Skip to content

Boston Stronger 2014

April 19, 2014

You have read on this blog before about the strength and resilience of Running a Marathon.  The preparation and planning take dedication and time.

There are too many people who remember where they were and what they were doing on April 15, 2013. Tragically many lost family and friends that day, lives lost too soon or altered forever. Others (of us) were more fortunate to get a text or phone call saying, “We’re okay.”

Today we recognize 36,000 runners (up 9000 from 2013) and the city of Boston as they prepare for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday April 21. We will be watching Monday and waiting again, but this time the text will say, “We’re okay AND we finished.”


Good luck to our friend who we are confident will finish the race this year and to all the runners who are proving that not only is Boston Strong, but Peace will always triumph. Go Mikey!

We salute a courageous teacher, Rachel Moo. Miss Moo was Martin Richard’s 2nd grade teacher and is running her first marathon this year in honor of Martin. “I know he’s going to be there with me,” she says. “Every step.”


(Run for Martin Richard)

World Book Night 2014

April 17, 2014

WBN2014_logo_672x652World Book Night April 23, 2014

Spreading the love of reading person to person.


World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers.

World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: It’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways—through the sharing of stories.

World Book Night

World Book Night 2014

I am so excited. This is my 3rd year to participate.  I picked up my free books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, at Barnes and Noble yesterday. I also stopped by the used book to store to buy another selection of books, and my colleague Linda N. has already dropped off two bags of books to include in our give away to a local high school.

I’m so excited to do my little part to spread the love of reading.



What are you doing to spread the love of reading?

World Book Night 2013 Video

My World Book Night 2012

My World Book Night 2013



Twitter: @wbnamerica #WBN2014


April is National Poetry Month

March 27, 2014

Linda C.:

It’s almost April. Check out this list of resources for all grades and have fun.


Originally posted on From Surviving to Thriving:

Poems are like messages in a bottle sent out with little hope of finding a recipient. Those of us who find and read poems become their unknown addresses.

From How to Read a Poem (and Fall in Love with Poetry)

by Edward Hirsch Poetry Foundation

As I prepared for today’s post, I again realized I am not as poetic as I would like. I am not as comfortable as I would like to be in my appreciation or teaching of poetry. I know that it is an essential part of who we are. It tells our histories, our dreams, and our secret aspirations, but most importantly it is a creative tool to communicate all of the above. As I completed my research I found the poem below that conveys these intentions more beautifully in poetry. Thank you Joanna.

Why We Need Poetry

April 7, 2010 • by Joanna Paterson •…

View original 298 more words

Think Spring, Eggs, and Eagles. . . Think Relevant, Real-World, and Engaging!

March 19, 2014

Long time followers will remember that one of my fascinations each spring is watching the live eagle camera in Decorah Iowa. I also keep tabs on the Minnesota Bound Eagle Cam and the Eagles4kids cam in Blair, Wisconsin.

I have become quite the eagle expert. This year I was watching when egg#1 was laid and was also viewing as mom sat on the egg bowl to keep the eggs warm during a snow storm and frigid temperatures. And we think it has been a long, cold winter!!! What about sitting on a nest high in a cottonwood tree during wind, snow, and cold.

During my time watching I’ve seen an eaglet rescued and successfully returned to the nest, a break-up/divorce of the eagles, Larry and Lucy, at Eagle4kids and lots of nurturing, learning and growing.

You can easily watch the eagle cams in your classroom or send the link home to parents. Why would you do this? We can learn so much from the eagle parents and their young.eagles

  • Watching the eagles gives students an opportunity to see real life experiences in real-time.
  • Viewing the eagles in their habitat encourages an appreciation for nature and our environment.
  • The eagles will provide excellent models and connections for the science classroom, creative writing, and even poetry.
  • It affords a real connection to explore nonfiction literature. (I’m thinking CCSS.)
  • It’s fun.
  • It’s engaging.
  • It’s meaningful.


Previous posts on eagles.

Dr. Seuss for Middle and High School??? Yes!

March 7, 2014

My post is late for Read Across America 2014. Many schedules, including mine, have recently changed based on our strange and treacherous winter weather. But I thought this resource was worth the mention even though it is late….and everyday is a good day to read.

I’ve had ongoing discussions with my  pre-service secondary teachers for years on the value of read alouds, picture books, and children’s  literature in the middle and high school classroom. Many say they  just do not have time with so much content to teach. My response is, “We don’t NOT have time to engage our students, connect what we teach to everyday life, build meaningful relationships, and sometimes just have fun.

I am always on the lookout for resources to share with students and for others who agree with my perspective, so I was delighted when I read yesterday’s post on The Learning Network: Teaching and Learning with the New York Times

March 6, 2014, 3:59 pm

Serious Silliness: High School Reading and Writing Inspired by Dr. Seussdr-seuss


This week marks the 110th anniversary of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birth, and the 17th annual Read Across America event that celebrates the day.

Though many consider the self-made “doctor”— who, in fact, was a poet, cartoonist, author and illustrator — the “finest talent in the history of children’s books,” his work is not exactly a staple of the high school curriculum.

Below, we suggest some places for the cat in the hat, green eggs and ham, Horton, the Sneetches and Mulberry Street in your secondary English classroom

Click here to read the full post and discover the myriad of resources.



5 Books Anyone Concerned about Education Should Read

January 26, 2014

Linda C.:

Great Blog Post……

Originally posted on Surviving to Thriving LjL:

American education is at a crossroads. There are two paths in front of us: One in which we destroy our strengths in order to “catch up” with others in test scores and one in which we build on our strengths so we can keep the lead in innovation and creativity. Yong Zhao

Anyone interested in a different perspective on PK-12 education and learning might find the following five books fascinating reading. These books will showcase a variety of perspectives that may challenge or change the way you currently perceive educational practices as well as the way in which you perceive learning in general. Any one of these books would make an excellent choice for a study group or book club.

 Catching Up ZhaoCatching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization by Yong Zhao

The above quote is from the introduction and best describes the importance of…

View original 584 more words

Five Reasons to Read The One and Only Ivan in Your Classroom

January 23, 2014

ivan book coverWinner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Harper Collins Children’s Books

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate

Top Five Reasons to Read in Your Classroom!

  1. The book is beautifully written by Ivan, the silverback gorilla. Students will connect with Ivan’s voice and point of view. He is funny, honest, and literal in his observations of both humans and animals. It won the 2013 Newbery Medal!
  2. It is inspired by a true story. Students want to connect reading and learning to their everyday lives. (Read about the real Ivan.) Ivan’s story will come to life for your children.
  3. It is about animals and addresses a very real issue. How do we treat animals in our society?
  4. It gives us hope that we can all change our world. From a small cage in a mall, Ivan is able to make a difference in not only his life, but that of his young responsibility.
  5. It teaches empathy, empathy for humans and animals. It is a kind book, though it tells an unkind story.

Resources for Teaching Ivan

%d bloggers like this: