Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Moms trying to get by…first day traumas and successes August 21, 2008

Filed under: moms,motherhood,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:22 pm
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 NOW I think I have this right.  Here is what I thought I sent this morning and tried (unsuccessfully) to resend twice this afternoon (link to Oriental Trading Company).  If it  doesn’t work this time I am giving up and calling each of you!

We got back after midnight last night (this morning?) and combined with the two hour time difference and the fact that Jessen, my mom and I  were all sick during our trip the level of (adult) exhaustion here is beyond what I can describe.
 Here’s hoping Nicholas will be affected just enough the first few  days of school to lack the energy to get himself in trouble!!! Ok, I am officially too tired to live my life!!


P.S.-Do you think it is safe for me to DRIVE to Meet the Teacher?


Ooh, that stinks that you all were sick on vacation!  Kinda funny though, how delicately you worded it re: Nicholas.  A little touch of the bug might be an OK thing for that first impression for the teacher, huh?



OH too funny- you need a GREAT night’s sleep my dear…

Warmly- Susan



 Hope you all had a good meet the teacher. Happy baby news Susan-yucky 
sick vacation news Beth–have LOGOS rec books from Janice now Diane. 

The year is off to a great start. Mr. Prebles had a wonderful opening morning for the teachers (yeah)!




 Oh, wake me up when they’re all on the bus, in cute little outfits (not yet picked out) and with healthy lunches in hand (gotta buy something for that tonight too.)
 Is school starting too soon, or is it just me???




Wait a minute- shouldn’t you be doing the happy dance- all 3 in school all day- congrats!! Will you be teaching more classes? No-  you’ll be doing more LOGOS- yeah, yeah, yeah…..

Warmly- Susan



You guys were all up past my bedtime!  I think GNO after curriculum  next week is an excellent idea.  I have the supplies and the lunch  (I think – we’ll see what comes back today) but the one thing I  don’t know about is, what am I going to do all day without Peter?  



 OH my- As I sat waiting for the bus to come back….I realized the kids have no idea what bus number they ride…I don’t even know…I  didn’t think I’d be this kind of parent…..oh well I have all the  faith in the world they’ll make it back to me some how, some way……
 You know the past two years I’ve gotten on my bike and been there to make sure all goes okay- not this year….kind of ready to get cleaning…



 Nicholas has a great day, hope the same is true for everyone at your  houses.  Our drop off bus came over 30 minutes late so we will have to see what time they really end up getting here.
 Biggest news from Nicholas:  “Guess what?  We have recess *EVERY* day!”
P.S. Diane, I have folders for Kay if you need them!


Hi all –
Crazy day here.  It’s 4:51p and Jenna still isn’t here.  (Kay arrived late — but no Jenna on that bus.)  Anyway, the school has located now.  (I guess I’m not the only one having a crazy day!)
Beth — thanks so much for the folder!!!!!!!!  That was so sweet of you, and I’m sorry I haven’t called you yet.
Jenna’s gonna need a beer when she gets home.  (Oh, maybe that’s me.  She’ll have the ice water.  Just kidding, it’s a little early for my beer…)



Oh my..Sally and I just hung out on the stoop- I did a lot of that today- did the same thing this am watching for their bus to come back…they say they go to Park Trails? Feels far and long.I’ll time it again tomorrow. But I’m picking up my kids tomorrow as Peter has a violin lesson.

By the way I had a scotch at 5:45- bus wait, plus sad news about Mona- she has a very aggressive bone cancer. Joe had done the research and we sort of thought that- glad they’re not recommending surgery/amputation..we’ll keep her comfortable for awhile. Kids know some of it, but didn’t want to drop it on all of them on this happy day..I also had an ice cream sundae and am headed to a hot bath and bed with my new book- thank you Kristine for the young adult vampire stuff.2nd book!!




I should have know when the day started at 6:00am with (dog) poop on the floor. (Sorry all you non-pet people — I swear this NEVER happens.  That’s how I knew I was in trouble today…)
Our morning bus came 10 min. early.  Kids were ready but lunches weren’t.  Lunches caught up with them at a later stop.
Jenna took last year’s bus after school.  Trouble is, last year’s bus now goes out to Granview Rd.  Jenna spent half her (90 min.) bus ride worried about Kay.  Kay, who was on the correct bus, didn’t seem a bit concerned about her older sister.
Here’s what I’ve learned about 7th grade:
Thank goodness that Susan T tipped me off to that last week (Nancy R confirmed) before I sent Jack into that locker room.
I thought I was fine with all this first day hub-bub, and promptly burst into tears as I pulled into the middle school parking lot.  Jack took one look at me and said,” Oh, no, Mom,  you are NOT gonna cry!!!!  Just stop it Mom…Really!”
Oh well, here’s to a smoother tomorrow!!!  Cheers everyone!



I think the dogs are launching a revolt!  Ours barfed on the kitchen floor during the morning madness.  My 6 ½ year old – going on 16 told me very matter-of-factly this morning (I let him sleep an extra 10 minutes which made for total chaos) that  I am to wake him precisely at 7:30 – he doesn’t need extra sleep he gets enough in the night.  Then he proceeded to “style” his hair for school into a “shark” (faux hawk)  help me……




Oh Diane-you just made me laugh so hard I cried. I am so sorry that your day went like that today! I would have had no idea about the underwear, so that is a good heads-up!

Our morning today started with tears (not from me-Maggie), dog poop, Guy swearing, and new dog freaking out when I left and Guy tried to kennel him (guess I shouldn’t have taken him with me everywhere this summer, but he doesn’t talk back and thinks I’m great!-who can resist that?) and more bus confusion.

Ah, well at least there wasn’t a tornado during bus dismissal like there was for the kids who are seniors were fourth graders.




I knew there is a reason we don’t have dogs…on the other hand the cat made three messes in the garage yesterday so maybe there is no way to win!

Here is hoping for a smoother day all around!!
hmmm….maybe dogs (cats too, Beth?) have that 6th sense…
Oh Janice, I hope that Peter sticks with the shark ‘do for a few weeks so I get a chance to see him at LOGOS!  What a confidant little guy — he knows what looks good on him!  I bet no one will have to tip you off that he needs to switch to boxers in 7th grade — he’ll be at the head of the class with that one!
Sorry Guy doesn’t share your enthusiasm about your new little dog.  It took David nearly a year to bond with my boston with no eyes.  (That dog WORSHIPS me!! I have never had a bigger fan!)  Maybe Guy needs a little bonding with the pup — I don’t know, a camping trip or something?
Anyway, next time I will surely see it as a sign when I wake up to something evil and rotten that my dog did on the floor.  If/when it happens again, all alarms are shut off and I’m going back to bed.
Have a good day everyone!

“Newer” titles for Read Alouds

Filed under: books,kidlithosphere,read alouds,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 1:05 am
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Newer titles for read alouds that I really like:

Alabama Moon by Wyatt Key (comes out in paperback Sept. 2)

In a nutshell, Moon is raised by his father in a primitive shelter. At the age of 10 his father dies from a broken leg, that shouldn’t really kill him, except they will in a primitive shelter somewhere in Alabama. There is great dialect that I love to read aloud. I swear my students last year (all ability levels) hung on every word and begged for more. You might not pick it up based on the cover or back summary, but I loved it when I read it and loved reading it aloud.


Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle by David Elliot & Andrea Wesson

            I thought this book was a hoot to read aloud. Lots of silly big words that are fun to read aloud (they do get explained in the text-good context lesson built in!). Her parents are researchers who get the opportunity to study the rare Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle. Evangeline is left with her less than desirable uncle and his wife. When her parents go missing, Evangeline must go to their rescue, leading  to more adventures.  Not only is it a funny book that students love, it also has ecology themes woven in that you could choose to focus on if you so wanted.


Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

            This is the first book in her newest series. I loved it and it has gotten some great reviews from other intermediate teachers and librarians. There is a link for a video the publisher created for the book that gave me the chills.  I loaned it a couple students over the summer who also really liked. You don’t have to

 like the Among the Hidden series to like this. Two boys, one knows he is adopted, the other doesn’t. They both get letters telling them they are “one of the missing”. It is part mystery and part time-travel.


The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff: You Wish! By Jason Lethcoe

            Poor Benjamin lives in an unhappy orphanage (similar in some ways to the character Molly Moon from Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hynotism by Georgia Byng). When he has the opportunity to make a wish on a birthday cake candle his social worker had brought for him, he wishes for “unlimited wishes”.  

He somehow manages to follow

Rules for Birthday Wishing


1. The wish must be made with the eyes closed.

2. Every candle on the birthday cake must be blown out in one breath (coughing, sputtering, or spitting out the candles doesn’t count).

3. The wish must never, ever be spoken aloud.

which guarantee his wish will come true! In a parallel story in Wishworks, the keepers of the wishes are trying to deal with a management change when the crisis of Benjamin’s wish crashes in on them. Wishing for unlimited wishes or any version of this wish is a big no-no and students love to hear what is going to happen next. The descriptions are a great one to use for visualization/mental imagery lesson. 


New great first day read-aloud!

Filed under: books,kidlithosphere,read alouds,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 12:04 am
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Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton is a new great first day read aloud.  I love the first page illustration of Splat lying wide awake in bed with huge eyes. I know I’ve felt (and probably looked) like that the night leading up to the first day of school.

“It was early in the morning

and Splat was wide awake.

Today was his first day of Cat School

                                              and his tail wiggled wildly with worry.” 

What great descriptive words and alliteration! Besides using this book as a first day read-aloud, you could also use it as a mentor text. The illustrations are really engaging for kids and they can relate to having things that keep you up at night worrying, especially a new class or a new school. There are almost two story lines going: new school worries and Splat’s friend Seymour, the mouse, not being liked by other cats.