Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Slice of Life Tuesday: Book Club

I love my book club. I decided to join a book club, first of all, because I wanted to be able to tell my students that I read books and then talked about them.  (Just like I was asking them to do! ) It was a real life assignment!  I decided to join a book club that set up its own "rules". We meet once a month. We meet at a local restaurant. We read something that challenges us or not. The people who are in my book club are amazing, intelligent people. Well, most of the time!  They are fun, anyway!!
Last night was our monthly meeting to discuss this month's book and catch up on each others' lives. We also solved all the problems of the community, nation and the world. Well, maybe not really solve them, but we talked about them!  The manager of our book club restaurant knows us and gives us special treatment. We keep trying to get him to join the discussion of the book, but he says all we do is talk about other stuff.  He has given us his opinion of the cover once in a while!
This month we read The Kitchen House.  We were all glad we read it, even though some parts were emotionally difficult to get through. I would recommend this to other book clubs. We had plenty of discussion and opinions. We thought Kathleen Garrison did a great job of developing the characters to the point we really felt like we were right there in the moment!
 I think that is why it was so emotionally tough.
Our next book is Still Life by Louise Penny. We are not meeting until the end of December, so we should have plenty of time to read it. We are excited because this is a series book and we may have to read more of this author's work, even if it will be on our own. So, if you are in Auburn on December 22nd, head on over to Cebollas at 11:00 a.m., say hi to Juan, the manager, and be ready for some lively talk...we will discuss the book, too!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Celebration Saturday: Happy Anniversary!

Today I am celebrating our thirty-second anniversary. Here are a few pictures that show just a sample of some of the wonderful things we have been able to share.
We love to run. We have done everything from 5Ks to marathons together!


We had a great time at Disney with all our kids and grandkids!


We also love baseball, especially the Tigers!

We might get in trouble at times, but is this necessary?
We are always up for some fun, if it includes the grandkids!

Yes, I think we made the right choice 32 years ago!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Slice of Life: Talking about Themes

Last week I was able to visit another one of my favorite classrooms. This fifth grade group is so smart about talking about books. I was thrilled that they were working on that when I came that day. The focus of the day was: Themes of a book.
The class started by looking at a story in their basal reader. The students realized that they might have different viewpoints of what the theme was. They learned that it was okay to disagree about that. The children then shared what they thought the theme could be. But, that wasn't enough, they also had to prove it by stating from the text proof to back up their theory. 

Then in their reader's notebook they had a picture of a tree with a large trunk and bunches of leaves. On the trunk it said: THEME. On the bunches of leaves they had listed what makes up a theme: defendable opinion; moral or life lesson; implied-not necessarily stated.

After that, the teacher read the book: A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. The students listened and jotted down three possible themes and how they would defend it. Quickly, they met in groups of 3 or 4 and shared their ideas. When they came back together, the teacher had several groups share one theme and the proof. What a smart bunch of kids!
While I was there, I shared with the teacher a new book that I had recently purchased. It is called Reading Projects Reimagined--Student-Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking by Dan Feigelson. This book is short and easy to read. It gives teachers a way to have children think for themselves while still guiding them. We always want kids to become independent thinkers and we want them to use comprehension and to use it on their own. So, that means..."teaching them to recognize, name, and extend their own ideas about what they read."
I think in this day of helping kids to read, comprehend, and defend their thoughts, Dan has given teachers a great tool to do just that!  A good addition to any professional library!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Slice of Life Tuesday: Time Out for Dave

Today is the first day of the rest of Dave's adventures with rehabilitation. He went to the surgeon and got a clean bill of health. It has been a long journey!
After several months of limping, each week getting worse and several visits to the local vet, we finally got to the real problem. Dr. Dave, our local vet, told us he had a torn ACL band and needed surgery.  We were directed to an animal emergency clinic and to Dr. Coolman. What a blessing that was!  Dr. Coolman gave us the sad, but good news. He could fix his leg. It was hard to leave him in the hands of someone else and let him stay there all night. He had never been away from home!
After the surgery, we were able to take him home the following day. He had to wear a cone so he didn't lick his wound. He had staples all up the front of his leg. He looked so sad. He slept most of the time the first week.
The other sad part was, he had to go on a serious diet. So, after the staples came out we put him in a strict diet program. He could only have the diet treats and we measured his food.  It didn't take long for him to realize we were serious and that meant no other treats! He couldn't walk much because of the healing of the bone. That didn't help!
So, he did a lot of sleeping.  We did play ball with me rolling the ball to him. We also learned a new game of hiding the ball in a plastic cup and then he had to find which cup it was under. He could only go outside to do his "business"...no walks!  He missed seeing all his friends and they missed him, too.
After eight weeks of rest and diet, he got the all clear sign from the doctor today. He was very pleased with his progress and that he had lost 5 pounds. He is now ready for physical therapy. We have guidelines to go by as he goes through this phase. He will gradually take short walks to build up the leg muscle and help with the weight loss. He is a much happier dog now and uses the leg like normal!  So glad to have our baby back to normal!