Sunday, May 3, 2009

Surrender Tree, Chosen One, The Wall, Thirteen Reasons Why

Last week was awful at school. The students are shutting down. With less than 25 school days left they are acting crazy. Fighting, horse play, all of which cause injuries. I did get to read some great books this week.
 I ordered and read The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle. It was a great book. One of my students read it and told me how much he liked the poems.
The next book I read was Secret Keeper by Frances Hodgson. This is the story of a young girl waiting with her mother and sister while her father seeks work in America. Forced to live with her uncle she must make some choices that change her family's future. I asked myself if I could be as unselfish as she was.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams reminded me of so many scenes we have seen of religious groups gone bad. I was reminded of Jim Jones as I read this book. I could not put it down and finished it in two hours.
I purchased the book

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis. It was his story of growing up in a communist country after the wall was put up in Berlin. Although he was not in Berlin the stories were similar. It gave me more insight into the Berlin Wall. I have been doing research for my book. I recommend it to Middle School children to teach about life during the cold war.

The last book Iread this week was calld Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. This is the story of young girl who commits suicide then sends out a box of tapes to those who were a part of her story explaining why. I recommend this book to teens and adults alike. There were so many signs in the book that this girl was in trouble. It made me ask myself how often I have seen similar signs and didn't reach out to ask a question.
I am currently four lesson behind on my 2YN (for those new to my blog that means 2 year novel). We had global youth services week. During the week of the 21st our students did service projects. Each grade had their own day. By the end of the week they had logged in over 4000 combined volunteer hours. I had students making baby quilts in my classroom. They sewed them by hand. We have a total of 12 handmade baby quilts. It took a lot out of me but was so worth it. We start our next round of testing. My reading class had a benchmark and oral reading fluency test this last week. The county had a fluency test for all of my reading students that was separate from their other test. We have a test this next week for my English for Speakers of other Languages students. Then there are at least 2 others for our students. All of them fall this month. I am wondering when I am going to be teaching with only 24 days of school left. I am looking forward to the end of the school year. I have at least forty books that I plan on reading and I plan on hitting the writing hard.
This of course will be after my final eye surgery a week after school is out. Until later, keep reading.


  1. So... I feel kinda sorry for teachers at the end of the year.

  2. Thank you. Remember that when we get to the end of the year.