My 2018 One Little Word — Venture

OLW2018_Venture

My “One Little Word” for 2018 was VENTURE. As I look back over the year, I found that I ventured out more than I ever thought I would. I took risks and made mistakes; I laughed and I cried. I spent more time thinking and planning, but also “doing” in 2018. As I acted out each day, I found that “venture” was the perfect word to guide me.

I wrote for some new projects and I read 140 books this year. I was a member of another Kwame Alexander launch team – this time for the book, Swing (a wonderful and heart-wrenching book by Kwame and Mary Rand Hess).  I traveled to Michigan (for NerdCampMI), Texas (for #NCTE18), and Illinois (for RSAC) for professional development that proved (once again) to be highlights of my year. My friends and I created a proposal for #NCTE19, too, and I’m excited to see if we are accepted for a session.

I lost a job and found a new one — a relief and a dream all rolled up and presented to me as a gift from God. I love being a middle school librarian, and I am working hard to become a literacy leader in my new school. There’s so much more to come! I was able to keep my primary schools (that I oversee) as well, and that was a blessing.

My family encountered many blessings this year, as well: one engaged child, one college graduate, one college-bound child. I’m going to need to eat right and exercise more to keep up with these girls in the future. Health is an issue, always, so I move forward — setting new goals and tweaking my lifestyle just a little more than the year before. Keep moving! That’s the key going into 2019.

So 2018 was a year of adventures, and it was a fabulous year. I wish each of you Happy New Year and best wishes for 2019!

Now…what should my new OLW be?

IMWAYR: H is For Haiku

HisForHaiku_Rosenberg2018

Amy Losak, Sydell Rosenberg’s daughter, sent me her mother’s work, H Is For Haiku. Amy knows I love poetry and short texts I can read to my middle school students for enjoyment and for study. As I read each A to Z poem, I realized that every one was different, and that some didn’t follow the haiku rules — 3 lines with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 on the second line, and 5 on the third line. As I re-read, I reviewed the note to readers at the beginning of the book:

“…But many haiku writers aren’t so strict about syllable counts or the subject matter, including Syd. What’s most important about writing haiku is to focus on those many small moments we may overlook and make them special.” (Amy Losak, “Dear Reader” page)

When I re-read the poems, I enjoyed the small moments more — connecting some poems to my own life experiences, such as “First Library Card,” “Plunging Downhill,” and “Up and Down the Block.” It turns out that Syd, a teacher, was a rebel — one who broke writing rules — and we middle school teachers love the chaos! 

If you’re up for some poetry, colorful and light illustrations (by artist Sawsan Chalabi, whose work reminds me a little of Dr. Seuss here), and another way to write A to Z texts, check out H is For Haiku. Enjoy your reading time!

(H is For Haiku was published in April, 2018 by Penny Candy Books. All pictures were received from Amy Losak, and under copyright.)

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

 

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, at Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: So Little Time…

With the little time that I have this week, I’m reading…

The New Kid by Jerry Craft

I opened this one just now. It’s a graphic novel, so my middle schoolers will love it, I’m sure. I will use this book to add to my “Fabulous First Lines” list of titles: “This is how I feel every single day of my life, like I’m falling without a parachute. I mean, I’m not really falling. That’s called a metaphor. I learned about them in English.” An English teacher’s dream — students who use the knowledge! The New Kid is due out February, 2019.

 

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

I love the cover! I haven’t started yet, but I liked the jacket description: “Inkling is funny and fizzy and brimming with adventure…”

 

 

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, at Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

IMWAYR: PD Week

This could be a long post, but I am thinking you would be upset, so I won’t list every picture book from my PD session today at #RSAC2018. If you want the list of books we used in the session, please feel free to ask in the comments (or email me) and I’ll help. In the meantime, the books I’m reading this week are:

GAME CHANGER! BOOK ACCESS FOR ALL KIDS by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp

This book IS a Game Changer for teachers and anyone else who wants to get books in the hands of kids! This text is full of the “WHY” and “HOW”, with researched best practices, personal interviews, and stories about helping students have access to books. ALL students!

 

THE THING WITH FEATHERS by McCall Hoyle

I just started, but I already love the storytelling — McCall Hoyle is one of my new favorite authors.

 

 

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, at Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

IMWAYR: My To-Be-Read List Grew After #NCTE18

My TBR list grew exponentially after #NCTE18. It’s amazing to live in the literacy world and I’m honored to meet with authors and illustrators all over the country. It’s a special time to be a reader.

Today I read two new titles (to me) and re-read some Ryan T. Higgins books again to prepare for the upcoming author visit on Saturday. Sunday I travel to the Chicago area again to talk about how “Picture Books are Perfect” in middle school. They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel is one of my favorite picture books to use in these professional development presentations. Another exciting week!

When I Was Eight, by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton  This is the story of an Inuit girl who dreamed that one day she could read like her sister. Through much hard work, far from home, and terrible dealings with the cruel “outsiders,” Olemaun’s determination led her to achieve her dream. I can’t get over the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s Fatty Legs, re-written in this book for children. School Library Journal writes, “This book is a small but powerful reminder of the freedom that literacy brings.” I agree.

 

The Word Collector, by Peter H. Reynolds (The Reynolds brothers closed the NCTE annual conference this year, and the session was marvelous!)  This is the story of a boy who collected words. He learns to use the words to write poems, to make songs, and to share with others. “Words connect, transform, and empower” in this splendid tale.

 

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, at Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

 

#NCTE18: A Love of Learning

NCTE’s annual conference was an amazing awesome adventure! All my friends were there, from all my groups, and I saw almost all of them (for at least a few minutes each) during my stay in Houston. I loved the theme this year, Raising Student Voice; I learned there are many ways to raise student voices, and that we also have a long way to go in literacy education learning and practice. I’m so happy to be a part of this amazing organization.

#G2Great: The Good-to-Great Teaching team — These are my friends and virtual “cousins.” I was thrilled to meet Brent and Amy in person this year. Nice to see you again Jan, Kim, Kathryn, Gerilyn, JoAnne, Dani, Justin, Todd, Travis C., Mary, Valinda, Fran, Margaret, Erica, Jenn, and Jill!

 

Kwame Alexander, Londa Alderink, Carmen Oliver, Jen, and the rest of the SWING Launch Team members in Houston were able to get together for a while. Thanks, Kwame, for continuing to include me in your travel shenanigans.

 

Nerdy Book Club nerds were everywhere in the Hilton Americas lobby. We definitely took Houston by storm! I can’t name all of you because it would take three pages of blogging to type all your names, but I love you all and it was so nice to see you again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author friends: it was nice to see you again and/or meet you for the first time. Travis, Minh, Kylene, Bob, Teri, Penny, Kelly, Colby, Donalyn, Gae, Allison, Jon, Rachel, Laurie, Olivia, Cornelius, Sara, Jonathan, Lester, Katie, Maggie, Kate, Elissa, Linda Sue, Alex, Dan, and Barbara. Wow! Meeting authors is the best way to learn how to spread the “book love” (Thanks, Penny Kittle and the Book Love Foundation).

 

Michael Guevara, I cannot believe it’s been that long since college, but I guess it was. (I’m not that old, though.) Don and Donalyn Miller, thanks for allowing me to crash your lunch. I’m so happy I got to sit with you all and chat.

Kelly Vorhis, you are the best roommate and friend! I can’t believe we don’t have a picture of the two of us. We will remedy that next time.

 

Look for more posts about #NCTE18 this coming week and plan to attend next year, if you can.

P.S.: I love literacy learning!

 

I’m at #NCTE18!

I’ve been reading more than writing lately, which is strange, because my round table session on Friday at 2:00 at #NCTE18 is called “Overcoming the Fear and Seemingly Impossible.” (Stop by Room 320AB) I’ll be talking about FEAR and what I have done to overcome it in regards to writing. But am I still afraid? Yep.

This is my BIG week of learning each year. NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) is my event! I’ll reunite with my #g2great “cousins” and learn with the “#BowTieBoys (I hear the #HairBowGirls will be here next year!). I’ll see some fellow Swing Launch Team members and Kwame Alexander. I’ll hang out with my #NerdyBookClub friends and talk about the National Book Awards (Congratulations, Elizabeth Acevedo for winning the YA Award with The Poet X!).

If you cannot be here, follow my tweets (@jdsniadecki) — I’m sure I’ll be retweeting everything the next 3 days. Reading and writing are so much more fun with friends!