College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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8 Tips on How to be a Writer

The Zen of Writing:

Let go of fear of rejection.

Write Everyday. Get Feedback. When not Writing–READ. Read everyday. Full list:


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The Big Reveal: This is the Most Dangerous Book in America

In yesterday’s post, I included an image of 40 books that have been banned and today, I promised you the title of the Most Dangerous Book in America… and here it is. Drum roll please…

He’s charming. He’s bald. He’s a baby in a diaper. He’s CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS…

That’s right. The #1 spot on the Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged or Banned Books for 2012 goes to none other than the irrepressible, irreverent Dav Pilkey and his erstwhile tralala’ing Captain Underpants.

I get it. Parents don’t like potty mouth and they don’t like the word Poop. Or boogers. Or diaper-wearing babies that make fart jokes. But guess what?? Kids do! Boys and Girls do! Reluctant Readers do! And that’s all that matters, in the end, is the reading. We need to hook kids into reading, and kids love these books.

Let them read. Please. Parents and  teachers, I implore you to simply let kids read what they love. And hey, I’ll let you in on a secret: a few silly poop jokes never hurt anyone.

So go ahead. Live Dangerously and read this book or any other banned book. Celebrate your Freedom to Read!

xo, Lisa

“We shouldn’t teach great books. We should teach a love of reading.” B. F. Skinner


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Live Dangerously. Read!

 Celebrate Banned Books-read one of these 40 books that have been banned or otherwise challenged.

Biggest surprise? Charlotte’s Web. But maybe an even bigger surprise…the #1 Most Banned Book of 2012. Think you know what it is? Post your guess in the comments and I will let you know on Thursday.

For now, I’ll give you a hint–it *is a children’s book. Ok, I’ll give you two hints–it is not pictured here. Good luck!

Please consider becoming a CollegeReadyCoach follower. Help us spread the word about student success & happy teachers!! You can follow us on facebook. You know the drill, just click that little blue “like” button up there on the top right. Easy Peasy. Or, you can follow the blog as a subscriber. Just enter your info in the box and join the over 400+ other amazing folks in the tribe! Please and thank you. 🙂

xoxo,

Lisa (aka, The Happy Teacher)


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The Only Writing Advice You Will Ever Need

Ernest Hemingway said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” 

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ― Ernest Hemingway

There is nothing like the power of truth in writing. Writing in your own voice empowers you to tell your story in an authentic way. And don’t worry about what the critics say, there are always going to be haters. When you write your truth, it rings so clear and honest that readers pay attention. And the same is true in life, generally. There’s no substitute for authenticity…for the real.

Life can be messy. Writing is Messy. Life can be hard. Writing is Hard…but just start…with that one true sentence.

~~On Truth, Giving Back, and Free Stuff~~

I am amazed and humbled that even with very little publicity, and still pending a formal launch, this blog will reach 500 views over the weekend, maybe even today…and that’s how I was reminded of this quote. I decided to just start, to jump in, and to share my truth, after being in the planning stage for over a year. Eventually, you just have to take that leap (was the attitude I embraced while jumping!)

Why jump, and risk the fall? I want to give back a little of what my mentors and colleagues have given me. I want to model openness in the academic community. And I especially want to help young adults navigate a path to higher ed and opportunity. (You can read more about all of this in my first post.)

So to celebrate 500 views, from people all over the world, and to thank everyone for the support you’ve given me, I’m going to be offering a free academic coaching session to one new follower on my College Ready facebook page. So check out the details there, if you (or someone you know) is either in college or getting ready to launch their college career. Thanks for reading a little bit of my truth here!

xo, Lisa

PS: Curious as to the most popular posts so far? Here they are:

Students Just Say No to America’s Top Colleges 

Think Before You Share: 7 Rules for Posting Photos Online

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Public Education: It makes society collectively smarter

“Let me explain why I LIKE to pay taxes for schools…” by John Green

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Food for Thought: Harper Lee, on the Power of Books

Always~

"The Book to Read is not the one that Thinks for you but the One which Makes you Think." ~Harper Lee | College Ready

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”~To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

On Teaching a Love of Reading.

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On Teaching a Love of Reading.

“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.” B. F. Skinner

This is my truth…always has been. Always will be.

AND, it’s why my son, in 2nd grade, read the entire Captain Underpants series. Even though the school library wouldn’t stock the books, (something about the word booger and/or atomic wedgie in every title, I guess). Even with a mom with an MA in American Literature. Yep. I encouraged him. Heck, I even bought ’em for him!

Because when you want to read…when you love to read…when you can’t wait to turn that next page to see what comes next…You Read.

And that’s all that matters, in the end. The reading.

B.F. Skinner had it right!

           Teach a love of Reading.

                  Amen & hallelujah.

Oh, and PS: Full disclosure–I had to look up the correct spelling of “booger.” Guess it’s been too long since I have read a Dav Pilkey EPIC novel! 🙂

So, tell us…how do you make sure your students or your children want to read? Are there books they would read again and again? Books they love but you hate? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. 

Sept. 2014 Postscript since this post was originally published: Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series has claimed the top spot on the Most Frequently Banned Books list for two years in a row, 2012 and 2013. All the more reason to live dangerously…read!

Feel free to follow me here, or on Facebook, Tumblr or Pinterest, for more short but sweet posts, freebies, teaching ideas and fun images about literacy, reading and education, with a side serving of inspiration. Because we could all use a little more inspiration. Right? Right!


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“It’s Like My Whole World is Coming Undone, but When I Write, my Pencil is a Needle and Thread, and I’m Stitching the Scraps Back Together.” –Julia Alvarez


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Books, Bedtime and Beyond: Why Family Reading Rocks

Even MORE reasons to read to a child. Reading aloud “builds a child’s WANT to read.” Think your kiddo is too old for you to read to them at bedtime? Think again. Check out the difference in a child’s interest in reading between Kindergarten and Fourth Grade! What was the key difference? Parents stopped reading to kids.

By 12th grade-only 19% of kids asked said they were interested in reading! When you consider that higher levels of college readiness are linked to reading skills, I have just one word for that statistic: Noooooooo….but what can you do about it?

One thing our family started last summer was family reading time. We picked a classic-The Wind in the Willows-and each of us would read a few pages at a time. We read it together each night and enjoyed the simplicity of the words, the comfort of the timeless message and the beauty of the illustrations. Yes, even my Minecraft lovin’ middle school boy unplugged long enough to take part! He loved doing accents and really cracked up at Toad’s antics. So get silly, have fun, and share the joy of reading at any age!! What types of family reading do you do with your kids?

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This beautiful infographic was produced by usborneusa.com and Nancy Ann Wartman

This post “4 Tools to Avoid Summer Learning Loss” from Edudemic lists four tools for stopping the “summer slide.” Check it out and help kids stay on track this summer.

“Combatisummerreading1ng learning loss over the summer for young readers is a challenge that many teachers face. The amount of time it takes to assign summer reading along with the lack of face time to keep students up to date with their reading and comprehension can make summer reading seem like a less-than-useful task.”

These apps might just make the summer reading less of a chore. What do you think?