Sunday, August 11, 2019

#PB10for10 - August 2019


It's that time of year again - time for #PB10for10! It is so fun to see the list of 10 picture books others have curated around a topic or theme. After a two year hiatus, I decided to join in the fun again this year. Thanks so much to Cathy and Mandy for hosting this fun for the past 10 years!!!!

I have the great fortune this year and last to work and collaborate with language arts teachers in grades K-8. A conversation I've had in all my professional development either this summer or sometime in the past year centered around the power of picture books at all grade levels. Though I don't have the exact quote, I shared the thinking of Dorothy Barnhouse about the importance of using simpler texts when introducing more complex learning. The complex learning can be around a standard or a goal, OR it can be about being a better person or community member. Barnhouse's idea is so applicable for all students, both young and adult.

So, my #PB10for10 for 2019 is focused on picture books I've shared in my coaching and consulting work in different school districts during the last 12 months for a variety of reasons. 

Here are the pic-collages of the books I'd like to share this year:



Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall - What a wonderful book to begin work with a new community of learners, rather they are adults or students. This book is about being brave and tackling something out of your comfort zone, yet knowing that you have people to scaffold and support you as you work toward your goal, whatever it may be. I begin every session with new adult learners this way, thanking them for trusting me to be their scaffold and support as we learn together. It is also a wonderful community builder for the classroom - how students can support one another as they work to achieve things in the classroom.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires - I come back to this book time and time again when thinking about perseverance. Another great community builder in the classroom. With adults, when we approach new or revised learning, it is a great read about NOT throwing out everything we may have tried before, but rather finding the pieces of instructional practice that allow us to really help students grow and learn in their time with us.

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld - Another terrific book for building classroom community in all grades. Sometimes when a person gets frustrated, they don't want another person to give them a million suggestions for how to "fix" the problem; they just need someone to listen to their frustrations. At all grade levels, learning to listen is a powerful skill. I use this with adult learners, especially coaches, when talking to them about how important it is for them to listen to their colleagues carefully, and then, together, figure out what next steps might be.

Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Lauren Castillo - The beauty of this book is in the one word title - if we begin to "imagine" what is possible, the outcomes can be amazing, no matter where we began in life. Another great text for the classroom and imagining the possibilities of where students will be as they grow throughout the year. This is also a great tool in my consulting/coaching. I have shared this book as a read aloud the past year when asking adult learners to think about the bigger picture of what we want for our students. Beautiful text and illustrations.

I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoet - Being kind is a lesson we as educators address every single year. Rather you are a kindergarten or an eighth grade teacher, this is an important book to share with your students. As with all the community builders mentioned so far, it also addresses the concept of theme and doing what's right, even when that feels difficult. 




Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by LeUyen Pham - This is a book that was shared with me this summer by a literacy coach from Maine (thanks Susan Dee!). Though I haven't shared this book with adult learners yet, it is a great beginning of the year book for building community, and thinking about how each of us brings our own set of concerns to a school year. But we learn that if we work together, we can do it. My favorite line is:
"So many different animals
living their separate lives,
but they didn't know they
were in it together...
until..."
A great book to read aloud for adult and younger learners alike!

My Papi has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, and illustrated by Zeke Pena - Many of the first five books had diverse characters. Each story wasn't about teaching diversity; the characters just happened to be diverse. This book is such a lovely view into the Hispanic community of Corona, California, the  childhood home of the author, the friends and family she encountered on a daily basis. This book could serve as a mentor text for any type of narrative, small moment, or memoir writing a student might do.

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog (and Other How-to Poems) selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Richard Jones - Another big thank you to Susan Dee for this book title, also! Poetry is a genre that should be read and written in all grade levels. It is such an accessible form of writing. The poems selected for this book are fun - mostly "how to" poems over a variety of topics. More importantly, just like all the poets who contributed are different, so are the styles of the poems they wrote. A great way to have students see a variety of poetry formats. This is another book I haven't had an opportunity to share yet, but it will be coming to my September book talks.

This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe - I know there is a separate time tor sharing nonfiction titles, but this is such a "go to" informational title for me, both when modeling for students or working with adult learners, I had to add it to my list for this year. Following a typical school day for children in 7 different countries is a fascinating way to begin to share about the differences in our own school days - from types of families to what is worn to school to what is eaten for breakfast to how students travel to school, and so much more - this is a book that you will come back to time and time again to help kickstart meaningful conversations about the world and your own classroom communities.

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood, and illustrated by many... - When I have shared this book in the past year, I share it because I love everything about it. Not all the women who are mentioned here are common names. The setup of the pages is appealing - on each 2-page spread there is an illustration, a quote from the young woman, a poem about the person, and some informational fact about the young woman as well. This book is a celebration of young women who truly made a difference in our world - what a wonderful message to share with our students!

Well that's it for this year. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to be a bit more active with the blog (see more about that in the "About Me" tab at the top).
I am so looking forward to what made everyone else's lists!




Saturday, March 31, 2018

Walks Bring Renewal - #SOL18 - 3/31/18



**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

**It is amazing that this is the final day of the Challenge. Out of 31 days, I managed to post 27 slices. So not everyday, but writing habits were built. It's been fun to meet new friends during this month-long challenge, as well as visit with old friends through our commenting. Thanks to everyone who has stopped once or more than once to share a comment with me. It's been great being on this journey with all of you! Congratulations to all of you who wrote each and every day.  I look forward to staying in touch on Tuesday Slice of Life.**


Today I took a walk.

The sun was shining, the birds were singing.

Signs of spring were everywhere - blooms pushing up from the soil, grass greening, streams full of rainwater rushing under bridges.

The wind was gusting through the trees, bringing fresh air to all around.

Every time I take a walk at this time of the year, my heart overflows with hope and renewal.

Wind blowing, sun shining, flowers blooming, grass greening, birds singing, streams rippling

Today I took a walk and felt renewed.







Thursday, March 29, 2018

Weather Woes - #SOL18 - 3/29/18



**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 2 remaining days!


A conversation 2 days ago:

1st person: This weather has been so depressing. Snow or rain, and gray skies forever.

2nd person (someone feeling quite full of themselves): You know, the weather this February and March really hasn't bothered me that much. I guess it's because when we were in Florida for the entire month of January, and I think I just stored up huge quantities of Vitamin D just being out in the sun everyday. It has managed to lift my spirits even on the gloomiest of days now. It's all good.


Today:

2nd person looks at the 10 day forecast:




What that same person feels like now (not quite so full of themselves):
Flummoxed!!


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Porches and Patio Fun - #SOL18 - 3/28/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 3 remaining days!

(My slice is more late than normal tonight as I just got home from the event I wanted to slice about.)

Tonight was a gathering of our Porches and Patios group. We have evolved over the years: we began as a group refining our use of technology to enhance our instructional practices in the classroom. And we always had chips and queso dip to eat, and we would gather on each others' porches or patios. Nowadays, it is far more about the food (tonight had an amazing Mexican food theme), the conversation, the learning, the laughter, and the fun.

There is no way to capture all the special, and often times hysterical, moments of our evening together, but here are a few of the conversational snippets overheard tonight:

On Voxer, is that "tap to talk"? 

Passion planner, panda planner, or bullet journal ?

Got it on Amazon - 'Something Wish' pen holder

Sketchnoting - yo need to get your head around process vs perfect

The Kids Should See This

Your name is _____, but you told me to call you 'Hot Mama'

We're going to ride fancy class with air waitresses

Anello backpack - is it a backpack or a wine carrier or both??

The 3rd piece of pie makes it

Funny thing said by teacher: 'Why are you licking your chair?'

Funny thing heard by teacher: 'Keep your balls low to the ground; it's windy today."

It's not a private school. They can't tell me what to wear.

Winky faces - what's with them? Send or not send?

You need to fix your face

Did you ever go to that jeweler?

At what point do flip flops become inappropriate?

You need to see these Kid Snippet videos

Truth

So, that's it... a random sampling of some of our conversations tonight.

Thanks for stopping by to read this silliness.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

My Brain is Energized! - #SOL18 - 3/27/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 4 remaining days!

Today, I went to Capital University, for a meeting with Dan, a faculty member in the technology department. He was bringing me up to date with the new platform I would need to use to communicate with students when my summer semester class begins in May.

As I worked with Dan and after, two thoughts were percolating in my brain:

1) I love learning. All different types of learning.
I've always had a passion for it. Being a learner energizes and enriches me as a professional and a person. Today, as I drove away from campus, I left feeling totally jazzed. My brain was firing on all cylinders, and it was exciting stuff.

2) When learning something new, I need to do, not just be told what to do.
When Dan was introducing the new platform to me, he kept demonstrating on his computer how to do it. He clicked this, then he clicked that, then this, then that... you get the picture. I had to slow him down, pull out my laptop, and have him watch as I tried to replicate some of the work he had shown. When that happened, with his guidance and scaffolding, I was able to achieve success with the tasks.

I'm really looking forward to teaching summer semester, but as I reflect on my own learning today, I will continue to look at all learners (student, pre-service teachers, adults) with whom  I work with different eyes, knowing that they have specific needs as learners as well.



Monday, March 26, 2018

The beauty of sharing book titles - #SOL18 - 3/26/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 5 remaining days!


There is a beauty in sharing books with others.

Like the time this January I reconnected with college friends after 40 years, and one of my favorite parts was when there was a sharing of adult book titles we loved. One of those titles actually became a book club choice for one of my book clubs the very next month after I recommended it to them!

Then there was a recent retirement luncheon when the person across the table for me asked what I was currently reading, and it evolved into everyone chiming in and sharing titles across the entire table of ten.

This past Saturday, my trainer, Tami, was talking about the Easter basket she wanted to put together for her son, M. She wanted to include some books, so she asked me for my recommendations. Luckily, I had just read the following three:


I was more than happy to recommend all three of them to her. I knew her little guy (a kindergartener) would really dig the visual nature of Baby Monkey, Private Eye.

If you don't know these books, and you read with children, they are all great. But I have to say the biggest must have of these for me is The Rabbit Listened. I read this book multiple times to capture all that it had to offer in terms of message. 

It is a children's picture book, but it would also be a great book to use with adult learners. Coaching and collaboration requires a high level of trust, and this book addresses one of the keys to developing that trust. 

Loved this book, and will be purchasing it immediately.

Since sharing books is a thing of beauty, feel free to share one or two titles you are loving as well.

Happy reading!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Savoring Time with a Lifetime Friend - #SOL18 - 3/25/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 6 remaining days!


Like most writers, I tend to have "writing territories" - today's slice is about two of those - my lifetime friend, Lisa, and my writing. 
Lisa and I have been friends since freshman year (1973) at college when we lived in the same dorm, and pledged the same sorority. An argument could be made that I haven't known her my entire lifetime, but her importance in my life for the past 45 years is immeasurable and thus feels like I've known her my entire life. We were friends in college, then lost touch for about four years, but when I moved back to Ohio in 1981, she became more than just a "friend"; for so many reasons, she is my "family", and as such, there are many stories to be told in my life that include Lisa.

Since my retirement last May, Lisa and I have made a concerted effort to explore the city, and its surrounding areas, in which we live. That entails visiting and exploring a new part of the city each time we get together.

This past Friday, we visited uptown Westerville. We found so many great independently-owned shops there, both for browsing and buying. I found one store in particular that I loved - Ohio Art Market. So many great finds, and all the products made by Ohio artists. Beautiful things.

We finally made it to lunch at about the time many people were beginning to think about early happy hours. Another one of our goals on our excursions is to eat at a restaurant that is unique to that community. Several shop owners, and some customers as well, highly recommended Asteriks. They weren't wrong! The food was delectable, and if you ever have the opportunity to eat there, don't miss out on the fried cauliflower; it truly could have been a meal all by itself!

At some point Friday, we began to reflect back on all the parts of the city we have explored together. However, both of us being 60-somethings, we couldn't remember everything we'd done; not even if we just thought about the places we have visited since I retired last May. Yikes!

I came home that day and made a decision - these outings together are too precious. I needed to create a recording of these memories for us. So, I got out a journal, looked back at the calendar on my phone, and recreated the dates/places we've visited. I plan to backtrack and get a few things written about our adventures since May, but after this, I want to take it with me each time, and have both of us contribute some of our favorite memories from the day.

I'm just using a simple journal, but I can't decide what to to title it:

  • Lisa and Karen Do Columbus (nah... a little too Debbie Does Dallas)
  • Lisa and Karen (nah... a little too Thelma and Louise)
  • Lisa and Karen's Excellent Adventures (nah... a little too Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)
  • Retirement Wanderings and Ramblings (might be in the running, but it's still too soon to settle)
Oh well... I'll leave it untitled for now, but I so look forward to much more exploring and time spent with my lifetime friend. And I look forward to recording it for posterity for our children to read and chuckle at someday. In the meantime, it will be the warehouse that stores our memories together.