Ok...so here is my Super Mega Gonzo (yes, I am stealing Roscoe's favorite line!) post at My World/Mi Mundo with a little bit of everything.
I think this is the first time during the school year that I am doing so much professional reading. In the past, I was always taking classes for my Masters and didn't have the time to do much more than that. But now that that OSU Masters Program is completed, I found myself devouring all these great books during the school year. I don't have to wait until summer anymore, now I can read during the school year AND apply or try the new learning as I discover them.
After I finished reading (and loving) this book, I started reading Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller. I only have great things to say about this teacher and writer. She is truly amazing, calm, refreshing and inspiring. I know that I couldn't be any luckier that I am reading her book and I also got to listen to her speak during the Annual Reading Recovery Conference on Sunday Feb. 9. I left her session feeling very refreshed about teaching. She always talk about taking a time after school to reflect on the day, on the lessons, on how the students did, and what needs to happen next. She encourages all of us to pause at one point in our hectic day to look back to what just happened in the room that day. It is during those reflective moments that we learn the most about our students and of course about ourselves. Our school day is very busy as it is with schedules, meetings, follow-ups, photocopies, and grades. But it is in those quiet reflective moments that modifies our teaching and strengthens our philosophies.
So our insipiring and amazing Peace Mural created in December is coming off after two months of displaying it proudly. I was surprised to see so many people STILL reading the mural. So, now my dear ESL writers and I are embarking in another reflective piece. I found this book at the library and literally "fell in love" with it. The title is such a simple question but with so many different and unique answers.
So writer Deborah Carlin asks this simple but meaningful question: What's Love? and photographer Shelly Rotner captures black and white images to answer this question. I love the potential of this book, I know that I can read this book to children in Kindergarten or in Fifth grade and we are going to have a conversation. And that's what I want to know...What's Love in the eyes of a 5 years old? What's Love in the eyes of a ten years old? what does it look like? what does it sound like? I am reading this book this week with all my students in grades K-5, we are talking about it, and then we will be posting our reflections on our school murals (yes, I heart murals!). Every time I ask my students to create a piece of writing, I create one myself not only to model it, but also because I believe in my role as a writer.
I know many of you are already familiar with this extraordinary book but I have just now finally had the time to get my hands on this book. In The Middle by Kelly Corrigan, the writer had me crying, laughing, pondering, thinking, praying, contemplating in so many ways. Her memoir on how she battled breast cancer, her endless and admiring love for her father, and her own personal battle as she is realizing she could be losing her dad any moment, makes this book a breath-taking one. Kelly has a way with words that is very complicated for me to define, but she grabbed me right away, she had me after that first page, and I couldn't let go of her book even though there were painful moments. Kelly Corrigan is a woman of strength and courage. She is a woman I admire and respect because her honesty and determination are two traits difficult to find in people nowadays.
Book & Documentary
Do you remember this book?
Yes, the title says it all. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordical Gerstein describes the true story of Philippe Petit who walked on a tight rope he tied between Manhattan's World Trade Center towers in 1974. Children of all ages found this story truly amazing and fascinating, especially when the illustrations seem so real. I watched the trailer Man on Wire, based on Philippe Petit's life and was delighted to see that it won Best Documentary of 2008 on the Sundance Festival. You can watch the trailer here.