Celebrate: Five Star Things About the Week



It’s Saturday! That time to pause and reflect on the week.  So good to share with other at Ruth Ayres’ blog.


My conversation with Helen Frost, author of Salt and other wonderful poetry novels. She suggested that we exchange emails instead of the canned questions (which after several years of doing interviews in that way, I am up for something new.)  We discussed the extraordinary poet, William Stafford as centennial celebrations abound here in Oregon.  Her interview can be found HERE.


Helen shared her poem, “That Certainty” for Poetry Friday. It’s one of many in a new anthology, A Ritual to Read to Each Other: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, published in conjunction for the Stafford centennial.


Progress is being made on the reorganizing of the series books in the library.  It’s tedious work because I want to ensure that it will assist my readers, especially the emerging ones.   It’s been a challenge to my philosophy that students should have free reign of what they check out in the library.  It the current educational environment, students are strongly encouraged to get a “just right” book meaning one at their level.  In February, my first graders will be allowed to check out two books if their parents wish because I want them to have the opportunity for free choice.  I believe that lessons are learned when you select books that you are interested in despite that it may be too difficult.


Finding books at my public library to help fifth graders launch into a nonfiction writing unit based on the new Lucy Calkins Writing program.  One student in particular wanted to research the Donner Party.  We have little in nonfiction in this area as since our budgets have shrunk ( I used to have a $4500-$5000 budget and now I have $1000), it’s difficult to justify being anything that is not directly in concert with the curriculum.  Thank goodness the library had some titles on this topic for me to check out.


Reading  Candice Fleming’s Oh, No! aloud to classes.  It’s a Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award nominee.  So much fun and engaging to read.

What are you celebrating?



Celebrate: Five Star Things About this Week


It’s time to look back on the week and celebrate all the goodness .  Find more at Ruth Ayres.


The return of my library volunteer.  She’s a retired teacher librarian.  I am so happy when she can come to help as she is one busy woman these days.  Well, she’s always been a busy bee and retirement has nothing on her.  But she was able to put up a bulletin board for me to publicize those who had recorded minutes of reading in November. (I do this bi-monthly).


Discovering websites and apps.  Whole Brain Teaching thanks to the link from the music teacher. It has great strategies for working with challenging students.  My challenges are with the K-2 crowd.  They seem to arrive at school with few social skills.
I also discovered Follet Destiny and Destiny Quest apps for both my IPad and my phone.  The library is with me always.


My friend and colleague visited my library week to do a serious reorganization of the fiction shelves.  I believe in easy access for students so my goal is to weed my fiction collection so it will fit along that wall.


Series and possibly a shelf for Award Books will go along this back shelf.


It’s a lot of weeding of books.  Our budgets are so limited that getting rid of water damaged and ratty books is difficult.  But it helps to have a friend with you.



Getting back to teaching.  I loved my two-week break but it was good to get back into a routine. I like being able to rise early enough to get my workout completed before heading to school.


Santa gave me an Amazon gift card.  These arrived this week. Thank you, Santa.


Poetry Friday: Library Books


I am playing with the tritina form. This is the time of year where school is in a frenzy. We need all the library books returned.


I got to find my library books
Looked under the bed
And found instead stinky socks.

Of course, they were my brother’s socks
So he’s the one who took my books
And left smelly socks under my bed.

Maybe if I looked under his bed
I would find my library books
And replace them with his stinky socks.

Overdue books don’t belong under the bed with smelly socks.

It’s a draft. I need to sit with it a bit.
Other Poetry Friday can be found Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Happy Reading.
Happy Poetry.