Celebration: Friday favourites

Some mornings we just have no idea. I left for work Friday in the pouring rain. In the dark. Feeling tired. Not looking forward to a weekend of report card writing. It seemed to be a Friday to finish. To get on the other side of. Instead, it was a Friday of wow moments. My smiling started before the first bell had even rung and it just got brighter. This was a beautiful teaching day. A day of funny. A day of focus. A day of inspired moments.

Sharing five favourites.

#1 Why is it so important to have a classroom library full of fantastic books? Because of moments like this. A student who brings her little sister in early to read to her.

“Should I read you this book? Okay, sit down. Let’s start.”

My classroom is a room for readers. Present, future and past. Nothing is better than that.

Celebration:  Friday favourites There's a Book for That

#2 Reading Workshop is in full swing and full of conversations that make me know it is all coming together. I had the pleasure of listening to this reader read aloud to me today. We talked about fluency. It went something like this (I took notes!).

Me: “Your reading is becoming so much smoother. You are changing your speed, your tone, your volume. It is so enjoyable to listen to you read. What do you think has helped you improve so much? What has worked?”

S: “It’s not just me. It’s you. Because you talk about all of those things and you show me when you read aloud. You teach me when you show me. And Reading Workshop really helps me. I get to read so many books and all of the words in so many books.”

Me: “So you like all of the time we have to read everyday? It makes a difference for you?”

S: “Yes. There’s a lot of books in here. Kids need lots of books.”

Celebration:  Friday favourites There's a Book for That

#3 We finished reading The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry today. Our discussion was so thoughtful and mature. It stretched into a conversation about nonfiction picture book biographies and reading preferences. I was so inspired, I think it will become a blog post. I love learning from my students.

Update: It did. Nonfiction conversations: Talking nonfiction picture book biographies with kids

 Celebration:  Friday favourites There's a Book for That

#4 Math was wonderfully focussed today. We worked on representing  and solving multiplication equations with multiplies of 100. Students recognized that 300 x 3 (300 groups of 3) can be switched to 3 x 300 (3 groups of 300) and more easily solved. “I’m doing the switch thing,” they kept announcing. So, wonderful. A productive math class. And then part way through lunch, 5 girls showed up. “We’ll be quiet. Can we do more math?” How do you say no to that?

Celebration:  Friday favourites There's a Book for That

#5 Every year my Mom makes hats for every child in my room. And all of the Ks and all of the 1s at my school. She also knits hats for my sister’s K classroom and the K classroom across the hall from her. Yes. Really! My students got their hats today and wore them all afternoon. We wrote poems about our new hats. We kept them on through Choices time at the end of the day. These girls are writing songs. With their hats on. I think it improved the creative process!

Celebration:  Friday favourites There's a Book for That

At the end of the day, I asked for some group pictures. Just smiling is never enough for my class. We have to pose doing various emotions. I call them out, they eagerly comply. “Show me silly.” “Show me excited.” “Now do tired.” “Big smiles.” The photo below is “shocked”

Can’t get much cuter.

Celebration:  Friday favourites There's a Book for That

This week I celebrate fantastic days that come out of nowhere. Days that make me so happy I do what I do. Days where I get knocked over by the awe and joy I feel for my students.

celebrate-link-up

Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I love how being a part of this #celebratelu community reminds us weekly to look for the positive and take some time for gratitude.

Celebration: Disgusting Critters, Favourite Authors, Pass it on

Oh, how I love my class! I love the talk, the writing, the words, the questions . . . All of it.

I celebrate this long and winding conversation with my students:

Me: “I’m so excited I’m going to see an author/illustrator this weekend!”

A student: “Do we know who it is?”

Me: Gives various clues

Eventually . . . .

Various students: “Marie-Louise Gay!”

Me: “Yes. I hope to get her new book signed at the author breakfast I am going to.”

A student: “Signed to us right?”

Me: “Of course.”

A student: “Do you know Elise Gravel or are we just writing to her?

Celebration: Disgusting Critters, Favourite Authors, Pass it on

Me: “We are getting to know her. She’ll know you better after we send our letters and fan art.”

A student: “Did you send them already?”

Me: “Well, we are still working on everything. I will send it this weekend when we finish.”

Celebration: Disgusting Critters, Favourite Authors, Pass it on

A student: “Why don’t you just tweet it all?”

Me: “I have sent her some photos. But, I think she will like getting the package in the mail.”

Celebration: Disgusting Critters, Favourite Authors, Pass it on

A student: “Do you know Katherine Applegate?

Me: “We know her work but no, I haven’t met her.”

A student: “Go meet her. You should. And tell her about how we love her books.”

Me: “I shared some of our letters in a blog post and tweeted it to her. So she knows we love them.”

Celebration: Disgusting Critters, Favourite Authors, Pass it on

A student: “But you are going to meet Kate DiCamillo right?

Another student: “Can we come?”

Me: “I am going to a conference in the spring and she will be speaking. I will get our copy of Flora & Ulysses signed.”

A student: “You forgot The Illuminated Adventures part”

A student: “And you just met Raina Telgemeier right?”

Me: “Yes, and she signed books to our class. People are reading them right now.”

Many students: “I am.” “And then me.” “I’m next!” “Me!”

A student: “So, who are you going to meet next? Someone we like right?”

🙂

I also celebrate this – – > The lovely Miriam who works with me created these sheets and plastered the room and the school. In our room, we were gifting these words to each other with messages. I received “wisdom” with a comment from one child, “You are always really smart to us.”

Celebration: Disgusting Critters, Favourite Authors, Pass it on

One of our little learners was inspired and made her own. We found it outside our room at the end of the day – taped up in the hallway.

Pass it on. 

Celebration: Disgusting Critters, Favourite Authors, Pass it on

Conversations about authors and illustrators. Book love. Words with weight. These things I celebrate.

Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I love how being a part of this #celebratelu community reminds us weekly to look for the positive and take some time for gratitude.

celebrate-link-up

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom

This week we hosted four student teachers from Simon Fraser University – two on Tuesday and Wednesday and two more on Thursday and Friday. These visits were a part of a week of observations in a variety of classroom settings. I celebrate that my students were so open and welcoming and that we were all able to do some learning and reflecting together.

Always our room is a busy, full speed ahead place but at the end of the week, what was “learned”? I think we managed to pass on a few snippets of wisdom. I love that my students can be teachers. Miriam and I learn from them everyday. This week, I think they gave these SFU students lots to think about.

A few highlights:

Busy, active, exciting – these things need to happen everyday. But, so does calm. Things we do: quiet time, mindful breathing, gratitude circles, an afternoon walk and quiet, reflective play. It can be simple. Buttons, cardboard, markers = 10 minutes of magic.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Have a classroom full of books and lots of time to read them. Every day. Reading is quiet and solitary and social and joyous. Make time for all of it.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Great practice time for anything might involve “equipment” beyond a pencil. The handing out and collection of “stuff” needs to be well organized and logical. Let all of that process be smooth, and practice time can look like this.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Let students collaborate and communicate while they learn. Talk, support, ask questions. And then, celebrate!

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Don’t be afraid to tackle subjects and things that are emotional. We shared a sad video connected to a picture book that we read this week: Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Yes, we had a few tears but we also had some great conversations. The resulting writing was powerful:

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

Invite others in to share their expertise. Our Let’s Talk Science volunteers visited Friday morning for their first visit of the year. We learned about the three states of matter and that when a solid becomes a gas, it is called sublimation. How? Well, there were lots of bubbles, coloured water and . . . dry ice! Fun and fully hands on.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

The big tip here? Let the “experts” do their thing and the kids have fun and learn lots. The classroom teacher’s role? Support, management, enthusiasm. Help it all go smoothly so everyone wants to do it again!

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

And of course, always be prepared. Have everything you need. Be safe. Look like you mean it.

Celebration: Snippets of Wisdom There's a Book for That

There were some other tidbits I passed on – things about paper (and aversions to it), creative interpretations of the IRPs and the power of clicky shoes. But it was the students doing what they do best that allowed the most powerful “teaching” to happen. And this is what I celebrate this week!

celebrate-link-up

Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I love how being a part of this #celebratelu community reminds us weekly to look for the positive and take some time for gratitude.

Celebration: Two Weeks in

It’s a strange feeling to be writing October on the board but yet, after a prolonged strike, we only have two full weeks of school under our belts.

Usually two weeks into a school year means routines are still being practiced and set, schedules are not fully organized, new staff are building relationships with the students and “school stamina” is steadily increasing.

While this is all happening in my classroom, it also feels like we are all a little ahead of the game. Is it a typical beginning of October? Not quite. But for a variety of reasons, we have hit the ground running and I couldn’t be prouder. Maybe, it is my excitement to be back and fully immersed in all of the learning. Maybe it is the exact same thing for the students. A lot has to do with the fact that I have again looped a class of students from a 2/3/4 into a 3/4 so that 17 children were in the room last year. Whatever it is, we are back in a big way and this is what I celebrate: our enthusiasm, our passion and our commitment to learning.

I thought at first that I was going to highlight all of the academics we have so quickly embraced, but as I was selecting pictures, I realized that our strength and our growth is always such a balance of learning, community and joy.

As I often do, I will let these photographs tell our stories.

Our week began with an all day field trip up Grouse Mountain into the rain and the clouds. Despite the weather, the kids were troopers.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

On the mountain, our experiences included time in art galleries and a session in the Feast House with an artist. Students were respectful, curious and engaged.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for ThatOur first classroom art activity was a Picasso inspired cubist self-portrait project. I love the playfulness it brought out in the children.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Finished portraits are bright and beautiful. These two portraits are not only stunning, they are also of two new friends in our classroom 🙂

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

One of the best parts of our week is our gratitude circle where everyone shares small and large things that we feel grateful for. Always, it is a lovely exercise in sharing and listening.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

I have been taking individual photos of everyone in our class for a photo project we are working on. Of course, with a camera we can capture all of the energy that is who we are as a class community. Some of my many girls reveal their personalities. Oh yes, girl power.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

We have leapt fully into the land of 3 and 4 digit numbers – building, comparing, ordering, representing. Math is busy and messy with students and materials everywhere – just how we learn best!

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Within the first few minutes of Reading Workshop, these boys have staked out prime reading real estate. They are doing all of the things we have been talking about when we ask what independent reading looks like: find a comfortable spot, have a collection of interesting things to read, build stamina, etc.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

We welcomed a lovely guest to our room Friday morning and some of us wanted to share some favourite picture books. The image is a little blurry because it is an action shot. These girls didn’t just read the books, they acted them out! Love the spontaneous enthusiasm.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

A new year and a new grade means new writer’s notebooks and the introduction of felt tipped pens. Using the pens was a recommendation from Colleen Cruz in a session some of my staff and I attended last fall here in Vancouver. As you can see, they sure allow the ideas to flow across the page!

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Some more busy little writers sharing ideas and the excitement of our new pens!

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Two weeks in and wow, we have much to celebrate!

celebrate-link-up

Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

All week! I taught all week! Finally, finally in BC, we are back in our classrooms! When news that we had ratified the contract that took many months to get (more than 5 weeks of it on a picket line) I issued this warning:

So this week, my celebration post is all about all of it! All of the moments, all of the mumbles, all of the whispers and all of the shouts. The learning, the hugs, the love and the routines.

Please bear with me. I took a lot of photos. I scribbled little things on papers. I collected moments of magic. I even smiled through the testing of limits, the pushing of boundaries and the natural frustration that came with being back in school all day after not being there for 13 weeks. All of it was part of what we do. And I am just so ecstatic to be doing it. Good, bad, trying, joyous . . . I will take it all.

I loved these first “step back into the classroom” smiles.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

I loved reading aloud to a group of students again. All of the predictions and questions and oohs and ahhs.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost) The Mighty Lalouche

How about this? One student had a first day gift for the class – of course, a book 🙂 Part of a beloved series that we didn’t have yet.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

The books that I couldn’t wait to share, were oh so happy to be shared.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

And of course, old favourites were instantly grabbed from the shelves. What would we do without Elephant and Piggie?

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

Math everyday has been all about engaged and proud and busy. Everyone supporting each other. The students I had last year have retained concepts and most importantly, confidence!

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

I still get to work with the amazing Miriam which is celebration enough. That she shares the gift of yoga with us everyday means daily doses of wonderful.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

We had lots of special visits this week. One from a boy who had been in our room for almost two years and had moved suddenly last March. His visit allowed us all to say both hello again and then goodbye.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

We also had a visit from a Mobile Dairy unit that included a four year old female cow and a 2 week old baby. Little Tulip (pictured below) was a wonder for many children who have never seen a farm animal. How I love watching the children experience things for the first time!

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

Of course a cow and a calf on the school grounds is a sight to see. One neighbour riding by with his toddler popped in to check things out. They had visited us many times on the picket line. It was a special feeling to share a learning experience on the school grounds together. All of us doing what we should be and school being the center of community. We found these guests seats in the middle of our “outdoor” school experience.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

So much to celebrate. Much that amused and delighted and a few things that brought me to tears. Often I just stopped by the classroom window to take in the view. How I have missed this perspective on the world.

Celebration: Everything that happened (almost)

A few of the words shared:

“I would like to stay in this classroom until I am maybe 95.”

“_______’s Mom says you are a great teacher. You are right?”

“I know what’s different in the room! I especially noticed J’s haircut. Maybe my Dad should get his hair like that.”

“I am so grateful school is really back again.”

With all of the excitement I also have to acknowledge the bittersweet. Four of my students moved on to new classes and after teaching all of them for two years, there is a lot of missing mixed up with the pride I feel in seeing them settle into a new classroom. One child in particular has needed a little extra support with the transition. As much for the adults as for him – it has been about gently helping to settle everyone and allowing acceptance and a developing understanding of how to best support him in a new setting. He and I shared one very important moment this week. It captured how our relationship has grown to a place of respect and trust. Sometimes a few words say everything. In the lunchroom one day I told him that I knew it was a lot to get used to in a new room and that I really missed him.

“I know that Ms. Gelson. I know it for sure.”

I know I have so much ahead with all of my students this year. But those few words have already been the biggest gift.

I celebrate such a beautiful week.

celebrate-link-up

Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community.

Celebration: Acts of Kindness

So, let’s get the big questions over with quickly:

Still on strike? Yes. (23 days on the picket line now . . . )

Still sane? Debatable.

Still celebrating? Indeed. When I can’t do this, it is really bad.

This week I celebrate the small and big acts of kindness that have helped me get through, helped me smile and helped me feel gratitude to the wonderful people in my life – some friends and some strangers.

In no particular order (and I am sure I have missed a few), here are the kind gestures that I treasured this week.

 Celebration: Acts of Kindness There's a Book for that

  • A very dear friend took me for lunch at her son’s restaurant. Delicious food, impeccable service and a lovely few hours of conversation and connecting.
  • My husband gets up every morning and makes me strong coffee, even on the days when my morning starts much earlier than his.
  • Another teacher that I actually first met on twitter has been sharing some wonderful insight and optimism with me this week. I even have permission to call her at 4 a.m. if I can’t sleep with worry over all of this and she will “talk me through” it. Wow.
  • I get almost daily Luna kisses from this beautiful dog (pictured above) as she is out for her daily walk past our school/picket line. Isn’t she gorgeous? I appreciate that her owners always say goodbye with some variation of this, “Well, nice to see you but hope we don’t see you again.” While it is wonderful to connect with new people (and animals), these circumstances are far from ideal.
  • I have another favourite visitor that walks by and stops for a visit everyday. This one is of the little person variety and is usually accompanied by Mom or Dad and adorable baby brother. We talk books, brothers and various other things. She arrived one day in a gorgeous outfit (from India I think) that her Dad had bought for her. I commented that she looked much more amazing than me and that I would love a similar outfit in my size. The next day she looked me up and down and said, “I think today that you look much better than I do.” I have carried this wonderfully genuine compliment with me all week!
  • I am especially grateful to one man who walked by with his dog and at our request “stayed near” for an extra 5 minutes. It was yesterday on the picket line early in the morning. Nobody was around and our line consisted of three women. We asked for this “support” because behind him we spotted a gentleman walking down the sidewalk who had made some nasty comments to us back in June. While he stayed with his dog and talked, the man walked right by. Unfortunately, after he left, the “unpleasant” man returned. We had to endure an ugly three minutes or so of verbal aggression and physical intimidation. It was bad. But, our “people” rallied around us and now we will have a male teacher on the early morning shift next week (if we are still out . . . ) In all of this, the kindness of strangers shone above the cruelty of one.

celebrate-link-up

Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community. Despite our busy days, time is always found to share what we celebrate. It’s like passing a virtual gratitude stone!

Celebration: Voice

I think if you arrive at my blog on a Celebration Saturday and I am sharing news that the strike has ended and I am back in my classroom, you will have to close your eyes and plug your ears. Somehow, I will have figured out how to install a brass band and fireworks exploding everywhere as soon as you click on the link.

But today, is obviously not that day. Monday, I will be on a picket line for the eighteenth day since May of this year (rotating strike days with full scale walk out beginning mid June) and have sat through two study session days organized by my union, which confirmed, if I hadn’t figured it out that we are really truly on strike.

There are weeks where I shed a few tears trying to dig deep and find something to celebrate.

But. Breathing deep, here I go. I still have the power to find things despite my sadness.

 Celebrate: Voice

This week, I celebrate voice. There is so much feeling out of control in prolonged job actions. This week, I was invited into the CBC studios a few times to talk about how low income children are faring during this strike. I am very concerned about my students and their well being. It felt many shades of right to be able to talk about it. I am grateful to both CBC television and CBC radio for sharing this aspect to the strike that many might not be thinking about. The impact on children, especially those most vulnerable, matters.

I do have the clip to the radio segment. If you want to listen, the link is here.

celebrate-link-up

Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community. Despite our busy days, time is always found to share what we celebrate. It’s like passing a virtual gratitude stone!

 

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat.

If you are a teacher in B.C. right now, you can’t think. Coherence is next to impossible. Logic? Out the window. Just breathing and moving at the same time? Quite remarkable. As I type, both parties involved in the BC Education dispute are holed up with experienced (thank goodness times a thousand) mediator Vince Ready trying to get a negotiated settlement. Which would mean we might actually make it back to school in the month of September. After months of striking, it is more than time. I am not so good at sitting by while huge discussions are happening that impact my life, my children’s lives and the lives of each my students and their families. But sit by, I must.

And the best I can do, is make a list. List making is like one foot in front of the next. One, two, three, four . . . So here we go . . . While everything hangs in the balance and I can barely breathe, I am going to make a list that allows me to slow down and celebrate. Inhale, exhale, here we go.

Right now, I celebrate how very much I love my job. How being a teacher brings me joy. How lucky I am to be part of a classroom community. Let me be back here soon!

I celebrate . . .

 Energy

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Balance

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Pride

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Mentorship

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Expression

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Focus

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Engagement

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Current obsessions

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Play

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

Embracing our Inner Goofy

Celebration: Inhale, exhale. Repeat. There's a Book for That

All of it? The magic I desperately miss.

Do your thing Mr. Ready.

Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community. Despite our busy days, time is always found to share what we celebrate. It’s like passing a virtual gratitude stone!

celebrate link up

Celebration: Book blogging

Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community who always find moments of gratitude in our busy weeks.

celebrate link up

As many of you know, B.C. teacher’s have been in some stage of job action for months and were out of our classrooms (full scale strike) for 13 days in June. We still don’t know about our return in the fall. It is hard to carry on as if all is normal, when nothing is normal. My life is not just my job but teaching is a huge part of my life. I am passionate about what I do and I miss it.

This week, I have worked really hard to reclaim a part of who I am – a reading teacher who shares a love of books with my students but also an amazing online community of book inspired colleagues. I have been reading and blogging and sharing and it is this I celebrate. I may not have a definite time when I will be sharing the magic of books in my classroom again. But I am sharing it here everyday and learning and being inspired by a community that shares with me. This has given me new energy and joy.

I celebrate the #booklove my blog allows me to share.

This week I blogged every day.

On Monday, I shared my reading from the week in my It’s Monday, What are you reading? post It was a big picture book reading week for me and I shared lots of treasures. I love learning from the book lists and reviews of the #IMWAYR community. It is a guaranteed day to add to my library requests, my Pinterest boards and my ever growing TBR list on Goodreads. These are readers who know their books. I never have to worry about what to read next!

 Emily's Blue Period Celebration: Book blogging There's a Book for That

On Tuesday, I shared a picture book wish list – ten titles that I would love to own. Book buying may be on hold until there is an income coming into our household again (two teacher family) but making lists is free. And dreaming in picture books is quite wonderful!

Celebration: Book blogging There's a Book for That

On Wednesday, I shared this book about moon bears and a number of other nonfiction titles about bears for my Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday post. Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a nonfiction picture book challenge and invites bloggers to share their nonfiction reading each Wednesday. In sharing some of my favourite nonfiction titles of 2013 in January, I shared how participating in this challenge has transformed my teaching. I am pleased to report that I have already surpassed my goal of reading 65 new to me titles. Currently, I have read 80 nonfiction picture books in 2014 🙂

 Jasper's Story Celebration: Book blogging There's a Book for That

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of participating in a blog tour to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of The Schneider Family Book Award. My post, written with my eleven year old daughter, featured a 2013 winner A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean. Thank you to Alyson Beecher for asking me to participate in this. It was an honour and an absolute pleasure to help highlight the importance of this award. We all benefit from reading and sharing more diverse literature and titles that highlight the disability experience are an absolute part of this.  This tour and giveaway are running until the 20th of this month. Check out some of the other posts and enter the giveaway to win the three books below. All links are included in my post.

 Schneider Blog Tour Celebration: Book blogging There's a Book for That

 

 A Dog Called Homeless Celebration: Book blogging There's a Book for That

On Friday, I shared a nonfiction picture book wish list because . . . I also dream in nonfiction. The first comment on this post has already led me to more wishing. Thanks @NorahColvin for the recommendation!

Creature Features Celebration: Book blogging There's a Book for That

And today, Saturday, I celebrate this wonderful week of book blogging here.

Next week we are away and so other than my Monday post which I will write in advance, I won’t be blogging. But I will be taking a little bit of time each day to connect with my online community of book passionate readers and teachers who share so much with me. Part of what I love about teaching is learning. And that I can always do!

Celebration: Little visits

Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community who always find moments of gratitude in our busy weeks.

celebrate link up

This week, I want to celebrate visits. Time with those we haven’t seen in a while is precious.

Our very good friends are here from Toronto. They have brought their charming dogs who we also love. Two friends and one dog we welcomed back and one little dog (new to them) we were thrilled to meet. Over the last week, we have had lots of time for walks and talks, dinners, parks and snuggles. As it should be 🙂 My children loved it all, especially the dog bonding!

 Celebration: Little Visits There's a Book for That  Celebration: Little Visits There's a Book for That

An early end to the school year (teacher strike) means I haven’t seen my students in three weeks. I arranged to go visit at a park near the community center where many of our students attend summer programming. My daughter was eager to come along. She played cards, skipped rope and built in the sand with some of the kids. I brought along some picture books and had a read aloud session in the shade. So wonderful to see all of the smiles, collect a few hugs and check in with everyone.

 Celebration: Little Visits There's a Book for That  Celebration: Little Visits There's a Book for That  Celebration: Little Visits There's a Book for That

Visits quell the missing. They remind us of what and who is important. They lighten our step. Hurrah for little visits!