Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have recently been asked to annotate my thinking about literacy instruction for students in a graduate Literacy class.  I have written my first entry, and although it was about my thoughts about my current and future instruction in literacy, I couldn't help but think about my literacy background, and those who created the literate me. 

My mother is a retired librarian from the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System.  So my first thank you goes out to her, and that system. Some of my fondest memories are of the small village library she worked at while I was growing up.  Walking there after school, flipping thorough the card catalogue.  When I became a mother myself, I brought my children to the same library, my son worked there through high school, and it is the first place I head when I need books for my class.  The inter library loan of the system is enormous, and it has grown with the times, never letting me down when I need an audio book. Thank you mom and B&ECPL!

Both of my grandmothers are readers, so my second thank you goes out to them.  I do not think I have ever seen my mother's mother without a book in her hand or at least within reach.  My mother still brings over bags full of books, and books on CD, and has to replace them each week.  Thank you Grandmas!

Literacy is not just reading, so I have to thank Dr. Mallette, & The Western New York Writing Project for building my writing literacies.  As my professor Barb was tough, did I say tough, I meant TOUGH!  She expected me to write extremely well organized, well thought out, well researched papers.  But she always gave me plenty of chances to earn that A.  If I knew the meaning of transitions, I sure dint know how to use them, until I finished her class.  I also figured out I could write conference proposals from her.  If I wanted that A I had to do it, now I  don't have second thoughts about submitting a proposal, and love helping other to do it too.  As her graduate assistant for NCATE she gave me a chance to write for the school newsletter, giving me confidence as a writer.  As for the Writing Project, well, nothing like writing every day, working in writing groups, being constantly inspired by others, and being told you have a voice all of your own to make you feel like YOU ARE A WRITER. Now I write just to see what I have to say (whether or not anyone is out there listening).  Thank you Writing Project and Dr. Mallette!

Finally I have to thank Theresa and my Start a Scrapbook friends for my digital literacies.  Theresa has always inspired me as a teacher educator (I often ask myself, how would she handle this situation?).  She has an awesome blog, which always has great ideas.  Much of what you see on this blog is non-nonchalantly lifted from her, or I what her blog has led me toward. Many of my SAS friends have awesome blogs about their crafting.  I love reading them, so much so my reader is mostly filled with scrap booking feeds lately.  Each of them take so much care and time explaining how they did what they did, so I can do it too.  Thank you Theresa and SAS friends.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The World's Number 1 Storyteller

Who's that you say?? Roald Dahl! At least that's what Penguin books is telling us.  They are celebrating what would be his 94th birthday (September 13th) with a Reading Dahlathon.  Students who read three Dahl books before December 31st will receive an award certificate, a Roald Dahl play, and the first 1000 will get a medal!!  You can download a calendar full of activities.

I feel a read aloud coming on.  My personal childhood favorite is Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.  I enjoyed it even more than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I loved all the places they visited and things they met!).  Maybe I'll let the kids vote for the first read-aloud.  Which Dahl book would you choose?  If you cant decide use the Buckswashing Book Chooser!

Teachers who have a Dahl event can submit a picture and have a chance at winning $100 for a pizza party.

Speaking of theachers read what his teachers wrote on his reportcard:

His 1931 report card:
"A persistent muddler. Vocabulary negligible, sentences malconstructed. He reminds me of a camel."
And then, in 1932:
"This boy is an indolent and illiterate member of the class."

Can you imagine " Vocabulary negligible" makes me laugh, no, strike that reverse that, makes me cry!