Thursday, January 31, 2013

January endings

Our Teaching Authors host for Poetry Friday this week is April Halprin Wayland.  Thanks April!  Come enjoy!

           We continue to experience drought in Denver (not in the mountains as much), so the few inches of snow early this week were welcome.  The temperature dropped from 60 to 20 on Monday and it snowed.  Tuesday when I rolled out the trash barrel, the eucalyptus seed pods rattled in the wind, the pine tree was indeed crusted with snow, only on the north side, and the squirrels perched in the cottonwood sat fluffed, with tails curled over their bodies.  I remembered The Snow Man, by Wallace Stevens.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Beginnings of my One Little Word

The slice of life meme is hosted by Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz at their blog, Two Writing Teachers.  Come see what others are sharing today!  We are grateful for the work they do to make this happen every Tuesday!

On twitter, use #Slice2013

       Be sure to check out Ruth's post about the March Slice of Life Challenge!  I hope to see all of you every single day!

         My OLW this year is Possibilities, defined online by Merriam-Webster:

: the condition or fact of being possible
  archaic : one's utmost power, capacity, or ability

Exciting Day - Awards Day!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSFind the TBR lists growing longer while reading everyone’s post!  Plus, there is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers even more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.  Enjoy!
      On twitter?  Hook up with #IMWAYR

       I had so many errands this am, part of them in waiting rooms, so I finished, guess what?  SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS by Laura Amy Schlitz, recipient of one of the Newbery honor awards.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Anniversary-Bitter some, sweet much

           Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.

Yesterday was my husband's and my 48th anniversary.  It's difficult to write about, but even worse to ignore.  I have had so many happy years, really all of them except this recent one.  I don't want the unpleasant stuff at the end to overshadow every other year.  There has been just too much joy in our lives to dwell in shadows.  So, I've written a poem, for me, for my husband, for you, to celebrate this special day.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

More of How Do You Know!

Two Writing Teachers hosts slice of life each Tuesday.  Come over to see what people have been doing!  Remember the March Slice of Life Challenge will be here before you know it!
        Share on twitter with #Slice2013 

I've been thinking more and more about last week's slice, my conversation with the school's assistants, and Ruth's post where she answered the question, "How do you know?"  In other words, how do teachers know the answers to the myriad of questions they must answer every day, and night!  Or, what do they use as information in order to make decisions?  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Keeping Some Old Ones In Mind

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSLots of terrific books are reviewed by the readers here.  The TBR lists grow long here.  Plus, there is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers even more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.  Enjoy!

Post on twitter with the hashtag #IMWAYR.

The second symbol shows that I'm participating in a reading challenge at Gathering Books.  The Award-Winning book is More Than Anything Else.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Thank You & Some Praise

               Violet Nesdoly at VioletNesdoly/Poems is our lovely host today for Poetry Friday.  She says she is trying to organize, an admirable New Year's Resolution.  Violet's poems are quite organized and always clever, so I'm not quite sure she needs that goal.  Thanks for hosting, Violet!

     This is a simple post today, a thank you with praise.  I've never really met Tabatha Yeatts, but I feel I know her through her wonderfully eclectic posts, see TabathaYeatts: The Opposite of Indifference, that teach me something every week.  She tells of music and art, and, of course, poetry.  She is full of energy and ideas, and Tabatha follows through with those ideas.  Last summer, she facilitated a poetry swap where we were paired and shared three poems throughout the summer with our 'buddies'.  For the Christmas season, we again were paired, if we chose to sign up, and sent a gift and a poem to the person Tabatha had so intuitively paired us with.  I posted about my lovely surprises from Laura Shovan at Author Amok last week.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Slicing is like going to school every week!

Two Writing Teachers hosts slice of life each Tuesday.  Come share!  And this time, find out about the March Slice of Life Challenge!
        Share on twitter with #Slice2013 


Among all the other individuals and groups I work with, sometimes I have conversations with our school’s assistants.  There are 13 core classrooms in my school and each teacher has a full time assistant.  Some of these are schooled as teachers but have never had a classroom yet.  Others have experience with children in other ways and bring different passions to the classes, like science or art backgrounds.  Collectively they are not experienced teachers but learn as the days go by, from the core teacher with whom they work, and from observing children, conversations with others and reading professional texts.  Some decide they might want to be licensed and work with us while attending an alternative-licensing program. 

I have the challenge next week to facilitate the assistant meeting that happens every few weeks.  The topic is explained when I say the word EXPO!  Our largest event of the year happens in early February.  We call it Expo and I have written about it before.  Since each student studies a different self-chosen topic, at this time each shows the learning he or she has completed so far this year.  It is somewhat like a science fair.  Because we believe in the journey as much or more than the destination, this is challenging to both teachers and students.  Everyone has the same deadline, one evening in February.  And the nervousness and stress are discussed each year.  How to alleviate it?  How to make the excitement grow at the same time as lessen the pressure to do well?  It’s exciting, but…

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Love The Library!

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.      Groucho Marx

         It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  Lots of great books here, as well as in another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS.
         REMEMBER:  Use the hashtag #IMWAYR to share on twitter!

        I love the library one block from my new home.  I can drop in on my way home from anywhere to discover what's new, along with having books from other libraries sent over within a few days.  We are lucky to have libraries and I'd like to give a big shout 'HURRAH"  for mine!

Starry River of The Sky – Grace Lin
         A beautiful story of a young boy Rendi who has run away from his unhappy home and finds himself working at a small village inn, the small village of  Clear Sky.  He observes that all is not exactly okay there, like the moon is missing.  Rendi keeps saying he will leave as soon as a guest comes so he can sneak a ride on the guest’s cart.  Well, a mysterious guest does come, a storyteller who, throughout the book, relates stories to help all who are there understand what is going on.  Grace Lin weaves/re-tells Chinese folk tales in between telling about the inhabitants of the inn.  The illustrations, also by Lin, are gorgeous.   This would be a terrific read aloud.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Special Poem From Laura-The Poetry Swap

Poetry Friday, already past the twelfth day of Christmas, moving into cold January.  You can warm yourselves with all things poetic at No Water River, hosted so beautifully by Renee LaTulippe who is celebrating her one year blogging anniversary.  Congratulations Renee, and thanks for hosting.  

           In this past month I moved, as so many of you know.  With the move and the holidays, I  have opened many, many boxes, some in order to survive daily life, and some gifts from various wonderful family and friends.  The very first box received at my new home was from Laura Shovan, of Author Amok, my poetry swap partner.  In it were the sweetest things: some to eat and a hand knit (mostly red-favorite color) pair of fingerless gloves/arm warmers.  They are beautiful, as is the postcard poem that also was included.  My particular card is #1 in a project Laura has started, leading up to her birthday.  I am honored that I received the #1 poem in what I imagine that could be a wonderful book.  In the link, Laura shared the poem, but I'm going to share it again, with photos of the card.  Poems are meant to be shared, often!  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hm-m, my OLW is a good one!

        Thanks go to  the Two Writing Teachers blog, to Ruth and Stacey for hosting Tuesday Slices of Life, a way for others to share parts of their lives, personal and professional. Come join in the fun!

      After reading everyone’s posts last week, I thought more and listened to others, not just noting their One Little Words, but the “why” of them.  The arc of my life is not the usual geometric half-circle, but more similar to a roller coaster, numerous ups and downs, and the downs are not necessarily bad, they can sometimes mean quiet and rest.  And the ups might be excitement and incredible experiences, or they might just mean hurry, much on the to do list.  So, I thought that I might choose the word “flexible”, yet I know that I am, I was, I will be.  That is a trait already ingrained, not a word to live by.  Finally, I pondered the beginnings, the new year, the new home and knew that my word for this year must be “possibilities”.  Think of it! 

Great Picture Books - Old & New

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  They tell about books and book and more books.  My list grows longer every week from them and those that link up.  There is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers even more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.  Enjoy the visit!

Use the hashtag #IMWAYR to share on twitter!

            I have also taken the Gathering Books Award challenge this year, and have read my first book that has won several awards, Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Quentin Blake.  Michael doesn’t hold back, but shared how the sadness affects him because his son dies.  He uses the story to tell about his personal sadness and how that looks.  For example, sometimes he wants to talk with someone about his sadness and sometimes he wants to be alone.  This is a book that shows the rightness of being sad, and also, that sometimes things are better.  It’s a perfect book to share with students or adults who are grieving.    It touched me with every page, along with the stark black & white drawings that show darkness when needed, but colors too in a light style of pen and ink outlining plus watercolor.
Awards:  Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor
                   ALA Best book for Young Adults
                    U.S. Board on Books for Young People Outstanding International Book
                    A School Library Journal Best Book of The Year
                     A Parent’s Choice Award Winner

Terrible Things, An Allegory of the Holocaust – Eve Bunting, illustrated by Gammell

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Tribute To Cybil's Poets

          Matt Forrest Ensenwine welcomes us to the first Poetry Friday of 2013 at  Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.  Thanks Matt.    

     I am excited to help with the Cybils judging this year in poetry.  Congratulations to all the nominees, and to the following finalists:

Laura Purdie Salas – Bookspeak:  Poems About Books

David Elliott - In the Sea

J. Patrick Lewis - Last Laughs:  Animal Epitaphs

Ron Koertge - Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

compiled by J. Patrick Lewis – National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar!

Douglas Florian – UnBEElievabes:  Honeybee Poems and Paintings

Kate Coombs – Water Sings Blue