Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Hello Summer and the Transition, {Slice of Life}

Hello Summer,

You've started off just right and in full swing.  I came home Friday night and packed my busy bag for an hour and fifteen minute car ride for a day of three softball games.  In that bag, I packed; my kindle with a book to finish, my knitting project, a craft magazine, walking shoes, an early reader chapter book, bullet journal and pens, walking shoes, and socks.  We arrived at the ballpark and I began my summer softball rhythm.  During warm ups, I walk anywhere from one to two miles.  I return for some reading time and once the game starts I have to put away my reading.  It's hard to read and watch the game.  I brought out my knitting - a simple dishcloth pattern that goes back and forth with a couple of stitch variations.  I watch.  I cheer.  I might question something.  I soak up the sun and sitting.  We had three games and this routine becomes a pattern for the day.  

I finished my book.  I finished off two dishcloths and started a third one.  I read my magazine and felt crafty inspired.  I connected with people and might have gotten a small sunburn.  I logged 20,000 steps which is a small miracle - softball for me is a lot of sitting.  It's all good.  I discovered a day like this snaps the hello summer transition phase.  It thrust me into a different schedule.  It forced me to do different things and preplan those different things.  It reminded me to sit and allow for space to be in the moment.  

I find the transition to summer can be tricky and take a few days to let go of that go, go, go pace of life.  I find taking a vacation right away or now even a day trip can speed up the process and let my body and mind rest more.  I hope you enjoy your transition to summer - it's here or it's coming.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Waiting for Chicken Smith by David Mackintosh

Waiting for Chicken Smith by David Mackintosh is a fun read as we head in to the summer season.  The narrator tells the story of returning to the same cabin on the beach each year with his family and waiting for his friend Chicken Smith.  As the narrator waits, we learn about his relationship with Chicken Smith; where they go at the beach and what they do together.  As a reader, I kept wondering where is Chicken Smith and expecting him to turn up as I turned the pages.  This year seems different and the narrator can't find Chicken Smith.  It appears his house isn't opened for the season.  While it's a bit sad to learn Chicken Smith's house isn't opened the narrator forms a new friendship that isn't expected and probably wouldn't have formed if Chicken Smith was there.  I see this new friendship as one of necessity and warmed my heart.

Thank you Candlewick Press for this advance reader copy to share with others and my students.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bear's Book by Claire Freedman

Finding writing ideas can be tricky and I love that Bear in Bear's Book by Claire Freedman wants to write because his favorite big book of stories is so well read and loved it's falling apart.  He needs more stories and is empowered to write his own.  He sits down expecting to write a story with "exciting beginnings, dramatic middles,  and happy-ever-after endings."  I bet you can imagine what happens next...his paper sits blank.  He begins a journey seeking out ways to help good ideas come to him.  His path crosses with several friends and he begins to help them out along the way.  When he returns to his blank page he sits for a bit and then realizes he could use his adventures to start his story.  I expected his story to be a personal narrative and was surprised when it was an adventure with surprises and a touch of truth.  I think this will help students striving to find an idea and learning how to twist reality for a bit of an adventure they can read and enjoy.

Thank you Candlewick Press for the advanced reader copy to share with students wand friends.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Laptop Repair Reaction {Slice of Life}

I walked in thinking I was going to need to leave my laptop for a repair.  The numbers on the keyboard weren't working and the storage wasn't shifting after deleting large files.  My laptop is probably semi-organized and one of my goals for the summer.  Luckily, my husband had done a backup the night before so when the kind Apple Genius said, we'll need to reset your computer and replace the keyboard; I was ready.  I knew going in to the store I would probably need to leave my computer for overnight.  What I didn't know is my keyboard part would need to be ordered and I would be without my laptop for maybe five days.  I left the store and starting shaking off the worries of not having a laptop a bit like Sharpay Evans from High School Musical, including the little shrill.  My high schooler looked at me and said, "Mom that's a bit dramatic, you'll be fine."  I wasn't sure, she thought I was being silly and I hope one day when her technology isn't available or working she'll remember my little panic and her advise.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.