Monday, January 30, 2017

Lloyd Alexander


Happy birthday, Lloyd Alexander!

 

High fantasy lovers will enjoy delving into Alexander's five-book series, the Chronicles of Prydain or the Prydain Cycle.  These exciting books appeal more to fourth grades and up.  

 

Born in Pennsylvania on January 30, 1924, Alexander became a prolific write of about 40 books, most of them fantasies for children.  Among his book awards he won the Newbery Award for The High King in 1969 and the National Book Award for The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian in 1971, and again in 1982 for Westmark.  He passed away on May 17, 2007 in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, at age 83.

 

I read The High King, the final book in his Chronicles, to my fourth graders many years ago. The book kept them on the edge of their seats.  There are many characters, so I kept a chart of them to help us keep them straight, adding to it each time a new character was introduced.  This is one of the most suspenseful books I've read.  On this site there is a pronunciation chart of the names and additional interesting information.  

 

The names in the Chronicles of Prydain books are Welsh, so they doesn't make an easy read for a child without strong reading skills.  However, these books are great for reading aloud. If you haven't experienced Lloyd Alexander's writing, I urge you to do so.

Take a visit to Alexander's home, see some delightful photographs of him through the years, and hear him tell about himself and his writing in this wonderful three-part Youtube video

 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sorry, Louis. I missed your birthday.




On January 27th 1832 the third child and first boy was born to a family in England who would later have a total of 11 children. From a young age Charlies Lutwidge Dodgson enjoyed moderate success publishing short stories and poetry in 1856 he began using the pen name Lewis Carroll when he published Solitude a romantic poem. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865. He next published a scholarly mathematical book. Then in 1871 the sequel to Alice Through the Looking-Glass was published. He went on to publish five more literary books to volumes of poetry and a total of 11 mathematical books.

Carroll invented a postage stamp case, a special Writing Tablet called nyctograph, and several games, including an early version of Scrabble. He enjoyed a couple of decades of success as a photographer. He even taught mathematics at Christ Church College in Oxford England after he graduated from there. Lewis Carroll died of pneumonia just about two weeks before what would have been his 66th birthday.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reflect, Appreciate, Eliminate

January 1, 2017 - Today is a great day, before the hurry, flurry, scurry of the new week/new year begins screaming at you tomorrow, to take stock of your life. Reflect on all the parts of your life-home, social, professional, and spiritual. Are you headed in the direction you want to be going in each of the facets that reflect who you are?


As you consider each area of your life, make note of all you blessings, all the positives, and appreciate them.

Now look at the negatives, the disappointments, the time suckers, the Debbie Downers. Whether these are experiences, habits, attitudes, or people, we need to evaluate whether those things can be eliminated.

Of course, some things can't necessarily be changed.  In those cases we can strive to make a better, more positive response to that negative person or experience. Try viewing it from a different perspective.  The avenue of prayers is always open to help us in those cases.

With the things we can change, we need to do so.  Whatever negativity we can eliminate in ours lives translates to a more positive life.  For instance if you've developed the habit of spending too much time surfing Facebook, you could set a timer to remind yourself enough is enough.  You'll probably want to generate a list of positive alternatives. 20 minutes of Facebook; then 20 minutes to clean out a drawer or doing step one of a new craft you've been wanting to try. 

We can easily become overwhelmed by all the negative input we get from all forms of media.  However, we can take some time each day, to create pool of peace around ourselves and our home.  Consider spending some time each day in God's word to help.  Reading 1 chapter of Proverbs each day or 5 Psalms will get you through these books in a month.

I'm praying that you will allow God's peace to minister to you through 2017.


 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Greetings

I made this today for my Secret Santa.

This is the thank-you gift to the person who was my Secret Santa

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A New Wagoneer



I have a new wagon in my wagon train! Wagoneers, welcome Pam who lives in my hometown of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Hope you enjoy the ride with us, Pam, and learn some things along the way.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Graphics

Just had to share the graphic I had made by Thistlegirl Designs.  Ashley McCulloch lives in Scotland and does the cutest graphics.  Check out her blog and graphics shop at the link above.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

More Wonders

A few more things have been finished up around our school building.  There are huge panels upstairs and down with cycles to learn.  You can get a glimpse of the benches that run the length of each display.







Here are a few more of  our life principle words.

 

Workers are busy assembling our playgrounds, one for PreK and one the the rest of the kids.  I'll post pics when they are finished.  They have completed painting the trim on the outside of the building.  I'll post those pics soon too.  

 

I'm so enjoying this amazing school!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My Pancakes Taste Different Today!





If you’re a teacher who likes to do classroom “cooking” related to what your students are reading or a parent who likes to cook with your littles, here’s a book to add to your list.  It’s written by married couple, Heather and Bruce Galpert, and is illustrated by Barbara Cate.

Ethan learns the pancakes he loves to eat are a result of many factors, from rain clouds to wheat farmers to grocery stores.  He also learns that his careless action, meant all in fun, set off a chain reaction of events that negatively impacted even his beloved pancakes.  Fortunately, Ethan conceives and executes a plan to remedy the problem. 

The colorful watercolor illustrations have a childlike quality that support the story well.  At the end of the book there is recipe  that can lead to a tasty follow-up of the story.  This book would be a really good one to keep in mind for Earth Day.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hot off the Presses: Trouble at Plantasy Land

 

Far away from Planet Earth is the enchanted world of Planet Planted.  Its inhabitants include the Rootlets, Kaley, Cornelius, Brocc, Carrotina, and their Yammy Grammy.  These amazing kids not only sprouted from the ground, but they have super powers as well.  It's a good thing they do!  They need them to solve the mystery at Plantasy Land.


It's opening day at Mr. Fungo Fungi's magical amusement park, but something is very wrong.  Is the magician, The Great Zucchini, responsible for the disasters all around Plantasy Land?  The Rootlets are determined to solve the mystery.


Author, Vicki Marquez, is a certified plant-based chef, a health coach, and host of the healthy living cable show, "Nourished."  Her passion of teaching about a healthy lifestyle and her desire  to expand her health education efforts to children lead her to the creation of the Rootlets series.  Trouble at Plantasy Land is the second book in her Rootlets series.

 

Jeremy Russnak's colorful and creative illustrations add to the enjoyment your mystery-loving primary readers will experience with Trouble at Plantasy Land.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

How Three Brothers Saved the Navy

 
How Three Brothers Save the Navy is the third book in the Kare Kids Adventures.  Matt, 12, and his younger brothers Ryan and Jack like to play Force Recon Marines.  Their interest in this game was due to their father being a Captain in the U.S. Navy.  He was currently deployed on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Maryland, the state where they lived.
 
The boys often made "recon missions" to an abandoned airfield near their home.  One day, however, they spotted skydivers using high-altitude military tactics to land on the airfield.  Learning the team was not military and planned to attack a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the boys had to outwit the enemy agents and try to get word of the impending plot to their dad.  The fast action and high tension make this book an exciting read for middle graders.
 
Writer Charles A. Salter has written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, adult mystery and juvenile books, and is new pre-teen series, the Kare Kids Adventures.

 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mysterious Vanishing Place


In the second installment in Charles A. Salter's Kare Kids Adventures series, Kelcie is all grown up.  Her daughter, Charlotte, has inherited her mom's independent spirit and her dad's sensitivity to premonitions.  

 

Charlotte regularly enjoyed a walking trail near her hilltop home.  One day she made two discoveries on her walk, a lost puppy and an area of the forest that seemed to be slowly disappearing.  Somehow the two things were linked and Charlotte was determined to help.  

 

A driving rainstorm puts Charlotte's life in danger as she tries to rescue the pup again, along with another puppy from the same nearby kennel.  Will the messages she left bring help in time?  You'll have to read this nail-biter to find out.

 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bald Rock Island


If you want to guide your kids toward books with strong, independent, responsible  characters, you'll want to share this good book with your middle grade readers.

 

Main character, Kelcie, who's 10, wants to find out what happened to her dad who disappeared while lobstering eight years earlier.   She gets some information from Mr. Bartleby, a friend of her parents, but he warns her about the dangerous Bald Rock area of the island on which they live.  A storm, a dangerous climb, and a rescue take place on Kelcie's quest to find answers.

 

This is an easy read and only 86 pages.  I think your 8-12 year olds will enjoy this adventure.  Stay tuned to the next review in this series.