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Oona Abrams
Taking the lessons I learn from my own children to be a better teacher to yours
Recent Activity
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I could wait to write this up until I finish the book I’m currently listening to, but I’ll just consider that one to be my first book of the summer. Here’s the list for “the home stretch,” fourth marking period: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah Character, Driven by David... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Yesterday, I took two of my sons to an author visit at The Curious Reader in Glen Rock. This was no ordinary author visit; in fact it became very clear just a minute or two into the story hour that this was going to be a fantastic event. Only five... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2017 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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The Lineup: Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue American Street by Ibi Zoboi A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely Being Mortal by Awul Gawande Revolution by Russell Brand This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2017 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Time flew by this marking period, and with it, the 17 books I managed to listen to -- and the three I actually sat down to read! Here's my list: My Reading Life by Pat Conroy The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Yesterday, I celebrated the end of 2016 by finishing The Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely. In case anyone who is not an English teacher is reading this, here is what it's like to read a book when you're an English teacher: You begin reading. You note the language... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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The type of reading I want to do more frequently! Now that NCTE and CEL annual conventions are behind me, and now that I managed to get my family of six invited to Thanksgiving dinner and dessert at two different homes without being asked to cook anything (we brought the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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It's the end of September. Of course I haven't written a blog post this month. (I did get a book review published on the Nerdy Book Club blog, though, but I actually wrote it in August.) To all you folks who have time to blog at the start of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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We've made our final trip to the beach, and like it or not, summer is over. It went fast (some days). I'm eager to get back to school, but always like to take the time to reflect on what I read this summer and what it is teaching me about... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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I've completed my course outline revisions, put together class e-mail lists, redesigned my annual intake survey, and completed three recommendation letters with twelve to go. I've published my first book talk podcast and would like to create at least 60 by the end of the summer (haha!). Such is my... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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This time last year, I wrote a post about moving into our new house and comparing it to our old one. In the same spirit, I am going to dedicate this post to another house: the vacation house we rented on Cape Cod earlier this month. As they say in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Picture books are such an enjoyable avenue for teaching fiction and nonfiction writing. After attending Pernille Ripp's session on the power of picture books for all grade levels at #NerdCampMI, I realized that as a high school teacher, I, too, can use picture books meaningfully to teach my students. Tone... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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I am aware that my title for this post has a preposition at the end (and the word "suck" in it), but that is not the point of this post, dear reader. The point of this post is to talk about how my summer is going so far, and how... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Before the calendar turns to July, I'm chronicling my top picks of the year, both in nonfiction and fiction. Top Five Nonfiction Picks Cherry by Mary Karr. This memoir captures the universal stage of adolescence with eloquence and craft. Ironically, I would not recommend it to too many teenagers, but... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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This is not my house, but doesn't it look just the coolest? I mean, my house could look like this one day. And on that day, my children will be old enough to use that ladder prudently. And I will be rich enough to fill all of those bookshelves with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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In past posts, I've written about breaking up with books, and how we know it's time to dump one. However, this year, I thought it would be a worthy exercise to consider other reasons for abandoning a book that I might have finished but chose not to. So here is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Last evening, I participated in #CELchat on Twitter, and the theme, not surprisingly was "staying motivated in May." Here's the thing. I am always motivated -- not kidding. Part of being in Permanent Beta is this constant iteration, a recursive mindset that just doesn't let me go. It's exhausting sometimes.... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Last month, I descended upon local library fill-a-bag sales with a mission in mind: to find multiple copies of relevant titles for my senior book clubs. These would not be books that would stay in my classroom library. I purchased these with the express intent of giving them away to... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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This spring, I invited my eleventh graders to participate in Poetry March Madness. Two students per day brought in a poem and the class used the polling feature on Schoology to vote on their favorites. Playoffs ran into April, and the winning poem was “Eating Fried Chicken” by Linh Dinh.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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It's never good to compare kids, especially siblings. As a mother, I do it, and I catch myself doing it, and I make excuses that it's just human nature to do it. But of course it's not right. I know because in parent teacher conferences, I have heard, "Now I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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I love keeping a list on the board to show students what I've been reading, but this marking period I'm going to create a bulletin board for my students to share their reads with each other. Not all the titles I read are ones my students would love, but peer... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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As I write this, I'm standing on line at the pharmacy. I'm writing with my thumbs. This is what they call edge time. I'm using it to go onto Goodreads and see what some of the folks in my PLN are reading. I also check in on two Voxer chat... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Last weekend, I experienced a first. After two decades of teaching English, I attended a book club meeting. It was a book club that I myself founded after surveying interest from fellow parents at the local elementary school. While more than ten people showed interest in attending, only three of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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When participants entered the room, they were invited to write the names of their favorite African American authors and artists on the board. Today was World Read Aloud Day, but I had no idea about that when coordinating the first African American Read-In with members of my department. Talk about... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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This list is missing a title! Rising Strong by Brene Brown somehow didn't make it up there. Chalk it up to a busy Thanksgiving season and a lot of preparations for the CEL National Convention. Another marking period past? Yes, for a week now... And I am finally getting to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta
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Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with a former student with whom I have kept in touch since my foray into social media seven years ago. One of the great joys of being a teacher in the 21st century is seeing where your students go beyond graduation. You... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2016 at ELA in Permanent Beta