If you want to teach me to write, first you have to love me. ~AVI

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Need to Read

My blog has been dormant for a while now...mulling over some ideas to get me started again. For now in the spirit of literacy (my new position this year is ELA Academic Intervention), here is a short list of...

Three Books I Want to Read Very Soon

  • Falling in Love with Close Reading - I always trust book recommendations that I read on "A Year of Reading", a blog written by Franki and Mary Lee. Check out yesterday's post by Franki. The part where Franki discusses Donalyn's foreword that reminds us that we can teach our students to read closely AND to fall in love with reading--that the two actually go hand-in-hand resonated with me. When I hear the words close reading spoken with distain, I think what's the problem? After all we read to make meaning and closely reading elevates our understanding and enhances our lives as readers.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cheers to a Poet Friend

I will be dashing home the next two days looking for a very special package. The Amazon box containing Forest Has a Song with poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illustrated by Robin Gourley is on it's way! I may have actually ordered it twice, but that is even better, since I know how popular it will be in our classroom. Today I gave each student a lovely bookmark from Amy that features a poem from the book, with the promise that there will be more in a couple days!

I first met Amy three years ago when she presented at a Rochester Area Literacy Council event and ever since that wonderful morning, I have been a huge Amy fan. She has mentored around 75 fourth graders and their teacher in so many ways. The only thing better than having her blog to guide us as readers and writers, would be having Amy teach in your classroom. Her blog is that good! If you have never visited, stop reading this and follow the link to the Poem Farm.  Amy continues to give so much to enrich our literacy lives, so today I toast Amy from afar and celebrate this special day when Forest Has a Song is born! Cheers to author and illustrator.
The peeks that I have seen and the images on the book trailer are a perfect companion to the beautiful words singing on each page. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Not My Year

This is my third year participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. The first two years, I managed to write for the committed 31 days or pretty close. Not this year.  I still love the challenge and even more,  I love this warm and caring community of writers.  When I read and learn about the full lives of others in this community, I scold myself for neglecting the commitment.  I have good intentions, but clearly need more than that (a swift kick...) to accomplish a goal.  Perhaps, I should tackle the regular routine with shorter posts....we'll see. I am trying, but once I get started I tend to be long winded!

So, to summarize...

I'll try not to whine.
But surely won't shine.
Nor will I blame.
But hang my head in shame.
Not for too long,
For pouting will only prolong.
I'll grab my favorite pen
and write once again
I will try to linkup
I will not give up.

Thank you Carol, for offering me the encouragement to jump back on board earlier in the month when I strayed. I am taking your advice and the encouraging advice we give to our student writers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Waiting for the Buses

Wondrous Words

Dismissal time can be tricky to manage with a variety of interruptions that often begin when instruction is still finishing up. Once the announcements begin the calm seeps out of the room.  An elementary classroom can seem like a busy airport terminal with travelers racing to catch their planes.  Several students are picked up for activities "we can't be late for!" To which I wish to reply, "How can you be late when it is actually still part of the school day?"  Others are dismissed for school clubs.  After these groups depart, there is anywhere from ten to fifteen students left to wait a bit longer.  Hence, the "End of the Day" drawer: card games, word games, Rush Hour, Story Cubes, and a few others. Bananagrams is a one of our favorite end of the day activities. Kids know I love to play games and am especially fond of word games, so packing up and tidying up goes into high gear to make time for a round of word making. After several attempts at making the most of this hectic time of the day, I believe we have found a keeper! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Looking for Spring ~ SOLS 11

Hey,  it's supposed to be March!
Surely this must be a mistake.
I know the reputation of this windy month,
but at the moment the roaring lion
seems extra fierce.
I did not pack for wicked winter weather.
 This blowing and
snowing has me puzzled.
Perhaps a protected place in the pines or
a hiding place under the Honda
Old Man Winter

This afternoon, I was bundling up for a walk with my dog, Grace and I spotted my first robin of the season. She was all fluffed up, bundled up in her downy coat huddled near the front porch.  For several moments, this robin gazed out at the swirling snow. It was as if she could not believe her eyes.  Spring stopped by a couple times recently. I hope she comes back soon and stays put. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Collector or Pack Rat ~ SOLS 10

How does one know if she is a pack rat? Even after all these years, she thought it was simply some items she liked to collect. It's not like she saves piles of things because they seem like something could be made with them. Items like Altoids tins, empty thread spools, or wine corks. Hey, I've seen some pretty neat bulletin boards.

I actually made one! 

Right now it's the magazine collections that have me thinking it's time to take action. I have occasionally sat down with scissors to sift through a stack searching for snippets to save.  But some of my magazines are too precious to clip apart. I have every issue of Quilt Sampler magazine featuring beautiful shops, inspiring stories with accompanying quilt patterns. Thankfully it is only published a few times a year. I have also been dipping into my fabric stash limiting my purchases until I absolutely need supplies for a specific project, except for my current collecting: alphabet fabrics and batiks. What for, you might ask? Not sure yet. Just collecting!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Table Talk ~ SOLS 9

The heart of our home.
This picture would have looked much different had I snapped it this morning. By the end of many weeks, our kitchen table is the keeper of piles: mail, newspaper, keys, and perhaps a baseball cap tossed there by our son, Nathan.  Both Nathan and my husband believe the chairs are really coat racks. Clearly, some tidying took place today.

I put away some winter quilts and decorations and decided on this hand quilted pinwheel table runner, a gift from my dear friend Nancy. Puttering around today I was thinking about all the living that has taken place around this table.  It's where we start the day with coffee.  It's the gathering place for dinner. It's often the game table. We have played heaps of Euchre games, Rummy, and Bananagrams. It used to be the homework spot. There may even be traces of children's hand writing etched in the wood. We made some fabulous crafts at this table. Decorated dozens of cutout cookies, sipped on coffee, toasted with wine, and slid over extra chairs when we gathered with our neighbors for Friday pizza night. We have often joked that sitting around the kitchen table is like Vegas. You can confide, vent, cry, or mend differences, but you always can trust that what happens at the table stays at the table.  Here's to many more memories made at the kitchen table.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more Slice of Life Stories and the March writing challenge.