5 Things I Loved about Last Week #Celebratelu

celebrate link up

Visit Ruth Ayres’s blog to see what others are celebrating this week.

I am really enjoying my classes this semester. So three of my celebrations focus on things that happened at work. (And feel free to check out our course hashtags and join our conversations!)

1. In #contemplitclass, we read and discussed Junot Diaz’s linked story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. I already loved this book, but our discussions made me love it even more. My class is full of really smart opinionated people who make deep connections, ask hard questions, and enrich my understanding of the books we’re reading. Next up: Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, which covers some of the same thematic territory as Diaz but in such a different style and voice.

this is how you lose her

2. One of my acts of kindness this week was to bring in a big pile of shiny new YA books to share with my #yalitclass. I don’t usually share my books until I’ve read them, but when I saw how my students swarmed on the big pile of books, I was so glad I cleaned off all my new hardcovers and brought them to class. I love promoting #booklove, and what better way to do it than put brand-new hardcovers into the hands of enthusiastic readers? Becca‘s reaction to seeing A.S. King’s Ask the Passengers made my whole week, and thankfully no one was injured as she leaped across the classroom to call dibs. I also asked students to write on the board what they’ve been reading over the past week:

booksfromadlitNot bad for 11 people!

I had to get a close up of this intriguing combination of titles, all currently being read by the same person:

books - Copy(And just to clarify, yes, Rules is the Newbery Honor book you’re thinking of by Cynthia Lord.)

3. My #kitlitclass discussed which book they wanted to select for our whole-class novel, and after much debate, The One and Only Ivan was chosen.

one and only ivan

I am looking forward to rereading the book (which my son’s 5th-grade teacher just finished reading aloud to his class) and discussing it with my pre-service teachers. #kidlitclass also selected books to read in small group literature circles, in paired shared reading, and individually. Looking forward to seeing how all of this works out, as this is a new way for me to incorporate some required reading.

4. My favorite kiddo had his first basketball game. He was so nervous. He played with a great deal of effort and enthusiasm.

tandpinksocks T and bball

Not to mention some awesome hot pink over the knees socks! My kid is not afraid of color. New things are stressful for him, and he struggled afterwards to keep it together, but then had a very sweet moment on our drive home from the game when he turned to me in the middle of some long chatter about school and sports and said, “You’re a good mom.” I’m not sure how many 5th-grade boys in general would say that, and I’m even less sure how many 5th-grade kids who struggle with attachment issues would say it. I’ll take it!

5. Cats. I know that six indoor cats probably seems like much too much, and sometimes it is rather zoo-like around here. But their interactions and social dynamics are so fascinating to watch. A couple of our cats are definitely loners, but they have no choice but to interact with the others because Abby and Frances have no concept of personal space boundaries whatsoever. I spend perhaps more time than I should observing my cats and discussing my observations with my husband as if we’re both cat scientists. Abby was an especial delight this week.


Then she burrowed her head down and went to sleep. I don’t know if you can see the reflection in the mirror at all, but Frances is sitting on the microwave watching as I take photos of Abby. My saintly husband held Abby for quite awhile as she took her little rest.


A little later, all rested up, Abby discovered a puzzle box.

abby looks on abbypuzle

Then Frances had to check it out:

francespuzzle francespeeks

Then it was Xander’s turn:


Then Fergus’s:


And then Abby chased off the boys so she could have her box back:

nextolastAnd the final shot I got was of her leaping after Frances. The blur in the bottom right corner of the photo is Frances dashing off:


5 responses to “5 Things I Loved about Last Week #Celebratelu”

  1. Oh sigh. The hot pink socks and the you’re a good Mom comment. This kid is on my favourite list too! You are spreading some powerful #booklove in your classes. So great!

    • Love spreading the #booklove! I’ve got my eye on a student in my #kidlitclass who says he doesn’t like to read but wants to be a 5th-grade teacher. Gotta find him some great books! I did find my son very endearing this week.

  2. Wonderful on all counts, Elisabeth. Love seeing the book love, as Carrie mentioned. I finally starting sharing some of my books, just can’t get to them & will read them later. Love seeing those pink socks-good for your boy wearing what makes him happy, & saying what makes you happy! Love that you have 6 cats-my daughter & family have 4 & I thought that was a lot! Have a great weekend!

    • I don’t know why I never thought to share my unread books before last week. I certainly have enough of them! (Of course taking them to the office means I cleared off A LOT of bookshelf space at home…. which I know I am going to be tempted to fill with yet more books!) My son has started a pink trend in our town! He’s got a pink necklace that he wears too, which REALLY cracks me up, though I try not to let on to him that I think it’s funny. He’s got a bunch of other boys in 5th grade sporting pink too (and wearing jewelry!). Love that your daughter has 4 cats! We USED to have 4 cats, and that did seem like a lot–and then we expanded! My husband is just as crazy about cats as I am, though I think he’s a tad more realistic about numbers. Probably because he cleans the cat boxes! Thanks for commenting.

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