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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Writer's Workshop - My Favs

Create a list of your top beauty must haves.

For people who know me,
know I have a love for
handbags,
shoes,
earrings,
and necklaces.
And because I'm always wearing these
it's assumed I wear a lot of makeup,

But I don't.

I'm a lipstick and eyeliner girl.
That's it.
Pretty simple.

So Mama Kat's prompt
really got me thinking.
What are my beauty 
must-haves?



Earlier this summer,
I had long hair,
and loved my flat-iron.
My hair,
however,
was not as much of a fan.
This stuff is amazing.
It makes your hair soft,
prevents split ends,
and you'd never know
your hair doesn't like humidity!




A couple of years ago, 
Scott was travelling to SA
and I asked him to pick me up some lip balm.
He came home with Lip Butter instead.
And I have to say,
I love it even more.


Like I said,
I'm a lipstick girl.
Right now, 
MAC's Dare You
is my favourite.



Jamberry Nail wraps
are my latest obsession.
I LOVE these.
I love manicures,
but the polish always starts to peel
within a few days.
These, 
not only last,
but they come in so many amazing
styles, colours and designs. 
They've even started a 
Style Box!

I may be simple in taste 
and beauty products,
but trust me,
when I find something I love
it's amazing!





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The App Generation - Howard Gardner & Katie Davis

I really enjoyed this book.
It wasn't filled with any 
ah-ha moments
and really wasn't anything new.
And to be honest,
there were times it got quite dry.
However, 
the idea and thoughts behind
this made me think
about how I treat 
Facebook and other apps.

Gardner and Davis look at how 
the digital era affects teens
in three areas;
identity, intimacy and imgaination.
They do not say apps are bad,
but show how we've changed with apps,
how today's generation 
is different through apps.

A great example is the idea of 
getting lost.
I remember being lost.
Trying to figure out where I was.
But today,
my iPhone guides me.

Last year,
I had a unit on migration.
With my Grade 2 students,
we discussed what was important to take with us
when we moved.
Photographs were not something
my students thought of,
since they were all on their phones.

But I digress.

The App Generation 
is a good read.
There's no new ideas
but it does make you
think about how our lives have changed.






Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge

I am a huge fan of Cinderella stories.
Actually, 
if am honest,
I'm a huge fan of fairy tales.
So when I heard that Cruel Beauty
was a new twist on
The Beauty & the Beast
I knew I had to give it a read.

I didn't so much read this book
as I did gobble it up!

Nyx is an amazing character.
She is strong-willed,
witty, brave
and,
dare I say,
sarcastic!
She is angry, bitter and fierce.
And she craves to be loved. 
She has spent her whole life 
being prepared to sacrifice her life
and kill a beast. 
Before her birth,
her father made a deal with the Gentle Lord,
the evil ruler/monster
of their kingdom. 
In exchange for allowing his wife
to conceive the twins, 
their father promised one twin
to the Lord in exchange.
But the Lord plays tricks.
He granted the father's wish,
and Nyx and her sister were born.
But he also lost his wife
to childbirth.

Then there is the Gentle Lord,
Ignifex.
For centuries her has terrorized
the kingdom. 
But things are never as they seem.

Cruel Beauty mixes the best of two of my favourite genres;
fairy tales and Greek mythology.
It is cleverly written and hooks you in 
from the start. 
If this is how she debuts,
I cannot wait to read more from this amazing
author. 











Friday, July 25, 2014

The Writing Thief - Ruth Culham

I'm a huge fan of Ruth Culham.
She's written a lot of books about the
6-Traits of Writing.
She's a great resource
for mentor texts. 

And basically,
that's what
The Writing Thief
offers. 

Culham explains how stealing from
authors and books we love
is great when teaching writing. 
She focuses on 
informational, narrative and argument
types of writing.
She explains them in simple terms
and connects the 6-Traits to these 
text types.
With the 6-Traits,
Culham points out
the simple differences
in each text type,
and offers some mentor texts
to support them.

With Ethan having completed 
first and second grade,
and with having taught,
in recent years,
second and third grade,
I found myself making notes in the margin
about which texts I could see myself using
with a specific grade,
or even matching ideas
with a unit.

The Writing Thief
is one of those books
that you're glad you read over the summer
and gets you excited about going back
into the classroom. 



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writer's Workshop - Say What?

Kids Say the Darndest Things......

When Ethan was little
(not that he's all that big now)
he'd say the cutest things.
 I would write them down,
so to never forget.
But as he's gotten older,
I haven't really,
and yet he still says the 
darndest things!

Some examples:

1) On the way home one afternoon;
Me - Ethan, I need to stop at the drug store.
Ethan - Mama! Drugs! Really???
Me - Ethan, I need to stop at the pharmacy on the way home.

2) Ethan lost a tooth the other day;
Me - Do you think the Tooth Fairy knows where to find you?
Ethan - Of course, since she's a parent!
Me - Apparent?
Ethan - No! A Parent! Like a mom or dad!

3) Discussing our peanut-free lunches for camp;
Me - So how about tomorrow I send you with 
a cucumber sandwich, yogurt and a granola bar?
Ethan - Yogurt on my sandwich? Really?
Me - So how about tomorrow I send you with
a cucumber sandwich comma yogurt comma
and a granola bar!

I love how his mind is as warped
and twisted
as mine!





Monday, July 21, 2014

Blood Father - Tessa Dawn

I absoultely love this series.
I cannot recall how I found the first one,
but am so glad I did.
And yet,
somehow,
I missed the release of this one.
But am sooo glad I found it.
I think,
this may also be my favourite
in the series.

Blood Father
begins with the epilogue from
Kagen Silvasi and his brothers,
Nathaniel, Nachari and Marquis,
learn their father is alive
and being held prisoner
in the land of Mhier,
for the last 480 years.
They decide they must try to go
and save him.

Arielle Nightsong is a human
living in Mhier.
She is a healer
and a part of the rebels.

Arielle has a huge heart,
and cares for the prisoner
Keitaro.
The lycan king is cruel
and is determined to make Arielle his.

Being on a different portal,
Kagen does not see the blood moon,
yet when he meets Arielle,
he is drawn to her.

With Arielle's help,
Kagen and his brothers are determined to save
Keitaro 
and bring him back home.

I loved Arielle.
She is a strong woman.
She's a fighter. 
She's been through a lot
and Kagen is extremely 
patient and caring.






Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Book Whisperer - Donalyn Miller

My first year in Zambia,
my teaching partner and I
scoured the server
to find a ton of reading logs.
We went through them all
(they were used by the previous year's teachers)
and found the one we would implement
in our classroom.
By October,
I hated the reading logs.
It felt like I was giving parents homework.
If a student wasn't reading,
I'm sure the parent would tell me.
So what did purpose did the log serve?

Unfortunately,
I was alone.
The following year,
my teaching partner was an avid
book log teacher.
And since we were a small school,
it was hard for her to do something
and not me.

So,
when I read in The Book Whisperer
how the author also has a distaste
for reading logs,
I knew we were kindred spirits!

The book is more or less
her thought process
on how to create a generation of readers.
She has instilled a love of reading in her students.
They don't read books because the curriculum says they should.
They read books they want to,
they share ideas,
thoughts
and recommendations.
It's what I would love my students
to feel about reading.

Miller teaches middle school.
Her methods work great in that setting.
As a second grade teacher,
I'm not sure how much of this I could use
but it was truly inspiring.