Thursday, June 2, 2016

What More Reason Do You Need to Read??

I was wondering how to wrap up my blog for my Children's Literature class. I finally found a Prezi that I feel shares what I wanted this entire blog to convey. Reading is important. Reading can change lives. Reading builds character. Reading builds imagination. What more reason do you need to pick up a book and start reading to your child, student, niece, nephew, or friend today?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

It's a Wonder...

I recently read a book named Wonder. This book tells the story of a ten year old boy who was born with severe face abnormalities. These issues are far beyond August's control but he is bullied daily for it. I could not help but cry as I read this story. I know I am guilty of occasionally looking at someone in an unfair way simply because they don't look the same as me. If you need a lesson in not judging a book by it's cover, I encourage you to read this book. It does not matter if you are 10 or 30, it will touch your heart.

The Case of the Kid Who Loved to Read

I don't know about you, but I loved to read even when I was 10. My favorite books at that time were the Nancy Drew series. I read so many of the Nancy Drew books, that my library began searching in other libraries for more of the books. One day, the head librarian came and got me and took me to her office. I volunteered their regularly, so I knew she had a vault of retired books in her office. What I was not expecting was for her to hand me a box from the vault and for her to say "Have at it!". The box was full of very old editions of Nancy Drew books. The books actually had two stories within them. Needless to say I read them all.

Recently,  I was able to use a Nancy Drew book for a fifth grade assignment. I absolutely loved getting to use such a fun book as a basis for an educational lesson. Re-reading this book about Nancy and her father, Carson, spending time at a resort solving a case together took me back to my elementary school years. 

I think a very important part of education is having fun while learning. It is important to remember that if we, as educators, are not having fun teaching a lesson, how can we expect our students to?

Monday, May 30, 2016

How Books Steal the Classroom

Have you ever been and read to a Kindergarten class? I am sure if you have a reason to be reading this blog, then your answer is probably, yes. Have you ever been and read to a Kindergarten class and taken green sprite and Grinch mix? I am betting you are thinking "What in the world is Grinch mix?".

Grinch mix is melted marshmallows that are died green, popcorn and red m&ms. Let me just tell you, if you give it to a Kindergarten student you will be their favorite person ever!

This past Christmas season, my mom and I took these treats to my sisters class and read Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This book tells such a sweet Christmas story and is a MUST HAVE for any teachers classroom! I encourage you to read it!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Can Old Lady's Solve All the World's Problems?

How many of you enjoy gardening? Well, if you answered yes, can I just say that I think you are crazy?!?! Gardening takes hard work, it is hot, and it is a never ending job. I was recently told of a really simple way to make the perfect spring time garden! All you need is seeds, water, sunshine, dirt and....AN OLD LADY!! Sounds easy right? Read the book pictured below to figure out just how simple gardening can be!

Erosion or Paul Bunyan? That is the Question?

How do you think the Grand Canyon was made? How about the Appalachian Mountains? Are you thinking erosion, weathering, earth quake, etc.?

What did you think when you were in third grade? Do you remember?

I was reminded this past week of what I believed at that age. I believed that Paul Bunyan was the creator of all these magnificent landmarks. If you want to be reminded of the importance of imagination you should read Paul Bunyan's tale!!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

I Wanna...

I recently read the children's story I Wanna New Room. This book tells the story of a young boy Alex who is now having to share a room with his little brother due to the fact that he now has a baby sister. The story is told through letters that go back and forth between Alex and his father. It is a really cute story!!

While I was reading the book, I kept thinking... I WANNA NEW CLASSROOM!

I am so so excited for the endless possibilities that await me once I receive my degree. I can not wait to have my first classroom, or my first group of kids. I hope that by the time I begin my career, I will have a library full of books to share with my sweet kiddos! This book is definitely too cute not to be a "must have"!!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Celebration in the Classroom!

This past week I had an assignment that required me to find a poetry book that could be applied in a pre-k through 3rd grade classroom. The book that I chose was Punctuation Celebration. I honestly thought that I would use the book for the assignment and that would be the end of. Instead, I have found the first MUST HAVE book for my future classroom!

This book uses poems to explain the roles of different punctuation marks. Each punctuation mark is a contestant in an elementary schools field day. Each punctuation mark has its own poem. At the end of the story, the punctuation marks and the words all come together to win field day my making a correctly punctuated sentence.

If you are looking for a fun twist to teaching proper punctuation, I highly recommend this book!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Here's to you Presley June

     On January 15th, 2015 I got a new name. Presley June Campbell was born and I became Aunt Squid. I had no idea how much I was going to love that little girl until I held her for the first time. She is my sunshine and there is not a thing in this world I would not do for her.

On her first birthday, I was stumped for what to give her. I wanted to give her something memorable, but also something that was fun. I began thinking of things that I enjoy that I hoped I could share with her one day. I thought for several weeks and finally was hit with an idea. I decided that I would share my favorite movie with her, The Little Mermaid. I got on Amazon and ordered the three disc movie collection and thought I was set. And then I realized I was missing the memorable aspect to my gift. So I began googling books about the Little Mermaid and planned on writing a sweet letter in the cover. What I ended up with went beyond my expectations. has a collection of princess stories that allows the creator to put their own personal touches into their story of choice. You can even decorate the character you are creating to look like the person you are creating it for. 

I could not of found a more perfect gift to share with my sweet niece. I love that I was able to share my love for reading with her in a way that she will be able to keep forever. Isn't it so neat how we can use stories and books to explain our feelings in such memorable ways?

So here's to you Presley June: "On land or in the ocean blue, may all your sweetest dreams come true." -Love Aunt Squid 
P.S. Please never outgrow letting me read to you, cuddles, and naps.

Thanks for the Reminder Dr. Seuss

One of the biggest perks for me about attending the university in my home town is that I am surrounded by the parts of my life that got me to where I am today. When I began college, I started as an accounting major. I love math, I'm good at math, and I thought well this will be perfect for me! I soon found that I was wrong. There was nothing about my major that made me feel connected to it. I barely had interest in any of my classes, and honestly I dreaded the years ahead of me that I would spend taking more of these classes.

One day it hit me. I mean it all but smacked me in the head, punched me in the stomach, and kicked me down. You may be wondering what this "it" is that I am referring to. This "it" was the realization was that I was not fulfilling my dreams. After several prayers, a visit to my adviser and a visit to my grandmother I made my way to the bursars office to change my major to K-6 education. 

I was very excited about this change of major but in the months that followed this decision I was hit by doubt more than once. It was not doubt that I had made the wrong choice in what I wanted to do, it was doubt that I had made the right choice for what I needed to do. Would I make enough money as a teacher? Would I ever be okay with the fact that Kindergartners don't get naps anymore? Was I a nice enough person to become a teacher? 

I continued having these thoughts, until I visited a special kindergarten class about two weeks ago. My sister asked me to read to her Kindergarten class because it was favorite book day. I knew exactly what book I wanted to read. So I got ready, drove to my old primary school, signed in outside of the office my grandmother used to sit in as principal of the school, walked down the Kindergarten hallway where Mrs. Linda Hathcock taught me all about the alphabet, and knocked on my sisters door where I was greeted by 20 smiling 5 year old children. 

I read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, the first book I read all by myself. I told the kids about how Mrs. Hathcock had called my grandmother down to my class so that I could read the story to her. I told them how ever since that day I have loved reading and learning and how important they both are. As I looked at them while I read and saw there smiles, I knew why I had chosen to be a teacher. 

So yes, I am proud that I am a future educator. I am okay with making 35,000 dollars a year compared to the 85,000 dollars I could of made as an accountant. I am excited for my future. And yes, I would eat green eggs and ham in a box, with a fox, in the dark, on a train, even in the rain. 

My challenge remains from my last post. Go read a children's book! You will be shocked how wide your eyes can still be opened, even by a simple little rhyme about something as nasty as green eggs and ham.

The Little Lessons

When was the last time you read a children's book? As I mentioned in my last post, I recently began taking a children's literature class at my University. Since the first day of class, one thought has not left my mind. I keep thinking about how it should be required for every adult to read a children's book at least once a week. Children's books teach the simple lessons of life that are so easily forgotten. I recently read a book titled The Little White Owl which teaches a lesson not only about being yourself, but also about accepting others for who they are. I know that I personally can apply that lesson to my life as I attend college and meet so many new people.

So here is my challenge to you:
     Once a week, set aside ten minutes of your time and pull out a children's book. Spend five of those ten minutes reading the story and then spend another five thinking about what that story means to you now. I feel quite certain you will enjoy it! 

If you need a book to get started with how about...

Are You There Blogger? It's Me Sydney.

In honor of this being my first blog, I thought I would share my first assignment that I completed in my children's literature class! 

     When I was signing up to take a Maymester class this Summer, (School for 3 hours, everyday, for 3 full weeks) I was honestly thinking oh my goodness this is going to be awful! I was anticipating that I was going to be sitting for three hours a day, taking notes, and all the while dreaming of being beside my swimming pool. I am happy to announce that I was definitely wrong! My first week of Maymester has consisted of hands on activities, meeting new people who share my love for teaching, lots of laughter, and thankfully rainy and chilly days so I was not dreaming of swimming pool too often. 

   The first assignment that I completed was an Author Study over Judy Blume. I really enjoyed looking into Judy's background and accomplishments. Rather than ramble on in this blog, I thought I would share a short interview clip that I found where Judy discusses all things Judy. I hope you enjoy learning about a sassy, witty author who has reached her goals and is still doing what she loves!

Thank you for reading!