A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Excited about Times Tables!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching 7-9 year olds. I have worked for two years with 6-7 years, 1 year with 7-9 and now I’m returning to my favourite age! My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

This week has been a real mixed bag behaviour wise with my class. They’re by no means badly behaved but they’re so CHATTY. I’ve started a timer when they start wasting my time so they can earn it back in their break time (recess) and it seems to be working so far. Also, at home time when I was dismissing them, I quietly pointed to children that could go… after about 6 children had left, they twigged that I was sending quiet children out and the silence was then instant. I guess I’m going to have to work on little tricks like that to get them where I want them, but it’s still early days.

We are trialling Times Table Rockstars in our year group. The wonderful (sarcasm) government are bringing in a times table test for Year 4s (8-9 year olds) to sit at the end of the school year. The expectation is that all children know their tables up to 12 x 12 by the time they are 9. Now don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why they’re doing this and I do completely value times tables. However, I know we have a mountain to climb because times table knowledge in my class is below par. My class are LOVING Times Table Rockstars though. Through completing times tables correctly, they earn coins and then they can style their avatar! Some of them have earned over 11,000 coins already. I logged in today to set their times tables for the coming week and I could see that some children have been playing on it over the weekend! ❤ Bless them! I shall certainly make a big deal of those children tomorrow. I’m hoping with constant, daily work on times tables we will climb that mountain with ease!

I can’t believe Week 4 begins tomorrow! 🙂 We have some story writing ahead of us and I’m looking forward to what they produce!

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The Promise (DS Imogen Grey #4)

The Promise (DS Imogen Grey #4)

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Avon Books UK

Synopsis:

When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father.

As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait – but will she take it too far and risk her own life?

Thoughts:

When I requested this book, I requested it purely on the cover and tag line alone. I wasn’t aware that it was part of a series. Yet I’d heard it didn’t matter so on I went with reading it. It did take me a while to read but that was just because I was super busy. When I did pick it up, I was completely engaged with the story.

This story is all about the chase of a serial killer who seems to be dating his victims before he brutally kills them. It also involves the story of troubled Connor who has moved to Exeter from the US to escape the terrible things that he has done. Connor immediately fits in with the cool crowd and ‘easy’ girls. The Promise follows those two story lines that become very intense.

I don’t know the characters as well as I may have done had I read the books prior to this. However, I don’t think this really affected my enjoyment of the story. The Promise was much more darker than I had expected. I do enjoy dark thrillers though. I’m not sure what that says about me. I thought Katerina Diamond had created a very intriguing story line. I do love unpicking a mystery. I enjoy a story that is both character driven and action packed and The Promise has this in abundance.

The reason why I didn’t rate this book any higher is that I thought it was a little long. I think if it had been condensed slightly, it would have had a much faster pace.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

An enjoyable read. Katerina Diamond is a great writer!

Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- Why The Evergreens Keep Their Leaves

 

This week’s fairy tale is an American story. It’s one I’ve heard of before but I had no idea it was American.

It’s all about the seasons. The story starts with autumn days being cold with signs of winter along the way. All the birds flew away to a warmer place, but one little bird couldn’t fly. He thought the trees would keep him warm for the winter. He asked a silver birch, but she said she had her leaves to look after. He asked an oak, but the oak said he didn’t want anyone to eat his acorns. The bird continued on to ask a willow, but the willow tree told him that she never welcomed strangers. The bird felt sad and sure he’d never be sheltered.

Then the spruce, the pine and the juniper tree all offered the bird shelter and food. That night, the North Wind blew and blew the leaves from all of the trees but the ones that had the bird on. The kindness of the trees that sheltered the bird is never forgotten; for whilst others lose their leaves, those three always remain green.

Next Fairy Tale Friday-  The Gifts Of The North Wind

Talking About ‘The Wife Between Us’ with Bibliobeth!

The Wife Between Us

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

CHRISSI: What were your first impressions of this book?

BETH: This novel is written by two authors – Greer Hendrick and Sarah Pekkanen, sadly neither of whom I’m familiar with. I’m always a bit nervous when I read a book that is written by two people, no matter who those two people are. I always wonder about how the writing process and how they manage to write together coupled with worrying that it might feel a bit disjointed as a result. I’m not sure why I feel this as my last experience with dual authors was very positive! Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. From that very first read of the synopsis, I was hooked and remained that way from the beginning to the end of this novel – it was fast-paced, easy to read and very compelling.

BETH: When you read that startling synopsis do you think it prepared you for the story within? Or were you still surprised by the twists and turns?

CHRISSI: Confession time! I didn’t read the synopsis before I read this book. When I looked at your question, I just had to look it up. What a cracking synopsis! After reading this book, I know it had so many twists and turns along the way. I think if I had read it prior to starting the story I may have been very cautious about the characters and events that happen in the story.

CHRISSI: Did you find any of the characters in this book likeable? If so, who? And if not, did it affect your enjoyment of the story?

BETH: Good question! Hmm. I don’t always need to find a character likeable to enjoy a story. Sometimes, I even prefer to read about more unlikeable individuals as I think it makes for a juicier narrative but it was quite hard with The Wife Between Us. I say that because I didn’t particularly like ANY of the characters. I disliked one of them intensely (but the less said about that the better), I disliked others to different degrees and I felt indifferent to others still! I did however, really like Aunt Charlotte, she was a lovely addition to the novel.

BETH: How do you think this novel compares to others in the genre?

CHRISSI: It’s an interesting one. This genre is so heavily populated, yet I do think it’s a book that stands out. I quite often can guess where a book is going yet with this one, it did surprise me. I definitely had a WTF moment when reading it and the ending did surprise me. I didn’t predict the ending and I’m pretty sure my mouth did actually fall open during the last chapter. It also stands out because it’s written by two authors. I can often struggle with this as their styles can be so different, but with this book it really, really worked!

CHRISSI: Without spoilers, were you able to predict the ending?

BETH: Nope. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I texted you about 42% through and I was like: “I’m so confused right now!” and although I then started to understand what was going on quite quickly afterwards, the twists and turns were not over by a long shot. There are still a multitude of surprises to be found throughout the second half of the book and particularly at the end. I love a novel where I can’t see something coming and it’s completely unpredictable and that’s what The Wife Between Us was for me.

BETH: Did you enjoy the relationship between Vanessa and her Aunt Charlotte in this novel? How did it differ to the one she had with her mother?

CHRISSI: Good question! The relationships in this book are fascinating. I feel like Vanessa’s relationship with Aunt Charlotte was much stronger than her relationship with her mother. They seem incredibly close. Aunt Charlotte seems to somewhat have Vanessa on a pedastal. I feel like Aunt Charlotte would tell Vanessa what she wanted to hear, whereas her mother might question her actions more?

CHRISSI: Do you think this book would make a good film?

BETH: Ooh, yes. Absolutely! I can totally see perhaps Reese Witherspoon and Patrick Dempsey in some of the lead roles and I think if it’s done in the right way, with the right cast, screenplay and director, it could be absolutely explosive. I’d definitely watch it. I would also hope that I would have forgotten the ending by then so I could be surprised and shocked all over again!

BETH: Would you read another book by these authors?

CHRISSI: I would! I see that the authors have another book coming out next year. I’m definitely intrigued to read that!

Would WE recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Yes! 3.5 stars!

This Week In Books #124

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

The Promise (DS Imogen Grey #4) The Wife Between Us Taming the Star Runner

NOWThe Promise Katerina Diamond– I am enjoying this book, but it’s taking me a while to get through because I’m so busy. I’m hoping to have it finished and a review out by Saturday.

THENThe Wife Between UsGreer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanan– This was a fabulous read. My ‘Talking About’ discussion with Beth will be coming out tomorrow.

NEXT- Taming The Star RunnerS.E. Hinton– This is this month’s Banned Book. I’m looking forward to reading it. The review will be out on Monday.

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

10 Books On My Autumn TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list is all about books we want to get to this Autumn (Fall). I’ve decided to go for some books on my Kindle that I really do need to get around to!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page!

Missing Pieces

This is a book that I got after reading many reviews, as is the case for most of the books on this list!

Mine

This book has mixed reviews, but I’m still intrigued!

Only Child: An Incredibly Powerful Novel You Won't Be Able to Put Down

I am intrigued by this book which centres around the aftermath of a school shooting.

The Fear

I’m up to date with C.L Taylor’s books after this one!

The Foster Child: 'a sleep-with-the-lights-on thriller'

I remember reading wonderful reviews about this book! 🙂 Looking forward to it!

Where the Missing Go

Ooh I’ve been looking forward to this one!

The Visitor

I’m a big fan of a psychological thriller!

The Innocent Wife

I love that question of the cover. I’m intrigued. Why so scared?

Before I Let Go

I’m so nervous about reading this book because I’ve heard such mixed things.

Friend Request

I have this book waiting to be read for a while, but haven’t yet got around to it! Hopefully in Autumn.

I realise that my list is quite thriller heavy. So I don’t get a reading slump, I’ll be slipping other genres in-between these books. Fingers crossed that I get around to them!

What are you reading this Autumn/Fall? Let me know! Leave me a link and I’ll stop by!

Mother (Book Review)

Mother: A gripping emotional story of love and obsession

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Harper Collins UK

Synopsis:

Cath had twenty-five perfect days with her newborn daughter before Mia’s deadly illness was diagnosed.

As her life implodes, Cath’s despair drives her to a parental support group where she meets a father in a similar situation, the dangerously attractive Richard – charming, handsome and adamant that a cure for their children lies just over the horizon: everything Cath wants to believe.

Their affair – and the chance to escape reality – is unavoidable, but carries catastrophic consequences: the nature of Mia’s illness means that Cath’s betrayal endangers not just her marriage but the life of her baby.

Can she stop herself before it’s too late?

Thoughts:

I really liked the sound of Mother so I was super excited to start it. I wasn’t into the book before I read this one, so I was desperate for it to be a success. It really was!

It centres around Cath who finds out her long wanted baby has Cystic Fibrosis. (Cystic Fibrosis is a terrible disease, one I’ve had some close experience with after caring for a child with CF!) Suddenly, Cath and her husband Dave’s life has turned around. She becomes obsessive over germs, not wanting her baby Mia, to pick up any germs that could potentially put her life in danger. Cath meets Richard at a CF support group. His teen daughter has CF too. Cath and Richard have an immediate connection and Cath’s little family all begin to suffer…

This story is ultimately very sad, I almost felt Cath’s pain as she went through life trying to protect her daughter. It was so hard to read about relationships being strained because of Mia’s diagnosis. I know some families do get through living life with a child with an incurable disease, but it was clear to see the pressure that Cath and Dave were going through. Their relationship was on shaky ground after the loss they had previously gone through. Mia having CF just seemed utterly cruel. But CF is a cruel disease, like many others out there.

The characters aren’t overly likeable in this story and I wanted Cath to become stronger, but at the same time I could totally understand why she acted the way she did even if I didn’t agree with her actions.

I think this was a strong debut and I’d definitely be interested to read what Hannah Begbie writes next.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A sad but well-written story!