Friday, March 12, 2010

Share a Story ~ Shape a Future

Wow...things have been so busy for me lately, which means the blogging has been limited!  I almost missed the opportunity to tell you about a great event that has been taking place this week around the literacy blogosphere!  Share a Story ~ Shape a Future is an annual opportunity to share ideas and encourage each other, as well as hopefully spread the word about the importance of growing and developing children's literacies.  This year's theme is 'It Takes a Village to Raise a Reader'.  Every day a different kidlitosphere blogger hosted a topic.  You can visit each host's blog to see all of the topics and related post.  It has been a great week of sharing ideas and resources!

March 8th: The Many Faces of Reading
Host: Terry Doherty at Scrub-A-Dub-Tub

March 9th: Literacy My Way/Literacy Your Way
Host:Susan Stephenson at The Book Chook

March 10th: Just the Facts: The Non-Fiction Book Hook
Host: Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone

March 11th: Reading Through the Ages:  Old Favs and New Classics
Host: Donalyn Miller at The Book Whisperer

March 12th: Reading for the Next Generation
Host:  Jen Robinson at Jen Robinson's Book Page

Not only have I found some kindred spirits among these posts but also some amazing thinking and resources.  It truly does take every person in a child's life...parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle,  teacher, librarian, and the list goes on...to raise a reader!

** The Share a Story, Shape a Future logo was created by Elizabeth Dulemba, children's book author and illustrator, and SaS/SaF contributor.

Poetry Friday-Countdown to Summer!

Since the start of school this year my class has been enjoying J. Patrick Lewis' Countdown to Summer:  A Poem For Every Day of the School Year.  This book includes a great collection of orginial poems that are sure to make you laugh.  Lewis has included a wide variety of subject matters through the use of various poetic forms including limericks, haikus, riddles, shape poems, and nonsense verse. 

The idea of this book is fabulous if you are a lover of all things summer!   The poems are numbered starting at 180 (I actually started with #175 since that is how many student days we have in my district) and you read one poem a day until you get to 1, suitably titled School's Out!  One of our favorites so far came on Day 164 when we met Barnaby Butterby Bitter III, The Bookaphobic Hippo!  You will be glad to know...as were we...that all it took was one good book to turn Barnaby around! 

While I started the year reading them out loud, I quickly turned that responsibility over to my students by having them sign up for my daily 'Poetry Pause'. You can read more about 'Poetry Pause' in Under the Influence of Language and Literature by Lester Laminack.   Students take turns preparing to read aloud the poem on their assigned day.  Because they have signed up well in advance, they have plenty of time to work on their phrasing and expression.  Unknown words are explored and added to their personal 'Word Collectors' and sometimes their spelling lists. While we look forward to what each new poem will bring...and I'm not just talking about that fact that it brings us one day closer to summer vacation... we also enjoy going back and revisiting poems from earlier in the year too. 

And just for the record...we read Poem 59 today!  Wow...we have a lot to get accomplished in 59 days!

** You can find today's Poetry Friday Round-Up at Becky's Book Reviews.