Monday, July 21, 2014

On vacation, also visiting online

Visiting Michelle Heidenrich Barnes Today's Little Ditty, a poem for teenaged girls, after Whittier...

Thanks Michelle for sharing my poem, and Tamera Will Wissinger for the challenge!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Poetry Friday - Old Acquaintances

             Poetry Friday is hosted today by the always entertaining Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. This time it seems that a strange admirer of Emily Dickinson is also visiting. Go over to see what's going on.

          I've had a long-time link with the poet John Ciardi because I used his poetry book How Does A Poem Mean in a poetry class long long ago in college, and have read it since then, although not for a while. At the time, I thought it wasn't terrible interesting, but I loved more the teacher I had, a former poet laureate of Missouri, John Neihardt.  I thought he told better stories about poetry than the book did. 
       Yet since then, I've come to enjoy different texts about poetry, and all kinds of poetry. I had the good luck to go antiquing when I visited my son and family in Texas. I don't buy many things any more, have too much already, but this time I had the extreme pleasure of finding what appears to be a first edition of  Doodle Soup, a book of Ciardi's children's poems. It seems untouched, although now it is!  I've discovered some of the poems are akin to Shel Silverstein and I will try them out with young students this year to see if I'm right. Yet the humor is sometimes a bit strange, too. More than one of the poems talk about disappearing, somehow making a mistake and "poof", one is gone. They can be wry in humor, yet still others offer a big laugh at the "new" look he imagines.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Forming Reading Communities! #CyberPD & NFPB Wednesday


            Reading In The Wild by Donalyn Miller this week added more ways to encourage reading, especially in communities. Michelle Nero at Literacy Learning Zone(@litlearningzone), Laura Komos at Ruminate and Invigorate (@LauraKomos) and Cathy Mere at  Reflect and Refine: Building A Learning Community(@CathyMere) are hosting #CyberPd this summer, where we read a certain professional book, this time Donalyn's, and share our response to it. 
         This time, Laura is hosting, so link up your posts there, read and take notes for the school year's beginning!
         It was a pleasure to read everyone's thinking last week, and I look forward to this share, too!                            Tweet at #CyberPD

Monday, July 14, 2014

Travel Words, Lists and Plans - Sort of

      Time for our Tuesday Slice of Life Sharing at the Two Writing Teachers blog. Thanks to all who share, and to those who host the community. 

       I've traveled quite a bit in my life, with my parents of course, with my husband, with the rest of the family, with friends, with my students, and on. This year I've traveled four times since the middle of May, only one road trip. Coming Saturday will be the next air trip, to Captiva Island with both my son's and my daughter's families. My nephew and his partner live in the Ft. Myers area and we will see them too, with a few other extended family members coming in for at least a day or two. My SLICES of life today have to do with the preparation, the planning, the insistent voice in my head that asks endless questions before time to go.  
It looks like this:
photo credit: carrie227 via photopin cc

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Monday Reading - Giveaway Results!

It's Monday, and time to visit Unleashing Readers with Ricki and Kelle, and Teach Mentor Texts, with Jen. Thanks to them we have this awesome group that shares the latest books read, and their opinions about them. 


           AND, this Monday, I have the results of my giveaway of The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson. 
It's my own bowl of names
of the commenters!
               And the winner drawn is Andrea Payan, of Mrs. Payan Reads. Andrea, you can find my e-mail in my personal profile. Send me your home address and I'll mail your book! Congratulations!

I'm taking a week off next week, starting Saturday, going to the beach with family, but I've read a lot this past week. What a pleasure it was. I hope you find some good books here you'd like to put on your TBR list!

verse novel
The Crossover – Kwame Alexander

               The story’s woven into a basketball world, former European star player is dad, twin sons with the talent of their dad, and the values too, along with the mom, worried about her husband whose father died young from hypertension.  Tension comes in brief moments, a look, a grunt, a movement of a hand. The poetry sings with rhythm, fast then slow, inner rhyming and story-telling. The feelings behind each poem almost tell more than the poem itself. It’s a story beautifully shared, of adolescent feelings that arrive as fast as a pass, and change as quickly as the “game”. Each time I read another novel in verse, I love them more. You won’t forget this one easily.

middle grade chapter book
Absolutely Almost – Lisa Graff
               There is no “absolutely almost” liking this book. I absolutely loved it. I’ve commented to other reviewers that their reviews made me think that all teachers should read this book, and then read it aloud to their students. And now I know I’m right. It is a book important for teachers and parents as well to read, to learn about kids and how they hide, how they want things to be different, yet often don’t know how to communicate that. The main character, this boy, Albie, like his mother says, is “caring and thoughtful and good”, although for a long while I’m not sure his mother really knew this in her heart. It was a tough story to read, especially for the adults’ foibles. Parts made me want to shout into the story and say, “wait, why aren’t you doing something”, or “why are you doing this?” It’s been a while when I wanted to shout at a book character!  But Lisa Graff tells it true, the adults, even the sweet “not-a-babysitter” Calista are not perfect.  But Albie “almost” is! Read the book!