After three extremely busy weeks, I granted myself permission to take the morning off, to thumb through an education journal, to read tweets and blog posts, to respond to fun emails, and to dream with friends on twitter. Though I love the trainings that I have been a part of over the past several weeks and the interactions and conversations with teachers as we look forward to a new school year, I find that I become scattered and frazzled when I don't take even small breaks. As an introvert, it is in the quiet moments where I find nourishment and rejuvenation to start all over again. The errands will have to wait and I have to remind myself that I can give more to work tasks when I have stepped away and recharged.
From all of the conversations that came from this mornings tweets and emails, I was reminded of how many great ideas for blog posts arise from these interactions. One made it into a blog post this past Wednesday. Others will pop up in the future. Wednesday's blog post on Using Nonfiction Picture Books as Mentor Texts generated quite a bit of interest from other teachers and librarians. The most frequent request I received was for "the list". To which I replied multiple times, "There is no list." I know this is disappointing to teachers and librarian, who want to know what nonfiction books to order or to have in their classroom or school libraries.
However, my list changes ALL the time depending on who I am talking to and what the need is. The books I picked for the training I led were reflective of what I thought would benefit the group of teachers who would be there that day. A different day and a different group of teachers would result in a different selection of books. Most days, I can only tell you what I like and I do that frequently through #bookaday posts on twitter/instagram/facebook, or when I add to my every growing list on GoodReads, and most commonly on Wednesdays with the #NFPB2015 Challenge.
My challenge to you - join in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge even informally. Check out some of the weekly posts by those who participate and request these titles from your local library. Read one or two a week. See if you like them as much as we do.
And I know that you still want lists, but I am going to make you work a little bit. I am going to direct you to resources and encourage you to create a list to meet your classroom needs. Here are links to some resources:
Last summer, I created a series of posts with some of my favorite nonfiction books for a classroom library. I posted the collection to pinterest. You can find it here. There are 125 titles within these posts.
Each year, as part of the nonfiction picture book challenge, I have been doing monthly blog posts on new releases. You can check out the links to all of the 2014 new release posts here. If you are looking for my favorite nonfiction of 2014, you can check here (plus there is a link to part I, also). For new releases as of June 2015, you can click here . If you follow the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge on this blog every Wednesday, other teachers and librarians link up reviews and blog posts for even more nonfiction posts. If you still want more, you are welcome to follow me on GoodReads, where I have created five shelves for nonfiction. If you are looking for more suggestions, you may want to check out The Nonfiction Detectives. Also, they tend to review more long-form nonfiction than I do.
Finally, keep an eye on this space. I will be blogging more teaching ideas for using nonfiction in the classroom.