Category Archives: Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks: Reading with your Children

The Weekly Geeks meme this week gives a choice between two of my favorite topics in celebration of International Children’s Book Day (April 2nd) and National Poetry Month: “Reading to children” and “Poetry.” Option A is called “Be a Kid” and Option B is called “Be a Poet.” I must combine the two to share a favorite memory of our 2-year-old daughter (now age 30) reciting poetry to her beloved Gramps.

Weekly Geeks Option A: Be a kid! Write up a post about reading together with your child(ren)

Looking back at those years of raising our children (those years that went by with lightning speed!), B and I have recognized that if we did nothing else right in raising those two wonderful human beings, we got it absolutely right with the books and the poetry, which became part of their souls!

The impact of reading, and especially of poetry, on the language development of very young children is enormous. And that’s in addition to the joy of sharing the discoveries a small child makes of the world of books and poems. Our daughter recited poetry as part of her first words and sentences. The syntax was there, if not the ability to enunciate. Her favorite book at that age was a sweet little board book of nursery rhymes, Ladybug, Ladybug and Other Nursery Rhymes, by Eloise Wilkin.

So turn up your sound and listen to a short, scratchy recording of our daughter reciting the nursery rhyme, “One Misty Moisty Morning“, to her gramps on his 61st birthday. In this recording, she is exactly the same age as our Grandboy is now, (2 years old). Right now I am almost the same age as my Dad at the time of this recording. A poignant reminder of the passing of seasons. and as I said before, of lightning speed!

And because only the parents (and grandparents) could really understand the words spoken by that beautiful little girl, here’s the text of the poem:

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man
Clothes all in leather.
He began to compliment,
And I began to grin.
How do you do?
And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

Weekly Geeks: Historical Fiction

One of the things I loved about teaching 6th grade for sixteen years was teaching our Middle Ages unit each spring. Reading anything regarding Medieval times has been a fascination for me for all those years, so I was happy to see that the Weekly Geeks topic for this week is:

Is there a particular era that you love reading about? Tell us about it–give us a book list, if you’d like. Include pictures or some fun facts from that time period, maybe link to a website that focuses on that time. Educate us. 

Do you have a favorite book that really pulled you back in time, or perhaps gave you a special interest in that period? Include a link to a review of it on another book blog if you can find one (doesn’t have to be a Weekly Geek participant).

Among my favorite books that take place during Medieval times, are the Brother Cadfael series of mysteries by Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter). They completely transport me to the 1100s, Shrewsbury, England. The mysteries are compelling, and the authenticity of setting is incredible. It’s like you are there!

I’ve written about these my love of these books before, so you can read that post here. And here’s another interesting link to follow: In the Footsteps of Brother Cadfael

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day #6

It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought — that is to be educated.
— Edith Hamilton

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day

This week’s Weekly Geeks meme is a fun one: A Quote a Day for a week!

You may want to come up with a theme, such as favorite passages from books, author quotes, political quotes, quotes about books or reading, humorous quotes, whatever. Or you may not want a theme at all; maybe you just want to gather up seven assorted quotes that appeal to you. You may want to start each of your posts of the week with a quote, or you may want to give quotes posts of their own in addition to your regular posts. It’s all up to you!

As a teacher, I’m always collecting quotes about education that are meaningful to me, and that remind me of the things I think are very important to keep in mind. I write them in the margins of my Lesson Plan Book when I run into them. So this week, my quotes of the day will all have to do with education.

No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
— Emma Goldman

Weekly Geeks: Judge a Book By Its Cover

wg-sticky-url_thumb4Judge a Book By Its Cover:
This week it’s all about judging books by their covers! Pick a book–any book, really–and search out multiple book cover images for that book. They could span a decade or two (or more)…Or they could span several countries. Which cover is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Which one best ‘captures’ what the book is about?

The second oldest book in our home is a copy of The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, that belonged to B’s father. It is falling apart, having been read almost to death, but it’s a treasure for us. I’m getting ready to read a different copy of The Wizard of Oz to my second graders. Last year’s class loved it…actually adored it…so I’m looking forward to sharing that reading experience with this year’s group. With that on my mind, I chose the Wizard of Oz for my book cover search. I’m particularly fond of the copy of the book with Michael Hague’s illustrations (bottom row, on the far right). That’s the one I read to our own kids, and they loved the illustrations. Don’t each one of these book covers capture the story, though?

My First Weekly Geek

wg_book_pile_url5This week’s Weekly Geek is inspired by Dewey’s Knit-a-Long, a mini challenge of Dewey’s Reading Challenge. Dewey had other passions besides reading and blogging. Knitting was one of them. This made me think, what are the Weekly Geek’s other passions?
Here’s this week’s topic:

What are you passionate about besides reading and blogging?  

This is my first time doing the Weekly Geeks, and it’s a special one for me because it is inspired by my Knit-A-Long in memory of Dewey. (A special thanks to Chris for this week’s topic!)

When I have some “free” time, after a day of teaching 7 and 8 year olds, I usually spend it reading, blogging, or knitting. But I do have another passion, and that’s for the arts. I love all kinds of music, am fascinated with art and artists, and adore the theater. And I find that those things are becoming more and more important to me as I get older.

I discovered a long time ago that I can’t live without Music. I grew up in a home filled with music — my parents listened to all kinds of music, we all took music lessons, and my oldest brother is a very talented jazz musician. Growing up with a musician in the house is a powerful experience. I loved listening to him practice whatever instrument he was learning at the time, (except maybe the time he brought home the tuba and practiced it late at night in the room below my bedroom). As a result, I love all kinds of music. Music was imprinted on my soul.

So I put together a “Playlist” of some of my music memories: (The links will take you to youtube videos…and if you actually listen to each one, you’ll know a lot about me!)

First music memory: Ravel’s “Pavane Pour Une Infante Défaunt,” The memory is of my mother braiding my hair and reciting Eugene Field’s “Little Boy Blue” to me. Was the music playing during that hairbraiding session, or did my brain make the connection between the moment, the poem, and the music?

Music I listened to on Saturdays (while doing chores, making cookies, or sewing) while I was growing up: La Boheme, with Renata Tebaldi

A favorite that Mom and I loved/shared while I was living at home: Mahalia Jackson’s “I Believe.

Favorite singer from my year in Argentina: Miguel Saravia singing “Me espera la noche” – aire de zamba by Raúl Tomás”

A favorite from early days with B:Follow” by Richie Havens

Song for my son:Pooh Corner” by Loggins and Messina

Song for my daughter:You Are the Sunshine of my Life” by Stevie Wonder

The song I listened to the most after I lost my Dad: “Here’s To Life” by Shirley Horn. This version is by a very young and talented singer.

Quiet Evenings with B: The entire album “The Melody at Night With You,” by Keith Jarrett. Here’s a favorite: “I Loves You Porgy.”

My Favorite Albums of all time:
Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon
Keith Jarrett’s “The Melody at Night With You
Joni Mitchell’s “Blue