Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My very first post

Well, we finally did it! Bill and I met our good friend, Mary Lee from A Year of Reading today to launch our first-ever blog. We are both very excited about this adventure, and really appreciate all the time, effort, and patience Mary Lee used in helping us to get up and running.
So, now that we have a blog, let me tell you a little bit about myself so that you'll have a frame of reference when you read my thoughts and ramblings. I am currently both a 5th grade teacher half-day and a curricular support teacher the other half. When I'm in the classroom, my focus is language arts and social studies. When I'm a curricular support teacher, I help other teachers in my building with their language arts and social studies instruction. This is the second year I've had this job, and I truly love it! Being able to look at language arts and social studies from kindergarten to 5th grade all day long has been a wonderful learning opportunity for me!

Because I think about language arts all day long, it is a natural fit to always be looking at books to help with reading, writing, and word study mini lessons (at least that's what I tell my husband when he knows I've made another trip to Cover to Cover bookstore or another box of books from Amazon arrives at our front door!). The reality is that I truly just love books. I always have, and I always will. I cannot remember a time in my life where there hasn't been a stack of books just waiting for me to read them. I'm an equal opportunity reader, also -- newspapers, magazines, self help, action/adventure, romance, great new adult authors, favorite authors with new titles to read, recommendations from friends, books for Book Clubs, nonfiction, adult series books, professional books, professional journals, travel, and always, always lots of children's books.

I had this great reading life, and then, two years ago, my friends Mary Lee and Franki changed it forever when they started something called a blog, and they named it A Year of Reading. Their sole purpose when they started was to read a great quantity of new books each year with the hope they would have read one of the Newbery winners before the awards were announced in January. Well, they shared their website address with me, I went there, read it, and I was hooked!

Not only did I have access to Mary Lee's and Franki's thinking, there were actually links to other blogs they enjoyed reading. My reading life took on a whole new dimension. Now, not only did I lose track of time at the computer as I navigated from one blog link to another (who needs a home-cooked meal or clean clothes, anyway!), I always had a notebook at my side to write down book titles that seemed like a good read, or books that got a good review from a blogger whose opinion I trusted. So many books and blogs; so little time!

I'm proud to say that this year, because I read their blog and many others, I managed to read 3 of the 4 Newbery award winners (not, mind you, the Winner) and the Caldecott award winner. I owe it all to Mary Lee and Franki -- they got it started, and I wanted to join in on the fun. So, today is the day Bill and I will start sharing about our literate lives.

The best part of all of this is how it plays out in my classroom. There will be many specific posts later about how books play a huge role in my classroom, but let me say that I'm proud that my students are beginning to lead "literate lives" themselves. In addition, I will be sharing more of my own literate life -- thoughts and reviews about children's books and professional books that are having a big impact on my instruction, my thinking, and the learning that takes place in my classroom.


  1. You're IN! Now the fun begins!!


  2. Karen,

    This is terrific! I am looking forward to checking in frequently and reuniting myself with the joy of reading great books for kids (and grown-ups, too!)

  3. Way to go with your first blog entry! I am so excited that I will be able to check at home and then walk across the hall and talk some more! I agree who needs home made meals :) Congrats Karen!

  4. Karen,
    I'm proud of you for not only following up with a personal goal of your own... but, influencing others (Bill, other teachers?) to achieve their own goals. I'm looking forward to reading your "thoughts" on books, kids, and good teaching.