Celebration: Time to Read, Winter break style

The holidays have arrived. For book lovers everywhere this means TIME – uninterrupted, guilt free time to read and read and read! This is my celebration this week – my anticipation of time with books to be lost in and inspired by story.

My favourite holiday note was this one from Rebecca in my class. It is so wonderful that our first term was full of so much special reading. Better still that Rebecca chose to highlight it in her note to me. What I love about the holidays is that I get lots of time to feed my own reading cravings – which lets me come back in January, refreshed and ready to create more time for “special reading” with my students.

I am a reader. My students are readers. We are a reading community!

Celebration: Time to Read, Winter break style There's a Book for That

Currently, I have very ambitious reading goals that I am horribly behind with. I waver between being certain that I will still meet them and considering myself incredibly foolish to even think it is possible. But, I celebrate my ambitious plans to try! I have a goal of reading 100 novels this year. I did it last year. This year the prolonged teacher’s strike ruined my relaxed summer reading and I fell behind.

Last night I finished two novels and this morning I read a beautiful novel in verse. A little surge of hope happened! How it stands now: I have finished 82 out of 100 titles to meet this goal. 82 done. 18 to go. 11 days. Hmmm. . .

Here is my current TBR pile. I will need to finish these titles and 3 more. Possible? Unlikely! But I am willing to try! Think of the fun in the possibility! Each book read only enriches my life. So no harm in trying :-)

Celebration: Time to Read, Winter break style There's a Book for That

Wishing all of you some quiet time to read and enjoy a book or two (or eighteen if you have a goal like mine!) Elisabeth Ellington, I know you hear me!

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.

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Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction “on the go” in our room

There are many ways you might know that nonfiction titles are important and well utilized in our classroom.

First of all, there are the visual clues. Some are organized by me – like our new book shelf full of titles on display that I have recently read or book talked. We add books here frequently and then switch them out and make room for more. Some live here for a while because they are very popular and students want to be able to find them easily. Some live here for just a little while – they are added when a reference comes up in a discussion for those students who want to read more. Centipedes came out when I read about a centipede in a silly poem and we talked about how many legs a centipede actually has and whether or not it was an insect. We talked about the word gnaw in word work and someone talked about how beavers and rats gnaw on things. I put a book about beavers on display. Fantastic Feet was a book by Melissa Stewart that I bought for the classroom recently. Lots of kids read it and started talking about animal feet and then animal tracks. We added books on these topics.

You can see how this shelf is well used!

We have a shelf like this for fiction titles too. :-)

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

We also display book titles we have read with key words used so we can refer to them later. I keep a list of words on a sticky note on the inside cover as we read. These are great for those few minutes of waiting for announcements or when lining people up. For example,

“Think back to the book Salmon Creek, who remembers what an estuary is. Tell the person beside you and then we’ll take answers.”

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

Some proof of our nonfiction love is highlighted by the students who find connections in the titles they are reading and want to share. This child thought that the African landscape in the book Giraffes was similar to the dry land in San Diego when Kate Sessions (from the book The Tree Lady) arrived in this seaside town and was shocked by the lack of trees.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

These boys were very excited to find blue footed boobies in two different nonfiction titles.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

But you would also know that we are a class who loves nonfiction titles because we have so many nonfiction read alouds “on the go”. Walk into our room throughout the day and you might find us engaged with a nonfiction text. Currently we are reading pages from . . .

Math Appeal: Mind Stretching Riddles by Greg Tang Illustrated by Harry Briggs

My students love to try and solve a few of these riddles right after recess as we are waiting for students to get to the carpet. It’s great motivation to be on time!

If you aren’t familiar with Tang’s books, check out a sample page on his website.

Math Appeal Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

Another math title we have on the go is Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives  written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

I read a page at a time and we try and come up with all of the questions we would need to ask to figure out how the statement was made. Lots of gathering of information via question asking. For example, we just learned that a kangaroo has 50 joeys in her lifetime. We came up with these questions:

  • How many joeys does she have at one time? Single birth? Twins? More?
  • How long do kangaroos live?
  • How old is a kangaroo when she can have babies?
  • How many babies does one kangaroo have in a year?

The detailed information in the back of the book gives us all of the answers and then we figure out the math!

Lifetime Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

Time to Sleep by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

We read this book every Thursday between Word Work and Reading Workshop. I read about the animal featured on the page and then ask the children to predict or infer to answer questions about the creature we are talking about. There is additional information about each animal in the back of the text. For example, we just read about how the flamingo stands on one leg to conserve energy. After we talked about how this is vastly different from the way we sleep, I then asked the children what they think flamingoes eat, where in the world we might find them and how tall they think they are. After they discussed their ideas with their turn and talk partners, I read the information in the back of the book. Listening for specific information is practiced as I share additional details.

time to sleep Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by Steve Jenkins 

This is our current nonfiction read aloud that we are reading in depth. We are talking lots, learning lots of new vocabulary and writing some quick summaries of our learning. Our favourite thing? Getting out our rulers and figuring out the actual size of each creature depicted on the page! In the back there is information about the size of each animal talked about. We love predicting and comparing.

“Who thinks a garden snail is smaller than 10 cm or larger than 10 cm? Get ready to mark its length on your ruler . . . Here is its length: ______”

 Eye to Eye Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nonfiction "on the go" in our room There's a Book for That

Nonfiction read alouds are never rushed in our classroom. They are springboards for further learning and discussion. When a book is finished, it has become part of our shared knowledge and who we are as learners.

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

klf_nonfiction2014_medium

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 132/65 complete! More than double my original goal!

 

Monday December 15th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is this picture taken during Reading Workshop. It highlights that all kinds of readers choose all kinds of books. Dr. Seuss? Check. Browsing some Elephant and Piggie titles? Check. Some amazing graphic novels? In Raina Telgemeier‘s Sisters, absolutely!

Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayr

My favourite picture books of the week?

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors poems by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

The end pages alone are reason to own this book. (That’s my current #1 reason why I must have it) Poet and artist celebrate nature’s successes. Who has been around for a long time and continues to thrive? Introduced in order of their evolutionary arrival, read poems and facts about such creatures as the squirrel, ants, geckos and diatoms. Fascinating and a lyrical experience all at once. Blending of art, poetry and nonfiction.

Ubiquitous Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Octopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan

Wow. These illustrations. So very, very beautiful. Octopus is overwhelmed by the curious seahorses who find her so fascinating. She seeks out a quieter home but eventually misses her friends. I like the honouring of needing space but that it isn’t necessarily forever.

Octopus Alone Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

123 versus ABC by Mike Boldt

Super silly – an ideal title for reading aloud and then left to be read and reread individually and with a buddy. Such fun! Is this an ABC book or a counting book? The argument between letters and numbers travels through the pages. It doesn’t take long to catch on to what is happening but it sure is fun following it all through to the end. I bought this book for my classroom library.

123 Versus ABC Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown Illustrated by 12 Award Winning Artists

Lovely lullaby poems made even lovelier by the various artists who illustrated this collection. It’s difficult to pick a favourite page but I certainly had fun trying. I did choose a favourite poem though: Wooden Town. I can just imagine that I would have been reading this poem to my children when they were younger again and again and again.

Goodnight Songs Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

And in novel reading . . .

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg (Middle Grade)

A novel in verse set in Haiti. Serafina lives in poverty with her family and her ambitious dreams of one day being a doctor. At eleven, she tries to convince her parents to send her to school. Hardships and natural disasters abound but Serafina’s strength and dreams persist.

Serafina's Promise Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Young Adult)

What a read. Sad. Vulnerable. Full of raw mistakes and huge hopes. Grief. Passion. Love. Despair. Family dynamics of so many varieties. It seems a book that pulls the reader through so many emotions may leave that reader exhausted and done by the end of the pages. Yet, this title is strangely energizing. It leaves you wanting more. Rooting for everyone. Lighter.

I'll Give you the sun Monday December 15th, 2014 IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have started The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney. I am still reading The Turtle of Oman: A Novel by Naomi Shihab Nye. I don’t seem to pick this title up very often and tend to keep starting other books. This week it’s time to get it read or abandon it.

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 79/100 novels complete (I have made the pile of 21 titles I must finish in order to meet this challenge. Will I get it done is the big big question)

Goodreads Challenge: 570/650 books read (49 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 131/65 complete

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between

This week was a long week. Two evenings of parent/teacher conferences. Rainy days. Stormy nights. Seldom seeing the sun. In all of this, I appreciated things that made me smile. I also honoured the tears.

Looking back over my week,

I celebrate time for art and filling our room with bunnies. I am terrible at holiday art. I never decorate the classroom for specific holidays. I think about it going up and then being over and needing to come down. So, in this season, I cheat and do winter related art. This week it was little bunnies in the snow. I love how bunnies represent curiosity, inquisitiveness, quiet and calm. Every time I look at these little critters, I grin. In all of the busy, creating art together is a way to slow it all down. (Inspired by this project on the blog Mary Making)

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I loved this one in particular – its wild nature and how it was branded “Gril” because, you know, if you have a bunch of bunnies, you should keep track of gender. :-)

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I celebrate tears. Tears shared during parent conferences. Tears of pride. Tears triggered by memories of challenging childhoods. Tears about opportunities and dreams for children. Much to celebrate. The generosity of stories shared. I am blessed to be meeting with some families for the second and third year. Trust takes time. Wow, is it incredible as it happens. I loved what parents and families (because I also had siblings, Grandmas, etc.) shared with me. A few highlights:

  • “My daughter comes home and follows me around asking me “Did you know . . . ?” and actually, I don’t know! I love learning about what she is learning.”
  • “I think our sister is really benefitting from the yoga that you do in class. She is really centered and she is showing more calm when dealing with her siblings.”
  • “I love all of the art! Can I take pictures of all of it?”
  • “My child is now helping her sister read. She says, “write down the words you don’t know and we’ll figure it out together.”
  • “My child is always reading. We have to go to the library every weekend.”
  • “My daughter is writing songs. Every day!”
  • “I put what you wrote about my daughter on my facebook page. It was so wonderful. I am so proud.”

I realized that much beyond curriculum is being learned. We were able to celebrate community, kindness, perseverance, risk taking, curiosity and the power of learning and wondering together.

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I celebrate conversations with my students about buddy reading. After our little K buddies left this week, we gathered at the carpet and talked. My students (in Grade 3 and 4) shared highlights of their reading experiences. We discussed whether little buddies were ready for longer picture books yet or whether board books and concept books were still appropriate. My students talked so respectfully and thoughtfully about different needs and abilities of the K students. They recognized that different children have different abilities to attend and different interests and skills. They are so invested. I am so proud of them. I have regular moments of awe as I happen upon the interactions between the children. The gifts they give each other . . .

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

I especially celebrate things that made me laugh. In all of the busy. In all of the intensity of pre-holidays and family meetings, regular laughter was a must. My favourite giggle of the week was this labelled paper bag brought along on our field trip with a child who worried about getting sick on the bus. The worry of motion sickness passed once she had her “puking bag” firmly in hand.

Celebration: Giggles, tears and much in between There's a Book for That

‘Tis the season for lots of emotions. I celebrate the ability to feel them all. Resting up this weekend to prepare for another week of “pre-holidayness” next week.

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.

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Monday December 8th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

My favourite reading photo of the week is another gem from buddy reading. I captured this little guy mid-point. I love how my students interact and have such fun with the K class. It is a highlight for all of us!

Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayr

Oh you should see my beautiful piles of books to read – they are spread out in multiple places around my house. I did dip my toe into reading some of them. But people in my house were sick and I wasn’t = lots more housework for me. Housework and soup making. People in my house needed to go to lots of dance rehearsals = less time for reading for me. It’s the way it goes! My reading plans are still all about meeting my goals for the year but the countdown to 2015 is certainly on . . .

I did manage to choose my must own/must share picture books for my Gift Books 2014 post. Check it out if you missed it and see if your favourites are there. Would love to hear which books would make your list if you would like to leave a comment. #Booklove shared is the very best kind!

Gift Books 2014

And I read some lovely books:

Haiti my country: Poems by Haitan Schoolchildren Illustrated by Rogé

This title is stunning. The portraits are incredible – full of joy, somber, movement and stories. And the poems . . . Written by Haitian teenagers – these poems celebrate nature. They touch all of your senses with the images of Haiti – pink flowers, ripe mango, dancing Haitian trees, humble little huts, a garden of gold . . . One of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books I had to purchase this title. I want to share it with my students and immerse them in the images these young poets create.

Haiti My Country Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade written by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Christian Robertson

I like how the power of observation and the eye for detail are honoured here. But not just of the external, extraneous details. Instead, details of our interactions and our intentions. One little girl misses nothing and reminds everyone about how we treat each other.

smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Are you a Ladybug? A Backyard Book by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries

I have many of these Backyard Book titles in my classroom collection and was happy to add this one. I posted about using these titles in my classroom here.

 Are you a Ladybug? Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I Loathe You by David Slonim

If you are a monster, you might express your deep feelings by substituting the word loathe for love. Fun to read aloud and giggle over. A perfect addition to my list of monster stories.

I loathe you Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lord of the Forest written by Caroline Pitcher and illustrated by Jackie Morris

Oh, trust me, this cover is a mere peek. Each illustration is absolutely this stunning throughout the entire book! Little tiger goes in search of the Lord of the Forest. When he is grown and has cubs of his own, the secret of who is Lord is revealed.

 Lord of the Forest Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Add me to the list of Albie fans. Being kind is still absolutely underrated which is ridiculous but true. Albie reminds us all of many things. Most of all – how very challenging it is to be true to yourself.

Absolutely Almost Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

This was a reread for me as I read it aloud to my children. Easily one of my favourite novels of all time. Both of my children loved it. Incredibly written. Doug Swieteck is our hero. If you have read this book, you are nodding your head. If you haven’t, go, find a copy and soon. Can’t recommend this book highly enough. Middle grade perfection.

Okay for Now Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

A novel in verse. Again, I will say, that novels with sparse words often haunt us with the most powerful images. This book made me very sad. Not quite ready to articulate the many reasons why. An important read.

 home of the Brave Monday December 8th, 2014 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I have started I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I am also still reading The Turtle of Oman: A Novel by Naomi Shihab Nye. With my children, I have begun Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Reading Goal Updates: 

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 77/100 novels complete (yes, more than 20 to go! I have faith!)

Goodreads Challenge: 560/650 books read (48 books behind)

#MustReadin2014: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 128/65 complete

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

What a year in picture books! There are so many amazing titles to choose from. I have certainly not read every book out there. But I have read a lot and there are some that have stood out. Here is my list of twenty. Twenty books I think are absolutely worth owning and therefore, worth gifting. Fantastic titles in both fiction and nonfiction. My criteria? Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make the readers think differently? Does it celebrate something important? Is it a book that brings joy? Or does it simply make you laugh? A lot.

With those questions in mind, here is my list:

Listed alphabetically by author.

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

This title is almost too special for words. After I read this book to my class, they wrote Ivan letters. Read more here. A book to inspire talk about how we treat animals and how we treat each other. Ivan’s story is a must read.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Quest by Aaron Becker

Experience the imaginative journey that Becker captures on the page. The reader is pulled through each illustration, all the while attempting to absorb every tiny detail. So wonderful that this is a picture book (wonderfully wordless) so that it can be experienced again and again.

 Quest Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Some Bugs written by Angela Diterlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

The text is delightful and the illustrations, divine! You will want to shrink down to insect size and crawl about this insect world.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

This title surprised me with its tenderness, the sweet, the kind. All the more amazing of course, because it is wordless.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma written by Diane Fox and illustrated by Cristyan Fox

Funny, funny, funny – kind of like having a backseat driver “helping” tell a story. Annoying for the narrator. Amusing for the readers.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Any Questions? by Marie-Louise Gay

Enter Marie-Louise Gay‘s imagination, learn about her story conjuring process and hear a wonderful story . . . My class was completely spellbound by this book. More here.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

Unique creatures and clever problem solving finesse. Speaks to loneliness and getting along with others with everyone pulling their weight.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Wordless. Playful and interactive with lots of flaps and expressions to study. Go ice dancing with Flora and her charming little friend.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Why do certain creatures have these specific features? They will tell you in this gorgeous nonfiction title.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

A Perfectly Messed up Story by Patrick McDonnell

Lots of humour. A conversation starter. A book to read together and then to refer to often. Life is full of messes. How are we going to face them?

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans

This book is so absolutely charming. And wonderfully slow – yes, like a sloth.  It is about our desires and vulnerabilities. The last page will totally get you. This book needs to sit on your family’s bookshelf.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett

This book will speak to your heart. Wordless perfection.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

 A Boy and A Jaguar written by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by Cátia Chien 

Based on a true story. Gorgeous. Special. It’s a must own and must share. A story of a boy who finds his voice and shares it in the best of ways.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

A little “imaginary friend” goes in search of his person. What could be better? A book about connection and “meant to be”.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

We need to laugh lots with those we love. Little people will delight in this story. Big people will adore reading it aloud.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman 

A wonderful story about siblings, mistakes, owning up and doing what’s right. I challenge you to find a favourite illustration. Just stunning.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Feathers Not Just for Flying written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen

This book needs an audience! Guessers to be specific. What else could feathers be used for besides flight? Feels like you could pluck some of these feathers right off of the page. Share the book and then come back to it often as you notice birds in your neighbourhood.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin written by Chieri Uegaki with illustrations by Qin Leng

A story of determination, perseverance and creativity. Absolutely about courage and dreaming. Connections to family. A treasure.

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

This pigeon is channeling all children who resist, resist, resist the bath and then, absolutely refuse to get out. Have kids? You will relate!

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

What do you do with an idea? written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mac Besom

I previously described this title as a celebration of imagination and a Must Have/Must Own/Must Share title. I’m still going with that. Tempted?

Gift Books 2014 – twenty picture books to give this season There's a Book for That

Books are gifts to treasure! This season give books!

 

Celebration: The Ups

It’s December weeks before the holiday break. Lots of people are sick. Stress levels, excitement levels, anxiety levels all peaking. Not everything is smooth sailing. There are ups and there are downs and not a lot of in the middle sailing along.

So “the ups” feel a little more precious.

This is what I celebrate this week. Those moments that I wanted to tangibly capture in my arms and whirl about. The quick instances and the longer, in it, “grooves” that we managed.

All that was good and kept me smiling at the end of every day.

Because, really, I so love what I do.

I celebrate the moments of buddy reading with the K class. This happens Wednesday afternoon but those little Ks light up every time they see my class in the hall. This week I just stood in awe and watched the singing, the story telling, the chanting, the guessing and all of the literacy connections happening.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate that during our Turn and Talk discussions (all about predictions and wonders) for our new nonfiction title: Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by Steve Jenkins one child whispered to me:

“Ms. Gelson we’ve only read half a page and already we know so much!”

I was impressed that my students could come up with so many details on how different animals rely on vision to go about their daily lives.

eye to eye Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate that math looks like this: engaged, confident, excited.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate that one little reader who used to be up and wandering last year in Reading Workshop is now firmly planted in his favourite spot at the carpet and reading his way through the Henry and Mudge series. Hurrah when a reader finds the fit!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate Monster Art. Students took their monster characters and “shrunk” them and then “built them a house.” I especially celebrate the fact that my students pick up a felt (or crayon or pastel) and just draw. The risk taking of no pencils first is a wonderful thing!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

This one worked right side up or upside down. I celebrate unique perspective!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate munching on cheese strings and mandarin oranges while writing “commitment notes” to join a Junior Book Club we are forming.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

And always, I celebrate all of the moments of book love that infuses everything we do:

The engagement while reading favourite authors

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

The little one who “sneaked” our poetry title to read on her own “I didn’t read ahead. I just read the favourite parts so far.” Joyce Sidman has us entranced on a regular basis!

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

The growing confidence we share in Reading Workshop book talking favourite picture books to each other. It’s a process. We’re getting there. But it all begins with the exciting flash of the favourite illustration.

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

The devotion to favourite authors embedded in this book review. (Look midway down the page)

Celebration: The Ups There's a Book for That

I celebrate all of these moments. I especially celebrate that if I now tried to make a list of the “downs” of the week, it just really doesn’t matter. Mostly, I’ve already forgotten. Because, really, wow, look at what we’ve got going on!

Thank you so many times to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.

celebrate-link-up