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.

Here are the things I’m celebrate this week:

1) HOCKEY TOURNAMENT – This President’s Day long weekend, I am in Arizona at a hockey tournament with my youngest son.  I find it strange to come from Canada to a desert to play hockey – but this is a huge tournament with teams from all over the US and Canada.  So far we have won both our games so there is a lot of celebrating!  My son is one of the goalies and he played the first game and had 48 shots – and only let in 1 (which was actually kicked in by one of our own players!)  We won the game 4-1!  I was very proud of him – and the team!  Along with the fun we fun we are having, I am celebrating the break I’m having and the beautiful weather.  I left the cold and damp of Vancouver and now basking in the dry 85 degree heat!  Not a bad way to spend the weekend!


Oliver and me in the Arizona desert (a scenic drive between hockey games! He looks taller than me but he is standing on a rock!)

2) PERSUASIVE WRITING – I am working with a group of grade 6 students on persuasive writing.  This particular group of children have not had a lot of explicit instruction in writing forms or techniques.  We began many weeks back with our first practice write on “The Best Season”.  I spent several classes teaching them about the structure and language associated with opinion and persuasion.  We brainstormed, we made plans, we all wrote opening sentences together, we did A LOT leading up to the actual writing.  Results?  Dear, oh dear, oh DEAR!   I hate to say this but they were terrible. Really and truly terrible.  I don’t think I read one piece of writing that would have been above a “C”.  I felt very discouraged.  But on the up side – they could only get better!  So over the next several weeks, we have been continuing the same process with different topics. I call them “practice writes” because they don’t do “good copies” of them.  We wrote another on “The Best Pet” and last week they wrote their opinion of “School Uniforms”.  My celebration?  WOW!  Their writing is getting better and better!  Justin was even able to convince me that hedgehogs are the best pets!    I am so impressed that in just a few short weeks they are able to follow the structure, include persuasive language and back up their opinions with examples.  I told them how proud I was of how much they had all improved!  So I celebrate the power of explicit teaching and the difference it is making!

3) MY BOOK – My new book, Nonfiction Writing Power, book has now been printed!  I have not yet seen it – but my box is being shipped and should be here next week.  My publisher says the printers worked overtime to get the book finished in time for the big reading conference next week in Toronto.  (Read celebration #4!)  The book launch is scheduled for the evening of March 4th at Vancouver Kidsbooks!  Mark your calendars!

4) READING FOR THE LOVE OF IT – I’m celebrating a little ahead of time with this one – but next week I will be heading to Toronto to present at a huge reading conference called “Reading For the Love of It”.  It’s sort of the Canadian Equivalent of the IRA.  The difference is that you have to be invited to present rather than send in a proposal.  My publisher has always said “When you get an invite to Reading For the Love of It” – it means you have arrived”  (I have been waiting 10 years “to arrive”!)    My proposal for the IRA conference in New Orleans had been declined so I was feeling a bit dejected – when I received the invite to present in Toronto.  Yippee!  I have arrived!  I am so excited to be going – the line up of speakers and authors is incredible!  I will be posting more next week from the conference – stay tuned!

5)  CAR ACCIDENT:  On Tuesday morning I witnessed and was involved in the aftermath of a horrific car accident.  It was an unusually cold and frosty morning, resulting in severe black ice on the roads and sidewalks.  My girlfriend and I were out for our early morning run when we saw one car sliding out of control into the oncoming lane and hitting another car head-on.  What followed is a bit of a blur as we ran over to help the people in the cars, one of whom was severely injured.   I won’t describe the details as it is still very difficult for me to talk about.  What made a bad situation worse is that immediately following the accident, other cars began to slide as they turned the corner and tried to stop.  I did what I could to move an already injured person away from the potential of more injury.  What is there to celebrate you may ask?  Many things.  I celebrate that at that moment my girlfriend and I were there to help.  I can’t even think about what could have happened if we were not.  I celebrate my dear friend who screamed at me to get out of the way of another skidding car while I was trying to help the injured woman.  I celebrate the neighbor who came running out with a flashlight and ran up the road to try slow down the other cars.  I celebrate the many police, fire and ambulance drivers who took over the scene.  I celebrate that I went to teach that day and found strength from my dear students.   I celebrate that I am alive.

Thanks for reading my celebrations today.


Filed under Celebration Saturday, persuasive writing

12 responses to “Celebration Saturday

  1. Wow, Adrienne, what a week, & now traveling, which I guess is rather wonderful to take your mind into a very good place, your son’s hockey and beautiful Arizona. I’ve been there more than once & loved it. Congratulations on your book. I actually looked for it at my conference last week, thought it was already out, but now it’s time to celebrate your awesome invitation to this “Reading For The Love of It”-sounds marvelous & you should be so proud! And sounds good about your students; it does take time, & practice, & time. And now you’re already saying they’re better! Finally, oh my, the wreck. It is a blessing you were there, but so dangerous too. I’m glad you’re okay, & your friend too. Awful to experience, & good to celebrate the parts that were good! Have a great desert weekend & best wishes to your son & his team!

    • Thanks, Linda. Yes, it was quite a week. Being here in the beautiful warm desert cheering on my son and his team is proving to be a wonderful break. This time next week, I shall be in the snow and ice of Toronto! But my heart will be warm because I will be surrounded by amazing authors and speakers! Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  2. Oh Adrienne – this post is a bit of a roller coaster of emotions! I was smiling, beaming and close to tears all in the span of the few minutes it took me to read this. Wow. I am celebrating your new book and I marked my calendar! I am celebrating your arrival – although in my world I celebrated the arrival of you long ago! And I am celebrating your amazing teaching skills. But – oh I can’t even imagine that experience Tuesday a.m. On my walk to work I witnessed a man on a bike wipe out and stayed with him until he was able to call for someone to come and get him. But that was nothing like what you experienced. Thank goodness you are safe. What a scary morning.

    • Yes, you will know first hand what that ice was like. Sounds like you, too, were there at the right time to help that biker. Thanks for celebrating with me. You will be receiving a personal invite to the launch – consider this a pre-invite! Wish you could come to Toronto with me!

  3. First of all, I am so envious of the 85 degree weather. We just got 3 more inches of snow – not celebrating! I am so excited about your new book. When I briefly mentioned our persuasive unit on my blog, you left a comment about how I could find some things to help me with those lessons. Looking forward to it. What a scary Tuesday morning for you. I truly think we are “placed” in special places in certain moments. I have no doubt you were meant to be there that day. Hope you have a safe trip back and the hockey tournament was successful!

  4. Yes, I agree that we were meant to be there at that moment to help that morning. Yes, I’m basking in the sunshine this weekend but will be in the snow in Toronto next weekend! You certainly seem to be doing amazing things with your students already with persuasive writing. I have several lessons in my new book so hope you find a few things that you can use! Thanks for sharing in my celebrations this week, Leigh Anne!

  5. What stood out the most…”I celebrate that I am alive.”

    …My heart was pounding as I read about your experience with the accident.

    Congratulations on your new book and being asked to present in Toronto! Exciting!

  6. Ramona

    Nonfiction Writing Power sounds like a great book. Will it be available in the US in March? I wish I could attend the conference, but I love it when blogger friends share their notes and enthusiasm. It’s great to see those students progressing and thanks goodness, you and your friend were close by when the accident occurred. Have fun in AZ and good luck to son and his hockey team.

    • Ramona – Nonfiction Writing Power is available now. It is published by Stenhouse in the US so you should be able to order it through them. The conference was AMAZING and I had an overwhelming response from teachers there. I was also a bit of a groupie myself, lining up for autographs and listening to as many sessions as I could! If you ever have a chance to attend this conference – I highly recommend it! Hopefully I’ll be there again next year. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I can’t believe that the IRA didn’t accept your proposal, that makes no sense. Maybe when they hear about your success and overflowing rooms at the Toronto conference, they’ll realize their mistake. You were awesome! I gave $10 to Alison from Pembroke for the poster you set aside for me. I pray you got it. Awesome presentations! Looking forward to next year.
    Alyson Kirkwood

    • Alyson – thank you so much for leaving me a message! I am so happy that you were able to get the poster and yes, I did get the money you left at Pembroke display. Thanks for your positive feedback and yes, I hope that I get invited back to Toronto next year! I had an amazing time and loved meeting all the wonderful people there! Who needs the IRA when you have RFTLOI! Say hi to your students from me! They are lucky to have you! : )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s