Today, my husband and I returned from running errands to find this little gem in our mailbox (yes, my kids know where I live). Such a fun surprise from one of my first grade students from this last year. Silas has been very busy!
Earlier in the day, I had been speaking with a retired superintendent from Kansas about writing. His comment was that kids need to be writing all the time. I explained to him, that in my classroom and with my cross-curricular approach, we write a lot. By the time my students leave first grade, they have written a USA atlas on all fifty states, as well as a book on United States history.
I use Moffat as my vehicle for my state studies, with the students referencing powerpoints that I have created with my travel photographs as a reference. The stories they come up with are rather magical. The only hitch is that they must include appropriate references from that state.
With that being said, all of my students went to Build-A-Bear in May after they saved their money as part of our personal financial literacy unit. The students all made their own Moffats and named them. Silas named his Cletus.
Take a moment to look at the fun story that I received today in my mailbox. Thanks Silas for the terrific surprise! It's great work!
August 1st is Colorado Day! As the unscheduled days of summer come to a close, my husband and I enjoyed a peaceful, early morning walk through one of our new, favorite outdoor spaces, Red Rock Canyon. Our goal was to retrace our last hike so that I could photograph Moffat in the quarry for a new Colorado Springs alphabet book. The trails in Red Rock Canyon are substantial and on a weekday morning, fairly empty. We strayed from our intended path and enjoyed new scenery along the way. Next time we want to look at the well-know "Section 16" that I have heard so much about.
I am pondering starting a new Colorado Springs alphabet book. We have truly enjoyed our summer in the city (I was even home for the entire month of July) and have new ideas buzzing through my head. Additionally, I have been inspired by the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum's new exhibit Story of Us done in an alphabetical format. Q is notoriously a tricky letter, so the quarry section of Red Rock Canyon was perfect.
Can't think of a better way to enjoy the start of Colorado Day. Now I need to do some more research and planning!!
Moffat at the top of the Manitou Incline
My kids are very funny...they like to say that my books are "Moffat approved".
In actuality, it is my simple way to keep track of which books are mine from my home library. Moffat's little stickers help me keep track and also remind others when they borrow a book, who it belongs to.
This afternoon (as I am trying to escape the afternoon heat!), I am working on labeling the GIANT pile of new kids' picture books from my students last year. My little "Moffat approved" labels came in the mail and I am very busy. I was quite thrilled at the end of the year, when one of the parents had taken it upon herself to collect money and purchase books off my bottomless Amazon wish list. My book collection is one of my favorite things and it is always growing. My father recently inquired if I have all of them catalogued and the answer is no. I keep waiting for him to come over and use his excellent organization skills to help me out!
Mostly, this collection brings me huge joy because of the doors it opens for my students. I love the new worlds, people, events and places that these books bring. After all, it's all about the story!
For years, my students have been asking me when Moffat's birthday is. As a five or six-year-old, birthdays are a really big thing. I have thought about it for a long time, not knowing what to tell my kids.
The answer came to me very recently while I was organizing pictures. I realized that it was ten years ago this Mother's Day weekend that Moffat took his first family trip to San Francisco. My, then, 9-year-old daughter, carried Moffat around for the entire trip in a backpack.
I have very fond memories of that Mother's Day, enjoying a nice, long walk along the beach of the Pacific Ocean. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch at the Park and Beach Chalet, at the very west end of Golden Gate Park. This trip marked the beginning of many trips that my family would take with Moffat in tow. One reason I enjoyed having Moffat along, was that it gave me the opportunity to photograph the many spectacular settings on our travels without my kids making faces and not wanting mom to take pictures. It also gave me the opportunity to take my travels back to my classroom to share with my students.
I would never have guessed at that time, that Moffat would be alive, and VERY well, ten years later. I am proud of the work that I have done in using him as a teaching tool. To this day, there are over 10,000 pictures of Moffat across the country and a couple hundred students have adopted Moffat at home as part of our extended learning.
Outside of the classroom, it has been a joy to see Moffat being adopted by the next generation of young learners. This weekend, Moffat enjoyed some birthday festivities with some of his younger fans. Life is good when there is homemade birthday cake and sand castle cake to be had. Moffat traveled safely in carseats as he went to the beach and then was later tucked into bed after a long weekend. All the while, he was loved and well cared for. My favorite picture is that of my own daughter, now grown, sharing Moffat with the next generation.
I dream of what Moffat might do in the next ten years. He is something and he is part of the family. Happy 10th birthday Moffat!!
wife, mom, teacher, author, history nerd and the lady that carries around a rabbit