Friday, January 31, 2014

Loving Literacy...My Story

Welcome to...

With Valentine's Day approaching, a group of reading specialists, coaches, and teacher bloggers that I am a part of decided it was the perfect time to share our love of literacy with you.  

We are passionate about helping children develop a love of reading, and what better way to show our love of reading than through sharing our favorite books.  

Each blogger participating in this weekend's hop is sharing materials for his/her favorite book.

I didn't learn to read until I was in second grade.  All I remember of kindergarten is coloring, playing dress up, and playing in the kitchen center.  I think we talked about our ABCs, but I didn't learn them.  I can't even remember what we did in first grade.  I was put in resource in second grade because I couldn't read.  I had a FABULOUS teacher.  I loved going to her room.  She made learning to read fun.  I quickly picked it up and have been devouring books every since.  I don't know where I would have been without her.  I wish I remembered her name because I would love to send her a thank you letter to let her know how much I appreciate what she gave me - a love of reading.

When I went to college, it took me almost a year before I decided on a major.  The turning point was an honors college world history course.  The professor used novels to help us understand history.  We read some great books in that class - Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and Hot Zone by Richard Preston.  Because of her, I decided to become a high school social studies teacher.  I graduated and got my first job teaching seventh and eighth grade social studies.  I liked it but knew that I hadn't found where I really belonged in the education world.  I was given the opportunity to become the reading teacher for seventh and eighth grade and jumped at the chance.  LOVED IT!!  I know a lot of people do not like those grades, but I think those kids are so interesting.  Not only did I love the grade level, I found my home in the classroom teaching world - showing students the joy that can be found when reading.

I am an instructional coach now and really, really love it (I think I may be using the word love too much but I want you to know how strongly I feel).  I have found my place in the education world (not just the classroom world).  I get the best of both worlds - I get to support teachers and I get to work with students.  I can use my love of literacy to show teachers how every subject can be supported by incorporating literacy strategies.

I had a really hard time choosing just one book to share with you this weekend.  I finally settled on Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen.  Why do I love this book?  Oh, so many reasons.  First the illustrator Kevin Hawkes did a fantastic job of creating pictures through acrylic and pencil.  He brings to life the people, the lion, and the library.  When asked about creating the illustrations for the book, he says, "Illustrating Library Lion was like going back to the libraries I knew as a child.  I can't think of a nicer thing than sharing a story hour with my own private lion.  I wanted the illustrations to remind me of those simple days when a visit to the library was as exciting as a trip to the zoo, only better."  Second, the story is captivating.  Outside of the New York Public Library are these massive lion statues.  Have you ever thought what would happen if one of those lions actually walked into the library for story hour?  Knudsen did!  What happened when the lion walked in?  You will have to get the book and find out.  I feel the same way about libraries that Knudsen does.  She says, "Anyone who loves libraries knows that they are special, magical places, where everyone is welcome and anything seems possible.  I've made lots of wonderful friends in libraries, both inside the pages of books and among the people who work with them."

I created some before, during, and after reading activities to go along with this magnificent book.  They are available for free this weekend only and exclusively on my blog (just click the picture above).  It will convert to a paid product after February 2nd on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I appreciate you dropping by today, and if you are new to my blog and love literacy, I hope you'll take a moment to follow my posts on Bloglovin.  It is time to continue your travels and read about everyone's else literacy story.  Click the image below and be taken to Tales of a Title I Teacher.


  1. Thanks so much for the freebee. Library Lion is one of my favorites. I read this one every year to my kindergarteners.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

    1. I can't even remember who recommended Library Lion to me, but I fell instantly in love with it after I read it.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this sweet unit and especially for putting me on to anew book...I'd never heard of this story before...what a great hop!

    1. I am very glad that you are enjoying the hop and finding new books.


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