irish i may

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Five Favorites: Books With My Classes this Year

Here are five of my favorite books I have read this year with my 1st-5th grader reading students. Some of these I read with them for the first time, believe it or not.  Old teacher lady can still learn a few things, too!:


I am so glad I chose this Grandfather of kids fantasy to share with my 3rd Graders.  Several of the boys loved it and are now reading the whole series.  The girls not so much so, but you can't please everyone.


I love, love, love Beverly Cleary and now my First Graders do too!


How did I not read this before this year? What a beautiful book.  The Fourth Graders voted and chose this one themselves.  Makes you believe that Jack London was the original Dog Whisperer


Never gets old.


"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked.  "I don't deserve it.  I've never done anything for you.""You have been my friend.  That in itself is a tremendous thing"
Wow. That is the kind of writing that can get you through many a long cold night.  

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Simple Woman's Book Club: February

This is my very first month linking up with The Simple Woman's Book Club.   Its not February any more, of course, but I did read this in February:

The Chronicles of Prydain, Book One:The Book of Three

Lloyd Alexander

I read this book in:
paperback, which you can buy here atAmazon.

My Personal Thoughts on this Book:
Lately, I have not been reading much that isn't for school.  I chose this for the 3rd grade although I had never read it.  I gave the kids a chance to make suggestions and about 85% of them suggested Harry Potter.  Well, that wasn't going to happen, so I went in search of a fantasy alternative.   I was not disappointed in my choice.  The story centers on Taran, a young man of unknown family background who is raised by the ancient wizard, Dalben, and the aging hero, Coll.  Taren is impulsive and self-centered and he longs for adventure away from his day-to-day duties as "assistant Pig-keeper" to the oracular pig, Hen Wen.  One of the first things that made the book enjoyable, especially for the students,  was that you don't have to wait long for the adventures to begin.  Lloyd Alexander created interesting and dimensional characters in an alternate universe based on Welsh mythology.  In many ways he is one of the founders of today's children's fantasy genre.  The book is formal in tone, very well written and CHOCK FULL of vocabulary! Another bonus, aside from the 3rd rate Disney cartoon, by students had never heard of it. Old Miss Betty can still pick 'em!

A Favorite Quote from the book:
"Most of us are called on to perform tasks far beyond what we can do. Our capabilities seldom match our aspirations, and we are often woefully unprepared. To this extent, we are all Assistant Pig-Keepers at heart."

Also, here is a really great quote from Lloyd Alexander perfect for a book club:

"We don't need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They're always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.” 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A January Daybook


Outside my window... cold.  An much improved 23 over Tuesday's high of 9 degrees.  I think our son is just about ready to head back to Dallas where it was all of 47 today.

In the kitchen... homemade minestrone!  

I am reading... Hatchet, The Book of Three Charlotte's Web,  and Amelia Bedelia Bookworm,   During the school year I mostly just read what my students are reading.  Otherwise, sad to say, only the Wall Street Journal before its used to light the  stove.  

I am hoping...that the kids will all have a successful spring semester, and listen for the Holy Spirit's guiding voice as they make decisions.  

I am looking forward to... a hot bath and a good night's sleep.  Something to look forward to every day!

One of my favorite things...the wood-burning stove in our little rental house

A few plans for the rest of the week: My oldest is trying to convince me to get my hair colored (just a semi-permanent rinse) for the first time in my life. So far my resistance holds firm.   Either way we are going for mother daughter trims tomorrow before she heads back up to school.

I am thankful...  For the three big kids home from college

I am wondering... what to read next with the 5th grade.  We have been doing short stories along with their test prep and we just finished A Christmas Carol.  I think I would like something funny.

I am pajamas, again.  I should take this one off my list.

Around the house... still putting up the Christmas things.  We don't start early, but we do go late.

A favorite quote for today... "A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”  Carl Reiner

Thanks as always to The Simple Woman's Daybook for all the fun. Check out other Daybook entries there!