Saturday, September 20, 2014


               Thanks to Ruth Ayres for creating a place to celebrate the little and the big times in our lives.  If you are visiting, check HERE for the links. 
And tweet at #CelebrateLu

           The biggest news to celebrate is that the BC teachers's strike has ended and  Carrie Gelson of There's A Book For That; and Adrienne Gear of Reading Power Gear go back to work on Monday! Hurrah!

            I'm celebrating:
  • Walking every day, enjoying the gorgeous weather.
  • Being a Cybils' judge for poetry once again. See the announcements here. You'll recognize so many names on the lists!
  • Reading a book to my granddaughter's class this week. They're studying food for their class unit this year, so I read Eat Like A Bear by April Pulley Sayre and Steve Jenkins, very fun, beautiful to see and to hear. And marvelous to have Ingrid right there in the group, listening. She came home with me today, too!
  • Making plans with colleagues. It was good to talk even more with different people, to discover concerns and goals now that they're had their classes for a while, getting to know the students. 
  • Writing, writing, writing. I am taking an online poetry workshop this month with 
    RenĂ©e La Tulippe, who blogs at No Water River. If you are interested in learning more about children's writing, and ready to spend the time each day, this is a marvelous experience. Check the blog link for more info!  

    It was a good week. I hope yours was, too!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Poetry Friday-exciting week

         Amy Ludwig VanDerwater hosts us today at her wonderful blog, The Poem Farm for Poetry Friday, our last of summer shares.  Thanks to Amy, we enjoy poetry every season!  Today, she has a "poem hug" for all of us. 

       Time for Cybils' announcements this week! You can find the lists of judges in each category here on the Cybils' website. I'm very excited to return to the Round Two Judging for poetry.  I'm researching books that have been published this year, and already own some.  Below, see those I'm working alongside.  What a great time it will be, except for finally having to choose just one winner!

       Remember that nominations begin October 1st!  It's also a great source for discovering extraordinary titles if you look at the list of previous winners in ALL the categories and the new nominations for this year.  It's a terrific time to be a blogger and/or a children's writer.

        Time to say goodbye to summer this weekend, and also to the little moments, just fun. Sitting on a back stoop blowing bubbles with children is one of those.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Journaling With Non-Fiction

              Visit Alyson Beecher to discover favorite non-fiction picture books every Wednesday on her blog, KidLit Frenzy.  Amazing picture books are shared!

           Every one of our students at school keeps a field journal, so we're always looking for good mentor texts to share with them, to give them ideas from others who keep their own journals. The other part is to learn what to look for, why to capture it, what details to note in words and sketches? Of course those younger students do all of their notes in pictures, or by carefully copying down a few words. Slowly everyone improves their noticing. It's a great thing to practice, and then to know one is improving.

Too Much of This, Not Enough of That


            Some days seem longer than others. I've spent some of the past few days doing things, not things I want to do, things I have to do, need to do, call for me to do. This is a bit of a whiney post because I am tired of that list on one particular pad of paper in my office, ugh, THE LIST. 
from my calendar,
writing of some days,
           And this is what is crossed off: 
  • Car repair, which ended in two new tires, leaving the car over the weekend, and finally, finally getting it done. I am grateful for a terrific local garage, that my old Honda still goes and goes, but don't like the time it takes.
  • My regular doctor is retiring, so I spent several hours this am calling a new doctor (recommended!), ensuring that they are taking new patients, then calling my insurance (on hold a long time) to make the name change and order a new card.
  • Online (did you know?) I filled out a passport renewal application, went to Walgreen's to get my picture, to the PO to send it special so I could track it (long line).
  • Late afternoon: my furnace repair person came to inspect my boiler, tinkered a bit, called it good (whew), but that was another couple of hours while I waited, asked questions, etc..

           But, I did get some good writing time in between all these other things. And I did do some fun prep work for school. Also I had a little special time with my daughter on Sunday. It really wasn't a terrible weekend, I just resist these kinds of chores. 
           I would much rather go walking and take some pictures of things I loved seeing. I've been trying to post a few photos from a "Morning Walk". Here are a few of my favorites.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Monday Reading

 Sheila at Book Journeys started It's Monday! What are you Reading?, a meme where bloggers share the books read recently. Then, Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts and Ricki and Kellee at Unleashing Readers, started one with a children's focus. Come share your own reading!

Lots of terrific picture books this week, including a longer chapter book with pictures! I'm almost done with Revolution by Deborah Wiles; what a great read it is!  Next: Finish Revolution, then I have so many to catch up on. Probably will start The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson-still not read!

        I reviewed a new poetry collection by J. Patrick Lewis last Friday for Poetry Friday. If you need a new collection for your classroom, I suggest you find Everything Is A Poem.

          Summer camp isn’t what her mother  loved, in fact, it’s what Eleanor hates, but as the days move along, and she keeps doing the activities she thinks she dislikes, she has a few surprises. It’s a story with a few hard remarks in the beginning, but Eleanor has a good friend almost immediately which helps, and the camp counselor is supportive no matter what. It’s a sweet story of doing something hard, and discovering that you can do  those hard things.

             An injured magpie and a one-eyed dog have created a mutually helpful relationship, but a jealous fox comes along to prey on their inner wishes. Sadly, it's a story that teaches the parable, "be careful what you wish for" and the bird and the dog lose much more than they gained. There is some hope left at the end, but this is a story that's for older students, to pore over the fascinating illustrations that seem to come alive, and to ponder the actions and choices made.