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

My One Word for 2020: LESS

A number of bloggers that I follow choose "One Word" to strive for each year. It's a simpler version of setting resolutions, I suppose. You pick a word that speaks to where you are at the moment, and where you would like to head in the coming year. 

As to where I am at the moment, my workload for the job for which I am actually paid has increased. Juggling that together with family responsibilities, especially during the holiday season, has been challenging. The phrase that has been most often on my lips (or at least in my head) for the past couple of months is: "I don't have time." As in:

  • "I'd like to wash my hair today, but I don't have time to blow-dry it."
  • "I wanted to personally wrap gifts and mail them to my family members, but I didn't have time, and had to have things shipped directly."
  • "I should write a blog post about this incident, but I don't have time."
  • "I want to read that book, but I don't have time." 
  • Etc.

My reading is down. My blog is sorely neglected. I find it nearly impossible to relax, because I'm always thinking about this or that "productive" thing that I should be doing. And I am tired of feeling like this. 

I've read a number of books in the past year about focusing, making time, changing habits, and being indistractable. Assimilating the advice of these various smart authors and thinking about how I feel right now, one word definitely comes to mind. The word is LESS. 

  • Less trying to sneak in checking work emails when I'm with my daughter.
  • Less running around after said daughter, trying to keep my house tidy.
  • Less forcing my introverted self to socialize more than I can handle.
  • And lots more.

I am unsubscribing from a number of blogs and email lists that I have been reading, in the interest of streamlining. When I think about doing something extra around the house that doesn't really need to be done (or at least doesn't need to be done solely by me, right now) I think "Less!" and try not to do it. I'm going to try to do the same thing with work. I don't know if any of this will help, but I'm trying... 

As for my blog, I'm ready to make a change that I've been thinking about for quite some time. I'm going to stop accepting review copies. I've been reviewing so few books for the past year that this won't be a visible change for my blog readers. But I've continued to receive some books, and it's past time for  me to notify the so generous publishers that they should stop spending resources on me. I'll probably still write the occasional review, but if I want a book enough to review it, I can buy it or check it out from the library. I'll still talk about books that my daughter and I are reading, and we will surely read from the stack of books that we already have for many years to come. 

If I'm successful in applying LESS to my work and personal responsibilities, then I will continue to share my own reading, my daughter's literacy milestones and bookworm moments, and articles about nurturing the joy of reading in children. 

My hope is that if I strive for LESS of the things that aren't strictly necessary and/or are wearing me down, I will have more time for things like reading and sleeping and spending quality time with my husband and daughter. That's the goal, anyway. I wish all of you success  in the coming year and decade in figuring out how to allocate your precious time. Thanks for reading!

© 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 Recently: Year-End Edition

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared over the past  couple of weeks on Twitter @JensBookPage. Topics include #BookAccess, #BookList, #dyslexia, #EdReform, #HigherEd, #IntrinsicMotivation, #JoyOfLearning, #JoyOfReading, #math, #reading, play, schools, and teaching. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and a book-filled 2020.  

Top Tweet of the Week

The #BookTruck Brings Free Books to Thousands of L.A. Students | @RuthEbenstein @sljournal ow.ly/8ikT30q41BJ #BookAccess #BookDeserts #LoveOfReading

Book Lists + Gift Guides

Saying Goodbye to 2019 with the Best in Children’s Books | Here's a nice roundup of some of the BestOf lists from @MA_Cappiello @sljournal ow.ly/2mBI30q41U4 #kidlit #BookLists

Best #STEM Books for Kids 2020, inventions, scientists, animals + more – @literacious ow.ly/x4Bv30q41F1 @CBCBook @NSTA #Nonfiction

Middle Grade Books with Muslim Characters, #BookList from @momandkiddo ow.ly/SZd830q420E #MGLit #DiverseBooks

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2019 #ScienceFiction@fuseeight | One of my favorite sub-genres in #MGLit is #SF (as distinct from fantasy) ow.ly/QTj930q40HP

It’s a Wrap! for the 2019 Gift Idea Guide from @TheReadingTub ow.ly/ySiu30q40JW a small sample of the ways to share your #LoveOfReading + help kids connect books w/ “real life.” #literacy #GiftGuides

Gift Idea for Families: The #ChapterBook Edition from @TheReadingTub ow.ly/6JOp30q1Bnk #BookLists #GiftGuides | I'm with Terry: Winter IS the perfect season for family #ReadAloud time

Growing Bookworms

What Does Student Independent Reading Look Like? A Whole District Audit – Questions from @pernilleripp to help figure out how districts can build #JoyOfReading ow.ly/t5Pg30q5L8J #schools

5 reasons I always get children #PictureBooks for Christmas | Kym Simoncini @ConversationUS via @tashrow ow.ly/EZMF30q41y9 | expanding vocabulary, countering stereotypes + more

Higher Ed

#Colleges Agree to Allow Increased Competition for Applicants, closing a 2 year DOJ antitrust investigation - @EricaLG @nytimes ow.ly/aJjh30q4mmc #HigherEd

Fewer Students Are Going To College. Here's Why That Matters | @ElissaNadworny + @jmlarkin @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/u6mR30q4lXG #HigherEd | Strong economy, demographics, costs all contribute


Want to Motivate Students? Make Their Work Visible - @JustinMinkel @EdWeekTeacher ow.ly/xa7P30q4m6e via @MindShiftKQED | #teaching #IntrinsicMotivation

The things that do – and don't – motivate kids to succeed - #IntrinsicMotivation, #rewards + #learning ow.ly/2wJw30q41Tn @BBC_Worklife via @EducationNext

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Looking into the Bond We Make with Literature – @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU muses on ways to encourage hesitant readers to stretch from the safety of always reading the same book  https://t.co/iZmT0tHoZW?amp=1

Schools and Libraries

Sigh. #Kindergarten Teachers Are Quitting, and Here Is Why | #PeterGray @PsychToday ow.ly/lQBZ30q5jiA | "teachers are not being allowed to do what they believe and know is right" | "Please, let’s allow them to #play!"

10 things I’ve Learned This Decade About Change in #Education@katiemartinedu ow.ly/Xa7u30q5KJz #Schools #Learning

Re-thinking Our Learning to Infuse More Joy and Choice, especially for older students – @pernilleripp ow.ly/wkDR30q5jnv #JoyOfLearning #ReadingChoice #play #creativity

Interesting piece from @DTWillingham  On the Reality of #Dyslexia - ow.ly/6Grq30q42aq #ReadingPerformance #Teaching #LearningDifferences

New $100,000 Prize from Will Reward #Teaching Excellence - @EducationNext ow.ly/vsaq30q40Mz | Founders Glenn + Amanda Fuhrman wants prize to give positive attention to #teachers, who are "underappreciated"

Opinion | There Is a Right Way to Teach #Reading, and Mississippi Knows It ow.ly/q3Oa30q41Nv @ehanford @nytopinion | State's reliance on #CognitiveScience explains making the most progress in #NAEP


Kids' #preschool #math ability is often underestimated by parents ow.ly/PzLL30q4m2n | Exposure to a variety of more complex topics better prepares them for #school @jackiemader @hechingerreport

The Case for Limitlessness Has Its Limits: Review of #LimitlessMind by Jo Boaler - @NumCog @EducationNext ow.ly/R7cB30q42bt | Ansari says that the book's "nurture bias" ignores research on the effects of nature + worries this could leave some readers frustrated

© 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: December 13: #ReadAloud Benefits, Themed #BookLists + Demoralized Teachers

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.  Topics this relatively light week include #BackgroundKnowledge, #BookLists, #Dyspraxia, #ELA, #FreePlay, #GiftGuides, #GraphicNovels, #JoyOfReading, #ReadAloud, #ReadingChoice, #RetrievalPractice, literacy, schools, and teaching. The "top tweet of the week" below was especially popular with readers. Enjoy!

Top Tweet of the Week

Kids Have Sharper Vocabularies by Age 3 When Parents #ReadAloud to Them | This is obvious, but the new study also found kids who were genetically at risk did as well as peers if they'd been read to ow.ly/A0hg30pZCiR @wordswithjen @people

Book Lists + Gift Guides

I'm not sharing all of @FuseEight's 31 Days, 31 Lists 2019 posts, but I especially appreciate her focus on 12/9 on #Math Books for Kids ow.ly/jWmA30q0Z9y #BookLists

TX #Library Assn Releases ‘Little Maverick’ #GraphicNovel List for kids K-5 — @TXLA @GoodComics4Kids ow.ly/k06n30pZBUE | A #BookList I will mine for ideas for my daughter for sure

Some of my daughter's faves on today's 12 Days of Giving #BookList from @abbylibrarian | Great #GraphicNovels ow.ly/rSli30q1i2A @haleshannon + #LeUyenPham, @goraina + more

Over at @TheReadingTub, Terry is doing a series of themed book + object Gift Idea posts. Yesterday: Adventure Stories ow.ly/ZY1F30q16dE #GiftGuides #kidlit | I like #DisasterDays + #FirstAidKit

Events, Programs + Research

#Bookmobile: When the #library comes to the homeless shelter - @HarryBruinius @csmonitor via @tashrowow.ly/vHGW30pZCmv | #BookAccess #LibraryOutreach

Growing Bookworms

Top 10 Ways to Be a Literacy Leader in #Schools by @PrincipalGarden @nerdybookclub ow.ly/sJfT30pZC6o #ReadingChoice, #BookAccess, time for independent #reading + more

Talking w/ students about the Luxury of Extra #Reading Time Over the Holidays, while honoring #ReadingChoice + varied formats ow.ly/ohWO30pZBFJ @frankisibberson @ChoiceLiteracy

Parenting + Play

30 Reasons Why #FreePlay Benefits #ChildDevelopment | @AAAStateOfPlay @KimberlyEHart via @drdouggreen ow.ly/oFAQ30pZRoK | A mix of inspirational quotes + research results on #play

Schools and Libraries

(don’t) Forget About It: Activating #BackgroundKnowledge with #RetrievalPractice in #ELA@MsJasmineMN ow.ly/nIFo30q0Z56 | "without (teaching kids) active retrieval, we are leaving students to unproductively struggle"

Prof. John Sweller @ConversationEDU on #CognitiveLoad theory + why #ExplicitInstruction is more effective than letting students discover on their own for biologically secondary knowledge https://t.co/IzWvWLxg7D?amp=1

How to Identify and Support Students With #Dyspraxia | @edutopia via @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/B94430q0hzb | affects fine and gross motor development, can make it difficult for kids to learn, but #teachers can help

Many Frustrated Teachers Say It’s Not Burnout — It’s Demoralization | @stephenoonoo @EdSurge via @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/9wwU30q0Z21 #schools #TeacherShortage

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

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: December 6: #BookLists, #Literacy Programs, #Testing + More

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter over the past two weeks @JensBookPage. Topics in this jam-packed edition include #BookLists, #GettingReadingRight, #GiftGuides, #GivingTuesday, #GraphicNovels, #GrowthMindset, #HigherEd, #KidLitCon, #Kidlitosphere, #LoveOfReading, #PISA, #Play, #Poetry, #ReadAloud, #SocialMedia, math, parenting, schools, teaching #literacy, and testing. 

Top Tweets of the Week

The Most Popular #Reading Programs Aren't Backed by Science, according to @educationweek survey + review - @s_e_schwartz ow.ly/zPQD30pZ6Bd #GettingReadingRight #Phonics #teaching

Three Cheers For Repeating Text! @HonorsGradU celebrates the power of repetition in books like #BrownBearBrownBear to engage young readers https://t.co/x2Nwne5plf?amp=1

Book Lists + Gift Guides

Happy Thanksgiving! 15 Books About Being Grateful from @literacious ow.ly/QGN630pXjbR #PictureBooks #BookList #ElephantAndPiggie

It's 31 Days, 31 Lists time @FuseEight | Today: 2019 Transcendent Holiday #PictureBooks ow.ly/gfXA30pYO9w #BookLists #GiftGuides

Kicking off her 12 Days of Giving series, @abbylibrarian shares Books for Babies and Toddlers ow.ly/coU430pYNXJ #BookList #BoardBooks #GiftGuides

10 #ChristmasBooks to Read with Your Kids - timely #BookList from @MarlaSzwast ow.ly/veE130pYO5S #PictureBooks #poetry + #Dickens

Top 10 Holiday Reads from @literacious ow.ly/6RjS30pYOew #PictureBooks, #MGLit + #YA in this #BookList

101 Great Books for Kids (2019 Edition) — @fuseeight announces Evanston #Library #BookList, by category + w/ PDF version ow.ly/lDYR30pXjpm #PictureBooks #GraphicNovels #MGLit #Poetry + more

Creative Gifts for Kids Just Learning to Read, one of many nice #Literacy themed #GiftGuides from @growingbbb ow.ly/vD9Q30pXjlN #GrowingBookworms #reading

Best #GraphicNovels 2019 per @sljournal ow.ly/KUoA30pVMA7 | We already have nearly all of the ones in my daughter's age range on this solid #BookList

Books Like Smile: Read These Next if You Love @goraina ow.ly/7Cxe30pZ74U #GraphicNovels + #MGLit, #BookList from @momandkiddo

12 Books Tweens Can Read after Raina Telgemeier - My #GraphicNovel -obsessed 4th grader would approve of this #BookList from @wearealsc ow.ly/RSgt30pW0o0 @goraina

Books About Kids in Crisis, #BookList from @growingbbb ow.ly/IwRE30pYNVs #immigration #war #NaturalDisasters + more

Events, Programs + Research

Registration for #KidLitCon2020 is now open, reports @charlotteslib ow.ly/RuNZ30pW0zw | The new logo is super-cute. Tagline for @KidLitCon this year is "Seeing Clearly" | #kidlit + #YA bloggers + authors should check it out!

This story will brighten your day: 104-year-old writer Betty X. Davis collects 104 kids’ books to donate to #SchoolLibrary for her birthday | @KXAN_News ow.ly/pAjJ30pWBZx #KidLit

Interested in supporting #literacy for #GivingTuesday? Great roundup in the 2019 Bookish Charitable Giving Guide — @100scopenotes ow.ly/j3Ow30pYD8Y | #BookAccess @RIFWEB @FirstBook @dollyslibrary + lots more

#SCBWI's Third Annual #Literacy Initiative Gives Books to Readers in Need ow.ly/HFzd30pW0x7 @scbwi @CynLeitichSmith #BookAccess #BooksForReaders

The Call for Hosts for the next 6 months of #PoetryFriday is up: ow.ly/MmZL30pXAoh @MaryLeeHahn #poetry #kidlitosphere

A Prescription of #Poetry to Help Patients Speak Their Minds - Doctors at several hospitals experimenting w/ poems to offer psychological relief + connection @rddysum @WSJ https://t.co/w2mFNEn3jf?amp=1

When the best way to take notes is by hand - @BBC_Future via @ResearchDigest ow.ly/he4c30pXAcM Except for #learning simple facts, you process material more deeply when you take selective notes by hand (vs. typing verbatim) + remember it better

Interesting: Abstaining From #SocialMedia Doesn’t Improve Well-Being, Experimental Study Finds, in contrast to more correlational research ow.ly/gLRY30pXjcY @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest

Using #FidgetSpinners May Actually Impede #Learning@rey_z @ResearchDigest ow.ly/ADXD30pWf43 | Study finds they may be actively distracting, rather than helping kids focus

Growing Bookworms

If you want to raise a #bookworm, make it more about #play than work ow.ly/1c6o30pW0tP | "the joy gets wrung right out of the act of #reading when students don’t have ample time to get excited about books they read for themselves" @estherjcepeda

This is excellent advice! Teacher @biblio_phile on Bringing the Joy of #ReadAlouds to #MiddleSchool Students, using "real-along" to add learning, build community + celebrate #JoyOfReading @EdWeekTeacher

I think the idea of #ReadAloud Posters for coloring is genius | Give kids something active to do related to the book while you are #ReadingAloud ow.ly/nhAl30pXjgk #RubyReads via @growingbbb #Vanderbeekers #LittleHouse #EdwardTulane

Match.com: Helping Older Students Fall in Love With Reading (Again) by Nicole Kronzer @nerdybookclub ow.ly/SOyn30pXMU0 | Teacher + #SchoolLibrarian work together to help HS seniors find #JoyOfReading

Higher Ed

How to Fix #College Admissions - @WSJ surveyed various stakeholders + distills 10 ideas to remove some of the distortions of privilege ow.ly/3COH30pXPL9 @melissakorn #HigherEd

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Bold Girls | On how striving for perfection is holding back girls, and the need to distance #creativity from right + wrong | "there is value in the half-finished, failed, messed up, abandoned story too" ow.ly/vDJE30pZjl0 @KMcCaughrain #writing

Various fun stuff in 2019 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea — @100scopenotes ow.ly/pf5t30pZ6YZ #kidlit #kidlitosphere

This looks like good advice: A guide to fighting lies, #FakeNews, and chaos online - @thedextriarchy @verge ow.ly/tfYH30pYYCw #InformationLiteracy #SocialMedia

I want to write for children... A guide to #Writing for Children & YA - @Strachanlinda @AwfullyBigBlog ow.ly/SqIi30pXjoi | #kidlit #YA

Parenting + Play

The Importance of The Father-Daughter Relationship ow.ly/GMNc30pZ765 Helping girls achieve more academically, make better relationship choices and have more confidence. @Danaparenting #parenting

A reminder from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU that Imaginative #Play is A Product Of Boredom ow.ly/u6FH30pYO81 | If you don't rush to find something for your kids to do when they are bored, incredible things can follow | #parenting

I just downloaded some suggestions from Family-Friendly #Podcasts to Make Thanksgiving Travel Tolerable - Chris Kornelis @WSJ ow.ly/W5eE30pWjEm #STEM #parenting

Schools and Libraries

Stop Arguing About 'Equity' and Focus on Improving Classroom Instruction to Increase Students' Academic Outcomes ow.ly/XcJX30pZpxG @MsJasmineMN #EduCountdown2019 #schools #teaching

Sharp Nationwide Enrollment Drop in #Teacher Prep Programs Cause for Alarm | ow.ly/Kx7c30pZpDz @laurenonthehill @usnews #TeacherShortage

Why teachers need to do so much to help kids develop #vocabulary in the Classroom + some daily strategies for doing so ow.ly/6O6T30pZ72m @HuntingEnglish @EducationNext (adapted from #ResearchEd Guide to #Literacy)

Lots of links on #phonics + #TeachingReading in this @educationweek Special Report: #Getting Reading Right ow.ly/2aZZ30pZ6OG #EarlyLiteracy

Why I Decided The Clip Chart Wasn’t For Me from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU ow.ly/ZHpV30pWDX0 | How + why a 1st grade #teacher shifted to #PositiveReinforcement in #ClassroomManagement

In Mississippi, an Unlikely Model for #SchoolDesegregation - @Tawnell @WSJ ow.ly/FCCR30pVWSX | K-12 district organizes by #GradeLevel instead of geography, w/ each school having 1-2 grades. Lots of busing, but success, too


Students talk through #math in this CA school. Now test scores are rising, especially among Latino students | @sydneyfjohnson @EdSource ow.ly/v55H30pVWQH #testing #WordProblems

In today's obvious (but w/ important implications) news: Students Who Eat Breakfast Perform Better on Standardized Tests, UK Study Finds ow.ly/of5930pWC6W #testing @Newsweek @drdouggreen

Are #Reading Pressures Leading to the Decline in Scores? Tiffany Post @WeAreTeachers argues that schools pressure kids to read too soon, too fast + then too much https://t.co/NBQhugLDVr?amp=1

Australia and Finland slide further in #PISA 2018 – @greg_ashman blames use of progressivist #education policies instead of knowledge-rich curricula ow.ly/6blr30pYOap #KnowledgeGap

U.S. Students Fail to Make Gains Against International Peers in #PISA #testing, especially trailing students in Asian countries ow.ly/VgsU30pZ6ts | Performance gap in US also widened @Tawnell @WSJ

On a brighter note re: #PISA results, @tonywan @EdSurge highlights the fact that students w/ more of a #GrowthMindset did better in #reading than those w/out  https://t.co/WyXMr66VWh?amp=1

© 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: November 22: Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BodyImage, #BookAccess, #BookClubs, #BookLists, #Bullying, #CognitiveTraining, #DualCoding, #Grammar, #JoyOfLearning, #KidLitCon, #LearningStyles, #LoveOfReading, #Math, #mistakes, #nonfiction, #Play, #ProductiveStruggle, #ReadingChoice, #ScreenTime, #WimpyKid, publishing, schools, teachers, and writing. I will probably skip the roundup next weekend, with my daughter off for Thanksgiving break. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday! 

Top Tweet of the Week

Why children become bullies at school - @BBC_Future ow.ly/2qdb30pTG4m “Socially dominant bullies want to be the leader of the crowd,” says @DrDotEspelage. “And the way that they do that is to push kids down the hierarchy.” via @pragmaticmom

Book Lists

The Unexpected Ending: #PictureBooks That Stick the Landing in Weird, Wild Ways | Fun #BookList from @fuseeight ow.ly/rcEd30pV2Wm

Female Superhero Books for Kids: Old Favorites and New Friends in various formats ow.ly/Kwea30pTvyN #BookList from @momandkiddo | We love #PrincessInBlack + #ZitaTheSpacegirl in my house

Links to Best Of lists for #nonfiction #kidlit titles from #KidLitFrenzy | #NCTE, @KirkusReviews + more https://t.co/bk1FxdbqVY?amp=1

Events, Programs + Research

Announcing Keynote Speaker @DawnEQuigley for #KidLitCon2020 ow.ly/PafZ30pVjTL @KidLitCon | Dawn also just announced a #Native #ChapterBook series w/ @HarperChildrens #Heartdrum imprint

This is fun. Oakland Airport wait? Try a free on-demand #ShortStory on eco-friendly paper ow.ly/iLLu30pTVBx @swirlgirl_jy @mercnews | > 3500 printed in first month | #BookAccess

How People Learn Best: #LearningStyles vs. #DualCoding, a Guest Post by Benjamin Keep from @tlearningagency @Doug_Lemov ow.ly/lJUj30pVkeD | Dual Coding says presenting info in different formats can accelerate #learning | #CognitiveScience

This is sad: A recent study found: Teachers Show Biases Against Overweight Kids, Including Giving Them Lower #Grades@rey_z @ResearchDigest ow.ly/BYn230pU8rP #schools #BodyImage

Strong piece by @annetergesen @WSJ on What Science Tells Us About Preventing #Dementia | reviews research to highlight 6 ways to reduce risk, from blood pressure control to #CognitiveTraining https://t.co/n4LaEa5Jr8?amp=1

Could #Reading + Protect Against the Forgetfulness of #Dementia? asks @TrevorHCairney, citing a recent study that found #illiterate people developed dementia earlier ow.ly/ZYZG30pTvhI @sciam #GaryStix

Moving stories (+ great photos): inside the #BookBuses changing children's lives in Kabul ow.ly/kl1830pTvs2 @guardian via @CynLeitichSmith | #literacy #BookAccess

Growing Bookworms

Let’s Talk Books: Resources for Supporting Informal At Home Book Discussions w/out a formal #BookClub ow.ly/10mc30pVjZv @TheReadingTub | I like 'ask teens about faves they "used to love"'

The Book Matchmaker. 8th grade #teachers Eva Goins shares 4 ways she connects middle schools w/ books @nerdybookclub ow.ly/UzcY30pTG1p | #ReadingChoice, #ReadAloud + more

Tips And Tricks Parents Can Use To Nurture a #LoveOfReading in Kids | Great to see: "Let Kids Read What They Want" @Kschwart @MindShiftKQED citing @PamelaPaulNYT https://t.co/0VUPJWKILR?amp=1

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Teachers Lament Loss of #Grammar in student #writing in the age of #texting. @lesliebrody @WSJ https://t.co/d5QSakpMfT?amp=1

Children's Books and Movies Through the Decades, @growingbbb will focus on plenty of favorites for Family Dinner Book Club ow.ly/ajGs30pV2Nh #kidlit

A @wimpykid #WreckingBall Event for the Ages shows efforts to "break out of a standard event model and better center children’s book events around their intended audience" ow.ly/2Hdl30pTvp9 Meghan Dietsche Goel @PublishersWkly via @CynLeitichSmith

Parenting, Play + Screen Time

Is Handpicking Your Children’s #Teachers Really Benefitting Them? Maybe you should let your kids struggle + learn coping skills while they are young ow.ly/WpBd30pVkmk @HonorsGradU

#ScreenTime Up as #NAEP #Reading Scores Drop. Is There a Link? - @educationweek via @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/pcjF30pTWOK | There does seem to be at least correlation w/ screen use at home + in #ELA classrooms

This piece on @parentingtandt by a mom facing her daughter's burn out, overwhelm + loss of #JoyOfLearning made me sad | I Refuse To Let My Teen Burn Out from #AcademicPressure says Christine Carter https://t.co/ndHYMXzBOT?amp=1

Schools and Libraries

#Kindergarten Teachers Speak Out for Children’s Happiness | Dr. Peter Gray @PsychToday asks if their letter to #school board advocating letting kinders learn via #play helped ow.ly/Hazu30pTG9Y #JoyOfLearning

This @WSJopinion piece posits that "the Cure for What Ails America’s #Schools" is to hire more support staff to relieve #teachers from clerical work + chores like playground monitoring. Thoughts?


Our Problem With Percentages - To understand everything from cancer risk to tax rates, we need to better cultivate statistical literacy. @WSJ ow.ly/6PfC30pTLsv #Math #STEM #statistics

Opinion: #Math scares your child's elementary school teacher — and that should frighten you - @DTWillingham @latimes ow.ly/WTSF30pVjMd #education #NAEP

Judge Reduces J&J Opioid Fine After Mistaking Thousands for Millions - @nytimes ow.ly/rnkx30pTGf1 | I this this story should be shared w/ students far + wide. People make mistakes. Learn from them. #GiftOfFailure #GrowthMindset #LimitlessMind #math

© 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: November 15: Teaching Writing, Defending Graphic Novels, and Sniffling

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this busy week include: #BookLists, #CommonCore, #Curiosity, #Curriculum, #EarlyReading, #Giftedness, #GivingTuesday, #GraphicNovels, #History, #LoveOfBooks, #MentalHealth, #NancyDrew, #ReadingLogs, #ScreenTime, #SocialMedia, #STEM, #Writing, failure, libraries, reading, and schools. 

Top Tweet of the Week

Why You Should Encourage Your Child's Love of #GraphicNovels ow.ly/5I9R30pS8zp | Sarah Lindenfeld Hall @yahoolifestyle | "The goal, says @Dr_Pendergrass, is to raise a child who identifies as a reader and feels confident picking up any book"

Book Lists

The 10 to Note: Winter #kidlit Preview 2019-20 @100scopenotes features all #GraphicNovels. I added a few to my daughter's wish list ow.ly/ZKlq30pSA9A

9 #PictureBooks for When You Have the Sniffles – @literacious has such timely #BookLists https://t.co/RH3Xzb5fqY?amp=1

More Books Like #DogMan, Please! Kids Will Love These! ow.ly/pRNU30pS7Zh | #BookList for @momandkiddo focused on similarly fun, over-the-top funny books

This is fun! Here Are All 56 Original #NancyDrew Books, Ranked Worst to Best by @BookRiot ow.ly/Lhl830pS7sj #kidlit #mysteries

What Would Be Your Perfect Comic Collection for Kids? — librarian @fuseeight is doing some shopping + seeking feedback on gaps ow.ly/iGeO30pT56d | #GraphicNovels #ComicBooks

Events, Programs + Research

Conversations Around #Literacy Research: Let's CrowdSource ow.ly/pCYQ30pRIiq | A request from @CathyMere (please share). I agree w/ Cathy's focus on a "this AND that approach" + respect this attempt to keep learning about how to best teach #reading

Today is apparently Wear a Cardigan Day to honor Mr. Rogers on #WorldKindnessDay@literacious has the scoop and a #BookList ow.ly/P9L930pSJNw #CardiganDay

How Curiosity Makes You Crave. Fascinating. Study found people who had their #curiosity triggered + left unsatisfied were more likely to splurge in other ways (un-met need for a reward) ow.ly/LX0Q30pRwTV @GarethIdeas @sciam via @nireyal

What's the best way to learn? 85% rule, supported by recent study, says a healthy number of mistakes is more effective for learning new skills ow.ly/cHGx30pS8eu #failure @LaVarsovienne @TODAYshow

In @EdReports' First Review of #EarlyReading Programs, No Materials Make the Grade - @EdWeekTeacher ow.ly/dzy530pSRRE #ELA #CommonCore

Growing Bookworms

Why You Should Consider Ditching #ReadingLogs + Using #Reading Accountability Partners instead ow.ly/7tFj30pRBnf @allienthrower @edutopia #JoyOfReading


On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Are Readers More Successful? | Survey of 1000 people (not clear how they were selected) finds the act of #reading correlates happier, healthier, and more successful lives ow.ly/RBiv30pRi8e @SuperSummary https://t.co/HuWIONq1sc?amp=1

Why #Writing Matters: Reaching Your Writers | @LannyBall kicks off new series at Two Writing Teachers blog ow.ly/I92p30pS8pJ | I am certainly with them believing that writing matters for many aspects of future success

Compared to other subjects research on #writing instruction is very small ow.ly/HR6V30pRIdz | @jillbarshay @hechingerreport finds one lesson: students benefit from step-by-step guides to writing in different genres

We Don’t Need No Education | @KMcCaughrain of @AwfullyBigBlog has a new blog to provide resources for organizing #CreativeWriting groups for teens ow.ly/72a330pS7Nt | In her first post, she encourages the adults to just provide time + space for #writing

Parenting, Play, Screen Time, and Mental Health

This Colorado Middle School Banned Phones 7 Years Ago. They Say Students Are Happier, Less Stressed And More Focused | @COPublicRadio ow.ly/HV7L30pRbk6 #ScreenTime

Sadfishing, Predators and Bullies: The Hazards of Being ‘Real’ on #SocialMedia - @juliejargon @WSJ ow.ly/yw3y30pSRJL | As influencers share more about #anxiety and #depression online, teens are following suit—and becoming targets | #MentalHealth

Schools and Libraries

Updated @ncte Position Statement on #IndependentReading reminds teachers that "Research supports that independent #reading has the most significant impact on student success in reading" https://t.co/sPHoP8HLJh?amp=1

The real work of an #ELA teacher is "creating a culture of literacy and nurturing a love of reading and writing" | Focus on that, says @_ACoops_ @nerdybookclub https://t.co/MEvv76o18J?amp=1

A 'Roadmap' for #Teaching Civics + #History Is Coming. Will It Restart an Old Curriculum War? @EdWeekTeacher ow.ly/1bl830pRIcB #CurriculumDevelopment

What We're Getting Wrong About #GiftedEducation - Treating #giftedness as in-born has led to underrepresentation of low-income kids, students of color + kids gifted more on the creative side ow.ly/piuw30pSLzX @EdWeekOpinion @JosephRenzulli

How Helsinki Built ‘Book Heaven’ - gorgeous public #library serving 10k patrons/day ow.ly/GXz930pRbq7 @dccdudley @CityLab

Anonymous Note Decrying #LittleFreeLibraries Sparks Gentrification Debate | @ndelgadillo07 @DCist via @tashrow ow.ly/qM5b30pRi4E #libraries #reading


#Math Looks The Same In The Brains Of Boys And Girls, Study Finds | @NPRjonhamilton @MindShiftKQED via @drdouggreen ow.ly/uJIK30pRIkF | Other factors like girls being stronger in #reading + making other choices in wealthy districts may help explain #GenderGap in #STEM

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

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: November 13: Incorporating #LoveOfReading into Playdates, Photo Albums + Visits to the Mall

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 every four weeks.  

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have a review of a wonderful new middle grade novel and two tips for growing bookworms (scheduling playdates at the library and taking photos of your young children with books).  I also have one bookworm moments post about reading while walking through the mall.  I have three posts with literacy and reading-related links that I shared on Twitter. 

Reading Update:  In the last four weeks I finished three middle grade, one young adult, and five adult titles (three fiction and two nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Book. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed October 18, 2019, read aloud to my daughter. We are very much enjoying reading this middle grade series together,  and I highly recommend these books as bridge books for kids branching out from a steady graphic novel diet to add some more text-based fare. The main character, Derek, is more more excited about drawing comic strips than he is about reading. The books include little stick figure sketches in the wide margins of less familiar vocabulary words. Even if the words are familiar for your child, the sketches are hilarious. 
  • StuntboyJanet Tashjian: My Life As A Stuntboy. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed October 29, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • J.J. and Chris Grabenstein: Shine!. Random House Children's Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed November 1, 2019, print review copy. My review. The fact that I liked this book enough to write my first review since August should tell you how much I enjoyed this one. 
  • Kristen Simmons: The Deceivers (Vale Hall, Book 1). Tor Teen. Young Adult Mystery. Completed November 10, 2019, on Kindle. I liked the premise and plotting of this twisty YA novel about a tiny boarding school for teen con-people, but it didn't completely hold my attention  for some reason. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Manitou Canyon (Cork O'Connor, No. 15). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed October 18, 2019, on MP3. Still love Cork O'Connor. 
  • Thomas Perry: The Boyfriend. Mysterious Press. Adult Mystery. Completed October 27, 2019, on Kindle. Although I usually like Perry's work, I found this one, about a private eye on the trail of a contract killer who hides out by becoming the boyfriend to call girls, less than compelling. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Sulfur Springs (Cork O'Connor, No. 16). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed November 1, 2019, on MP3.
  • LimitlessMindJo Boaler: Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers. HarperOne. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 2, 2019, personal copy. This book, by the author of Mathematical Mindsets, applies recent neuroscience research to ideas about learning: growth mindset, productive struggle, making mistakes, etc. It  is fascinating and could be useful to teachers, parents, or anyone looking to expand their brains and keep learning. 
  • Nir Eyal (with Julie Li): Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. BenBella Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 3, 2019, personal copy. This was the latest read in my quest to read everything out there about focusing in the digital age. The part I found most interesting was the early part, in which Eyal talks about the internal drivers of our distraction (seeking out novelty, etc.). The later parts, about ways to  reduce distraction in  one's environment, is good stuff, but wasn't as new to me. 

MyLifeCartoonistI'm listening to The Night Fire: A Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch mystery by Michael Connelly. I'm reading A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series, Book 18) by Deborah Crombie. I'm reading My Life As A Cartoonist (My Life Series, Book 3) by Janet Tashjian and Jake Tashjian aloud to my daughter. I originally intended for my daughter to start reading these on her own after we had read the first book together. But in fact we are both really enjoying reading them together. Derek, like my daughter, is an only child. Let's just say that his complaint the other day about his parents' excessive focus on his trials and tribulations resonated with my daughter. This morning we kept reading long past when we were scheduled to stop, because we both HAD to know what was going to happen next. Luckily it was pajama day at school. 

On her own, my daughter is most obsessed with the Big Nate series these days. The missing books in her collection (which is most of them, she's mostly read library copies) are one of only two things she has requested (so far) for Christmas. My husband is reading her the first Nancy Drew book before bed, but I think it's going pretty slowly because they are tired. 

WreckingBallShe also eagerly awaited the recent new releases in the Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid series. In each case we preordered the book and had release day on our calendar. When I went to pick her up from after school care, she positively flew out out to the car, shrieked loudly with excitement, and read the book cover to cover IMMEDIATELY. This is the goal, my friends. Having a child who screams with excitement because the latest book in a series that she loves is here. She reacted similarly yesterday to the news that the ARC of the first book in the Babysitters Club Little Sisters series had arrived. Sadly, I think that one skewed a bit young for her, and so was a little disappointing. But I'm sure it will be a huge hit with younger kids. 

The Scholastic Book Fair at our school is next week. Scholastic offered a new option to create some sort of digital wallet for your child, so that they could essentially charge books to you without you having to be there. Me, I steered far, far away from that. First of all, my daughter would select too many books. Second, she would also be tempted by the non-book stuff, some of which is fun but which can get out of hand. 

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

#BookwormMoments: Reading while Walking through the Mall

UltraSquadMy daughter and I spent some time at the mall recently. In truth, this is not my favorite pastime, but we needed a couple of things. I'm not sure if you all know this, but the tween girl-focused Justice store carries its own series of graphic novels, called Ultra Squad. I haven't read them myself, but in her quest to possess every single middle grade novel known to mankind, my daughter always checks for new installments. [I might add that I don't see her re-reading them very often, which suggests that they are not her top favorites, but I still respect Justice for adding some books to the sparkly mix of bling at the front of the stores.]

Anyway, this time there was a new book, and my arm was twisted to purchase it. This resulted in the following photo. 


Yes, that's my daughter walking through the mall while reading a graphic novel. If you think about it, the $8 I spent on the book probably saved me from arguing about quite a few other "I wants" before we could make our way to the exit. It did require a bit of vigilance to make sure that she didn't walk into anyone, but of course it was worth it. 

This is what bookworms do. We read whenever we can seize the opportunity to do so. Especially when there's a new book in hand. 

Could I just turn in this photo to her teacher, do you think? Instead of a reading log? Don't you think that a tween girl who walks through the mall reading probably does read enough over the course of the month? [Kidding. And hoping to hold onto this behavior for as long as I can.]

I took this photo to remember the moment, and because I thought that my bookish friends would appreciate it. Happy reading to all! 

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

Tip for #GrowingBookworms: Take Photos of Your Kids Surrounded by Books

I don't know about your kids, but my 9 year old daughter LOVES to look at pictures of herself as a baby / toddler / etc. This  is always nice, of course, but something I noticed recently was that looking at these photos is reinforcing her identity as a person who loves books.

BabyAnimalsWhen she was a baby we generally surrounded  her with books. She had accordion-style books with pictures of baby faces open in her pack-n-play. We would toss down those "indestructibles" when she was doing tummy time. We would give her taggies books to gnaw on in her carseat while we were out at restaurants (she loved the one below, with a mirror on it). We would read to her while she had her bottle. And so on.

Being first-time parents, we took lots of pictures. And because the books were always around, it turns out that we have a lot of pictures of her holding, chewing, or otherwise surrounded by books. 

Yesterday my daughter and I were looking through some little photo books that I made when she was small, and she made some remark about always having loved books. We came to a photo that included a particular book with an attached stuffed animal. I remarked that I believed this particular book to be the very first object that she ever reached for. This made her positively giddy with joy. "The first thing I reached for was a BOOK!"  She was thrilled. 

TaggiesMirrorIt struck me that every time we look at these photos, her identity as a person who loves books is reinforced. It then struck me that parents  who want to raise kids who love books could purposefully take such pictures in the first place. I'm not suggesting that you fake it and create some sort of artificial record of your baby's childhood. But if your baby happens to be holding a board book that the doctor gave her at her six-month checkup (thank you, Reach Out and Read!), make sure you snap a quick photo. If you always stick books in the playpen with the stuffed animals, make sure you capture them in photos from time to time.

Truth be told, if you know that you want your child to grow up to love books, you are probably already surrounding her with books anyway, right? If not, well, that's something to think about, too. 

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

Shine!: J.J. and Chris Grabenstein

Book: Shine!
Author: J.J. and Chris Grabenstein
Pages: 224
Age Range:  8-12

Shine! is a just-released title by the husband-and-wife writing team of J.J. and Chris Grabenstein. I read it last weekend in a single sitting, and thought that it was wonderful. I highly recommend it for upper elementary schoolers. I'm going to give it to my daughter when she is a bit more willing to give non-illustrated fiction a fair shake. 

In Shine!, a girl named Piper is given an unexpected chance to attend a fancy private school, when her father is hired to be the school's new music director. Piper, an aspiring astronomer, is perfectly happy at her regular school, but agrees to the switch because it pleases her widowed father SO much to be able to give her the opportunity. The new school, Chumley Prep, is full driven, ambitious kids who live in huge houses and spend their spare time at the country club. There is a mean girl queen bee who sets out to make Piper's life miserable, but she finds friends, too. A school-wide contest win a new award catches Piper up in a wave of complex dynamics, however, and she struggles to remain true to herself. 

Shine! is going to draw comparisons to Wonder. To me, the comparison is this: like Wonder, Shine! sets out explicitly to convey a particular message. In this case, the message (in simple terms) is that there are more important things than blindly pursuing achievement. As was the case with R.J. Palacio's Wonder, I feel that the authors were able to get this message across in a way that doesn't feel didactic. This is a very tricky thing to pull off (and I am highly skeptical of books that attempt it). 

I'm not completely sure how the Grabensteins were able to achieve this balance. I think it comes down to Piper being down-to-earth and likable throughout, combined with ever-so-slightly over-the-top experiences. It's a mark of what an engaging character Piper is that I saw the ending coming a mile away, but still kept eagerly reading to see the details. And many of the details, as one might expect from a book co-written by Chris Grabenstein, are funny. 

Shine! is a quick engaging read that I really think both kids and adults will enjoy. It's a book with humor and heart, bearing a message that is both timely and important. [Ms. Yingling likes it, too, though noting that it's more a book for elementary than middle schoolers.] Piper is a relatable character with whom any reader would be happy to spend some time. Highly recommended!

Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers  (@RandomHouseKids
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).