Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What fun I had this afternoon! I worked with two Freshman English groups who had read Graham McNamee's Acceleration for their summer reading requirement. In both groups I had two very verbal boys who had me laughing out loud a number of times. I was delighted to see girls in both groups, who had opinions and comments about the book and the main character's actions as well as questions about secondary characters. Tates Creek High School library is so cool! They have their own little coffee cafe where hot chocolate, coffee, tea, etc. is sold for $1 each. That's where my groups met. They also have a quiet reading area set aside with a rocker and other comfortable seating. Their color scheme is shades of purple and it works great. I could have spent hours in that library and most likely will now that I know how to get there!

Then I drove to the correct mall to see if the china cabinet I like is still on sale. I tried to do that yesterday but went to the wrong mall. After walking around the Fayette Mall Dillards and unable to find the door to the mall hallway I was looking for I asked for help. The salesman was amused but very nice to me when he explained I was in the wrong mall. I couldn't do anything about it then as I need MapQuest directions to get around Lexington still and I had gotten to that mall with directions from downtown where I had picked up my personalized license plate: FNSISU - Finnish sisu! I had directions to get home, but not to Turfland Mall. So I went today and the sale wasn't still on. Guess I will wait and see if they have a Labor Day sale. We bought a dining room table from there on Saturday and I should have just bought the china cabinet as it was 30% off the sale price, just like the table was.

Have a stack of Bearport books next to me, a cool children's non-fiction publisher with titles that will be a real hit with kids in elementary school libraries. Their books are similar to Capstone books in relation to the high quality of the color photographs. I have Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts: Super Bowl XLI, which has really great action shots, in my lap. I was reading through it while watching football last night. The text is not extensive, but that is not the point of these books. They pique the interest of the young reader and/or the resistant/reluctant older reader to get involved in the book, even if it is only reading the pictures and a bit of the text. They also help readers understand the purpose of a table of contents and index. Most of the Bearport titles also include glossaries and all have a link on the Bearport website: www.bearportpublishing.com. My favorite of the titles I have read is Meish Goldfish's Gray Wolves, a title in the America's Animal Comebacks series. The photographs of the wolves are excellent and I love how the text addresses the need for wolves to wean out the weak and old. When we lived in Alaska I saw a wolf in the wild and it was so incredibly beautiful and big! At that point, back in the late 70s and early 80s, they were shooting them from small planes because they were eating dogs off of chains in people's yards. They were not endangered in Alaska but people from the Lower 48 couldn't understand that. Anyway, the bindings on these books are strong and the series cover subjects both in the curriculum and those that interest kids - sports and dinosaurs, etc.

All for today - I should say so, it is almost 7:30. Having a "flexible schedule" just means we work longer hours!