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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

The son chooses his books for deployment

Last weekend I spent time at Ft. Bragg with #1 and #3 sons. #1 son has headed overseas to Afghanistan now and we were able to spend some quality time while he organized "his" soldiers and helped them finish last minute details before deploying. Being a proud mama, I have to share a few quick [...]

Can a poetry book surprise you? The Tree That Time Built caught me

I don’t usually participate in Poetry Fridays* because I don’t have access to enough poetry books to give you, the reader, outstanding resources every week. When I read a poetry book that dazzles me, I have to share it with you right away. The Tree That Time Built is an excellent example of poetry meeting science [...]

Do you do discipline contracts?

I don’t. Do you? Does it work for you? Is it worth the time? I’m wondering this tonight since I was reading a hit on LM_NET about contracts. Some people send them home for students and parents to sign. I don’t. I think back to a teacher at UIowa who always said, "What are the possible [...]

Who on Earth is Aldo Leopold?

 Readers, I receive a HUGE number of nonfiction titles to preview. I’m doing my best to tell you about many of them, but sometimes I run across one that demands I share it with you immediately. This book,  Who on Earth is Aldo Leopold? Father of Wildlife Ecology, will not wait its turn. Written by [...]

2 middle school/YA books for Fairytale lovers

A tale of two fairytales for modern kids. Both being released in September, both take fairytales to a higher modern level. The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan with illustrations by Yoko Tanaka. Henry Holt. ISBN: 978-0-8050-8668-3, 192 pages, b&w illustrations. Publication Date: September 2009 Dreaming Anastasia: A Novel of Love, Magic, and the Power of [...]

Curling up with Sports books? Me? Yes! And you should curl up with Team Spirit, too.

Practice what you preach, librarians. Read a variety of materials. Recommend a variety of books. Don’t just focus on your own interests but seek out books to entice new readers into your library. Read nonfiction. For me, sports and sports fiction reading seemed laborious. That’s until I began reading through the box of books from [...]

Optimism and Realism

Beginning of schools are so fun because we are invincible. We know we can do anything. We can do everything. We can say "no" to unrealistic requests. We can stay focused on our primary roles. We can get everything done because we are professional, organized, knowledgeable, and dedicated to our students. We will stay healthy [...]

The Quiet Zone

Maybe we worry too much about shushing students. While I was window-shopping at the Parent-Teacher Store, I saw the sign below. My friend Jackie gave it to me as a back-to-school present. As I was packing it in the boxes & boxes of things to take to school Monday, both of my 17 year olds [...]

Box #3 to give – Picture books and ABDO series

I’m including a variety of my favorite picture books that you may or may not have seen this past year. Also, in this box are some easier nonfiction titles from ABDO.   In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck and illustrated by Tricia Tusa. Harcourt, Inc. 2008 I expected this title to win far more awards [...]

Box #3 to give – The Weekly Reader titles

Gareth Steven’s Weekly Reader Social Studies Know Your Government series: Mayor Judge Governor Member of Congress President Vice President The format for these books is quite simple and very appropriate for young elementary students – particularly in second and third grade when these government leaders are studied. The chapter headings are: Who is the President? What [...]