Welcome

This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Monday, September 26, 2016

#IMWAYR September 26, 2016


Each week I join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. It's #IMWAYR.


Here's what I read this week:


Middle Grade


I've put off reading this book because I was afraid it would somehow diminish the experience of reading the series. It started slow, but as the situation unfolded and the past unraveled, I found myself completely lost in the world I know and love.


I'm not sure if this book would be considered middle grade or YA, but it is an enjoyable tale of mistaken identities and magic. It's a prince(ss) and the pauper set in Tsar Russia with Baba Yaga, a talking cat, an unusual home, and a magic bird and egg.



Young Adult



I enjoyed this book's unusual story telling style. It truly is a character driven coming of age story - just don't trust everything the character has to say.



When a land that bans magic is attacked by a giant beast, the princess must agree to marry a hunter to ensure her kingdom is safe. She never expected to fall in love with the one hunter that cannot win.



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If you like my reading choices, you can check out all the books I've read on Goodreads and please leave a comment below. I will be sharing student reads later in the day.



Monday, September 12, 2016

#IMWAYR September 12, 2016


Each week I join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Since school started last week I've also been sharing samples of what my students are reading. It's #IMWAYR.

Last week we put together our classroom library. Students sorted though boxes of books and decided that they wanted some books organized by reading level and some books organized by favorite series, topics, or authors. They also created a book check-out area.





Here are some highlights from their first visit to our classroom library. They could share why they picked the book or anything else they were thinking as they read.






Each week I will chose some more to share. My class is also participating in #Classroombookaday so make sure to check that out on Twitter. 

Here's what I read this week:

Young Adult


Tension and stakes were high in this sequel to Ember in the Ashes. I enjoyed all three points of view. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long for book 3.

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If you like my reading choices, you can check out all the books I've read on Goodreads and please leave a comment below. 




Sunday, September 11, 2016

Three 9/11 Books for Three Different Age Groups

It's very hard to process that today is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. 15 years ago I was a teacher but I wasn't yet a Mom or an author - the two things that have changed me the most as a person. The students who were in my class that day now 23 years old. They have finished elementary school, and middle school, and high school, and college, and are now out in the world, hopefully doing something amazing. I give you this perspective because while 15 years doesn't sound that long ago, in many ways it was another lifetime. Explaining those events to today's children is explaining history. Thankfully was have authors who found a way to tell the story to different age groups.

For Younger Children

14 Cows for America is a picture book that features a true story about a Kenyan tribe that gifted 14 cows to America in order to help in our time of need. There are some strong images so parents should read it first. You can see more about the true story of these cows by reading this CNN article.


For Middle Graders

In nine, ten, we are introduced to a number of kids who are all at the airport at the same time. They notice each other, but do not meet. We follow these characters for the next two days, experiencing their lives and family relationships. Each one comes close to the tragedy, but does not experience the tragedy directly. They are all changed by the events and at the end of the book the kids are again at the same place at the same time, but this time instead of ignoring each other, they bring us a message of hope.


For Young Adults
The Memory of Things is a love story. Told from two points of view (one in verse), it is about a boy and a girl who are forced to experience the aftermath of 9/11 together when the girl gets hurt and loses her memory as she escapes the city. Their two lives are drawn together in a deep and intense way as they bear witness to history. 

There are a number of other new books that have been written on this topic which I have personally read. For other suggestions, take a look at this article from the NY Times.

As a teacher of third graders and a mother of an 11 and 13 yo, I am very glad to have these books that tell a tough story while keeping the age and experience of the readers in mind. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

#IMWAYR, September 5, 2016


Each week I join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. #IMWAYR

On Thursday I welcomed my new students to my classroom. I have 24 third graders excited to get started sharing their books.  



Here are some highlights from their first visit to our school library. I asked them to share their thoughts on why they picked the book.





Each week I will chose some more to share. My class is also participating in #Classroombookaday so make sure to check that out on Twitter. 

Here's what I read this week:


Picture Books

You can't read this book aloud without finding your little red chicken voice. I loved the relationship between the little chicken and his dad, the connection to fairy tales, and the way the little chicken summed up the most important parts of each story in his very unique way.

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If you like my reading choices, you can check out all the books I've read on Goodreads and please leave a comment below. 







Sunday, September 4, 2016

Getting Ready for a New School Year with a Changed Mindset

It's been a wonderful summer of reading, writing, and connecting with educators and authors in person and through Twitter. There were a number of key phrases that kept popping up in all of my circles:


Growth Mindset
Global Mindset
Constructive Classroom
Personalized Learning
Mindfulness

As I got ready to enter my third grade classroom for the 16th time, I had to figure out how to infuse these terms into the daily life of my students. Borrowing a poster shared on Twitter by Terry Stoufer (@Firstatbat) and her blog post on how she started her year, I started the change right at my classroom door:


Using a roll of caution tape from the custodians, I then went to work on my classroom library, putting all the books back in boxes.



When my students walked through the door on Thursday, they noticed the difference right away. They wanted to know why things weren't set up and when they'd get to read all those books. I told them that our classroom belongs to all of us. There were certain things I needed to my best work as their teacher:

A teacher desk.
A comfy reading chair.
A meeting area.

Then I asked them share with me their wants and needs for the classroom. Here are some of the things they said:

A less crowded closet space.
A peace place where they could do work if they felt bothered by others.
A comfy place to read.
A library with easy access to all of the books, with fiction and nonfiction together.
A place to keep books they are currently reading that is not at their desks.
A math center.
A science lab.
An iPad charging station.
Squares on the rug so they can have their own special spot.

And bean bag chairs. Everyone wanted bean bag chairs.

Once we made our list of wants and needs, I asked the students to plan out their ideal classroom. Here are two of their designs:



Unfortunately they don't fully understand space at this age, so many of their desk suggestions won't fit, but we were able to get started on changing the classroom around to fit their needs. As they walked back in from Music and noticed the new Peace Place and the Lunch Box area, their eyes lit up and they whispered proud things like, "That was my idea." 

I can't wait to see the final design. Now I'm off to find some bean bag chairs.