Friday, November 10, 2023

Familiar Is and Isn't {Poetry Friday}

morning walk
no plan
no direction

end of the road
turn left?
turn right?

head towards the water
wander down a path
in a familiar direction

there's a twist
familiar is and isn't
different direction

different viewpoint
younger me

throwing dried corn
over the railing
feeding carp

all that made 
the familiar direction

©Mandy Robek, 2023

Thank you to Karen who has the Poetry Friday Roundup

Monday, July 3, 2023

You are Only Just Beginning by Morgan Harper Nichols #{IMWAYR}

It's Monday, What are you reading? and my answer 
You Are Only Just Beginning by Morgan Harper Nichols because it to me last read.

The book is beautiful. I was participating in a writing retreat and we jigsawed our introduction to the book. I read the last section - Reintegrating with Where You've Come From, Lessons from Butterflies. Each section of the book starts with a page that begins with What We Learn From followed by a collection of poem with uplifting illustrations. Each section ends with a list - a list of signs based on the reading and poetry just read. 

I usually consider poetry a slow red for me and have it on my what can I read for a short amount of time list and fill my bucket. I came home and poured through the first two sections; Beginning a New Adventure; Lessons from Sunlight and Finding Your People; Lessons from Elephants. 

It's been raining here a lot lately and I'm hoping for one more rainstorm tonight so I can grab a cup of tea and this gem of a book. Her website is filled with so much information about her and places her work is. She has a podcast, a storyteller app, and much more.

                Thank you Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for co-hosting this event

                            with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.

Monday, June 26, 2023

It's Monday, What are you reading? {#IMWAYR}

It's Monday, What are you reading? and my answer is I'm just starting A Work in Progress by Jarrett Lerner because my friend recommended it to me.

I'm literally just starting it because I had to finish my book from last week, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I started this book and then put it down for some professional reading. I found it hard to keep track of the characters at first and my space on and off reading pace probably aided my confusion. I almost abandoned it and I never abandon books. I have seriously only abandoned 1 in my life. I stuck with it yesterday and I'm happy I did. I think for me it was a book that needed daily progress or maybe some annotating to help my focus and comprehension. I enjoyed it and wonder if I would have loved it.

                Thank you Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for co-hosting this event

                            with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Digital Citizenship in Action by Kristen Mattson {Professional Read}

My district has implemented Coffee and Conversations to bring grade levels together and it's done virtually before the school  day starts. I really enjoy the information shared relevant to our grade level or district initiatives and connecting with other teachers also teaching third grade. This year they added a drawing a professional development book and I won - Digital Citizenship in Action - Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities by Kristen Mattson.

The intended audience for this book is 6 - 12 educators, curriculum directors and library media specialist. I almost passed this book along to a friend and since I won it at a third grade meeting I thought there might be something in here for me to learn. I'm really glad I didn't pass it along.

I remember when digital citizenship was all the buzz and students received a lot of safety messages with don't do within the idea. This book nudges us to help students become "participatory citizens." Participatory citizens engage with others in meaningful ways that foster relationships to collaborate, share ideas, foster understandings, and make changes. Each chapter highlights a story showing the ideas in action and then offers suggestions for you to give something a try in your classroom.

I took ideas away from each chapter so I would expand the intended audience to include grades 3 - 5.

When I read professional books, I look for nudges I can try in my own classroom.

- modify the "Getting to Know You" Digital Citizen Survey

- involve the students in an expectations and norms discussion

- discuss the difference between consuming and contributing - modify activity

- anchor chart for effective and ineffective online discussions, sample provided

- mentor students as they navigate and connection in discussion boards

You will find my favorite quotes on my instagram account - mandyrobek_edu

Monday, June 19, 2023

It's Monday, What are you reading? {#IMWAYR}

It's Monday, What are you reading? and my answer is The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I found this one during the spring at my favorite independent book store; The Book Loft right here in German Village, OH. If you are able to attend NCTE this year it is just down the road.

I'm about a quarter of the way through this book and am feeling less frustrated. The beginning had a rhythm and then I felt lost. I'm still not sure if there was a change in time with a flashback. I did some rereading and couldn't quite figure out what was causing my comprehension confusion. 

I decided to keep going and I think my understanding is back on track and the story is moving forward. 

I read three professional books while traveling last week and have to work hard to keep reading adult for fun books. I also find it hard to stick with a book I'm a little uncertain about when two from the public library are waiting to be read and let's not discuss my TBR pile.

                    Thank you Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for co-hosting this event 

with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.

Monday, June 12, 2023

It's Monday, What are you Reading? {#IMWRYR}

It's Monday, What are you reading? and my answer is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. My oldest daughter gifted me this book for Mother's Day this year after she got to see her at Boulder Bookstore in CO. I have gifted her books her whole life and it was so nice to hear her excitement on the phone about see Bonnie in person. 

She had already read the book and said it was one of her favorites of all time. She wrote a love note inside the front cover and I keep reading the book from the lens of making connections to the text and how she decided on the words for her small love note. 

I'm just about a third of the way through the book and the first big surprise just happened. I'm intrigued by the characters and wonder what's next.

My favorite line so far was is on p6.

"We both know food is the catalyst that unlocks our brains, binds our families and determines the future."

Friday, June 9, 2023

The Sound of Kindness by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater {Poetry Friday}

I'm so excited to have a sneak peak at Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's new book, coming in August! The Sound of Kindness gave me a different lens for thinking about kindness. Instead of showing examples of kindness this book is asking us to listen for kindness. Readers follow the journey of an adult and child on a kindness walk. A kindness walk is when we listen intentionally for words showing kindness.

Amy shows readers we can hear kindness through questioning, encouragement, empathy, understanding, invitations, walking, teamwork, and validating. This book encourages us to slow down and be aware of things going around of us. There's another message encouraging us to listen to the language of kindness; reminding us our words matter. 

Teresa Martinez is the illustrator and she did a very interesting illustration move that I didn't notice until I read it a third time. There are several people on each two page spread. The faces of the people not engaged in the kindness conversation are shown with muted colors. They blend in with the setting. The people engaged with the kindness conversation are natural skin tones and are wearing brighter clothing. I'm excited to see if my students notice this in the fall.

Here's an example.

I reached out to Amy and asked if this was one poem spread across the entire book, like she did with Every Day Birds and she said yes. I hope she shares the full version on her blog when it's released. I know my students are curious when they learn a poem is one picture book and they want to know what it looks like together on a page. I think it adds a layer to their understanding/comprehension for the text.

There are some notes in the back for readers describing a kindness walk with variations. I can't wait to find kindness discoveries in the fall in our classroom and our school community.

Thank you Buffy Silverman for hosting Poetry Friday this week.