Saturday, May 2, 2015

5 things I loved about this week

1. It's finally grilling weather!
Lately I've had zero motivation to cook dinner when I get home from work. I think it's because I am ready for warm grilling weather and Michigan has been a total punk about that. FINALLY today it was warm and sunny enough for grilling and reading on the patio... or both at the same time.
Grilling and reading weather

2. NCTE proposals accepted!
For the past couple years I have had an inkling of an idea for an NCTE session that I was hoping SOMEONE ELSE would propose because I really wanted answers to a certain question. After scheming with Kevin English at NCTE last November and getting Amy Watkins, Lindsay Grady, and Dave Stuart on board, it looks like we're going to be seeking the answers to this question on our own in a session called Doing More Isn't Doing Better: How to be an English Teacher and Have a Life. If you want something done you gotta do it yourself, amiright? ;)  I'm excited to be presenting with such passionate teachers.

I'll also be presenting in two other sessions, an Ignite session, which I did last year as a last-minute addition and had a blast, as well as another teacher advocacy session with Cathy Fleischer, the professor whose grad class inspired this blog.

3. Canton Book Project books delivered
Celebrate post
On Thursday I visited Amanda Davies in her classroom to give her students copies of The Crossover as part of the Canton Book Project. Amanda's students gave copies of Brown Girl Dreaming to 5th graders in the district this week so I was elated to give these books to some of her deserving students. Amdanda texted me on Friday with two pictures of students she had given the books to with the following message:

3 books delivered. [One boy] actually cheered when I gave him the book. He said it's the first book he's ever owned. [Another boy] looked at the first page and said, "You can write poetry like that?" And then talked about who he's going to incorporate the structures from the book in his own writing.

My response to her?

OK, I am officially crying now.

4. Bearing witness to book love
Last week I had my new friend Victor, who is a rep for Simon and Schuster, visit my classroom and booktalk some of their upcoming YA books as well as some old favorites. He also brought a bunch of books to share with my students, which I then raffled off. Given how much I have struggled this year to motivate kids to read and choose their own books, I was over the moon when all of the kids who won books have been carrying them around from class to class with them this week.
Celebrate post

5. Poetry Month celebrations
Every year I end poetry month with students performing a poem of their own choosing from memory. This year I thought about not doing it just because I'm running out of time with my 8th graders. Based on yesterday's blog post, you can see why I'm glad I didn't abandon this tradition.

Speaking of Poetry Month, check out my post on the NCTE blog from Thursday: Will Poetry Be Done Tomorrow? 

Celebrate This Week was established by Ruth Ayres


  1. Lots of things to celebrate, starting with the weather, Beth, and oh those book love celebrations are the best. I love the story about the boy getting Crossover! I won't be at NCTE, but hope you'll share some secrets about having a life so I can share with my colleagues. Have a great week.

  2. Congratulations on the NCTE presentations - looking forward to hearing about those sessions!

  3. So much here to love. Poetry, books, NCTE and grilling! My husband is maybe going to get to the grill today - yay! I bought to ingredients so we're hoping.