Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 Remembrance

I am going to post this today since it is on my heart. I hope you don't mind.

Where were you on 9/11? I was at my school preparing for the day ahead...a very difficult one to make through. What a horrific day for the people of New York and America. One year later I was in New York, and the reality truly hit me hard. Now 14 years later I somehow feel as if we have become complacent about what happened that day. All of the people who lost their lives in the Towers, at the Pentagon, and in the field in Pennsylvania. Then there were all the first responders...those men and women who thought not of themselves, but of the people in those Towers. And all of those who have sacrificed since that horrible day to protect our freedom...something that I think we take for granted all too often. So today, I hope that we all really remember what happened that day...a day our innocence was truly lost as a nation. May God bless and protect us.

New York 13 years ago...

This was on a building in New York.

At the site of the Towers.

Construction and clearing.

And New York today...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Published: 2000
ISBN: 9780618195633
Personal Copy

So I thought it was about time for some nonfiction. At the beginning of the school year, teachers will share a variety of genres with students. I particularly enjoy this one!

What I love is that is shows girls that men were/are not the only inventors out there! 

The front and back two pages lists MANY women (and girl) inventors. How great is that for a young lady who has aspirations to be more than what we normally think girls can be. 

There is everything from chocolate chip cookies to windshield wipers to a computer programming language. Each biography is concise and leaves any girl with room to investigate even more. The illustrations work beautifully with the narrative for each inventor.

This is a must have for any teacher who wants to encourage the girls in her classroom. The back matter provides information for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, contests and organizations, further readings, and sources.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Friday, September 4, 2015


I am so excited about all the buzz that is out there right now about using picture books as mentor texts. Yes, I know that this idea is nothing new...but have you been out there lately??

Picture books provide so much today as a way to teach students so many wonderful things. And don't be afraid to use them with your older students! 

Just remember with picture books...

Here are just a few places to find some information about picture books...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nana in the City

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
Paintings by Lauren Castillo
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published: 2014
ISBN: 9780544104433
Personal Copy

Okay, I am a little biased about this book since I am a Nana! But it is good mentor text for ideas.

A boy goes to see his nana in the city...but he does not like the city. 

It is loud...

And scary...

Then Nana gives him a red cape...

And the city is loud...but in a good way!

And it is not so scary...

In fact, it is extraordinary!

Even though they are just short sentences, ideas can spring forth from them. If it is loud, there is a story for loud that is annoying with the traffic, or exciting with music and dancers.

Teacher Resources:

Monday, August 31, 2015

Saturday and Teacakes

Saturday and Teacakes by Lester Laminack
Paintings by Chris Soentpiet
Publisher: Peachtree
Published: 2004
ISBN: 9781561453030
Personal Copy

It's been awhile since I have blogged about some great books for writing - especially for ideas. My apologies to my followers.

Today I have one that I love as a great read aloud, but also to provide an example for a narrow idea.

Lester tells about how he spent his Saturday mornings traveling to his Mammaw's house and how they spent their Saturdays together.

He pedals from his home to Chandler's where he must look both ways before crossing the street...

When he gets to Mammaw's, she is waiting just for him. They go inside, and she makes breakfast.

Then they go out to work...

Once they have finished, they eat lunch. Then the real fun fun begins! It's time to make teacakes!

He eats all he can and then takes some home.

As he leaves, his Mammaw is sitting on the glider, waving no one else...just me!

Such a heart warming story and a beautiful relationship between the boy and his Mammaw!

Laminack has written a great teacher's resource to go along with this book. It is titled Cracking Open the Author's Craft: Teaching the Art of Writing.

Teacher Resources:

Monday, August 10, 2015


Today is #PB10FOR10. 

Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek host the Picture Book 10 for 10 (#PB10for10).

Here are my 10 picture books I can't live without. I will be linking them to my blog where I have already reviewed them! Hope you enjoy!

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

Owl Moon