Thursday, May 12, 2016

Get Caught Reading!

May is Get Caught Reading Month. This nationwide campaign is supported by hundreds of teachers, librarians and celebrities across the country (including, Olivia the Pig.) If you need inspiration or instructions on how to participate, there is a picture-book which offers some excellent guidance! 

Image result for how to read a story

In How to Read A Story, by Kate Messner, illustrated by Mark Siegel, the process is broken down into ten steps from choosing a book to saying, “The End.” My students’ favorite step, by far, was number 6,

“When the characters talk,
whatever’s being said . . . 
say it in a voice to match who’s talking.”

They were very willing to take on the voice of the Lion, “I will save the kingdom,” and were especially fond of growling out the voice of the dragon, “Soon the castle will be mine!”

The illustrations pulled them into the story within the story and they had a fit of giggles when they saw the princess-robot-horse sandwich with the dragon about to . . . I’ll stop there but really, you should check it out.

Kids in Marcia Douglas’ class certainly understand Step 3, “Find a Cozy Reading Spot.”

Pajama Day!

I hope you all follow Step 1 to “Find a Story. A good one,” and get caught reading in your classrooms, homes, back yards or wherever your favorite cozy reading spot may be.  Happy Reading!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Poetry Month Adieu

A few years back, I shared this photo with my students and with you, my readers:


I still carry it on my iPad and every now and then, someone will see it and ask where I got the picture. They are always surprised to hear I took it in our own town one day after work.

“I’ve never seen the sky look like that!”

Then there are the times my friends have shared sunset pictures that could easily make the cover of a coffee table book. When they tell me they took the picture the night before, I find it hard to believe I missed it. I was busy cleaning up when I could have been looking up. Sometimes we need a little nudge to catch the beauty around us.

Here’s one sunset I didn’t miss:

Shared beauty might inspire a poem or perhaps the shared beauty will be a poem. Like those found in When Green Becomes Tomatoes, Poems for all Seasons by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Julie Morstad. I loved reading this book with my students.


From her poem

June 10

“ I don’t know much about flowers . . .
but I know how they lean
and bend toward the light
wide open as if singing
their voices (silent but everywhere)
fill up the daytime . . .

Well, I don’t know much about clouds, but I know sometimes they form waves (or dragons, if you have a good imagination), and sometimes they part to let the light shine in.


Poetry can do the same.