On the Shoulder of a Giant

Most days I stand on the shoulders of my literacy giants by immersing myself in their IMG_5520written work. Yesterday I was blessed with the opportunity to practically sit in the lap of a favorite giant.  Lucy Calkins was the keynote at this year’s Write Now Conference in North Conway, NH.  Every year Penny Kittle brings some of the greatest giants to her high school for this conference honoring the legacy of Donald Graves. It seems only fitting that one of Graves’ most prolific proteges be a part of this event.

From the minute she began talking I was mesmerized. As she reflected on her work as a teacher of writing she offered such sage words of advice and invitations to inquiry in our own work.  She spoke so tenderly and passionately IMG_5540about the young writers she has mentored. She encouraged us to do the same.  I can’t begin to choose which words to share, so I’ll share the sketchnotes  I captured and let you decide what resonates with you.

It is my hope for all teachers, that they have opportunities like this…to be in the presence of their own giants, and to come away feeling empowered, inspired, and determined to stand on their shoulders and carry on the greatness.

To see the complete album of my sketchnotes click HERE.

What’s on my Book Radar?

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Dan Geimenhart has done it again, he’s created a beautifully crafted story that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster!  In this soon-to-be-classic, young Joseph Johnson has tragically lost everyone he has ever loved.  The only thing he has left in the world is his pony, Sarah.  Now Sarah has been sold away from him illegally. Joseph decides that getting Sarah back is the only thing worth living for, but in the wild west that won’t be easy.  He must face numerous dangers with nature and evil men. Along the way he befriends a Chinese boy who also seems to have lost everything.  Though they cannot speak one another’s language, they find ways to communicate what is in their hearts.  This is a must for all middle level classroom libraries.  Get a copy as soon as you can, and ride along on Joseph’s adventure with him.

2 thoughts on “On the Shoulder of a Giant

  1. Paula, thank you for sharing the recap and sketchnotes of your day with Lucy Calkins. I am once again intrigued with your sketchnotes. I read one of your earlier posts about them. Needless to say, I just hopped on over to Amazon and purchased the book. I’m also eager to read SOME KIND OF COURAGE. I downloaded a sample of it some time ago and read that. Now is sits on my TBR pile of books. ~Amy

    1. It took some practice and a real mindshift to switch my notetaking approach, but I love it so much more now. I actually revisit my notes and can conceptualize ideas so much more. Enjoy Dan’s new book-it is such a “wild ride”!

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