Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back at 2012...

I haven't been blogging lately.  In fact, it was the end of November when I blogged last.  I think the month of December got the better of me.  It frustrated me at first, but then I gave myself permission to do just what I can do and that it is OK that I can't keep up with fellow bloggers.

As I look back at 2012, it was a full year personally and definitely professionally.  I know many bloggers are reviewing the year with their favorite books.  Many of those titles are my favorites also.  I wanted to wrap up the year by reflecting on my top ten professional moments because it was a year of such grand change

The events listed below are in no particular order.  They are the moments that come to mind as I think back over the last six months or so...

Number Ten: While sitting at my son's soccer game in June, I tweeted about the book Fake Mustache, and Donalyn Miller replied to my Tweet.  This started my journey in the world of Twitter.  My career will never be the same.  Thanks Donalyn! 

Number Nine:  As the summer rolled along, I started to follow more and more educators, teachers, and librarians.  To a great surprise to me, many of these same people started to follow me. 

Number Eight:  Learning about Colby Sharp and John Schu through Twitter.  It was so refreshing to find two male educators that were as passionate about reading and books as I was.  It was fascinating to follow their tweets and their incredible blogs.  As I mentioned above, I will never hit the blog status of these two guru's, but they are truly role models to me. 

Number Seven:  I tweeted about the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  The Oprah Book Club saw it on Twitter and messaged me to ask if I wanted a signed copy of the book.  A few days later, a copy of the book was at my house signed by Cheryl along with a note signed by Oprah.  This Twitter thing was becoming pretty darn cool

Number Six:  I prided myself on the amount of books that I read and exposed my students to.  The one "genre" that I was not aware of was graphic novels.  Because of Colby and John, and of course others, I was exposed to graphic novels and fell in love with them immediately.  It has been one of my teaching highlights this school year introducing many wonderful graphic novels to my fourth graders!

Number Five:  Again, through Twitter, I was introduced to Stephen McCranie.  He was offering Sykpe visits to classrooms across the country.  I quickly Tweeted him that we would love a Skype visit.  I got my students reading the Mal and Chad books and couldn't believe the excitement that grew because of the books and the Skype visit.  We had a great visit and it opened the world of Skyping with authors to me.  His books are still be circulated around my classroom.

Number Four:  I came across the book Pickle and the author Kim Baker.  I took a risk and reached out to her via Twitter to ask if she would Skype with us. She of course said yes and my class was in store for another Skype visit with another author.  It was so exciting to see how a book and an author can come to life via a Skype session.  The excitement is palpable. 

Number Three:  At the beginning of December I had the opportunity to meet a professional role model to me.  Years ago I had read the book The Book Whisperer.  It became my "bible" of teaching.  I thought she wrote it just for me because it was exactly how I thought reading should be taught to children.  It was amazing then to become Twitter friends.  It was even more amazing when I found Donalyn Miller would be conducting a workshop right here in the Twin Cities.  What a career highlight to meet Donalyn in person, hear her words, and be validated for what I know is true in my heart. 

Number Two:  During the November #TitleTalk with Colby and Donalyn, an idea struck me.  We all spend so much time reading children's books, but wouldn't it be great to read some adult books and talk about them via Twitter.  I started the #ABCT (Adult Book Club on Twitter).  The first book that was picked was Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach.  We will be discussing this book on Twitter on Thursday, January 3rd at 7:00 PM.  I'm excited to see where this book club will go. 

Number One:  Taking another risk, I decided to head into the world of blogging.  I'm not sure why, but it sure scared the heck out of me.  I didn't know if I could measure up to all of the other bloggers that I had been following.  On July 18th, I took the leap and began this blog called ReadWonder.  The title was in honor of my love for reading and my love for the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  I'm proud of the blog, want it to be better than ever, and am excited for the next chapter for the blog in the year 2013! 

*For me this is a great wrap-up to the year 2012.  I'm not going to worry about the Mondays I miss for "What Are You Reading", or the books that I don't blog about after I read them.  I need to let myself be where I am and continue to use this blog to record the happenings in my reading and professional life.  I'm excited for the year 2013 and all that will come...

*Happy New Year fellow blogger, Twitter friends, and all of you who truly have made a world of difference in my own life!