Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Maymester 2018

Well, the spring semester flew by and Maymester is upon us!  I am teaching two of my favorite classes:  LIBS 451: Children's Literature and READ 438/638: Classroom Approaches to the Teaching of Reading in the Elementary School.  While three weeks seems like a whirlwind, it does allow students to immerse in the content for three solid weeks, meeting everyday.  As blogging is a course requirement for LIBS, it is my hope that teacher candidates find their voice, share their thoughts, and seek out other educators and organizations that actively blog.  As a teacher, I think it is critically important that we model (and practice) our reading and writing habits.  

If we do not read and write ourselves, how do we expect students to actively engage in the process? 

Think about that question for a moment!  Feel free to comment.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

My Sweet Isabella

While this post may not be about reading, education, children's books, YA literature, I am going to take a moment and share a photo of my sweet Isabella (our 3.5 pound, 9 year old Yorkie).  

While up at the lake (Kentucky Lake), we removed her leash and let her "play" in the water.  She started to chase a stick, until she quickly realized that she would be under water soon (she can swim, but is not a fan).  This was a big step for Isa as she would rather hang out IN the boat, rather than in the lake.
She may be hard to see as the color of her coat seems to blend in with the gravel at the shoreline, but she is our mighty little girl! 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Discussion Starters

I happened to be checking out Twitter and came across this fabulous post by a teacher who shared these discussion stems or starters.  They can be printed and treated like playing cards to get students actively engaged in a class discussion, or simply used as a classroom poster to help students with speaking and writing!  There are certainly many uses that such discussion stems could be used in the classroom.  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Ahhh...what a great statement!  Author, Beverly Cleary certainly makes a very powerful statement here.  Cleary is the author who brought us Ramona, Ralph, Beezus and many more. She also brought us D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read), which is celebrated on her birthday, April 12. In 2018, Cleary turned 102 years old and that is certainly something to celebrate.

So...if you don't see the book you want on that shelf...write it!

Monday, April 23, 2018

What A Library

It is no secret that I love libraries!  I would love to have a home office/library filled with books from floor to ceiling. But, until that happens, I will continue to explore fascinating libraries.  I have not visited this library, but love the exterior.  This is the Kansas City Library and someday, I would love to visit this library.  

It makes me sad when I hear people refer to libraries as a dying breed; I believe that while they face challenges (due to digital technology), many continue to rise to the occasion and continue to serve their constituents well.  We need  our public libraries and they serve a very useful purpose. In fact, for many, it is their literacy lifeline.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

RIP Barbara Bush

Today, we lost a true American lady!  Barbara Bush was the First Lady of the United States from 1989-1993.

Barbara Bush: June 8, 1925 -- April 17, 2018

This statement is so incredibly true and one in which I wish all parents would adhere to.  Read to your children, hug them, and love them.  
As a parent, I saw the impact of reading to my child: she was an incredible student (through K-12, undergraduate, and law school), and is an avid reader today.  That did not happen by accident or chance. 
As a teacher, I saw (and continue to see) the impact when children come from homes from which they are not read to as compared to children who are read to and the difference is staggering! That accounts for much of  the achievement gap...and while I believe that teachers can certainly work to narrow the gap, it is not a task of one...it takes a village.  
Your greatest asset is your child/children...invest in them, provide them with the tools they need to be successful.  If you need resources, seek them out:  check out your local libraries for read alouds, celebration days, books clubs, and more. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018


I came across this and thought is was most appropriate and so true!  As schools prepare to administer the state mandated standardized test, it is my hope that teachers, administrators, and parents encourage students to do their very best, rather than create a sense of urgency or dread, which leads to testing anxiety. It has always been my firm belief that if we teach everyday (to our very best), engage students, and motivate them to learn, they will perform to their very best.  Additionally, this visual reminds me that EVERYONE should always be learning:  because life truly does teach us something everyday.  Our mind must be open to receive, process, critically think and evaluate, so learning can take place!  Cheers to learning!