Friday, September 26, 2014

Celebrating Getting Away

            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. 
Don't forget to tweet at #CelebrateLu

          Michelle H. Barnes, at Today's Little Ditty sometimes asks for five words in response to something. Last spring, the question was what does poetry mean to you. I replied with

                                          A poet’s words linger longer…

the cabins where I'll stay
          Poetry does mean much to me, and today I'm celebrating taking the next week off, from work, mostly from online things (I'll have my computer.) in order to go to a poetry workshop with David L. Harrison, poet extraordinaire, website here, at the Highlights Foundation retreat near Honesdale, Pennsylvania. It's my second time, and I plan to write and write and enjoy the beautiful autumn that I know is waiting. I leave Sunday and am so, so excited. I'm celebrating that I am able to go, that my school supports this, and that I have the beautiful chance to work with David and the rest of the writers who will be there, from all over the US and Canada.

       More to come next time! It was a good week all the way through, ending with Ingrid coming home with me after school on Friday, ever a joy.

        I hope you all have a terrific week next week!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Poetry Friday - Still Celebrating Wandering Wildebeests

            Laura Purdie Salas is hosting us today for Poetry Friday. Find her, and the links to everyone's poetry shares at Writing The World for Kids. Thanks, Laura!
              Next Wednesday, Oct. 1st, Irene Latham's Dear Wandering Wildebeest, And Other Poems from the Water Hole will celebrate its two month anniversary. I'd like to refresh your memory about this wonderful collection, to be sure that you've read it, and if not, you'll run out to purchase a copy!
             It's a pleasure to find poetry I love, and it's additionally wonderful when there is one that I can share with children when I teach poetry at school. And this one, a poetic response to a particularly special habitat by Irene and illustrated by Anna Wadham, is one I know I will use again and again. This year I'm especially fortunate to have one young class studying habitats for their class units. They are our youngest students, but they know about zoo animals, and Rocky mountain animals because we have a great zoo in Denver, and the Rockies are "their" habitat, too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Non-Fiction Treasures

             Visit Alyson Beecher to discover favorite non-fiction picture books every Wednesday on her blog, KidLit Frenzy.  There's a wealth of non-fiction picture books that can be found on everyone's posts!  Thanks for hosting, Alyson!

 The Right Word - Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

I've been waiting for this book since I first read about it, and in the past few days, reading it more than once. What a treasure it is, like these creative artists' other collaboration, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, this book celebrates a life filled with a love of words. It's interesting that both men were doctors.

 The Right Word fills us with the words Peter Roget loved, from the first Latin ones he learned from a tutor, to the pages in his first published book. Even the inside covers are filled with WORDS! A favorite page is when Jen tells of Roget finally falling in love, at age forty-five, and she lists the words: amour, love, smitten, marriage, husband, wife, family, and on. Each word of course in the thesaurus leads to other lists. 

 They tell us that the word "thesaurus" means "Treasure House" in Greek, and the book is certainly a treasure to read and to pore over.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Slicing Can Be Loud!

             Time for the Tuesday Slice of Life Sharing at the Two Writing Teachers blog. Thanks to the wonderful group of bloggers who host us, and those who share what's going on in their own personal or professional lives.

            It's Banned Book Week, although I hope everyone really celebrates that we are free to read whatever we wish anytime we wish. I just finished Revolution by Deborah Wiles, a time when more than books were taken away from many in our country. And in the past month, we watched as terrible things occurred in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, years after the Civil Rights era. Also, the news today is that even more refugees from Syria are pouring in to Turkey, their villages burned by this group named ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It is also the Egyptian Goddess of Fertility. How do I know, because a student of mine spent a year studying the gods created by other cultures, and while I couldn't quite remember all of it, I did remember ISIS was a god from some country. I'm glad it has another meaning. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Monday - Books to Love!

             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 join in to share your own reading!
I'm also excited to visit at Michelle Barnes Today's Little Ditty with a poem of address I wrote for Irene Latham's September challenge. Come visit!

And-it's Banned Book Week-Are you reading as many banned books (or sharing them) as you can?
Revolution – written by Deborah Wiles

             Considering what recently occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, it saddened me to read this book about Freedom Summer, the history of the months during which the Civil Rights Act passed, 50 years ago, and the Voting Rights Act, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.  In these 50 years, some things have still not changed.
           The voice of 12-year-old Sunny who tells this story of her time in Greenwood, Mississippi, weaves in family conflicts, grief over her abandonment by her mother, figuring out the family dynamics when her father re-marries, and hard questions about the racial conflict. She often says she doesn’t understand. She often asks why everything can’t just go back to the way it was. The first might is a question we all should ask; the second shows the way so many children grew up, blind to the inequities surrounding them. Wiles intersperses the fiction with real-life photographs and news, cementing this “made-up” story with a firm under-pinning of truth. I was mesmerized and horrified, all at the same time.