Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Why the silence?…. May 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:43 pm

Decided two Saturdays ago to put the house on the market (I know! When all you see is terrible national news about the housing market?!), met with realtor one Saturday ago, put sign up yesterday. 

Added a whole new layer of craziness to the whole end of the school year experience-

Kick-off Summer Reading Event last week a success. Love Tim Bowers and J. Patrick Lewis. 

REALLY wanting to start reading the summer reading list! Maybe next weekend.

ALMOST finishing mulching after three dumploads.

Finished painting…

Four make-up days for the hurricane days of last September…

then the rest of the school year after children begins (Summer Too!)


Chris Soentpiet Interview courtesy of Maggie, fourth grade May 20, 2009

Filed under: author visit,authors,autographing — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:40 pm
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1. How long does it take you to make all the pictures for one book?

1 year

2. What was your favorite book that you illustrated?
Jin Woo

3. What was your favorite book that you read when you were little?
Where the Sidewalks End

4. Who was your favorite teacher you had in school?

4th Grade-Mrs. Miles-I didn’t speak English because I had just been adopted. Everyday she would go to the art supply cupboard and get me a nice piece of art paper to draw on.

5. What was your first book you illustrated?

Around Town

By 5th grade he knew he wanted to be an artist

He has taught kindergarten in NYC-

He thought he wanted to be a teacher in the arts.


My Brother Martin

Christine King Farris was introducing him to a conference of 800 teachers in San Diego

She came up and said, “I have an idea for a book.”

“Okay, what is it?”

“I want to write a book about my brother.”

“Who is your brother?”

“Martin Luther King”

“You mean like the one the holiday is named after?”

6 years later her agent contacted him!


His wife has written 3 books with him. She wants it to be a hobby, not a career for her. She serves as his agent

My mom first saw him at OSU Children’s Literature Conference

He has a new poetry book coming out next year.

He has a little boy-CJ-Christopher Junior-17 month old

His room is decorated with Something Beautiful drawings

He lives in NYC in a Studio-warehouse. It has 3 floors: 2 floors office/studi0, 1 floor home


Fourth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge May 16, 2009

Filed under: bloggers,reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:31 am
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As the planning of a Summer Reading Kick-Off Event (flyers go home Monday electronically to families) and the dreaming of reading books under a shade tree merge, it’s the perfect time to plan on taking part of the Fourth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge (Check it at Mother Reader).

I’ve started my stack with The Mysterious Benedict Society by and Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry by Jack Prelutsky and am looking forward to a get-together during those 48 hours with the Central Ohio KidLit Bloggers


Chris Soentpiet May 14, 2009

Filed under: author visit,illustrator — bestbookihavenotread @ 12:46 am
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IMG_2069My daughter asked Chris Soentpiet some great questions and he was very generous in sharing his answers and other personal stories with the group that had dinner with him this evening. I know we are both really looking forward to seeing his presentation tomorrow. 

My daughter’s favorite book:
My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Chrisine King Farris

My favorite:
Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant 

More to share later! Back to the last of crazy May to-do list!


Dinner with an Illustrator May 13, 2009

Filed under: author visit — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:50 pm

I’ve very excited to have the opportunity to have dinner with one of my favorite illustrators this evening. My daughter is going to go along and “interview” him for her blog. Needless to say, SHE is very excited as well. Here’s a hint-He illustrated a book by my favorite author Cynthia Rylant. 

Check back later to see who it is!


This Time of Year is Crazy at School!

Filed under: Uncategorized — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:44 pm

Field Trips

Mother’s Day Programs

Cinco  do Maya luncheon

Author Visits

Book Fairs

UOS Calendar Days-Professional Development leading

Literacy Coaching

Report Writing

Budget Finalizing

Test Results

Powerpoint Presenting

Method Students Interviewing

Summer Reading Kick-Off Planning

Talented and Gifted Parent Meeting

Graduation Partying

End of Year Decision Making

These are just a few of the things that are keeping me hopping these weeks of May. What’s keeping you hopping?


The Magic of Writing Workshop May 6, 2009

Filed under: Literacy coaching,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:46 pm
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In the life a curriculum coach, today was a magical day! 

Two of the teachers I work with had agreed to try out a new Unit of Study for Poetry in both Readers and Writer’s Workshop. While they are both using Calkins’ Units of Study in Writer’s Workshop for the second year, reading instruction has been a harder challenge for the grade level. I had given them a three week unit of reading and writing study based on one from the DPS website that starts by really immersing the students in poetry.  

Not only did a child’s poem give me goosebumps when it was read aloud (he wrote a poem for two voices), but I about cried when one of the teachers shared with me the poem she was inspired to write for her grandmothers using the techniques she’s learned from teaching the unit so far. How amazing is that? Writing Workshop really does allow all participants to grow in ways that can’t even be anticipated some days. 

Some of their comments I would have paid money to have on tape (Since I didn’t have a recorder I am paraphrasing from memory as best I can) for this blog:

“I’m amazed at how much more capable my students are than I realized. I didn’t realize how much we stifled them by only teaching them certain forms before. ”

“I keep talking about this unit all the time. I’m doing some of the best teaching I’ve ever done!”

“I am so much more involved in my students’ writing. I can hardly wait to meet with them to see the progress they’ve made from day to day.” 

“The kids told me it’s the first time they’ve like poetry.”

“Even my most struggling student has been able to be successful.  He’s shared in discussions and written an amazing poem for his mom.”

“The ninety minutes absolutely fly by!’

“You will love teaching this unit.”

After a week of slow boulder rolling up a steep mountain, it felt great to hear their comments today! 

They are also reading aloud Love That Dog by Sharon Creech and feel it is a great tie-in as the boy experiences poetry writing as well. 

If you’d are a fourth grade teacher and would like to try the poetry UOS, leave me a comment with your e-mail and I’ll send you a link.