June means the end of the school year and the start to SUMMER READING! Check out the June edition of my newsletter for all things to help you wrap up the school year and get Summer Reading Ready... plus a few ideas to get you ready for the fall. There's even a fun literature quiz to test your useless trivia knowledge :)


Bonus: a link to a mini documentary on Jason Reynolds!


Scroll down or click here to read it.



#newsletter #summerreading #classroom #curriculumconnection #teachers #librarians #fridayfive #classroombookaday

Four years ago I moved to Hawaii to start the "Life is Too Short" chapter of my life. It was time to live the dream. And that dream included SUNSHINE, being warm, and reading on the beach at every opportunity.


Maybe it was going to include some subbing or at most a part-time teaching gig. But I wasn’t planning on having a classroom again so I GAVE AWAY EVERYTHING. Every. Thing.


Classroom library? Gone.

Personal library? Gone.

Posters? Gone.

Makerspace stuff? Gone.

Everything was given to teacher friends for their classrooms, libraries, and schools.


We were living very minimally and getting rid of almost everything else so I definitely wasn’t going to pay to ship stuff I wasn‘t planning on using.


Fast-forward four years, and this is how I spent my Friday morning, a week after the school year ended: stacking my classroom into the garage.


Bwahahahahahaha.



It currently includes 11 containers of classroom and Makerspace materials, a bin of board games, a giant box of rolled up and laminated posters, and 22 containers of classroom library books!


So clearly we’ve learned that I can’t stay out of the classroom. And I just finished year #20 in schools and libraries. #bestlaidplans #justcantgetenough


Stay tuned next week as I reflect on year #20... and for next year’s adventures...



#classroom #teacherlife #fridayfunny #reflections #teaching #adventuresinteaching

Or, what happens in 6th period stays in 6th period.


So, my first ever class of seniors have graduated and I poured my heart and soul (and the blood of many paper cuts) into making them book page graduation garlands. It was a labor of love for a class that I was truly blessed to teach this year.




At first, I was hesitant to teach seniors as I considered myself strongly in the role of middle school educator. But I've taught everything from K-9th grade, and it was only for one class period/day so I thought, why not?!


I am so glad that I did. I have posted several times this year about this class. What started out as a class of predominately non-readers, turned into a class of thoughtful, engaged READERS!


Here are some highlights of our year together:

1) "WHY DOES MY SCHEDULE SAY LITERATURE FOR MY ELECTIVE?!" Yes, this is how I was greeted on day one by many students who were forced to be in the class because they needed to recover a literature credit. I was scared that this did not bode well for our time together.


2) "What happens in 6th period, stays in 6th period." While I'm still a little disappointed we did not make class shirts with this slogan, this quickly became our class motto. "We" discovered that reading was FUN and that our class dynamic was great for discussion and they didn't want it disrupted by late-semester transfers once word got out that they were in the "best elective." (Okay, we weren't really this mean and would have welcomed other students, but the school didn't allow schedule changes anyway, so if was fun to pretend we were a secret club).


3) Breakup with a Book. By far, one of the best in-class activities I have ever done!


4) They started recommending books to their friends in other classes! You can see their Top 10 picks for High School readers here.


5) Book Character TED Talks: Every Tuesday was TED Talk Tuesday in our class. (As spring progressed, this turned to commencement speeches by authors). For their final reflection project, I had them pick a character from one of the books they read and outline a TED Talk they would give. WOW! So impressed with the reasons they picked and what they thought those characters would say.


6) Watching the students identify as READERS! Just one example: the girl who started out proud that she "hadn't read a book since 4th grade" was so proud every time she finished a book (which at last count was 10 or 11 books for spring semester) that she would announce loudly "Ms. Butler, I just finished another book!" every time the principal walked by the classroom. She was only partially finished with Sarah Dessen's "Saint Anything" on the last day of classes and did nothing but read during our class party, so I let her take it home to finish with the promise that she attempt to return it at some point as it was my own personal copy. (FYI, she returned it to the school today). She would always joke, "Mrs. Yusko, I'm your success story, right?" Without prompting, during one of our final Free Read Fridays, they started an informal discussion about how their views on reading had changed over the course of our class. I sat off to the side and listened. One young man in class turned to me and said, "Mrs. Yusko, I bet this makes you happy to hear." #myworkhereisdone


7) We don't teach for the glory, and definitely not for the paycheck, but when you receive heartfelt notes (and emails) from students, it's ALL WORTH IT. #whyiteach #imnotcryingyourecrying








No really, THANK YOU! It's been one of my favorite classes in my entire teaching career.


#contemporarylit #highschool #teaching #whyiteach #myworkhereisdone #reading #classroom #whyiteachtuesday

WHAT YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE SAYING:

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Laurie, Librarian, IL

GREAT SEMINAR! Shauna was fantastic. My booklist is overflowing and I can't wait to share these books with students, and educate my teachers.

Julia, School Librarian, PA

I can't wait to get these books into the hands of my students!

Chad, LA Teacher, IL

Shauna reinforces the idea that there are two types of students: those who like to read and those who haven't found the right book yet. She offers a plethora of resources and titles for both!

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

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