Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chalking Goodbye to April with Shakespeare

        Sharing one beautiful picture book that will help teachers share some Shakespeare with young students. Go to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday here!  Tweet at #NFPB14

  Betsy Hubbard started the wonderful Chalk-A-Bration (here at Teaching Young Writers) to chalk poems at the end of each month, I think last year sometime. It's been quite an April-so much poetry to love and enjoy, so many bloggers doing amazing projects. I'm ending with a discovery I made just yesterday, a poetic line from Shakespeare from a new book, and an original poem, all in celebration of April, poetry month.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A "Sorry" Slice of Life

           Time for the weekly Slice of Life at the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Tweet at #SOL14  Thanks Stacey, Tara, Dana, Beth, Anna and Betsy!
           I love flowers, and until I can cut some of my own, I purchase them at my grocery. I always hope they last a long time, not just because of the expense, but also because I learn to love them a little when they are with me every day. It's slightly different with the plants, I talk to them, and am convinced they hear me. Those I like best (yes, there are favorites) thrive better than the others, although I really do not neglect any.
          It is still poetry month, the next to last day, and I promised I would do something poetic every single day, and I have reviewed poetry books, written poems, shared those by others, etc. Tomorrow I'll link up and end the month with Betsy Hubbard for Chalkabration! Don't forget!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Monday, More from my Book Buddy

        Thanks to Jen at Teach.Mentor.Texts and Ricki and Kellee at Unleashing Readers for hosting our Monday Reading community. I discover so many wonderful books here.

         I’ve completed only a few picture books this week, and have nearly finished A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (with a group).  Both good, both different, but have more commonalities than I originally thought. I highly recommend both.

New Photo Editing-Digilit Sunday

             Margaret Simon, of Reflections on The Teche, is trying to encourage people to link up for "Digilit Sunday" to share some things they're doing, or learning how to do, with technology. Thanks, Margaret! Myra Garces-Bacsal of Gathering Books suggested this new online photo editing tool in a comment. I've found it quite easy and fun to use. I've played with types of collages this time, but one can also create cards and use just one photo to edit, enhance with all kinds of different tools. Each time I did this, I discovered new ways to change the borders, new backgrounds, etc. Check out fotor.com for new kinds of creating!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Celebrating Good Things

Thanks to Ruth Ayres, we can Celebrate each week together! Tweet at CelebrateLu  Link up here!

Discover. Play. Build.
     "There are exactly as many celebrations in life as we choose to celebrate." Robert Brault.  

         I've often said my mother and I had a long distance/telephone relationship. We lived far apart, and I couldn't see her more than twice a year. I talked with her nearly every day when she was alive, and I miss the conversations. She gave me a magnet a long time ago and every time I see it, of course I think of her. It says: "Barn's burnt down...now I can see the moon." So I celebrate my mother and her upbeat attitude that I learned.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poetry Treasure for Poetry Friday

      Tabatha Yeatts of The Opposite of Indifference is our wonderful host today on this final Poetry Friday of April. Today not only is Tabatha hosting, but sharing her marvelous poetry collection of imaginary places, from others and her own originals. Be sure to visit her double post today! 

         Considering all the poetry love that's happened and is still happening during April, I thought I'd share a treasure I received from my brother, who owns an antique store, and once in a while finds a book he keeps for me. The Children's Treasury, edited by May Hill is such a book. If you don't know May Hill, she later became May Hill Arbuthnot of the Arbuthnot Anthology and Children and Books, known for dedication all her life to children's literature. These two books above were my textbooks in my Children's lit class in college. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Progressive Poem Arrives - Line 24

           It’s my turn to add a line to Irene Latham’s annual Kidlitosphere PROGRESSIVE POEM, now the third one being written.  Find all about it here. And see where’s it’s been, and who will finish the week in the list on the sidebar. I’ve been reading and imagining what might be next each of the past twenty-three days, and now it’s time for me to step into this traveler’s shoes.     
             With peacocks and elephants, riding on eagle’s wings, following Irene’s advice, and packing sapphire eggs for the journey, my pack and thoughts are filled. I’m headed to the coast, ready for anything. (I think.) Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has brought a new idea to me, one of determination and affirmation, but then... I love surprises, and hope Michelle Barnes of Today’s Little Ditty likes them well enough too. She picks up the pack next.  There are only six days left!  Here's Line 24:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Non-Fiction Books for Writing

Non-fiction reading, poetry and a poem

I'm posting at Alyson Beecher's blog, Kid-Lit Frenzy for Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday. Thanks to Alyson, we have a group that shares terrific non-fiction!  Tweet at #nfpb2014.   

I Can Write A Book Called "If I could talk to animals..."- written and illustrated by
Bobbie Kalman
           This is a most awesome book for creating any kind of book, taking young students through the process step-by-step from choosing the animal one might wish to write about, all the way to creating all the important pages needed at the process end, like title page, dedication, table of contents, etc. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Goodbye Needed

It's Tuesday, and time for the weekly Slice of Life at the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Tweet at #SOL14  Thanks Stacey, Tara, Dana, Beth, Anna and Betsy!

         Many of you know that I had an estate sale last year and sold many things, things I had lived with for a long time, things I knew I no longer needed. I had moved into nearly the same space, minus a garage and a larger basement, but still I brought plenty with me. And my grown children took things too. Now, after a little more than a year, I am cleaning out more, and replacing some things. This post is about replacing cookie sheets. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Monday Reading Pleasures Wrap-Up

                 Thanks to Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS for hosting this community sharing!
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR

     The next two books fit the challenge to read more books from a Latino perspective. See more at Latin@s In Kid Lit here.

My Name Is Celia, The Life of Celia Cruz – by Monica Brown and illustrated by Rafael López
             I remember watching certain old tv shows when I was young, and loving the beat of Latino singers and watching them dance. This might have been one of them, but in my world, we didn’t know many famous singers who were from Cuba. This story, about her youth in Cuba in a loving home, hearing her father sing, and finally going off with her cousin to enter singing contests, is Celia Cruz’ story, the story of the singer who brought salsa to the US and to the world. She and her husband immigrated to the US at the time of the Cuban revolution, moved to New York City, and began her career. The book is gorgeously illustrated by Rafael López, famous for his murals that are seen in places all over America. His murals, known as magical realism, are vivid swirls of color that help tell the “also-vivid” story of Celia Cruz. The book is enhanced by its being bi-lingual.

A Promise

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Every Day Is Saturday!

     Thanks to Ruth Ayres, we celebrate together.
Link up here at Discover, Play, Build.
Tweet at #CelebrateLu 

        I had a terrific week in a classroom of 4th and 5th grade aged students. They are wonderful students, and it was a joy to work with them. I enjoyed working with my colleagues, too. But I, like all teachers on Friday, am tired! My week was filled with student interactions, lunch meetings with various grade-level groups, and a few individual meetings. And the week began with my granddaughter Ingrid's fifth birthday dinner Monday evening. She had a special birthday, a palindrome, 4-14-14. Today is the final day of that phenomenon this week, 4-19-14.
        One text to celebrate: my grandson Carter, a 7th grade, was invited into the National Honor Society. I bet he's pleased, and I am proud of him.
        I am guest posting today with Laura Shovan here at her blog, Author Amok, sharing my own "source" poem.
        I reviewed Meenoo Rami's new book, Thrive here. If you don't know the book, you should. It's terrific.
           I know it's spring, the meadowlarks are back at school. My school, just minutes away, is more on the prairie edge and it backs onto a wetlands. When I hear that sweet sound, I know spring has arrived. Click on the video and enjoy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Poetry Friday with Robyn

Isn't it appropriate that Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge is chirping up our Poetry Friday today since spring and our own robins are here now too? Thank you, Robyn!

I've been reading bits of Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I don't need to read it all at once, but enjoy much of what she's sharing. I've been back in a classroom full time this week, and am enjoying it. I had forgotten how much I loved the time with the kids, but also how much I needed the time alone after the day ends. 


Alone is delicious
I can eat the silence.
Piece by piece I pick it apart
and place it into my mouth.
I savor the quiet,
letting minutes
            my chin.

I help myself to another plateful
of this delightful dessert,
bite into the delectable hours
and begin to chew.

           Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We Need A Variety of Connections So We Can Thrive

       I'm happy to have a spot on the blog tour to celebrate Meenoo Rami's new book, Thrive. When you read this book, you'll find more than one part that speaks directly to you, wherever you are in your teaching career. You may be a first year teacher or a veteran contemplating retirement in a few years. You may be teaching pre-school or the fifth graders, preparing them both for transitions, or you might be in a high school setting, focusing on one subject. Where you are doesn't matter, but finding voices of like-minded educators is what keeps the fire of teaching, and that means connecting and collaboration. Whether it's in your own hometown or somewhere across the world, Meeno's words will help you find a way. I would add that the words are not just for teachers, but also for teacher-leaders, principals, and coaches.

        Thrive was just published in March. There is that time in the school year when one recognizes the summer slide, that time where teachers become anxious, knowing all the things still remaining on the "lists". However, I wanted to share that it’s also the time when teachers begin wondering about their next class, their next “START”. Part of the look forward is exciting, yet sometimes it can be daunting. You might know what you dream, but are not sure how to get there. You need ideas, you need a new spark, you need a "network". In Thrive, Meeno shares numerous ideas for collaboration. She shares ideas about finding the right mentor, and ways to assess what is the right one. Also shared is the overview of the kinds of helpful networks available, in school, within communities like Edcamps, online like Twitter and #Edchat, or national networks like the National Writing Project along with professional organizations like NCTE.  One can get stuck in chapter Two just contemplating the possibilities.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Haiku Bunny

           I wish I could write this was the rabbit in my poem, but it isn't. I do not have a camera good enough to capture the picture. Maybe someday? Anyway, apparently it has moved in. I see it every day. Time to find The Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown) or The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter).

rabbit repose
under my spruce
no dog here

photo credit: aprilandrandy via photopin cc

Monday, April 14, 2014

Celebrating 700 posts! Whew!

         This is the Tuesday Slice of Life community, hosted by the Two Writing Teachers each Tuesday. This is where I started, and it fits, doesn't it, to have #700 arrive on a Tuesday? My first post was the beginning of the Slice of Life Challenge in 2011. My first commenters were Tam, Elizabeth E., Tara, Ruth and Mary Helen, all still here, although Elizabeth seems only to do the March challenge. I appreciate everyone's support, warmth, inspiration, laughter, intelligence and spirit. And I applaud those I read online, and meet at conferences for showing creativity, humor, sorrow, beauty, kindness and love. There really isn't anything more to say but THANK YOU! 

Tweet at #SOL14 

        My favorite quote, from Rainer Maria Rilke — 'And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.'

the wordle from my tags-click to enlarge