GROJEAN/PASCO Summer Children's Lit TED 8596/9431 discussion

June 5th-No Mo Fill in the Blanks! Promoting Discussion Through Questioning

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message 1: by Wendy (last edited Jun 02, 2012 10:09AM) (new)

Wendy Loewenstein (wendyl612) | 11 comments Mod
Wendy Grojean (MsGrojean) | 2 comments The best books are those that we can connect to our own lives. Using specific examples from the book and your life, how does this story relate to your own life experiences? (Please include the title of the book that you are referring to.)

(Question type: Essential)

Complete your post by posing a thought-provoking question about your book.

message 2: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Gregory | 4 comments "Miss Brooks loves books! (and I don't)" is a story that goes hand in hand with how I felt when I was younger. The story if a little girl whose librarian loves books and goes to extreme measures to demonstrate, while the little girl is left rolling her eyes and saying this just isn't for me. I absolutely felt this way as a child. I just really couldn't wrap my mind around wanting to find that perfect book and sit all day long reading. I wanted to play with friends, ride my bike or just do nothing at all. It wasn't until I became older, like college age, that I really started to have a passion for reading. Just like the little girl in the story, it really does take something that you chose all on your own to get you "hooked"!

Therefore, my thought-provoking question is: Why hide your thoughts when they make you who you are as an individual?

message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz | 9 comments Great question Ashley. I think a lot of times you don't realize you are hiding your thoughts until you are a lot older, and than you do it so you can fit in, or meet other people's expectations or so you don't hurt someone's feelings. I bet this little girl felt so different than her librarian that she didn't want to be wrong. Lot's of students do that when they don't always agree with their teachers about an opinion they might be discussing. Cool question.

message 4: by Jami (new)

Jami | 6 comments Ashley, I loved that book. Your question takes it a lot deeper for kids and has lots of real life application. I suspect that in a group of younger readers they are afraid to share their thoughts because they don't want to be wrong or lack the confidence to believe in their own thoughts. What a powerful chance teachers and librarians are given when we can read books and promote discussions that give kids confidence and voice. Fun book, great and unique question.

message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura Osborn | 4 comments "Stolen Children" by Peg Kehret is a story about two children who have been kidnapped. Amy is 14 and is the babysitter for Kendra, who is about three. Throughout the story Amy tries to think of ways to get out of the situation. She puts clues in the DVD's that are sent to the parents. She also finds and hides the gun that the kidnappers have. She even tries to run away, but eventually gets caught.
Although the book is action-packed, there is an underlying theme that comes out several times in the book. Amy thinks of her recently deceased father and how he would respond to the choices/decisions that she makes. She often wonders: Would he be proud of me?, Would he agree with the choices I have made?, Am I following his advice of never giving up even when the situation seems hopeless?
In the end, of course, the decisions she has made were the correct ones.
This story parallels my life in many ways. I grew up often feeling I did not please those in authority including my parents, teachers, and even, sometimes my friends. It is not to say that I couldn't make a decision, but as many of us have experienced, it is human nature to want to please others. Many times, children these days do not always get the positive reinforcement for the good choices/decisions they make, nor are they guided as to how to make sound decisions on their own.
My question to ponder is, "What are some ways, as educators, that we can teach children to critically analyze situations and to make sound, positive, and perhaps, life-changing choices in their lives without always second-guessing the decisions?"

message 6: by Liz (new)

Liz | 9 comments Title: The Little King and his Marshmallow Kingdom
Author: Louis Rotella III
Award: 2012-2013 Golden Sower Nominees
Synopsis: This book is written in first person from the perspective of a little boy with Down Syndrome. He lives in a world (his kingdom) where people care about him, and enjoy his sense of humor. The book highlights the similarities and differences that the character, Louie has to his friends. The book also does a good job in answering some of the questions his peers have about his Down Syndrome and if you can catch it, or if it will prevent him from doing activities in the future. The forward to the book is written by Chris Burke (aka Corky from Life Goes On) an adult with Down Syndrome. The last 4 pages are called A Father’s Journey. The author reflects on discovering his son’s diagnosis prior to his birth, and his journey to understanding, adjusting, and accepting his new dreams for his son.
Connections: I have many connections to this story both professionally and personally. On a professional level, we have a little boy at my school that also has Down Syndrome. He is currently non-verbal, but I wonder if he too would have the same perspective of his life where he feels like life is a pleasure, and doesn’t see the societal filter about disabilities as being a detriment. I am looking forward to getting to know Shawn and seeing the world through his perspective.
On a personal level, my husband and I adopted three children, two of which have special needs, which were not identifiable at birth. Both of their disabilities do not show on the outside, unlike Down Syndrome but they have made us examine our expectations and dreams of our children’s’ possible potentials. The Father’s Journey section in the book was a great addition to the book because it takes the book in a different direction from being the superficial (Rose Colored Glasses Perspective) to the Realistic component that parenting children with special needs are challenging.
Both the author and illustrator are from Nebraska, which is a fun connection to highlight with children.
Question to Ponder: How can we help parents with their dreams of their children’s potential but still be realistic when reporting progress especially for special education students?

message 7: by Jami (last edited Jun 04, 2012 10:54AM) (new)

Jami | 6 comments I read Storm Chaser by Chris Platt for one of my books this week. As I read I found myself completely connected with the main character, Jessica. In chapter one she longs for approval and permission to do more, especially with the horses, though my family didn’t own horses, I too longed to do more with them and to know I had my dad’s approval for more and more challenging things. In chapter three and four as she struggles with loss and helplessness my grown up self connected deeply as it reminded me of recent loss and disaster, while my husband was deployed. I am struck again by how similar human feelings really are and how despite our differences we really are much the same. I think the thing that most connected both my young and grown up self to this book was my identification with Jessica’s struggle to have and be a good friend. Relationships are complicated and often mistakes are many no matter your age and this author does an excellent job of writing those feelings and experiences in a way that all readers can connect with them. While this book was full of text to self connections for me, I was struck by the text to text connection it spurred.

For last week’s assignment the chapter book I read was A Good Horse by Jane Smiley. The quest for friendship and the mistakes made a long the way really connect the character Jessica with Smiley’s character Abby. While Abby has her father’s approval and all the horse responsibility she can handle, she struggles to know where she fits in and what kind of girl she wants to be friends with. It reminded me so much of Jessica’s decision about whether to pursue Ariel or be loyal to Marybeth in Storm Chaser. Another connection between these books is the way in which the female lead characters identify and deal with fear. Both girls long to retreat to their room and hide, both try to avoid the thing they fear and in both books, both girls find the courage to face their fear and move through it. I loved that both authors identified this as a theme girls, myself included, often face and gave them a true to life example of how to handle it.

The picture book I chose for last week was Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots by Rebecca Janni. This book also has strong text to text connections with Storm Chaser
There are the obvious girl who loves horses kind of connections, although in the picture book the horse is a bike and the girl is a bit of a stereotypical cowgirl! However, there are much deeper connections about how to make a friend and how to be a good friend. In the picture book Nellie Sue deals with making an introduction to new people just like Jessica in Storm Chaser. Both girls deal with how to handle others who are different and how to know what kind of differences should be overlooked and what kind are signs that someone might not be a good friend choice. For example Nellie learns that just because someone dresses differently that doesn’t mean that aren’t a good friend, while Jessica learns that someone who pretends to be nice to get what they want and is willing to make fun of others is likely not going to be a good friend even though they are older and popular. Again, I loved that both authors had strong characters who while sure of whom they were, struggled to learn how they fit in with peers and how to go about forming friendships. I am thrilled to have three horse themed books that share such strong messages about friendship to share with my horse loving girl as well as those like her who will be asking me for recommendations.

Based on my friendship connections, my question for Storm Chaser is: Thinking about Jessica’s experience with Marybeth and Ariel, can you develop a plan for helping yourself or someone else choose a good friend?

Reference List

Janni, R. (2011). Every cowgirl needs dancing boots. New York: Penguin Group.

Platt, C. (2009). Storm chaser. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers.

Smiley, J. (2010). A good horse. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

message 8: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 4 comments “Bridget’s Beret,” written by Tom Lichtenheld, is a story about a young girl,Bridget, who loves to draw. She draws all the time when her friends are doing other things. She has masterpieces hanging all around her house and has art supplies galore. Every time Bridget draws she wears a hat, a beret. One day, while she was drawing, the wind caught her beret and it blew away. Bridget stopped drawing, feeling that she had lost her inspiration but her friends convinced her to make some signs for a lemonade stand and when she incorporates some drawings into the sign, she finds her confidence to begin drawing again.
When I was growing up, I loved art, so I can relate to Bridget’s love of drawing. My parents bought me an artist’s desk and art supplies were always on my birthday and Christmas lists. I had markers, glitter, glitter pens, colorful notepads, paint, just about anything a young artist could ask for. I would spend hours make art projects and would then gift them to my parents or my brother. I made decorations for my bedroom door for every holiday and would then store those holiday decorations in a box in my closet for the next year when I would reuse what I made, and make new creations to add to the old.
While there wasn’t ever anything that took away my inspiration to make art as happened to Bridget, I can understand her deep passion for a hobby. I think as teachers it is our jobs to foster kids’ passions and and do all we can to encourage them and make sure nothing gets in the way of them doing what they love.

Thought-provoking question: How can educators learn what our students’ passions are? What can we do to encourage and foster the interests and passions of our students?

message 9: by Jami (new)

Jami | 6 comments Shannon, Bridget's Beret is one of my favorite books! You are so right that we need to make the effort to know our kids and then to seek out resources that encourage their passions. I think resourcing parents is especially important.

message 10: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 4 comments Memoirs Of A Goldfish by Devin Scillian

My book was Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian. It's on the Primary Golden Sower nominee list for 12-13. This diary chronicles a goldfish's life after he is dropped into a fishbowl. His owners add more and more decorations and other animals until he can't stand it anymore. Finally he gets his wish of his own bowl again, but finds he misses the others and he wonders what happened to them.

I think everyone knows what it's like to be surrounded by people who drive us nuts. There are those Christmas holidays when we are surrounded by family. It might be chaotic and loud when the family is there, but after they leave and you've recovered, you look forward to seeing them next year. I even feel this way about kids at school. They may drive us nuts by the end of the school year, but we look forward to seeing most of them again the next year. I already find myself wondering what some of my K-1 kids will be like when they're 5th graders because I probably won't still be there then, like the goldfish wonders about Rhoda and Clark's guppies.

Question: What are the different reasons that we miss people when they leave?

message 11: by Emily (last edited Jun 04, 2012 07:54PM) (new)

Emily | 3 comments Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library!

The book I read was "Dewey: There's a cat in the library" by Vicki Myron. It won the Golden Sower Award in 2012 for Primary ages.

This book made me think about my pets, specifically my first cat named "Molly". While reading about Dewey's adventures in the library I thought about the adventures my cat and I would have. Dewey just wants to help people, and he wants to be "library cat", so he sets out to do this. I think about the times my cat tried to help me by getting bugs out from under the fridge or eating crumbs on the floor so I don't have to sweep. Much like Dewey in the end of this book, Molly was very comforting to me when I felt sad about something. I think children will relate to this as well.

Question: Do you think your pet would make a good library pet? Why or why not?

What characteristics of Dewey are similar to a cat pet have at home, or a friend's pet? Dewey There's a Cat in the Library! by Vicki Myron

message 12: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (prowley) | 4 comments Love, Aubrey, by Suzanne LaFleur, is about a young girl recovering from the tragedy of losing her father and sister in an automobile accident, and from the confusion of being abandoned by her grieving mother.
Love, Aubrey can relate to anyone that has gone through the loss of a loved one, whether it may be from a death, someone disappearing, or getting your heart broken. For me, I can relate to Aubrey because after all of her losses, she felt so alone. She didn’t know who to turn to and how to express her feelings. Even though she is only 11-years-old, as an adult I can relate. It’s hard to find the right words and a nurturing person to turn towards. Aubrey found a new neighbor to be her best friend and someone she could confide in. For me, it’s finding a close family member as a confidant.
After a difficult situation, every person reacts differently. Aubrey had a hard time talking with the people around her but found relief in writing letters. I have found relief in going for long walks, even if it is the dead of night. Aubrey showed courage, love, hope, and faith while she grew into a young woman, and everyone should look to her for encouragement during a difficult time.

Question: It took Aubrey a long time to open up with others. As a teacher, parent, or friend, what do you think you could do to help others that are grieving from a loss?

message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amanda06) | 3 comments Willoughby & the Lion by Greg Foley, Golden Sower Nominee 2011-2012

“Willoughby & the Lion” is a book about a lonely boy who meets a lion who is able to grant him ten wishes. Immediately, Willoughby starts wishing for material things, which are all granted to him, and he is filled with temporary joy. I know I can relate to this book and I’m sure a lot of others can too as it addresses the topic of our own materialistic desires. In the end the boy is faced with his last wish, and with a decision where he must choose between his own materialistic desires and the needs of his new Lion friend. In life, we are like Willoughby and face choices that require us to think about the difference between the things we truly need and the things we desire. If we choose the materialistic desires then we way miss out on the really important things or people in our lives.

Therefore, my thought-provoking question is: What is the most wonderful thing of all in your life?

message 14: by Gail (new)

Gail | 3 comments "That Cat Can’t Stay" by Thad Krasnesky and illustrated by David Parkins is a story about a mom who keeps bringing home stray cats and a dad who repeatedly says “That Cat Can’t Stay!” This Nebraska Golden Sower Award Nominee for 2012-2013 is written in rhyme with repetitive verses of the father’s reasons why they can’t keep each cat, which makes it a fun read aloud. This story reminded me of my childhood when I would find pet cats on my grandparents’ farm and my parents would not allow me to bring them home. Then as an adult, we had neighbors who were being transferred to the Netherlands for two years and could not take their cat with them. At first my husband said we could not take the cat, but after a few days and urging from my two children and I, we adopted Mozart the cat. We lived happily together for several years and then Mozart passed away. A few months later, we went through the same process when my children and I visited the Nebraska Humane Society to look at kittens. My husband did not really want another cat. Fourteen years later, Soccer is still a member of our family. My husband has bonded with him and has just as much, or more, fun with this cat as the rest of the family does.

How can educators and parents assist children in understanding concepts that are difficult for them such as when family members disagree?

message 15: by CK (new)

CK | 4 comments I read "Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't)" by Barbara Bottner. I love it because it's humorous. My favorite part is when she goes home wanting to move because she doesn't like the librarian and her mother replies, "there is a librarian in every town."

I can connect with this book because it reminds me of reading books when I was a young adult, and still today. You have to weed through a lot of crap to find a story that really sticks with you.

The girl in this book hates books because she can't connect with the story, but then she finds "Shrek" and everything changes. I read a lot of crap as a young adult, but then I ran into "The Westing Game". I blame my entire fascination with mysteries on that book. From there it was a landslide.

Working in Youth Services is a bit like this book. Some kids come in purely for movies because they haven't connected with the books they're being forced to read in schools. It makes them think reading sucks so they just don't do it.

So how am I supposed to convince them to read something else when they don't even have the motivation to try?

Finding out their interests seems to be the key, but then they hit me with "I don't like to read." and that's the end of it.

How can we motivate kids who have no interest in reading whatsoever to read?

message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jmisbach) | 4 comments Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur is a very sweet and touching story about loss and healing. In the story, Aubrey and her family get into a horrible car accident. Only she and her mother survive. She loses her dad and little sister. Her mom ends up leaving her home alone and does not return. Aubrey is rescued by her grandmother and has to heal from the loss of her dad and sister, but also from her mom leaving. Her mom does eventually come back into her life.
I connected to this book because when I was little my parents got divorced, and although my dad and sister did not die, I did feel that my dad left us. I could also relate to this book because I have experienced death and have had to heal.
While reading this book, I kept thinking that books could have also been written from the mother and grandmother's point of view. So, my question is: How would the story be different if it had been told from the mother or grandmother's perspective?

message 17: by Sam (new)

Sam (xjustxlovex) | 4 comments The book I read is called The Little King and his Marshmallow Kingdom by Louis Rotella III. The book is about a boy, the author’s son Louis IV, who has Down Syndrome. One part of The Little King and his Marshmallow Kingdom states, “The kids in my neighborhood don’t know as much about Down Sydrome as we do. They have some questions. Mom explains:” (2010, p. 16) and Louis’s mom provides answers to the questions posed by the neighborhood kids. When I was in second grade, I went to school with a girl with Down Syndrome named Catherine Johnson. Many of the kids in school made fun of her because she spoke differently from the majority of students, she had already been held back once, and her face had a different shape to it than most girls our age. When I went home and told my mom about it, she told me about Down Syndrome and answered all the questions I had about it, similar to the way Louis’s mom did in the book.

In the epilogue portion of The Little King and his Marshmallow Kingdom that is written from the Louis IV’s dad’s point of view, it reads, “From Joey’s point of view, Down Syndrome was not a problem. It wasn’t a fault or a source of shame,” (2010). Joey is a grown man that Louis’s family knew that had Down Syndrome. Some of Louis’s family was appalled when Joey told them he would pray for all their kids to have Down Syndrome, seeing it as an insult. Catherine Johnson, the aforementioned friend with Down Syndrome, kept up a similar positive attitude to the one exhibited by Joey in the book. Catherine was the sweetest, nicest, happiest girl and had no shame in talking about her Down Syndrome. She tried to befriend everyone and won me over very easily once I understood more about Down Syndrome. Her lack of shame showed me how Down Syndrome can and often is a blessing for the people who have it and that I should not view it as a negative experience.

Question: The book’s main character, Louis IV, has Down’s Syndrome. Recall a time when you were young that you came across someone with an apparent mental disability. Did you experience any negative judgments due to the differences between your situation and that of this person? If so, why do you believe this occurred? If not, what kept you from making negative judgments?

message 18: by Krystal (new)

Krystal Spilger | 4 comments Birdseye, T. (2010). Storm mountain. New York, NY: Scholastic.
Synopsis: Two cousins, Ty and Cat, get caught in a storm on a mountain while trying to spread their fathers’ ashes on the anniversary of their deaths. The two cousins face all the dramatic weather elements that come with climbing to the top of a mountain (wind, blizzards, snow bridges, and avalanches). After nearly dying, the two are saved by the same rescue team that their fathers once belonged to before freezing to death in a snow cave.
Connections: The first connection that I made to the story was with the main character, Cat, who is a thinker and planner like me. She is not impulsive unless forced into extreme circumstances. The other main character, Ty, is spontaneous and doesn’t think things through which is very similar to my brother. It seemed like I was always chasing my brother, just as Cat was always following Ty and trying to add logic to situations. In the story, Ty leads Cat onto a snow bridge, stranding them. In this unfortunate circumstance, Cat uses her knowledge to climb out of the hole and tries to save Ty with a pulley system she creates. Just as she’s about to pull Ty out, he climbs out on his own using a headlamp he found in his backpack. While we never climbed a mountain or faced an avalanche during our excursions, it seemed our little adventures into the forest were started by my brother’s need for excitement and my fear of something going wrong. Another connection I made to the story was when Cat and Ty were stuck on the mountainside. I’ve watched several movies, such as Vertical Limit and Cliffhanger, in which the protagonists have to face the elements of the mountain. Being from Colorado, I also frequently read and heard news reports of people being stranded on mountainsides while climbing due to weather similar to the wind and blizzards depicted in the story. The character’s mountain top rescue is a common occurrence with real life hikers in the mountains. Personally, I’ve heard enough stories to make me wary of mountain climbing.
Question: Cat is driven crazy by her spontaneous cousin, Ty, several times throughout the story. Do you have a similar relationship with someone in your life?

message 19: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Peterson | 9 comments Liz wrote: "Great question Ashley. I think a lot of times you don't realize you are hiding your thoughts until you are a lot older, and than you do it so you can fit in, or meet other people's expectations or..."

You are right! Who isn't afraid to voice a different opinion than those they perceive to be in a position of authority? It keeps most of us employed.

message 20: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Peterson | 9 comments Jennifer wrote: "Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur is a very sweet and touching story about loss and healing. In the story, Aubrey and her family get into a horrible car accident. Only she and her mother survive. She..."

Love your question in particular! Often, children forget that there are more perspectives than just their own and this excerise for the brain is a great idea!

message 21: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Peterson | 9 comments Sam wrote: "The book I read is called The Little King and his Marshmallow Kingdom by Louis Rotella III. The book is about a boy, the author’s son Louis IV, who has Down Syndrome. One part of The Little King an..."

Your book is somewhat similar to mine in that they both deal with persons with disabilities. I enjoyed reading your question. It requires children to really think about why they react the way they do and possibly change negative reactions through metacognition.

message 22: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Peterson | 9 comments Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Out of my Mind by Sharon M Draper is a novel that will get children thinking. It is the tale of an eleven year old girl who has never spoken a single word, walked a single step, or hugged a single person but has a photographic memory. The narrative of her struggles of literally being stuck inside of her body with no ability to tell anyone her thoughts, answers in school, or even to say "I love you" to her family, is heartwrenching. Melody has cerebral palsy. Her body will not cooperate with the genius brain she possesses. School was nearly torture for Melody and her classmates with various disabilities until her fifth grade year. She got a teacher who advocated for her and worked with her parents to begin inclusion classes. Melody is able to prove to those around her that she possesses mountains of information inside of her head but has no way to get it out. Her family acquires a special device that speaks sentences for her at the flick of a finger. Through this, Melody is finally able to communicate and even makes the school's Quiz Bowl team. She gains the relative acceptance of her peers and is the happiest she's ever been - UNTIL the team makes the national championships. *Spoiler alert: The team minus Melody gets to the airport early and discovers their later flight has been cancelled. They choose to leave her behind so they can take the earlier flight and don't contact her to let her know what is going on. So, Melody and her family arrive at the airport to find out there is no way she can make it to the finals in time and her whole team chose to leave without her. Understandably, she is heartbroken.* The book ends on two rather sour notes: conflict between Melody and her peers and her mother accidentally running over their other daughter who toddles behind the vehicle unnoticed in a downpour rainstorm. Melody is then assigned a writing assignment - an autobiography which turns into, you guessed it, this book.
This book connects to my life in one meaningful way. I want to be that advocate for children. No, I take that back. I WILL be that advocate for children. I have a student coming into my classroom next year with severe autism and have been researching it like crazy. I have spent time bonding with this student and I need to be her advocate. It is difficult sometimes to see inside when the outside is lacking control over itself. I want to see what this girl is capable of and help her reach her full potential - just like the next door neighbor, parents, teacher, and aide in this story did for Melody. Her next door neighbor cared for her, quizzed her, and helped her learn to channel her feelings. Her parents never failed to stand up for their daughter and her intelligence, even though they were opposed by every teacher until 5th grade. Her teacher believed in her, fostered her love of books by first using audiobooks, then introducing print books, and finally having her write her own life story. The aide encouraged her every step of the way and treated her like a real human being - not a glob stuck in a wheelchair. As a matter of fact, I gleaned a few good ideas from this book to try in my classroom next year for both my general education and inclusion students.
So, after my diatribe, I ask:
Melody had to overcome many obstacles to finally make her voice heard. What is one thing you are struggling to say or do? What is stopping you from saying or doing that thing? What would it take to overcome your obstacle? What can I do to help?

message 23: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellebullock) Title: Ghost Dog Secrets
Author: Peg Kehret
Award: Potential

This is a story about how a 6th grader named Rusty saves the life of a mistreated German shepherd. He contacts authorities and attempts to help the dog the lawful way, but soon realizes the dog may not be alive much longer if he doesn’t act now. He and his friend rescue the dog and an adventure ensues.

This story struck a chord with me because I was just like Rusty when I was little. I rescued everything – birds, frogs, turtles, squirrels, even spiders. I attempted, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to mend broken wings, broken legs, and cracked shells. I grew up in the country, and one day I saw a dog tied to a tree about a ¼ mile behind my grandmother’s house. It was off a dirt road and, after several days of 9-year-old surveillance, I decided the house was abandoned (it wasn’t) and the dog was all alone (also not the case.) Unlike Rusty and his rescue, when I walked up to the dog to ‘rescue’ him, he bit me.

My thought-provoking question is: Essentially, the boy in this story steals a dog, but does so, 1) after attempting to follow proper channels, and 2) only when he realizes the dog’s life is in danger. Do you feel Rusty's actions are justified and worthy of praise or would you feel punishment was in order?

message 24: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellebullock) Krystal wrote: Question: Cat is driven crazy by her spontaneous cousin, Ty, several times throughout the story. Do you have a similar relationship with someone in your life? "

Krystal, great post and neat question. For me that person is my sister. She is seven years older than me and is a hardworking, honest person. I love her to pieces. The thing that drives me bonkers though, is that she continuously makes bad decisions when it comes to the men in her life. Our mom died when I was five and she was 12, and I think her role as ‘mother’ at such a young age created a place in her that needs to rescue or save others. She repeatedly chooses (or is chosen by?) men with substance abuse problems, etc. She is genuinely surprised and saddened when, a year or two later, her mothering nature fails to "fix" him and she is forced the end the relationship.

message 25: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellebullock) CK wrote: "How can we motivate kids who have no interest in reading whatsoever to read? "

Offer them candy! It works at our library branch. Of course, if you work in a community where kids have pocket-change and can buy their own candy, it may not be as effective. During each school year, we offer a candy bar (full/fun-sized depending on the level of book) to any child who reads a current Golden Sower nominee. They answer questions about the specific book and if they get them right, they walk away with the candy bar of their choice. We gave away 107 candy bars during the 2011-2012 school year!

message 26: by Kindra (new)

Kindra (kindra954) | 4 comments Book: Duck Soup
Author: Jackie Urbanovic
K-3 Golden Sower Nominee 2010-2011

I read this book and thought it was pretty funny. It's about a duck who sets out to create a new soup. He leaves to go get some herbs from his garden and his friends think he fell in the soup pot and try to rescue him. Their rescue attempts end up ruining the soup. Duck ends up having pizza for dinner and his friends cheer him up by saying someday he will cook the perfect soup.

It reminded me of a time I tried out a new recipe and it didn't turn out so well. I forgot to taste the batter. I had added too much salt and didn't know it. I cooked the pumpkin bread and it was inedible. This instance reminds me to slow down and concentrate on what I am doing.

This book also reminded me of a time when I jumped to conclusions. I thought something was a sure thing and turns out, it wasn't. I ended up losing some money because I didn't get all the facts. I have since learned my lesson and know not to always take things at face value.

My thought provoking question is this: Has there been a time in your life that you jumped to conclusions, what happened, and what did you learn from it?

message 27: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 3 comments One of the books I read this week was called Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson, and Mary Nethery. This is a riveting, true story about a man named Major Brian Dennis who was stationed in Iraq. While in Iraq, Major Brian Dennis and his group of ten marines were in charge of training Iraqi soldiers. As they made a stop at a fort, the soldiers ran into a pack of wild dogs of war who survived by finding their own food in the desert. Among those dogs, there was one who had his ears cut off who Major Brian Dennis named Nubs. Nubs would beg for belly rubs, stay up with Brian while he was on guard duty, and lighten the mood of the soldiers by making them laugh. While the soldiers thoroughly enjoyed Nubs's company, they were not allowed to have dogs while they were in Iraq. Therefore, they had to leave Nubs behind at the fort. Nubs had a very different idea. Despite a severe injury, freezing conditions, and many harsh miles between them, Nubs traveled 70 miles to find Major Brian Dennis. After this long journey, Brian decided to send Nubs from Iraq to his home in the United States where they have stayed lifelong friends ever since.

My first connection to this book is the profound respect I have always had for the soldiers who fight for our freedom. I have not had an immediate family member fight in a war, but I have heard many incredible stories about people who have. I have always been fascinated by the people who have been brave enough to stand up for our country. I find their courage and bravery to be absolutely incredible and I would never know how to appropriately thank the many people who fight for our freedom. My respect for them is immeasurable. The whole time I was reading this story, I was able to catch a glimpse into what their life at war was really like and my respect grew even more. I could never imagine being in the same situation that Brian and his soldiers were in. However, I found it to be incredible that Nubs was able to make such a positive impact on their situation at that time.

Secondly, I can directly relate to the amazing relationship one can have with animals, specifically a dog. I had a family dog growing up, but I never classified myself as a true "dog lover" until I adopted my very own dog from the Humane Society last year. My dog Frazier is a spunky yellow lab with an amazing personality. Just like Nubs in the story, Frazier is my loyal friend, he makes me laugh exactly when I need him to, and he would do anything for me. Frazier never ceases to amaze me. While my dog did not travel 70 miles to be with me like Nubs did in this story, his spirit, energy, and unconditional love are very similar. Even though dogs and humans cannot communicate verbally with each other, I know that Frazier and I understand each other through and through, much like Major Brian Dennis and Nubs did in this story. We bonded immediately, as did Nubs and Brian, and he has been a huge piece of my life and my friend ever since. This relationship is absolutely one of a kind and something I could relate to in a powerful way after reading this book.

Thought-provoking question: Have you ever felt unconditionally loved by someone? Was it a family member, a friend, or an animal? Describe your relationship with this person or animal and give details to support what they did to make you feel loved unconditionally.

message 28: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 4 comments Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t) by Barbara Bottner hit home with me. Like the narrator in the story, my oldest son never liked books. Like the librarian in the story, I would suggest books that I thought he would be interested in and nothing seemed to work. Of course the books I suggested were about sports and things other kids liked. About six months ago he was home from college and he made the comment that he wished someone would have suggested books about money, finance, and the economy. He finally has found his wart books!

This really has gotten me thinking about my role as a librarian and what kinds of books I should present to students. Who would have ever thought to introduce a book about money and finance to an elementary or high school student? It just proves that we all have diverse interests and the books we share in our classrooms and libraries should include a multitude of topics. Just because we don't have a passion for warts, doesn't mean we shouldn't introduce a book about warts. You never know what topic is going to ignite a literary fire for someone else.

Question: If you could spend 1 hour a day learning about any topic under the sun, what would it be and why do you think that topic interests you?

message 29: by Leigh (new)

Leigh | 3 comments The book I connected with is actually a book that I initially didn’t think I would like. The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen is about a circus ship that hits some rocks and sinks. All the animals and people survive, but at first the town in Maine is overwhelmed by all the animals running around in their town until one of the animals saves the day. This, of course, changes the way the people look at the animals. When the greedy and rather mean circus owner, Mr. Paine, tries to get his animals back, the townspeople protect the animals. Mr. Paine is forced to leave without his animals. (The story is based on an actual event that had a much more tragic outcome.)

I am not a fan of the circus, but decided that in order to run an effective library I would have to get out of my own comfort zone if I expect my students to do the same. I related to the story because the alternative education students I teach are often initially seen the same way as the circus animals were at first by the townspeople. It isn’t until an opportunity presents itself that they can change the minds of some members of society about the students in the Alt. Ed. program just like the lion changes the townspeople minds when he rescues a little girl.

The Circus Ship is on the 2011-2012 Nebraska Golden Sower Award list.

Question: We use books to teach our students about other cultures, but can we use books to teach them to be more tolerate of others around them who are not like them?

message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan (skless) | 3 comments “Help Me, Mr. MUTT!” by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel is a great book that would relate to the lives of many children. In this book, several dogs send Mr. Mutt a letter stating their people problems they are having with their owners. In return, Mr. Mutt sends back a letter giving advice and suggesting some solutions to each of the dogs. Having grown up with pets all my life, I can imagine what people problems pets may experience with their owners. It is fun to take on the perspective of a pet rather than the owner. Over the years, I could see some of my pets complaining about not enough playing time, or the clothing they have been dressed in just like the dogs did in the book. The dog I have right now would most likely complain about never getting to go for a car ride or only getting a lick of peanut butter in the morning.

Question: Imagine you are any kind of pet. What “people problem” would you have as the pet?

message 31: by Jayme (new)

Jayme Prisbell-Hultman | 3 comments Book: Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t)
Author: Barbara Bottner Illustrator: Micahel Emberley
Award: 2012-2013 Nebraska Golden Sower Award Nominee
Author Maya Angelou once said, “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” This mantra is one that I try to impress upon my students as I take them through their Junior English experience. As a high school teacher, there isn’t a day that goes by during the school year where my kids don’t moan and groan about having to read. They spend a good 10 to 15 minutes every unit advising me that reading is just “Doing too much!” Without fail, by the end of the unit, I am the reason they haven’t slept or had a social life because they have been forced to read a stupid book. I take pride in my attention getting techniques used to hook and sell the books I am required to teach. My biggest sales pitch is using propaganda such as death, love, torture, adventure, history, etc. while showing enthusiasm without faltering no matter how ridiculous they think I am are or how ridiculous I feel.
In Barbara Bottner’s book, Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t), the main character Missy despises everything about books and the content within. Though Missy is a little girl; her distaste for books is how the majority of my classroom clientele feel. Similar to Miss Brooks, I never give up on my students and their continuous distain for literature. Whilst Miss Brooks dresses up in costume for her reading circles, I dress up my lesson plans, presentations, and words with catch phrases and literary devices that are relevant to today’s pop culture. As Miss Brooks prepares Halloween poems, I prepare poem writing workshops that allow my students to write about themselves and their experiences while researching poets from their own cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Whereas Miss Brooks continues to read books to her reading circle, I introduce literature through the art of plays such as Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, to ensure all of my students are engaged, reading, and comprehending the literature we are required to read. While Miss Brooks created a Book Week, I have created a weekly Independent Reading unit. My Independent Reading unit is based on the quarter conceptual lens provided by the district and for my student’s this means…they are allowed to pick a book of choice from our school library as long as the book has: a minimum of 100 pages, falls under the conceptual lens (example: quarter four is The American Dream), and at the end of the quarter they promote their novel to their classmates by creating a book project (i.e. persuasive book talks). Like Missy, many of my kids tell me they don’t like anything, they don’t have time to read, they have no hobbies or interests, and they think everything is boring or dumb.
Conversely, once Missy found a topic of interest, it was easy to find a book she liked. The same is true for my students. Once they locate a novel, theme, author, or series they love, their attitudes completely turn around and they become lost in the literature they once were so opposed to. It is truly amazing to watch students blossom as they read. They become excited and want to talk about their novels or they come to me stating that they just don’t like what they are reading and ask if they can go talk to the librarian for suggestions and to check a new book. Nothing warms my heart more than when our school librarian advises that she sees a high volume of my students because they are checking out new books throughout the course of the semester. As Malcolm X quoted in his biography, “The ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.” When this light bulb turns on for students like it did for Missy and for Malcolm X, the reader begins to understand the importance of the books they read and they are forever changed.
Question: Miss Brooks never gives up on Missy and continues to encourage her to read. As educators, what are some additional reading techniques used in your own classroom and libraries to engage and grab student’s attention?

message 32: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 3 comments On The Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells is a suspenseful time travel novel with some history and science blended into the story. The book is about eleven year old Oscar Ogilvie who lives with his widowed father in Cairo, Illinois. Oscar loves more than anything his dad and the model train layout they have worked years on together in their basement. Life is fine until the stock market crash of 1929 and Oscar’s dad loses his job at John Deere, eventually they lose their house and their beloved train layout to the banker in town. Oscar must go live with his strict aunt when his dad relocates to California to find work. An unhappy Oscar befriends a drifter and former teacher named Mr. Applegate, whom tutors him in math daily and teaches him a memorization trick for poetry. Mr. Applegate becomes the night watchman at the town bank and allows Oscar to visit each night and run his former trains that are on display at the bank. On Christmas Eve in 1931, Oscar witnesses a horrible bank robbery that catapults him forward in time through the Lionel trains he loves across the country to California to find his father and then back in time to New York and then to present time in Cairo again. During his time travels, Oscar meets many famous people from history and Hollywood, like Ronald Reagan who befriends him on the train ride to California and helps him locate his father.
This book connected to my life in several ways. Oscar and his father had a strong bond nurtured through the trains they loved. This bond reminded me of my own childhood. My two brothers and I spent many hours playing with an electric train that one of them received as a gift for Christmas. I can relate to young Oscar and his fascination with trains and building the layouts, as my brothers and I spent many hours on cold winter days building our own train layout in our dining room. We still have the Christmas tradition at my parent’s house of having a Christmas train running under the tree each year. Trains were a bond that I had with my brothers. Another reason, I was drawn to this book, was the route of the train and the people from history that Oscar encountered on his travels through time. I love historical fiction books and I have been a passenger on the South Shore train from Dune Park to Chicago many times while my daughter attended college in Indiana. This was the same train route that Oscar took during his time travels. The idea of time travel through history made me wonder what this same train adventure that I had taken many times with my daughter would have been like back in a different decade.
My question I would pose to a student is, if you could time travel back to a different time period in history, what time period would you visit, why, and what people would you want to meet along the way?

message 33: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Padomek | 5 comments "Out of My Mind" by Sharon M. Draper, 2012-2013 Golden Sower Nominee
Synopsis: "Out of My Mind" is written from the perspective of an eleven-year-old girl, Melody, who has cerebral palsy. This affects people differently, but for Melody, it means having no muscle control to do anything aside from moving her thumbs, and a little mobility to reach for things. She cannot walk, feed herself or talk. The story is an autobiography to show what her world is like not being able to communicate with others, and being viewed as “dumb” when in fact she is very intelligent.

Connections: This story made me first think of a close family friend’s son who also has cerebral palsy. Although he is not as severe of a case as Melody, he is able to walk and do some things on his own, he has some trouble with communicating. He can talk, but is limited in his speech in comparison to his peers. Reading from Melody’s perspective made me wonder if he has more thoughts and ideas that he is just unable to communicate to others.

That then made me wonder about other students out there with speech and communication disabilities. How many of those students have been overlooked for how many “brains” they really have? For example, a friend of mine in college had a close family friend, I believe with cerebral palsy as well, but her case was much closer to Melody’s than my family friend, as she struggled to communicate. I wonder if she has faced similar prejudices as Melody. Does she have more thoughts and “smarts” than others take her for? My friend was a lot like Mrs. V. was in the book to Melody, really caring for and helping push her friend.

I also thought about my own students in my classroom. Although I have never had a student like Melody, this story made me think about what have I overlooked in students? So many students have so many talents that cannot be exhibited in day-to-day classroom activities, what can I as a teacher do to incorporate those talents and “smarts?”

This was a really well written book that kept sucking me back in. When Melody’s sister was hit by a car, I couldn’t help but cry a little thinking, “What if that were my daughter?” I don’t even know what I would do in that kind of a situation. Or when Melody was left behind on her trip, I felt so angry for her towards the others who just left her behind.

Question: So many times in the book, it seemed like Rose wanted to stand up for Melody but did nothing or very little. Think about a time or a situation in which you had an opportunity to stand up for someone else. What did you do, or could you do differently in that situation? How can we be a voice for others who may not have a voice-either literally or figuratively?

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Scillian, Devin. (2012). Memoirs of a Goldfish. Illustrated by Tim Bowers. Sleeping Bear Press

Memoirs of a Goldfish gives the reader an account of a goldfish’s experiences while swimming around his bowl. His bowl is then filled to the brim with plants, crustaceans, and other accessories until goldfish is overwhelmed and wishes he were all alone in his bowl. Goldfish gets his wish only to realize, when he is relocated for a cleaning, how much he misses everyone.

I found this book to be charming and insightful. I instantly made connections to this story! There are numerous times in life when things are overwhelming and it feels “crowded”. I have been overwhelmed by people and responsibilities when think I am perfectly content in my own little bowl, however when I take a step back and think about everything and everyone I have gained it makes me realize how much life is all about connections and relationships with other people. Nothing really adds up to much without those relationships. It is amazing how separation can affect our thinking, mood, and perspective!

My life (like everyone’s) is busy and at times overloaded with things to do, places to be as well as friends and family. This can be overwhelming at times, however, if I stop and look at what my life would be like without them… would it really be the life I want?

Essential Question: What does Memoirs of a Goldfish teach us about life?

message 35: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (AliciaV) | 4 comments Elsie’s Bird – Jane Yolen

This story is about a girl who grows up in Boston until her mother passes away. Her father decides to move her to a new place, which happens to be the plains of Nebraska. She lives in a sod house with no one around. Elsie feels out of place and alone in the world, the only thing she has to keep her company while her father works is her bird. One day her bird flies away and she runs out to try to catch him. She explores the plains around the house to find her bird and finds that her surroundings are not all that bad.
The part of this story that I feel I can connect to my life is moving to a new place learning to love it. I have moved to a new place and felt like I was alone in my surroundings. After a while I learned to love my new surroundings just like Elsie did. The lesson in this story is that you have to give something a shot even if at first you do not like it.

Question: Have you been moved to a new place that you did not like at first? What changed your mind and made you like the situation?

message 36: by Amy (last edited Jun 05, 2012 07:53PM) (new)

Amy (amyjo_w) | 4 comments I also ready “Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't)” by Barbara Bottner. As some of my classmates already said, it’s about a child’s search for a book she loves that is driven, in part, by her zany librarian. What I connected with in the story wasn’t the girl’s difficult search for a book that excites her; I have always been an avid reader. I connected with her annoyance and lack of understanding of her librarian’s need to wear crazy costumes.

In the story, we see pictures of Miss Brooks dressed as a wild thing, a caterpillar, a leprechaun, and more. My mother ran the elementary school library in my hometown for years, and she wore the craziest costumes when she was trying to get the kids excited for the yearly book fairs. I was always horribly embarrassed when I saw her walking around dressed as a jungle explorer, an angel, a giant cat, basically you name it she’s worn it. Then, when I was 16 and her volunteer to dress as Clifford for the winter book fair canceled, I got shoved into the costume. I was still totally embarrassed, but once I was in the costume I got to see firsthand how excited the kids were about this special visitor who came to share story time with them, and I understood why she took the time to make or find those ridiculous costumes.

At the end of the book, the little girl can’t wait to make her ogre costume and warts to share with her classmates because she wants them to feel the excitement of her love of the story too. I definitely understand that feeling now, and I’ll continue to use it. I may not wear as many weird things as my mom, but I have behaved pretty ridiculously when reading and playing with my nephew, Brenton, and isn't that why we all do those silly voices and noises when we read aloud to kids?

Question to think about: What is the craziest thing you have ever done to get a child excited about reading, be it in the classroom, the library, the home or any other setting, and was it worth it? Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don't) by Barbara Bottner

message 37: by Krystal (new)

Krystal Spilger | 4 comments Question to think about: What is the craziest thing you have ever done to get a child excited about reading, be it in the classroom, the library, the home or any other setting, and would you do it again?
Great question! I have to admit I have been willing to go to get lengths to get my students to read. The craziest thing that I've done to get my students excited about reading is participated in a costume party which included dressing my whole class up as characters from Fancy Nancy, my first graders favorite book that year. I've also wore a truffula hat for a day and danced to various songs that promoted reading. I try to do something unusual each year to get students excited about reading. I have only good memories of doing crazy things. Students have told me that was their favorite day. I will continue to have fun with reading.

message 38: by Cally (new)

Cally O'Brien | 3 comments How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
How Rocket Learned to Read

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills is the story of a dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. At first, Rocket doesn’t want to go to class. He would rather take a nap. But the little bird starts to read a story and “To Rocket the story was as delicious as the earthy smells of fall. It was as exciting as chasing leaves.” That quote captures how I feel about reading. I loved listening to my mother reading stories before I knew how to read.
I didn’t learn to read until I was in the First Grade. The school I went to for Kindergarten didn’t teach reading, and when I moved and went to First Grade everyone had already learned how to read the year before. Once the teacher showed me how the letters went together to make words, I quickly figured out how to read. Just like Rocket, I wanted to know how the story ended. I also like that at the end of the book when Rocket and the little bird are done reading their books, they read them again and a-g-a-i-n. My mother would read me a story and then I would read the story to her when i was first learning to read.

My question is this: Thinking of a time when you were learning a new skill, like reading, drawing, or playing an instrument, what was your motivation and was there a specific person who inspired you to learn? How did they motivate or inspire you?

message 39: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 3 comments I read Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I don't). I connected to this book because of how I reacted to books when I was a child. Growing up in a home where my mother was an avid reader and all my siblings were as well it was hard to be the one who wasn’t always interested in books. I would go through periods where books were interesting and then periods where I wanted nothing to do with them. I am still this way as an adult. I love how in the story the little girl is so turned off by books until she finds something that interests her, and once she does she becomes so excited and eager to share her joy.

Question – What is the most interesting book you have ever read? What made you so excited about reading this book?

message 40: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn | 3 comments Book: The Little King and his Marshmallow Kingdom
Author: Louis Rotella III
Illustrator: Mark Chickinelli

King Louie IV, a child who has Down Syndrome, is the son of the author. The story is written in the first person, as though Louie IV is explaining how he’s a little different, but mostly just like, every other kid.

We, too, have a son with special needs. Like Louie IV in the book, our son was a very happy child, perhaps not quite as exuberant as Louie, but always pleasant. One morning when he was in kindergarten, he stopped in the front of the school bus to say, “Hello, everybody!” Like Louie, children responded positively to his friendliness. All through school, even the rough kids looked out for our son. We were very grateful.

I appreciated the section in the back of the book, “A Father’s Journey.” Each parent of a special needs child has a journey to acceptance and also to the ability to accommodate their child’s needs into a fulfilling life. One very wise person told me, “It’s just like with any child, you strive to help him become all he can be.”

An interesting sidelight to this book is that the author and illustrator both live in Omaha, Nebraska. The illustrator has had a very successful career in advertising over the years and he and the author have been friends since childhood.

I have two essential questions. The first is, “How can I help special needs children become all they can be?”.

My second question is a harder one. Louis III recognized that it would be coming for his son and it was one of his motivations for writing the book. It’s also something we’re struggling with now. “How can I help this child/person deal with people who are not kind and yet still preserve his pleasant, positive outlook on life?”.

message 41: by Chad (new)

Chad | 3 comments Memoirs of a Goldfish: Written by Devin Scillian Illustrated by Tim Bowers.

I think that this book is one that many people can relate with. We all get in our our routines and become comfortable with our surroundings. When those routines get disturbed by others we can get grouchy, irritated, and frustrated (much like the goldfish in the book). I was very much like the goldfish in college. I lived with the same guy in college for two years. Little things crept up and started to annoy us both about one another. He never asked me to put on his sunscreen like Cha-Cha, but sometime he didn't talk to one another like Mr. Bubbles. At the end of our sophomore year we decided we wouldn't live together the following year. Our junior year we realized how much we missed each other! We realized that we really needed each other's company. Our senior year we decided to move back in together and ended up living with each other for 3 years after college (until I got married and my wife said no more!)

So my thought provoking question would be: When is a time when you got frustrated with those around you, but when you got some space you felt better? Why does space and time help?

message 42: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 3 comments One of the books I read this week is “City Dog, Country Frog” by Mo Willems. This picture book was a Colorado Children’s Book Award Nominee for 2012. The story is about a dog from the city who meets a frog for the first time. They become fast friends, and every season they learn about each other’s lives, and what they do for fun. When the day comes that Frog is no longer around, the reader learns how Dog copes with the loss of his friend, and makes a new friend by the end of the story.

As a person who grew up around the military, I have made many friends and lost many friends. I related to this story because of the true friends I have made, and how upset I was when they moved. Those were some hard times as I grew up, but there always seemed to be another friend to make and another person to learn from right around the corner. Even as an adult I can relate to this book. I recently lost a good friend while he was deployed in Iraq. For awhile, it was hard to think of my life without my friend, but I knew that I would be okay.

I think all people, young and old, can relate to this book in some way, as everyone has lost someone by moving, or by death. I think a teacher in a community where there is a lot of transfers, or a parent who needs a way to explain death to a young child could use this book. With the beautiful pictures, and easily understood words, “City Dog, Country Frog” teaches us all about life, friendship, and coping with loss.

Question: As a parent or a teacher, what do you think is the best way to discuss the loss of a friend or relative? How can we help or children/students cope with any type of loss?
City Dog, Country Frog

message 43: by Willa (new)

Willa (willabg) | 3 comments Book:Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian.
Award: 2012-2013 Nebraska Golden Sower
This picture book is about a goldfish that starts out board and alone in his pristine bowl. Each day more and more stuff gets added to his bowl including a diver bobble, plants and other fish. Just when he thinks he can’t stand it anymore, he gets put into a new aquarium where there is plenty of room for everyone. He has room to swim and makes a friend with one of the other fish. I can relate to the fish’s feeling of being overwhelmed. Life is like that sometimes for me sometimes, things just keep getting added to plate (or my bowl) until it seems like I have more to do than I could ever get done. Luckily, things usually calm down enough so that I can catch my breath. My thought-provoking question is: what makes you feel like your bowl is too crowded?

message 44: by Debra (last edited Jun 07, 2012 01:27PM) (new)

Debra Wake | 3 comments I read Purplicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. It is about a little girl who has a passion for pink even when pink is no longer the cool color. My niece had a passion for purple when she was in the second grade. In fact, every day she wanted to wear the same purple outfit. My sister was mortified, because she was afraid Human Services would be notified if my niece wore the same purple outfit every day. The purple outfit seemed to make her feel strong and secure and when she wore the outfit, she didn’t complain about going to school. The purple phase finally wore off, but for awhile, it did help her get through second grade.

Think of your favorite outfit. Why is it your favorite and how do you feel when you are wearing it?

Classroom activity – This book could be read in art or science class during a lesson on the color wheel and primary and secondary colors.

Kann, V., & Kann, E. (2008). Purplicious. New York: HarperCollins.

message 45: by CK (new)

CK | 4 comments Michelle wrote: "CK wrote: "How can we motivate kids who have no interest in reading whatsoever to read? "

Offer them candy! It works at our library branch. Of course, if you work in a community where kids have ..."

clever, i like that!

message 46: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Loewenstein (wendyl612) | 11 comments Mod
Krystal wrote: "Question to think about: What is the craziest thing you have ever done to get a child excited about reading, be it in the classroom, the library, the home or any other setting, and would you do it ..."
This IS a great question, especially to a room full of librarians in training!

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