Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Adults and Students Alike

Melia's mom falls under the spell of not knowing what to write in If You Were A Writer by Joan Lowery Nixon. It is a spell we can all relate to, adults and students alike. As I have pondered what slice of my life to write about for today's post I find myself coming back to not only breaking that spell, but the need for an audience. 

I am reminded that it is a need for all of us, adults and students alike. As we were working on what makes a great book recommendation I told my students they would be sharing these with their classmates and beyond. They were surprised until I asked what good was a book recommendation if they were the only one to see it, they already know that they like the book. 

The same is true with my motivation for this post. 

Last week I was excited to be back on the horse after my summer hiatus. I felt really proud of my post and had work to craft it well. In addition it was close to my heart. I had it up and posted with LOADS of Tuesday left for those in the States. I even had my link up on Two Writing Teachers as soon as I had posted and then spent time reading and commenting on other blogs. Yet I had zero, yup none, nada, zilch comments on my post. 

Wow. Crusher.

I am forcing myself to get something up here and remembering two things. It is about the the exercise of sitting down and writing. I have done that. My students do that. Sometimes that is not enough to get us to want to do it again - let alone again and again and again.

What am I going to do this school year to ensure my students feel that they have a genuine audience and true feedback? Thanks to all of you who didn't comment last week to help me remember this lesson.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Birthdays in Heaven

Today is was Hymnbo's birthday. This is his first birthday in heaven. In heaven I'm sure he doesn't care - neither age nor days hold any significance. Needing to feel special and be honored are no longer important either since they are always true, truer than we can ever imagine. 

I'm pretty sure there are no birthdays in heaven.

For those of us on the earthly side, the calendar turns to August 30th and he is my first thought. The tears well up. My next thought is of others who are no longer with us and all of us sudden the tears swell even more; not only is this our first year without him, but he died on my brother's birthday. My brother's birthday that we've had without him twelve times. 

(Side note: His dying on David's birthday was a comfort on the day he died. We figured they were off climbing mountains together. Grief does that; the same thing that makes us smile can also push our mourning.)

On top of all of this, last year on Hymnbo's birthday we had no idea it was the last one. His diagnosis came a few weeks later. As we sat around the table that afternoon, swelling with food and family fellowship, we planned a birthday cruise for a future birthday of his - a birthday that won't ever happen.

I miss him. 

It all happened fast.

I turn my thoughts back to the fact that he is in heaven - "hanging out with Jesus" as we have explained to my daughter as she first had to understand death a few years ago - and then none of the rest matters. Heaven is a pretty good place to be.

I sent my mom a message this morning. It was his birthday here, but not yet there (due to the ten hour time difference). I wanted to check in, but with her response any concern I had of the day being full of sadness vanished. 

Hymnbo LOVED ice cream. It's a great idea. Guess what we'll be doing after school.

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Monday - What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Here are my August books. I made my #bookaday challenge for vacation! An average of two per week is pretty typical during school. With that being said, my students did the math and figured out that I read about 150 books a year!

Monday, August 1, 2016

July Books