“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." Kate DiCamillo
Saturday, June 27, 2009
TWO NEW BABY/TODDLER PRESENTS
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG- RODMAN PHILBRICK
Monday, June 22, 2009
PRINCESS AND THE PEA- Rachel Isadora
Saturday, June 20, 2009
RETURN TO SENDER- Julia Alvarez
Friday, June 19, 2009
POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP
- Sara Lewis Holmes (Read, Write, Believe) offers a tribute to her brother on Father's Day with e.e. cummings, "my father moved through dooms of love."
- Karen Edmisten shares Seamus Haney's, "Digging," a portrait of his potato farmer grandfather.
- Our friends at Stenhouse are in with a beautiful Walt Whitman poem, "On the Beach at Night."
- It hasn't gotten too hot yet in Colorado, but if you are feeling a little warm, you will want to check out Mary Helmrick's "Hot Summer Nights," brought to us by Beth at Stone Arch Books.
- For a little more sunshine, travel over to Blue Rose Girls to read Frank Asch's "Sunflakes," posted by Elaine Magliaro.
- Smell summer with Debbie Diesen's original poem, "Mowing."
- Take another mini-vacation. Stand by a river with Tiel Aisha Ansari's beautiful "Osprey Circles."
- Wow, wow, wow! If you want to inhale a metaphor, check out Miss Erin Marie's poem, "Chasing White Rabbit."
- Julie Larios at The Drift Record has also drawn on a few fairy tales in her new list poem, "Counting Song." This very talented lady shares not one but THREE original poems today.
- Gregory K. throws in a little mathematics with his "Search Fib." The "Fib" is based on the Fibonacci sequence (think back to high school algebra). Gregory's is a "search fib" because he used words that had drawn people to his blog.
- Every week I tell myself I'm going to participate in Laura Salas' 15 word poetry challenge. I never quite get the job done, but I sure admire the variety and brilliance of the poems that pore in. This week's poems are in response to a photo of dominoes.
- Take along a couple of tissues when you read "Recital," Kelly Polark's poem for two voices. It made this mom get a little choked up.
- Like all of you, I've been more than a little troubled by the images coming from Ir*n. "Freedom," posted by Color Online was a perfect read for today.
- The way poet Jean Garrigue's puts together words in the poem, "The Grand Canyon" is almost as breathtaking as, well, as the the Grand Canyon. Thanks to Muriel at "The Write Sisters" for sharing this poem.
- Kelly Fineman shares Shakespeare's "Sonnet 30," along with a really in-depth analysis. If you have not been following Kelly's Shakespeare series this month, treat yourself. I've learned more from Kelly this month than I did in all of my high school and college literature classes.
- Little Willow is also in with a little Shakespeare, Act Four, Scene Five, from HAMLET.
- John Mutford offers "Noah" by Tom Dawes, and I think about all of the kids I knew/know who struggled to fit in as kids, but are inordinately successful, creative, wonderful adults.
- Laura Shovan (Author Amok) gives us Shirley J. Brewer's "Shoe Blues," a hilarious commentary on what I unaffectionately call "Short Occasion Shoes."
- After you are done laughing, wander over to Jama Rattigan's blog for a clothing cultural commentary, Kenneth Koch's "You Were Wearing. "
- Jules (7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast) shares "A Small Dragon" by Brian Patten . I could see myself pairing this poem with "If You Are a Dreamer" by Shel Silverstein or with Eric Carle's book, DRAGONS, DRAGONS.
- Pour a cup of coffee, then listen to Ted Boss read, "This Morning in a Morning Voice." I'll be thinking about the line "drowned in more than my fair share of joy" for a while. Thanks to Tricia (Miss Rumphius Effect) for sharing this beautiful "small moment" poem!
- Diane Mayr (Random Noodlings) introduces Jane Yolen's newest picture book, MY UNCLE EMILY, about Emily Dickinson.
- Then check out Lee Bennett Hopkins' newest offering, INCREDIBLE INVENTIONS, reviewed by Elaine Magliaro (Wild Rose Readers). The kids I know will love these poems about the origin of kitty litter and straws and velcro!
- And while we are talking about books we know kids will love, you have to check out Fran Manushkin's THE TUSHY BOOK, reviewed by Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy
- Kurious Kitty. introduced me to a new to me poet, Jim Harrison. I want to go looking for his book, THE SHAPE OF THE JOURNEY, this weekend.
- April Halprin Wayland (Teaching Authors) shares five favorite poetry books, including Calling The Doves—El canto de las palomas by Juan Felipe Herrera, which sounds like a book I definitely need to know. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom of her post where she includes an original poem about reading, (poems AND reading-what could be better???), then try the poetry writing challenge.
- Tabatha describes her offering as a "poetry grab bag." She could have also called it a smorgasboard- a little Pushkin, a little Lucy Maud Montgomery, and a little twitter poetry.
- Sally at Paper Tigers wonders about children writing poetry.
- David Elzey wonders whether the old Burma Shave ads might provide a "template" for poems on Twitter. As someone who doesn't have lots of interesting stuff to Tweet (how many different ways can you say, "I'm driving my kids somewhere" or "I'm sitting at a sports practice waiting for one of my kids?"), I'm gonna try it. (A side note: Mary Ann Hoberman is doing some really clever twittering as "KidsPoetLaureat").
- Sylvia's Poetry Suitcase, (Poetry for Children) sounds like a really fun way of making poetry real for children. I think I will use this idea the first week we are back in school.
- Mary Lee (Year of Reading) has a quote from Elizabeth Berg's newest book. It's not about poetry, but it's definitely too good to miss.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
WELCOME TO POETRY FRIDAY!
P ull up a chair,
O pen your heart,
E xplore a fresh dream,
T ake time for old friends,
R evise a poem that’s been waiting for you, or
Y ou could write something new.
F ear no critics,
R emember, this is a place for friends,
I nhale a metaphor,
D ream a little,
A waken a new idea, then go, gentle and ready
Y ou’ve dwelt in poetry…
Post you comment. I'll do a roundup at the end of the day.
Thanks for dropping by!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
WORD BUILDERS- Ann Whitford Paul
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
LESSONS FROM LISTENING
This weekend, the boys and I drove to Wichita for a basketball tournament. The drive is 506 miles of cornfields and prairie, so to entertain us, I took along a couple of books on tape. I wanted something we could all enjoy, so I got a John Grisham novel, THE LAST JUROR and also Tony Dungy’s new book, UNCOMMON. I thought the boys might like the fast pace/suspense of John Grisham, and even hoped they might like it enough to try reading a Grisham novel when we got home. They didn’t love that book, in fact, at one point, Son #2 asked me to turn it down because it was getting annoying. Interestingly, they loved Tony Dungy’s book, UNCOMMON, which I thought was great, but would have rather read than listened to.
As someone who reads aloud to kids constantly, it was good for me to be a listener, because it helped me think about several different ways I could help kids enjoy and get more out of our read alouds. Here are some things I learned:
- It helps to activate background knowledge and set the stage for kids. Grisham's novel was set in the South in the late 1960's and early 70's. The book opens with a murder, and then, predictably, is followed by a court trial. The jury consists of 11 whites and one black. My boys and I talk about Civil Rights and racism a lot. Even so, it was helpful to my boys to remind them of what they knew about Civil Rights, what year Martin Luther King Jr. died, etc.
- Chapter titles are tremendously helpful. John Grisham’s book didn’t have them. Tuny Dungy’s did. The titles helped set me up as a reader, and prepare me for what was coming. Many books don’t have chapter titles. In that case it seems like it would be particularly important to help kids activate background knowledge by using whatever was available- summarizing information from the previous chapter, leafing through the chapter to check for illustrations, photographs, or other visuals, thinking about what I knew about the author's previous works, etc. Maybe, if I use a book as a read aloud, I'll ask the kids to title the chapters, then use those titles the next time I read the book aloud.
- Talking about story structure could aid kids' understanding tremendously. John Grisham's book was tricky in terms of time. He included any number of tools- flashbacks, leap aheads, etc. As an adult, I had to rely on my knowledge of how authors build stories to help me better understand the text. My boys did not have that knowledge and it was confusing to them when Grisham flashed back, or moved ahead five years without any transition. With kids, it might even be helpful to physicially draw some kind of a timeline and either fill it in, or just talk about where various events occurred in relation to other events
- If you are reading nonfiction, and want kids to remember important information, it might be helpful to have them DO something either during or after the read aloud. Dungy’s book is kind of Christian “advice” book. We listened to all thirty plus chapters on the way back from Wichita. I doubt that the bos will remember much of it, however, simply because we didn’t spend a lot of time working with the text or talking about it. I plan to listen to it with them again one chapter at a time.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
THANK YOU, LUCKY STARS- Beverly Donofrio
Ally is a fifth grade girl who wakes up on the first day of school, and excitedly dons the leggings, butterfly t-shirt, and rhinestone hair clip that she and Betsy, her best friend since kindergarten, have agreed to wear. When she arrives at the bus stop, however, she discovers that Betsy is wearing a matching outfit, but it doesn't match Ally's. Instead, Betsy is wearing the same jeans skirt as Mona, another girl that lives on their block. Ally's dreams of singing a duet of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" at the annual talent show, along with her hopes for a fun fifth grade year quickly go down the tubes.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
A FRIENDSHIP FOR TODAY- Patricia McKissack
Monday, June 8, 2009
TWO CRAZY CHICKENS
Saturday, June 6, 2009
MOONPIE AND IVY
Friday, June 5, 2009
POETRY FRIDAY (OK, almost Saturday!)
Lucky gal that I am, I won Ann Whitford Paul's ALL BY HERSELF in a Miss Rumphius Effect book give away (thanks so much!) about six weeks ago. It's been sitting on the top of the pile, and today I finally got to give it a good read.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I have been a horrible blogger this month. End of school, three graduations, football camp, football camp injuries, two basketball teams… YIKES! I'll be done with school on Friday, then I will be back to blogging more faithfully. In the meantime, here are my two handsome guys on the night of Son #2's eighth grade continuation.