Curious Critters: Backyard Animals

June 22, 2017

Mo Wilems found an excellent way to engage children with his books by having them interact with the pigeon character. My kindergarten summer school class answered the pigeon every time.

David FitzSimmons created another text written in second person to grab the reader’s attention in Curious Critters: Backyard Animals,   He has a mixture of familiar animals kids recognize that “talk” to them. Throw in some humor and the kids want to learn more. Sneaky right? Who would think a scientific, informational text could be creative and fun? David did.

“Air Traffic Control, This is Monarch Flight 1 preparing for takeoff, flying from Milkweed, Minnesota to Oyamel Fir Forest, Mexico. The estimated flight time for our two-thousand mile journey is just over two months.”

Kids will be asking for this read aloud and more. Use it as a mentor text for their own animal reports. No more boring.

Video clip of the author sharing how he takes the photos of each animal.

Savorings for reading and writing for Curious Critters: Backyard Animals:

  • Genre Forms within the collection – first person narrative, riddle, poems including a limerick, math connection
  • Class Book -have kids create a two-page layout of an animal
  • Onomatopoeia – animal sounds
  • Voice – Bluegill, Eastern Cottontail – point of view with dialect
  • Author’s Note – importance of nature, reading, animals

You Are (Not) Small

June 21, 2017

You are (Not) Small by Anna King (ill. by Christoper Weyant)  is a delightful, simplistic worded text with a powerful punch of a theme. Opinions. We all have them. Kids have them. Adults have them. Each of us thinks our opinion makes the most sense and is valid.

Anna King takes an opinion of size – small or big – and makes the reader think. I can imagine children agreeing with the small creature. Yep, he is big.

Then, I can again imagine another group of children being surprised by the next larger creature. Have fun with the kids as you read aloud. Engage in asking their opinion. For older students, this book, simple as it is, ushers in a discussion of fact and opinion.

Fun reading of the book on YouTube.

Book savorings for reading and writing for You Are (Not Small):

  • Dedication: Author’s purpose:  “To Kate and Lily, for inspiring us every day. We love you exactly the way you are.”
  • Opinions based on Perspective
  • Community Building – compromise; differences
  • Comparisons – mathematical, relational
  • Bookend ending – predict the next scene; use it as a springboard for writing differences in the classroom

Celebrating My Summer Week with Pictures!

July 5, 2015
I helped my mom on Monday. She is still weak, but gaining strength. Faithful, their 120 lb. German Shepherd, was happy for extra company. He is true to his name!

I helped my mom on Monday. She is still weak, but gaining strength. Faithful, their 120 lb. German Shepherd, was happy for extra company. He is true to his name!

After grocery shopping, Moo cheered me on as I packed the pantry. Curiosity!

After grocery shopping, Moo cheered me on as I packed the pantry. Curiosity!

Youth group fun at my sister-in-law's home. In the summer, youth group rotates to the homes for summer fun and food. Slip and slide this night with s'mores after a devotional. I was delighted to help.

Youth group fun at my sister-in-law’s home. In the summer, youth group rotates to the homes for summer fun and food. Slip and slide this night with s’mores after a devotional. I was delighted to help.

Attending the SouthBend Cubs where Wesley interns. We had superb seats behind home plate. Wes was nearby in the tunnel ready to take care of official business.

Attending the SouthBend Cubs where Wesley interns. We had superb seats behind home plate. Wes was nearby in the tunnel ready to take care of official business.

Kitten fun! They have been on the porch and just introduced to the outside. Mama was watching over them as they romped around. Delightful!

Kitten fun! They have been on the porch and just introduced to the outside. Mama was watching over them as they romped around. Delightful!

Smiling at pictures of my relatives (my mom's two younger sisters in this photo) on Facebook. Thankful for being able to keep in touch over hundreds of miles!

Smiling at pictures of my relatives (my mom’s two younger sisters in this photo) on Facebook. Thankful for being able to keep in touch over hundreds of miles!

July 4th fun!

July 4th fun!


Opportunity {Celebrations}

June 28, 2014

Join in Celebrating the little and big in your life at Ruth Ayres Writes.

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Linda, Kim, and Elsie are wonderful!

This week was the beginning of my summer at home, scheduling as I pleased. My heart is filled with joy and renewed by seeing so many friends at AllWrite!!! Memories make me smile. I also love connecting with them on Facebook and feeling a part of their lives through the distance. I love blogging about books and receiving comments. I love reading other life moments and being connected.

I celebrate my friend, Bethany. We met for coffee and shared about our teaching lives. Her classroom blog captures to creative spirit she resonates with them.

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I celebrate shopping. My daughter and I spent yesterday with my cousin and her daughter. We laughed and shared and laughed some more. Of course we made purchases too. I love a sale!!

 

I celebrate memories of my classroom. Phase one of our new school has begun. Two sections of our school have been torn down to allow for the new construction to begin. In the photo below, my door is still open to the very last minute.

 

My door stands open until the end.

I celebrate a dream come true! During my presentation at AllWrite!!!, I was unaware Brenda Power from Choice Literacy was in the audience. Afterwards, she invited me to spend the day at a writing retreat. I accepted with a huge hug and smile. Monday, I practiced BIC- bottom in chair – and after six hours of drafting, rereading, revising, conferring, rereading, revising, conferring, an article was birthed. The accomplishment of nurturing an article into being was awesome! Thanks to my writing group who gave feedback during the day. (Notice I had their picture up during my writing time.) Thanks to Brenda for the opportunity and conferring with me. Thanks to Christy and Deb for their smiles of affirmation. Thanks to Ruth for believing I could do it. Thanks to Franki and Shari for providing feedback during group share. Now, on to more writing!!

The desk I wrote at during the retreat. Loved it!!

The desk I wrote at during the retreat. Loved it!!

 


All Write!!! 2014 {Celebrations}

June 21, 2014

Wednesday evening began with the BONS meeting on the fly during our dinner. (We were secretly drafting and revising an opening for our dear friend Ruth.) I loved seeing everyone and the room was full of chatter, bringing delight to my ears.

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Thursday, I also presented, Finding Craft in the Books You Love. My heart pounded and I became overwhelmed by the gracious audience. With standing room only and my colleagues, friends in the audience, my delight in books overflowed.

Loved it all. More on this later.

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{SOL} Pictures to Hold the Story

January 14, 2014
Elizabeth and her best friend spent time together. They are managers for the wrestling team. I learn more stories listening to them. :)

Elizabeth and her best friend spent time together. They are managers for the wrestling team. I learn more stories listening to them. 🙂

My blog has been silent but my heart has not. This mother has been gathering comments, moments, laughter to her heart. My children were together for three weeks, filled with family, activity, and stories. The extra snow has us stranded together and we loved it. Between snuggling with my dog or cat, sipping coffee in the early mornings to  rearranging, sorting, and completing projects, we were together. Pictures below will give you a snippet-look into our family time. Loved it all!

Harley loves to lay on the heater during these cold, below zero days.

Harley loves to lay on the heater during these cold, below zero days. While he relaxed, we removed a wall in the basement, opening an area for exercise. Wes also laid carpet in our bathroom. He gave the gift of help.

Three kids hold my heart forever!

Three kids hold my heart forever! With Elizabeth being a junior in high school and Tim a freshman, the moments together are being held on to even more. We loved having Wesley home. He is a natural story teller and brings them out from everyone.

Wes showed me how to do a selfie on my new phone.

Wes showed me how to do a selfie on my new phone.

My sister-in-law is an awesome hostess. We are now treated to having family near by for the holidays.

My sister-in-law is an awesome hostess. We are now treated to having family near by for the holidays.

New Year's Eve was spent together sharing memories, stories of the brothers as kids, dreams for the future, and games for the present.

New Year’s Eve was spent together sharing memories, stories of the brothers (my husband, Rick, and Uncle Bart) as kids, dreams for the future, and games for the present. My niece is adorable, full of life.

Kip has learned to tolerate our new dog. He still loves to purr next to me when I am reading.

Kip has learned to tolerate our new dog. He still loves to purr next to me when I am reading.

Tim is playing basketball and so I was chauffeuring him to practices throughout break. I have a story about his experience.

Tim is playing basketball and so I chauffeured  him to practices throughout break. I have a story about his experience.

Snow hit heavy. The boys went out four times shoveling the drive, casting the huge mound. On the third day, the kids reminisced about forts they had made in the past. With temps below zero, they shoveled out a tunnel and had fun.

Snow hit heavy. The boys went out four times shoveling the drive, creating the huge mound. On the third day, the kids reminisced about forts they had made in the past. With temps below zero, they shoveled out a tunnel and had fun.

Our hearts were wrapped in belonging, loved and embraced! I am thankful.

Our hearts were wrapped in belonging, loved and embraced! I am thankful.


Trees Everywhere {Five Minute Friday}

November 15, 2013

Trees are all around us. They hold memories, shade and protect us.

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A fun day at the zoo!

They stand as a monument for us, even support us.

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Isn’t she beautiful?!

Trees reach to the sky. Branches stretch straight and wide, enveloping the sunshine in its deepest veins. Sunshine feeds its leaves, energizing its whole being.

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Beauty in the autumn season

Trees grace in the background, they stand with applause. They listen and hear the stories told.

Carl Anderson and my co-presenter and friend, Tammy, converse with Elsie at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute.

Carl Anderson and my co-presenter and friend, Tammy, converse with Elsie at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute. (Thanks Bonnie!)

 

Trees.

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