One Teacher’s HARRY POTTER Inspired Classroom: Today in Critical Linking

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We don’t know about you, but middle school wasn’t exactly our finest hour. The braces, the bullying, the awkward puberty moments … ugh. But if we had had a teacher like Stephanie Stephens, maybe we actually would have enjoyed those too-awkward-to-be-true years. (We know, bold statement. But hear us out.)

This year, Stephens, a teacher at James L. Capps Middle School in Oklahoma City, planned an extra-special surprise for her students that is making the Potterhead in all of us squeal: a classroom fit for Hogwarts.

This middle school teacher’s Harry Potter classroom is really fun. Is it cynical of me to wonder where the books are in the classroom though? I don’t see many. . .

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This carefully-curated astrological poetry list reflects a wide array of contemporary styles and voices, and was originally published by Luna Luna Magazine.

Looking to pick up a book of contemporary poetry? This by-the-signs guide might be a good starting place. I don’t tend to buy astrological stuff, but I think this gives a good “feel” for what each collection is like so it’s less daunting.

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But lately, another cover design trend has been popping up on this summer’s crop of beach reads: the flat woman. Inspired by the “flat design” that’s become standard on the Web, these covers take on a minimalist style characterized by bright colors, simple layouts, and lots of white space. Several different designers and publishers have used this approach on hardcovers and paperbacks alike, especially those aiming for the upmarket-but-still-commercial-fiction-for-ladies sweet spot. (The headless woman is also still going strong.)

Cover design is my kryptonite, so this look at the “flat woman” trend this year is totally fascinating.

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But it’s hard to get out on a regular basis and if I’m going to arrange my schedule to go to a book club, I want it to be worth my while. I always came home from book club so energized and inspired, instead of annoyed that it had wasted my evening (and occasionally a babysitter). 
You probably wouldn’t join a choir or a dance group where they said “no one is really in charge and half the people don’t show up and we won’t actually sing/dance most of the time.” 
I feel the same about a book club. And these book clubs are FUN. It is a bunch of vibrant, intelligent women, great books, fascinating discussions, and delicious food. Having a framework and expectations doesn’t make it less fun – it makes it far less frustrating for everyone. No one has guilt about coming without reading the book and no one is annoyed that they are the only one who dedicated time to actually reading the book and now has no one to discuss with it.  
A practical guide to starting a successful book club … that talks about the books being read.

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