Category Archives: Reading

#SOL23: Old and New

I could write about Coco as I did here quite briefly when I named a specific location (above the picture).

I could write about Duke’s as I briefly mentioned here.

Or I could write about Monday’s adventure at the Farmer’s Market (although there really wasn’t a farmer in sight).

Or I could write about the huge picture book debut celebration that inspired my May travel.

Choices, choices, choices. Which topic is most interesting?

Hmm. . . To me? Or to my readers? Have you clicked on any of the four links above? Do you have my current location in mind? Have you seen ANY of my social media posts over the weekend?

All four links give clues to my location and to my weekend activities. I’ve been in four bookstores, a museum, a Farmer’s Market, Duke’s, and Bob’s Market.

Definitely not in Iowa. If that was your guess, you have totally missed ALL of my clues.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the joy, the excitement, and the fun of watching a picture book author fuss over details: What kind of pen to use to sign books? How and when to arrive at the event? How to efficiently and yet kindly greet everyone in attendance? How to organize the flowers and gifts? How to be kind, gracious, and inspiring?

Reading the book to the audience and especially the 20-some kids seated on the floor? A veritable piece of cake! (Much like an ordinary day at school.) No nervousness at all!

We laughed. We cheered. We even shed a few happy tears as we watched the joy, love, and celebration of and for Kitty Donohoe and How to Ride a Dragonfly at Children’s Book World on Saturday, May 27, 2023.

It’s a gorgeous book. Read it. Enjoy it. Review it. Read it again. Check out the lyrical prose by Kitty Donohoe and the outstanding watercolor and pen and ink illustrations by Anne Wilsdorf. Ask your bookstore to stock this book. It’s simply amazing. You will want it in your collection!

I had the pleasure of capturing details in person for #curiositycrew members. What a journey we had this weekend! We’re already planning for book parties # 2, # 3, . . . Will you be ready to join us?

What did you celebrate this weekend? Where did you find joy? How did you share your love of reading/writing? And with whom did you celebrate?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC23: What’s in a name?

“Get your nose out of that book!”

I thought that directive was bizarre and woefully inaccurate. My nose was not in my book. I was devouring it at warp speed with my eyes because it was too good to put down. At that time I did concede that I was a bookworm. I loved to read books. I would read about anything as I worked through the fiction section in the school library in alphabetical order. I always ensured I had several books on hand over the weekend. I don’t believe I actually had abibliophobia, a fear of running out of reading material, because I was just on a quest to read as many different authors as possible.

Bookworm or Bibliophile?

I’ve always loved books. Professional books. Kids’ books. YA books. Adult books. There are very few books that I won’t read. But there is a narrower list of books that I love. In recent years, I have recognized that I’m a bibliophile. I love and collect books. Some physically, some on my kindle, and some that rotate through friends. You may have read about some of them on this blog or our #G2Great blog at Which word most accurately describes me? Bibliophile. And I’m quite fortunate that I’m surrounded by friends who are also bibliophiles.

You can easily recognize bibliophiles. If you don’t see us with a book cover prominently displayed or a book title in our email tagline, you will hear us talking about books. We readily admit that we ordered more than one copy of a book online (probably due to a preorder when the book publication was announced). We also often gift books to our fellow bibliophiles or to their classrooms.

What I am not!

I think the current book banning is out of fear and loss of control as well as a heavy dose of politicalism. Bibliophobia is an intense fear of books and is a type of anxiety disorder. This person may fear all books or only a specific type of books. You can read more about bibliophobia here. How awful to have any of these phobias.

  • Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, fear of long words.
  • Logophobia, fear of words.
  • Metrophobia, fear of poetry. (

Additional resources

Hello poetry link

All poetry link

Poem hunter link

What do you love? Books? Bibliophile; Writing? Erudite or Wordsmith; Reading? Bibliophile, bookworm or bookish; Poetry? Aesthete (Not that you need a label but what’s the word range)


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC23: Round Robin

It’s time. Some might argue whether it’s effective. Others might bemoan the lack of practice. It’s a commonly held belief that it should be abandoned. Is there a glimmer of hope or usefulness? Are you ready to figure out what I am talking about?




Which one am I embarking on? My clue is below.

Which formats are you familiar with? Which ones would you try? What information did you use as you thought about which one I would be trying?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC: Alliteration

Source: Oxford Languages goes a bit farther with its definition:

‘Alliteration is a useful poetic device in which certain sounds are repeated at the beginning of words in a sentence or phrase.

Why am I interested?




repeated sounds

How many types of alliteration can you name?

The most common form that folks recognize is sibilance.

Other forms of alliteration include

  • Consonance. …
  • Assonance. …
  • Fricative Alliteration. …
  • Plosive Alliteration. …
  • Dental Alliteration. …
  • Vocalic Alliteration. …
  • General Alliteration. Source Link

Let’s look at some examples. Can you identify all of these?

  • CC
  • Red Rover
  • LL, VV, KK
  • Paw Patrol
  • She sells seashells at the seashore.
  • Lois Lane

Do you recognize the alliteration above in both the phrases and the meanings!

Let’s check!

Did you find the 2 childhood items? The game and the characters?

Red Rover and Paw Patrol

Book Title?

Critical Comprehension

What about the Tongue Twister?

She sells seashells at the seashore.

Who is the character in a book/movie?

Lois Lane

Who are the authors of a book?

Vivian, Lester and Katie

What are some alliteration examples for kids?

How have you used alliteration? How does your word choice affect your writing? Where might you add alliteration?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC23: Choices

Drive time Sunday gave me time to think, organize, and ready my brain for blogging this week on the downhill side of the Slice of Life Challenge.

What can I write about?

  • Lady Hawkeyes win and advancement to the Sweet Sixteen
  • Driviing Conundrums
  • My uncle’s story about the river flooding so quickly that he had to watch his brother dive underwater to unhitch the horse from the wagon so it wouldn’t die stuck in the river bed. Literally watching his brother risk his life for the horse.
  • Current quilting projects
  • Formatting issues with my blog posts
  • “Response-ability”

Each of these bulleted items could be a slice or two or three. What to do? Start writing and see what surfaces? Take a walk and narrow down the topics to just two or three?

So I started typing. And here is my draft.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Saturday I spent five hours in Zoom PD. Willingly. By choice. In years past I’ve wished for Saturday Reunions to have remote access to save time, $ and resources required to travel. Saturday I was grateful for the learning! There was a theme across the sessions whether it was Lucy, Amanda, Brooke, Rachael, Janet, Phillip, Gene or any of the other sessions I attended.

Response – ability

That was the theme! Not to be confused with “responsibility”. In education, responsibility typically deals with accountability and fidelity. Responsibility makes me think of more of a teaming, “We are in this together approach as we work on common goals in similar ways.”

Response – ability

This word conjures up possibilities. Possibilities in the way I respond to students. In the way I respond to parents, teachers, community, and administrators. It also conjures up choices. I’m thinking that this is “freeing” as I can be “responsive” both to and for students.

Responsive to students is a common discussion thread in our #CuriosityCrew group from #G2Great. Our roles deal with students, teachers, and administrators from PK – college. We collectively believe (like many others) that our fidelity is to the students sitting in front of us, first and foremost. Our goal is learning. Students learning.

So what does it take for students to be learning?

Instruction needs to meet student needs. It’s not “everyone on page 40”. Instruction is explicit. Instruction is differentiated. Instruction is designed to move at a pace that ensures students learn and also close gaps where necessary. This is instruction that is “response-ability” for teachers. Teachers are expected to as well as able to “respond” to students. If 75% of the class doesn’t understand concept x, we can reteach and check for understanding again. We make sure that learning and not “coverage of content” is the focus.

Response – ability

New concept

Old belief

Values students.

Values learning.

Embedded in a sense of urgency

But not limited to a pacing guide.


To students.

Response – ability.

Additional Resources:

“Recall that response-ability, in its most succinct iteration, is “an ability to respond, to respond to the world beyond oneself, as well as a willingness to recognize its existence” (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 39).”

link –,39)

Poetry: “Response-ability”

What does response-ability mean to you? How does it fit into your life?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL22: Real Life!

Do I remember our first meeeting?

A park bench outside Thorndike. Early morning. One in running clothes and me with all my gear for the day: canvas tote filled with devices, electrical bar, and books. Pounds of resources to last the day. Goal: to have an initial face to face contact before the week was up.

What about the funniest meeting?

A message to meet up at Starbuck’s. Arrival. Waiting. “I’m here.” But nary a sign. Further messages. Who knew. Three possible Starbuck’s in a 5 block radius. The first try was unsuccessful.

Which was the most unexpected?

I was fan-girling. Excited to meet up in real life. “Fran, it’s so good to see you,” as I was greeted with a hug. Only a Twitter friend. Real life exceeded my dreams as we quickly chattered like decades long friends.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Through TWT, TCRWP, ILA and NCTE I’ve met many folks in real life. I thanked many during the March SOLSC, but I want to return to two very special authors and friends: Christina Nosek and Melanie Meehan. Their talents are exceptional!

#G2Great chats highlighted their most recent books the last two weeks.

Literacy Lenses – Reading link Literacy Lenses – Writing link

Please check out the Table of Contents of both books from the links with the book covers above.

Check out the free chapters and resources.

Check out the Literacy Lenses posts (Reading by Dr. Mary C Howard and Writing by me).

What is your level of confidence in your knowledge and skills about Reading? Writing? What about your level of competence? How do you know? What questions have you answered lately?

Both of these titles would be great for a faculty book study!


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 31 and Finale

The plan for my “slices” in March began with this image.

A piece of cake. 31 days of thanking teachers. And then I listed the days and started listing the teachers. I hit a snag. I wanted a descriptor for each that would fit into the “total picture” of a teacher. But what if not all of my daily candidates were teachers? Was “educator” broad enough to cover all possibilities? And then to include family members? Non-traditional teachers?

My idea.

My rules.

My plan revised about 151 times during the 31 days of March.


All my thanks!

Those that I thanked . . .

generated with

The reasons that I thanked them. I remember days of feeling like the shipwrecked sailor on a desert island, lonely and in search of like-minded folks. I found them in places that I worked, where I lived, and across the miles via technology with twitter, book studies and PD. All of these words fit for teachers. Not necessarily every word every day, but they all fit.

generated with

Month at a Glance

DateDescriptor Words or PhrasesPerson Thankedlink
1Voracious/Professional DevelopmentDiane Ruylepost
2ExpertiseKathy Schuitemapost
3KidwatchingSharon Van Cleavepost
4CollaborationJoni Heltonpost
5IndependenceGrandma Ruthpost 5
8TipsAllison Jacksonpost
9Words Matter/PoetryMargaret Simonpost
10Being KindKitty Donohoepost
11Action ResearchSally Donnellypost
12CourageousAunt Shirley Ruthpost
13Reading and Responding to BlogsDiane Doughertypost
14Cheerleader/Cheer CoaachJohnny Downeypost
15CuratorJill Davidsonpost
16BraveSusan Vincentpost
17Fierce Brent Gilsonpost
18Meeting NeedsClare Landriganpost
19Decision-making processDr. Towanda Harrispost
20NurturerChristina Nosekpost
21ReaderJulieanne Harmatzpost
22WriterMelanie Meehanpost
23FacilitatorRyan Scalapost
24Joy and BalanceSandy Brumbaunpost
25LibrarianJulia E. Torrespost
26CoachingPaula Bourquepost
27TravelerErika Victorpost
28MentorshipDr. Mary Howardpost
29SistersSherry and Patpost
30Sustaining communitiespost

How did you organize your writing slices this month? What were your common themes? Formats? Did you meet your goals?

See you next week or next year!


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 30

Day 30 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.

I have spent the last 29 days thanking educators and teachers in my life. Today, I must add in the communities that have also been a part of my life. I know I needed at least 100 entries to even begin to recognize all the folks that have impacted my life. Even with this addition, I am sure that I have left some unnamed . . .

#TwoWritingTeachers where I began this weekly blogging and daily in March

#TCRWP where the community has been welcoming and I have learned how to write more concise Tweets and blog better in response to questions and comments.

#DigiLitSunday a short term weekly blogging about technology


Morningside University grad classes


So many #bookstudies




#G2Great community


and in my family: my brothers, the Ruth Cousins and the Elders that remain. So many lessons learned. So much laughter shared.

Thank you for your past and present teaching, mentorship and opportunities to learn and grow!

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

Special thanks to all the slicers! Who are you thanking today?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 29

Day 29 of the 2022 Slice of Life Story Challenge

Then and Now


Three girls

Book lovers



Farm living

And all spaced out

A gap of five

and then a gap of seven –

Twelve from top to bottom

Sharing a room

Similar but not exactly alike




Book lovers


People connectors

Flower lovers



and crafters

Connected with texts, emails, Twitter and phone calls.

Pictures, jokes, and news flow back and forth.

Similar but not exactly alike.

Today I thank my two sisters who have allowed me to “get it done” when they were more inclined to approach tasks more collaboratively or at a different pace. You’ve taught me so much. Thanks, Sherry and Pat, for being models of grace, a source of inspiration, and the best sisters possible.

How do you describe your siblings? How would you describe them at different points in your life?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 27

Day 27 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge 2022.

Who Am I?

What stories do you know about me?

Made with

I have no idea why the “cloud creator” added an “s” to teachers and books lovers? That doesn’t make sense. However, what does make sense is that these are a few of the words that describe Erika.

Thank you, Erika Victor, for your love of family whether it’s your family in the US, your family at your international school or the family of readers and writers that you navigate here!

How have you stayed connected with your family (personal or professional) the last couple of years?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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