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!
I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks and have become ok with that. I feel like it is more important to do so when I feel that inspiration.
Tonight, I found it as I was sitting down to continue to work on my lesson plans for the week. Like every Sunday, I pull out my collection of books highlighting our state studies to haul off to school. This summer, I treated myself to some new ones with some of my Crystal Apple funds. Always love buying books. I bought Trombone Shorty by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews. I read it quickly when I first got it, but reopened it again this evening.
After I finished rereading the story, I proclaimed to my husband how much I love quality children's literature. He was not shocked to hear me profess this for the millionth time!! The story, by musician "Trombone Shorty" or Troy Andrews, tells the childhood story of how he became a musician in the neighborhood of Treme in New Orleans. Troy is truly a gifted musician, picking up the trombone at age 6. The story recalls to how music was always the constant in a neighborhood that had is ups and downs, but was never lacking for the gift of music. Young students can relate as he shares how the neighborhood kids would go out to play at 5 o'clock after completing their homework. He compares the music to gumbo stirring in a pot, a little of this and that coming together.
With most books I read to my class, I particularly enjoy looking for the author's notes at the end of the book. This, of course, did not disappoint. I also did more research to discover that "Trombone Shorty" has started the Trombone Shorty Foundation to support young New Orleans musicians. Talk about a way to give back to your community!
I found this book inspirational for so many reasons. I played the baritone saxophone all through college and was fortunate enough to attend a festival while in college. I wish that I could say it is something I kept up with. My husband and I visited New Orleans several years ago, and I am always hungry to learn more about the city, culture, history, and music. This book opens those doors for my own students.
I am anxious to share tomorrow in class as we will also be enjoying some current performances of "Trombone Shorty."
Music, history and a great book!
wife, mom, teacher, author, history nerd and the lady that carries around a rabbit