Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our California

Our California Pam Muñoz Ryan and artist Rafael Lopez created an amazing and colorful book about the beautiful state of California simply titled "Our California". The author takes us on a journey starting way down south in San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Los Angeles, Monterey, and all the way to the top through Eureka and back down to Palm Springs. Through poems, Pam takes us through an amazing tour filled with historical facts, and descriptive paintings of each place. Each place is describe in a four line poem, but if you wish to have more information surfing in San Diego or visiting the mountains of Yosemite, then you can go all the way to end of the book where is filled with more detailed  information and interesting facts. It is a wonderful resource  book that makes informational reading fun and captivating because of the colorful paintings that go along with each poem.
This book provides such a wonderful idea instead of the traditional "All About the State of ________" reports. Our California can serve as a mentor text, a springboard of ideas from which students can find inspiration to create their own original book!
What can I say? Pam Muñoz Ryan did it again, and it is a hit!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Reflections

My dear blogger friends,
I owe you all an apology for not posting on My World/Mi Mundo for over a month. What can I say? Sometimes life happens and the unexpected all of a sudden becomes a reality. I will be honest. It hasn't been the smoothest ride since the beginning of the school year. Sometimes we are called to fight a bit harder for what we believe. It is in those moments, where I believe, your character as a teacher becomes more solidified. I am happy to say that all the ups and downs I went through, were worth the ride because the ESL program stands strong, and every day we are teaching and raising language lovers, readers and writers.
But my personal life took a detour from my teaching world, when my dad suffered from a stroke and I had to leave to South America immediately. I have an amazing principal, the best teaching partner, and an amazing staff that were so supportive during this difficult time. My dad is recovering and we were all giving a second chance in life. This journey with my dad's health has been such a miracle that five hours before my departure flight, the doctors sent my dad home after being in the hospital for two weeks. It was the best present, and the best way I could possibly come back to the States.
Here are some pictures of my dad coming home which is what I want to remember from that trip: the happy moments.

 Dad arriving home and my nephew couldn't be happier to have him back. I want to freeze that moment and always remember it.
 This picture gets me. Our dog...hugging my dad, how amazing is that?
My little nephew and I made that banner hanging out in the backyard of our house. It spells: Welcome Home Dad. We loved hanging it up. In the backyard you can one of the palm trees my dad planted 15 years ago. The story behind that is a simple one: I have always LOVED palm trees. And they are not really typical in Paraguay. When my dad finished building that house, he planted two palm trees: one for my sister and one for me. Yeap....that's how amazing my dad is. My dad received a second chance in life and so did we. And for that....I will always be thankful.

Blessings to all, And Happy Thanksgiving!