Poetry in Middle School?

Does anyone use Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons
by Nancie Atwell? I want to start introducing poetry and I think what I have seen of this book would help me make great Do-Nows (instead of DOL). However, I can not find a copy anywhere! I can’t afford to spend full-price on the Heinemann site, there are no copies at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and even Half.com is too expensive. But how do I know if it will work for me if I can’t page through it first?! This is what frustrates me about professional books.

So, does anyone have any experience with Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons by Nancie Atwell? How is it? Do you like it? Do you want to get rid of a cheap copy? ;) Thanks!

Princeton Children’s Book Festival/Blogger Meet-up

Save the Date! The Princeton (NJ) library will be holding its annual Children’s Book Festival on September 13.  Check out the list of confirmed list of authors that will be in attendance!  Some of my favorites are Dan Gutman, Wendy Mass, Rebecca Stead, and Sarah Beth Durst.  I will definitely be in attendance- will you?

Still curious?  Here’s a bit more information from the website:

The Princeton Children’s Book Festival is an annual event each September at the Princeton Public Library and the Albert E. Hinds Memorial Plaza.

Our community is one that loves their library and loves books. The Princeton Children’s Book Festival is a celebration of this pairing. This well attended event continues to grow yearly and promises something for everyone. Here you may meet your favorite author or illustrator, listen to them discuss their work, have a book autographed or just have the opportunity to talk to them about their inspiration.

From picture book authors and illustrators to children’s fiction writers, live entertainment for children and their families and many activities throughout the afternoon, The Princeton Children’s Book Festival is an event that should not be missed.

The Princeton Children’s Book Festival is Saturday, September 13, 2008 from 12-5:00 PM.
The Festival will be held at the Princeton Public Library and the Albert E. Hinds Memorial Plaza located at 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542.
For additional information about the Festival please contact Allison Santos.

Liz B. over at A Chair, A Fireplace, & a Tea Cozy suggested a NJ/PA bloggers meet up.  I’m in- are you??  Stay tuned for more details!

Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller

I just finished a fantastic professional book and it’s really inspired me to get moving on my plans for this year. (Well, that and the fact that school starts in 2 weeks!). Debbie Miller’s Teaching with Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practice, Taking Action, K-5 is a must-read for ALL teachers.

This easy read will motivate you to reflect deeply on your teaching practices. More than once I found myself nodding and saying, “Yes!” while reading this book. The workshops that Debbie observes and writes about are the workshops we all want for our classrooms. Instead of basals and scripted programs, Debbie walks us through figuring out our own core beliefs and how to make sure they guide our teaching and interaction with students. The first chapter is called “Picture Perfect: How Does Your Ideal Classroom Look, Sound, and Feel”. Debbie shares with us that by determining our vision of what we want for our kids/classroom at the en of the school year we can set up a classroom that allows that to happen from the beginning. She stresses that the right environment is critical to student learning and achievement.

She continues on with ideas for aligning (best) practices, assessment, and setting up lessons that are in line with our beliefs. And all of this is done in a small, easy to read book! Also, a color insert of classroom pictures is included, and I am still drooling over those rooms! Needless to say, my ideas for classroom decor this year have changed since finishing this book. Definitely get your hands on this before school starts (or even if it already has!) You will not regret it. In fact, I can imagine rereading this every summer just to get recharged and energized for the coming school year

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