January 23, 2013

First lines . . . the third

"I hadn't seen this photograph since the day it was taken, UNTIL NOW."

Image from TitlePeek


January 21, 2013

First lines . . . the first

"GRAMPS SAYS I AM A COUNTRY GIRL AT HEART, and that is true."

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Image from Titlepeek

January 17, 2013

American Civil War

Today I'm substituting in a fifth grade classroom. It's been many years since I taught fifth grade and I must say, it's coming back easily. Fifth graders have a special place in my heart.


Image from Reederbooks.com

Students are reading Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder. In this story, we learn about Will's journey as a Southerner to a Northerner's world. Will has lost his entire family and must now navigate through emotional and situational transition. Along the way, he learns that the world is not black and white--that there are shades of gray.

During our snack, I grabbed a picture book from my library to share with students. Along with this book, any of those listed below will enhance a study of the American Civil War.


The Blue and the Gray by Eve Bunting
Image from Library Thing

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Image from Titlepeek
Freedom Ship by Doreen Rappaport
Image from Titlepeek


January 16, 2013

Shoeless Joe

Phil Bildner will be visiting our school in one month. One of his books, Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy, inspired me to research Joe Jackson.

Image from Barnes & Noble


Joe played baseball in the early 1900's for the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Naps, and Chicago White Sox. He was suspended from baseball during the infamous Chicago White Sox scandal of 1919. Joe was later cleared of all charges, but never again allowed to play professional baseball.

Here is Phil giving a tour of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum:


Want to complete a little research of your own? Tell me, who was BLACK BETSY?




January 7, 2013

Making a Difference

The world is so big and humans are so small. I am frequently overwhelmed by the need in my community, state, country, and the world. How to make a difference when I am but one? Well, as Desmond Tutu says, "Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good together that overwhelm the world."

In honor of doing a little bit of good, take a look at the following books:


Image from Novelist
Through a community loan program, Kojo is able to purchase one chicken which helps lift him, his family, and his community out of poverty.


Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
Image from LibraryThing
Wangari Maathai left her forested homeland to pursue education. Upon her return she realized that thousands of acres had been cut down. This book shares the story of her efforts to replant these trees with the help of women's groups.