Sunday, November 30, 2014

So much to be thankful for


Even though our Thanksgiving break is coming to an end...there is still time for us to take a moment to slow down and count our blessings.

In this, I do not even know where to begin as I am so truly blessed. I have a happy, healthy family...wonderful and true friends...a precious, sweet class...and amazing professional and educational opportunities.

Just before our break I had an opportunity to attend Arkansas Reading Association's Annual Literacy Conference, and I CANNOT wait to share all the fun I had with my kiddos.

Getting to attend is always such a fun learning experience, and I love getting to do it with friends. This year I was able to check out all the fun with my friend, Dawn.

We got there a tad bit early...not nerdy at all! We had a bit of time before our first session, so we hit up the vendors to see what we might find.

One of our first stops was with Miss Meg Dendler... a former school teacher turned author. 



Her books have won many awards, and they are written about her own pets. What a way to show kiddos an easy starting point in their writing... write about what you know! Such a sweet lady... got plenty of copies to share with the kids. :)

My next stop found Mr. Mark Rorie, a local author. His Polk Bayou kids always seem to find a mystery to solve. I had to pick up one of these for my horror fiction lovers...a ghost mystery!


It was time to hit our first sessions... not only do I learn tons from these experiences, it is also cool to see strategies and techniques explained and taught that I already have in place. I saw lots of Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, and Jeff Anderson of Mechanically Inclined referred to in many of those very strategies that I loved so much. You can see my previous discussions of both of these amazing educators: here, here, herehere, and here. Yes...I am a tad on the obsessive side with those two, but in a good way. I promise. :)

Since Dawn teaches cute little firsties and I hang out with wild and crazy fourthies all day, we ended up in separate directions often, but we did get to see this one together. We were both smitten with this author...such a kid at heart! Mr. Jeff Crosby, author and illustrator, was just too fun, and he held us over until the last possible moment. We ended up searching him out later, like stalkers, for autographs, and we fell in love with cute little Wiener Wolf as much as we did him.

I loved that he shared his workspace with us.



The fun did not end there...more sessions and stalking followed. 

Lookie, lookie ...look who I got to meet! That is Mr. Devin Scillian. Yes...Memoirs of a Goldfish...that Devin Scillian. He gave us tons of great advice about letting kiddos find the fun and humor in writing. Hmmm...sounds a lot like something I heard Gordon Korman say just last month. Do you think they are both onto something or what? To see my love for this sweet and funny picture book check it out,  here. Now if I thought I was smitten over Mr. Crosby...well, that was all before Mr. Scillian stood up and read Memoirs of a Goldfish...can you say voice like warm honey? I specifically asked him when he would be narrating his own books; I will be snatching those up in quick order. (Oh my...the more I share, the more crazy I promise I am not THAT crazy...I think.)

Yes! That would be the one and only Mr. Andrew Clements signing books for my kiddos.  Along with Clare Vanderpool and Janet Stevens with Susan Stevens Crummel. Such an honor to meet these amazing authors and illustrators. 


All of this fun brings out the book loving nerd in me, and I am a true believer in how this directly impacts my kiddos. I am ALL ABOUT fostering a love of reading. When my students see my excitement, they can't help but to fall in love, too.

One of my most favorite moments from this year's conference was meeting two lovely educators from The Curly Classroom. I attended their session, Reading in the Deep, and I WAS NOT disappointed! Talk about a direct impact on student learning... light bulbs were going off...why hadn't I been doing this all along? Both presenters were super sweet and generous in the sharing of their successes. I have already  received an email from Suzanne with the work she has been doing with her fourthies. I cannot wait to use it in my classroom. If you get a moment, be sure to stop by their blog for some amazing ideas!

Well,  ladies and gents...with that, I must call it a night. The hubs is fussing that I need to get on over to the couch to watch our Walking Dead. Yes...our Walking Dead LOL...goodness...what's one more obsession?

Happy Reading, friends!

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  1. I was grinning from ear to ear reading this post! Great memories. I'm glad that you admitted you are also smitten with Jeff Crosby! I <3 him! :)

  2. Tina,
    Thanks for the shout out! We are happy to share. Keep us posted on how Shared Readings are working in your classroom.

    Your curly friend,

  3. I miss this class. Such an awesome teacher right there. So glad I got the chance to have you Mrs Dunn.

    Sweet Olivia <3