Celebration: All is better with a little gold dust

celebrate link up

Celebration honoured. This is the loveliest of reasons to share. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week.

I had a fantastic week back with my students. I think all of us were thrilled to be together again after a two week break, learning and sharing. I have many things to celebrate this week!

1. I loved all of the #MustReadin2014 spring updates shared by a wonderfully keen reading community. The Must Read phenomenon was born out of an attempt to gain some control over unruly TBR lists that grow and grow! Check out my update and links to update posts here. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo is one of my favourite books read so far from this list. Maybe even more special because I read it aloud to my children and we all loved it.

 Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

2. I was thrilled to have a Nerdy Book Club post published this week. I saw a request from Colby Sharp for some retro review posts to be shared on twitter a few weeks ago. I have written some other Nerdy posts but never one in this category. I asked Colby if I could share something a little different instead of a review of one specific title. I wanted to go “retro” and look back at titles treasured with my children (now 11!) when they were preschool age. It was a nostalgic look back at books we adored. Read the post here.

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge  Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

3. I read the powerful picture book Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson illustrated by E.B.Lewis to my class this week.The reactions and comments were quite incredible. I think I might share some of their thinking and writing on our classroom blog. But the most interesting moment came with the ending. If you have read this book, you know that it ends with Chloe standing at the shore of the pond feeling a mix of regret, sadness and guilt. Her opportunity to offer kindness to Maya is gone. The story ends with these words:

“I watched the water ripple as the sun set through the maples and the chance of a kindness with Maya was becoming more and more forever gone.”

At first there was silence in the room and then one girl erupted, “What?! That’s terrible! It’s a terrible ending!” It’s not terrible. It’s just not happy so it’s confusing a bit,” someone else added. Another child piped up,”It makes you think about drama and saying sorry. It makes us think. It’s good.” As we were getting ready to move on to Reading Workshop, another child said, “I liked it. I have been waiting for a bad ending in a book. Not bad like not good but every ending shouldn’t be happy – that’s not how life is.” This little girl asked me to help her find a new novel and we kept talking about the story. I asked her if she wanted to put her thoughts into a reader’s statement (we have a huge wall of these posted on a bulletin board). She came up with something that I think is quite brilliant:

Readers can’t always expect a happy ending.

That books inspire discussions and thinking like this – this, I celebrate!

 Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

4. Ah . . . book love! My students were happy to be back to our classroom full of books. I sensed it on Monday morning when an instant hush fell upon the room when we started Reader’s Workshop. I did “book commercials” for new books all week and this generated lots of excitement.

I felt the book love when I saw “who reads it next” lists being created and stuck to new books.

 Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

I felt it as I observed the wonderful engagement of one to one time with various adults who listen to children read and talk about stories and thinking with the students.

 Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

I sensed it when listening to the the buzz around the book bins during buddy reading time with the K/1 class.

 Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

Ah .  . . book love!

5. If you have hung in reading this very long Celebration post (it was a wonderful week!), here is the pot of gold 🙂 One of our students makes a lot of paper objects and sculptures all throughout the day. It helps him to focus and listen. We started thinking . . . Wouldn’t it be great to showcase some of his work? Wouldn’t it be better if it was spray painted gold? Absolutely! Here is the young artist at work, gold paint in action!

 Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

And here is the installation. Thank you to the amazing Miriam (the Support Worker who I get to work with every day!) for her huge role in displaying and advertising the “piece.” There are flyers pasted up all over the school! When this boy’s Mom came in to see this art and got hugely proud and teary, we all got teary. It was a moment.

 Celebration: All is Better with a Little Gold Dust

I celebrate all the many ways this is golden . . .

What are you celebrating this week?

33 thoughts on “Celebration: All is better with a little gold dust

  1. I think I would have liked to be in your classroom this week. So much book love and so much love. I am going to look into Jacqueline Woodson’s book. My students and I also loved Flora and Ulysses. They have been passing my copy from one to another for the last month. (I love the read it next list idea)
    And all of Mem Fox’s books are so wonderful, but Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partirdge I’m g might be my very favorite. I am glad you got to do a retro post. Going to read it now.

    • Thank you Lisa. My students make me laugh with the read it next lists. They do this all on their own and everyone seems to know who is on the list. I love that books can be so sought after even before they are read! I am a huge fan of Mem Fox as well – 2 of her books were on my list 🙂

  2. What a great post to read. Thank you so much for getting me involved in this amazing weekly celebration. I woke excited to write my post and read others. The paper sculpture is beautiful. Those moments are accurately titled golden moments (don’t you think?). I must read Flora and Ulysses. Everyone insists it is wonderful. I have this huge stack next to my bed and am currently reading The Goldfinch in my quest to add some adult literature to my life.

    • I am so pleased that you are blogging as part of this community! I truly love walking to work and thinking about what I might want to share in my celebration post each week. It helps keep everything in perspective!

  3. I think most of our primary teachers use Each Kindness at the beginning of the year, to help talk about the ways that words and actions cannot always be taken back, even with a “I’m sorry.” We’ve discussed how powerful this book can be for the younger students. I love the comments from your students, Carrie! And of course loved all the pictures/words about book love. So exciting. And how wonderful for the art installation of your students. When it fits, we must do it for those students, to give them a boost like no other! Thanks for reminding how important that is.

    • Thank you Linda. This art piece has been amazing in the classroom. Many children are proud of it because it was done by a classmate and I am so touched when I hear other kids say, “You have to come and see ________’s art in our class. It’s so cool!”

  4. Once more I am struck with the thought that I would love to be a child in your classroom. It makes me want to ensure that I would want to be a student in my own classroom too.

  5. Lots to celebrate! I was just thinking last week that I need to reread Each Kindness with my class. We are having some “spring unkindness” right now and they need some reminders. Congrats on your Nerdy post. I loved reading about the books you shared when they were young. I am trying to finish up a Nerdy post today!

    • It is a powerful book to have all of us think about how we treat others. Books like this hold much power! I look forward to reading your future Nerdy post 🙂 It is such a fantastic community of readers.

  6. I read Each Kindness aloud to my students. We were also surprised by the ending and had a great discussion. Love all your celebrations, but my heart was really touched by the golden sculpture. What a wonderful way to honor this child!

    • Thank you so much for saying this about this child and his magical gold art display. It is a very, very special thing and it has been amazing to watch him slowly build his confidence to talk about it with more and more people.

  7. Hi Carrie! What wonderful celebrations you have this week. I love the idea of putting a “Who Reads This Next” sign-up on a book! What a fabulous idea, I’ll be passing it along for sure! Have a great week!

  8. The ending of Each Kindness really does shock kids. They’re so used to having everything working out in the end, and that book shakes them up. It’s important for them to know that bullying sometimes results in devastating consequences. I enjoyed your Nerdy Book Club post this week! What a wonderful thing you did for that young artist!

    • So true – this book does shake things up. I love how one of my students felt the importance of the truth this book offers. Thanks for the feedback on my Nerdy post! It was fun to write and reminisce. This artist of ours brings a lot of golden to our world!

  9. Just shared Each Kindness at my session at the Primary Piazza on Wednesday (thought you might have been there – I was going to give you tour!) I did tell teachers about the ending but many said that they felt it was more realistic. I loved “book love” and the paper sculptures! A great week of celebrations!

    • I didn’t know about this event – have been out of the loop lately with all of the busy and illness before Spring Break. Too bad, I would have loved a tour! Each Kindness is certainly a keeper – this is the first time I have shared it with a class. I remember when I first read it thinking that the reactions would be interesting and they really were. I love the ending and love my brilliant child who came up with the reader’s statement.

  10. Pingback: Sunday Salon: A Round-Up of Online Reading | the dirigible plum

  11. I am catching up on this week’s Slice Posts but glad to read yours. I love the pictures of all the students reading and your young artist. Wonderful post.

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