Writing Outside

The last two Fridays, my students and I have walked down to a local park to write. It’s a short walk, and the weather has been lovely. The kids seem to LOVE writing outside.

The first week we responded to a prompt from The Creativity Project. They created some pretty wild and epic stories. For week 2 of outside writing, I wanted to give them a chance write whatever they wanted. It was so much fun to see all the amazing thing they created. We had multiple comics, a handful of personal narratives, and a few realistic fiction stories. It is interesting to see how many more kids are willing to share their writing when they are able to take off their masks.

We’re going to keep going outside to write on Fridays for as long as the weather holds up. It is fun to see what happens when we get out of the way, and allow kids to be creative.

I hope writing in your classrooms is going well. I feel like story is more important than ever.

They Are Writing…A Lot

I love teaching writing. It is hands down my favorite thing to teach. This year, I have to create video lessons for each day and show them in class, and share them with my kids learning virtual. We are trying to make sure that all of our kids are getting as close to the same education as possible.

Creating these writing videos is turning out to be way more fun than I anticipated. I do a few little things in each video that the kids get a kick out of. It is almost like they are becoming fans of a new YouTube channel.

The best part for me, is that each day I get to watch myself teach. I see when I do not do a good enough job explaining things, and when I ramble on too long. It isn’t all bad, I’m darn good at modeling different craft techniques, and I am able to keep them pretty engaged.

At the end of the day, my kids are writing. A lot. They do a nice job writing during workshop, but more importantly, they are trying to steal extra time to write. They rush through other subjects to be able to get back to their stories (we are working on this). They write when I’m answering the phone, and during transitions. They are writers, and I love that they have so much to say.

The First Ten Picture Books I read my Fifth Graders

This school year is unlike any other. Thankfully, I am still able to read aloud picture books each and every day. It is probably my favorite part of just about every day. In the video below, I share the first ten picture books that I read my students during the 2020-2021 school year.

Be sure to read more about the 10 books I talked about in this video, by clicking on the affiliate links below.

Am Every Good Thing: https://amzn.to/2FpBFSD

The Book of Mistakes: https://amzn.to/32lQnDc

The Story of Fish & Snail: https://amzn.to/2ZpMuuX

What If… : https://amzn.to/3bMtCvr

The Day You Begin: https://amzn.to/3k9elHO

The Oldest Student: https://amzn.to/3k7DvGP

After the Fall: https://amzn.to/2ZvLCFj

The Rabbit Listened: https://amzn.to/32n2C2x

Battle Bunny: https://amzn.to/2DOBgIW

Your Name is a Song: https://amzn.to/35qdH4z

Check out my list of AWESOME 2020 books: https://www.mrcolbysharp.com/2020

Check out the list of books I have read my students during the 2020-2021 school year. https://bookshop.org/lists/mr-colby-s…

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Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids: https://bookshop.org/a/4866/978133831…

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp (ME!) https://bookshop.org/a/4866/978031650…

Places to find me:

Website: http://www.mrcolbysharp.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/colbysharp

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/colbysharp

I started a newsletter! Click below to sign up.

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Thanks for watching.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

colbysharp@gmail.com

One Little Bag by Henry Cole | Book Talk

I love the Earth.

I love wordless picture books.

I love Henry Cole’s art.

If you like any (or all) of these things, you will probably dig this book.

Book Description from the publisher:

A wordless book that starts from a tall tree growing in the forest –

to the checkout counter at the grocery store –

one brown bag finds its way into the hands of a young boy on the eve of his first day of school.

And so begins the journey of one brown bag that is used

and re-used

and re-used again.

In a three-generation family, the bag is transporter of objects and keeper of memories. And when Grandfather comes to the end of his life, the family finds a meaningful new way for the battered, but much-loved brown bag to continue its journey in the circle of life.

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If you’d like to purchase the book I mentioned in this video, please click on the affiliate links below: 

https://amzn.to/2U4DysK

Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids:

https://amzn.to/2wHjjVR

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp (ME!)

http://amzn.to/2pqudvN

Places to find me:

Website: http://www.mrcolbysharp.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/colbysharp

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/colbysharp

I started a newsletter! Click below to sign up.

http://eepurl.com/c_gMYT

Thanks for watching. Please me know if I can help you in any way.

colbysharp@gmail.com

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I’ve read a lot of books in my life. Fighting Words is one of the best. You need to add this book to your to-read list. You won’t regret it. I promise!

Book Description from the publisher:

Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom’s boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della’s own wolf — her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della’s world turns so far upside down, it feels like it’s shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she’s been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it’s time to be loud.

In this powerful novel that explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse and leavens an intense tale with compassion and humor, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley tells a story about two sisters, linked by love and trauma, who must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other.

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If you’d like to purchase the book I mentioned in this video, please click on the affiliate links below: 

https://amzn.to/2IROkMF

Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids:

https://amzn.to/2wHjjVR

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp (ME!)

http://amzn.to/2pqudvN

Places to find me:

Website: http://www.mrcolbysharp.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/colbysharp

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/colbysharp

I started a newsletter! Click below to sign up.

http://eepurl.com/c_gMYT

Thanks for watching. Please me know if I can help you in any way.

colbysharp@gmail.com

The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling |Book Talk

I the idea of going into the wilderness to escape the “real world” sounds pretty right now. Nora and her Father were trying just that, but when a flash flood rips them apart, things get pretty intense. In the video below, I share my thoughts on a book that is sure to have readers frantically turning pages until they reach the end. Hold on tight!

Book Description from the publisher:

Hatchet meets Long Way Down in this heartfelt and gripping novel in verse about a young girl’s struggle for survival after a climbing trip with her father goes terribly wrong.

One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora’s father and all of their supplies.

Suddenly, Nora finds herself lost and alone in the desert, facing dehydration, venomous scorpions, deadly snakes, and, worst of all, the Beast who has terrorized her dreams for the past year. If Nora is going to save herself and her father, she must conquer her fears, defeat the Beast, and find the courage to live her new life.

If you’d like to purchase the book I mentioned in this video, please click on the affiliate links below: 

https://amzn.to/2QfUsCl

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Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids:

https://amzn.to/2wHjjVR

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp (ME!)

http://amzn.to/2pqudvN

Places to find me:

Website: http://www.mrcolbysharp.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/colbysharp

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/colbysharp

I started a newsletter! Click below to sign up.

http://eepurl.com/c_gMYT

Thanks for watching. Please me know if I can help you in any way.

colbysharp@gmail.com

Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick | Book Talk

Earlier this week, I finished reading aloud Rodman Philbrick’s Wildfire. My kids loved it. During the read aloud, I often thought about how much I would have loved this books when I was a kid. I think a lot of readers, like me, that fell in love with Hatchet, were looking for the next book. Wildfire is going to be that book for todays Wildfire readers.

Video book talk below!

Check out the official book trailer!

If you’d like to purchase the book I mentioned in this video, please click on the affiliate links below: 

https://amzn.to/2wv9MEg

Book Description from the publisher:

Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick sends readers straight into the nightmare of a raging wildfire as 12-year-old Sam is trapped by explosive flames and deadly smoke that threaten to take his life. Can he survive?

Flames race toward Sam Castine’s summer camp as evacuation buses are loading, but Sam runs back to get his phone. Suddenly, a flash of heat blasts him as pine trees explode. Now a wall of fire separates Sam from his bus, and there’s only one thing to do: Run for his life. Run or die.

Lungs burning, Sam’s only goal is to keep moving. Drought has made the forest a tinderbox, and Sam struggles to remember survival tricks he learned from his late father. Then, when he least expects it, he encounters Delphy, an older girl who is also lost. Their unlikely friendship grows as they join forces to find civilization.

The pace never slows, and eventually flames surround Sam and Delphy on all sides. A powerful bond is forged that can only grow out of true hardship-as two true friends beat all odds and outwit one of the deadliest fires ever.

At the end of the novel, information about wildfires and useful safety tips add to the reader’s understanding of one of the US’s most dangerous natural disasters. 

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Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids:

https://amzn.to/2wHjjVR

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp (ME!)

http://amzn.to/2pqudvN

Places to find me:

Website: http://www.mrcolbysharp.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/colbysharp

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/colbysharp

I started a newsletter! Click below to sign up.

http://eepurl.com/c_gMYT

Thanks for watching. Please me know if I can help you in any way.

colbysharp@gmail.com

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo | Book Talk

I need to read more young adult novels. There are so many amazing books written for these post-middle grade readers. I often think how much more I would have read as a kid, if I had access to the books being published today. Books like Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo would have blew my mind. I’m thankful that kids today have the opportunity to read books like this.

Check out my thoughts on this book in my video book talk below.

If you’d like to purchase the book I mentioned in this video, please click on the affiliate links below: 

https://amzn.to/2Tk9o4r

Book Description from the publisher:

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. 

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Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids:

https://amzn.to/2wHjjVR

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp (ME!)

http://amzn.to/2pqudvN

Places to find me:

Website: http://www.mrcolbysharp.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/colbysharp

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/colbysharp

I started a newsletter! Click below to sign up.

http://eepurl.com/c_gMYT

Thanks for watching. Please me know if I can help you in any way.

colbysharp@gmail.com

The Books My Students Are Reading by Colby Sharp

I’m today’s Nerdy Book Club guest blogger. Always fun to share the books my students are currently reading.

Nerdy Book Club

Each month, I ask my students to leave behind the book they are currently reading as they head to lunch. I take the books, try to figure out what I can learn about my class as a group of readers, make a video about their books, and then return the books to their lockers. I LOVE doing this because I get a chance to celebrate their growth, and try to figure out ways to take things to the next level. Below you will find this month’s video!

Colby Sharp is a husband and father of five. He teaches fifth grade in Parma, Michigan. Colby is the co-founder of Nerdy Book Club. He co-hosts The Yarn podcast with Travis Jonker. Colby currently serves as the president-elect of the Michigan Reading Association. He co-authored Game Changer! Book Access for All Kid with Donalyn Miller, and he is the editor of The Creativity…

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We’re Back! Episode 5 of Partially Proficient

Alaina and I took a bit of a break from recording our podcast together as things got super busy in the fall. With a new year in front of us, we felt that it was a great time to recommit to the show.

In the latest episode we talk about how we are prioritizing family above all as we head back to school.

Check out the episode by clicking on the image below.

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If you’d like to subscribe to the show click on your preferred podcast app below!

spotify

apple podcast