better. I first noticed this as she was writing thank you notes for her Christmas presents. She ended up thanking my parents "supercalifragilisticexpialidociously much" for a new dress. Because "very" just wasn't cutting it anymore. 

The other day she asked me to read a story she was writing. I noticed that the story featured a girl standing on the "periphery" of the seashore, "pondering about" something. She told me that Alexa had given her "periphery" when she asked for a synonym. A later draft had a couple of word sketched in very lightly, because she planned to later fill those in with stronger synonyms. Once she discovered them, anyway. 

I was reminded of a story that I wrote in junior high, full of words like "frangible". The teacher had me read it aloud to the class. Recalling how pretentious it was makes me cringe. But I was a true lover of words. Does anyone remember the "It pays to increase your word power" feature from  Reader's Digest? I certainly do! 

I suppose it makes sense that my daughter is using the much more state of the art tool of Alexa to learn new words. Do you think she'll one day be talking about how old-fashioned it was to need a standalone AI for that? Of course, for both of us the vocabulary words that we learn and use come mostly from reading.

Not completely, though. The other day my daughter correctly used the word "cronies" in conversation. When I asked her about it, turned out she had picked that one up from a song in the school play (she had a small role in Aladdin). 

Words are everywhere. You just have to look. And listen.

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 6: Happy New Year 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 sent out about once a month, depending on how frequently I'm able to post on my blog. 

Newsletter Update: Happy New Year, readers! I realize that it's been a while since I sent out the newsletter (since November 13th). It was a very busy end of the year for me. I'm getting back on track now, but with some changes coming for the blog (see below). In this issue I have a post about my "one word" for 2020, a new "Bookworm Moment" for my daughter, and a post about "introvert streamers" for World Introvert Day. One thing that I have continued to do throughout my busyness is share links regarding literacy, schools, and the joy of reading. I've included the most recent roundup of those links here. The others can be found on my blog

Reading Update:  Since my last update, I read two middle grade and ten adult titles (eight fiction and two nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Cartoonist. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed November 14, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Joke. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed December 13, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • NightFireMichael Connelly: The Night Fire (Bosch and Ballard, Book 2). Little, Brown and Co. Adult Mystery. Completed November 14, 2019, on MP3. Both main characters did things that made me cringe in this book (crossing lines). I still enjoyed it, but ... didn't like the gray areas. 
  • Scott Adams: Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America. Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 19, 2019, on MP3. I've enjoyed Adams' other books, but found this one tough to focus on  in audio. I might have preferred it in print. I'm not sure. 
  • Deborah Crombie: A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series). William Morrow. Adult Mystery. Completed November 28, 2019, on Kindle. These I still love. 
  • Margaret Mizushima: Tracking Game. Crooked Lane Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 3, 2019, on MP3. This newer series I also love. 
  • TheRuinDervla McTiernan: The Ruin (Cormac Reilly, Book 1). Penguin Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 14, 2019, on MP3. This is the first of a new police procedural series set in Galway that I enjoyed enough to give as a gift for Christmas. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Desolation Mountain (Cork O'Connor, No. 17). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 21, 2019, on MP3. I'm now caught up with this series, and will have to look for a new one to start on audio. 
  • Lee Goldberg: Lost Hills (Eve Ronin, Book 1). Thomas & Mercer. Adult Mystery. Completed December 26, 2019, on Kindle. This is kind of a popcorn book, but I liked it. Also the first of a new series. 
  • Dervla McTiernan: The Scholar (Cormac Reilly, Book 2). Penguin Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 30, 2019, on MP3.
  • FairPlayEve Rodsky: Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live). G.P. Putnam's Sons. Adult Nonfiction. Completed January 3, 2020, on Kindle. This book aligned with my "One Word" selection for 2020. I very much like the author's main point, which is that family responsibilities can only be divided equitably between spouses if each partner takes full responsibility for conception, planning  and execution of their "cards." I don't see following her process in detail, but I am going to take her advice in broader ways. 
  • Janet Evanovich: Twisted Twenty-Six G. P. Putnam's Sons. Adult Mystery. Completed January 3, 2020, on MP3. I have a sense that Evanovich might be taking baby steps toward closing out this series, but I could be wrong... 

My total number of books read for the year was 123: 28 middle grade, 7 young adult, and 88 adult titles. I don't set numeric reading goals, but I will note that this is a bit lower than my usual total, which has floated closer to 150. This is a reflection of a larger number of adult titles in the mix and a bit less time for reading. My daughter ended the year with 407 books logged as read. This is very much a lower bound on her actual reading. I don't try very hard to keep up with her re-reads of her favorites, though I do try to log each new title at least once. She also sits on her own sometimes and reads picture books. I only log those if I happen to find the stack before it's put away. This is a significant drop from her total for previous years, but she is reading much longer books now. The important thing, of course, is that she is reading, not the number of books. Even more important is the fact that she is enjoying reading. That's what I care about. 

MyLifeGamerI'm reading Tiny Habits by B. J. Fogg and Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg. and listening to Past Tense by Lee Child. I'm reading My Life As A Gamer (My Life Series, Book 5) by Janet Tashjian and Jake Tashjian aloud to my daughter. We continue to enjoy these, but we took a break over her Christmas vacation. 

On her own, she remains obsessed with the Big Nate series. She got a few new (to her) titles for Christmas, and she re-reads those constantly. She is also tackling The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots, from Carolyn Meyer's Young Royals series. This YA title is a giant leap from the Big Nate books in reading level (and theme, print density, length, etc.). But she found it in my office and was captivated. She's about a quarter of the way through and finding it tough going (sad things happening, plus challenges following the plot). But she is fascinated  and determined. I offered to read the book myself, so that I could discuss it with her, but she refused. She wants to read this big book that I haven't even read. I will report back. 

SpiritAnimals1I also picked out a few graphic novels for her for Christmas that she hadn't read yet. She enjoyed them reasonably well, but hasn't found any new favorites. She read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell for school, and enjoyed that one very much. She keeps talking about it. She's also reading the first Spirit Animals book by Brandon Mull for school. She says that she likes it, and asked me to get the next one from the public library, but she hasn't picked up her current title once over vacation. I asked her about that, and she said that she likes The Wild Queen better. 

Wishing you all a healthy, happy, productive 2020, full of people and books that you love. Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Celebrating World Introvert Day with "Introvert Streamers"

IntrovertStreamers_FotorI learned via Twitter yesterday that January 2nd had been dubbed World Introvert Day. Alas, I learned of this too late to do much with it for this year, but I have added it to my calendar for the future. 

I mentioned World Introvert Day to my family at dinner. My daughter jumped up from the table. "You need streamers," she said, and raced from the room. I called weakly after her that streamers aren't really what introverts are looking for in an introversion celebration. I was thinking more along the lines of a quiet room, a comfortable chair, a glass of wine, and a book. 

But she surprised and delighted me. She came back down from my office carrying a big pile of books. She plunked them down on the table next to me and said: "These are introvert streamers." 

Indeed they are. I felt understood. It was the best moment of my day. Wishing all of my fellow introverts a belated World Introvert Day. Let's celebrate next year. Alone, in our own homes, with piles of books at hand. 

© 2020 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.


#BookwormMoments: This Is How Bookworms Exercise

HowBookwormsExercise_FotorRecently my daughter taken to slowly roller-skating around our kitchen while reading graphic novels. When initially questioned about this behavior she said: "This is how bookworms exercise." Can't argue with that. Personally, I listen to audiobooks when I exercise, but whatever works. 

She also  rode in the shopping cart at the grocery store today, with food stacked all around her, so that she could read while I grocery shopped. Extra exercise for me, at least. 

Happy New Year! 

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage