Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-October 29, 2014

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website.

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
by Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet 
Published by Erdman's 2014
Nonfiction Picture Book
42 Pages
Review copy obtained from public library

Ever wonder how Roget's Thesaurus was created? Well, it all started with a boy who loved to make lists. In the absolutely beautiful picture book, Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up again to create this engaging and informative book (they originally published A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams). 
In this book, the reader learns how Roget kept notebooks filled with lists of words in his attempt to find just the right words he wanted to use. 
Over decades the lists became the first Roget's Thesaurus. I love everything about this book. It is wonderful for children throughout elementary school, but students in grades 2-5 will get the most from it in my opinion. This is my current favorite nonfiction picture book published this year. 

Enjoy this book trailer of The Right Word.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Slice of Life-One-On-One Time

Each Tuesday the amazing bloggers at Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life Stories (SOLS). This is where bloggers link up to share anything they would like to share about what is happening in their lives. 

Last weekend my husband and daughter were away in Cape Cod to visit my step-daughter so TJ and I spent the weekend together, just the two of us. As much as I love it when the whole family is together, there is something special about being alone with just one of my kids. After a very long week of late nights for parent-teacher conferences, I was very much looking forward to a fun weekend with him. 

When Molly and I are alone, the time is usually filled with movies or shopping and always lots of chatting. With TJ, things are much different. We spend a fair amount of time just hanging out at home, but we also go to places that he likes to go. During our weekend of fun we started very early. Because of his autism, sometimes his sleep patterns are a bit irregular so Saturday's wake-up time wasl 12:45 (yes in the morning)! Thankfully I was able to catch a few more winks on the couch after getting him settled with his juice, snack and his ipad.  

Later in the morning we hit our favorite breakfast place-a fabulous diner that has been part of our community forever. 
I know you are wondering, the book he is reading is Over in the Meadow.

Then he asked to go to Lowe's. He likes the lighting department and the Christmas displays.

Yes, I am THAT parent who lets their child do this at a store. It was early, no one was around. 

Next we decided to try a new trampoline park (along with most of the greater Portland area). He absolutely loves to jump and had a blast. 

Most of Sunday was spent just relaxing at home. I treasure these weekends with him. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading-October 27, 2014

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

A big thank you to all my fellow bloggers. All of the books I read this week, I have found by reading their posts.

Click on the book covers to go to learn more about each book.

Picture Books-Fiction
This book is sooo much fun! Young readers will love to listen to it and will want to look closely at the funny pictures. Grades K-4.

I loved the first Moose book and this one is a 
winner as well. Grades K-4.

This book is beautiful and a must-read for any 
young dancer.  Grades 1-4

A sweet story with a powerful message. Grades 1-4.

Nonfiction Picture Books
Yes, another amazing animal books by Steve Jenkins.  Grades 2-5.

I love Ivan and this book is a wonderful tribute to his life. All grades.

Still Reading...
I am embarrassed to put this up again. It is wonderful, but last week was conference week-too tired to read much. 

Currently Listening
Loving this one!

What Are You Reading Friends? 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stack-It-Up Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Sundays I like to share some of the random piles of books around my house. I originally posted about my piles on this celebration post.  Along with showing everyone how messy my house is, I like to share because each pile has its own story.

Here are this week's stacks.
Harold and the Purple Crayon sits on the side table and Tyrannosaurus Reg is beside the ghost.

These are my latest acquisitions. I needed two more copies of One for the Murphys for book groups and my class wanted the second Explorer book.

I got Migrant from my library and Stuck in the Middle of Middle School was a gift I brought Molly back from my writing weekend. They sit on the kitchen counter.

This is my most recent library stack resting on the ottoman. Visit tomorrow to see all the wonderful picture books in here.

Random books sit on another side table. Molly thought she might like this 
kind of graphic novel, but she did not.

Lastly, this well-loved copy of over in the meadow sits on the playroom floor. 
TJ brought it in the car as we ran errands yesterday.

What books are in your stacks?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slice of Life Post-Writing Retreat

Each Tuesday the amazing bloggers at Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life Stories (SOLS). This is where bloggers link up to share anything they would like to share about what is happening in their lives. 

This past weekend I had the great fortune to attend my first writing retreat at a beautiful resort on the ocean here in Maine. This retreat was held for some New England contributors to Choice Literacy. The enormously generous Brenda Power was our gracious hostess during this incredible three days. 
This is the view from the patio of my room. Nice view for writing!

I had never been on a retreat so I did not really know what to expect.  It turned out to be a weekend filled with gobs of indulgent writing time, sharing our writing and getting feedback from others, talking with dedicated educators, eating (too much) wonderful food and more, and more writing time. I was heavenly! Having the dedicated, uninterrupted writing time was just what I needed. I felt spoiled and more than a little guilty.
These are some of the books we received during our retreat. I know right? *Pinches self*

I was excited to make some new friends and to meet my online friends Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan (from Teachers for Teachers) "in real life". They were presenting at a Choice Literacy workshop for literacy coaches. 
At breakfast with Clare, Tammy, Kathy Provost, (me) 
and my nerdy Maine friend Justin Stygles.

I am so glad that I had this opportunity and hope to attend another retreat in the future. It left me feeling revitalized and excited to write more. I never talk about myself as being a writer, but after writing and connecting with other writers this weekend, I am beginning to start to see myself in this light and it is very exciting.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-October 15, 2014

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website. 
by Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Published 2014 by Calkins Creek Books
32 Pages
Review copy provided by the publisher

As a teacher of The American Revolution, I love learning about our founding fathers. I knew Ben Franklin was a talented inventor, of course, but I did not know much about him as a child. This book shows Frankin as an eleven-year-old who loved to swim even though swimming for sport was not popular at the time.  Young Ben asked himself lots of questions. One question was "What can't I swim like a fish?" This led him to study how fish swim and to his first invention, "swim fins"! 
I think this book would be a valuable model of the scientific process. He took a question, studied his subjects, designed a prototype and modified that design based on his trials. Ben was just a regular, curious kid and I think children will be able to relate to him and find his story to be inspirational. 
There is a nice timeline of Franklin's life and an author's note at the end of the book. 

Use this book....
*as a model of the scientific process.
*as part of a study of American history.
*as part of a biography unit. 
*before a unit on inventions. 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Must-Read-In-2014 October Update

Back in January I decided to join fellow blogger friends Carrie Gelson from There's a Book for That, Linda Baie from Teacher Dance and Maria Selke from Maria's Melange for the Must Read in 2014 Challenge. Our Must Read lists consist of books we want to make sure we read` this year. In my case the list was a combination of books I have been meaning to read and books I don't want to miss.

I can not believe that we made our lists ten months ago! Time sure does fly. 
Here is my October update.
Well, I have read ONE more book from my list. 
I have read ten books out of my 14 Must Reads so far.

I am very much hoping to get to the last 4 books in the next couple of months. 

Click here to see my original list.