Thursday, October 30, 2014

Poetry Friday - Boo-o-o!

                                                                                                  Linda Baie (c) All Rights Reserved           
               I think I must have read the poem I want to share today last year at B.J. Lee's post and then printed it out. I have the printed copy in my Halloween poems file, and when I looked for a link to it, B.J. Lee's Blue Window blog came up. Here's the beginning of Alice Schertle's poem "Walk Softly", from her book, Keepers, and you can find the rest at Blue Window. AND, I also found the poem shared by Laura Purdie Salas when her blog was on Live Journal, way back in 2010. Laura adds more about the poem here. If you don't know it, enjoy. If you remember, enjoy it all over again.  Among so many others, it's a favorite of mine, too.  
            I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween, full of spooks and goblins, or whatever you'd love to fill your Friday nights with. I'm rather full of candy corn after this week of school hijinks! We have a big parade at my school on Halloween, before the parties, and find even the older students (8th graders) wearing marvelous and creative costumes this one last Halloween for them.

            Welcome to Poetry Friday's fright-filled day.

Walk Softly

Walk softly
in this wood,
where little wispy things
in gown and hood
slide down the dark
and fold their wings.

         Find more in the links above!        

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Non-Fiction PB Wednesday

Thanks to Alyson Beecher we can discover favorite non-fiction picture books every Wednesday when others link up on her blog, KidLit Frenzy
I'm sharing three picture books this week connecting to art, two more directly than others. 

Ivan, The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla – written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Gl. Brian Karas

           Finally had the extreme pleasure of reading this. After reading The One and Only Ivan, I thought the story was told, but not exactly. Here it is really shared, the sad and happy times, and the connections, to the children who grew up visiting him at the mall, to his keeper at Zoo Atlanta, and to Katherine Applegate. One line touched me about Ivan and his companion baby gorilla Burma, who died shortly after being captured: they were ordered by the shopping mall owner, “like a couple of pizzas, like a pair of shoes.” The illustrations are gentle depictions of Ivan’s story. Ivan’s picture book continues his story, this time for younger children to learn of all animals who are still being captured and misused today.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Visiting My OLW

          Time for the weekly Slice of Life at the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Tweet at #SOL14  Thanks Stacey, Tara, Dana, Beth, Anna and Betsy!
          It's time to write about my OLW for the year, WANDER. Remember back when I wrote that I had found a new journal that said wander, and then I'd connected this to meaning MORE WRITING?  It has!
          I have been doing what Merriam-Webster says is the meaning of wander: "to move around or go to different places usually without having a particular purpose or direction" or "to follow a path with many turns".   Some of the time I have had a direction, to improve my writing, but I also need to share a secret. I'm writing different things all the time, seems like practice, and it's fun.  Learning to wander into a new approach instead of just changing a word is part of that. 
            To learn and grow, I've taken the online poetry workshop with Renée LaTulippe (see the button at the right). I've wandered back to Honesdale, PA to enjoy and work hard at a second poetry workshop with David Harrison. I've continued my writing group which has grown smaller, but some of us are still pushing on together. And, I've just signed up for PiBoIdMo. Clearly, I'm following a path of many turns.  

          A friend sent me a quote: "Having precise ideas often leads to a man doing nothing." Paul Valéry, a French poet
          I've been sketching more; it helps me think and imagine. Mostly I sketch what I see, sometimes from a photo. Clearly I'm wandering, and more than once, it's a slice of life that I'm living.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Monday Reading

Sheila at Book Journeys started It's Monday! What are you Reading?, a meme where bloggers share recent books read.
             Then, Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Ricki and Kellee at Unleashing Readers started one with a children's focus. My book TBR list grows each week. It's wonderful discovering new great books!  Thanks Sheila, Jen, Ricki and Kellee!  And Happy Reading Everyone!

      The following two books meets the challenge made by 2014Latin@s in Kid Lit (See the button on the right if you'd like to explore this terrific blog resource.)

Draw! – by Raúl Colon
I loved looking at this book, and while I didn't draw much when I was young, I did spend hours imagining stories everywhere. This time, Raúl Colon takes us into his childhood drawing world, sitting in his bed with a sketchbook, taking us into the world of a safari, moving along with sketchbook and supplies in hand. We enter what looks like a savannah, and there are the elephants, zebras and giraffes. From a tree, there are lounging lions. And in his imagination, there are a few frightening moments. Colon's drawings and imagination will take students into their own imagination, I hope, so they can draw! Beautiful double-page spreads that fill you up with color and action. I can't wait to share the book with students.

Dancing Home – written by Alma Flor Ida and Gabriel M. Zubizarreta

            I am grateful to Alma Flor Ida for sending me numerous books that she has written, both picture books, chapter books, and cds of her reading some of them. I’ve shared many with our Spanish teacher who in turn has shared with students.
           Margarita, one of the main characters, is about to have her life changed, and she believes it’s not for the better. Her cousin Lupe is coming to live with the family because her mother has remarried, and it’s a chance for Lupe to have a good education in the U.S.  Margarita likes to be called Margie; she’s decided it’s more American, & she is American, born in Texas. Her own parents are immigrants, and Margie is a little embarrassed that they don’t always act like her classmates’ parents. She is also now worried that Lupe will embarrass her even more because she doesn’t speak English at all. This is a story of complications, immigrants trying to fit in, but still feeling proud of the country of their birth. It’s a story of being teased because one is different.  And it’s a story of family love. The chapters alternate voices with Margarita telling part of the story, and Lupe telling the other. I enjoyed it very much, the sweet voices of these young girls wondering if things will ever be okay, and finally, through the help of a new friend, too, they do find a comfort in both their heritage and their new country. It would make a good read aloud to bring up so much illuminating conversations, to step into the shoes of others you might not know much about, or to hear the voice whose experience parallels yours.

One New Online Tool I'll Use

Margaret Simon, at Reflections On The Teche, gathers links from others who'd like to share a digital tool that can be useful, personally or in the classroom. Hope you'll find something you'll like in the links for this Digilit Sunday.

      This week, I'm sharing Canva, an easy-to-use graphic tool that can cost per image, but there are many free images and backgrounds too, and one can upload photos, etc. as well. Check it out. I will find it useful when creating my own images, collages, illustrations, etc. I can imagine students printing book reports, quick illustrations for posters, too. There is also a draw tool. It is super easy to use and provides a .png image or a link.  Here's are two simple ideas: