Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another week of a terrific audio book!

Jen and Kellee host this kidlit meme at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  Join them and the other bloggers who are sharing the terrific things they are reading.

          It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers reviews of all kinds of books.  

        If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

And,  Myra, Fats & Iphigene host this meme at Gathering Books, where readers read award-winning books and review them.  This time I'm going to talk about The Ask and The Answer, by Patrick Ness.  

The Ask and The Answer – by Patrick Ness, audio performed by Angela Dawe and Nick Podehl

       Once again, I found the audio book of the Chaos Walking Trilogy, this time book two.  Some have said they didn’t like this as much, and there was some repetition of the same things going on, like Mayor (President) Prentiss’ ability actually to attack just through his “noise”, rather like someone who can move an object with their mind.  The later scenes become too much, especially since they were so intense and in the audio, I found that I just wanted them to end.  But that said, the book introduced more interesting characters, wrapped up some questions from book one, and ended with such a cliffhanger that I wanted to find the last one fast.  I am amazed at the depth that Ness is going to tell this story.  However, I’m going to take a break, and listen to some calmer books first, then finish in a few weeks.  Don’t forget to find this trilogy!  In 2009, it won the Costa book award, which is a series of literary awards given to books by authors based in Great Britain and Ireland.  If you are interested, the link goes to past awards where you can discover titles of other books in the past who have won this award, like Skellig, by David Almond, one of my favorite books.

Slicing Before The Storm

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers.  There is this storm looming large for those on the east coast, so today is the slicing day for any who'd like to share. Thank you Stacey for doing early!
       I hope all the talk turns out to be much less than predicted for all of you.  It is difficult to be serious about any other topic when so much seems to be happening in the east.  We are hearing about it constantly here in the west too, and keeping you all in our prayers and thoughts.  

What did the teacher say to help this student know what to do?

            I am working with three interns this year who are working for an Alternative Licensing program that is at another independent school nearby.  They are teacher assistants at our school, work with the teachers in the classrooms as their mentors, and I advise all six.  I have done this in the past and loved it.   It helps keep my teaching growing too.  It is wonderful to see young people learning about teaching and they work very hard, doing their jobs here at our school and completing other expectations for the program.  One of the threads that continues to need support through all the interns with whom I've worked is what I call self-talk.  I'm interested in knowing if you remember when you learned it was needed before teaching a lesson, or when you remember starting?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Autumn-Once More

Time to watch
enjoy and wait.
Blue with cloud;
leaf on ground
Autumn’s here;
winter’s gate.
  Leaves have fallen
  oak stays firm;
 its beauty wants
  attention turned.
Ground is covered-
 grab the rake.

Before snow smothers
must be time
to find the sweaters
and make this rhyme.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October-The Month of Contradictions

                It’s Poetry Friday, the Friday before Halloween, so come along with your gathering of spooky words, if you so wish, or peaceful words that may calm us before the day. 

               It snowed here in the past 48 hours, and if you saw my last post you would have seen Autumn beauty, but alas, the snow has taken it away, hence my title.

           Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley is a favorite poem at this spooky time of year, when such words as when the blaze is blue/An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo! gives me shivers, and I love that they do.  It also brings good memories, of a grandfather who read old classics to me because that is what he loved.  I have shared this poem many times to my classes in the past, and it has inspired their charcoal sketches of what they saw in their mind’s eye. 
             You can hear the poem read here at the Riley Children’s Foundation, presented by a man named Hal Rayle, an American voice actor.
             This is the sweet introduction by Riley to the poem:

               To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
               The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
               The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Leafy Lines

           The Slices of Life are hosted each Tuesday by Ruth and Stacey at their marvelous blog, Two Writing Teachers.  Come read some slices of everyone's lives.

Observations Around - October 2013

Trees spread their prints-- 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Variety Is The Spice of Books, Too!

This post connects to TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS hosted by Jen and Kellee.  Here you will find many books to put on your TBR lists.  

          It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS where many others share Kidlit and adult books read.          
           If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag#IMWAYR when sharing your link!

Poopendous! – Artie Bennett, illustrated by Mike Moran
            This seems to be my year for examining poop, as I discovered and loved the book Poop Happened by Sarah Albee a few weeks ago.  This time, I have had the pleasure of reading a picture book by Artie Bennett, writer of The Butt Book, about “rear ends in all their variety”.  It appears that Artie thinks often that the ends of things are just as good as the beginnings.  His latest book is funny, interesting, and beautifully fits younger children’s interests (and giggles) about poop. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

National Day on Writing

It's the National Day on Writing!

     Check out the New York Times Article here.

           What I Write

When I write, I make the tunes,
scribble words and create lunes.
To Grandson Carter I send slow mail notes,
For myself, I capture quotes.
To my students, the notes are sticky
Recently I created a wiki
for colleagues with whom I like to share.
We often look for things to care
about - pages sparking conversation
to help us in the demonstration
of the love of learning.  Finally, too
I write only for me, and then for you.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reflection Retreat

  It's an exciting time for our Poetry Friday host, Irene Latham, at Live Your Poem.  Her new book, Don't Feed The Boy came out this past Tuesday!  Congratulations Irene!

    A week ago, my staff drove to the mountains to spent Thursday night and Friday together for our retreat.  This time we had a facilitator that came to lead us in examining our lives particularly in using time more wisely.  Most often, my colleagues have so much to do, and like many teachers and those in other lines of work, like writers, we make our lists too long and our expectations too high.  The first questions asked this day were: How do we order our lives against stress and fatigue? and What are we confessing by how we order our lives?  and How can we negotiate our lives so we can be fully mindful with those we care about? 
View from our family cabin!  There was a small forest fire in the area.  You can see the smoke in the photo.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Golden Time

       The Slices of Life are hosted each Tuesday by Ruth and Stacey at their marvelous blog, Two Writing Teachers.  Come join us!  

Make new friends but keep the old;
one is silver and the other gold.

         When a chance of something good comes along, one must drop everything and take it!  I had that chance tonight, and it needs to last in my memory a while.  A friend I’ve known since we raised our babies together came into town yesterday to help her daughter (my son’s age) organize a household for movers.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this old friend several times in the past two years while her daughter lived here, and now she’ll be gone again.  We live far apart and just don’t have the opportunity to see each other often, although we call and e-mail often. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Busy Week-Good Books Kept Me Entertained

 Jen and Kellee host this kidlit meme at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  Join them and the other bloggers who are sharing what they are reading.

          It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers reviews of all kinds of books.  

        If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

       It's been such a crazy busy week.  As I posted last Tuesday, I am trying to buy a new house.  Although I have been thinking about it, I really wasn't planning this day to find this wonderful place close to work, close to a library (hurrah) and close to my daughter and her family.  Now I've made the offer, applied for the loan, had the inspection and am proceeding...  Paperwork, paperwork!  I should be in by the holidays.  I've been in my current home for 34 years and have quite a lot to do before putting it up for sale.  Choices, choices!  So, now, I will be on the lookout for the absolute best books in both de-cluttering and feng shui, for just the right touch.  Any recommendations?
       Finally, once all this is over, and I manage to get to January, I will spend the rest of the winter reading, reading, reading!  
       Here is what I managed last week:  

Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour The Tea – Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard
       I'm reading my way through some early readers, and picked this one up because it's written by Cynthia Rylant. It is a lovely story of a lonely older man and his slow move toward cat ownership. This Mr. Putter has a nice life, but no one with whom to share special everyday things, like muffins or tea. He does finally choose an old shelter cat, and the rest of the book tells of a relationship that becomes closer and closer. In the end, Mr. Putter realizes that he has someone to share his life, not just muffins. Sweet story!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mixed Feelings


        Betsy is our host today for Poetry Friday at her blog, Teaching Young Writers.  Run right over to this blog to read and love so many beautiful words!  

       Today is my birthday, today, October 12th, Columbus Day!
        I don't say that about Columbus Day much anymore, unless I have a lot of time to explain.  When I was a little girl I thought it was really special to have a birthday on a really special day.  By the time I was in high school, I knew a little more about Westward Expansion and the story of American Indians.  In college, I had the pleasure of a poetry class with John Neihardt, poet laureate of Missouri at that time, and the author of Black Elk Speaks, an eye opening book for me.  I dug deeper.  Now, all these past years as a middle school teacher, I've tried hard to help students learn what is the real truth of Columbus and other explorers, or other people who were explorers and took the land.  It's important to inspire the search also for as much truth as can be found when digging deeply.  And, important to examine old books to question and verify.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Perils of Going To The Library!

The Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Ruth and Stacey at Two Writing Teachers.  Come see what others share from the slices of their lives!  Come visit!

      Near my school is a Denver library branch, and I’ve started the habit of placing books on hold, then when I’m notified I go to pick them up.  A week ago last Friday I stopped in to pick up an audio book, got back in the car, and thought I’d drive around the neighborhood.  Remember, I have been thinking of moving, especially to be closer ‘into’ the city, to be near my daughter and family and nearer to my work.  

       However, I’ve not been in a hurry, slowly cleaning things out, looking at next year perhaps.  I’ve been in this same house for 34 years.  When one knows a place so long, it has become an intimate relationship.  I know what part of the upper hall squeaks when walked upon and I know which drainpipe tends to slip out of its connection after some bad weather.  I know which sink drains slowly.  I see my children’s ghosts everywhere in memories of their growing up. I see my husband and I sitting at our built-in booth.  And, I know that if I sit on the front porch very quietly, I will often have one of my neighbor sparrows come sit with me. 

I know.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Who I Saw - And What I Read

 This post connects to TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS hosted by Jen and Kellee.  Come check out all the terrific reviews by others.  

          It's Monday! What are you Reading? is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS where many others share Kidlit and adult books read.          
           If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag#IMWAYR when sharing your link!

          It doesn't get much better than to meet the author of amazing books, one of which just published and which I'm already reading.  Yes, I had the wonderful privilege of seeing Maggie Stiefvater with one of her writing group partners, Brenna Yovanoff (author of The Replacement and The Space Between.)                   

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Poet's Words That Touched Me

Our very busy Laura Purdie Salas is hosting Poetry Friday today at her blog, writing the world for kids.  Thanks Laura for what is always a lovely day.  

       Sometimes a poem speaks personally, and I'd like to share one of those today with you.  I have discovered a new poet, at least new to me.  His name is Ben Mirov who has published several full-length poem /books and chapbooks and currently heads the PEN Poetry Series.  I've found that I like some of his other poems too, some also found at the page.  His books are full-length poems that I haven't read.   I am wondering what you think of this poem.  It touches me each time I read it. 

        Mirov's poem is titled Black Glass Soliloquy and begins:

          There is nothing in my head today.
          I think about you everyday.
          head full of blckkk glsss

          My head full of bllllk sound.
          I think about you every day.
          I travel in my love for you.

And the rest is at
ocean love - 2011

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sunday Was A Tasty Slice of Pie

The Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Ruth and Stacey at Two Writing Teachers.  It's a good place to be on Tuesday, sharing something of our lives.  Come visit!

          Don't forget Banned Book Week-this week!

I had a wonderful gift given to me by friends on Sunday.  They took me to the mountains for an adventure.  Not far from Denver is a little mountain town called Silver Plume.  It isn't Aspen or Vale, but a sweet town in a mining area, with mining history, not very rich now, but with good people making their way.  They live surrounded by beauty and cook for others or sell antiques. That's about it.  We ate in the Silver Plume Tea Room, an old building with rafters showing, decorated with the antiques that are for sale.  The food was delicious, but I didn't think to take a photo.  I had a yummy piece of sour cream pecan pie, my friends chose the cherry pie a la mode.  The lunches we had were wonderful too, but the dessert-divine!  We ate, walked, talked, and then talked some more.  
       We also traveled down the mountains a bit to the larger, more touristy Georgetown.  It has some history; as you will see a picture of a hotel built there long ago by a French settler.  We walked again, and visited a few favorite shops, spent the most time in the rock shop, full of amazing rocks, shark's teeth, fossils, and pieces of comet fallen to earth.  It's a geology lesson just to visit.