Pace #sol20

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 7.42.51 AMPace #sol20

March 20, 2020

After a week of not talking to anyone outside my immediate family and only communicating via comments, texts, and tweets,  yesterday was a lot.

I had two meetings yesterday via the internet. One a district wide meeting where our superintendent was stellar.  She was calm, she was patient.  She answer questions for over an hour after her prepared statement.  While I only saw her, I felt the presence of our nearly 800 community members.  It was powerful.

That meeting was followed by a meeting with my literacy specialist team.  It’s great to see them and they all look well.  We are honest with each other and that’s so helpful.  We talked over our new directive, what it might mean and how we can support each other to provide support to our teaching teams and the intervention teams.  We were all tired at the end.  It’s a lot for one day.

I spent the rest of the day, talking to teachers, looking at resources,  going to a webinar, planning what I’ll pick up in the small window I have today to go to school and it was five before I realized it.   I kept going.  At 6:30,  I stopped at made dinner.  I kept reading texts and tweets until I got to a twitter discussion at 8:30 p.m.

That’s when I realized that I was doing that thing that others had warned me about, working and working and working.  I didn’t go outside yesterday.  I didn’t do a house project.  I just worked.

Today is shaping up to be more of the same.  I have a webinar at 8, going to school to pick up at 9, dropping some things off for teachers.  Then I have a training at 12 and a meeting with the principals and literacy specialists at 2:30…  Ok,  I am seriously going to have to make myself a self care schedule.

So in my spare time today,  I’m going to create a creative space because I also hear I have to think about what’s behind me in online connections.  Stay tuned for photos of that because my office is where I drop things I can’t part with.

I leave you with advice from my laptop keypad deck … Try easier and Be the one that decides to go for it.  Seem incongruous, but maybe not.

 

I’m writing alongside my Two Writing Teachers Slice Community every day for this month of March.  Today is day 20.  My writing PLN is my inspiration, my motivation, and my comfort.  

At Home Learning/Exploring: Graphic Novels #sol20

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 11.09.46 AMAt Home Learning/Exploring:  Graphic Novels #sol20

March 18, 2020

I have been resisting graphic novels and creating a stockpile at the same time.  Graphic novels aren’t going away and the students can’t get enough of them.  My friend, Gwen, is always extolling their virtues but honestly,  I am always just starting and abandoning them.

I know what I would tell a student about that,  you just have to learn to read them, so yesterday I set out to do just that using a graphic novel loved by a fellow literacy specialist’s young girls, the series Phoebe and Her Unicorn.  Using Fountas and Pinnell and Jennifer Serravallo’s Understanding Text and Readers,  I first examined what I know, book levels.  I rewatched the videos surrounding J. Serravallo’s book, then made a list of the qualities of books at Level Q.  At Q for plot and setting, students should be able to retell most important event from a complex plot identifying more than two of the stories problems including internal and external aspects.  Students should identify the theme of the story based on most of the book’s events including using accumulative details to explain the complexity of a social issue.  Vocabulary and figurative language should be solved using contextual clues.  In character, students should identify less obvious character traits comparing past traits to evolving traits.   I wondered about doing this complex work in this ‘simple’ novel, but I decided to give it a try.

In terms of graphic novel elements, there are four basic elements of graphic novels unique to the genre, panels and gutters, description and word balloons, sound effects and motion lines, and art including the creator’s style and how that contributes to the story line.

Off I go to read Phoebe and her Unicorn.  I had anticipated that I could just zip through this novel,  it’s only 215 pages, but I found myself stopping to ‘reread’ and contemplate all of the elements of both a novel at this level and this novel.

IMG_6003What I noticed first is that Phoebe and her Unicorn is not told chronologically.  The basic storyline weaves chronologically across the text, but on page twenty, a random cut-away story happened.  There is probably an official name for these.  As I went on, every 5-7 pages, a quick one page exchange would happen between Phoebe and Marigold that was unexpected and disconnected to the narrative.  Building characters?  A chapter change?

For graphic novel characteristics, the panels and gutters are fairly straight-forward in this novel, they seem to read mostly left to right, top to bottom.  There are a few images with no borders at all. Time passage is usually marked with words. There are a few split panels that I would like to point out and talk about with students.

Dialogue and word balloons are also mostly straight forward with no narration only dialogue.  I think most students would be able to tell who is speaking even in the panels where you cannot see the other speaker. There are thicker, larger, bold, color and fancy script mostly to indicate how the unicorn speaks differently from Phoebe and when Phoebe is surprised.

Sound effects and motion lines would be good to search for, point out, and discuss.  I am wondering if most students could recognize these. Considering how many words are written in different size, shape, and font to indicate how they are said, this is probably the larger obstacle to comprehension.

The art includes mostly very simple backgrounds if any.  There are subtle color changes for night and when the unicorn is being particularly magical.  It’s a nice touch.  Does the simplicity help or hinder the understanding?

So here I am, day 2, trying to finish this graphic novel and happy-ish that I brought home a couple more to decipher.  Maybe I’ll have a good lesson down in a few days.  All recommendations welcome.

Tuesday Morning Collaboration #sol20

Today I write in isolation, but not alone.  I write in the March Slice of Life Challenge, writing each day in March with my fellow writers under the guidance of Two Writing Teachers.  You can still join us, writing is healing and communal.  If you’re reading this, check out this blog about what to do right now. Today I’m inspired by the meeting I should be having right now, but am not…

Tuesday Morning Collaboration #sol20

March 17, 2020

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.   I hope you’re still sleeping, but I’m thinking of you. If we were together, I would have probably brought some soda bread and green napkins.  We would have ‘coffee’.  Well, A. would have had a yeti of tea and M. would have had a iced coffee from Dunkin’.  A. would close the door and say good morning.  She might be empty handed.   Sometimes she waits for a good idea and then writes it on a stickie with a borrowed pen.  M. would open her fancy notebook, 1/2 sized. Her flair color matching her mood or hoped-for mood.  We’d huddle and we smile at each other.  How are you doing? 

I’d have a list in my notebook of things I wanted to talk over with you.  Hopefully, I’d hesitate to see if you had something in mind.  Most times you do.  I’d have my units on the table, my phone, my notebook, my coffee.  Sometimes I don’t write in my notebook until you go away.  Sometimes I draw something in there or on a stickie to illustrate a thought or an idea.  Today I have a few things I want to talk over in this virtual space. What I don’t want to talk over is the reality and uncertainty of our current situation.  So I’m going to ignore it… for now.

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 7.50.23 AMFirst, I’m excited by the work A. has been doing with the ‘narrative task’ and creative writing in her room.  She’s excited too.  I’m sure she’s told you about it, but can we just talk about how it works and how we might expand it and will it work again next year.  I do love these books we chose for the Book Madness… I want to get the other Boston Marathon title.  Wait, back to the idea.  She began with Girl Running, taking four scenes after she had read and loved it with her class and let them ‘blow up’ the scene.  I wish I had some samples of her students’ writing, but I kept the photo copies of the spaces where she stopped.  I would stop at those pages and talk about why they are good.  Yes, they do illustrate the story arc. What a strong reinforcement!  She chose the rising action where Bobbie was crouching behind the forsythia right before she joined the race.  Then she chose the place where she revealed she was a woman runner.  We probably look these over and talk about presenting them to the students.  Would we ask them where this was on the story arc?  Would we let everyone pick the place where they want to write?  What guidance might we add to the narrative task?  What if we paired this book again for the compare and contrast using Her Fearless Run or The Girl Who Ran.  I’ll bring out Drawn Together. I hear that this book is a student favorite.  This book requires some interpretation by the students.  I want to hear what your students were thinking.  A. used this book as well.  I wasn’t there for this lesson.  We might look through the book together and think about how to present it.

I’ll mention how the newer teachers are struggling with the MCAS unit I drafted.  I will admit that some of it is my fault.  It needs some revision between the calendar and the day-to-day.  I’ll talk about some coaching I’ve done there and what I hope to do in the future.

Our time’s getting short but I want to share this idea that I saw on twitter. Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 8.10.55 AM Did you see that retweet I posted about using the Snack Attack video for character change in the essay?  Remember when we hoped that some videos might be used on the state tests?   Even that year we did the PARCC.?  We could show the video.  Love it and then think about character change.  What if we did that work in start-and-stops with table groups or two partnerships together?

Our time is past over as usual.  There’s so much to share and talk about.   I read City Spies yesterday, but don’t really want to promote a mystery in fourth.  It did have a strong story arc with lots of attempts.  It would be interesting to see how the students mapped it and what they thought the climax was.  That’s always so tricky.  I saw that M. read Coyote Sunrise.  I love that book, great character change, but it’s so sad.  What next?  I am thinking about reading the historical fiction book, They Bicycle Spy.  I know you have already read it, but I was wondering if I could create a mentor arc of another historical fiction for talking it over with the other teachers.

Have a great day!  Glad we had this time together…

Reading in Isolation #sol20 (IMWAYR)

Writing in my slice group with Two Writing Teachers in our 30 day challenge.  Today is Day 16.  Today, I’m inspired  by Elisabeth Ellington’s Quarantine Reading

Reading in Isolation #sol20 #IMWAYR

March 16, 2020

Truth is I need inspiration these days.  I feel like a bear at the beginning of hibernation.  My brain feels sleepy and I have a strong tendency to just curl up in my chair and sleep.  It’s too quiet here.  For three days I’ve had the TV on and now I realize that it’s contributing to the numbness.  But also, I’m not used to this.  I am accustomed to talking over lessons with teachers from before 7 until school starts and then meeting, teaching, collaborating with students and teachers until school ends.  After that I prepare for the next day.  I want to go to my office.  I want to touch books and make plans.  However, that’s not possible so here based on Elisabeth’s plan is my isolation plan for books.

Books to read for the first time

I have several bags full of books to read for the first time but I’ll divide these between student books and professional books.

Student Books

Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 9.00.10 AMThe stack is tall.  I brought home to TBR bag from school.  It’s a good mix: picture books, intermediate novels, biographies, some graphic novels.  I finished City Spies on Sunday.  I’m wondering if James Ponti would like me do a first chapter on my blog.  Next I think I might read The Vanderbeekers  by Glaser and mix in some picture books.  Dangerously, Amazon is just a couple of clicks away.  I hear I can still order and go pick up from our independent books store as well.

 

Books to Reread

I brought home all the current units of study that we were working on.  Now of course, knowing that we will have three weeks off and not one,  that might change things.  I was hedging my bets about content creation.  I can still create some mentors, small groups, shared reading and such with them.  I also brought home  A Teacher’s Guide to Reading Conferences.  Amazing providential as Jennifer Serravallo is going to rerun her web series about this text in a watch party, but the videos are available on Heinemann at this link.

Series to get into 

Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 9.01.06 AMI want to read the Vanderbeeker Triology.  I think I might be able to check it out on Libby.  I also stuck in my bag The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.  Again I think I might be able to check out the rest of them.  Stella Diaz Never Gives Up is in the pile and Beveryly, Right Here.  Series books to catch up on during the hiatus.  I have a few ‘starters’ in series as well, Comic Squad Lunch, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Fenway & Hattie, Flubby is Not a Good PetThe Seventh Wish.

Projects to Work On

Today, I’m going to organize some online distance learning resources to recommend to our district.  I’ve been keeping in contact with my mentor/coach and talking over content with her. Over the next weeks, I also want to work on some small group lessons, writing mentors, and do some curating of my at home collections, which have been sadly neglected.   I’m going to watch Lucy Calkin’s webinar on Wednesday, and pick up Kylene Beer’s professional development today.  I want to keep learning as well.  I

Feeling a little energized now that I’ve put some ideas out there in the universe.  Hope you are too.

 

A Slice of Normalcy #sol20

Thank you to my slicing community at Two Writing Teachers for holding each other together through our writing during this month’s writing challenge and life change.  This is day 15.  Today I’m especially inspired by Lanny Ball , Kevin and Jess.  

A Slice of Normalcy #sol20

March 15, 2020

Saturdays are usually full of errands and busy work.  We go to stores and drop off dry cleaning.  We plan for the next week and power through housework.  Yesterday felt different.

It started out mostly normal.  Lily and I took our predawn walk.  We discussed what she spelled and the moon just like every other morning.  We stopped to get the paper silently delivered during the night.  We walked down the drive toward to lights glowing through the open front door.  We made dog breakfast, coffee, and small talk.  We sat in our usual seats.  It almost felt like every other Saturday.

But we didn’t think about going to a store and the housework didn’t seem pressing.

Around nine,  Lily decided it was time for our dog Saturday routine.  We all got in the car and drove over to the park.  There were a couple of cars in the parking lot, but no one in sight.  That’s not unusual for early on a Saturday.  As we got out of the car, the sky was that expansive blue that I love so much.  The field was just beginning to green.  As we neared the tree line, the trees are beginning to bud.  I wondered if we might see a bird or a beginning wildflower.

The air feels fresh and I breathe deep.  I try to enjoy each tiny bit of what I see, feasting my tired eyes on nature.  Today I stop by the stone while and peer off to the beautiful blue of the water reflecting that blue, blue sky.  I fill up with that image.  Here it is.  Just like all the other Saturdays.  Trees,  water,  blue sky, and silence.

We make our way back to the car, the usual banter between us.  Happy in the company of our little triad.  For a few minutes,  I relax in the moment… in the normalcy.

What’s Happening Here? #sol20

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What’s Happening Here? #sol20

March 14, 2020

Let’s go to grocery store when we get home.  

The two of us meet at home.  Are you sure? he asks again.  I’m not.  I’ll turn on the TV.  The governor says he isn’t going to make that call for all schools.  We decide to go to the grocery store.  On a Wednesday at 4:30, the parking lot is full.  We look at each other.  We enter the store and already you can see the effects of … panic.  The bananas are all gone as are most of the salads.  We breathe and try to be…normal.  We are just doing some shopping.  We talk as we go about what we might get.  The deeper we get into the store, the more startling everything becomes.  I have just been here yesterday.  It’s on my way home.  Today, there are many, many empty shelves.  I see a man put ten jars of spaghetti sauce in his cart.  Ten?  

The aisles get more and more crowded with carts.  Most people are quiet and purposeful, but clearly they are seeing what we are seeing.  It’s hard not to buy more when you see the scarcity.  I inhale and exhale.  Just buy what you need. We arrive at the frozen food aisle. I gasp. There.  aren’t. any. frozen.  vegetables.  Another couple is talking together ahead of us. This is scary. It just slips out.  I wasn’t sure I was going to say it aloud.  The woman turns and half smiles at me.  She nods.  It’s hard to know what to do. 

Deeper and deeper in the store.  Shortages everywhere.  We are calm.  It’s easier to be calm together.  We discuss eggs and butter trying not to notice that there are no loaves of bread in the shelves behind us.  We turn back toward the check stands.  The lines are getting long at each lane.  The lanes all have checkers.  The store was expecting this… on a Wednesday…at 5:00 p.m.  A woman comments to the air, they should limit how much toilet paper people can buy.  I’ve been to four stores…She trails off, the angst in her voice remaining like a mist trailing behind her.

I smile at the woman behind me in line. She smiles back.  She’s right.  The Market Basket was worse.  There weren’t any canned goods at all. 

Really? Wow!  I turn to the young woman checking.  She’s trying to leave for the day.  She’s only been there since 3 pm, she tells the young man that comes to relieve her, but it’s clear that the contagious stress has clung to her.

We go to the car.  We’re quiet at first.  We’ve bought five bags of groceries.  I have a lot of thoughts in my head.  Somehow it doesn’t feel right to say them aloud.  Will this continue?  What about moms and older folks that haven’t gotten anything yet?  What will happen next?

As we bring the bags into the house, we begin to talk at once about what we’ve seen the words jumbling, bumping each other as we come up the stairs.  As we begin emptying the bags in the kitchen, the stress has clung to us as well.  Dissipating in the warm glow of that kitchen with a dog underfoot and the certainty of each other.

 

I write this month in my community of writers formed by Two Writing Teachers.  This is the 31 day writing challenge.  This is day 14. 

A New Day #sol20

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A New Day #sol20

March 13, 2020

I’m not superstitious, but as I type the date, it seems fitting. As I wake up today, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself.  While it seemed inevitable, I was prepared for what this new day would actually bring.

Yesterday felt unsettled at school.  The talk of days before of if became a talk of when. When?  This seems surreal.  I operate through the day as normal.  A morning child study. Alphabet work with Sweetie Pie.  My second grade phonics group.  Writing in third grade. Planning for next week’s professional development. Planning for Friday’s demonstration lesson. Then it was 2:45 and time for bus duty.

The students file in.  Normal day.  Sit in your bus lines.  No basketball when everyone’s sitting, remember?  Sure you can… go to the bathroom, fill your water bottle.  Pick up that mess, please.  Bus 14… Bus 22…  Did you hear?  There’s a strong rumor that we are going home today until April 2.   What?  

The students are gone.  I didn’t give them extra books or extra encouragement.  I didn’t say I’ll see you soon.  Did I?  Wait!  I wanted to bring them back.  Give them one more smile, another book.  Give them advice about what to do when they are home. Maybe it’s not true.  Surely they will wait until Monday.

In my heart,  I know that while this rumor might not be true, we will close today.  Many districts around us have closed.  I meet with a teacher about her state test prep unit and plan a lesson that’s coming up.  I meet with my regular Thursday afternoon teacher and talk about sweetie pie and the upcoming PD.  Then our talk turns to not coming back tomorrow.  She has her rolling cart full of curriculum books.

As I return to the literacy center, I clean up. I can’t leave an unmade bed, I say to the teacher who says goodbye as she passes.  We hesitate not touching but making a little extra eye contact.  We don’t say any extra words.

I turn to the literacy center.  I finish my plans for tomorrow’s demonstration lessons and lay them out on the table as I would if I were coming tomorrow. I straighten the desk, put away the phonics work from today.  I glance at Sweetie Pie’s name printed on my white board.  I don’t erase it.  I begin to make a stack of my regular take home things but then a pile begins to grow of other books.  Suddenly I have a book pile and then a book bag.  Then my cart is full.  I look around the room.  I don’t want to leave.  It feels… I’m not sure how it feels.  But this is only the beginning.

I called my husband as soon as I get in the car.  I have to talk about this with someone.  Are you sure?  Yes,  I hear that perhaps all the schools will be closed. 

Today I woke up to the first day of no school.  We are closed until at least Monday, March 23.  I think of all we had planned for those six days.  I think of all of the students at home this morning. I think of parents scrambling.  I sent hopeful thoughts for all of out in the universe.

 

Keep Writing #sol20

Keep Writing #sol20

March 12, 2020

Unexpectedly I was asked to cover for kindergarten class one day last week.  I dropped in and the teacher said, the students have just started writingGreat I thought, I love writing.  

Immediately the cry went up.  What do I writeI  need help!  The young writers were all sitting at their tables with a 3 step How-to page in front of each student.  Peering at the illustrations, the first was a child mixing something.  The second illustration was a oven.  The last illustration was a child frosting or putting sprinkles on the cookie.

Oh, wait!  I said.  Let’s plan out our writing together.  What is this about?  Baking cookies was the unanimous response.  Ok, I thought.  Here we go.   Let’s look at this first picture.  What do you think you do first when you bake cookies?    

Mix the dough! the kindergarten writers respond.

Great! Let’s look at this picture.  (Oven) What’s happening?   I don’t see the cookies. I wait for them to explain. They are quick.  The cookies are in the oven.  I smile.  Oh, I say, bake the cookies.

There’s one more picture.  What happens after you take them out of the oven?  

They look carefully at the picture.  The room is quiet for a minute or two.  Look at the picture. What’s happening?  They look closer.  One of them offers, he’s putting sprinkles on the cookies.  Nods of agreement around the room. The room explodes with talk.

The pencils start moving.  As I notice writers are struggling to get started, I pull a few into a group on the rug in front of the phonics chart.  What did we want to write first?  Mix the cookies, they respond.  Let’s think about M-i-x.  I stretch out the word.  What letter makes the mmm?  As we begin to work through the sounds, they begin to tentatively write, and then help each with the sounds.  I move away letting them keep going.

Other students begin to finish.  I’m done. I’m done. begins to pop up around the room.  Oh.. I say.  You’re not done!  What else could you teach me about?  Do you want to write on the back of this paper or do you want another piece to write your next How-To? 

There we go starting our next phrase,  I move again table to table, talking over their steps.  It’s fun to talk over with them their how-to plans.  One young writer says, I don’t know what to write about.  Hmm… I say,  Did you get up this morning?  Giggles ensue.  Yes! she says.  Ok, what did you do first?  Step by step we talk through telling her mom what she wants to to eat.  Then what?  On she goes telling me about eating breakfast.  I tease her about just leaving it sitting on the table. No!  she say, I clean up my place and then I get ready for school.  

There you go!  You’re all set.  Get writing.  

It goes on like this until the magical hour I didn’t know I was going to have is all up.  I say thank you to those brave writers and head toward the door.  Wait!  they press into me.  Take my writing!  Take my writing!  

I’ll make a copy and bring it right back to you. 

I hold each one carefully.  Read them again and cherish each of them and slip them into my unit book to be shared and shared and shared.

Another Step Forward #20

Another Step Forward #20

March 11, 2020

I’ve been away from a school for a few days.  I haven’t seen him since last Wednesday.  A whole week.  Would he be able to do it?  Would he remember what we had worked on? 

The literacy center is full of people this morning.  I don’t usually see him in the morning.  His teacher and I decided that since I’m having success with our afternoon work, perhaps I should take over the morning work as well.  Ok, I said,  I’ll give it a try.

So this morning I go to find him as soon as I can.  It’s nearly nine and I drop by.  I’m going to give it a go, I say to his teacher.  Go for it, she says.  I call to him.  He seems surprises to see me.  I lean down.  Sorry,  I say,  I’ve been away.  Do you want to come work?

We make our way to the literacy center.  He takes my hand as we go and my heart squeezes.  When I enter the literacy center, you can tell he’s surprised that we aren’t alone.  These teacher work with me, I say.  He looks up at me skeptically.  It’s still just me and you, bud,  I say.

I can feel all of them look at us, but reluctantly stay back in their business.  He’s a cutie pie and they all want to talk to him.  I can feel it.  For now, they just watch casually.

We make our way through the book shelves to the table, white board, markers and erasers we usually use.  He loves the magnets and eraser.  I feel him exhale as he sees our set up seems the same as usual, including his name that he wrote with magnets last week.

Do you think you can write your name without spelling it with magnets first?  I ask.  He nods.  I’m not sure if he’s said any words aloud yet.  Ok,  go for it.  I nod.  He leans over the rail of the white board easel and peers into the ledge.   Are you going to write with orange or green today?  Oh, orange,  I narrate.

So slowly he goes.  I know he’s not going to quite have enough room without changing the size of his letters, but I decide to let it go.  He writes the first letter making it capital.  What sound does that make?  I haven’t asked him that before and he turns to look at me before answering.  He makes the sound of his initial letter and continues spelling slowly and deliberately.  He gets to the “e”.   That letter has been giving him trouble.  A lefty, it’s hard for him to see that loop, but today he makes it better than ever before.  A perfectly formed lower case e.  Yeah, you,  I say.  That’s great.  You’ve been practicing.  He hesitates and then writes another letter.  He has missed one letter and I remind him by saying,  Let’s go back and check to see if you have the letters you need.  He doesn’t remember so I prompt the letter by giving him the sound.  He forms the letter remembering to make it look distinctively different from the similarly formed r.  He’s nearly there.  Just two more letters in this long name.  As he finishes we say the sounds out loud of each letter, including the sound in his name and the common sound of each.

He writes it two more times naming the sounds as I prompt. and I ask, what would you like to spell now? He looks at the other teacher left in the room.  She’s eating a banana.  She says. I didn’t eat breakfast.  Do you like bananas too?   He nods.  Do you want to spell it?  She starts with the sounds.  I wonder if he will be able to form the letter as she says the sounds even though there are so few.  He forms the first a backwards and then in a new place the N seems like a new letter to him at first.  Finally we spell b-a-n-a-n-a.

Great!  Let’s go back to class now.  I’ll see you tomorrow.  We walk together back to the room.  I’m cheering inside.  I hope he is too.  The world just opened up.

(Un)Solicited Reviews #sol20

(Un)Solicited Reviews #sol20

March 9, 2019

What happens when a second grade class of book reviewers find out that I don’t have the latest book in Jory John and Pete Oswald’s series, The Cool Bean?  They set out to convince a literacy specialist in the best way they can… they write a stack of book reviews.  So here straight from the second grade is the reason that I (you) should run out and buy this book.

This was pretty convincing until I read this line.

Why are you still reading this go and buy this book!!!!

It’s difficult to say what I love most about this situation and why after nearly a month, these reviews are still traveling back and forth in my teacher bag.

Another thing that I like (in) this book is that after they were nice to Little Bean he starts to be kind to other(s). Another reason I think this book is good is that there (they’re) get(t)ing along again… it teaches you that everyone is cool and sometime people are nice and kind.

Straight from my teacher bag into my heart and into my mentor text files.  These second graders don’t know it yet, but they have the makings of some literary essayist.  Quick retell, character traits, lessons learned, they are putting it together.  So is their teacher.

These showed up on my desk silently one day without notice.  Just a sweet little stack of writing gems.  I know you wish you could read them all again and again as well.

Here’s one final picture to tide you over.

For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol20) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.  This is day 9.