Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reflection, Connection

        The Wonderful Slices of Life can be Found Linked at the Two Writing Teachers Blog
      It was not easy posting today.  Yesterday I wrote about books, not so hard.  It was straightforward with a clear purpose.  Today the slices are more open-ended.  When I try to write about any topic, it didn't seem so important.  I found that I couldn't find a way to make the topic interesting.  And so I didn't write, just began to read my blogger friends' posts.  They wrote such wonderful thoughts, they told things I didn't know yet, and they showed me that I could write and it would be okay, no matter what.  I thank them!

            I remembered this: In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.  Anne Frank  I have kept it for many years as part of my own philosophy and will continue.

             I watched a lesson taught with our youngest students today.  On our last morning before vacation, my school has our own Celebration of Light.  Each classroom and student and other staff create something to help remember that light is an important part of our lives, that throughout many years, celebrations have occurred at this time of the year in some celebration of light.  Today's lesson began yesterday by reading An Angel for Solomon Singer, by Cynthia Rylant illustrated by Peter Catalanotto.  Students chose a person that makes them feel good, who 'Lights' their own lives as this Angel did for Solomon.  They used block people, traced paper, and colored the faces and clothing.  Today they created beautiful settings for the people, and wrote what they wanted to say about this person.  

        As I sat, I thought this is it!  This is why I love my work, my life, just being.  I can be with young children and with young people often, enjoying their sweetness, their enthusiasm and joy for living.  

      So for my post, I am listening to the angels sing, swelling in voice through the newest members, and I thought you would like to see a list of all the books in this classroom's bookshelf.  As I observed, I wrote titles, and titles and more titles.  I didn't get the authors, but think you'll be able to find most.

The Gingerbread Doll
The Christmas Eve Blizzard
The Gift
Two Holidays - A Hanukkah and Christmas story
The Night of The Posadas
Arthur's Christmas
Inside-Out Grandma-A Hanukkah Story
A Christmas Star Called Hannah
Kwanzaa Karamu
The Winter Solstice
The Baker's Dozen-A Saint Nicholas Tale
Elijah's Angel
Lights of Winter-Winter Celebrations Around The World
The Twelve Days of Christmas-A Piñata for the Pinon Tree
Lighting A Lamp: A Divali Story
The Gingerbread Man
Hanukkah Lights
Christmas Cookies
Henry and Mudge and a very Merry Christmas
Seven Candles for Kwanzaa
The Sound of Kwanzaa
A Possible Tree
When Mindy Saved Hanukkah
The Day Before Christmas
The Legend of the Poinsettia
Wolf Christmas
Christmas Lights
Farelitos for Abuela
Christmas In The Country
My First Kwanzaa
Christmas in the Big Woods
Hannukah Counting Book
Night Tree
Just in Time for Christmas
The Beautiful Christmas Tree
Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah

Joy To Our World!

I'll be back slicing in the new year.  Best to you all in your holidays with family and friends.

photo credit: nickwheeleroz via photopin cc


  1. Sweetness, enthusiam, joy for living... beautiful gifts to receive. Joy To Our World, indeed!!!

  2. My beginner ELLs just read A Baker's Dozen recently and are getting ready to do a Reader's Theater of it, as part of our traditional literature unit! :-)

    I love the metaphor of light and the idea of celebrating it with your students. Being a light to others has always been an image that guides me, in teaching and in my personal life.

    Wishing you lots of light over this holiday break!

    1. Thanks Jennifer. I just read your delightful post reflecting too. I'm glad our light celebration connects with you. We love visiting each other's displays during that time.

  3. It was so hard to slice today. I thought about going into the post and updating it in light of the tragedy in CT, but choose not to. I was afraid that directing people to write about sorrow would make them sadder. And besides, me... give a prompt?!!?

    But seriously, I love the lesson you wrote about. I am saving this and coming back to it with Isabelle when she's older. I think it's a poignant lesson we can teach kids, using literature, at home as well as at school.

    Happy holidays, Linda.

    1. Thank you Stacey. I feel the same, yet I cannot let this bad thing ruin so much that is good, & so I did write. Those littlest ones certainly lifted me up today & we had lots of fun, which is exactly the way it is supposed to be. I hope you have a nice break & some time with your husband & Isabelle that is delightful!

  4. I love the idea of a Celebration of Light. It's a neat way to express our appreciation for the Lights around us. Thanks also for the extensive list of titles!

    1. You are welcome Chris. We are all ready for tomorrow, to spend a little time being calm in our celebration, and then---vacation! Everyone is so excited!

  5. Thank you for introducing me to this book by Cynthia Rylant. In recent years, I've had my preschoolers make a small glass jar votive candle holder as a gift for their families, at this time of year. I have been wishing that I had a nice book to go with this gift-making. Voila! Your post appears! Too late for this year (children's last day was today - the families loved their candle gifts), but I'm ready for next. I couldn't bring myself to post yesterday...every idea I had seemed so artificial. Thank you for this! Let there be light! May you have a blessed holiday season, Linda.

    1. Oh, so happy the book touched you Maureen. Rylant is a treasure & this book too gives so many ideas to help us reflect. Have a wonderful holiday yourself, you & yours! As you can see from my intro, I too had some challenge in knowing what to do, but it was the kids who did it for me. Bless those kids!

  6. Light is so universal. What a neat lesson to teach and to show that even in all our differences light is important to all of us.

  7. Very comforting, Linda. Thank you.

  8. What a wonderful list, Linda. And I love how this post is brimming with so much positivity and good cheer and light. Lots of glorious lights. Have a glorious New Year to you and your loved ones.


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