Showing posts from October, 2013

Soar Between Stars

Soar between stars Seek, search, explore Meet new civilizations Or create your own. Find common ground. Redefine “human”. Travel through time - Reach back, Stretch forward, Peek at eternity Gaze with awe At galaxies, nebulae Or a single cell. Bring your sense of Wonder. Keep asking “What If?” If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, know me in person, or hang with me at all on Twitter, it won’t surprise you to hear that I love science fiction. I’m participating in a month long blog fiesta in November to celebrate one of my favorite genres. I’ll have posts about science fiction books, television, movies, and more.  I’ll even be hosting a really fun Doctor Who week along with my pals from Teen Librarian Toolbox from November 17th-23rd, leading up to the 50th anniversary celebration. Be sure to come by often! I participate in the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by the amazing educators at Two Writing Teachers . We write and share

Lessons in Leadership

What do you get when you take a sixth grade boy and put him in charge of a little crew of younger scouts? That was exactly what we decided to discover when my older son took on the job of Den Chief for a den of wolves (2nd graders) this year. He has done a great job helping the den leader during meetings so far this year, but the true test of his leadership skills came when we ventured out on a camping trip with our Pack. He sprang into action, wrangling the boys as they played in the trees near our campsite and helping out on our day hike at Hawk Mountain. I knew he would take his job seriously, but I was still surprised to see just how much of his heart he plunged into looking after the younger boys. He'd get frustrated when they didn't listen to him, and was exhausted by the end of our hike. You see, even though EACH child in our group had a parent present on the hike, he still took personal responsibility for keeping them safe. He counted them each time we left a new

It's Monday - October 21st

Oh, my poor neglected little blog! It's been almost 2 weeks since I posted any new content. It's been a busy season. Between Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, robotics club, and various work commitments - I feel like I am spending my fall in a constant state of "oh, what did I forget?" (Don't forget to go visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to visit other blogs participating in the weekly It's Monday" theme!) My reading life isn't managing well - but I did finish a few picture books this week! Two Jane Yolen books - both lovely but didn't really "wow" me. Two Timothy Young books that are PERFECT for this spooky holiday season! I recently won the contest for I Hate Picture Books - Young's newest book - and met Timothy on Sunday evening to receive the SIXTEEN books I won! I got signed copies of all four of his books, and signed copies of TWELVE books that appear in I Hate Picture Books .  The other completed bo

Using Picture Books to Spark Personal Narratives

I love my local writing project -- PAWLP. I completed the writing fellowship in 2000, and have taken numerous excellent classes with them over the years. Last year, PAWLP ran a teen writer's festival which was very well attended. This year, they decided to add special sessions for elementary students. When I was asked to run a one, I knew I wanted to use some of my favorite new picture books to help spark their ideas. There would be two elementary workshops, and we planned to have the students split into primary and upper elementary groups. I needed a topic that would fit with a realistic fiction theme, and that could be nudged up or down in difficulty as the students required. After a bit of perusing through my picture book stash, I knew I had just the right idea. Several of my favorite recent biographies had wonderful childhood stories at the start, helping kids get to know the famous figure as a real person who was once a kid like them. I also grabbed my copy of Small B

It's Monday - October 7th

Hello again!  I skipped last week because I was part of the Blog Tour for one of my favorite books this year - The Real Boy by Anne Ursu. There's still time to visit that post and toss your name in the hat to win your own signed copy. I'm back this week with a nice slew of books to share. Don't forget to visit Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for posts by other readers to help build your own reading list. Some favorites: Fortunately, the Milk - by Neil Gaiman Is it time travel? Is it a crazy tall tale? It doesn't really matter... it's just a ton of fun. I was 11th on the hold list for my library's copy of this one. I'll definitely be recommending purchasing it for my building. I was reading this at nights with my younger son. He's so excited that we finished just in time to jump into House of Hades this week! We pre-ordered it, so hopefully we get it right when it comes out.  Another amazing installme

Unexpected Journey

It was a crazy weekend. My sister was scheduled to have her baby girl on Wednesday (tomorrow). Sonja decided to do her own thing and arrive early Saturday morning. I wasn't going to be able to see my sweet little niece (and, by extension, my adorable 2 year old nephew, my sister, and her husband) until Christmas. I had resigned myself to this fact, and was going on with my life. Instead, a text from my husband while I was at a writing conference Saturday morning changed the course of the weekend. I ditched the last session, hustled home, tossed clothes in a bag, and jumped in the car. My brother-in-law knew we were on the road, but we decided to surprise my sister at the hospital. Eight hours later I was holding her in my arms. Instead of the certainty that I wouldn't see her until she was almost three months old I had the joyful reality of being able to breathe in that newborn calm. I could drive to the hospital and hold her so my sister could get in a little nap. I