Friday, May 20, 2016

School's Out!

Tuesday was the last day for students, but it took me until Thursday afternoon to pack up my room.  Literally pack! Everything in every classroom had to be packed, labeled, put on pallets, and shrink-wrapped.  It will spend the summer in storage while our new building is completed.






Our new building is under construction on the playground in front of our old buildings.  It was supposed to be finished last November, but various delays prevented that.  Now we are hoping it will be ready for us when teachers report August 11.


Here's what it looks like now.

View of the end of the primary building in which my room is/was located.  This building sits at a right angle to the original WPA-built school.  It was new in the '70s.  You can see the new construction in the background.                                                                                                   












Here's an interior shot of the lobby.  This will be the sun to greet us every morning.

Last Saturday we had a farewell reception that was very well attended by Central alumni of all ages.  Here's the commemorative tee shirt .

Check out my previous post for more pictures of the old and new Central.  The new one will be worth the wait!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Birthday Shout-Out to Christopher Paul Curtis!

This gifted writer had a dream for years of being a writer.  For over a decade he worked by day on an automobile assembly line while going to college at night.  He sought out quiet places on his breaks at work to do some writing.

Christopher Paul Curtis wrote out his manuscript for The Watson's Go to Birmingham-1963 in longhand. The year he took off from his job in order to complete this book was time well spent.  This terrific book won both the Newbery and Corretta Scott King Honor Awards as well as the Golden Kite Award.

Grab one of his books and have a good read:

The Mighty Miss Malone 9-12 years

The Boy Who Invented TV 10-12 years

Mr. Chickee's Funny Money 8-12 years

Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission   8-12 years

Bucking the Sarge 12 and up

Bud, Not Buddy  (a Newbery Award winner)  8-12 years

Elijah of Buxton (multiple award winner) 10-12 years








Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy 100, Beverly Clearly!

A good portion of Beverly Cleary's 100 years have been spent writing books children love.  

One hundred years ago today, Beverly Atlee Bunn was born in McMinnville Oregon to a farmer and a teacher.  She lived on their farm near Yam Hill until she was six years old. 

At that time she and her parents moved to Portland.  Her childhood home is still there

The city of Portland, where she worked as a librarian, has honored her beloved characters, Ramona, Henry, and Ribsy by placing them in the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children.

 Mrs. Cleary has won numerous awards for her writing over the years, including two Newbery Honor books and over 35 state awards. 

  Please post which of her books has touched your heart.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Visual Story Maps

My terrific Children's Literature class at ORU put their creative minds to work and created some visual story maps you'll enjoy.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Birthday Boy, Douglas Florian


On this day in 1950 Douglas Florian was born in New York City, where he still resides.  His love of poetry since the fifth grade is evident from more than thirty books of children's poetry he has written and illustrated.  He also creates abstract art.  Click here to see some of his abstract works. 

Click here to see some of his books and some videos about him.   Check out the 53 books listed on Amazon by Florian. His blog is called Florian Cafe.

Happy birthday, Douglas Florian!




Welcome Wagon

Photo courtesy

Hey, Wagoneers!  We have a new set of wheels in our wagon train!!  

Here's a warm wagon train welcome to Kimberley, a teacher candidate at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Virginia

On this day in 1934 a little girl was born who would become a prolific writer of wonderful stories. 

Virginia Hamilton was the granddaughter of Levi Perry, who was brought as a baby by means of the Underground Railroad to Ohio, where Virginia grew up.  Her childhood was filled with wonderful stories told by him and by her parents to Virginia and her four older siblings.  This ignited a desire in her to become a writer and lead to a major in literature and creative writing at the Ohio State University.   

Her dream came true with the 1967 publication of her first book, Zeely.  This was followed by 40 more books in a variety of genre over the years.  Her outstanding writing garnered many, many prestigious awards throughout her career, including the Newbery and three Newbery Honor Awards, Coretta Scott King Award, as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her body of work.

Sadly, Virginia was only 65 when she passed away on February 1, 2002.  Her many books are a tribute to her storytelling gift.  If you haven't yet experienced the magic of a story by Virginia Hamilton, it's high time you did. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Happy 75th Anniversary!

The Caldecott-winning  Make Way for Ducklings, published in 1941,  was written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey.

McCloskey grew up loving music and using his hands to make things.  He planned on being an inventor when he grew up until he became an illustrator for his high school newspaper and fell in love with art.  He won an art scholarship and completed work at an art school in Boston.  On his daily walk through a park to the school he enjoyed seeing the ducks there.  Years later he was hired to paint huge murals in Boston.  He noticed the ducks in Boston’s Public Garden near where he worked.  Their interactions with traffic around the park not only entertained him but showed up in his children’s book.

His illustrations of the ducklings in the book are so lifelike because McCloskey was determined to bring reality to the page.  He purchased some mallard ducklings from a city market and kept them in his studio.  For several weeks he watched and sketched and cleaned up after them.  He let them swim in a bathtub while he sketched them.  He even resorted to giving them a little red wine to slow them down so he could sketch their waddles.

McCloskey captured the everyday sights of Boston’s scenery.  I love his charcoal drawings of city life that add interest to his backgrounds.  It’s good to help your young readers/listeners learn to appreciate his beautiful sepia-toned illustrations since they contrast with modern full-color picture books.

This mallard family, created by Nancy Shön, has called the Boston's Public Garden home since it's installation in 1987.

Click here for a nice audio recording of Make Way for Ducklings.