Let’s Write!

As with my reading goals, I also wrote my writing goals at the beginning of January. Nothing like procrastinating to the very end of the month to get my posts done! I have found a passion for teaching writing and am wanting to work on being a better writer myself. Like I tell my students, the only way to get better at something is to practice, so I am practicing!


So here it is, all the things I want to write this year. I have already started my Writer’s Notebook thanks to the Language Arts class I am teaching. What are you writing?


My Must Read List 2019

As we near the end of January, I am finally getting around to sharing My Must Read List for 2019. I wrote the list not long after the new year and have a goal to read 24 books this year. My list books from different genres, books recommended by family, friends, and my students, professional books to help me in my teaching career, books to help me with becoming the best version of myself, and books just for fun.


I can’t wait to share my journey of reading with you this year! What’s on your list?

My Word for 2019

Three years ago, I was given the challenge to choose one word to define my year. At the time, it seemed difficult to imagine that I would be able to choose a single word for my year. So many came to mind, but, in the end, I chose the word focus. One of my goals that year was to finally finish my dissertation and graduate, which I did.

Last year, in 2018, my one word for the year was bold. Inspired by two of my good friends, I learned to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things. Vendor events for my Usborne Books & More business which mean talking to many people I did not know, teaching an online college class, presenting at a statewide literacy conference, just to name a few.

Now here we are in 2019 and time to choose a new word. I struggled with choosing a word this year and spent some time thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this year. Thanks again to my two friends, Shelly and Jill, and their thoughtful conversations, I have a new word: intentional. I really want to be intentional about the projects I complete, the time I have and how I spend it, and saying yes to what is truly important to me.

I am excited for the year ahead and can’t wait to share it with all of you!


that was the day she made herself the promise to live more from intention and less from habit.

What are you reading Wednesday?

This week the girls and I have been enjoying one of our newest books, Giraffe in the Bath and Other Tales. This compilation of six phonics stories is quite the hit in our house. The stories are short, engaging, rhyming, and contain colorful illustrations. They are also somewhat silly, which makes the girls laugh and remember what we have been reading about in the story.

As a reading specialist, I really enjoy these stories not only as something fun, but also as a learning tool. Their rhyming patterns are great for younger readers to identify as they listen to the story. Additionally, these books provide an opportunity for the teaching of various vowel sounds and patterns as children continue to grow as readers. I am always looking for something new and fun to read with my girls at home and also with my students during the school year.

While right now we are just enjoying the stories for stories, I look forward to being able to use these familiar stories with the girls as they continue to grow as readers. Izzie loves to be able to read some of the words and Sophia is beginning to identify letters in the words. This collection of stories will definitely come in handy in the future!

As a closing thought, always remember to have fun with reading. Check out Sophia in her giraffe mask that she made today and wore as we read the story tonight!


What are you reading Wednesday?

Happy Wednesday! Last night I did something that I had not done in quite some time. I stayed up late, for me, to finish a book because I needed to know how it ended. I had been reading The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green, a book I had checked out at the very beginning of the month. As I mentioned last week, I had quickly chosen this book at the end of a library visit with the girls. I was expecting a great beach read and it definitely did not start out that way.

But, as I continued, I discovered a beautiful story unfolding. One that spoke of estranged sisters who were brought together at the wish of their mother, who was not much of a mother to the girls. As each of the three sisters is portrayed, we learn their joys and their sorrows, their successes and their mistakes. A lovely story of how sisters learn that it is never too late to start again and work towards a friendship that had been absent. I felt myself pulling for each of the sisters as they realized what was missing in their lives and as they began to change their ways, leading to happiness. In the end, this book became one that I could not put down.

If you are for a a story of love, learning from your errors, and finding yourself again, than The Sunshine Sisters might just be for you! What are you reading this week?

Science and Reading

Reading is a skill that transcends all academic subject areas. It is necessary to accomplish so many tasks, not just in school, but also in life. Last week, I found this to be true while doing science experiments with my girls.

I had recently received the book 365 Science Activities. Numerous activities related to different science topics were awaiting us! We had chosen a few under the ending of Density, which I don’t know much about.


Now, I can follow directions and so we successfully completed the experiments. The items were things that we had around the house. However, what I really enjoyed about using the activities from this book is the fact that they explain why things happen. Instead of answering, “I don’t know!” when the girls asked me about why something was happening, I was able to share the explanation by reading the book.

So, if you are looking for some fun with your children this summer, especially on rainy or hot days, check out this fun science book, complete with explanations.

What are you reading Wednesday

Another Wednesday and another edition of what are you reading Wednesday. I am still reading The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green. I am loving the way I have been transported back in time to see the moments that have led to where the book began. An interesting story of sisters and the relationships they had with others, each other, and their mother. Definitely check it out!

Turning to my professional reading, I wanted to share the book Literacy Essentials by Regie Routman. I am only about 120 pages in but I already love the ideas that Routman has to offer regarding literacy instruction. Divided in to sections revolving around engagement, excellence, and equity, Routman offers ideas for literacy in the classroom followed by sections that have ideas for educators to put the ideas in action. So many ideas are so simple and practical, but often get lost in the shuffle of curriculum and standards.

I have been a fan of Routman’s work for quite some time. She writes in a manner that is easy to understand and it feels as if she is sitting down talking with you. One of the first topics Routman discovers is the idea of trust. This school year, I experience times where trust was broken in the blink of an eye. One of the simple suggestions that Routman gives is to be kind. This is something I am constantly saying to my own children as well as the children in my classes. What if, as adults, we were kind to each other? What if we took time to care about one another instead of rushing from here and there without stopping to chat? What if we spread kindness? Think about how simple it sounds, yet it can be incredibly difficult to accomplish.

If you are a teacher of literacy, I highly recommend Literacy Essentials for you and your administration. Such a great read with practical actions we can all take. I look forward to hearing what you are reading! Happy reading!