Celebrate This Week: Beginnings, Volumes and a Milestone

It is Saturday and time to celebrate with Ruth Ayers.  Join us, no invitation needed, every Saturday. Find the link up and other Celebration posts here. This week I celebrate the beginnings of writing, tons of reading and a birthday.

celebrate link up

1. I met up with my two new writing partners, Cathy Skubik and Christine Leishman on Google Hangouts! First off, yay us for making technology work. Secondly yay us for for jumping into this place of uncertainty that is writing. And finally yay Two Writing Teachers for making this possible. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.

2. I retired my old Mac laptop. It has served me well, never a problem, just an upgrade here or there. But after a week of lugging it around NYC, I decided it was time. Sorry old friend. Now I sit in front of my shiny new MacBook Air — oh so pretty, light and fast. While I celebrate this lovely new thing, I appreciate the many years of service of the old.

3a. I am loving kid lit. First off,  Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff captured me immediately with the main character Albie. He is a heart breaker and all of you lovely teachers out there will immediately think of your own Albies. It has earned a place alongside Wonder and Each Kindness in my Read Aloud line up for next year. A great book to teach kids about what really matters. Thank you Tara for your great review of this book. It made me pick it up!


3b. I am in the midst of Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana. OH.MY.GOSH. Talk about being swept away. You will just love Armani. This girl stands up for what is right, but has the good sense to keep her mouth shut when she knows it’s not gonna help. That’s what helps her survive as you hold your breath for disaster that you know is coming: Hurricane Katrina. It’s a page turner and a tear jerker. I’m thinking this is historical fiction for ten year olds. What do you think? Thank you Erin, I picked this book up because of you.


4. I read Teaching Interpretation Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning in two days. This book by Sonja Cherry-Paul and Dana Johansen addresses a difficult thing to teach in an easy to read fashion. The simplicity in presentation is just one part of the brilliance you will find in this text. They have taken a complex thing, interpretation, and broken it down. Sonja and Dana have thoughtfully analyzed the process of how to come up with ideas about text and then test student thinking with evidence. Symbolism and theme, two sticky areas for those literal types in our classrooms, are beautifully addressed. With their teaching in my head, symbols pop up all over the place as I inhale books. Thank you Sonja and Dana. Your book has made me a better reader and will make me a better teacher next year!


5.  And finally  I’m celebrating a milestone of sorts: my middle child’s birthday, 20 years old today. Only one teenager left!