Sunday, February 28, 2010

So I Can't Count

It has been brought to my attention that I can't count. Okay, I never claimed to be much with numbers. Words are much more fun. Spring is still officially three weeks away, but the phlox and daffodils blooming in my yard don't seem to care that I can't count either. They're blooming their little heads off whether it's officially spring or not!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gotta Keep Reading!

Students at Ocoee Middle School in Florida created a very cool video to inspire students to get excited about reading. Take a few minutes to watch it. These kids must have had a blast with this. It makes me want to join in.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Black History Month

It's the final week of Black History Month. I was in a school last week in Columbus. The fourth graders lined the hallways while the kindergardeners marched through them to the music of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" piped over the loud speakers. It was a delightful celebration.

If you're looking for some of the best books written by people of color, truck on over to The Brown Bookshelf. I wish I had discovered this blog earlier in the month. It's a treasure trove of interviews with well-known and not so well-known authors, complete with images of their books. A great resource.

Three more weeks until spring. I'm counting!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is it Spring Yet?

It's the middle of February, still four full weeks before the official declaration of spring, but I'm counting the days. Counting the flowers--a few pink and white phlox struggling to cover the rocky bed by the mailbox, the green tips of bulb foliage pushing through the cold ground, a yellow daffodil considering whether to seek the sunshine, one fresh fern frond unfurling (say that three times fast) over the dead stubble. It's time for spring! I don't care what the groundhog saw. It's just time.

I'm drooling over my perennial flower catalog, reading old gardening magazines, and wishing I could plant something. I'm not very good at indoor gardening, so I'm waiting impatiently for the temperatures to rise and the ground to warm up.

If you're interested in gardening books for kids, here are some good ones. They are Robbie Readers from Mitchell Lane Publishing. The set had good reviews by both School Library Journal and Booklist. Various authors. AR levels are from 5.2 to 5.7.

The set includes these titles:

A Backyard Flower Garden for Kids
A Backyard Vegetable Garden for Kids

Design Your Own Butterfly Garden

Design Your Own Pond and Water Garden

A Kid's Guide to Container Gardening

A Kid's Guide to Landscape Design

A Kid's Guide to Making a Terrarium

A Kid's Guide to Perennial Gardens

Organic Gardening for Kids

For the younger crowd, Capstone has just come out with a set by Mari Schuh called Gardens.

Titles include:
All Kinds of Gardens
Animals in the Garden

Growing a Garden

Tools for the Garden

AR levels are unavailable yet, but they are Pebble books, so reading levels will be low.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dori Reads

Thursday night I spoke at the PTA meeting at Hannan Elementary on the importance of reading aloud to your children. It was a good group of parents, a variety of children, and of course, the teachers and principal. The statistics show clearly that reading aloud with your children gives them a head start on learning to read. We read a few pages from one of my family's all-time favorites, Tales of the Kingdom by Karen and David Mains. It's a fairly high level read aloud, but it captured the attention of the adults and even most of the youngest children there.

I spent the rest of the week with my grandchildren who were here from Texas. Dori is my grandmother name. As you can see, I still love reading aloud, even when their choice is a Little Golden Book about Scuffy the Tugboat.

Scarboy's mother is dead. Her last instructions were to take Little Child and escape from the Enchanted City. The enchanter rules Enchanted City with fire. Jealous of the sun's powerful light, he has declared day to be night and night to be day. As orphans, the brothers are doomed to stoke the fires beneath the city's streets. Escape is their only hope.

Excellent read aloud.