Friday, May 22, 2015

Poetry Friday

I love exploring new books of poetry.  I used to flood my classroom with poetry books every year during April  This past year, I still maxed out my library card and filled the trunk of my car with bins of poetry books during April and May for our after school book club meetings.  

I checked out Cold Stars and Fireflies:  Poems of the Four Seasons several years ago during poetry month.  I liked the book so much that I purchased my own copy from Amazon.  I've returned most of the poetry books I checked out for poetry month, but rechecked three of Esbensen's poetry books to peruse at my leisure:   Echoes for the Eye, Words with Wrinkled Knees, and Who Shrank My Grandmother's House?   

Here's a perfect poem to kick off  summer from Esbensen's book Cold Stars and Fireflies:


After exploring these new (to me) books by Esbensen, it is easy to see why she won the 10th NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1994.  If you'd like to explore other poems by poets who have won the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for children, check out Another Jar of Tiny Stars edited by Bernice Cullinan and Deborah Wooten.  One of the things I love about this book is that the poems were selected by children.  Hopefully, they will update the book again to include additional poets who have won the award since 2010.

I'm so grateful for this community where we celebrate poetry every week of the year.  Head over to Matt's blog at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme for this week's roundup of poetry love.

Monday, May 18, 2015

One of Those Days!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday 
                                                      and nurturing our writing lives.

Last Tuesday on my surprise day off from SBAC testing, I ran errands and then decided to join a friend for a quick late afternoon walk.  Both of us needed to pick up some groceries so I stopped by her place, and we headed to the south end for a walk before we shopped for a few items.  

We had a lovely walk and went our separate ways in the grocery store.  As I headed for the checkout lane, I realized that I was minus my wallet.  So I located my friend (who had already checked out) and asked her to keep an eye on my cart while I retrieved my wallet from the car. When it was not in the usual spot, I returned to the store and sheepishly asked my friend to pay for my groceries. 

I promised her that I would drive straight to my house to reimburse her.  Even though she protested that I could pay her back later, I wanted to take care of my debt right then.  I pulled up in front of my house, dashed in, quickly looked around, and didn't find my wallet.  That's when I remembered my earlier trip to Costco and recalled that I had dropped my purse in the trunk while loading the groceries.  So my wallet had been in the car after all!  

I retrieved $20 to repay my friend for the $18 dollars and something cents of groceries that she had just purchased for me.   In the few blocks between our houses, she began to calculate the amount she owed me.  I told her that I wouldn't take it and took the receipt out of her hand.  She replied that she had already memorized the amount and planned to put it on my porch in pennies. We were still squabbling over this when I dropped her off at her house.  

I headed for home, but several blocks later I heard my phone ringing in the back seat.  Thinking that it might be my husband offering to pick up the same items I had just purchased, I pulled off the road, opened the door to locate my phone and began laughing.  For there in the back seat were my sack of groceries AND my friend's sack of groceries.  Suddenly I knew who was on the phone. Sometimes a quick walk can take a bit longer than you planned, especially when you and your friend share a habit of forgetfulness!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Celebrate This Week!

                              Join us each weekend for Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
  A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!


1.  A surprise free day!
I committed to several days of helping out during SBAC testing.  
On Tuesday, they were "sad" to inform me that I wasn't really needed.  
I was "happy" to leave the building and revel
in a day with no prior commitments!

2.  Free One-to-One Tech Consult with Ryan! 
Ryan gets my tech questions since my own kids don't live close enough to respond in person.  Usually Ryan gets chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and then he answers my questions.  This time he was in our area for a wedding.  He helped me discover some new things about Photos, and we grabbed a quick lunch before I pushed him out the door to enjoy a beautiful afternoon.  And now I'm off to do my daily homework that Ryan requires so that I can remember what I learned.

3.  Laughter!
"Outside Mullingar" was our Friday evening out at the Seattle Rep.
Normally we go on Saturday afternoon, but we summoned the energy
to venture out on Friday evening (and avoid the weekend road work).  
We enjoyed a lovely walk from downtown to Seattle Center.
I delighted in an evening filled with laughter -
my own, my spouse's, and the rest of the audience!

4.  Anticipation!
We leave next week for Will's graduation from Cornell.
We can't wait to spend a few days in Ithaca with Sara and Will
before they arrive here at the end of the month.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Poetry Friday

Yesterday the members of our after school book club retrieved the poetry posters that we shared with our school community from hallway bulletin boards.  We spent the month of April reading and sharing poetry.  Students marked favorite poems with sticky notes.  I copied them and we posted them onto construction paper in preparation for our poetry blitz.  This is one of those things that I always wanted to do as a classroom teacher, but never found the time.  We had fun putting them up around the school and loved watching students and teachers pause for a poetry break.

The members of our club also handed out poems during lunch on Poem in Your Pocket Day.  Carrie, Bowman, our local KCLS librarian who partners with me to host the book club, led this project which included cutting out poems, rolling, and tying ribbons.  Here are some pictures from that day:









As I pack away our poetry month fun, I'm already thinking about ways to bless our school with poetry every month.  Maybe "Books, Brownies, and Beyond" (our latest idea for a catchy club name) could have a dedicated bulletin board for sharing our literacy fun!


So grateful for this community where we celebrate poetry every week of the year.  This week's roundup of poetry love is hosted by Diane Mayr at Random Noodling.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Incredible Imi Is Growing Up!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday 
                                                      and nurturing our writing lives.

When I finished helping out with testing last week, I indulged myself with a stop by Imi's house.  Imi and have a playdate every other Thursday while her mom helps out in her sister's kindergarten classroom.  I take lots of pictures and we play!  I realized on Tuesday that my commitment to help out with testing last week meant that I couldn't keep my playdate with Imi.  And in two more weeks I will be in NY for Will's graduation, missing our next play date.

So after a half day of testing and a half day subbing in our Chinese classes, I stopped by to visit for a few minutes.  I was surprised to discover that in the past ten days Imi has moved from tottering, hesitant steps to a confident walk.  She recognizes me, has a big smile for me, and she talks nonstop.

But she no longer sits on my lap during church exploring the toys in my church bag.   She roams up and down the pew, a perpetual motion machine.  Yesterday, I couldn't resist grabbing her for a few moments.  Her mom quickly tossed me a quiet book, and we squeezed in a few moments together.  We snapped fabric shapes into place, named the colors of each shape, felt different textures, and moved the fish in and out of a train car before she slid down and was on the move again.  I'm adding a few pics just to show you how quickly my friend Imi has moved from babyhood to quick crawler to confident toddler.


 

 You can see why alternate Thursdays are so much fun for me!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Celebrate This Week!

                              Join us each weekend for Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
  A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

 My new kitchen!  
This celebration belonged in March when the job was finished.  However, I wouldn't let myself post pictures until I had unpacked all the boxes.  It wasn't until Sara's visit in April that I  emptied the final two boxes.  And then I kept forgetting to post pictures of my new workspace.  So even though this celebration is a couple of months late, I still celebrate every time I walk into the kitchen.  
















Book club in the Gator Garden!  
Thursday afternoon found us outside sharing book possibilities for our next book club.  Each student quickly perused three books and chose a favorite to propose to the group.  Our top three choices:
1.  The Secret Box by Whitaker Ringwalk
2.  One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
3.  The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
We're hoping to read all three books by the end of school.  We have six weeks until school is out.  I think we'll make it!  Our numbers have dwindled as the weather has warmed, but Ms. Bowman and I are happy to welcome these regular attendees.  Notice their smiles for books and friends!

 Sunset at Slater Park!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Poetry Friday

My five-word ditty recognizes the helpers who guide me to new poetry each week.  

 Poetry Love for Under $10
                                               Thank you Catherine and Tricia!

One of the things I love about our Poetry Friday community is learning about new books. Catherine recently blogged about the Spring Poetry Retreat she attended and the inspiration she received from Rebecca Kai Dotlich.  I love Lemonade Sun, but could not recall any other specific books by Dotlich.  I was surprised to discover that Mama Loves, a book that I've used for years as a mentor text for inspiring students' writing for Mother's Day was by Dotlich.  And then I noticed Sweet Dreams of the Wild which was not available at our library.  Because my daughter loves otters, I had to purchase a copy.  It cost .01 + 3.99 shipping.  The other book was recommended on Tricia's April 30th post about writing poetry.  I was able to find a copy for $3.99 and free shipping.  Best mail of the week was two padded envelopes of poetry love!

So grateful for this community where we celebrate poetry every week of the year.  This week's roundup of poetry love is hosted by Michelle at Today's Little Ditty