Then, my mind started cranking and well, here I am. Maybe I'm still on Vegas time. Or maybe I'm nuts. It's really hard to say at this point.
At any rate, I'm pumped to link up with Courtney from Ramona Recommends because first of all, she's a sweetheart and second of all, I love children's literature. Courtney (and all the link-up bloggers) blog every Tuesday about books bought/given while traveling. FABULOUS!
I've been wanting to do a blog post on this special book and this seemed like the perfect time...ish. See, I didn't exactly get this book while traveling. It was given to me while student teaching in Ohio (eight years ago which means I'm getting old).
Since I live in Florida now I feel like it technically counts. (Plus, Courtney gave a green light).
I went to Ohio State for graduate school and during my student teaching my mentor teacher was the amazing Mrs. M. She was an incredible mentor and educator: full of vigor, incredibly intelligent, inspiring, and I somehow slightly adopted her Welsh accent by the end of the semester. Her lessons oozed with her energy and I can't imagine that any of my colleagues had a better mentor. Plus, she was kind of odd-like me (in a splendid way- who wants to be normal?).
After a lesson, Mrs. M would kindly conference with me about how the day went, how my classroom managements was, etc. Not fully confident, I often replied with how I thought it went: "well...ish." When she would ask how the kids were, I would reply they were "good...ish." When asked how I thought I was doing I'd say "pretty good...ish." (Note: I grew in confidence as the year progressed and my dialogue did eventually get better).
After my student teaching came to a close, Mrs. M gave me a slew of books and I was thrilled because, well, I had none! Most of them were fairytale books because when I started we worked together on large Fairytale Unit of Study.
But also included in my pile was this book:
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds (I wonder why it reminder her of me?)
"But! Bridget, what does this have to do with higher order thinking? Your blog is about higher order thinking activities!" you shout at the computer, shaking your fists.
Excellent question! This book is an amazing resource for getting kids who are uncomfortable taking risks to learn that it is okay to not be perfect. In the gifted classroom and in any classroom you come across students who fear to make art, to be creative, make a project, or even raise their hands because they can't get it "right." Perfectionism is a hindrance and a strength for many students. Acknowledging that fact, and beginning the conversation of support is so huge!. This book is a great resource to start that conversation. It's okay not to be perfect. In fact, perfect is boring! Let's all be a little weird!
I've overheard my students referencing the book during projects. "It's okay if it doesn't look exactly like a spider. It's spider-ish and I think it's great!" (Yes, this is a real life quote. I double checked my "Student Quotes" notebook to verify).
I read this book at the beginning of the year every year and I believe it's so important for setting up my classroom community. It sets of tone of respect and reverence to sharing ideas and learning. Get it. Amazon it, start a Craigslist ad, whatever you have to do. It's also on Tumblebooks if your district has access to it. I wish I had a great product to promote that goes with it, however I do not. Maybe I'll add that to my TO DO list.
Fun Fact: While we're talking about my student teaching...did you know I wrote a little diddy while student teaching called The Worm Parade? I later turned it into a book and was rejected by a plethora of fabulous publishers. (Yes, I still have my rejection letters). Anyhow, I eventually self published it on blurb.com, and I looked to see if it was still there and voila: there it was! Please DO NOT buy this book. It is way overpriced! Thinking of revamping it into a TPT item somehow. Another thing for my precious TO DO list.
I did just add a huge Fairytale Clip Art Set to my TPT Store, if you're into that sort of thing.:)
But most importantly, what should I name my flying pig in the picture? Start thinking, because this will be a contest IN THE FUTURE.
(I put my words this way as a nod to my brother, standup comedian Mike Hilinski- he often leaves shows saying he will see everyone IN THE FUTURE echo echo echo. Anyhow I get a kick out of it, I hope you do too!)