Baseball Highlight

April 6, 2010

My son’s HS baseball team was selected as the WANE TV Team of the Week.  You can view the two minute video clip at the link below.  It’s exciting to see them play.  If you read my baseball banter post, this video helps you relate.

Baseball Video


April 3, 2010


Pamela Duncan Edwards brings fun into her texts.  Henry Cole has illustrated the majority of her books, including this one,  Muldoon.  Muldoon is a dog.  He loves his family and does many things for them. 

The story begins with Muldoon being chosen to work for the family.  Pamela narrates the story from Muldoon’s point of view.  The dog is given the personified quality of an employee at a job.  Muldoon has working conditions, supervises the children, and protects the family.  Henry Cole show the family’s point of view through the pictures, which is a contrast to what Muldoon is sharing with his reader.  Cute and very inviting as a read aloud for all ages.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Muldoon:

  • Dog’s point of view – “big blue kennel”, “private apartment”
  • Inferring in the illustrations – the dog is eating the cat food to keep the cat on its diet
  • Personification – the entire text weaves the dog’s viewpoint as a person who has been hired by the family
  • Magic of 3
  • Sequence of events – highlights snapshots of events in the Muldoon’s daily life

April Foolishness

April 1, 2010

Today is April 1 – April Fools Day.  Today, children throughout school and home will pull pranks on you.  My children gat me at home today.  The weather is beautiful and spring break starts tomorrow.  My daughter said, “You know what, Mom?  I heard the weatherman is calling for snow next week.”

My face became totally surprised and upset at the same time, “What?  No way.”

“April Fools,” E said, laughing.  I just shook my head; I couldn’t believe I had fallen for it.

Teresa Bateman must have a practical joke side to her.  In her  book, April Foolishness, grandpa is making breakfast for the start of his day.  His two grandchildren run in and inform him that the cows are out.  Grandpa just smiles and says he’ll get to them in a few minutes.  Each grand child keeps returning, panicking at the different animals that are causing mayhem in the barnyard.  The illustrator, Nadine Bernard Westcott, creates mental pictures of the chaos the children are describing.  Excellent visualizing example.

In the end, the children are sitting down to eat.  Grandpa has maintained his calm, in-control manner.  He’s aware that today is April Fool’s Day, and he is not going to allow his grandchildren to play a trick on him.  The look of disappointment spread across the children’s faces.  They have tried all their tricks.

Grandmother comes on the scene.  She states that the farm is full of mayhem and why isn’t he taking care of it.  Grandpa’s face shows alarm as he quickly puts his boots and coats on.  He rushes out the door, as Grandma sits down to his breakfast to say, “April Fools.”

Savorings for reading and writing for April Foolishness:

  • Visualization
  • Sequence of events in one morning
  • Feelings – the character’s words show the emotion of the day
  • Foreshadowing – the beginning shows a picture of grandmother getting ready for the day.  She has a nice smile on her face.  I didn’t realize that it was a foreshadowing of the prank she was going to pull.
  • Dialogue – excellent back-and-forth conversation

SOL: April Fool’s Day

April 1, 2010

I had a fun experience today at school.  One cook, S, and our day custodian, M, play friendly pranks on each other.  In February, S asked me to join in the fun on M’s birthday.  On the morning announcements, I asked the students to wish M a happy 51st birthday.  Now, M is in his early fortys, and keeps to himself.  Last year, I had made the same announcement, except that he was 50 then.

When I saw M in the hallway, I was timid and stated that it wasn’t my idea.  “Oh, don’t worry.  I know it was S,”  M said, smiling.  “The only thing is that we had made a truce this year.  I was going to do something to her on her birthday, but didn’t because of our pact.  Now it’s too late.  Her birthday is six days before mine.”

We continued walking down the hallway when a thought hit me.  “M, April 1 is coming.  You could announce that it’s her 50th birthday then.”

M beamed.  “Great idea.  Will you do it?” How could I say no?

M added, “And you can say, ‘April Fools, she’s really 55!”  We laughed.

The month went by and M didn’t mention the prank at all.  I thought he had forgotten about it, until he stuck his head in my room on Wednesday and said, “Now you are going to make the announcement aren’t you?”  I laughed.  “Okay.”

This morning, I got on the PA and wished S a happy 45th birthday and encouraged all the children to mention it when they saw S going through the lunch line.  I then added, “April Fools – she’s really 50.”  (I had to say 50; I didn’t want S to be too mad.) I heard laughter spread in the office.

Later in the morning, S sent me an email, “You traitor.  You belong to the dark side now….watch your back.”

I replied, “S, I love you both.  I couldn’t help it.”

S replied, “Ok.  I must admit, that was a good one.”

April Fools Day – a crazy, pranking day for children…and adults alike.