Thursday, October 13, 2005

The weather isn't a whole lot better back here in the islands than it was in Pittsburgh and Philly, just a bit warmer. Actually, a lot warmer! I don't need a jacket down here to stay warm. I'm sitting in front of a fan in a tank top and shorts, but it is blowing moist warm air on me as our air conditioner hasn't been fixed yet. Everything is on island time down here. It hasn't worked for close to two weeks and our landlord came down today and said he is checking into ordering parts! Who knows when they will come in if he does that. Adding to the moist air is the leak in our dining room/kitchen area ceiling. The puddle of water on the floor is not quite as big as it was a few days ago from what Steve says. Oh the joys of living in the islands! :-) But, I am not complaining too loudly as I sat outside this morning while the sun was still trying to shine through the clouds and read for a bit. It was such a delicious feeling to have my feet actually warm, hot in fact, than cold like they were in PA.

I finished reading Donna Jo Napoli's The King of Mulberry Street that I picked up the ARC for at the Random House booth at AASL. It just came out this month and is a great title to add to upper elementary and MS collections. An interesting immigrant tale about Dom, who is put on a ship as a stowaway when he is only 9 years old and figures out how to live on the streets, with the helps of another boy from Napoli. Dom is unique in that he is a Jew, something he needs to hide from his fellow street kids. Such prejudice back then between the different ethnic groups, who live in their own part of the NYC. Italians don't get along with the Irish, etc. Dom becomes street wise quickly and starts his own sandwich selling business on Wall Street where the business men will pay as much for a piece of a good Italian sandwich as what is paid for a whole sandwich in the neighborhood. This novel is based on stories Napoli heard about her own ancestors who came to America at a very young age. Would work well as a read aloud for Social Studies.

The students in my SJSU Literature for ages Birth-6 have been discussing emergent literacy and how important it is to share books with infants, no matter the age, even in the womb. The subject of sign language with little ones came up - a way of communicating before they are able to articulate words. I recently received a Houghton Mifflin book Let's Sign!: Every Baby's Guide to Communicating with Grownups by Kelly Ault. A wonderful book to share with little ones as you teach them basic sign language for "eat" to "sleep". Wish I had had this book when my kids were little as Mic had a speech impediment and I often couldn't understand him. He would have learned and used sign language quickly. We made up our own, but this book would have been a wonderful way to introduce it to both him and his sister, Mary.

Back to grading. I have chats with both of my YA Literature classes tonight.