Reading, Teaching, Learning

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Celebration Saturday

 
I love linking up to a wonderful celebratory community, inspired by Ruth Ayres, every Saturday!
 
I wasn't going to write a Celebrate This Week post this morning.  Not because I don't have anything to celebrate, but quite honestly, I was in a little bit of a funk.  I chose not to go to NCTE this year (LOVED it last year) for multiple reasons, and it's still the right decision.  However, I feel a little sad watching/reading about all the goings-on there.  It makes me want to be in DC right now!  There are amazing people, ideas, books, and writing at NCTE. There are some blogging friends I'd love to be meeting and ones I've already met and would love to see again.  Next year, I need to go! 
 
Then I started to read a couple Celebration posts and started thinking about all the great things that happened this past week.  I need to concentrate on the celebrations, not what I'm missing out on! Besides, there are a lot of great reasons to enjoy being home - like a date night with my husband last night, dinner tonight with Libby and Jamie and his family, writing time, and getting a chance to walk and then read after I finish this post!  I'll also catch up on some grading. That's what I love about the Celebration community - it makes you concentrate on the good stuff!  So, here goes...
 
1.  I started a new read aloud with my fifth graders.  We're continuing to think, read, and write about fear and courage.  I chose Duke by Kirby Larson.  It fits into our thinking perfectly.  It's historical fiction, which my classes explored through small group books, and it's about a boy living during WWII who feels like he isn't brave like the courageous men in his family.  He decides to donate his beloved German Shepherd, Duke, to the war effort by loaning him to Dogs for Defense.  At the end of one chapter, Duke is being driven away by the director of the organization.  It is heartbreaking.  The kids sat in stunned sadness when I closed the book for the day.  One student sighed and said, "I love when authors can make you feel emotion.  It makes it feel so real."  Yes!  I tweeted Kirby later that day. Here is her reply:
I continue to tout the importance and impact of reading aloud.  It creates community, encourages thinking, and promotes empathy.  I also love that authors like Kirby Larson are so willing to communicate with us!

 Duke
 
2.  Speaking of read alouds, I'm doing a different kind of read aloud with my 6th graders.  The 6th graders are thinking, reading, and writing about social responsibility and leaving a legacy.  I chose the stage adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank for the class to read aloud together.  This play means a lot to me.  It brings back memories of playing the role of Miep when I was a freshman in high school.  I wrote about the experience and what Anne Frank symbolizes for me here in a previous blog post.  The kids volunteered for parts, which I'm changing every 3-4 scenes.  It's a great opportunity for them to study this genre and notice things like stage directions, set instructions, format, and characterization.  We're at the scene in which Anne and Peter have begun a somewhat romantic relationship.  Lots of giggles ensued.  It's cute.  It makes Anne and Peter real to them.  I hope to show the movie, also, after we're done.  We've enjoyed this different read aloud experience.
 
3.  SNOW DAY!!  After a wonderful weekend of celebrating friends during our 27th Friends' Thanksgiving party, I was exhausted!  It was a gift that I was able to sleep in on Monday and recover from the late nights and hosting responsibilities.  I was able to get the house back in order, rest, and read.  Perfect!  It also happened to be a BEAUTIFUL snow!
 

4.  Libby found her wedding dress!  I'm going to write about this more at length in a future Slice of Life post, but it is STUNNING, and it was such a fun experience the way it happened.  I also celebrate her engagement pictures.  A friend of theirs took them, and they turned out beautiful!
 
 
 
5.  Our cat is better!  Our poor cat, Faith, has been struggling with an illness for months now.  We really thought she was not going to make it.  Our vets, however, were able to diagnose her and prescribe just the right medicine, and she's on the mend!  She's a quirky cat, and I really didn't even realize how attached I was to her!  She's back to her old habits - collecting things around the house in her cat bowl, running around, and jumping up on my lap while I read and watch t.v.  I love when she perches on the windowsill to watch the birds...
 
 
Well, as usual, after writing a Celebration post, I feel much better!  I'm looking forward to dinner tonight with Libby's fiancé's family and the upcoming Thanksgiving week.  I wish all of you many blessings and celebrations during this holiday.  There are so many reasons to be thankful.  Happy Thanksgiving!
 
 




 
 
 
 
 

14 comments:

  1. I have been thinking along the same lines. I almost didn't do my post this morning, but once I got started, I felt more positive - it lifted my spirits. I get to read picture books to my library classes, but oh how I loved reading longer works when I was a classroom teacher. There is so much learning & relationship building when you share those novels and texts together. Congrats on the engagement! I'm glad you had time with family & the snow day seems just what you needed. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Crystal! Happy Thanksgiving!!

      Delete
  2. I still can't believe you have a daughter old enough to be getting married. I hear you on reading other Celebration posts. I always find inspiration! We always tell the students in our room - sharing your gratitude is a gift. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time flies, Carrie - I can't believe it either! ;-)

      Delete
  3. It's an exciting time when a wedding is coming. I saw the pics on FB, & they are wonderful, Holly. I too am wishing I was at NCTE, but now that I've taken over a class, I guess it's better that I didn't go. It does look wonderful though, doesn't it? I'm glad you had your snow day, & now you're having a good Saturday too, dinner with the new 'in-laws'. Good times, all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely good times! You and I will have to plan on NCTE 2015!!

      Delete
  4. Holly, Margaret and I did miss seeing you at NCTE 14 but you were with us in spirit. Your week sounded wonderful though so I am sure you are beaming with that lovely smile. I think your daughter's engagement photos came out beautiful. I remember when I saw my daughter, Devin's photos. I was so thrilled and then when we went shopping for the gown, it was quite an experience. She finally found the right dress and we were so pleased. We adorned it with a fabric flower and antique pin that was my mother's so Devin could have her grandma with her on her wedding day (2 years ago). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of a little bit of Devin's grandmother there with her. How sweet!

      Delete
  5. I missed you and Linda. We talked about you and will have to all meet someday for sure. I was struck by how immediate our friendships became when we met F2F. I also met many authors who are just regular, every day people. Put it on your schedule for 2015. There may be a slicer retreat in the works. I know we will meet someday. I feel like I know your daughters, too. Maybe I could finagle a wedding invite?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so sweet that you thought of me!! A slicer retreat?! How great would that be?! Ha - I'd love for you to come to the wedding!! We could have a slicer table. ;-) Happy Thanksgiving!!

      Delete
  6. Holly, your daughter's fall photo would make a great Finding Fall backdrop for a poem about love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh! I'll have to think about that. :-) It would!

      Delete
  7. Holly, I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you (in person!) at NCTE but love your sharing this celebration post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Augusta! One of these days we'll meet in person!! :-) Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

      Delete