Monthly Archives: August 2014

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – Revisiting My Childhood Friends


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

One of the jobs on my summer “to do” list was to sort through my boxes and bins of books.  Now this job could have been done in a much more timely manner had it not been for the fact that every book I touched – I wanted to read!!!   But when I opened a box and discovered a collection of books from my childhood – I was done!  For the next several hours, days, weeks now I have been revisiting these moments of my childhood through the pages of these books.  Though the pages are browning and the covers tattered, the words and stories are a nostalgic smorgasbord for my soul.   Here is a glimpse into my childhood library:

       Family Stories


Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingles Wilder

My dad bought me my very first book when I had the chicken pox in grade 4 – Little House on The Prairie.  From the moment I started reading about Laura, Carrie, Mary, Ma, Pa, Mrs. Beadle and the dreaded Nellie Olsen and their life in Walnut Grove I was hooked.  I read every book in the series at least twice, living through the days, seasons and years with this beloved family.


All of A Kind Family – Sydney Taylor

The adventures of 5 sisters from a  Jewish family growing up in New York’s Lower East Side at the turn of the century.   I remember lying in bed reading about these girls, visualizing their house, Mama’s front parlor, Papa’s peddler shop, bags of penny candy from the candy store, playing “hide the button” in the parlor.  I also learned a lot about the Jewish faith and traditions reading these books. 

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Betsy Books Carolyn Haywood

I got a bit teary when I pulled these two books out of the box.  Betsy, Billy, their family, their school friends and Mr. Kirkpatrick, the policeman – I loved them all.

Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren

Even though Tommy and Annika’s neighbor Pippi did not have a family of her own, I remember with fondness her crazy red hair, striped socks, nameless white horse (did that horse have a name?) and her monkey Mr. Neilson.  Quirky and fun!

Bear Stories


Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit and dear Christopher Robin were so very dear to me.  There was a gentleness about the Hundred Acre woods that brought me quiet joy.


Teddy Robinson – Joan G. Robinson

My mum was born in England so we were brought up with her British influence on our book choices.  Teddy Robinson was one such book she bought me back from England.  I remember his birthday party, his trip to the hospital and his play at the seaside, but most of all I remember his little rhymes he always said.

A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond


The story of a little bear in a blue duffle coat left at Paddington Train station with a sign that reads “Please Look After This Bear” – who could resist it?


Rupert Bear 

Every Christmas, my Auntie Joan sent me a Rupert Annual from England.  I loved reading the adventures of this little white bear with his red jumper and yellow scarf.  It was, come to think of it, my first experience with a graphic novel as the stories were told in comic strip format.

Mystery Stories


Encyclopedia Brown – Boy Detective – Donald J. Sobol

I was TOTALLY hooked on this series of a boy detective who set up a dedective agency in his yard and solved the mysteries of his neighbourhood.  I loved that the answer to the mystery was in a little square text box at the back of the book – I did my best not to peek before I finished the chapter!


Nancy Drew – Carolyn Keene

When I was younger I would lie awake and dream that I turned into Nancy Drew – Teenage detective using her courage and savy detective skill to solve mysterious happenings! 


The Secret of Spiggy Holes – Enid Blyton

Another mystery series from the UK. This one was my favorite!  Mike, Peggy, Nora and their friend Jack go exploring in the caves on the beach and discover a prince being held captive in an old house!  Exciting stuff!

Magical  Stories

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Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Janson
I was completely mesmorized by these whimsical little stories and creatures – centered around the Hobgoblin’s magical hat.  My favorite memory of this book was the chapter about the eggshells turning into clouds that the Moomins flew around on.  I also remember being a bit scared of the hattifatters!

Twig – Elizabeth Orton Jones

Twig is a story of little girl who turns an upside down tomato can into a house for a fairy.   With a little magic from Elf, she shrinks, lives in the can with Elf and drinks water out of a bottle cap. I know this does not sound very exciting – but I think I read this book more than any other.  I loved the imaginary and the magic.  Charming illustrations too.

Stories of Naughty Children


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My Naughty Little Sister  – Dorothy Edwards

Oh, how I loved these books as a child and then enjoyed them all over again when I read them to my boys when they were little.  This naughty girl, younger sister to the narrator, is stubborn, greedy, and full of mischief. She tries to cut off the cat’s tail; she bites Santa’s hand; and she and Bad Harry eat all the pudding at Harry’s party.  Shirley Hughes’s illustrations are delightful. 

The Children on Trouble Maker Street – Astrid Lindgren

Lotta and her older brother and sister Jonas and Maria brought me so much laughter as they hung pancakes on a tree, pretending they were leaves, put meatballs down the chimney and stuck salami on the train window.

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The Naughtiest Girl and St. Clare’sEnid Blyton

Long before Hogwarts, I was reading about girls in boarding schools getting into trouble!

Thanks for stopping by this week.  I enjoyed sharing these childhood treasures.  I’d love to hear about some of your favorite childhood books!







Filed under It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! – Great New titles!


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

Lots of great new picture books are coming out in time for starting school.  (Sadly my school district is still on strike so I’m not sure if we WILL be starting school!)   If you already checked out my recent  10 for 10 post – you may recognize a few titles that I featured there.


Okay to Make Mistakes – Todd Parr

What can I say?  I love Todd Parr.  I love his simple, poignant messages; his bright, bold, colorful signature illustrations.  In his latest feel-good book – Todd encourages kids to embrace those everyday mistakes – spilling, coloring outside the lines, dropping.  Once again, Todd Parr makes us feel good about ourselves, despite the mistakes we sometimes make.  A perfect book for making connections with a primary class.

Here’s Todd talking about his new book:[/embed]  


What If? – Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne is a master story teller – and I am always excited to see a new release by this author.  What If…? is a story of a young boy, Joe, who experiences some anxiety about going to a party and being left there without his mother.  “What if I don’t know anybody?”  “What if nobody talks to me?”  What if I don’t like the food?   On the way to the party, Joe’s imagination gets the better of him as he begins to imagine many frightening possibilities.  I really like the way Anthony Browne’s surrealist illustrations and often sparse text weave together and allow room for thinking.  A perfect book for inferring but also one I know  many children who have felt apprehensive about a new experience will make connections to.

The Boy on the Page

The Boy on the Page – Peter Carnavas

Peter Carnavas is an Australian songwriter, author and illustrator.  His new book, The Boy on the Page, is a simple, yet profound book (my favorite kind!) that asks the eternal question: What am I here?”  It begins with a small boy landing on a blank page.  Slowly, as you turn the pages, he begins to discover new and surprising things.  We can infer that this is similar to a new life – at first there is nothing, but then life begins to appear as we grow and discover the world around us.  A perfect book for younger students to think about their own life “story” and the question “why are we here?”  This book leaves lots of room for interpretation and would certainly be a great one to inspire “deep thinking” for younger students.  I can’t wait to read this to my class!

You can watch Peter Carnavas sing about the book at his book launch here:

Or read about the book on his website here:

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The Thingy Thing series – By Chris Raschka

I was DELIGHTED to discover this new series by one of my all time favorite author/illustrators – Chris Raschka!  The “Thingy Thing” series is theme based:  Cowy Cow’s theme is “feeling smart”; Crabby Crab explores “feeling grumpy”; Whaley Whale is about “hide and seek”; Lamby Lamb is “getting dressed”.  Chris Raschka uses humor through is sparse text and trademark brush-strokes to tell his story.  Delightful, interactive read-alouds for your younger students.  My favorite is Lamby Lamb – where a little reverse psychology is used to get lamb dressed!

The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library – Kazumo Kohara

The Midnight Library is only open at night.  It is run by a little girl and her three owl assistants who spend their time helping the animal patrons each find “the perfect book”.  Despite the challenging requests, they manage to find a book for everyone!  I always love books that focus on libraries and this is a sweet imaginary story that will be a perfect library read-aloud for younger students.  I was particularly fond of the woodblock illustrations, reminiscent of Nikki McClure’s work.

Chicken Clicking

Chicken Clicking – Jeanne Willis

While this book looks like it is one for the primary classroom, its content and subject is definitely one I am going to use with slightly older students when we practice inferring.  In this extraordinary play on “chicken little” – readers are introduced to the dangers of exploring on the internet and connecting to a new “friend”.  This book has an ending that leaves readers saying “What?  That’s it???”   This book is clever with an important message that I know will stimulate some worthwhile classroom discussions about online safety.   A great one to recommend to parents as well!

If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers

If…A Mind Bending New View of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers   – David Smith

This book is Fantastic!  AMAZING!  It is a book that helps children (and adults!) understand the concept of scale.  In a similar he used in his book If the World Were a Village, David Smith’s takes large concepts that are sometimes hard to wrap your brain around and scales them down by using comparisons that young readers will connect with.  “If the solar system was laid out on a football field and the sun was a grapefruit” – a great book for visualizing!  Other concepts Smith looks at are the size of the universe, ocean, and continents, history of the world, economics and food.  My only criticism is the jump from inches to cm – which could be confusing.  But I can see SO many uses for linking this book to many subject areas – including science and math.  The illustrations are wonderful!

the girl cover

The Girl Who Writes – Richard Cole and K. Jane Watt

Last summer, I focused one of my posts on a new book sent to me by a local author/illustrator team Richard Cole and K. Jane Watt called The Boy Who Paints.  (You can read that post here) The same collaborative team has just published their second book entitled The Girl Who Writes.  While the first book focused on the journey of discovery of a young artist, this book focuses on the journey of a young girl who dreams of becoming a writer.  For any of you out there who are writers or aspiring writers or dreaming about writing – you MUST read this book!  It is truly a gift and I felt as though it was written about me.  This book is about perseverance, passion, imagination, stories that surround us, the reading-writing connection, word choice, self confidence, beauty, life, wonder – this book has it ALL!  This is a book makes me want to shout, dance, cry, laugh – but most of all this book makes me want to WRITE!  I LOVE THIS BOOK!

OK – I’ve calmed down now.

There are my picks for the week!  Thanks for stopping by!   Please leave me a note to let me know which book caught your eye!


Filed under Connect, It's Monday, New Books, Picture Book, Reading Power, What Are You Reading?

Celebration Saturday – Remembering Robin Williams

I’m happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week(s).
” O Captain, my Captain. Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain my Captain”

       – John Keating  (played by Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society – 1989)

robin william

Today I celebrate the life of Robin Williams, who tragically passed away earlier this week.  He brought joy and laughter to thousands of people over generations and leaves behind an amazing legacy of talent.  To some, he was an extraordinary comedian; to others a gifted actor; still others would consider him a compassionate humanitarian.  But to me he will always be John Keating, newly appointed English teacher at Welton Academy; a teacher I have spent my entire career aspiring to be.

We often hear of actors talk about “the role that changed my life”.  Robin Williams’s role as John Keating in the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society, in fact, changed MY  life, both professionally and personally.  I was a first year teacher in 1989 when I sat down in a seat at the Dunbar theater in Vancouver one evening with my best friend Cheryl  to watch a new movie, staring Williams, about a teacher in a private boys school.  Little did I know that that experience would impact my life and my teaching career more than any experience since.

The movie moved me, inspired me, transformed me like no other.  Since that first viewing,  I have watched it perhaps a dozen more times. I have watched it alone, with my cat, my mum, dad, my sisters, my husband and my boys.  I have laughed when Dalton answers a phone during a school assembly, claiming God was on the other line.  I have wept when Mr. Keeting comes into the classroom to collect his personals and the boys honor him by standing on their desks and call “O Captain, my Captain”.     I started a Dead Poets quote book and have been collecting quotes ever since.  My sister bought me a Carpe Diem t-shirt the year the movie came out and I still have it.  I have a collection of Walt Whitman poetry permanently beside my bed.  Whenever I hear Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, I visualize boys kicking soccer balls while reciting poetry.  When anyone asks me what my favorite movie of all time is, without hesitation, I reply, “Dead Poets Society”.

Now one could argue that my post this week is not really about Robin Williams – but more about a movie. Once could also argue that any actor could have played the role of John Keating. But to me, Robin Williams WAS and always will be John Keating – a teacher with an extraordinary gift. Keating taught with passion and joy. He was the teacher who invited every student to stand on their desk because he wanted them to see the world differently; a teacher who made a class of adolescent boys grow to love poetry and literature because he made it come alive for them; a teacher who inspired, encouraged, challenged, celebrated, respected, and loved his students.  A teacher I wanted to be.

Mr. Keating was not a conventional teacher.  In the private boys school in 1959 he was seen as a bit of a rebel.  He did not follow the prescribed curriculum as it was laid out.  It was not enough for him to simply assign and assess his way through the English textbook, rating poems on the Pritchard scale.  He was creative and innovative and his lessons caused both his students and colleagues to often raise their eyebrows and question his motives.  But through his unconventional teaching style, he breathed life into the minds and hearts of his students.

Directly from my Dead Poets Quote Book, here are a few examples:

He taught them the power of words:

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world”

He taught them see the world differently:

(Standing on his desk) “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”

He made them laugh:

“Language was developed for one endeavor boys, and that is – to woo women.” 

He taught them to appreciate the beauty of poetry:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.”  


Long before Reading Power, John Keating was teaching his students to think:

“When you read, don’t just consider what the author thinks, consider what you think”

Long before Writing Power, John Keating was teaching his students about triple scoop words:

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose.

He encouraged them to be individuals:

Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go, “that’s baaaaad.” Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

He encouraged them to make their mark in the world:

To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

He inspired them to find their passion:

“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”

The movie, ironically, ends in a tragedy for which Robin Williams’s character is ultimately held responsible.  But I do not wish to dwell on the sad ending of the movie or the sad ending of Robin Williams’s life.  Today I am focusing on the extraordinary impact that this one movie and one actor had on this beginning teacher.  Because of Robin Williams’s brilliant performance in Dead Poets Society,  I am a more passionate teacher, a deeper thinker, a better writer.  Over the years since watching that movie, I have tried to find my own passion, to live life to the fullest, to “seize the day”, to make my life extraordinary, to “contribute a verse to the powerful play”.  I have been teaching for over 20 years, striving every day to be like John Keating – teaching my students not only how to read and write but to love words, to nurture ideas, to think deeply, to find their passion and make their mark in the world.

Today, I celebrate, honour and give thanks for the exceptional life of comedian and actor Robin Williams and his brilliant portrayal of a young teacher named John Keating – the “captain” who changed my life.


Filed under Celebration Saturday

Picture Books – 10 for 10 (2014)

I am excited to be participating in the Picture Book 10 for 10 event for the second time!  This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning

Choosing only 10 picture books is a huge challenge for me as there are SO many amazing new ones to chose from.  Last year I focused on new books that can be used for Reading Power – 2 books for each of the 5 Reading Power strategies:  Connect, Question, Visualize, Infer and Transform.  (You can check out my 10 for 10 2013 post here) The response was very positive, so I have decided to continue this trend.   Below are my favorite 10 picture books from 2014 that could be added to your reading power collections.


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It’s OKAY to Make Mistakes – Todd Parr   

I love Todd Parr books – they are bright, colorful and positive and perfect read-alouds for  younger students.  In this new book, he reassures children that mistakes are okay – from spilling milk to coloring outside the lines – children will make connections with every page!

What If…? –  Anthony Browne                                                                                                                                                                                             

Anthony Browne is an amazing author/illustrator and I was excited to see this brand new book on display in my favorite book store.  In this story, he focuses on the anxieties of a young boy who is on his way to a party. His mum is taking him but not staying with him – What if I don’t know anyone? What if nobody talks to me?  What if I don’t like the food?  While walking to the party, his imagination begins to take over and in classic Anthony Browne surrealist style – his illustrations lead us through some of his scary thoughts.  It all turns out in the end, reminding us that our imaginations can be scarier than our world.  I loved the firm, reassuring mother who helps the boy overcome his fears.  A perfect book for any child who has found themselves feeling anxious about a new experience.


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Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

There is so much to love about this book – the adorable characters, the detailed illustrations, the epic adventure and the slightly surprising ending.  After breaking their mother’s favorite blue shell, rather than telling her, the three siblings set off to try to find a replacement shell!   This is a delightful book – from the first page to the very last and I know that younger students will be filled with questions about just what will become of these delightful bears and if they will ever find that perfect blue shell.

Norman, Speak!  by Caroline Adderson

This is a wonderful and thought provoking book that invites a lot of questions.  When a family adopts a dog from an animal shelter, they quickly discover he doesn’t understand even simple commands like “sit” or “come”.  The family (and the reader) conclude that their new dog (who they name Norman) is not very smart but he is friendly and lovable.  During a chance encounter at a park, the family discovers that Norman understands Chinese and that is why he has not been able to follow their commands.  The family starts taking Chinese lessons so that they can communicate with their beloved dog.  There is so much to love about this book – and many important messages about language and communicating.  The book is long but a perfect read-aloud for grades 3-5. 


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Following Papa’s Song – Gianna Marino

I LOVE this book!  The stunning illustrations are amazing and I loved how the fictional story weaves in many scientific facts about whales and migration.   I considered including this as a book for Questioning but after several reads, I realized that the magic of the book lies with the images created by the journey these whales take through the depths of the ocean.  Lovely images to invite visualizing:  “…through the liquid light and deep into the mysterious black”    A wonderful book to launch a unit on whales and an anchor book for an art lesson for students to capture some of the images they visualized.

Hi, Koo! – A Year of Seasons – Jon Muth

reach down with dripping fingers
will they touch the ground?

What is not to love about this book?   Jon Muth is one of my favorite writer/illustrators.  I adore his soft watercolor pallet of colors and his gentle words.  This book is a charming collection of haiku poems to celebrate the seasons.  From careful observations of nature to insightful moments to nudge our thinking , I love every corner of this book.   Because haiku poems are short, I find they lend themselves well to capturing single visual images.  Try giving one haiku poem from this book to a group of students and inviting them each to create a visual picture.  The results will amaze you!


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Quest – AaronBecker

I use wordless picture books to help scaffold the strategy of inferring with my students.  Last summer, Aaron Becker’s breath-taking book Journey had just been released and was included on my top 10 picture books of last year.  (It went on to receive a Caldecott honor last year!)  My students spent HOURS pouring over the illustrations in that book and inferring endlessly!   So I just couldn’t resist including his new book Quest on my list this year. It’s hard to believe that Aaron Becker could match the magic he created in his first book, but I thought this one was even more magical!  It follows the same characters from Journey as they begin a quest to rescue a king and his kingdom from darkness. The illustrations are, once again, stunning.  Readers will be captivated and have endless opportunities to infer and practice creative problem solving.  This book is MAGIC!

Flashlight – Lizi Boyd

Another unique, magical book takes readers through a dark forest with a flashlight.  What magic hides in the darkness?  What hidden treasures can be discovered by the beam of a flashlight? I loved Lizi Boyd’s Inside Outside so was thrilled to discover her latest creative wordless masterpiece.  A boy takes a walk through the dark woods, shining his flashlight into the wonders of the woods.  The effective illustrations shows the beam of the flashlight and the hidden discoveries found in the forest – small creatures, flowers, moss.  I love this book makes the dark inviting and friendly and would be a perfect book to read before heading out on a nature walk.  A celebration of exploration and wonder! 


Sometimes a book can change the way we think about something. When searching for books to use to teach this strategy, I look for books that deal with an issue that students have some experience.  We “take stock” of our thinking about the issue or topic before and after reading, so that the students can visibly notice how their thinking has changed.  These books have the ability to “change your thinking”

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What Do You Do With An Idea? – Kobi Yamada  

This lovely book explores the notion of paying attention to your ideas and just what can happen when you befriend and attend to your ideas.  I see so many possibilities of how this book can change our thinking and can remind us that ideas are possibilities waiting to happen.

The Most Magnificent Thing – Ashley Spires

There are so many things I love about this book, not to mention it is a Canadian author!   This book invites us to revist our thinking about so many things – perseverance, creativity, collaboration, communication, dealing with frustration and being able to adapt to change.  It is so well written and is a perfect book for inviting students to revisit their thinking of what it means to be creative.  A must have for your classroom!

Extraordinary Jane – Hannah E. Harrison

OK – I know I have gone over my limit but I could not resist adding this heartwarming book to my top 10 list.  I have seen many reviews about Extraordinary Jane but I am not a huge circus fan so I suppose I was not particularly drawn to it.   But now I can’t stop hugging it!  This book is such an important one to read to children.  Many children feel the pressure to be the best, fastest, smartest, prettiest.  This book reminds us that you can be extraordinary just by being ordinary.  It is not the skills or talents on the outside that makes us special – but the tenderness inside.  You will fall in love with Jane – I promise!

Well there you have it – my top 10 picture books (plus 1!) for 2014.  I hope you found some new titles that you can use in your classroom!  What are your top picks of the year so far?


Filed under Connect, Infer, New Books, Picture Book, Question, Reading Power, Transform, Visualize

Summer Celebrations – Surf, Sand and Sunshine!

I’m happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week(s).  I have many things to celebrate so far this summer!

Surfing in Tofino

A highlight of my summer so far was a family holiday in beautiful Tofino.  There is much to celebrate about this extraordinary place on the west coast of British Columbia.  My husband and I used to go camping on Long Beach before our kids were born and have many fond memories of this special place.  This was a first for my boys to experience the beauty and expanse of the endless miles beach and crashing waves.  We brought our visitor from England and joined friends on Chesterman Beach for 4 days filled with walks on the beach, exploring, campfires on the beach and many hours of surfing and boogie boarding!  Even our dog got on the surf board!


The boys and their boards!



Quite a change from the streets of Manchester for our visitor!


Even our dog, Bailey, wanted to try out the surfboard!

Reading Power for BC Offshore Teachers

Several months ago I was contacted by Ryan Silverthorne, a B.C. teacher/administrator from a large B.C. Offshore School in Qatar. He explained that many of the teachers who taught at his school have been implementing Reading Power into their literacy programs and were interested in attending a professional development session during the summer, when many of them return home for the holidays.  Professional development opportunities in many of these offshore schools are rather limited.  After several email exchanges, Ryan decided to organize a full day workshop and invite offshore teachers from several different campuses including Thailand, Korea and China.  The workshop was held at Trinity Western Campus on July 25th – with a full house of nearly 100 teachers.  I was thrilled to be sharing my work with B.C. teachers, both locally and from around the globe and exciting to know that Reading Power will be reaching students in classrooms around the world!  The day went extremely well and the teachers were excited and enthusiastic about learning.  Ryan was a pleasure to work with!  He was exceptionally organized and took care of every detail.  I am confident that this was the first of many workshops we will do together!

Adrienne 3-1


Sharing a photo of the Reading Power book bins in my school library.


Me (center) with Ryan Silverthorn (tie) with some of his staff from the B.C. School in Qatar.

Baseball season ends

My eldest played his last baseball game of the season.  It was a challenging season with ongoing controversy with coaches and parents (and I thought hockey was bad!) but the team stuck together and in the end were a stronger group of young men.  I was very proud of all of them for playing through the politics and ending the season with a great win.


Vancouver Cannons Jr. Team (my son is beside the coach)

Visiting Family in Kelowna  –

My husband grew up in the Okanagan so we always spend time there every summer visiting his family and friends.  We enjoy Bocce in the back yard, card games, outdoor barbeques, swimming in the lake – time to relax and enjoy spending time with cousins, uncles, aunts and grandma.  Added fun this summer was a day spent on an inflated floating water park at Kelowna City Park Beach.


Inflatable floating water park in Kelowna.



Cousins enjoying the floating water park.


Bocce in the back yard!


Skipping stones at the lakeshore.


I am grateful for the many things I have to celebrate this summer.  What are you celebrating this week?





Filed under Celebration Saturday