Monday, April 27, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/27/2020

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what your reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.


Last Week's Book Adventures:
I listened to more of Life of Pi. And I have been reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle which I really, truly love so much. 

Last Week's Blog Post:

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
My plan is to finish Life of Pi for book club this week and to finish Untamed. Next, I want to soak up essays so I'm going to explore some essays online and I also have the book My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me by Jason Rosenthal which I'd like to read.

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Feeling Blech Right About Now

Blech.

That's what I want to say but I'm trying to stay positive. 

We're starting week three of remote learning and I'm still cranky about it. I miss school. I miss my students. I miss our classroom. I hate that everything got flipped upside down so fast and I just want it all go back to the way things were. 

The best thing I've listened to this week is the first episode from Brené Brown's new podcast Unlocking Us. The episode is titled Brené on FFTs and she talks about her strategy for managing tough first times.

I'm having a lot of first times right now. 

First times make me want to go blech. 

I mean, I love doing new things. One of my strengths is that I'm up for new adventures, for trying new things, for taking risks. But this is hard on top of hard on top of hard.

I'm still figuring out what works for me, what works for my students, what works for my own kids. There's a lot of figuring out going on. I wish I had some tips to share. I can think of three things that seem to be working for me. 

1. Be honest and be open and be truthful. I've been so open with my family and with friends and with colleagues and admin and with students. That's part of who I am. I can't help but be myself. This time is weird but I have been working hard to be honest and be open and be truthful about the feelings I've been feeling. It's good for me to name them but it's also important for others to know so I can better advocate for what I need.

2. Make phone calls. I've been working my way through my list of students little by little. I've almost talked to all of them on the phone at some point. It makes me feel better to talk to them. It reminds me that I am still their teacher despite not being in room 208 together. And I know they appreciate hearing my voice too. (Even the ones whose parents had to wake them up so I could talk to them!) 

3. Take it little by little, one step at a time. Sometimes I need to write down one thing to do. It might be as little as "post homeroom activity to Google Classroom" because that's all I can handle in a moment. And sometimes I can write down a few things and work through them. I'm getting better at recognizing when I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. I'm getting better at taking breaks. 


That's all I've got. Do you have any advice for me right now? How are you navigating this global pandemic we're all living through?

Monday, April 20, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/20/2020

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what your reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I listened more to Life of Pi. And I got my copy of Untamed by Glennon Doyle so I started reading that Yay!

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm loving Untamed sooooooo much. Seriously, I watch Glennon's morning meeting everyday on Instagram, I've listened to her on Brené Brown's podcast, and now I'm getting to enjoy the book. I'm so glad for Glennon Doyle right now. I'll get back to reading young adult literature...but right now I've really enjoyed all the adult stuff I've been soaking up. 

I'll be finishing Life of Pi this week. I've been part of a virtual book club to discuss it and it's been a really great experience. 

I hope you are hanging in there. xoxo

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Monday, April 13, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/13/2020

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what your reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.


Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I finished reading How to Do Nothing and Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine? I listened to more of Life of Pi and I'm also listening to Brené Brown's new podcast Unlocking Us. I also started reading Neil Gaiman's The View From the Cheap Seats which is a collection of essays and speeches and other stuff and reread the beginning of Lynda Barry's Syllabus.


Last Week's Posts:

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week I'll be reading more of Life of Pi for my book club and The View From The Cheap Seats. I'm working on plans for the rest of the month for my students and am enjoying rereading Syllabus by Lynda Barry as I try to keep things simple but still get students' brains engaged.

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Introducing Exploring Inspiration


I'm thrilled to announce a fun new opportunity from Story Exploratory!

When it comes to being a writer, I believe it's important to start to recognize stories all around you. Writers explore the world and learn from others. That's what mentor texts are all about. 

In Story Exploratory workshops I share lots of ideas and resources and usually others share things as well, like podcasts and books and quotes they appreciate. I love getting so many amazing recommendations and talking to other writers about things that inspire us so I'm launching Exploring Inspiration which is all about talking with some awesome people and sharing all our favorite, inspiring stuff.

You're here because you love books and reading and writing so I know you've got some favorite resources to share. I'd love to chat with you about what's inspiring you right now. Click here to sign up. 

Here's what I'm inspired by today:

Syllabus by Lynda Barry
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Why I love it: This book shares her exploration of how we share ideas. It's full of her illustrations and notes and there is so much to take in on every page. She makes me think and helps me rethink what school looks like and I so appreciate how she leads the way in showing us how to break the mold.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Lizzo's Musical Mentor Text

Last week we watched Sister Act and Sister Act 2 and I blogged about some advice Whoopi Goldberg gives in the movie from Rainer Maria Rilke. I did some researching I happened to find a Lizzo MTV TV and Movie Awards performance of her song "Juice" and her performance was inspired by the end of Sister Act 2.

I love finding things like this! In some ways, Lizzo used the finale from Sister Act 2 as a mentor text.

Here's the clip from the end of Sister Act 2:


And here's Lizzo's performance from 2019, clearly inspired by Sister Act 2:



You can call it inspiration. You can call it walking in someone else shoes. I call it a mentor text. Sometimes what we create from a mentor text is completely our own but lately I've found it hard to completely create something on my own so I've been using mentor texts almost as a frame for my own creating. I did some mission and vision work for Story Exploratory and I looked at an article an educator wrote about dual language education and I fit my ideas into the framework the writer had created with his article. I had an idea for a book and I looked at what an author had done to set up their book on craft. 

Especially when it comes to play and experimenting or drafting, I believe it's completely okay to use mentor texts and model your writing or any kind of creativity off of others. I love looking at the parallels from Sister Act 2 and Lizzo's performance and being reminded that anything is a mentor text and that mentor texts come in different formats.

And just because Lizzo is cool and I appreciate more Lizzo in my life, here is her performance at NPR's Tiny Desk and her Instagram if you want to check them out. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/06/2020

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Last Week's Book Adventures:
I finished rereading The Crossroads of Should and Must. We had two book club meetings last week and they were both wonderful. I'm looking forward to the last two meetings this week. 

I read more of How to Do Nothing and Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine? I also listened to more of The Cruel Prince and started listening to Life of Pi. I read it when it first came out but it's been a long time. I'm part of a virtual book club that is reading it now so I'm excited to revisit it and to have others to discuss with. 

Last Week's Posts:


Upcoming Book Adventures: 
Last week I spent three days discussing and planning for remote learning and then Thursday and Friday were our first days with students. I was exhausted! I'm so glad we had the weekend to reset. My plan for this week is to definitely finish How to Do Nothing and Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine? I'm committing to finishing both of those and reading more of Life of Pi to keep up with my book club.

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Whoopi and Rainer Maria Rilke

This week, we started looking for movies to watch since we are home and sheltering in place because of the coronavirus. We were scrolling through Disney + when I saw the movie Sister Act on the screen and convinced my family to watch it.

The next day, my older son started watching Sister Act 2. (Yay! He must have actually liked the first one! He's an almost teenager so it's hard to tell what he likes or doesn't like these days...)

For some background. In Sister Act, Whoopi Goldberg witnesses a crime and has to go into hiding. She pretends to be a nun and lives in a convent where she befriends the other nuns and takes charge of their choir, makes it amazing, and save the church.

In Sister Act 2, Whoopi Goldberg is invited back to pretend to be a nun and teach students and save the church this time by turning around the school's choice program.

I was working on school stuff but listened to the movie in the background and pointed out that Lauryn Hill and Jennifer Love Hewitt were in the movie too. At one point, Lauryn Hill's character can't be in the choir because her mom won't let her. Whoopi's character trackers her down and tells her about Rainer Maria Rilke and his "Letters to a Young Poet." Here's the scene:



And here's Letters to a Young Poet (The First Letter) by Rainer Maria Rilke. I just had to go look it up because how awesome is that!? I love when pop culture gives me little nuggets of ideas to look up and explore more. 

And then of course, I wanted to know more about Whoopi Goldberg. These days she can be found on The View but she's been through a lot as an actor and it was fascinating to spend some time learning about her. Here's a fascinating episode from OWN and Oprah's Master Class that's called The Hilarious One-Woman Show That Sparked Whoopi Goldberg's Career. Whoopi Goldberg is an awesome example of being who you are. She does what makes sense to her and doesn't listen to what others think of her. 

You know, 
be an actor because you love to act. 
Don't be an actor because 
you think you're going to get famous, 
because that's luck. 
-Whoopi Goldberg

No matter what it is you want to work at, do it because you love it. Not because anyone else is telling you to do it. Not because anything is telling you that you should. Do it because it rings true for you and because you believe in doing it. 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 05/25/2020

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!   It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly ...