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Well, the first nine weeks of this school year have flown by. I am currently ill with bronchitis and missing my students. Hopefully I will return the day after tomorrow.
So much has happened since I last blogged.
The writing class I’m taking is wonderful and I’m currently reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird for that.
I met author Scott Westerfeld (The Uglies Trilogy) while he was out promoting his new book Leviathan.
I am currently trying to participate as much as I can in the National Novel Writing Month’s Young Writers Program by attempting to write a novel this month. I have slacked today but so far I’m doing well with that (If you could call no plot, no main characters, and no real theme an actual novel!). But the goal with that is OUTPUT so I’m churning out as many words as I can each night.
I’m also trying to start a classroom blog for my students. I was inspired by a coworker. I hope to get that up and running.
Kudos to Nancie Atwell for her New York Times article video rebuttal (to people who sent in negative feedback)that defends the reading/writing workshop! Check it out on the Heinemann website if this following video link doesn’t work:

Nancie Atwell defends the Reading Workshop

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I had the pleasure of seeing author Laura (L.M.) Elliott this evening. Of her many YAL novels, she wrote Under a War Torn Sky and was promoting her new novel (the sequel), A Troubled Peace. Eleven of my students attended which made me very proud. I enticed them with a few read alouds of her novels. I was disappointed there wasn’t a larger turnout…author visits are so special.

The greatest part of the evening for me was catching up with a former student after discovering her brother is currently in my class. I knew that surname looked familiar. =)

Another highlight was when Mrs. Elliott asked for student volunteers to walk through the auditorium aisles displaying the large cardboard posters she brought depicting her research for her historical fiction. I’ll never forget the little boy who walked up and down each aisle s-l-o-w-l-y so each person could see. He smiled the entire time, bursting with pride, and walked down the main aisle backwards when he was returning to his seat, still presenting the poster. All I could think was Vanna White.

Mrs. Elliott spoke from the heart. I kept thinking how proud her father must have been; here she was keeping the stories of the American bombers during WWII alive and captivating young minds.
I also reflected on seeing AVI this time last year, and how, as a first year teacher, I spent a third of my paycheck on his books so I could get them signed for my classroom library. I was excited to see Mrs. Elliott but I felt more like the second-year teacher I am, too, in that I didn’t buy her books tonight because I couldn’t afford them. I do look forward to reading them though! I want to reward my students who attended but I don’t want to give extra credit. I’m thinking of getting some kind of book-related treat–like a cool bookmark or something WWII related. Not sure. Suggestions?

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