Sunday, August 10, 2014

Picture Books 10-for-10: Fairness

Thank you to Cathy (@cathymere) at Reflect and Refine and Mandy (@mandyrobek) at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for inventing and now hosting the FIFTH annual Picture Book 10 for 10 event. It's always fun to see what books everyone chooses and how much we all spend!!

I've shared my beginning of the year favorite read-alouds for community building with so many teachers that it's time to find a new group of books to use! Thank you #pb10for10 for helping me find 10 titles that will get my students and me thinking about issues of fairness. I'm excited to have a mixture of contemporary fiction, historical fiction, folktales, music, and nonfiction. I'll supplement these books with poetry on the same theme.

I found this image without attribution on another blog. This will be our first "text" to "read" and discuss as we think about fairness and justice.

 by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

This book will continue our discussions about fairness and equality.

by Rukhsana Khan
illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Sometimes we don't want to share, or take more responsibility 
because we are older.
But it's important to remember that what comes around, goes around.

Each Kindness (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards))
 by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by E.B. Lewis

This book will help us to connect fairness and empathy.
Hopefully we will never miss the chance to be kind
to someone in our world.

The Little Hummingbird
 by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Is it fair that the hummingbird is doing all the work?

Is it okay to make a situation more fair by using trickery? 

The Red Hen
 by Rebecca Emberley
illustrated by Ed Emberley

If you've done all the work, is it fair to keep all the rewards for yourself?

illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

With this book, we'll begin to connect fairness and Civil Rights. I'm hoping to read aloud the Kindle edition of Wiles' Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy)

Through My Eyes
 by Ruby Bridges

Is it fair for children of all race, color, ethnicity and religion to go to American public schools?

I'm a new fan of Duncan Tonatiuh after hearing him speak at the CLA Monday Workshop last year.
This book will broaden students' understanding of desegregation
to include the struggles of Hispanic families.

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song
 by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The story of this classic Civil Rights song will give us the "So What Now?" in this picture book unit. What will we do to work towards more fairness in our classroom, our building, our community, and our world?

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Poetry Friday Roundup is HERE!

The last of my Summer Poem Swap poems will be mailed tomorrow. I have combined my poems and photos to make magnets. I just about snorted my morning tea when I read this poem from The Writer's Almanac last month:

Poem on the Fridge
by Paul Hostovsky

The refrigerator is the highest honor
a poem can aspire to. The ultimate
publication. As close to food as words
can come. And this refrigerator poem
is honored to be here beneath its own
refrigerator magnet, which feels like a medal
pinned to its lapel. Stop here a moment
and listen to the poem humming to itself,
like a refrigerator itself, the song in its head
full of crisp, perishable notes that wither in air,
the words to the song lined up here like
a dispensary full of indispensable details:
a jar of corrugated green pickles, an array
of headless shrimp, fiery maraschino cherries,
a fruit salad, veggie platter, assortments of
cheeses and chilled French wines, a pink
bottle of amoxicillin: the poem is infectious.
It's having a party. The music, the revelry,
is seeping through this white door.

Leave your links in the comments and I'll round you up after water aerobics tonight and between meetings and classroom work on Friday.

Maureen has a summer storm poem for us at Free Range Readers.

Carol shares special memories of her grandmother at Beyond Literacy Link.

Ruth (and many of the rest of us, I'm sure) are driven to despair about the news out of Iraq and Syria. We can think about that situatio through the lens of the Holocaust Museum poem she shares at her blog, There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Violet Nesdoly is featured in The Haiku Garden at Michelle's Today's Little Ditty.

Robyn, at Life on the Deckle Edge,  celebrates her daughter -- a brand new 3rd grade teacher -- with a Taylor Mali poem that gets me every time. Survive this first year, Morgan, and then go on to have a brilliant career. Leave a legacy.

Irene treats us to a summer swap poem and a selection of Ralph Fletcher poems at Live Your Poem.

Linda, at Teacher Dance, has felt a change in the air and the light. Fall is coming!

Matt is celebrating the second Blogiversary of Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme...and his anniversary.

Holly, at Reading, Teaching, Learning, takes us with her to Prague with an original poem about that city.

Keri shares a back to school poem at Keri Recommends that gives a little nod to a Lee Bennett Hopkins classic.

Let's balance back to school with some vacation mode from Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems.

Bridget, at wee words for wee ones, is gearing up for a slumber(less) party.

At Writing the World for Kids, Laura shares a favorite from Joyce Sidman's UBIQUITOUS.

Diane has the perfect poem to hang on her fridge door! Check it out at Random Noodling. Her Kurious Kitty has some information about the Perseids and another (??another??) super a skywatching poem by Douglas Florian.

I'm going to let the Author Amok Laura tell you about her post: "It's #5 in my "Summer Reads: Chapter & Verse" series. Today, I'm pairing Holly Black's vampire novel THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN with Sarah Beasley's poem "Grief Puppet." Together, they would prompt a great discussion for the upper HS classroom. (Plus, there is some Marceline fangirling for Adventure Time fans.)"

Joyce Sidman interviews Irene Latham at Poetry For Children, brought to us by Sylvia!

Myra, at Gathering Books, takes us back to the Holocaust with a review of ...I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY...

Lest your heart is heavy (or because current world events can't help but weigh it down), read the pair of poems Tabatha gives us today at The Opposite of Indifference.


Well, after a promising start this morning, I've kind of lost control of my day. My meeting was productive, and then a colleague came to my classroom and gave me some suggestions about ways to tweak my use of the space. In particular, ways to make my (extensive) classroom library more accessible to students. I started a bit of shifting and pitching, and suddenly it was time to come home and eat some lunch and go to the eye doctor. After my checkup, I'll be blind for a few hours, so it won't be until later this evening that I can get back and round up the rest of the posts. Sorry! But I will be back!


Still half-blind, but back!

Catherine takes us on a picnic at the Reading to the Core.

Anastasia, at Booktalking #kidlit, is in today with Shaping Up Summer (Math in Nature) by Lizann Flat (and a call for STEM book bloggers)

Carol wrote a poem for the brand new teachers in her district, but it's one I need to copy and put up on my fridge. Head over to Carol's Corner. You'll see what I mean.

Joyce's Musings holds a terza rima inspired by a trip to Kathmandu.

Katie, at The Logonauts, continues her exploration of haiku in the classroom with part two in a three part series.

Amy left The Poem Farm to go to the fair, and she witnessed magic!

Karen Edmisten and I are soul sisters -- shifting books here and there, donating some (never the poetry) and STILL winding up with not enough shelf space!

At Reflections on the Teche, Margaret shares an original poem about chasing a beautiful sunset.

Tricia shares a pantoum perfect for writers and readers alike over at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Little Willow shares In the Gloaming at Bildungsroman.

Ben brings The Small Nouns back to Poetry Friday with a poem for all parents.

Elaine comes to us from Flowers for Socrates. She's got a post about clerihews, including a few of her own.

Colette's got lots to say (way more than her 100 Words a Day) about Van Gogh's Starry Night and various examples of ekphrasis about the painting. (ekphrases about? exphrases of? ekphrastic descriptions?)

Lori Ann Grover is On Point with a sunset poem that pairs nicely with Violet's sunrise poem.

Charlotte reviews  Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics at Charlotte's Library. I can't wait to see this book!

Douglas Florian is in the house! He's got a poem and quote by Mark Twain over at The Florian Cafe.

Donna, at Mainely Write, should just stop trying to rein in her brain!  Plus, I think her Noah Cat should join us more often for Poetry Friday!

Book Lover's Day is tomorrow! Becky's got a post and poem about it at Tapestry of Words.

Cathy's feeling a little lost as she starts the new school year in a non-classroom position. She found the perfect poem as she finds her "new HERE." Read it at Merely Day By Day.

Welcome to Stacy Lynn, new to Poetry Friday, and sharing an original poem "Garden Beans" at her blog, Warning the Stars.

Monday, August 04, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Head over to Teach Mentor Texts for the It's Monday! What Are You Reading? round up.

I had a great reading week.  Vacation and being in the car for 25+ hours helped!  I've read some great books lately. I know I'll have far less time to read with school starting but glad to have read the books I did. Here are some of the great books I've read lately--love and recommend them all.  Every single one was fabulous!

I just don't fit enough enough adult fiction so I made sure to do that on vacation last week. Both were great.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

In anticipation of Global Read Aloud in October, I reread

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

WOW! I have always loved this book but haven't read it for probably 6 years. Loved it even more this time and am excited to share it with kids as part of Global Read Aloud.

A heartbreaking book set in the Lower Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina.  Love the main character of this one. A Must Read!
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

A novel in verse that is set in Guatemala during the civil war.  A great book--I think this is probably intended for middle school.

Caminar by Skila Brown

A graphic novel (coming out in September) that I loved. Another Must Read!

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Friday, August 01, 2014

Celebrating Kate Messner!

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Will Clayton

Even though our blog birthday was on January 1, we are celebrating it all year! On our 8th Birthday, we decided to celebrate 2014 by celebrating others who inspire us every day. Each month, on the 1st (or so) of the month, we will celebrate a fellow blogger whose work has inspired us. We feel so lucky to be part of the blog world that we want to celebrate all that everyone gives us each day.

This month, we are celebrating the amazing author and educator, Kate Messner. We have learned from Kate Messner in so many ways. Real Revision: Authors' Strategies to Share with Student Writers was important for both of us as writers and teachers of writing. Her children's books resonate with readers and have an important place in our classroom libraries. And as a former teacher she shares generously --she is an advocate of classroom visits by authors, offering free Skype visits to classes for many of her books, and maintaining an extensive list of children's, YA, and adult authors who will also Skype for free.

But the reason we are celebrating Kate today is because of her blog and her initiatives to support teachers--especially Teachers Write! Kate has worked tirelessly for the past several summers to support teacher writers. The community is a strong one and the Summer Camp is amazing.

To honor Kate, we we are making a donation to one of our favorite local organizations, The Brian Muha Foundation. This is an organization that supports children in our local area. We love the story of the foundation and believe strongly in their mission. You can learn more about the foundation and the Run the Race Club on their website.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Poetry Friday -- Retro Post

This post originally appeared as a part of my 2013 Poetry Month Project: Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations. I am working to gather my Poetry Month Projects and other assorted original poems on my website, Poetrepository. I'm not anywhere near finished yet, but it's been fun to look back. A huge thank you to Amy LV for her website, The Poem Farm, which was my "mentor text" for the design of my site. I chose this one for today because as you are reading it, I will be fly fishing in Vermont!

Margaret has today's roundup at Reflections on the Teche. See you next week here at A Year of Reading for the Poetry Friday Roundup! Until then, I'll wish you "tight lines!"

I have been involved with Casting for Recovery since 2005, when I was a participant. I have written about it many times here on the blog. Use the search box ("Casting for Recovery") to find these posts, if the spirit moves you. And if you want, you can even "like" the Ohio CFR Facebook Page!

One of my favorite fishing memories happened in Maine when I treated myself to a trip to L.L. Bean's Women's Fly Fishing School. After I completed the classes, I fished on several rivers in Maine before returning home. One was much like the picture above, and although I wasn't dressed like that pre-1920's fisherwoman, I was standing on a large boulder, fishing alone. Alone, but not alone. A flock of cedar waxwings crowded the bank, chasing after the fly I was casting. I was having no luck with the fish, so I just stood quietly to enjoy the birds. When I had been still for a few minutes, one of the birds perched on the tip of my fly rod! My favorite fly fishing catch of all time!! Here's a haiku about that day:


Cedar waxwings flocked,
curious about my casts.
Calm fly rod: bird perch.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013

You might have noticed that there is no attribution for this picture. That's because it's in the Public Domain. Here's what Wikimedia Commons had to say about public domain as it relates to this photo:

"This Canadian work is in the public domain in Canada because its copyright has expired due to one of the following:
1. it was subject to Crown copyright and was first published more than 50 years ago, or
it was not subject to Crown copyright, and
2. it is a photograph that was created prior to January 1, 1949, or
3. the creator died more than 50 years ago.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.
Public domain works must be out of copyright in both the United States and in the source country of the work in order to be hosted on the Commons. If the work is not a U.S. work, the file must have an additional copyright tag indicating the copyright status in the source country."

The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project was

"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 

Each day in April, I featured media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I used the media to inspire my poetry, and I invited my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

July Mosaic

This month I'll tell stories by request. Want to know the story behind one (or more) of these photos? Identify the photo by row or column and position and then be sure to subscribe to the comments so you can see my reply. We'll be traveling today, so I'll get back to you later tonight.

Almost every month, inquiring minds want to know: How do I make my mosaics?
First, I take thirty or more (and sometimes less) pictures every month.
Next, I make a set on Flickr. (This month's set is here, and there are a couple of bonus photos from last night at the Birdseye Diner that didn't fit in the mosaic.)
Then, I go to Big Huge Labs and use their Mosaic Maker with the link to my Flickr photoset.
Finally, I download, save, insert, comment, and publish!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Few Books to Read Aloud Just Because

I'm really hoping to read a picture book a day this year as part of our morning meeting. I want to read one that is just for fun. So often I find great fun books but books with no real connection to what we are doing. I read lots of books aloud each day to my kids but they all seem connected to a lesson. I know the power of reading lots of books and I know that giving myself time each day to share one book "just because" every day will be something that grows. I think the books will come back into conversations and we'll have more books to learn from. This is really a routine that gives me permission to take 5-10 minutes to share a fun book--not as part of a mini lesson, not because it teaches something important, but just because it is a great book.  I imagine these books that I read every morning will be read and reread during independent reading time, just because they are great books.

Of course I Want My Hat Back and Carnivores will be on my stack. (I would read those two aloud every day if I could justify it!) But, here are a few new books that I am excited to share because they are just great books.

Here Comes the Easter Cat is just HYSTERICAL. I laugh every time I read it. And no, I am not going to wait until Easter to read this book. It is way too good for that. It is funny any time of the year.

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas city.  This is a great story and one I fell in love with immediately.  I wouldn't call this a "fun" book but definitely one that will go in my Morning Meeting Reads basket as one I want to share with kids just because it's a great story.

Pardon Me! is an almost wordless book and I do love those.  It is a great story with amazing illustrations. And there are a few surprises along the way. I love a book with a good surprise!

I read EVERYTHING Peter Brown writes to my class.  Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Awards)) was a definite favorite last year. Peter Brown's new book, My Teacher is a Monster is his newest and  one I'm sure they'll love. I'm counting on this one to starts some great conversations too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Slice of Life -- Hemming

One of the jobs on Mom's to-do list for me last week was to hem a couple of pairs of pants for her.

I should back up to say that my mom was a Master Seamstress in her day, trained under the iron rule of her mother, who was a Home-Ec teacher. (Raise your hand if you even know what Home-Ec is...yeah, I thought so...) When Mom started to teach me to sew, we nearly came to blows. She is a perfectionist. I am a generalist. But she cared enough that I learn to sew that she bought me sewing lessons from a teacher who was a little less like her and a little more like me. I became a functional seamstress.

Teaching Lesson #1 -- If you are not the right teacher for a student, have the humility to find the teacher who can best teach that learner.

After we got the pants measured and pinned, I went to work. I wanted to do a really good job. I wanted to make Mom proud that I'm at least a functional seamstress, and maybe just a little better than that. But I was having problems. The legs of the pants were tapered at the bottom, so the hemming was turning out bunchy. Since I wanted to do a really good job, I asked for help.

Learning Lesson #1 -- If it's not turning out the way you want it to, have the humility to ask for help.

I didn't even have the question out of my mouth before Mom knew what the problem was: the tapering. She came and showed me that if I switched the pins from horizontal to the hem to perpendicular to the hem my work would lay flatter. Then she confirmed my suspicion that it would help to take bigger stitches. Then she left me to it.

Teaching Lesson #2 -- Give just enough help to get the learning going again and then get out of the way.

Hemming the second pair of pants when smoothly. I didn't have to cut any off, the fabric was more considerate, and I was back in the groove of hand-hemming. My stitches were quick and even.

Learning Lesson #2 -- Just because one task is frustrating doesn't mean that every task like that is going to be frustrating. Don't give up. Persevere when things get hard...but also remember to enjoy the feeling when things go smoothly.

Teaching and learning...and hemming pants. Good stuff.