Monday, September 1, 2014

Tuesday Sharing-Slices of Beginnings

   Time for our Tuesday Slice of Life Sharing at the Two Writing Teachers blog. It's a wonderful place to share what's going on in your life, whatever you may be doing.

  Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.
                                       Tennessee Williams

           I love taking pictures, and do try to capture different moments in my life, but sometimes it's nice just to "be" and that's what I'm sharing today, plus only one photo. My son, daughter-in-law and grandson arrived late Friday night. It was wonderful to have them around for a couple of days; the cliché "short, but sweet' fits perfectly. 

Saturday and Sunday: We visited, went to their favorite ski shop to find a new pair of skis and boots for Carter (growing, growing)! We went to REI, one of their special places they like to shop because they don't have that store where they live now. We went out to dinner at a favorite, kid-friendly place nearby and my daughter and her family joined us. They live nearby. We traveled over to my daughter's home to see their new renovations. We made a quick trip to Trader Joe's so they could see what it was like. They went to lunch with old and dear friends. There is more, but I'm hoping you understand that we were together again, feeling lucky to have spent all that time also at the beach in late July. This time, with Labor Day sending us all back to our regular lives, for two days, it was a great time.
Son taking the pic-sorry we didn't include all of us!

      Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Monday Reading

              Thanks to Sheila at Book Journeys who started It's Monday! What are you Reading?, a meme where bloggers share the books read recently. Now, thanks to Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts and Ricki and Kellee at Unleashing Readers, there is one with a children's focus. Come join in to share your own reading!
Caminar – verse novel by Skila Brown
             Based on real events in Guatemala in the early 80s, this story breaks your heart. It is not the usual growing up story where one celebrates a hard passage. Yet, the ending of the choice made by the young boy who tells the story brings tears, is to be celebrated. Although he has survived much loss,, his decision holds true to the character he was at the beginning. Skila Brown’s poems circle in and out of  terrible tension, exceptional feelings, and just enough information to make us, the readers, want to find out more. The use of movement of words and lines can show action, sorrow, and happiness. I loved reading and re-reading the stories told, was saddened by the obvious results that are foreshadowed. The subtle connections within the poems make the book worth re-reading to see what was missed the first time, so I’m not only recommending the book, but sharing that it should be read more than once.  There is a glossary that translate the Spanish words and phrases included in the poems, and a short Q & A about real events from the author.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Bonus Swap

         Jone McCullough is our host today, inviting everyone over to share some good poetry.  Visit this Poetry Friday at  Check It Out where Jone is celebrating the beginning of the school year. Thanks, Jone!
        I received wonderful poems from the swap organized by Tabatha Yeatts this summer. Finding a new piece of mail that I knew was not an advertisement or a bill was an extra treat. One time recently, I received mail that was extra, a bonus, a wonderful blog-gem from Donna Smith. If you aren't sure what I'm referring to, look here and scroll down! Donna's created a new kind of poem, a personal connection for those fortunate enough to receive one. I am grateful that I know Donna through her lovely words, and for this 'extra' gift! If you'd like one more back-to-school poem, see Donna's post here!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Non-Fiction - Always Good!

Alyson Beecher hosts Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday at her blog, Kid Lit Frenzy.  Because the students at my school study individual topics, the need for great non-fiction that will help in their research is vital. I've learned much from other blogs in this group, about books, authors, and illustrators. Thanks for hosting Alyson!

Sophie Scott Goes South – written and illustrated by Alison Lester
                     I know this is an imagined story about a little nine year old girl who gets to travel to Antarctica with her father on his ship, an ice breaker on its way to Mawson to make the final delivery before the community is cut off, and to deliver some scientists and other wrokers who will spend the winter there. Yet, Alison Lester based the book on her real life experiences and includes much information, about the ship, the animals who live there, what the workers do, and bits about the harsh weather there. During her own voyage, Alison contacted schools all over via e-mail about her trip. Some of the pictures that children sent her are included in the book, along with small sketches that explain some things, photographs that explain others. It’s a “full” book of information given in the text as well as the illustrations. What an adventure to be able to experience such a voyage on the Aurora Australis!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Linking Up-Jigsaw Art

       Time to link up at the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesday Slice of Life! Thanks Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth!

             I'd like to share an activity that I enjoyed doing every few years for a community, getting-to-know-you, art project. This will be displayed on a large bulletin board, and unfortunately I don't have a picture of one we did on paper. What I do have are photos of a large table that sat in front of the sofa in my room, but also served as a worktable for kids who liked to work sitting on the floor. It was a long black table, and one year I had twenty-four students, exactly right. And I had quite a few good planners and artists. One student measured and drew out the puzzle, and we drew names to see who would do each piece. The ideas is that you must coordinate with those people whose pieces you touch, and for this one, at the most it meant three people. If you used something like the template I'm sharing, those "inner" students need to do even more collaboration. Here are some photos and a puzzle template for planning.