Daily Archives: February 1, 2014

Celebration Saturday


I’m happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week.

This is my first celebration post but I have MANY things to celebrate this week!

1)  My book is FINISHED!  Nonfiction Writing Power was sent to the printers on Tuesday and is now officially DONE!  Expected release date is sometime next month!   It’s out of my head and soon to be out into the world to begin a life of its own.  It was a LOT of work in a very short time (I only started writing it in July) but I am very proud of this, my 4th book.  My editor and everyone at Pembroke publishing were AMAZING and really supported my journey to get this book finished.   And so the “power series” (which I never intended to write) is now complete.  And THAT is worth celebrating!

NFWP cover

2)  Family Literacy Day Celebration – Last Sunday, I was honored to be invited by my dear friend, Carrie Gelson, to join her family and several other Vancouver teachers who are “making a difference in literacy” in our school district to attend a Vancouver Canucks hockey game in the “Sedin Suite” – the box seats of Canuck twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin.   The Sedin families do a lot to support Family Literacy in the city so they wanted to give back to the community in some way.   We had an AMAZING time watching the game from their suite and were treated to a visit from BOTH players.  T-shirts, hand shakes and photos – it was a THRILL for all of us.  And the Canucks won the game!  Thank you Carrie and thank you Sedin families for all you are doing to support Literacy in the Vancouver.

hockey family

3) Mid Terms are FINISHED!  Both my boys have been knee deep in mid year exams this past week but we are celebrating that they are finished (with the exception of one!) and can relax and enjoy a little free time!  I am proud of how hard they both studied and got through!

4) Trip to Calgary – I had a bad stomach virus that hit me hard on Wednesday night – not much to celebrate I know – but it didn’t last long – thank goodness.  And I was still able to fly to Calgary late Thursday (although still feeling a little weak!) to give a Writing Power workshop to a wonderful group of keen teachers from several schools hosted at Huntington Hills Elementary School on Friday.  It was -17 in Calgary but my flight was on time – which is always something to celebrate when you travel in winter!  Thanks to Vice Principal Christine McCrory and the rest of the Huntington staff for having me back in their school and for the delicious chicken noodle soup and authentic key lime pie!

5) Book Club – Last week was book club and I so look forward to these monthly gatherings with this amazing group of women (many teachers) who have been meeting together for over 12 years now.  Spending the evening with great wine, great conversations about great books is always a celebration for me.  Our discussion was on our most recent read:  The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.  There were mixed reviews – many enjoyed the time period of New York in the 1920’s and 30’s but, like me, enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book better than the end, where the author seemed to throw in too many references to important events.   This month’s book is Emancipation Day by  Canadian writer Wayne Grady which I have not yet started.  I am anticipating the pressure of being “next pick” and will be making the choice for next month’s book.  With so many on my list that I will have trouble narrowing it down to one!

The Chaperone          Emancipation Day

6) Lit Circles – I am working with a wonderful group of grade 7’s at my school this term on Literature circles.  I selected 5 books focusing on a theme of children in slavery –  all at various reading levels.  I am so enjoying the reflective and meaningful discussions the students are having around these books.  They are asking thoughtful questions and making deep connections and I’m impressed with the level in which they are demonstrating their understanding.  It is a pleasure to sit around a table with these deep thinkers!  And to think that when I first started teaching I used to assign comprehension questions for each chapter!

Here are the five books we are reading for this Lit Circle theme:

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story     Iqbal    Bitter Chocolate    I Am a Taxi    The Garbage King

7) New Picture Book – My sister, Alison Gear, an Early Learning Coordinator in Haida Gwaii, B.C., got the good news that the picture book she helped to create, Taan’s Moons (Taan means bear in the Haida language),  will be published and released next fall!  This book was a 3 month art project involving Kindergarten (some mixed Grade1/2) classes of all six elementary schools on Haida Gwaii, inspired by a poem my sister wrote as one way of sharing a version of the Haida Moon cycle with Kindergarten students. The felt artwork illustrations used for the book and created by the students and local educator and artist Kiki van der Heiden will be on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery this spring.  You can see the complete amazing journey of this creative collaboration here: http://www.kikivanderheiden.com/taans-moons.html  (I’m very proud of my big sis!)
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It’s been an amazing week and I’m very grateful for everything.   What are you celebrating this week?


Filed under Celebration Saturday, Literature Circles