Archive for March 2013

Spring Break

March 28, 2013

I’m taking a reading break!


Come back next week!



March 21, 2013

I’m a writer. My mind is always on the go. It’s popping ideas about a current project or a future one. I’m constantly scribbling on paper, napkins, my hand – whatever is available at the time an idea knocks on my brain.

It so happens the middle of the night is a very popular time for ideas to creep into my subconscious and zap me into consciousness.

Inspiration came the other night. Being careful not to wake the adorable sleeping giant beside me, I quietly reached for the pen and notebook I keep under my side of the bed. In the dark, I wrote down my ideas. I made a distinct point of writing legibly. Too often, I’ve hurriedly scribbled my ideas on paper only to find I’m unable to decipher my writing the next morning. Satisfied that I had all my thoughts neatly written down, I rolled over and went to sleep.

Morning arrived. It was going to be a good day for writing. I just knew it. I took my notebook to my computer. I sat down to read my overnight inspiration. Read what?

The page was empty. I flipped through the notebook forwards and backwards – nothing! My words had disappeared. Did I dream my inspiration? Did someone sneak into the bedroom and steal my words of wisdom? Was it ghostwritten, using invisible words? Maybe that’s how H.G. Wells was inspired to write The Invisible Man!

Upon further investigation, I found the pen was inkless, and I was left wordless and idealess. Back to the writing board.

Women’s History Month

March 14, 2013

No dream is unattainable if you believe in yourself.

March is Women’s  History Month. This year’s theme is Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Throughout history there have been women who have accomplished amazing things that have often gone unnoticed in a world dominated by men. Women’s History Month calls attention to these achievements and it strives to make women, young and old, realize possibilities.

There are many books that pay homage to those spirited women who have helped shape our history. Below I have included some I’ve used in our school library, and I’ve also listed past and current posts and links that provide a myriad of books and information on famous women in history.

I encourage you to pick and choose from these books that will inspire young women and men to dream impossible dreams and make every effort to realize those dreams.


Marian Anderson A Great Singer written by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack, Jr.

Phillis Wheatley Colonial American Poet  written by Laura Purdie Salas

Mary McLeod Bethune A Great Teacher written by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack, Jr.

Elizabeth Blackwell written by Jan Mader

Jane Addams A Life of Cooperation  written by Ann-Marie Kishel


Helen’s Big World The Life of Helen Keller written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tarvares

Minty A Story of Young Harriet Tubman written by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

She Sang Promise The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader written by J.G. Annino and illustrated by Lisa Desimini

Wilma Unlimited written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by David Diaz

Me …Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell


Different Like Coco written and illustrated by Elizabeth Matthews

Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto written Susan Goldman Rubin and illustrated by Bill Farnsworth

Vinnie and Abraham written by Dawn Fitzgerald and illustrated by Catherine Stock


Recommended Books for Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month: Outstanding Picture Books for Children on Women’s
Suffrage (Part 1)

Women’s History Month: Outstanding Picture Books for Children on Women’s
Suffrage (Part 2)

Women’s History Month: Outstanding Picture Books for Children on Women’s
Suffrage (Part 3)

Women’s History Month: Outstanding Picture Books for Children on Women’s
Suffrage (Part 4)

Non-Fiction Monday/Women’s History Month: Outstanding Picture Books for Children
on Women’s Suffrage (Part 5)

5 Great Children’s Books for Women’s History Month

Beautiful Minds: Teaching about Women in the Sciences through Picture Books

Aviator, Nurse, Soldier, Spy–Reflections on Women’s History Month

Toddler in Peril Becomes a Leader of Her Tribe

Picture Books About Women’s History

Books About Women: Women’s History for Kids

Celebrating Women in Picture Books


March 7, 2013


Last week our school planned several events to celebrate Read Across America. There was the Dr. Seuss Trivia Contest, Dr. Seuss book readings, Dr. Seuss activities, a guest appearance by Truly Remarkable Loon, and an all school read-in on Friday morning with a surprise ending prepared by the teachers.


Bulletin boards, posters, images of the Cat in the Hat, and the red fish and blue fish were lurking around the school.

On Wednesday, I was up at 4:30 AM – bleary-eyed – so I could be at school to let our guest speaker in to set up for his program. And then the phone rang. Alas, snow and slippery roads delayed school for two hours and, in turn, canceled our speaker. Oh, pshaw!

On Friday, the tech teacher and I were in the gym, getting ready for the all school read-in and teacher surprise. Note:  Our school is old. Things don’t always work like they’re supposed to work. Yes, we had a few technical difficulties. The minutes ticked away as we rushed to get everything up and running for the 8:15 read-in.

I gave my welcome speech, using the microphone. I found out afterward it was not working. Yes, I’m a dork. Someone could have said something, but there was no time to despair. We had the entire student body contained in one place. It was time to begin the read-in. And then … silence! Every single child had a book in hand. It was a reading miracle!


Before we knew it, it was time for the teachers’ pièce de résistance. A YouTube music video appeared on the big screen, the speakers were turned up, and the teachers slowly danced and sang their way around the students and up to the stage. Expressions were priceless as we performed our unique version of “Gotta Keep Reading.  



Despite some glitches during the week, the Read Across American Celebration was a hit – especially the teacher surprise! The kids were up and dancing with us. As one Pre-K student said, “That was the best time ever!”


That’s what reading can do for you!

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