Custom Education Solutions' Literacy Blog

My Favorite 16 Books of 2016

At the end of the year, I find it helpful to reflect back on my reading for the past year. Along with looking at the total number of books I read, and it’s never as many as I hope because there are SO many good books I want to read and never enough time, I also think back on the ones I consider the best I’ve read that year. These favorites are typically the books I recommend the most to others throughout the year, and the ones that stick with me in some way.


On the Road: NCTE & ALAN 2016 Edition

You can find me at the National Council of Teachers of English Convention this weekend!

I’m presenting in three sessions, and I’ll be attending many others to soak up the learning, along with finding out about upcoming books and hanging out in the Benchmark Education booth a bit in the exhibit hall.


Read for the Record Next Week!

Ever since I first heard about it, I loved the idea of Read for the Record®. I have seen in the classroom firsthand the power of shared reading experiences, and the idea of people around the country and world coming together to share a story is powerful.


Celebrating #BannedBooksWeek 2016

It is that which we don’t understand or want to avoid that often scares us the most. So I advocate for access to books, and diverse viewpoints, for all students, by celebrating Banned Books Week this week, and our freedom and right to read. Won’t you join me?


10 Picture Books to Build Classroom Community (2016 #pb10for10)

I am a huge proponent of picture books in every grade, and used a picture book read aloud every day of the school year with my 7th & 8th graders when I was teaching, which led to #classroombookaday. When I heard about #pb10for10, Cathy Mere & Mandy Robek’s initiative to have teachers share a collection of ten picture books great for the classroom every year on August 10th, I knew I wanted to participate. I’ve participated every year since 2013 (2014 & 2015 lists), and although traveling and presenting PD this week made me a couple days late, I didn’t want to miss the chance to share some great picture book read aloud options.