Thursday, January 30, 2014

#Nerdlution: The Year of Billy Miller and More

We're into our first week of the second round of #nerdlution.  Today is the first round-up at Michelle Haseltine's blog:  One Grateful Teacher.  Each Thursday participants will link up to share their progress.

Let's be honest, a few days of being trapped in the house because of the extreme cold made this an easy first week.  Here are a few of my DISCOVERIES this week as I read for #nerdlution.

This Week's Discoveries

A Book
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

Billy isn't sure how his year in second grade is going to go.  He doesn't get off to the best start with his teacher and Emma, another second grader, drives him crazy.  Things at home with his sister, Sal, can be challenging too.  Thankfully his parents always help to pull him through.  Billy loves Papa and Mama and his love for them shines throughout the story.

This is a great story about growing up.  Henkes captures the joys and challenges of being 7 perfectly.  If you haven't read this Newbery Honoree yet, you'll want to add it to your reading list.

A Blog (Maybe a few blogs)
This week I discovered a few posts that made me pause for a bit.

Teachers for Teachers  Pre-Assessment Questions:  Assessment Opportunities:  In this post, Clare and Tammy, authors of Assessment in Perspective, share authentic assessment opportunities that happen as we talk with children.  There is much to learn about what children know if we just ask a question.  This post is full of possible questions to ask as well as suggestions for listening closely to these conversations.

GStevens Blog  Slice of Life:  Would You Rather Fast-Forward Time or Rewind It?   I think we all ponder this question every now and then.  Stop by to see what happened when students were asked their preference.  Their answer may surprise you.  Which would you prefer?

Two Writing Teachers  Writing About Reading in a Writer's Notebook  Two Writing Teachers is hosting a week conversation dedicated to writing about reading.  Across the week several posts about the topic will be shared by the blog authors.  The event will be wrapped up with a Twitter chat on February 3rd at 8:30 EST (more here).  In this post, Stacey shares her thinking about writing in response to reading in a Writer's Notebook.  Her lens of reading as a writer really shapes her responses in her notebook.  Often she is able to spring from a piece she has read into new writing.  So many ideas here!

Can't wait to see what next week will bring!


  1. Gotta get The Year of Billy Miller. I'm also enjoying the blogasphere these days, so rich and full. Not enough time to read! Keep on discovering!

  2. Are you planning to read this to your first graders?

  3. I was just cruising through blogs this afternoon. Hopped over to Reflect and Refine and found something mentioned about my blog post. Thanks for the nod to what I wrote. I hope it helps lots of teachers see a variety of WNB writing possibilities.

  4. I loved The Year of Billy Miller, Cathy. I thought it might make a good read aloud, too! I saw most of the posts above-good thinking about teaching!

  5. I think I bought The Year of Billy Miller and now I can't find it. Are you surprised? I didn't get to my link up, but will next week. :) Have a good weekend.