Literacy Loot: Back to School Teacher Treasures PART 4!

literacy loot memeLiteracy Loot is a weekly post that features cool and unique literacy items found online and in stores for the classroom, home and even to wear! Join me in sharing your find of the week!

Hello, literacy lovers! September is almost here, but I’ve still found some back to school treasures that are perfect for the classroom!

book planter

This succulent planter from TakeMeHomeAndAway is classy, understated and boasts a beautiful Chinese Proverb – “A Book is like a garden carried in the pocket”. A beautiful gift for teachers and librarians, this planter is only $22 and the wrapping it comes in is gorgeous. I love the little book stamp on the back, too!

johngreenprint

Attention all John Green fans! This upcycled vintage dictionary page with an Augustus Waters quote from The Fault in Our Stars is pretty awesome. Talk about a cool piece for a high school classroom. I have really been into all of the print-on-dictionary-pages art I have seen recently, and think this handmade item from ForgottenPages is a steal at $8.00.

readeveryday

Another cool reading banner for the classroom – this time from inspirationalbanners and it is pretty adorable for $26.00. This shop also does custom orders, so you could make a special banner just for your readers!

librarianstee

I LOVE literacy t-shirts and this is no exception. Teachers DO love librarians, and this $19.99 tee is pretty much perfect for casual Friday or anytime, really. Check out lovespace on Esty for more details and tons of other t-shirt options.

My favorite item of the week…

CJT_WorkHardMug

I adore this $16 coffee mug that lists two very simple rules to live by. C Jayne Teach may be my new favorite online store for teacher gifts. Lots of cute notecards, pencils, notebooks, stamps and mugs.  All lovely!

I’ve had so much fun finding and sharing teacher treasures that I’m sure one or two will end up in future Literacy Loot posts. Be on the look out next week for a book scented candle, cool Harry Potter paraphernalia, and other great literacy loot for book lovers of all ages!

As always, please let me know if you see literacy loot out there that you think is deserving of being featured on the blog. Until then, happy reading and shopping!

Lesley ♥

Recent Literacy Link Posts:

Introducing…. Literacy Loot! Week 1

Literacy Loot (2) Reading signs for the home

Literacy Loot (3) Buttons and T-shirts

Literacy Loot (4) Library Stamp, Notebook iPad Cover, T-shirt

Literacy Loot (5) Read & Write Banners, Grasshopper stapler, and Grammar Plates

Literacy Loot (6) Teacher Treasures: Teacher Business Cards, Shelf tree wall decals

Book Cover Coincidences? Wonder meets Morrissey.

One of these things is not like the other. Or is it?

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On the left is RJ Palacio’s 2012 best seller Wonder, a beloved middle grade title which has almost 2K reviews on Amazon.

   On the right, is Mozipedia: The encyclopedia of Morrissey and The Smiths by Simon Goddard, which was released in 2010 and has 14 reviews on Amazon.

Similarity Scale:  4/5

What do you think?

Book Review: Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

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From Goodreads:

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

My thoughts…

Out of the 83 books I have read in 2013, Counting by 7s is my favorite so far. I am in LOVE with this story. Willow Chance is a character that will stick with you long after you are finished with the last page. Her questions and quirks will fill your heart and her honesty and sincerity will make it full.

I love that Willow spends her days working in her backyard garden, reading strictly factual information, and writing in her observation journals. These are not typical hobbies of a twelve year old and readers will quickly find out that Willow is different. Her amazing adoptive parents are very supportive of their genius daughter and try and help her navigate confusing things like what to wear to school and how to make friends. I think that kids will identify and sympathize with Willow. Throughout the course of the story, young readers will learn that different is ok. Different is cool.

Willow Chance’s name is definitely a misnomer – her scientific way of looking at life leaves nothing to chance and she loves rules, logic and science. When the unthinkable happens, Willow is forced to realize that there are some things in life that have no explanation and are beyond our control.

This book is fantastic to pair with others that have the “Choose Kind” message. I think it will make a great read aloud and lead to excellent classroom discussion about topics such as kindness, adoption, grieving, unique families, and friendship. I plan to read this book to my 6th grade classes after we finish Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. These two books actually have a lot in common and will go great together.

Bottom Line…

Readers of ALL ages will love Willow Chance and the cast of characters that impact her life in ways that she could never have predicted in one of her journals. If you’re looking for the next Wonder, you’ve found something even better in Counting By 7s.

Literacy Loot: Back to School Teacher Treasures! PART 3

literacy loot memeLiteracy Loot is a weekly post that features cool and unique literacy items found online and in stores for the classroom, home and even to wear!

Hello, literacy lovers! During the month of August, I will feature treasure for all you savvy teachers with classrooms to fill with cool literacy loot. This week’s items are sure to make your classroom more functional and fun!

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Another personalized stamp bookplate for teachers! This one is a handle mount stamp and is for sale at Wilshire Graphic Press on Etsy.com for $30. I like fonts used on this one, too.

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I like the idea of having professional business cards to hand out at conferences and other events. I would definitely add my twitter handle too. These adorable teacher business cards from Studio Forty , Old Dirt Hill and Mallory Hope Design are bright and beautiful. $30 for 50 cards (top left), $44 for 100 (top right) and $32.50 for 50 (bottom).

Luxury Item of the week:

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This shelf tree wall decal sticker from Smiley Walls would look great in a classroom, child’s room or nursery.  You can add 4 shelves to the decal and have a sharp looking bookshelf. It’s price of $89 is a little luxurious, but I really like the idea of it, so I thought I would share this cool design idea.

Stay tuned for next week when I scour the internet for more fun and functional teacher treasures for back to school month! In the meantime, if you’d like to see some older Literacy Loot posts from this summer, please check out these links:

Introducing…. Literacy Loot! Week 1

Literacy Loot (2) Reading signs for the home

Literacy Loot (3) Buttons and T-shirts

Literacy Loot (4) Library Stamp, Notebook iPad Cover, T-shirt

Literacy Loot (5) Read & Write Banners, Grasshopper stapler, and Grammar Plates

As always, please let me know if you see literacy loot out there that you think is deserving of being featured on the blog. Until then, happy reading and shopping!

Lesley ♥

Words are Life: The Book Thief Movie Trailer

book thief

We all have favorite books. Books that were significant to us at a particular time in our lives. Books that we have read countless times and still treasure our dog eared copies that may be held together with staples, string and tape. Without a doubt, my all time favorite book is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I listened to it on audiobook a few years ago and I think it honestly changed my reading life. Yep, for me this book was a GAME CHANGER. I was entranced by Death as a narrator and little Liesel Meminger’s story set in Nazi Germany, and it seemed like every book I had ever read up until that moment had just been a book. This was something different. A tale that resonated with me so much and I will never, ever forget that reading experience.

The Book Thief is a strongly crafted story.  A deeply rich tale of innocence, love, hatred and the power of words. I’ve been patiently following all of the movie buzz for this book and now that there is a trailer I am beyond excited. I cannot wait to see how Hollywood has adapted this heart breaking story. You can add this book to your TBR pile here and see the trailer here. Enjoy!

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? 8/19/13

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It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you can recap what you’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Here’s what I read last week:

(Click on the book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles)

prodigy

Prodigy by Marie Lu
Putnam Juvenile, 2013
YA Science Fiction
My Goodreads Review: 5/5 Stars
This is a sequel to Legend and the third book, Champion, comes out in November

teachpirate

Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
Dave Burgess Consulting, 2013
Professional Read
My Goodreads Review: 3/5 Stars
Some good ideas to add excitement to your classroom, but not my favorite book.

countingby

Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial, August 29th, 2013
MG Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Review 5/5 Stars

My favorite read of the week….

I loved Prodigy and thought it was a perfect sequel to Legend, but Counting By 7s was my favorite read of the week. It is SOOOO good! Look for a blog post soon and go ahead and preorder this book. You will not be sorry.

Here’s what I plan to read this week: (Click on the cover for more info from Goodreads)

dreamthievesskin

I didn’t get to start The Dream Thieves last week, so I’m going to attempt to find the time for this one. I’m also intrigued by Skin, by Donna Jo Napoli, which is about a teenage girl who wakes up and starts to get white spots all over her body.

Happy Reading!

Lesley ♥

Literacy Loot: Back to School Teacher Treasures! PART 2

literacy loot memeLiteracy Loot is a weekly post that features cool and unique literacy items found online and in stores for the classroom, home and even to wear!

Hello, literacy lovers! August is flying by, and  I’m featuring even more treasure for all you savvy teachers with classrooms to fill with cool literacy loot. This week’s items are sure to make your classroom even more functional and fun!

library stamp

Last week’s featured personalized library stamp was very popular (check it out here: Back to School Teacher Treasures Week 1 ), so I have decided to feature one each week during the month of August. Listed at $24.95, this simple, self inking stamp is the perfect addition to any teacher’s classroom library. You can even choose your ink color – black, blue, red, green, or brown. 
The Stampin’ Place
 features multiple library stamp options.

writebanner

readbanner

Can we just take a moment and look at these adorable classroom banners?! Wouldn’t they look great above a center or in a cozy reading or writing corner? Love them! They are listed at $17 and $15, and Gifts By Gaby has several more banners, like a personalized pencil teacher door sign, that you will probably want to check out.

grasshopper

This stapler from Anthropologie is one cool office supply. Your fellow teachers are sure to have desk envy when they see this little guy, and you definitely won’t have trouble getting a volunteer to staple packets either.  For $18, this stapler can be prominently displayed on your desk or even in a writing center.

This week’s luxury item…

modclothplateset

I can always count on Modcloth for having something quirky and fun for the home. They featured their Gourmet Grammarian Dish Set for $49.99 on Facebook yesterday, and this cool and functional conversation starting dinnerware is sure to impress your dinner guests.

Next week there will be even more Teacher Treasures featured, but in the meantime, if you’d like to see some older Literacy Loot posts from this summer, please check out these links:

Introducing… Literacy Loot!

Signs for the Home

Buttons and T-shirts

Back to School Teacher Treasures

As always, please let me know if you see literacy loot out there that you think is deserving of being featured on the blog. Until then, happy reading and shopping!

Lesley ♥