Saturday, June 20, 2015

Celebrating a Rainy Perspective

It's been raining all week and if I was counting it probably rained all last week too.  Rain slows me down and reminds me to take some time to do those projects that have been on the back burner for a while as of course gives me extra time for reading.  Ii's been a fun week with our daughter home from Charleston with time to visit as we continue to build family memories. Both kids are home time weekend and this makes my heart warm. A mother never sleeps better when she knows both her children are at home - it's a true blessing that I never take for granted.  

My next celebration is one of learning at home!  Which is perfect for me since I chose to stay home this summer and not attend the summer conferences that I have typically gone too.  It really is amazing that I could sit at home on my deck and feel like I was at Allwrite15 through twitter.  I wrote several ideas in my WNB and tweeted out and felt like I was almost there.  Perfect for me.  

I'm also excited for virtual book clubs that I am gong to try and participate in this summer. #CyberPD has chosen Digital Reading by Franki Sibberson and Bill Bass. I'm on Chapter 4 and already taking notes and reminded constantly  it's not about the tool it's about the learning.  Secondly, though Facebook, I have joined a Notice and Note group which is going to read certain pages weekly and comment so we can all learn together.  Virtual PLN at home in Ostrander-perfect for me.  

Thanks to Ruth Ayre's for reminding us to celebrate every week.  Her post today was a beautiful reminder about the importance of friends and our writing communities.  Have a great week - stay dry or find a great book!!  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Celebrate: a handful of stars

It's summer and the first full week has come to a close. It's interesting to me how time seems to slow down in the summer.  The minutes move like a snail crawling across our garden wall.  Each summer I appreciate that feeling more and more.  

I am celebrating finishing my first book:  a handful of stars by Cynthia Lord.  It's a beautiful story about friendship, Lily and Salma. Lily lost her mom at a young age and lives with her grandparents who own the general store in a remote corner of Maine near the blueberry barrens.  Selma is the daughter of a migrant family who comes in seasonally to pick blueberries. Their friendship includes Lily's blind dog, Lucky, and Selma's love of art which helps both girls achieve their goal. A few of my favorite lines I lifted include: 

  • "different is good it makes you pay attention." 
  • "sometimes life is like a long road leading from one "if" to another" 
  • "takes all kind of people to make a world"
I am celebrating having the time to digest this book, to lift lines and think about how I will weave this book into my mentor text pile.  There are so many possibilities:
  • Beginning of the year with building community
  • Math time with a wonderful part about how hard fractions are yet "That's math for you. But the good part is that once you learn it, it doesn't change. You always do it the same way."
  • Writing Workshop:  How Cynthia wove so many important facts to help the reader learn about blueberries and mason bees. Both of which I didn't know anything about.
  • Reading: character development and how two main characters interact and the importance of secondary characters like her grandparents, Hannah and Dr. Katz (which was a fun play on words) 
  • Social Studies: an important message about migration and the idea of inclusion vs. exclusion.
  • End of the year letting go and taking a small part with you
I look on my time in the summer as a gift. My perspective (OLW15) each summer shifts more to gratitude. I have time to be writing again in my writer's notebook and reflecting on my blog.  I'm excited to be celebrating this week here is the link up.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Time to read, write and play with Ringo who is resting on the left.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Slice of Life: Respecting Summer

Thanks to the Slice of Life community. I am excited to have more time to visit the different slices now that summer vacation has arrived.  Here is the Link for this week’s round up.

It’s Tuesday, June 2, and it’s our last day of school.  It’s been quite a year. As summer vacation is knocking on the door, I am thankful for the next 12 weeks. This summer is going to be different for me.  I am celebrating my perspective (OLW15) of slowing down and realizing I just can’t do it all and the fact I don’t want to do it all.  

This is the first summer that I am choosing to stay at home and not take advantage of different professional learning opportunities. I am sure that I will be learning virtually on twitter, and I’m excited to connect with friends though my virtual #PLN.  How does a girl already have five professional books that she wants to read and one more on the way? I am positive that I have enough professional learning without leaving home.

My perspective on summer is slowly shifting; I have been on overload from previous summers. There are so many ideas that I want to implement when I return to the school in the fall, but I have felt like an island and I needed to change that for this summer.  This is why I need to slow down and respect summer. A chance for early mornings on my porch reading an amazing book which will help me prepare for next year’s Newbery Club. Time to read several professional books and digest them while making connections to my instructional practices. Linger on into the afternoons with a quiet lunch after some midmorning gardening. And finally if it is a perfect day hopefully there will be some time for reflection and blogging. 

Welcome summer….I have been waiting on you.