Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Chalk-A-Bration

Last month was my first time to participate.   Check out the fun at Betsy's blog.  
This month, I continue my back-to-school theme.  I love Betsy's poems, and it was fun to meet her at the All Write conference in June.  Last month, I promised to invite some children to join me in August.  So this afternoon, some young friends who live near my school came over with their parents to celebrate Chalk-A-Bration with me.  I left my school preparations to join them outside for some chalk fun!   And since I had forgotten my chalk, they shared theirs with me! 
Lenna and Kilee with their castle creations!
These girls had some help, but they both love castles and are
headed to Disneyland soon!

August fades away
It's turn the calendar day
Classrooms call us!

I'm a calendar addict,
and I do love turn the calendar day!  It's always a special treat to see the photo for the new month.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Play by Numbers!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.

Remember the paint by number kits we bought at the dime store when we were kids?
Well, this past weekend was filled with play by numbers.
One drive to the Doug Fox parking lot for an early morning flight.
Two legs on my Thursday flight, Seattle to Denver and Denver to Tulsa.
Two breakfasts shared with my brother, Karl and best friend, Jan.
Three drinks ordered at the Sonic, a favorite high school hangout.
Three meals shared with friends from my graduating class.
Three nights spent giggling with my best friend at AmericInn.
Four vegetables to accompany Sunday dinner of roast, gravy, and rolls.
Four family members gathered with me at the dinner table.
Four friends' stories at Roseanna's Italian restaurant in Krebs.
Four days filled with fun, music, and memories to last a lifetime.
A plethora of hugs received on this quick trip squeezed in before the start of school.
A myriad of precious moments spent with friends and family!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Highs and Lows! Lows and Highs!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.

I'm always interested in the forecasted high and low temperature for each day, but this post focuses on my roller coaster week, with some quick snapshot views:

High - Anticipating daughter's weekend visit!
Low - Saying goodbye on Monday morning and a 4:30 a.m. drive to the airport.
High - Sharing daughter's excitement about her move to Ithaca, the chance to reestablish their home again, and the opportunity to live full-time with her husband, after more than a year of rotations and living out of suitcases!
Low - Knowing that it's a long, long way from WA to NY.
High - Planning for my first visit in Oct!
Low - Knowing it will be a quick visit (teachers don't get much time off).
High - Emailing my favorite sub and her return email that she's available!
Low - Knowing that preparing for a trip always includes writing sub plans.

I'm getting depressed, time to flip my thinking!

Low - Discovering that daughter didn't want to eat out.  Her past week of board review had been filled with heavy meals and not enough activity.
High - Trying out two new recipes and enjoying some wonderful walks!
Low - Losing three books - Book Love which I was rereading to prepare for my school year, Don't Feed the Boy which I was close to finishing, and a resource activity book that I needed to prepare for my Sunday School lesson.
High - Locating all three books at different times resulting in three different times of celebration!
Low - Fearing that I'm losing my mind in addition to all these books.
High - Knowing that bad things come in threes, right?  So I shouldn't be losing anything else for awhile!
Low - Dragging my feet a bit as I head back to my classroom.
High - Having a former student to help me whose creativity also transformed my home for a book club on The Night Circus!
Low - Heading back to the classroom without my two dear friends who retired, neighbors on the right and on the left.
High - Greeting old colleagues all week and making new friends!
Low - Wanting to revise my independent reading program, but feeling overwhelmed.
High - Collaborating with my new neighbor & mentee who is a joy to work with!
Low - Realizing it's Tuesday, I need to write my SOL, I slept in, and I need to be at school.
High - Following Linda's Baie's advice:  "Write fast!"

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meet Audrey, guest reader from The Lone Star State!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.

It's time for another post from a guest reader at my blog for student readers, Sweet Summer Reads.  You'll meet Audrey, an incredible eleven year old bibliophile from Texas.  Read the post to learn about the her favorite authors, genres, and places to read. She even wrote a musical that was performed by the 5th graders at her school. And be sure to check out picture of the fun seat at her local library where she likes to read .  This avid reader gives credit to many people who have influenced her reading life.  It's fun to salute young readers!   

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Picture Book 10 for 10 - Favorite Picture Books with golden lines about night

I'm excited to participate in Cathy Mere's and Mandy Robek's August 10 for 10 Picture Book Event. This challenge overwhelmed me so much last year that I chose not to participate.  How can I ever limit my favorite picture books to 10?  I remember that some bloggers chose a theme, so I decided that I could choose ten  favorite picture books if I focused on a specific theme.  It certainly made selecting ten titles much easier.

This year we're in the middle of graduation celebrations for my daughter and a visit from my son who lives in DC. Most of my picture books are at school.  So I made a quick stop at Island Books on Thursday night, shortly before closing time. My favorite bookseller, Lori, allowed me to browse the shelves, so I could remind myself of favorite titles.  I decided on a night/moon/star theme.  Yesterday, I quickly checked for a few additional favorite titles at Powell's bookstore in Portland and copied down favorite lines to share with you.

So in no particular order, here are ten of my favorite picture books, each with a golden line spotlighting some aspect of night that appears in the book:

Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
"Snuggled up next to Grandma the sky didn't seem so huge and cold anymore.  Now it was more like a sparkly blanket, covering us both."

Fireflies written and illustrated by Julie Brinckloe
"Fireflies!  Blinking on, blinking off, dipping low, soaring high above my head, making white patterns in the dark."

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
"And the moon was so bright the sky seemed to shine."

Koala Lou by Mem Fox, illustrated by Pamela Lofts
"Every night as she curled up under the stars, Koala Lou thought about the times when her mother had looked at her and said, 'Koala Lou, I DO love you,' and she longed for her to say it again."

Peach and Blue by Sarah S. Kilborne, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
"She rocked a bit with the night breeze, and Blue wrapped his arm around her so that she wouldn't slip away."

Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
from the poem "Night Spider's Advice" -
'...Someone has to remake
the world each night.
It might as well be you...'

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me written and illustrated by Eric Carle
"She hugged the moon and threw it into the air.  But the moon kept getting smaller and smaller and smaller and finally it disappeared altogether."

Laura Charlotte by Kathryn O. Gailbraith, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Neither of the bookstores I visited had this favorite book, and my copy must be at school.  So no golden lines for now (until I get back home).  My daughter was very concerned that I had this favorite book of hers at school.
I'm back home, found the book at school, and here are the golden lines (and yes, Sara, I brought the book home).
"I tiptoed down the backstairs and peeked out the door.  The garden looked shaggy and dark.  I shivered.
"Far, far away, past the lilacs and day lilies, stood the tall willow.  I was afraid to go out without Charlotte.  Then I thought; was Charlotte afraid without me?

The last two books on my list are new favorites.  One was handed to me this summer at Island Books on a recent visit, and the other I discovered in my quick survey of the store on Thursday evening.  I love discovering a new favorite!

Stars by Mary Lynn Ray, illustrated by Marla Frazee
"Blow a ball of dandelion and you blow a thousand stars into the sky."

Mama, Let's Make a Moon written and illustrated by Clay Reece
"...three jars full of fireflies, some marshmallow goo, a dipper of dew, and milk of moo."
Don't miss the gorgeous silhouette artistry and poetic storytelling in this simple story.

Monday, August 5, 2013

If you host it, they will come!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life 
sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.
This week I share the event for middle school readers hosted by 
myself and Carrie Bowman, teen librarian, on Tuesday, July 30 .   

Our evening at the library for middle school readers was a success. We enjoyed chatting with several groups of readers during this two hour event. These four teen readers enjoyed the cozy chairs that Carrie Bowman, teen librarian, had arranged for our evening chat. Some of our guests attend school on the island, but some attend private schools in the area. They shared books they had read this summer and enjoyed listening as Carrie shared several books from her cart of captivating summer reads.  
That's Ellie and Joe listening to Carrie Bowman, teen librarian, share books.
I didn't snap a picture of the books they checked out, but each of these four
students left with several books recommended by Carrie Bowman.  
   I was excited to see Bridget, one of my students from last
   year.  She checked out The Water Castle, a book currently
receiving some buzz as a Newbery possibility for 2014.
I even recommended a mystery by P.D. James for her mom.
Callum, my first guest reader, and incoming 6th grader,
stopped by after soccer practice.  He checked out two
books from my classroom collection,  Navigating Early
by Claire Vanderpool and Kathi Appelt's new book,
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp.

I neglected to take a picture of one of our readers who dropped by for the evening.  He's going into fourth grade, but has already read all of the Percy Jackson books!  I suggested that he read The Underland Chronicles, a fantasy series by Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games) that begins with Gregor the Overlander.
Our evening of books was topped off with cookies and drinks.  The two hours flew by and we found ourselves going to the library desk over and over to check in the books we had checked out, so that our guests could check them out and take them home.  If you were unable to come, we missed you and look forward to your comments about the books you're reading this summer in the Books Read in August post.