Poetry Friday: (Golden Shovel) “Dreams”

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I continue to pour over the poems in Nikki Grimes’ book, One Last Word. Ms. Grimes is an amazing poet and the “Golden Shovel” poetry is exquisite. This form of poetry is most difficult to create! A Golden Shovel poem takes a line from an existing poem and transfers each word from that line (called the “striking line”) to your own poem, as the last words in each line of your new creation.

I used “I Leave the Glory Days” by Nikki Grimes as my mentor text. The line I pulled was “The past is a ladder that can help you keep climbing.” Here’s my poem:

Dreams

When I’m stuck, I reach for the

lessons from my past.

I want to live my dreams, but it is

so difficult! Longing for a

new adventure, I climb the ladder

of hope that

someday I can

find the right people to help

me succeed. I’d take you with me, but you

don’t have the same dreams as me. Keep

on your own path. I must keep climbing.

Slice of Life Tuesday: Images From Florida

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Slice of Life Tuesday: Analyzing Books for Awards Season

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Slice of Life Small LogoI love awards season! The Golden Globes hooked me on Sunday and reeled me into the bedroom so I could watch and not bother the other family members. I love the gowns, the tuxes, the speeches — all of it. I have a passion for awards. I now want to see all the movies and TV shows, and hear all the music that won those awards. It’s only natural, I think, to want to continue participating in the “buzz” that surrounds awards.

This is the same feeling I have when I read books that are considered for awards. I read list after list, recommendation after recommendation, to find the books that I consider noteworthy. I share books with my classes. I read books aloud, I talk about books, I show my students how books affect my life. That “buzz” is the passion that led me to take some time in class to teach a Mock Caldecott unit this year.  Wow! What an experience!

My students are actively engaged, in learning! Yes, we are meeting the standards. I can prove it: 6.RL.2.1 (Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what a text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text); 6.RN.2.3 (Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text); 6.RL.2.2 (Determine how a theme or central idea is conveyed through particular details…) Wow! Our experiences matter! caldecott_2017_classtop6

We narrowed the list to six books and we are voting this week. We took the criteria from the ALA/ALSC Caldecott Medal Terms and Criteria. We made lists. We ranked each point: 4 means “absolutely meets criteria”, 3 means “yes, meets criteria”, 2 means “maybe meets criteria”, and 1 means “nope.” (It’s interesting to see the similarities and differences in the two sections/classes, too.)

We will decide a winner on Thursday. Then we will watch on January 23rd as we find out if the real voters for the Caldecott Medal and Honors books will issue the same awards that we did. It’s going to be great! Just like learning should be.

 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

The year 2016 was a whopper! Each day I read the news and comments on social media, and each day I think to myself, “It couldn’t have been that bad.” No, it wasn’t that bad at all.

  1. My close family relatives are alive. This is a big deal to me. Hardships with disease and sickness have become standard in our family, but this year we are all still kicking!
  2. My work situation improved and I still have exciting options for the year ahead. My classes of students are the best, my work team is awesome, and I love being a teacher AND PD teacher leader/facilitator. I added School Librarian to my teaching credentials, which I hope to use in the next year, as well.
  3. My writing life and professional PLN is fantastic! I attended NeRdCampMI this summer and met so many more authors and illustrators, and now I’m “real” friends (instead of virtual friends) with amazing people. I wrote for the Nerdy Book Club and this blog, which makes me feel like I’m finally a writer. I followed my favorite authors, researchers, and educational speakers around the country again, ending up at NCTE’s Annual Conference with so many friends I didn’t even get to spend time with them all! (Seriously, I need longer than 3 days at NCTE — most amazing conference ever!) And last but certainly not least, I had an amazing journey with my wonderful friends/colleagues at #G2Great (Twitter) — My Good-to-Great team is my teaching hope for the future, focusing on KIDS and LITERACY and LEARNING! All my favorite things!

So as I wrap up 2016, I wish you and yours HAPPY HOLIDAYS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I will see you in 2017, strong as ever!

 

Small Business Saturday — Used Book Sale/Spread the Book Love

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In the spirit of Small Business Saturday and the season of giving, I’m hosting a used book sale. My doubles/triples titles need new homes so they can be re-loved by new people! Books are 3 for $5, 5 for $8, or 10 for $15 plus shipping. “Grab bag” fun! Titles not guaranteed; please let me know which age group you prefer: Toddler/Child, School Age/Student, Young Adult, or Adult. Sale ends when quantities run out. Give books for the holidays! (Disclaimer: All books are used, but in good shape! Most books have my name labeled on them, as they were in my classroom at one time or another. Pictures are samples.) All proceeds go to buying new books for my school students. Payment through PayPal. Shipping via US Postal Service (flat rate shipping $3.99). If you’re interested, send me a note at jdsniadecki@gmail.com. pb-pack-sbs2016histfictionpacksbs2016

Happy holidays!

 

Thankful for NCTE16 — There Are No Words!

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Just…amazing! #NCTE16 was everything I hoped it would be, and more! Happy Thanksgiving to all my family, friends, and colleagues! May peace be with you.

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New Books This Weekend: Perspective Improves

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Perspective Improves

No more political talk for this weekend!

These new books…Ah!…making me feel better!

We are studying perspective in class and these will be class favorites come Monday — I’m sure!

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