The Random Acts of Kindness website is a terrific resource to help students celebrate Valentine's Day. The principal and school counselor were consulted and offered support for this school-wide initiative.
I started by posting a Random Acts of Kindness poster on the message board that greets all who enter the office.
Random Acts of Kindness packets were created for teachers, using the calendar, monster patterns, and other reproducibles found on the website. I also instituted a drawing for teachers, offering as a prize a recently published book on kindness.
In the library, students create kindness bookmarks and secretly place each one inside a library book. Pictured is the first student to discover a kindness bookmark. He was so thrilled and bounded up to me, grinning from ear to ear.
By using some of the suggested books, lessons plans, and activities, Random Acts of Kindness has had a positive impact on students and staff at our school.
Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week. Library display includes Kindness: Pass It On ideas poster, pencils, and bookmarks for students to complete and then secretly deposit in a book located within the library stacks.
It was bitter cold in Denver: a freeze-your-fingertips-even -through-two-pair-of-gloves kind of cold. ALA Midwinter Conference was happening and I was warm inside the convention center. Editor Jill Santopolo handed me a Beth Kephart galley adorned with a heart-shaped leaf and one word: Undercover.
Right from the get-go Kephart stole my heart with this beautifully crafted story, overflowing with luscious language. I have enjoyed her subsequent YA novels and am delighted to share my impressions about her current book.
"Our story begins, every story begins with the possibility of rescue, the goodness that is absolute, and waits for tragedy to find it."
Nadia and her brother Jack accompany their parents to Florence where Nadia's world begins to unravel in ways that neither she nor those who love her can understand.
This triptych of narratives is a fascinating glimpse into history, an introduction to the wonders of Florence, a puzzle to untangle, and a testament to the power of hope.
My Nest of Nine from One Thing Stolen:
I recently read Gregory Funaro's Alistair Grim's Odditorium. What an amazing collection of fantastical delights: a gigantic building which can travel through time and is powered by playing a pipe organ, samurais, banshees, a castle dungeon in the clouds, armored skeletons with glowing red eyes, creatures who are neither living nor dead, and fairies who are not always good. Then there is Prince Nightshade!
This seemed like a terrific vehicle for introducing students to Jen Malone's The Margin Project. Aspects of this unique project include:
I inaugurated the project with the fourth grade classes. During library time, I booktalked Alistair Grim's Odditorium and then demonstrated possible written entries. Students and teachers became very excited. Throughout the year I will do additional booktalks with galleys, demonstrating ideas for Margin Project notations. Because all Fourth Grade classes are participating, books can be shared among the three classrooms. I love the idea of making books social. This book served as a perfect vehicle for introducing The Margin Project to students.
Ada and her brother Jamie leave London during World War II. Neglect and abuse is all that Ada has ever experienced. She has never seen a toothbrush or heard a kind word. Because of her disability, she has no reason to trust that any soul could possibly care for her.
Nine reasons to read The War That Saved My Life
2. "Your courage Your cheerfulness Your resolution Will bring us victory"
Miss Smith changes this wartime poster for Ada by substituting the word "us" with the prounoun "you".
3. Catch a spy!
It takes a sharp eye to spot a World War II spy.
No wonder it is called "The Garden of England"
Learn the magical art of creating fabric with two sticks and a string.
What do Barak Obama, Michelangelo, Joan of Arc, Oprah Winfrey and Helen Keller have in common?
A preference for the left hand.
This British product serves as a name for one of the characters in the story.
8. Alice in Wonderland
Alice chased the rabbit and "fell into a place she didn't belong, a place where absolutely nothing made sense to her."
"...love cannot, will not, be overcome" Gary D Schmidt
Children's literature features an array of amazing heroines. Can you identify the name of each heroine pictured below?
Jason Reynold's latest book takes readers into the world of seventeen year old Matt. To help him cope with the crushing pain of losing his mother to cancer, he begins to attend funerals of strangers.
Nine reasons to read The Boy in the Black Suit
1. Bob Marley
Listen to his Jamaican Regge Three Little Birds
2. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Free admission in winter. Tuesday-Friday 8:00 am -4:30 pm
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
3. Chocolate chip cookies.
Matt's recipe included in the book.
4. Daisy Miller
Remember the Henry James classic? This is not that Dasiy Miller.
5. Funeral home. How many YA books include this in the setting and plot...but not in a creepy way?
6. My Girl
Soulful rendition by the Temptations
7. Polaroid cameras
Remember waving the photo to develop the image?
8. The suit
Matt totally carries off the look. See cover photo.
It's all about love and loss and healing.
I like talking about books and interesting ideas. I like thinking about how books affect my life. Not particularly interested in giving out stars or in rating books.