#BookwormMoments: Creating a Book Nook


IMG_7006My daughter had one of those bunk bed setups where there's a top bunk and a removable full-size bed underneath. We recently moved the full-size bed to another room. I noticed that the space underneath the top bunk seemed big enough to hold the two bookshelves that were on the other side of the room. My daughter immediately seized on this idea. I don't remember which of us started referring to the area as a book nook, but she was immediately eager for said nook to be arranged.

IMG_0336She even got ready for school early so that we had extra time in the mornings to move the bookshelves. This ended up involving a weeding/sorting process, discussed in a previous post. The initial stacks are shown to the left. The whole thing  took a couple of days, but in the end the shelves were much better organized. I only hit my head on the upper bunk once, so that was a win, too. 

Once the bookshelves were moved, a trip to Target followed, during which two beanbag chairs were procured.

And voila! A new book nook! I hope it gets many hours of enjoyment. 

One of the ways to encourage kids to read is to give them comfortable spaces in which to do so. I feel fortunate that we were able to put together this one.  Happy reading! 

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

Giving Kids #ReadingChoice is the Right Thing. But Sometimes It Hurts.


IvyAndBeanLast week my daughter and I moved two bookshelves, as part of a project to create a reading nook. This required taking all of the books off  the shelves. Naturally, I took the opportunity to do some weeding and organizing at the same time. Weeding was necessary because the books were stacked two deep, and the ones in the back were basically lost. 

Most of the weeding was pretty easy. I  let my daughter decide, only overriding her on a few titles that I wanted to  keep. Berenstain Bears? Keep. Little Critter? Donate. Hot Rod Hamster readers? Keep. Superhero picturebacks? Donate. Little Golden Books? Donate most of them, but keep the ones by Bob Staake. Owl Diaries? Keep those, because sometimes you need a quick read. Keep all of the graphic novels. And so on. 

Then we came to a stack of Ivy and Bean books. These were books that I had literally been saving for her to read since before she was born. [Thank you Chronicle Books!] I looked at the books. I looked at her. I said: "You're never going to read these, are you?" She said: "Nah." She went on to volunteer that she doesn't think she'll ever read Clementine or Ramona or the Fancy Nancy chapter books. She thinks they are boring. And my heart broke, just a little bit. 

She saw that I was sad and said: "Well it's your fault. You bought me graphic novels." This is true, though technically Scholastic and Random House bear some fault, too. She started reading Princess Pink and Lunch Lady, fell in love, and never looked back. She skipped over easy readers and chapter books almost completely, and went from graphic novels to notebook novels to tween romances, with only a few diversions along the way. [And of course she's still reading graphic novels and notebook novels every day.]

ClementineI told her: "All I care about is that you are reading books that you enjoy." It is certainly true that I am grateful that she enjoys books, whatever those books are. But ... she doesn't want to read Clementine? I adore Clementine! Elementary school girls are supposed to read Clementine, aren't they? It's not like I'm asking her to read some ancient story with no relevance to modern life. The first Clementine book is (c) 2006. But of course I do want her to read what she wants to read. And I am grateful every day that she's found books to love. 

I know that giving kids choice in their reading is the right thing to do. But some days are harder than others. 

As I sighed over some other books that we went into the donate stack my daughter reminded me that we were donating them so that other kids could read them. This did help. It turns out that my friend's daughter will be thrilled to take the Ivy and Bean and Nancy Clancy books off our hands. This helped even more. The other books will also go to good homes. I have a friend who works in a library at a less-privileged elementary school.

But I'm keeping Ramona and Clementine. Just in case… If nothing else, I'll re-read them myself. 

© 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: September 27: #ReadingLevels, #PlayBasedLearning + Deferring #S


TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #BookSelection, #ClassroomLibraries, #eBooks, #GraphicNovels, #GrowthMindset, #LoveOfBooks, #PictureBooks, #play, #ReadingLevels, #ScreenTime, parenting, publishing, reading, and schools. 

Top Tweet of the Week

Here's what I'd like to know. How many kids around the country today are hoping to do poorly on the Star Reading Test, so that (w/ lower #ReadingLevel) they can read books that they actually want to read? #AR #testing #JoyOfReading #Schools  [Not a link, but this tweet generated some nice discussion last weekend.]

Book Lists

The BEST List of Preschool Books About Seasons, new #BookList from @growingbbb ow.ly/iljM30pAHII #PictureBooks

If You Like The #HungerGames... Read These Next! #BookList from @momandkiddo | I would add the #Uglies + #Imposters series from @ScottWesterfeld

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

#BookGirl by Sarah Clarkson @thoroughlyalive: How To Choose Books – I chimed in on discussion on #BookSelection @semicolonblog ow.ly/zTTB30pAUW6

Physical books still outsell #eBooks — and here's why ow.ly/eJxB30pzOg2 | @MerylHalls tells @CNBC that people love to display what they've read + signal #LoveOfBooks to the world

Bring Back #Handwriting: It’s Good for Your Brain - @markhamh @elemental via @TheReadingTub ow.ly/SZPA30pzO8K | #writing #MentalHealth

New study finds that Our Brains Represent The Meaning Of Words the Same Way Whether We Read Them Or Hear Them – @EmmaELYoung @ResearchDigest ow.ly/whrd30pBAh2 #reading #Audiobooks #eBooks

Why New @goraina Graphic Memoir ‘Guts’ Has A One Million Copy Print Run ow.ly/t2Ax30pzObK | @Forbes @Scholastic via @tashrow | "Raina is a fantastic advocate" for the message that #GraphicNovels are real #reading

Children + Authors To Collaborate on The #StorySeeds #Podcast, Launching this Fall w/ the #Kidlitosphere's own @fuseeight as host ow.ly/YwAg30pBm8B @LitSafariMedia

Parenting, Play + #ScreenTime

We Need to Define #PlayBasedLearning#Play is not a child going through structured stations in a classroom, says @HonorsGradU. It is truly child led. https://t.co/WZIlsqgFxl?amp=1

Girls vs. Boys: Brain Differences Might Explain Tech Behaviors (girls spending time on #SocialMedia + boys on #gaming) | @juliejargon @WSJ ow.ly/JRy530pC1jL | #ScreenTime

I liked this piece in @TheAtlantic about why Sarah P. Weeldreyer Won't Buy Her Teenagers Smartphones ow.ly/qpd830pAmY1 #ScreenTime #parenting

Schools and Libraries

The Smaller Class Size Debate- What’s the Deal With The Numbers? – @HonorsGradU ow.ly/nXEZ30pC1Wy | Research finds "Class sizes need to be 13-17 students in order to be considered small enough to yield impactful advances." Worth the cost?

Schools will dump it': expert raises doubts over schools' ability to teach #GrowthMindset ow.ly/3p6F30pANjx @smh via @greg_ashman

Creating and Maintaining a #ClassroomLibrary that gives kids an authentic #reading life, instead of defining them by #ReadingLevels by Savannah Campbell @nerdybookclub https://t.co/FwRQ0DEKIh?amp=1

How 'Standards' Work In A New Knowledge-Driven #Reading Curriculum - @Doug_Lemov ow.ly/cFbf30pBAtL #SpacedPractice #BackgroundKnowledge

I Should Have Thanked My #Teachers. I regret I never told them how profound their effect on me was, says former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent @WSJopinion https://t.co/okZ27fWyvB?amp=1

Good piece on helping students to remember things. The difference between #EpisodicMemory + #SemanticMemory -> working on the latter before planning memorable experiences @ClareSealy @EducationNext

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

#BookwormMoments: Seeking a Book that "Calls Out to Me"


BetterYouThanMeThis morning I found my daughter in my office, perusing the stacks of books. She said: "I'm looking for a big book that kinda calls out to me. Something like Better You Than Me or Snow and Rose." [Two titles that she had previously pulled from the stack and enjoyed, and that were both more challenging than her usual fare.] I pulled a few things from  the stacks, but they apparently did not call out to her. We had to head out and that desire was not met for today. 

Clearly we are in need of a visit to the library, where the books are much better organized.

But isn't that what we're all after as readers? That book that just calls out to us to be read. It was a tiny moment in our day, but it made me  happy. 

© 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: September 20: Helicopter Parenting, Giftedness, and Read Alouds


TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookAwards, #BookLists, #CognitiveScience, #Giftedness, #KnowledgeGap, #MentalHealth, #neurodiversity, #ReadAloud, #ScreenTime, #teaching, #VideoGames, friendship, libraries, and parenting.

Top Tweet of the Week

Want better readers? Spend less time #teaching kids to find the main idea, #KnowledgeGap author @natwexler argues ow.ly/sQ8730pyTQc | #CognitiveScience #BackgroundKnowledge #AchievementGap

Book Lists + Awards

The @nationalbook Award Longlist for Young People’s Literature, shared by @tashrow ow.ly/70br30pyqyH #kidlit #YA

10 Books for Readers Who Love The Baby-Sitters Club, a #BookList from @momandkiddo ow.ly/aGKX30pwWLj #BSC #MiddleGradeFiction

#Neurodiversity in Middle Grade Books | #BookList featuring viewpoint characters w/ dyslexia, ADHD, sensory disorders, anxiety + more @momandkiddo

Growing Bookworms

Why Do Some People Love Reading? Nice piece by @jpinsk in @TheAtlantic| Model reading for your kids as "a private pleasure-delivery system" ow.ly/DoXC30pzqFm via @DTWillingham #JoyOfReading

On the joys of implementing a #PictureBook #bookaday #ReadAloud in Middle School – @heisereads @ChoiceLiteracy ow.ly/2Qbs30pwSFg #ClassroomBookADay

Parenting, Screen Time + Play

Keeping Tabs on Your Kids: The Latest Parental Controls From Apple, Google and Amazon - @juliejargon @WSJ ow.ly/lJfJ30pyTBE #parenting #ScreenTime

Tips on not being a Helicopter Mom from @HonorsGradU ow.ly/W7hX30pyqy7 #Parenting #Resilience #Independence

When You Think Your Child’s Teacher Is a Bad Fit, when to act vs. when you should step back + stop helicoptering - @WSJ ow.ly/GL0O30pyqiP #parenting

Research and Behavior

The Evolutionary Benefit of #Friendship. Friends made us smarter + gave us more potential, says @farnamstreet ow.ly/5qLW30pyqMW #EvolutionaryBiology

How To Cope Under Pressure, According To Psychology – @EmmaELYoung @ResearchDigest ow.ly/G1yc30pyqFw #StressMindsets #MentalHealth

When False Claims Are Repeated, We Start To Believe They Are True — Here’s How Behaving Like A Fact-Checker Can Help – @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest ow.ly/X29M30pwWJU | Thinking about whether things are true or not when you first hear them helps later

Americans Don’t Fully Trust Many Who Hold Positions of Power and Responsibility | New @pewresearch survey finds K-12 #SchoolPrincipals, cops + military at the top, congress + tech leaders at the bottom re: trust https://t.co/uAvOTnvgtk?amp=1

Schools and Libraries

New teaching tool in history class: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ #VideoGame@gcacho @EastBayTimes ow.ly/vBB730pyTHZ | Color me skeptical. Note results showed students taught "old school" way learned better

10 Things the Movie #ThePublic Got Right About #Libraries@literacious ow.ly/eFwG30pwWNg | Yes, people wait outside for the library to open

A Reminder from @jasonrileywsj, citing Chester Finn, that Not All #GiftedChildren Are From Affluent Families ow.ly/MXvZ30pyTDK | #SchoolReform #AP #CollegeBoard

4 Poll Results That'll Shape the 2020 Election #EdPolicy Debates. What struck me: parents, esp. nonwhite parents, + teachers support stricter school discipline, even as CA is legislating the opposite @EducationNext https://t.co/zuRxhzJAE1?amp=1

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