Summer Goal Update Part 1

I was on a blogging hot-streak, then sort of stumbled.  But the work toward other summer goals continued…

I just finished Mr. Chickee’s Messy Mission by Christopher Paul Curtis.  I met Mr. Curtis last fall and also had a chance to hear him read an excerpt from his most recent novel Elijah of Buxton.  I was a fan before that meeting and I’m a super-fan now.  I’d read and loved and nudged my students into his writing for years, but I was avoiding the Flint Future Detectives books…because I was afraid they wouldn’t live up to his big fancy award-winners.  But I bit the bullet, and I have to admit they aren’t Newberry-ish.  They are, however, fun and delightful and full of the kind of writer’s craft that fifth graders embrace.  As a Flint native, I laughed my way through this book’s Flint references, including one about the north side of town where I grew up.  I was so caught up in all the Flint-isms that I had to stop and re-read some parts to see if I thought that this book would stand up outside of Michigan.  I think it does–the interplay of friendships and rivalries, parent-child banter, action sequences, and enjoyable main characters make this fit like a glove for the ages I teach.  Curtis keeps things moving, and that’s something both my students and I agree helps make a great story.

I’m also plugging away at the social studies wiki, though I’ve changed tactics.  I started just drafting away, but now I’m collecting materials online, amassing some resources before drafting in the hopes that the resources will help me see the curriculum in different ways.  Thank goodness for my del.icio.us account, it at least keeps me halfway organized.

Summer’s not all me in some geekish fugue, though.  Here’s a pic I snapped at the Detroit Zoo last week of the neph and niece on the lookout for polar bear. 

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