Monday, May 25, 2015

Savoring My OLW

          Slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community is a pleasure every week.  Thanks for all you do Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Beth and Anna!

         I noticed that a few days ago, the Two Writing Teachers asked about our One Little Word. In these busy, busy final weeks of school, the special slice of life that means I'm living my OLW-paint, is when I get out the paints and take a little while for something I love to do. It refreshes, takes away all the worries of THE LIST that grows longer every week. Here's a sample of one I've done of a favorite spring flower, those beautiful bleeding hearts. Hope your days are all going as well as they can, and your OLW is a treasure to you. For those of you who are finished with your school years, Happy Summer!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's Monday - More Good Books!

           Link up with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. and Sheila at Book Journeys.  Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting!

      This first book was in the top ten of the best fiction books of 2013, thus meeting the award challenge from Myra, Iphigene and Fats at the blog, Gathering Books.

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, And A Boy Called Eel - written by Deborah Hopkinson
              Deborah Hopkinson has interwoven her story of Eel, a thirteen-year-old homeless boy, a “riverfinder”, into the true story of Dr. John Snow’s discovery in the mid 1800’s that cholera is a water-borne disease. It is a middle-grade book and the plot events happening to the young people in the story seems fanciful, yet I enjoyed it as it also told of this terrible time when most people thought the “blue death” came from air, the horrible miasma from unclean and close living, mostly in poorer areas of big cities. “Riverfinders” were both adults and children on the streets, smelly and filthy because they earned what pennies they could by going through the muck by the river to find the few things, like pieces of coal, they could sell.  They slept where they found a place that seemed safe; earned it or fought for it. What a life! Eel’s life took different turns in the story. Luckily for him, he had gone to school for a while before both his parents died. He knew how to read and write! In this story, he ends up working as Dr. Snow’s assistant, and it turns out to be helpful to Dr. Snow and to Eel’s life. You’ll need to read the book to discover more about London at this time, and the brief few days when cholera struck and killed over 600 people. Middle grade students will enjoy the intrigue and the setting very much.

Goodbye Stranger - written by Rebecca Stead

           Thanks to Net Galley for allowing me to read this book before the actual publication, August 5th! As I think about how to review this book by Rebecca Stead, I first wonder about the title of multiple meanings. Can it be that Stead has written a book that as the reader reads, the characters are no longer strangers, to the reader, to their friends (and frenemies, too) and most important, to themselves. It’s definitely a growing up book, with alternating voices of Bridge and Sherm as well as a stranger who jumps in once in a while with her (his?) own adventure. We don’t discover the ‘who’ until almost the end. All the parts of growing up today are there, like social media problems; and quite a bit is there that has always been, young teen friends changing in different ways, divorce adding to some problems and finding out what kind of person one is adding to other challenges. It’s a mixed-up story like all of Stead’s books, compelling because one is lead on by the story structure of mystery and the authentic voices of the characters, growing up with friends, leaving old friends behind. One voice asks: “Is the new you the stranger? Or is the stranger the person you leave behind?” 

Art Digitally

Margaret Simon of Reflections on The Teche is offering this challenge today on Digilit Sunday: 

Challenge this week: Turn an image of nature into a work of art: #photoart

Visit her post to see her sharing and all the others who are linking up!

         My favorite is still Skitch, connected to Evernote, ease of use, can alter in multiple ways. Here's an old spring poem:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quickly Goes The Year

                 Celebrating Each Saturday with Ruth Ayres at Discover Play Build. It's a great time to welcome Saturday and this much needed holiday weekend! Come join us! Tweet at #CelebrateLu

        We were awash in final work this week. The uncommon and constant rainy days fits well the times of the last weeks of school. This week filled with creating a trip bulletin board which every class does, leaving them for summer visitors, and one more visit in the fall till new ideas and new classes take over. Students also worked on both class and math portfolios, final unit projects, visiting our buddies, staying afloat when all most wanted was to have summer, vacation and sunny weather, arrive.
         I celebrate that we did accomplish a lot of work during the week, only small colds were evident, and our own very fun time came yesterday with the arrival of yearbooks. We have seven and a half days left, filled with work and activities and parties, memory days! Congratulations to those of you are now finished, and best wishes to everyone who still have weeks to go!

        Celebrating the endings, and that my garden has never looked greener!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Best - A Poem In The Mail

            Matt Forrest Esenwine hosts us today on Poetry Friday. Visit his website Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, to celebrate that recent life's challenges have changed for the better, his first book deal, and the poem he's written about spring romance in the woods! Congratulations, Matt, sounds like it's been a good week! Then, check out all the other links. 
             Jone MacCulloch at Check it Out had students write "what it knows" poems and put them on postcards to send out to other poets.  I received this wonderful poem about the tragedy of Pompeii and what it knows.  Although historically fascinating, there isn't much positive to say about Pompeii erupting and its victims. I enjoyed thinking about this tragedy again when I received the poem card, and appreciate the thoughts that Ruben included. He imagines the scene beautifully, with  lots of action that I'm not sure I've ever considered. Usually I have read and tried to imagine the terrible plight of the living things there, and after the end, not during. Those people in Pompeii knew more than one terrible things, but hopefully they knew it briefly. Thanks to Ruben for helping me consider new ideas about Pompeii in his wonderful poem.