Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Special Weekend - Convergence - Slice One

one of thirty-one

         Today is the beginning of the month of March, the Slice of Life Writing Challenge when we write every day and link together on the Two Writing Teachers Blog of Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz.  Best wishes to everyone who are taking this challenge.  I hope you enjoy every minute!
          Tweet at #Slice2013!
             It is also Poetry Friday where those who are poets and who love poetry meet to link up each week with different hosts and share a poem or something poetic.  This week we’re hosted by Julie Larios at The Drift Record
            I also want to say that I felt honored and thrilled this week by winning a spot in a poetry event, created majestically by Ed DeCaria at Think Kid Think.  It's the March Madness poetry competition for 2013, and I am one of the 64 starting authletes. More to come!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gathering Inspiration for SOLC

               The Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Stacey and Ruth every single Tuesday.  Join us, and get ready for the March Challenge—beginning this Friday!  Thanks for all the work, Stacy and Ruth, plus all the community of helpers!

If you're on twitter, tweet at #Slice2013!

          It’s a good time to share something that will be both helpful and inspirational for our coming challenge, to write every day for ALL of March. I have started a writing group at my school and there are eight of us.  We’ll meet once a month to share and give support to each other.  We have chosen a book about writing to read parts of each time, a part of building our community.  The book is The Muses Among Us-eloquent listening and other pleasures of the writer’s craft, by Kim Stafford, William Stafford’s son, now teaching at Lewis and Clark College. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Amazing Books Found This Week

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSCome read everyone's links!  And, there is a terrific meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.  

Don’t forget to tweet at #IMWAYR
Island: A Story of the Galapagos – written & illustrated by Jason Chin
       I loved the beautiful paintings and the way that Chin told the arc of the story of these islands, from birth to projected end.  There are many examples of the animals that ended up there, and how they evolved because of the conditions.  For example, a certain species of cormorants’s wings begin to shrink because they no longer need to fly to escape from predators.  After a time, they can no longer fly at all.  There are good backmatter pages at the end of the book too.  It’s a good introduction to this part of our science history.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Another Blogger's Inspiration

Sheri Doyle is our host today for Poetry Friday.  Thanks, Sheri!

            I read Joy Acey’s poems every day and in January, she posted a couple of minute poems (see the ‘how-to’ below).  One of those posts is here.  I liked Joy's poems and took her challenge to write my own.  It’s fun to try different forms, and Joy often gives ideas on her blog.
            Recently I have started a writing group for the staff at my school.  Since I now live very close, we will meet at my house and have already met once.  For now we’ll only meet once a month, but are hoping to increase that in the summer. Every one of us does some kind of writing both for ourselves and with students, and we are excited to share and receive support within the group.  These poems below are what I shared with the group, who gave me good advice and response, and I’ve been working “with” the words since.  If you have suggestions please share, and try your own if you’d like! 

From JoyWrite a Minute Poem. The Minute Poem is a rhyming verse form consisting of 12 lines of 60 syllables written in strict iambic meter. The poem is formatted into 3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 syllables. The rhyme scheme is as follows: aabb, ccdd, eeff

Monday, February 18, 2013

Slicing Connections - And some links

           Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Stacey and Ruth every single Tuesday.  Please join us, and find out about the March Challenge—coming soon!  

If you're on twitter, tweet at #Slice2013!

              The first thing I need to acknowledge is that last week I left out an important thing that happened at the literacy conference I attended a week ago.  I was walking in the lobby, on my way to another session when this person, whom I’ve only seen pictures of, came towards me.  I had to say it, “Is that you, Carol?”  It was! Carol Wilcox, of Carol’s Corner, who wrote last week about a new friend, ME, so nicely.  We spoke for a little while, then had one other time to visit, but that was all for now.  We did discover we live fairly close to one another, and I know we’ll connect some time, but it was just lovely to see Carol in person, to ask about her sons whom I’ve read so much about, and be happy to hear their news, too.  I am looking forward to more!
         More connections are what I want to share about today. 

10 for 10 Non-Fiction Picture Books-My Best!

             Cathy Mere at Reflect and Refine: Building A Learning Community, her friends Mandy Robek at Enjoy and Embrace Learning, and Julie Balen at Write at The Edge have decided to have a non-fiction sharing day like the fabulous 10 for 10 favorite picture book day that occurred last August.  Come link up at Cathy's blog and have a look!

               I'm excited to see what everyone has to share, and hope you'll find a book or more than one to love from my ten!

Tweet this at #nf10for10

My FavoriteAnthology for the Earth, edited by Judy Allen
       This book was published in 1997 and I think I’ve used it for at least 10 years.  I found it first at a library, copied pages, kept renewing, and it finally dawned on me that perhaps I could find it used on Amazon.  (It is still available!)  It is filled with good readings about loving and caring for the earth from many parts of life.  Examples:  from The Diversity of Life, by E.O. Wilson; poems by Joseph Bruchac and Thomas Hardy; from The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck & Ed Ricketts;  Ovid from “The Teachings of Pythagoras” The Metamorphoses; and from one of my favorite books, The Outermost House, by Henry Beston.  Each piece is illustrated especially for it, from drawings, photographs, and graphics.  I have packed this book on every trip with my students, so we can read from it on our journeys.  It is a beauty.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

More Good Books from the Library!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSCome Visit!  And, then check out this meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children. 

Don’t forget to tweet at #IMWAYR!

Twelve Kinds of Iceby Ellen Bryn Obed, illus. by Barbara McClintock
      I imagine that Ellen Obed was thrilled when she imagined the structure her book would take when she began writing about ice.  From the beginning drop in temperature, the children in the story begin to prepare for a glorious winter of skating, on twelve kinds of ice, and we get to hear about twelve kinds of experiences!  It’s a beautifully written story of those who live in northern habitats and grow up knowing what “blades” and “pucks” mean when they’re very young.  I had one experience seeing and skating on a backyard rink, at a cousin’s house in South Dakota.  It is a wonderful childhood memory that has been awakened by this book.  McClintock’s illustrations are joyful, detailed pen and ink sketches.  I think one could use this book as a mentor text for students to write their own vignettes about different kinds of memories.  It’s longer, but belongs together with the recent picture books, Cold Snap and A Perfect Day.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Traveling Over To Another Blog

            I was a Cybils Judge for the poetry selection this year and was asked by Myra at Gathering Books to write my thoughts about my time up to the judging.  You can find me there today! I am grateful to Myra for inviting me to share.
            It was a pleasure to work with the committee, facilitated by the calm and clear-minded Jone McCullough, to be found at Check It Out.  You can find a list of my fellow judges in the post, as well as the poetry finalists.

One definition of poetry that children will love:  Imaginary gardens with real toads in them. Marianne Moore

And now I can celebrate the poetry winner, BookSpeak! Poems About Books by Laura Purdie Salas.  You can find her at LauraSalas: Writing The World For Kids.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines, Friday Poetry and Cybils, oh my!

        Welcome everyone to our exciting end of the week, Poetry Friday.  I am so happy to be your host today.  The Cybils Awards were announced yesterday.  Congratulations to Laura Purdie Salas, winner of the 2013 Poetry Cybil for BookSpeak! Poems About Books, and to all the other winners!  The full list can be found here.  The finalists deserve another bit of love, too, and here is that list.
          And, I know Valentine's Day was yesterday, but I couldn't resist carrying it over just one more day!  Hope it was sweet for everyone!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Learning From Some of the Best

Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Two WritingTeachers, Stacey and Ruth every single Tuesday.  Join us, and find out about the March Challenge—coming soon!  

If you're on twitter, tweet at #Slice2013!

            So, where do I begin telling about the CCIRA (Colorado Chapter of the International Reading Association) annual conference?  Shall I begin when I arose at 4am so I could get to the hotel and find a parking place instead of riding a shuttle?  Or when I registered and found the coffee shop because I then had a luxurious hour to sit, read and wait for the first session?          
             Furthermore, there is the challenge of sifting through so much information in order to choose what I think you would like to hear-inspiration or the nitty-gritty details?  I choose…

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lots to Love This Week

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSHead over to find plenty to choose from!  Plus, there is a terrific meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children.  Bookstores must be thrilled to see so many readers!

         I had the pleasure of reading some wonderful books this week.  Many of you have read them, because that's how I found out about them, and then got them at my library.  We are lucky to have libraries!  

          "Nutrimentum spiritus (food for the soul)."  ~Berlin Royal Library, inscription

Friday, February 8, 2013

Poetry Lives at Literacy Conference

              Poetry Friday is hosted by Tara Smith at her wonderful blog, A Teaching Life.  Thanks Tara!
            I am in my second day of the Colorado Reading Association literacy conference in Denver, just across town, but worlds away from what I usually do.  I have seen some terrific presentations from Ralph Fletcher, Lucy Calkins, Tony Stead, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Gordon Korman and tomorrow will end with Kelly Gallagher.  For those of you who are teachers, or who work in education, you will know that I am full up and so inspired!  I will not share much tonight, but wanted to say on this Poetry Friday that more than one presenter used poetry in the presentation, in several ways. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Time For Inspiration

Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Stacey and Ruth every single Tuesday.  Come check it out, and find out about the March Challenge!  If you're on twitter, tweet at #Slice2013!

            I'm going to whine a little bit, yet include about learning, too.  I am in the midst of preparing my old home ready for sale. I am tired of doing it, have talked thus far with a total of ten different people in order to accomplish this task, and some of those more than once.  E-mail, even texting, has aided me a lot in this journey, but actually getting to know those who are working for me seems important, so time learning about their work, how things work if needing repair, why they do what they do, how they came to Colorado or if they're natives is part of what we're discussing.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Some Good Reading This Week!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTSThere are so many books to find for future reading when you link up.  And, there is another meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers even more reviews of all kinds of books for adults and children.  Come Read!

      Don't forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when you share on Twitter!
                      One longer chapter book:  
The Marble Queen – Stephanie J. Blake
          This book tells about a wonderful young woman named Freedom who is growing up in the late 50’s, watching Lawrence Welk and his bubbles.  She is a fifth grader wanting to go to the drive-in movies, but her daddy drinks too much and wrecks the car on the night he has promised to take her.  She is a girl who likes to do things that girls in the times should not like to do, like playing marbles, and her mother tells her what young ladies do quite a bit.  Freedom’s little brother Higgie is always in trouble, and sometimes she is blamed.  The family is poor, and another baby on the way creates more tension, but there are many sweet moments, including those with an older woman neighbor that reminds me of the older women in To Kill A Mockingbird

The Possibilities Quotes - St. Francis of Assisi

            When I wrote about my One Little Word last week, I referred to a wonderful website with 50 beautiful quotes connected to my word, POSSIBILITIES.  I also wrote that it might be fun to research those whose words were highlighted.  The first was St. Francis of Assisi.  I am not an expert, but after reading a child’s book, and then articles from the Catholic church online, I have learned a fair amount.  And Valentine’s Day is coming, a day of love.  If nothing else, I have connected St. Francis, or Giovanni Bernardore, commonly known as Francesco (founder of the Franciscan order) in a love story.  And where else might we tell this love story than in a sonnet?  According to the research I found, the earliest sonnets were written between 1220 and 1250 A.D.  St. Francis of Assisi died in 1226 A.D.

           Here is the quote:  "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi  from The Heart of Innovation.