At the beginning of this month, I put some books on hold at my library. I assumed that these books would be ready in a few weeks because right away they were marked "in transit" to my library. Of course, we know that's not the case, evidenced by my experience last Friday when the book I planned to use wasn't ready and I was left without a book to teach. I recognize my own responsibility in this kerfuffle. Unfortunately, I was getting closer and closer to another deadline for another book. I needed a copy of The Book Thief by tomorrow (Wednesday, June 22) for my tutoring session in the afternoon. The girl I tutor has to read it over the summer, so we decided to work on it together. But the book wasn't there. I had looked in my school's library a couple of times, but the librarian had boxed up a lot of books for the summer. Today, after scrounging through other teachers' rooms looking for the book, I decided to take one last look. Lo and behold, I finally found the book. ELATION! JOY! CELEBRATION! I returned to my room, relieved, and checked my email, getting myself ready for the day. Ah! A message from the Chicago Public Library! A book is ready for me! Click. Heart drops. It's The Book Thief. Ugh.
So the moral of this story, my friends, is there is not moral. And this Universe works in mysterious and sometimes poorly timed ways. And to plan ahead.
Today we'll talk about solving problems, and I may or may not tell this story to the students. I may show them how sometimes what you think is a problem is not a problem if you just wait. And sometimes the waiting is what makes it a problem. I don't know. I'm not sure I want to sully their minds with the nature of adulthood.
Writer's Workshop: Today we're reading another grammar-ish focused book. This book is all about an exclamation point that tries to figure out where he belongs. The students wrote five sentences this morning in their journals (2 with exclamation marks, 2 with question marks, and one with a period). When we shared them, I made the students read them with inflection. I want them to notice how punctuation affects their writing. The book we're reading is called !. Technically, it's called Exclamation Mark, but the cover is just an exclamation mark. A CUTE exclamation mark.
I'm very excited to brag on a couple of students' work on a "sequel" to a book we read last week, The Dark. These students worked to create a follow up story called The Dark is Afraid of the Dark. They are using the style of writing and illustrations to make their own story about Lazlo helping his friend, The Dark. I love their creativity and focus in making this happen. They were kind enough to share it with our class so far. I'm so pleased!
Reader's Workshop: Today we'll be reading the book we were supposed to read yesterday that caused me to make a mistake which eventually led to a perfect lesson in mistake making. Today we'll read about a girl who wants everything to be perfect but it isn't so she gets frustrated. Yesterday's book was an anti-biography and today's is a BIOGRAPHY. FOR SURE. I have grand ambitions that often turn out less impressive or not the way I'd like. Or I try to take on too much and get overwhelmed. Me and this story are buddies. I will use my example from Morning Message about this very blog in order to show students how I connect with the story, but let me tell you, I have plenty of examples, some of them involving something so simple as making breakfast. I am fragile.
What Miss Bolte is Reading: I left American Gods at home today on purpose. I decided I wanted to read some more of the vocabulary book I started reading the first week. It's good information and I have a good feeling that when summer school ends, I'm going to be very unhappy about reading a professional book in my hammock. Perhaps I should set a summer school deadline for this book so I'm not in that predicament!