Sunday, September 6, 2015

Currently Enjoying a Three Day Weekend

Well it is already the 6th of September, so I am hoping I am not too awfully late to join Farley's Currently party. It is the beginning of the year, and I have a sneaky suspicion that I will not be the only one late to this party. :) We are all tired...first weeks of school teacher tired! Late or not, I am always excited to join this fun linky party. I could get lost for days looking at all the wonderful teacher blogs out there. Well....sometimes I do lol....Don't miss out and take a few moments to look around; just remember her rule of 3. :)

Showing our Panther Pride!
As always...we spent our days reading and writing away!

We are still sharing our stories and much discussion about where writers get their ideas. 

When I think about what we know first and what we might have to share, these are my go to read alouds... 


When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant and What You Know First by Patricia MacLachlan are both beautifully illustrated examples of writers writing from what means the most to them. When thinking about why writers write, these are perfect mentor texts. 

AND... I LOVE LOVE LOVE sharing this song and video by Miranda Lambert. The House That Built Me reminds me that we all have so many memories to share as writers...we are all writers and storytellers.

This anchor, A Writer's Notebook, is an anchor I work to create every year with my kiddos, and we build on it for most of our launch of writing workshops. We share a lot of great stories and discussion around this one, all of them a great lead in to our own writing.

I am having tons of fun grading our reader's notebooks... you can learn so much about a kiddo from what they share in their notebooks. This is one of my most favorite entries this week.... "a black hole like your desk, Mrs. Dunn"..... oh my...hahaha :) Love this group so much already.

So...this week I was super proud to complete a 100 miles to Labor Day challenge! In the past 6 weeks I have walked or biked 100 miles! Whoo hoo! I put a lot of miles on those shoes this summer, and my goal is to keep going...step by step by step!

My sweet, sweet friends treated me to a wonderful dinner at my favorite restaurant, Kan Pai, as a yummy birthday celebration. Such fun times and great laughs with these girls. 

I received the first of Joshua's senior pictures. The last of my own babies is a senior, and I have absolutely NO idea where in the world the time has gone. We won't be able to use the picture of him with his lamb, Riley, in the year book, but it was certainly one of my most favorites. He has always been so good with animals, and the path that has led him on has been so good for him. So proud to be his mom!

OK... time to talk books! I haven't done this in a while, but I haven't stopped reading. I will have plenty to share as I catch up, and soon I will have the kiddos sharing their own!

How perfect for me to start with this amazing story by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Fish in a Tree is such a sweet story, and I have no doubts that most of you know this already as it is blowing up on most social media. I cannot scroll through our Instagram feed without it popping up at least once a day, if not more. 

Although I had heard a bit of buzz about this one, it wasn't until my favorite summer reading professional development...So Many Books So Little Time...that I just knew I had to pick it up. This made the top of the list by Ken Stamatis, so I had no doubts it would be a great one. According to him, this is a "teacher's book," and I most certainly agree. 

I have taught so many kids just like the sweet and quirky characters in this book... sensitive and frustrated Ally pushes me to be a better teacher just as Mr. Daniels inspires me to do the same. And secretly I love Albert, the "walking google page."

As I read this story, I was frustrated right along with Ally that no teacher before Mr. Daniels picked up on her issues, and I couldn't help but be reminded of Patricia Polacco's, Thank You, Mr. Falker. I laughed more than once and cried just the same. Sweet and moving and a perfectly inspiring read for any teacher, and I am more than sure that I have a few kiddos that can relate to one or more characters in this one. I cannot wait to share this as a read aloud this year.  

With that I will say goodnight for now and finish linking up with Farley... have a wonderful rest of the long weekend...and kiddos, get ready for another busy week!

Happy Reading, friends!

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  1. It's never to late to join Farley's Currently link up, I just did too! I look forward to reading your blog. You also motivated me to pick up "Fish in a Tree." Thank you for the recommendation. Have a great week!
    ~Fairway to Fourth Grade

  2. What a timely post this was for me! Also just finished my first week in NE. I also use those two mentor books for generating ideas for personal narratives. I had not thought of using that song, but will add it on when we read "Home Place". Love your anchor chart! And the Fish in A Tree book will also be a read aloud for me in 4th grade this year. Thanks for the inspiration, great job on walking, and you sure don't look old enough for your baby to be graduating!

  3. I loved reading your post. I enjoy Miranda Lambert's music, too. It's been too hot and muggy here for me to go for walks, but walking is my favorite type of exercise. I love the picture of your son with his lamb, so sweet! Have a terrific year! Carol's Teaching Garden