5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu 2/14/15

celebrate link up Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration on her blog. I appreciate this invitation to reflect on the positives of my week.


1. Book talks with real actual teenagers. I spent Wednesday morning visiting Maggie, a teacher intern who is currently student teaching. When I observe my pre-service teachers during their student teaching, I usually try to be inconspicuous, but I was pretty sure Maggie wouldn’t mind if I took a couple of minutes to book talk some new YA lit that I thought her students might like. Maggie is student teaching on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and I had a couple of books that I thought her students would especially like. (In addition to the books above, I also grabbed Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, a book that basically sells itself with the title.) I really love getting to push books with real actual teenagers. They’re darling. They so want to resist the weird stranger who’s doing a song-and-dance over some stupid books, but then THEY CAN’T. The power of the book talk is too strong. THEY WANT TO TAKE THE BOOKS. THEY HAVE TO TAKE THE BOOKS. It was awesome. And best of all, I’m visiting Maggie next Wednesday and I get to do it all over again! (With different books, of course.)


2. Getting out of my classroom. I know I should be able to find lots of teaching things to blog about in my own classes, but there’s something about the perspective shift of being in a different classroom that clarifies my thinking and brings new ideas into focus. I brainstormed a whole page of potential blog post topics after observing Maggie’s class and spending an hour with her afterwards talking shop. Thanks, Maggie!


3. Zentangle madness. My son and I are currently obsessed with Zentangles. I like to have an artsy, craftsy project going, but I’m not artsy or craftsy. Zentangles are perfect for me. You can print cool pattern charts online and find step-by-step instructions for more elaborate patterns. My son likes to trace letters or objects for me to fill with Zentangles, but I’m equally happy starting with some random overlapping circles. The neat thing about Zentangles is that no matter what you do, it looks cool when it’s finished–and I can’t usually say that about my art projects! We’ve spent a lot of quiet time together this week happily Zentangling. As with most obsessions, this one may be brief, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.



4. My son’s fashion sense. He’s a fearless dresser. He likes as much color as possible. He used to be camera shy, but lately when I compliment his outfit, he asks if I’d like to take a picture. You bet I would!


5. Valentine’s Day. My son had a rough week, which means I had a rough week too. But, possibly fueled by Valentine’s sugar, we’re having a really good Saturday, and that is definitely cause for celebration. (He’s in rare black and white above, but when he went to the store with me later to run an errand, he changed into purple and yellow!)

Frances doesn’t like the White Chocolate Covered Wedding Cake Russell Stover’s hearts either.







11 responses to “5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu 2/14/15”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    Those sure are some bright colors! Glad he wears what he wants! Also glad you are able to find celebrations in your week!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Sarah! I am also glad he feels comfortable wearing what makes him happy!

  2. carriegelson Avatar

    That is some amazing colour sense! Love it. And I love the “weird stranger” and the bursting book excitement piece of your story. Kids are just so very great aren’t they? So pleased you had this experience.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It was so much fun, Carrie. It can be challenging to get out into other classrooms because of the distances involved in traveling from the college campus to the places where my students now work and teach. But I need to make more of an effort because there are such huge rewards. My son was just telling me about the outfit he’s planning to wear to school on Tuesday: it involved lime green, fuschia, and turquoise!

  3. Linda Baie Avatar

    I love the bright colors for everyone, too. Your son is so handsome, Elisabeth. I have a student obsessed with zentangles, & I’ve asked her to give the class a lesson so we can all do it. Most of the students sketch/doodle while I read aloud, so it will be fun for them to learn this new art. Love the books you book talked, hope all those kids do too!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Linda! I think he’s the most beautiful person on the planet, but I might be a tad biased! Zentangling would be perfect during read-aloud! Just ordered another big pile of books for Maggie’s students.

  4. Juliann Avatar

    Love your celebrations and that comment, your son had a rough week so you had a rough week – something to remember about our students and their families too.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      My son had a rough week at school too–I heard all about it from multiple teachers! There wasn’t anything they could have done differently–except perhaps give him a little more space. So often what our students bring to the classroom doesn’t have much to do with us as teachers. Definitely something important to remember!

  5. Doug McKee Avatar

    Have you read Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? I loved it and I bet these kids might too.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It’s quite possibly my all-time favorite YA novel! My guess is that these students have already read it, but I probably shouldn’t make assumptions. I’ll have to ask them next week. I know just the scene to read aloud during a book talk!

  6. […] celebration of book talks, brainstorms, bright colors, and cranky cat […]

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