Monthly Archives: February 2014

World Read Aloud Day #wrad14 Blog Challenge

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014

Matthew Winner invited me to join this blog challenge, so here goes! I find I am more likely to blog if I have publicly committed to something. I have been terrible about not blogging lately- sorry!

http://www.busylibrarian.com/2014/02/world-read-aloud-day-blogging-challenge.html

He says: The World Read Aloud Day “Raising Our Voices” Blogging Challenge begins February 10 and runs through March 9. If you choose to take the challenge, each week you will be asked to write a post in response to a prompt or question (outlined below), for a total of 4 posts counting down to World Read Aloud Day.

Each of the prompts addresses the WRAD theme “Raising Our Voices.” Raising Our Voices encapsulates that simple yet effective way we show the world’s children we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

WRAD Raising Our Voices Blogging Challenge: Weekly Outline

Week 2: February 17 – 23

Adult & Child

Answering the following questions with a child. The child can be a student or your own. Age does not matter. Make sure to exchange and enjoy answers with one another before sharing them with us.

 

I asked two of my third grade students to join in with me, so here are our responses:

 

1. I think everyone in the world should read…

Me: every day!

Child: S- Spiderwick Chronicles

L-The Origami Yoda series

Me- Roald Dahl- he can tell a story!

(repeat this format for the remaining questions)

2. If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be…

S- Charles Rennie Mackintosh (a Scottish artist that he has recently researched)

L- My grandfather (who has died)

3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is…

S- Thimbletack

L- the main character

me- anyone who has the set- up before the dialogue (there is nothing I hate more than reading aloud a section and then seeing… “whispered X.” Ooops!

4. The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is…

S- information books

L- Diary of a Wimpy Kid

me- realistic fiction

5. My favorite part about reading aloud or being read to is…

S- hearing a new thing

L- expression

me- the shared experiences and how the books we share become a part of our community and language.

We are looking forward to celebrating!

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World Read Aloud Day #wrad14 Blog Challenge

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014

 

Matthew Winner invited me to join this blog challenge, so here goes! I find I am more likely to blog if I have publicly committed to something. I have been terrible about not blogging lately- sorry!

http://www.busylibrarian.com/2014/02/world-read-aloud-day-blogging-challenge.html

He says: The World Read Aloud Day “Raising Our Voices” Blogging Challenge begins February 10 and runs through March 9. If you choose to take the challenge, each week you will be asked to write a post in response to a prompt or question (outlined below), for a total of 4 posts counting down to World Read Aloud Day.

Each of the prompts addresses the WRAD theme “Raising Our Voices.” Raising Our Voices encapsulates that simple yet effective way we show the world’s children we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

WRAD Raising Our Voices Blogging Challenge: Weekly Outline

Week 1: February 10 – 16

What is your earliest or fondest memory in which someone read aloud to you?

Your first mission is to answer this question. We are using this prompt to bring awareness to the impact reading aloud and the act of being read to has on readers of all ages. Consider it an opportunity to connect with others through the shared experience of hearing stories read aloud.

After answering the prompt, share a short description of how you plan to celebrate WRAD on March 5. Who will you celebrate with? Where will you be? If you have celebrated WRAD in the past, what activities brought you and those you celebrated with the most joy? If you haven’t finalized plans, of if this will be your first WRAD celebration, use this space to share your brainstorming process, and direct your readers to litworld.org/worldreadaloudday for activities and recommendations.

 

So, here goes!

My earliest memories of being read to were of my dad reading Dr. Seuss books aloud to us (my sister, Diana, is 18 months younger than me). He always seemed to love the rhyme and rhythm of Dr. Seuss books and therefore we did too. One of his “things” was to skip parts- I am not sure if he was trying to be funny, take a short cut, see if we were really listening, or what. We would scream, “No, no, that’s not the way it goes!” and he would reread the part correctly. Reading was always a part of my life and I am glad that I have strong memories of being read to.

Last year I was out of town for #WRAD, but I arranged with the tech coordinator at our school to do a Skype read aloud with Jennifer Reed (@libraryreeder) and a class she taught. It went well by all reports. This year I am not limiting myself to the actual day, but celebrating all week. We have our school’s Book Week the following week, so it will actually be two weeks of booky fun! So far we are reading with Andy Plemmons (@plemmonsa) and one of his classes and we are trying to set up other connections. It is sometimes tricky to set up live events because of the time differences. During Book Week we have lots of great things planned!

We are looking forward to celebrating!

Feeling Bittersweet- Where Is Home?

I have made the decision to move on from the school that I have worked at for 11 of the last 12 years. This is the school that I left forever once before, 8 years ago. The next year I was separating from my husband and found out that I could not stay at my new school, so I had to find a new job- fast. It was already late April at this point. My new head and principal were super supportive, as were my new colleagues and I soon was offered a few positions. I thought I had decided on a great new opportunity when my soon to be ex-husband protested that he did not want me to take the kids so far away. He would have preferred me to go back to the US with my sons.

After some discussion things were still up in the air and at the very last minute (May) a position opened up at my previous school. We returned there and I have never really looked back. It was great to be welcomed back and we all felt like we were returning “home”. Fast forward 7 years and both of my sons have graduated from high school here and are in the US (one in university, the other already finished). I thought about leaving last year, but could not get up the courage. This year I just felt the time was right. I did not want to retire here and I worried I might age myself out of competition for new jobs. I made a short list of schools I was interested in and started applying, and waited.

Ironically the school that I am going on to is the one I almost moved to 7 years ago, so there seems to be a “rightness” about the decision. I am feeling so torn though. I am moving somewhere new- I know nobody, I will be thousands of miles further away from my family, so far away from my good friends, and I will have no community at the start. I chose “brave” as my one little word for the year and I am certain that the change will be good for me in so many ways.

Right now I am feeling a bit melancholy. I am determined to enjoy my remaining time here and soak up all that I can from this great place. I know that knowing that I am leaving allows me to appreciate all that I have here even more than usual. I am sad that kids I have seen growing up will never be in my class, but I know they will love whoever they do have and that life will go on. I am sad that the kids that I have taught will not be able to continue telling me what they are reading, but I know that new teachers will listen to them. I am sad that I know I will not feel at home in the new place for awhile. None of my sadness diminishes my excitement about the new school. The interviews I had convinced me that it will be an exciting place to teach and will stretch me in new ways. People I have talked to have really emphasized the community feel there, so I know I will find friends.

I know I am also a first class procrastinator and I need to get going on making my arrangements for moving. I can not allow myself to wallow in the sad, but instead should push myself to revel in the  gift of time and choice. I got to make this decision on my own and I have the time to say a proper goodbye to the people and places I have called home for so long. I am a different person than the one who joined the school so long ago and I know I will always take a piece of it with me wherever I go.  I am so glad that I live in this age of technology so that I can try to keep in touch with friends and know that it will be great fun to catch up when we can.

I think all of this reflection is due to my birthday in a few weeks. I will pass the half century mark and life is interesting! My next home awaits.

Have a great week! Happy reading!

Joining in to Celebrate- February 9, 2014

celebrate-image

Celebrate This Week- February 9, 2014

 I’m joining up with Ruth Ayres for her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. You can see all of the posts linked up at her blog  http://www.ruthayreswrites.com/ Thanks for starting this, Ruth!

5. End of unit- We finished our art unit this week. It is our longest unit and one I really enjoy, but our classroom makes a busy art unit very challenging what with storage issues, a tiny sink, etc. I was again glad that we had a week after the art show to make some more art and properly reflect.

4. Secret Pals- I talked about this idea with my class and they were unanimous in their excitement for this project. They drew the name of their secret pal on Thursday and Monday we begin a week of fun. It is just what we need to continue to develop or community and add a bit of fun.

3. Poetry Anthologies- Part 1. It has become a yearly tradition that Ramona (one of our fab German teachers) helps us create beautiful poetry anthologies. Part one was this week where the kids marbled paper. They are always beautiful!

2. Books, books, books- It was exciting to see a few of my less committed readers devouring books this week and eagerly adding books to their to be read piles.

1. Book orders arrived! This happened after the kids left on Friday, so I tucked their books into their trays where they will be waiting for Monday. As every day at least one student asks me when the order is arriving this will be a great way to start the new week!

Have a great week!