Tag Archives: Lynda Mullaly Hunt

NCTE 2018 Ah-has and Oh-Yeahs

When I can’t attend a conference (and that is most of the time) I like to learn vicariously img_0221.jpgthrough other attendees. I follow hashtags on Twitter, I look at posts of Facebook or Instagram, and I read the blogs of those who share out. I think it is only fair to reciprocate whenever I can. Last week I attended NCTE18 in Houston and tried to tweet out quotes and highlights as well as my sketchnotes. (You can see all of my #NCTE18 sketchnotes HERE)

So what did I take away from this conference (other than dozens of books for my TBR stacks?) Here are some of my Ah-ha’s and Oh-yeah’s in sketchnote form…

Raising Student Voice: What is our Role in Equity and Justice in the Classroom?

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Cornelius Minor gave me lots of food for thought:

Oppression can be pervasive in seemingly innocuous practices that our privilege blinds us to. Open our minds and eyes to how others may feel left out or less-than with the systems we consider ‘normal’.

There is a big difference between DIVERSITY (“all the people are at my table“) and INCLUSIVITY (“I change the rules for all”).  Where do my beliefs and actions fall?

 

 

 

Sharpening the Intervention Lens Through Responsive Conversations

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Dr. Mary Howard always provides me with ample Ah-ha moments and she didn’t disappoint this time.

She challenges us to rethink interventions-that sometimes 1 minute could be the most powerful in a child’s day if we are responsive to their needs.

The best teachers do more writing after teaching than before.

Interventions should be JOYFUL, not PAINFUL.

We can’t TEACH kids we don’t know! Look in their eyes and show them how important they are!

 

Enacting Sustainable Teaching: How Mindfulness, Embodiment, and Literacy Practices Can Help You Stay in the Profession for the Long Haul

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Teaching is one of the few professions that intersects professional and private lives. We need to embrace Sustainable Teaching Practices. The presenters from CSU Writing Project shared some of their research and understanding.

I will definitely be revisiting these ideas in future posts. You can check out their website at https://www.csuwritingproject.net/what-is-sustainable-teaching.html

If we don’t find a sustainable balance between our professional and personal lives, we are destined for burnout and stress-and that doesn’t allow us to be the best teachers, parents, spouses, friends, or family-members we can be.

 

Keepin’ it Real: Authentic Responses to Reading

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I appreciate that each of these panelists (several from Maine) are in the classroom everyday and using these practices.

Though many were not new ideas they offered ideas for rubrics  and reflection that teachers could use in assessing student responses that are more authentic than tests, quizzes, and response logs.

They reminded us that we can’t just assign these approaches, but that we have to explicitly teach students how to use them, and scaffold them as needed. If kids aren’t ‘getting it’ then it is on us to reteach, provide feedback, and model for them.

 

Writers’ Notebooks: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 10.45.25 AMMichelle Haseltine, Linda Urban, and Amy Ludwig VanDerWater are my go-tos when it comes to writers notebooks, so when they were scheduled to present a session I was gobsmacked!

I love the idea that our notebooks are gifts to our future selves. Author Anne Nesbet talked about this in a session I moderated as well. She suggested entries and documents that balance LARGE (world events) with LOCAL (community or personal) to write about.

Also-don’t be intimidated by perfect- be messy and raw. These aren’t published pieces they are an exploration of our heart and soul on paper.  Surprise yourself!

There were more take-aways that I’ll explore in future posts, but these were some sessions that will resonate with me for a long time. Of course, the sessions I presented with others shaped my teaching in profound ways as I prepared, reflected, and practiced more mindfully what I planned to ‘preach’. You can see those presentations here:

https://www.paulabourque.com/ncte-2018

Anytime we plan to teach others, we enhance our own practice and deepen our own understandings. If you have never thought about being a presenter, I would strongly encourage you to try it. You will definitely come away a stronger teacher and more reflective practitioner. Call for NCTE 2019 proposals are open now https://convention.ncte.org/2019-convention/call-for-proposals/

One More Off My TBR Stack!

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SHOUTING AT THE RAIN by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
I have been waiting so long to get my hands on this book and all I can say is that it’s worth the wait!
Lynda Mullaly Hunt actually threw out her first manuscript and started all over with a new setting-Cape Cod and the story poured right out of her heart and onto the page.
We meet Delsie living on the Cape with her Grammy, abandoned by her mother and never knowing her father. Until this summer she has never given the situation much thought, but as some friends rehearse for Annie at the summer playhouse, she realizes she, too, is an orphan. She feels an even keener sense of loss when her best friend, Brandy, chooses a self-centered summer visitor, over their longstanding friendship. Along comes a new kid, Ronan, who is sharing some of the same struggles as Delsie, but handles his frustration in more destructive ways. Together they confront challenges we hope our children never have to weather, and make some discoveries about themselves and what family really means. So glad I finished this on Thanksgiving-a perfect way to celebrate the day!

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My ILA16 Dream Team

Close Writing Book JacketNext weekend is the International Literacy Association (ILA) 2016 Conference. This week, I am gearing up for it. As a self-declared literacy nerd, these conferences are more  like Carnival! Spending time with other educators and authors feeds my soul! I learn so much and fill my teaching toolkit so deeply. Now I am also able to share my passion with others as I present at these conferences as well.

I’ve coalesced a panel that ‘oozes’ passion for writing! They are my ILA16 Dream Team! Our session: Close Writing: Fostering Relationships Between Writers and their Writing will be Sunday morning, July 10 (10:30-11:30) in room 109 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. If you are attending ILA16, I invite you to join us.  If you aren’t I encourage you to check out my team of panelists and if you haven’t read their books, you need to. I guarantee that you are in for such a treat!!

Meet my ILA16 Dream Team

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Caroline Eldridge

I am incredibly lucky to work with so many gifted teachers. Caroline Eldridge is a 2nd grade teacher who is truly a Close Writing mentor for her students.  She and I collaborated a great deal this year as we were working on our National Board Certification and striving to lift her writers to new heights.  We’ll be sharing video clips of Close Writing approaches we have used in her classroom and she’ll share some of her insights on creating a culture of more purposeful writers.

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Jennifer Jacobson

Jennifer Jacobson does it all. She is a writer, teacher, educational consultant, editor, and fantastic speaker. I learned so much from her book No More, “I’m Done!” that helped shape my thinking about what it means to be an independent writer. I have been captivated by her novels Small As An Elephant and Paper Things that deal with tough subjects (abandonment and homelessness) with compassion and honesty. They are beautifully written and need to be experienced! Her Andy Shane series books are must-haves for early chapter book readers. Jennifer knows first-hand the challenges teachers face as they try to support young writers. She seeks to empower teachers and writers to overcome those challenges and she walks the talk!

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Cynthia Lord

Cynthia Lord has been my hero since she penned her first book (and one of my all-time favorites) Rules.  This fellow Mainer has a heart of gold and a head full of beautiful stories.  When you hear her speak you will be enchanted by her soft spoken voice that conveys such fervor for writing. Her books for middle grade readers: Touch BlueHalf a Chance, and A Handful of Stars, will touch you deeply and leave footprints of those characters on your heart. She has an incredible gift for taking small moments and crafting the most meaningful stories and vivid characters. But she can also make you laugh and cheer with her Hot Rod Hamster series of picture books and early readers or encourage young readers to volunteer with her new Shelter Pet Squad series. She is truly a close writer who taps into the stories around her and cultivates a garden from their seeds.

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Lynda Mulally Hunt

 

Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a former teacher who has found a calling as a brilliant writer. Her first two novels need to be in the library of every middle grade classroom. One For the Murphys introduced us to Carley Connors who entered the foster care system feeling hopeless and emerged feeling loved. She broke our hearts and put them back together with greater empathy and compassion. Lynda followed that with Fish in a Tree ,where we met Ally Nickerson whose dyslexia made this bright and creative student feel stupid. I can’t imagine a classroom in this country that doesn’t have an Ally, and Lynda has made it safer for those kiddos to ask for help and easier for teachers and peers to be more empathetic and supportive. Lynda has a gift for creating characters that make us reflect on who we want to be as people and challenges us to be someone’s hero.  Her books have won more awards than I can list on this blog, but the Schneider Family Award from the ALA that she just won pretty much sums up her brilliance and compassion.

So that is my dream team. I could spend a week listening to and learning from these people, but we only have an hour. I hope many of you can join us, and I hope that I will have future opportunities to collaborate with these amazing Close Writers!  If you won’t be at ILA16 I encourage you to check out the works of these authors and be inspired by the power of their words.

What’s On My Book Radar?

26875689nine, ten: A September 11 Story 15 years after that beautifully blue day, several fantastic authors have penned novels exploring Sept. 11. This amazing book by Nora Raleigh Baskin introduces us to 4 children and the varied lives they lived as Americans in the 48 hours leading up to the day that would change us all forever. For those readers who know a lot about the events of Sept. 11th the foreshadowing and references will grip you. For those readers who know very little about 9/11 this book will provide a context for the human story beyond the headlines and facts. Baskin is careful when she considers her audience and doesn’t overwhelm them with horrific details, but she shines a light on the tragedy and the implications for Americans as the world around us changed on that day.Read this book. Share this story. Learn from our history.

 

All the World’s a Stage

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I once had a conversation with Lynda Mullaly Hunt about how and where she gets her ideas for her stories. One thing she said that stuck with me,“Ideas are everywhere.  Sometimes I’m standing in line at the grocery store and I have to write them down.  I hear somebody say something and that triggers an idea… I have receipts and pieces of paper  with ideas and I can use those to help me.”

So yesterday as I am sitting in my doctor’s office, which happens to be located at our local hospital. I was struck by a few snippets of conversations I overheard and it dawned on me that every person here has a story. Most of the time we just live our own story and those around us are the supporting characters or ‘extras’.  But since I’ve been doing the #SOL16, I’ve been tuning in more to the world around me.  So I started jotting down the bits of conversation I was overhearing on the back of my co-pay receipt.  Most were very brief soundbites, as the people were walking down the hall past my waiting area.

What stories could I envision from just those short tastes of conversation?  IMG_5017Some were heartbreaking.  Some were amusing. Some were rather mundane.  Kind of like life!  I’m thinking I’d like to keep a collection of “Eavesdropping Inspirations” from a variety of settings.  What would it sound like in the lunchroom?  The grocery store? The post office? Walmart?!!

I think Shakespeare had something there…

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players:

they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays

many parts.”

What scenes can we script from the players we observe? What stories are waiting to be discovered? What part might we be playing in someone else’s drama?

Beyond Thankful

Since it is the eve of Thanksgiving and there are so many other tasks demanding my attention, my blog this week will be a simple gratitude journal.  I cannot possibly list all that I am thankful for, so I will focus on my time at NCTE in Minneapolis this past week.

I am thankful…

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…That I could bring a colleague.  Andrea made this experience so rich and meaningful.  I am lucky that I have such great teachers to collaborate with. I love my job, and the teachers who make it so rewarding.

 

 

…That I had a “dream team” for my panel presentation on Close Writing.

They each brought incredible insights to their close writing process and showed us that there is no “ONE RIGHT WAY” to be a writer.  Thank you to Sarah Albee, Linda Urban, Lester Laminack, Kate Messner, and Selene Castrovilla.  Andrea and I learned so much from you all.

…That I got to meet the authors who have touched my life so profoundly.

Katherine Applegate brought me to tears with the story of The One and Only Ivan and her latest incredible book Crenshaw. Kate DiCamillo has brought a bit of magic to every story she’s written. I have been a fan since Because of Winn Dixie and haven’t stopped loving her work.  Lynda Mullaly Hunt is the most compassionate author I know and can call friend. Her books One for the Murphys and Fish in a Tree are must-reads for every teacher.  They allow us to see our students in profound ways -and now that I know how much they reflect the heart of this author, they are even more special. And Cynthia Lord is a true gift to kid lit lovers.  Her books Rules, Touch Blue, Half a Chance and  A Handful of Stars bring the stories of ordinary children with very real problems to life for our students in ways that help them know they are not alone-that someone understands.

 

…That I got a chance to connect with those Nerdy Book Club peeps

that feed my soul (and my Amazon cart!) with their passion for kid lit.  Colby Sharp, John Schumacher (Mr. Schu), and Donalyn Miller (the Book Whisperer) have so much energy and knowledge.  It was truly infectious!

…That I learned from some amazing authors and educators at panels and

roundtables.  I tried to take photos, and notes, and sketches as fast and furious as I could at times, and at other times I just ‘absorbed’ the experience and savored the moment.

…and finally I am incredibly thankful for the people at Stenhouse who helped me put my ideas into a book that will be out next month.

To say it was a surreal experience would be the understatement of my life. When I saw the lineup of authors to meet and chat at the Stenhouse booth I was blown away.   I am mindful of the quote,

“To those whom much is given, much is expected.”

I will strive to give back to the degree that I am given, to be humbled and grateful by the experiences I am fortunate to have, and to remember to thank those who have been a light in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

What’s On My Book Radar?

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I was able to get the most recent “True Story” fairy tale adventure from Liesl Shurtliff.  RED: The True Story of Red Riding Hood.  This fantastical tale was my companion for the plane ride home.  I love the twists and turns of re-imagined fairy tales-Liesl has a wonderful way of bringing fresh insights to old and familiar tales.  Look for this book April of 2016!

 

Manuscript Mentors

IMG_1908As I was finishing up the last of the proofreading and edits of my manuscript for Stenhouse (Close Writing: Developing Purposeful Writers in Grades 2-6) I solicited some ideas on Facebook from my author friends: “Calling on all my writer friends for any advice on final edits of a manuscript. Any tips on what works for you would be welcome as I venture into new waters here.”
I hoped to get a response or two.  I was a little overwhelmed with the wonderful advice from so many authors I look up to!

Lynda Mullaly Hunt Set a day aside and read the entire thing out loud. You hear things you don’t hear when he read silently. Good luck!

Franki Sibberson By final edits, I’ve learned that I need to let go and know I can’t do everything I want to do in one piece of writing (even though it is a BIG piece of writing!). So I work to make what I’ve already said the best that it can be instead of thinking of all the things I didn’t say and trying to add those in. If that helps at all!

Cynthia Lord Change the font and print a copy. It will look different enough that your eye will read every word again–if it looks familiar your eyes sometimes read what you think it says, not exactly what it does.

Charlotte Agell I love the Cynthia tip. Different fonts make me THINK differently. They are like the clothing of my words – punk, staid, all-purpose, snazzy…

Lester Laminack I find it helpful to put it aside and write a summary/note to myself what I hope the reader leaves with. Then I read the whole thing with that in mind.

Jennifer Richard O’Grady I tackle the smaller edits, the easier things first. That gives my brain more time to chew on the bigger questions. From time to time stop and savor the moment. Your dedication got you to this stage!

Sarah Albee Do a find/replace for words you suspect you use too much. I’ve horrified myself with this exercise, finding I use certain words way too often. Also search-and-destroy too many semicolons, or whatever your personal perils may be!

Kate Messner When I review copy edits, I take a blank piece of paper to cover up everything beneath the line I’m reading – helps me to slow down. Also, read aloud.

Donalyn Miller Appreciate all of the great advice here. I take a close look at really long sentences to decide if they make sense or need to be revised/shortened for clarity.

Maria Padian Hunt down adverbs. Wherever possible, replace them with stronger verbs that don’t need modifying, or give the character a physical gesture that conveys the meaning you’re after. Same with the verb “to be.”

Lynn Plourde My agent taught me this trick . . . you can delete “that” most of the time (i.e. I didn’t know that she lived in town . . . I didn’t know she lived in town). Btw, since I’m at the final edit stage on my MG novel–I’m savoring all this advice you’re getting, Paula!

Gae Polisner The biggest help is to put it away for a month or three and read it fresh then, but very few of us have the luxury or patience to do so.

Melissa Stewart Highlight your verbs in a different color and make sure ewach one is as strong and precise as it can possibly be.

Meg Frazer Blakemore Give yourself breaks and walk around, even if it’s just around your house.

David Lopez Read it backwards in a mirror, turn around three times and then set it on fire. Laugh with glee.

Ammi-Joan Paquette So many great comments here already! I would just add that it’s not easy, taking the plunge to “let go” and launch your baby out in the world. It’s helpful to remember that you have been diligent, and thoughtful, and thorough–you’ve done your best, and it’s GOOD. That’s why you’ve gotten this far. Once you give it that final read, and make any last changes that jump out, let it go with confidence. It’s ready to fly!

I wanted to save (and savor) their sage advice, not only for thisIMG_2205 project but for all writing moving forward.  They didn’t have to respond, but their passion for writing is so evident when they rush in to support another writing.  And so I am feeling thankful today. Thankful that the final proofread manuscript was sent back to Stenhouse, thankful for those amazing people who work there that will turn my words into a book, and thankful for all those authors who were willing to mentor me on my journey. It has truly taken a village to raise this ‘baby’!

What’s On My Book Radar?

23604418I am so excited that our recent school book fair had Kate Messner’s latest Ranger in Time: Danger in Ancient Rome. This copy is sitting by my bedstand waiting for me to finish this blog, log off, and pick it up!  I think this is such a fun and informative series.  I know the painstakingly careful research Kate does for her books, so I know I will learn something new with each of Ranger’s adventures.  If you haven’t discovered this series yet for yourselves, I encourage you to grab a copy of this and Rescue on the Oregon Trail

nErDcampNNE

IMG_5117This past weekend I attended the most amazing professional development!  Created BY teachers, FOR teachers, WITH teachers this “Unconference” in Biddeford, Maine was tailor made for everyone! Dubbed nErDcamp Northern New England (nErDcampNNE) was inspired by nErDcamp Battle Creek which was created by Colby Sharp

So what was nErDcamp?  From their blog  I found, “nErDcamp is an “unconference” modeled after edcamp but the focus is on literacy. An “unconference” means that participants decide which topics will be explored. During the first half hour we will fill a session board with different topics generated from participants. Participants decide which sessions they wish to attend. You are encouraged to move to another session if you are attending one that isn’t working for you. Some sessions may be led by participants who want to share a strategy, tool or idea that has worked for them (ex: Using Evernote in the classroom). Other sessions may be more like round table discussions in which participants discuss and share ideas on a topic (ex: How to engage reluctant readers).”

I HAD to try this!

The evening before the conference the organizers held a Nerdy Evening with the Authors and Illustrators at a local library.  Children’s book and YA authors from Maine and beyond came to greet children, families, teachers and fans.  Talk about an opportunity to network!  Some authors discussed skyping with our classrooms and connecting via Twitter as ways to reach their young audiences.  They all took time to talk and sign books.

I had the good fortune to meet:

Ed Briant, Kate Egan, Cynthia Lord, Lynn Plourde, Megan Frazer Blakemore, Cathryn Falwell, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, J.E. Thompson, Gail Donovan, Kevin Hawkes, Sashi Kaufman and Lisa Jahn-Clough all in one place!

IMG_5115Having a blast with Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Lynn Plourde and Cynthia Lord.

The next day, I joined educators from around the state (and beyond) to create our own conference.  Susan Dee (incredible Biddeford educator) facilitated the auditorium audience as we chose topics and created a Google Doc for sessions.  People volunteered to facilitate sessions and others to take notes to capture the essence and resources in the discussions.   We all headed off to our assigned rooms and immersed ourselves in rich discussions, abundant resources and tons of tips!  I found myself checking out notes being created in other sessions I wanted to attend, wishing I could clone myself to be in more than one at a time!

IMG_5128Susan Dee, kicking off the event and facilitating the session development

We learned how to motivate ‘striving’ readers and writers, incorporate technology more easily into our classrooms, build our booklist of ‘must haves’, connect with authors, organize better book clubs…and more!

IMG_5145Authors Julie Falatko, Megan Frazer Blakemore and Lynn Plourde facilitated a session on ‘Making Writing Visible’

We took charge of our own learning!  Creating our own professional development with a “tribe” of open minded and supportive educators was so empowering!  We made connections with others that will go far beyond the one day event and it was FREE!!!!

IMG_5164Teachers browsing the incredible amount of freebies the committee organized for attendees.

So if your district, region or state is interested in creating their own edcamp they could post questions or comments on twitter #nErDcampNNE, follow their nErDcampNNE Blog, check out Colby Sharp’s nErDcamp in Michigan or follow Susan and the other nErDcamp team on twitter.

IMG_5168The amazing nErDcampNNE committee:  (front) Cathy Potter, Susan Dee, Mary Lou Shuster, (back)Jennifer Felt, Kate Sullivan, Chris Pirkl, Gigi McAllister, Justin Stygles

What’s on my Book Radar?

9780325050843Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts have put together a superb book that provides us lessons beyond literacy learning in the classroom that will give readers a greater appreciation for the literate the world around us.  Close reading is a real buzz word these days, I would recommend this book for teachers trying to encourage deeper thinking within the “4 corners of the page” and beyond. I think you’ll definitely fall in love with it!

I’ve also got to dive into all the books I had signed at the Nerdy Evening With the Authors!IMG_5252

Autographed books by Kevin Hawkes, Cynthia Lord, Lynn Plourde, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Gail Donovan and Lisa Jahn-Clough

Happy Reading, all you nerds!

The Fire and the Journey

The kindling (experience) has always been there.
The flint (ideas) and stone (desire) were at the ready.
It just required a spark to ignite this blog and bring it to life.
WOOSH!

Attending the NCTE Conference in Boston this weekend provided the perfect spark to bring the smoldering writer in me to a blazing blogger.

Reconnecting with Laura Robb at NCTE 2013.
Reconnecting with Laura Robb at NCTE 2013.

I had the very good fortune to connect again with Laura Robb and she encouraged me to just write.  When she’s not on the road, she disciplines herself to write everyday.  I thought about her dedication to the craft of teaching and her contributions to teachers and felt very inspired.  Laura had faith in me.  I have faith in myself.

Linda Rief
Linda Rief

In another conversation with Linda Rief, she shared, “The biggest tip I can give them (teachers) is to start to write and read for yourself.  So many teachers read, but so many of them don’t write.  It’s hard, and it’s risky, but it’s so valuable because the kids really trust you as a writer, when YOU write.”  I thought about that exchange for quite awhile. I’m one of those teachers who reads prolifically, but not so much with the writing!  Time to change that.

I’ve always been fascinated by writers. I love the backstory of novels and books that I cherish.  Whenever I get an opportunity to hear authors describe their craft, their process, their thinking behind the story I am captivated.  While at NCTE I had several of those opportunities.  I sat in sessions with Kirby Larson (Hattie Big Sky), Barbara O’Connor (Greetings From Nowhere) and Karen Cushman  (Katherine, Called Birdy) as they discussed creating story worlds and the incredible degree to which they research their topics to create accurate portrayals of their characters and setting.

Kirby Larson
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Barbara O’Connor

Creating Story Worlds
Creating Story Worlds
Karen Cushman

I was then treated to a presentation by Jarret Krosoczka (Lunch Lady) who shared his process behind creating his graphic novels and artwork.  We learned here he gets his ideas, how he develops his characters, and how he physically creates his books.   He let us in on some of his personal life and how his experiences and relationships have shaped the author/illustrator he has become. His TED Talk How a Boy Became an Artist is truly inspiring.

Jarrett Krosoczka

But one of my favorite encounters didn’t happen in a convention hall, it happened in the lobby of our hotel.  Meeting up with some other Maine educators, they introducedOne For the Murphys me to Lynda Mullaly Hunt.  My response…”Wait, One For the Murphys”?  I had just finished reading this brilliant book and couldn’t wait to talk with Lynda about why she ended it the way she had and to ask her what the epilogue might have been.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Lynda, a former 3rd grade teacher, was gracious and delightful to talk with.  She introduced me to the characters of Carley and Toni like they were her own children.  She shared her non-conventional writing process, which I encourage you to  ask her about! She inspired me take up the pen and just write!

Lynda Mullaly Hunt

So now, I need to step inside the shoes of a writer.  I need to walk around and get comfortable.  I need to break them in and not fear the blisters or aches.  I need to walk that mile.  I hope you’ll come along with me.  As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu reminds us ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I am ready to begin that journey.

What’s on my Book Radar!

Professionally speaking, I just picked up two books that I am dying to dive into:

Reading in the Wild 55411_9781452268637

I have had the very good fortune to converse on a few occasions  with Donalyn Miller and I must say her passion for books is totally contagious.  Her first book The Book Whisperer has been a staple on this literacy coach’s desk for quite awhile.  I can’t wait to venture into the wild with her to support  a lifelong habit of reading for our students.

I have long been a fan of Harvey (Smokey) Daniels and was so excited to see him speak at NCTE.  The title of his book The Best Kept Teaching Secret pulled me right in!  He demonstrated the power of some of these written conversations during one of our sessions.  I realized immediately the effect of shaping my thinking and not merely reflecting my thinking as I worked with a partner to dialogue about a topic.  Looking forward to implementing these strategies into classrooms and observing the thinking and learning that springs forth.

Hope you all have a safe, restful and reflective Thanksgiving.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson