"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, June 8, 2012


More beautiful words could not be spoken!

These were said by Alice Roosevelt to her father as her solution to her education and can be found in Barbara Kerley's What to do about Alice?  

And what an education she received!

I wish every child could have access
to a library as Alice did.

I LOVE this book.

I'm not the only one.  What To Do About Alice?  has won numerous awards: Sibert Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, Irma Black Award Honor Book, Parents Choice Award , An ALA Notable Book Booklist, starred review, School Library Review, starred review, Horn Book, starred review, and Kirkus Reviews, starred review.

Beautifully written and illustrated, the book offers many wonderful messages about:


"She read voraciously and drank in Father's tales of Davy Crockett, George Armstrong Custer and Daniel Boone."

living life,

"Alice called it, 'eating up the world'"

and breaking the mold.

"As her love and knowledge of politics grew, she quickly became one of Father's most trusted advisers and ardent champions."

I read the book with my fourth graders.  What did my students think of this book? Did they hear the message I hoped? I'm not sure, but they were inspired.

Some students used the blog to respond:

Here are some of the comments on the blog:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

All in a Day's Work...

Here's just a part of my day yesterday.

I spent time with:

Second Graders observing and writing about plants and butterflies:

Fourth graders finishing up projects, practicing keyboarding skills and writing persuasive essays:

First graders writing and drawing about animal adaptations:

First graders exploring literature: 

Second graders sharing their stories during a publishing party: 

Only six days left in this school year.  Where does the time go?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Mrs. Reed...

Dear Students,

Thank you. I love working with you.

~ Mrs. Reed

Dear Reader, I love what I do.

These last two weeks..

... of school are always  
This is not earth shattering news for any teacher or school employee, but I will demonstrate what I mean.

While hallways are being stripped of their signage, student projects and art; and, while the barrage of end-of-the-year procedures fill in boxes; students are still learning and great work is still being produced.

It's just an inevitable, odd juxtaposition.

This week, I participated in a "Technology Breakfast" where students shared their VoiceThread slide shows.  

These second graders have been learning about life for a young student in Ghana, Mexico and China.  

To produce the slide shows the students had created pictures in KidPix, exported them and then imported them into their VoiceThread accounts and finished by narrating the slides.

The best part?

These second graders took total ownership over the process.  

These are not perfect, but they are their own.

Here are two of the slide shows comparing and contrasting elements of life with a student in China.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Awesome...I am so doing it."

This was a great week in my library...

My friend, Jean, who is a public librarian, visits with us and talks about the summer reading program and talks books from the Summer Reading Lists

Here's Jean doing what she does so well.

She always book talks a different stack for each class.  (She's afraid I'll get bored...which I wouldn't...but it is fun to see and hear the students' reactions to so many different books.)

Her book talks are incredibly engaging...

...and garner a lot of responses...

My friend Jean is a great book talker...

The students can't wait to start exploring the books she brought with her...

Here's what I heard over and over...

"Can I check out that one?"

There's something slightly cruel about dangling these treasures in front of students...

...getting them excited to read the books....
...and then telling them they cannot check them out....


...but there is also something sweet seeing them leave with well-marked reading lists holding all the promise of and anticipation for a great reading experience. 

There's also this:
When hearing of the ice cream party held for participants in the program, I overheard, 

"Awesome...I am so doing it."

Part of me wants to say, "Whatever it takes," meaning ice cream, prizes, etc...but looking at this student, I am not sure sure it was the ice cream party that he was responding to, I think he was excited about being part of a reading community.

Was it a successful week?  You decide.