Like a Phoenix

It seems that each break I begin again with my goal of blogging! After several starts (all kept private) this time I have decided to go public. Donalyn Miller recently wrote for Teachers Write http://www.katemessner.com/teachers-write-special-guest-donalyn-miller-on-writing-where-you-are-2/  

That post really spoke to me as I have held off blogging publicly because I do not feel like I have anything to contribute to others, so I have thought of my blogging as a digital writers notebook of sorts (really just a digital diary). Her post made me think that this is okay. I do not need to think of my audience as being anyone beyond me. By the way, if you are a teacher have a look at Teachers Write http://www.katemessner.com/blog/ there is so much to learn there! This is the second summer that the fabulous Kate Messner et al have led this free online community and it is a great resource!

This is the third week of my summer break (oh my goodness, the time is flying by!), so I thought that I would share three highlights.

In week one I finally requested a DRC (digital review copy) on Edelweiss. I have been crazily jealous of many of the bloggers I follow who get to read ARCs before the book is out. As I live in Germany this is just not going to happen for me, but I learned that some books are published digitally and that you can request a DRC via http://www.abovethetreeline.com/. Well, that was an exciting discovery and I am thrilled to report that I have now read three 5 star books that way! Anne Ursu’s The Real Boy still has me thinking about friendship, what is real, choices parents make for their children, and many other topics! Kevin Henkes is beloved in my class as a picture book authstrator, but his new book The Year of Billy Miller, will appeal to many of my transitional readers. The voice of Billy is so genuine and expresses so many of the worries kids that age have! The final book, Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, showed yet again that she is a master storyteller. A couple find a young boy on their porch one day and take him in. This book has made me think about the many ways we find home, how miraculous small conversations can be, and how the heart is an amazing thing- there is always room for more love.

Reading these DRCs has made me sure that I want these books in their final form in my classroom and has allowed me to participate in some of the pre book birthday celebratory buzz.

In the second week of break I saw a tweet from Fablevision requesting people to sign up to be ambassadors from a few US states. This led me to explore their website more fully and I saw that they also have a few ambassadors outside the US. As a fan of Fablevision and what they represent I was intrigued and sent in my application. Now I am proud to say that I am a Fablevision Ambassador and I look forward to learning more about the products that I do not not know yet and the opportunities to share what I know with others. I know my school will enthusiastically celebrate International Dot Day again in September and I can’t wait to make more connections this way.

Now, it is week three. Just a few days ago I saw another tweet that caught my eye. Somebody was asking for the link to apply to be a SimpleK12 ambassador. This community offers what they call “PD in your PJs.” They have an abundance of webinars, forums, and other resources that teachers can access at any time. The most amazing thing to me is how much is available for free! I have participated in may webinars offered by big name presenters in the comfort of my living room. Well, off I went to fill in another application form, and I am happy to report that I am now a SimpleK12 ambassador. As I told them I was already unofficially in this position as I have promoted SimpleK12 throughout my school community.

If you have not yet explored these great resources check them out! Tell them I sent you!

I am excited to see what the rest of summer vacation will bring. Happily it has been a tie of some rest and renewal. I have enjoyed the slower pace and the time spent with great friends and great books!

What have been your summer highlights so far? What new opportunities have you found? What books should I read next?

Have a great day!

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