Monday, April 11, 2016

Author Visit in the Library

"Every spring, Dario and his mom move from Brazil to the beach at Cape Cod so that his mom can work. Dario is having a hard time making friends, not quite knowing how to join in the sandy fun with the other children. He is thrilled to see a young whale one day, swimming off of the coastline. The whale is also very curious about the boy. An immediate bond is formed, and the two visit daily, communicating with whistles, spouts, waves, and breaches. One day, Dario gets the sniffles and his mom orders him to bed until he is well. He is worried that his whale will have migrated before he gets to see him again, but Dario gets his chance to say goodbye." - School Library Journal

We were lucky enough to have the author Cheryl Lawton Malone came into our 2nd grade classes today in library to read her book and talk about the small moments that inspire stories.  Cheryl read aloud and answered questions and talked about some of the decisions that go into making a book.  We also had time for students to write down some of their own memories and ideas that could make good stories.  Cheryl signed a copy of her book for the Upham Library and also gave us an extra copy that we will be raffling off to the 2nd grade after the April Break.

If you would like to know more about the author please visit her website at

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April is poetry month

I probably shouldn't admit this, but I'm not a great lover of poetry.  Or I wasn't.

Now that I am a teacher and have the month of April to spend exploring poetry with my students I have found so many delightful and unexpected aspects to poetry that I really enjoy.

Poetry can be fun.
Poetry can be playful.
Poetry can be playing with words. 

Here is a brand new book of poetry that qualifies as all of the above that I will be sharing with classes this month.

Poetry can be simple.
Poetry can be surprising.

One poet I admire for his deceptively simple poems that are remarkably unforgettable is William Carlos Williams.  For a long time I hung this well-known and beloved poem of his on my refrigerator door:

This Is Just To Say

William Carlos Williams1883 - 1963

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
A colleague of mine noticed a recent article in the New York Times that reveals some interesting background information about William Carlos Williams' poem,  The Red Wheelbarrow. The NY Times article tells a fascinating story about the real person behind this poem. These few simple lines of poetry years later ended up inspiring a historian to research and uncover a lost story. Which now gives us an opportunity to remember. Amazing.

April is Poetry Month.
I encourage you to take a moment and read a poem.
It may very well surprise you.