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No-work-vember

14 Nov

We have a five-day week this week. Our last one was the week of October 9th!

It is mostly teachers buzzing with the terror/outrage/amazement of this fact. We are half horrified, half thrilled to teach this much. We are torn between railing all the individual days off and looking forward to Thanksgiving Break. I’ve had several conversations with different people about the merits of year-round schooling. Most people love the idea of more frequent, longer breaks.

It is dark on the way to and from work. And it doesn’t help that the weather has turned cold, wet, and windy. We all just want to get cozy at home. I spent last weekend drinking tea and finishing the hat I am knitting for my mother for Christmas.

November feels anticipatory. Thanksgiving is coming. Winter Break is coming. We are waiting, waiting, waiting.

I tried writing a serious poem about this, but ended up with a limerick!

There once was a school, in November,

Whose teachers just could not remember

How to teach for a week,

They were long past their peak

And were ready for Break in December.

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A Girl and Her Dog

2 Nov

This is such a sweet book, even though it got me a little teary-eyed.

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Publisher’s Summary:Eli the dog has been with Astrid since her parents brought her home from the hospital as a baby. Now Astrid is getting older, and so is Eli. Before he slows down too much, Astrid wants to make fun memories with him. So she makes a bucket list for Eli, which includes experiences such as eating with him in a restaurant, and taking him down a slide at the playground.

But in the end, what is most important to Eli is the time he spends with Astrid, whom he loves dearly. Sisters Kate and M. Sarah Klise have created a story that reminds readers of all ages that time with our loved ones is the most precious gift of all.

This book would be a great way to approach a discussion of aging pets with young readers. It could also be used to talk to children about aging grandparents.

This week’s book talks 10/23-10/25

25 Oct

It is parent teacher conference time. Only three days of school means only three booktalks. They all cam from the “Mystery and Adventure” section of my classroom library.

Monday…..I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest.

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Tuesday… Mission Mumbai by Mahtab Narsimhan

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Wednesday…Raising Rufus  by David Fulk

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This week’s Book talks 10/16-20

20 Oct

I had two days of training this week, co only did booktalks three days. I still managed to get in five books, though.

On the heels of listening to Jason Reynolds, I booktalked Ghost and Patina on Monday.

 

 

For no particular reason, except that I love it, I booktalked Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming on Wednesday.

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Finally, simply because I haven’t booktalked a graphic novel in a while, I shared Gene Luen Yang’s  Boxers & Saints.

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The Great Pumpkin

17 Oct

An after school meeting saw me pulling into the grocery store a little before 7 pm last night. I grumbled at myself for putting off this errand: buying thank you cards that my after school club needed to write at our meeting the next day. The skies were a picturesque blend of pink and black and there was a slight breeze that promised another crisp fall night.

I walked towards the entrance to the grocery store which was lined with pumpkins. I paid them little heed, distracted by the little boy hopping in front of me.

“Come on,” his mom called, a smirk on her face. “There are even more inside.”

His little eyes grew wider and I smiled.

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This week’s book talks 10/9-13

13 Oct

It is Newbery week!

Monday: The 2007 Newbery Winner The Higher Power of Lucy by Susan Patron

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Tuesday: The 2009 Newbery Winner The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Wednesday: The 1997 Newbery Winner The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg

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Next, I began talking about Newbery Honor books. I’d never before noticed the difference between the winner’s  medal and the honor book medal. It turns out, the winner gets the front of the medal, in gold. The honor book get a silver medal showing the back of the medal. Who knew!

Thursday’s book was Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk.

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Finally, Friday’s book was The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate  by Jacqueline Kelly. I noticed some similarities between the covers of these last two books.

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Then & Now

10 Oct

We are getting ready for Fall conferences and I can’t help thinking how different this is at my “new” school, where I am now in my 3rd year.

At my old school we sent home paper forms and collected them as they came.

At my new school, I send out an email with a link to my Sign-up Genius event.

At my old school, we had a special sibling meeting, so we could give parents back-to-back appointments.

At my new school, parents organize their own schedule, by clicking on the times they want.

At my old school, when a parent had to reschedule their appointment, it was on me to make the arrangements and coordinate with the sibling’s teacher, and maybe their ESL teacher.

At my new school, the parent takes care of this.

At my old school, in which 75% of the students received ELL services, we had to schedule conferences around interpreter times. Fortunately, I could do my own conferences in Spanish.

At my new school, in which 5% of the students received ESL services, I have no ELL students. I miss doing some conferences in Spanish.

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