I have been so much more methodical about what I want to teach this year than ever before. Maybe it’s the part-time status; I feel more urgency to be on top of stuff since I only have 2 days a week. I usually only plan units a few months ahead, until the end of the novel studies I do with first grade and older. But sometimes I lose momentum after that because the novels are such a long-term investment, and even kindergarten can lose steam after spring break. So this year I’ve mapped out everything I want to do in grades pre-k through 6th all the way through June. And I think it’s a great plan.
I can’t believe this is the 6th year of this list online! Last year was my lowest by far because I just did not have the time or inclination to read when Hannah was born. I’m excited to see how I do this year, but a little trepidatious. I am so easily overwhelmed by all the prolific readers I know through the library and kidlit communities, and I just can’t keep up. I’m not the fastest reader to begin with, and I always have so many other things going on that I definitely rely heavily on audio books to keep me well read. I’m still trying to get current with my knowledge of recent releases after maternity leave. There are always way more amazing books than time to read them, and more and more I’ve found my attentions drifting back to grownup books. It’s actually pretty interesting; since Hannah was born, a lot of the books, films, and TV shows I used to find entertaining are impossible to get through for me now. I am over dystopia. I am struggling with YA. I am more drawn to middle grade than I used to be. Maybe it’s all the bleak material rolling out the past few years. Having a baby with her whole life before her makes me shy away from terrifying visions of the future. And extreme violence; I have not been able to watch Criminal Minds since she was born, for example.
I’ve decided to keep a running index of the crafty things I’ve made. I’ve been doing an end-of-year post since 2010 with all the craftiness of that year, but I was going through one of my sketchbooks recently and decided I wanted an index of everything I’ve made in the years since I started this blog. I’ve learned so much about sewing and crafting, and I realize now that I started this blog when I was just really teaching myself how to sew. Some of my early projects are hilariously bad, but I love seeing what I’ve come up with since. So here it is, working backwards from today to 2008.
Okay, 5th year of this list! Wow, that’s pretty cool. Actually, it’s the 5th year that I’ve kept this list online, but I have notebooks full of reading lists going way back. I did not do very well in 2011, but as I write this on January 6th we’re still waiting for Hannah to arrive in March. Not so much reading time, I fall asleep too easily.
I love keeping this list. The final Books Read count for 2008 was 356. That was largely picture books, but I’m still impressed with that number.
I want to distinguish the picture books from novels and chapter books this year, but that gets really tricky. Some books straddle the line between picture book and chapter book, and not all children’s novels are simply “chapter books,” which I think of as a category of simple children’s books for next-step readers; after picture books and early readers, there are chapter books. Like Clementine, or Junie B. Jones. These are in a different league from His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman or the Harry Potter books, which are also considered children’s books. So I’m making this incredibly oversimplified, with room for interpretation.
I’m stealing this idea from my friend Elizabeth. My list is long, but not long enough. I always feel like I’m catching up on all the great stuff out there. Many of these are picture books (and I’ve probably missed a few of those). I’ll have to decide if I want to keep including the picture books, as they make for lots of typing and linking….
Making these colorful pens is pretty easy, and I’ve done this craft with groups of various ages. I first made these pens as an RA in college when my boss had us make them in a staff meeting. I’ve been stealing this super fun idea ever since. You’ll need pens, various colors of Sculpey clay, pliers, baking sheets, something to cut the clay, and an oven.