Season: a New Blog Tab

October 26, 2011

The organizer in me created a new tab on my blog. I’ve titled it Season. My literacy room holds books in baskets and boxes. Each are labeled to help me find the book I need. I have two file cabinets filled with books and writing lessons organized by theme. My top two drawers have the months of the year with encompassing holiday events neatly filed behind it. Organization helps me teach better.

So, I was trying to remember what books I had already posted within the theme of fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. After reviewing past October posts, I decided I needed to create a place to hold the categorized list. Thus, the Season tab. I hope you find the categories helpful as well.

What’s your favorite autumn book?


Slice of Life Challenge

March 22, 2010

For anyone who is just checking in on my blog, I have been writing a slice-of-life daily for the month of March.  This challenge has been presented and hosted by TwoWritingTeachers.

In April, I will begin sharing some new books.  I went to a presentation today at the Michigan Reading Conference on “Great New Books, Great New Learning”.  The session was very informing and motivating.  I wish I had an unending cash flow for great books.  Books give us a glimpse into history, imagination, and knowledge.

Here are some great books:

  • Bubble Homes and Fish Farts
  • Adventures in Cartooning
  • 14 Cows
  • The Printer
  • My Abuelita
  • Those Shoes
  • Ron’s Big Mission
  • Redwoods
  • Music in Harlem

Have fun at the library!


Slice of Life: My Smile for the Day

March 8, 2010

sols2I am a literacy coach at an elementary school.  My office is an inviting place with a comfy chair and books.  I have three tall bookcases, one medium one, and three small bookcases that line my room.  My door is open most of the time.  Children have learned that if it’s open, they can stop in and ask me a question.  It usually goes like this:

“Um, Mrs. Gensch, do you have a book that I can borrow?” to which I answer, “What kind of book are you interested in?”  From there, I try to locate a book that he/she might like.  The student leaves with a book and a smile on his/her face.

I have made it a point to invite several reluctant boy readers.  I figure if I can find a book that they are interested in, I might hook them into trying some other books.  Sneaky, aren’t I?  One such boy, Matt, stops in at least once a week.

Now Matt is a second grader.  He would rather be on a tractor or at wrestling club.  Reading is difficult for him and thus school is not in his quality world.  I had the privilege of working with him over the summer at summer school.  Matt rarely smiled.  He wasn’t depressed; just a kid who is very serious. Throughout this year, I would ask what he was reading.  I guess my interest took hold, because now Matt stops by at least once a week to show me the new book he has gotten from the library.  He often asks then, “Um, could I borrow a book?”  I smile.  Gladly.

Today Matt stopped by with two nonfiction books. As he sat in my comfy chair, his eyes roamed the room.  “Wow, Mrs. Gensch, you are the ruler of books!”  I started to laugh.

“What do you mean, ‘ruler of books’?” I asked.

“Just look, Mrs. Gensch.  There are books here and there and there and over there.  You are the ruler of books,” he said and then… smiled.  “Do you have a book about bears?” Matt added.

I smiled.  Matt made my day.  And yes, I did find him a nonfiction bear book, plus a reptile book and a transformer book.  He left my room filled with pleasure.

Thanks, Matt.  You made my day!


Slice of Life: An Addiction

March 6, 2010

On our errands today, my daughter, husband,  and I stopped by the local Goodwill Store.  I love 50% off day!  My husband, Rick, and my daughter, Elizabeth, know that I have an addiction.  Yes, I have an addiction to books, specifically children’s books.  My favorite place to purchase books is our Goodwill Store.  Books are seventy-five cents for paperback and two dollars for hardback.  Take an extra fifty percent off, and wha-la, I have  a bargain.

Books are awesome treasures!  I love to find a book that interests a child.  I want to open his/her world to so many possibilities.  I want each to love reading.  having a variety of books at my disposal provides more possibilities for my students.  And yes, the library is a place to connect children with books.  I’m just thankful for Goodwill’s fifty percent off days.  I’m addicted to getting books into children’s hands.

I began my dedicated search for great reads, book by book.  (I have been known to have so many in my cart that I have to become choosy and place some back.  For our budget sake, I have a limit.)  Today I was blessed with some excellent nonfiction books, large photographs with easier text.  I also found a copy of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.  Spider Boy by Ralph Fletcher was another great pick.

My husband looked through the adult books and found a Tom Clancey read.  As he met me at the check out, he added his book to my pile, chuckling.  “MaryHelen, I think your book collection rivals the Warsaw Public Library children’s section.”

I smiled and shook my head, “No, I don’t have that many.”

…yet :).