Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Central Ohio’s Got Talent! August 28, 2010

How exciting! A first successful week of school is under our belts and we have a get-together planned for  Central Ohio KidLit bloggers at our favorite indy children’s bookstore. Not only that, but the event ties in with a great author visit and a trip to a favorite eatery.

How could it get better? It’s hard, but today news came through the KidLit blog pipe that  Julie Johnson of Raising Readers and Writers won NCTE’s Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in Teaching Writing! How does one find out they have won the award? With a phone call from none other than Katie Wood Ray!

Holy Cow!  I can’t even imagine answering the phone and hearing that southern drawl?

I first met Julie when I was fortuatnte enough to attend The Literacy Connection’s Carl Anderson visit 2 Aprils ago. Participants got to see Julie in action with Carl and her students in her Hilliard, Ohio classroom. A KidLit friend introduced us, it turned out she also had started a blog AND had taught with my former co-teacher in another life in another district. Small World!

Julie happens to be one of “them” that I refer to in my guest post over at Two Writing Teachers. If she happened to read that article, she probably didn’t know she was a “them” for me. Julie is one of “them” because she made the time for writing in her life both through the Central Ohio Writing Project AND her own classroom. She had a writing club! Ah…

One of her first posts on her blog was about the writing community her principal and fellow teachers were forming. Wow! The dedication…I still can dream of that day…

Congratulations Julie! What a deserving winner. May you continue to be an inspiration for people not just in your school, classroom, and community, but even further with the audience of your blog.

 

NCTE pics December 16, 2009

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Click to play this Smilebox collage: NCTE 2009
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Quick jottings of ALAN 2009 November 25, 2009

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Amazing Authors I Couldn’t Believe I Got to Hear:

Gregory Maguire

Jeanette Walls

Authors I already loved:

Maggie Stiefvater

Laurence Yep

Mary Pearson

Rebecca Stead

Jacqueline Woodson

Todd Strasser

Authors whose books I had heard great things about,

but hadn’t had a chance to read:

Chris Crutcher

Patricia McCormck

Stephen Chbosky

Lauren Myracle

Adrian Fogelin

Sarah Dessen

Sara Zarr

Authors I just learned about and can hardly wait to read:

Matt de la Peña

 

Amelia Earhart Walden 2009 award finalisrs November 23, 2009

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After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Me, The Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine, My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love , Mary Poppins & Fenway Park by Steve Klugler are the finalists of this new $5000 award for the best novel that possesses a positive approach to life, appeals to a wide and appreciative teen audience, and demonstrates literary merit. The winner is ….
My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park by Steve Kugler.

 

NCTE 2009: What I’m looking forward to attending November 16, 2009

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Decisions, Decisons! What a happy dilemma!
Franki over at A Year of Reading had a great suggestion of sharing what you are looking forward to attending at the upcoming NCTE. I do pay the extra $20 to get my program book ahead of time (and I do mean book! It’s over 380 pages) to pour over. It is really hard to decide as there are an average of 50+ sessions to pick from fourteen different times over 3 days!

The first thing I do in the program is find the Conference Planner (page 35-36) and mark off the block of time for the Books for Children Luncheon (Love It!) . I’m also planning on attending the Middle Level Mosaic Workshop, which is a double-block. Then I start by looking through the index for authors and my favorite professional authors who are attending and then look up their sessions.  I move on to friends from near and far who are presenting to see if their session will fit in the blocks I have left, and so on.

Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to. I do realize this isn’t a very narrow list:

NCTE Author Strand-Adolescent Literacy: Moving from Principles to Practice

Going Public: How Sharing Your Teaching Beyond the Classroom Can Make You a Better Teacher (Literate Lives, Creative Literacy, A Year of Reading)

Poetry Party! Celebrate NCTE Poetry Award Recipient Lee Bennett Hopkins

Babymouse and Lunch Lady: Creating Graphic Novels for the Younger Set

Enlarge the Reading Circle-How to dramatically increase reading comprehension and engage reluctant readers

Reading Between the Lines of Nonfiction: Going Deeper into Informational Text Through Student Driven Discussions

Finding Your Voices Through Poetry: Young Children as Listeners, Readers, and Writers

Book Choice Matters: Teaching Young Learners How to Make Wise Independent Choices (Franki, Debbie Miller, Ann Marie Corgill, and Karen Szymusiak)

Laurie Halse Anderson at the ALAN breakfast

The Reading Zone’s presentation on Engaging Middle School Students Through Read Alouds

Virtual Book Studies

Literate Lives of Children: Topics and Trends in Elementary Education

Cafe in the Classroom: Helping Students Visualize Literacy Goals and Teachers Maximize Assessments to Guide Instruction

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Phenomenon: Jeff Kinney Talks about Drawing in Reluctant Readers

Twenty-Five Years of Literature Circles: From Book Clubs to Inquiry Circles

Reading Like Writers, Writing Like Readers: Teaching Students to Study the Craft of Writing (Carl Anderson!)

Katie Wood Ray: The Joys and CHallenges of Teaching the Youngest Writers

Effective Adolescent Literacy Instruction (Jim Burke, Alan Sitomer, Jeff Wilhelm)

Workshop:
Young Adult Literature in the 21st Century: NCTE-ALAN Two Day-Workshop

 

NCTE Loot December 16, 2008

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Here is one-third of the NCTE loot we brought back from Texas.  We all came home with well over a 100 books (and yes, we did spend some of our own money. When they were offering $$5 or 10 hardbacks and $3 or $5 paperbacks, we couldn’t resist). I was out of room in luggage and wallet by the last day, but someone sitting next to me on one of my flights got 40 new release hardbacks for $28.  Professional development, great company, and books galore. You know it’s on my calendar for next year in Philly already!  

ncte-loot

 

Hate That Cat December 3, 2008

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Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech is the award-winning author’s newest book. I had been dying to get my hands on it after I happened to see an Advanced Review Copy behind the counter of my favorite children’s book store, Cover to Cover. Sharon Creech was the keynote speaker for NCTE’s ALAN breakfast. It was a double dose of goodness since Laurie Halse Anderson was there to accept an award (I need to check what the award’s title is) for her book.          

creech

Jack is still with Miss Stretchberry.

Miss Strechberry is still introducing poetry to her students.

Jack and Miss Strechberry continue to have a special relationship.

We learn more about Jack and his family through his poetry. 

 

While my daughter was “Star Student” for her classroom, my husband and I needed to write something for her teacher to read to her classmates. My husband wrote a great creative piece, and I wrote a “Love That Dog” inspired poem.  

While her presentation was not as long as I hoped, getting to hear the inspiration for Love That Dog/Hate That Cat, was worth the early morning hour I had to awake.  I was also tickled by how Sharon Creech wove references to Laurie Halse Anderson’s acceptance speech (from moments before), into her own. 

Assembly on Literature for  Adolescent Breakfast (ALAN)-mark it on your calendar for next year in Philadelphia!

Don’t let the name “Adolescent” fool you! All teachers, not just middle and high school teachers would enjoy the breakfast and speaker!

 

September 13

I don’t want to

because boys

don’t write poetry.


Girls do.

Jack


Room 204—Miss Stretchberry

February 25


Today the fat black cat

up in the tree by the bus stop

dropped a nut on my head

thunk

and when I yelled at it

that fat black cat said

Murr-mee-urrr

in a

nasty

spiteful

way.


I hate that cat.


This is the story of

Jack

words

sounds

silence

teacher

and cat.