Saturday, December 1, 2012

Currently Bookish


 

Where do I even begin to explain how much fun I have had so far this weekend? The book nerd in me has been squealing inside ~ ok...maybe a little on the outside, too. OMG...look at Ms. Shewmaker and me posing with Mr. Jack Gantos! Whoo hoo! I just love him, and I love how he shares his passion for reading and writing with such humor and wit. 


Looks like someone else's inner book nerd was just as
excited as mine :) I may have a convert on my hands...hehe

Alright, let me back track a bit. I may have been sort of badgering begging my principal to send the two of us to Harding University's Young Adult Author Series, so we could meet and learn from one of my favorite authors! We have had our eye on this program since this summer, and we were not sure when or how to ask. Well, I finally broke down and just asked, then begged, then bugged and the stars aligned and all fell into place and Sarah and I were the last two to make it on the roster for the event! Whew...by the skin of our teeth, but it didn't matter ~ we were in!

We may have been the last two on the roster, but who was front and center early last night for the meet and greet? ~ These girls! Now, anyone that knows me knows that I am not usually a front-and-center-professional-development sort of girl, but for this, well... we all have exceptions!


Mr. Gantos holding up his 5th grade journal! What a writing inspiration!
Many of the Jack Black books were drawn from these pages. 

Another example of a Gantos journal...works in progress.
Mr. Gantos telling stories and explaining where he gets ideas.
Showing teachers how to guide their students to their own amazing stories.

Again, where do I begin? So many ideas - more than I can share just yet because I haven't tested them out on my little guinea pigs students yet. (just kidding ;) I know I mentioned his passion for reading and writing, but I just don't think I can clearly translate how much he aspires to make us all "bookish!" I love his word - bookish! 

If you have read my blog, then this you know of me ~ I love the smell of a new book. Silly I know, and I probably repeat it too much. But it is part of who I am, and it holds some of my fondest school memories and my very own sense of bookishness. hehe....I knew I was not alone. Mr. Gantos shared many of the same things I have said so often.

video

Some of my favorite "bookish" things said by Mr. Gantos this weekend:

* "The desire to write is there...the desire to capture greatness is there."
* "...a reading life gets you going into the writing life..."
* in writing..."pull something luscious out of your mind"
* in reading..."park yourself in there for a while and live in the nooks and crannies of the page..."

and my all time favorite and something to make you think...concerning the moment you finish a book, maybe even the day after you finish a book, or quite possibly years after you finish a book...

* "It is the same book. I am not the same person."

I remember the first book that "changed" me, that made me somehow "not the same person" as I was before I read it. The book that pointed me toward my very own bookish life. The book that opened my eyes to the reality of endless possibilities...Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. I even remember the when of it all ~ fourth grade! How fitting for me now. Mr.Gantos even mentioned this book today, and again my inner book nerd was screaming..."Yes, that's the one. That IS the book that showed me there was so much more in this world than the small school, the small city, the small state that I was from. That is the book that opened my eyes to the power of writing!" 

You must know that from this point on, "It is the same book. I am not the same person." will be used often in my room. How about after learning from Mr. Gantos this weekend about all things bookish ~ I am, yet again, not the same person...I cannot wait until Monday to share with my kiddos! I cannot wait to show my students everyday the value of being bookish, and how being bookish may lead them down the path of becoming a writer full of greatness!

To check out the first time I got to meet Mr. Gantos, click So many books, so little time...

  

 





Now...can you believe ~ it's December?! You know what that means! It is time for another "Currently" with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade! I love her site, and I love getting to hop around to all of the wonderful blogs out there! So many amazing teachers! Be sure to stop by and check it out. Don't forget the Rule of 3. Link up and leave a comment with the two before you and the one after. :)



The beautiful lights at Harding University this Christmas season!
Now, you didn't think I would write a post without sharing picture books did you? Of course not - hello! It's still me....

So here are a couple more of my favorite Christmas picture books. I know; I am becoming somewhat predictable. My first Christmas picture book was a Berkeley Breathed and my second is a David Catrow. Well, a Mike Reiss really, but still my favorite illustrator, Catrow. In Merry UnChristmas, our holiday season gets turned inside out as these kiddos get to celebrate Christmas everyday of the year except one. Be happy with what you have jumps out as a theme for me, as we see that the true and beautiful magic of Christmas can be lost if not appreciated.

Margery Cuyler has done it again. That's Good! That's Bad! on Santa's Journey is very similar to her original with a light-hearted Christmas twist. Full of figurative language, onomatopoeia  and repeating phrases, this back-and-forth text will have the kiddos joining in and making fun predictions!  

OK...just one more after all. I love Michael Garland's illustrations. I have a growing collection of his work and each one I love more than the last. The Mouse Before Christmas is so beautifully illustrated and a touching little remake on a Christmas classic.




Happy Reading! And as Mr. Gantos would say, "Be Bookish!"

5 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great RAK! I also need a self cleaning house. Now, that, would be a money maker!

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

    Aimee
    Primarily Speaking

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  2. Following from Currently :) Sounds like it was an amazing training! I love Joey Pigsa!

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  3. Came over from Farley's Currently. I'm a fellow AR teacher. Love your RAK. I'm sure you boys really appreciated that. :)

    www.theclassyteacher.blogspot.com

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  4. I've been quietly lurking on your site since this fall. I stumbled across it by accident and fell in love with your creativity, your passion for your students, and how smart you are about books! I'm popping out of the shadows to thank you for your honesty, enthusiasm, and fabulous book recommendations! I was also so surprised to see your picture of the Christmas lights on the campus of Harding-I'm an alum! Thanks again for your blog-it's truly a marvel!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been quietly lurking on your site since this fall. I stumbled across it by accident and fell in love with your creativity, your passion for your students, and how smart you are about books! I'm popping out of the shadows to thank you for your honesty, enthusiasm, and fabulous book recommendations! I was also so surprised to see your picture of the Christmas lights on the campus of Harding-I'm an alum! Thanks again for your blog-it's truly a marvel!

    ReplyDelete