Monday, February 9, 2015

A Week Of Fun And Celebration

This has been the most amazing week of the school year and I am excited to have been such a big part of it.

Groundhog Day

The groundhog saw his shadow so we have 6 more weeks of winter. I can't complain we have had some amazing weather here in Kansas. It's been nice the kids can get outside to play. It is always a fun lesson to read to them and introduce Groundhog's day.

100th Day

Oh My Goodness!!! Our kiddo's dressed up as 100 year olds. They were so adorable. See for yourself:

                                                             Mrs. Smiley and Benson

                                                            Mrs. Smiley's Class
             It was a fun filled day with much laughter and jokes. One of these aged kiddo's said "Oh, I think I broke my hip" as they sat on the carpet for story time. They were simply adorable and were so fun and funny. My favorite day of the whole school year so far.

Bringing Literature To Life                                 

We also had  a visitor in the library on Friday, Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Oh what fun we all had. She was awesome and the kids were in awe of her, They loved hearing her amazing story. It was a great way to end our fairy tale unit and to bring literature to life.  Thanks Christine Frakes you are a beautiful and amazing Ariel.

                                              Booster Kindergarteners with Ariel
                                                         Ariel sharing her story.

Help Support Our Primary Library

Hi Friends,
Exciting news from my K-1 library… we’re ready for some technology! This school year (and for years to come), I want to ensure that my students have access to whatever they need to succeed, so I've created a request on a 501(c)3 charity website called
I'm posting to ask for any donations possible for my students - no matter the size (seriously, every little bit counts). This week only, any donation you make to my project will be doubled!

If you can't donate anything at this time, no worries... just share this information with anyone who you know is passionate about education. Your donation will have a direct impact on over 200 students this year and you'll hear back from our classes about your impact!
Here’s my classroom request:

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the promo code [SPARK] on the payment screen. IMPORTANT: The [SPARK] promo code will only double your donation for the next 7 days.
Please feel free to send me any questions you may have, and know that my students and I greatly appreciate your support.

Book Reviews

Wow, I am in 1 book club with friends and 2 online book clubs and I haven't read this much since college (I kid you not). I am absolutely loving it.

My first review is on the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I don't read many memoirs. Yet, I was sort of pleasantly surprised to find that this reads like fiction: in that, the story seems more focused than many memoirs I have read. It flows and has a plot-line that seems to take you along Cheryl's journey with her ( I felt present). I felt her emotion and her need to be alone, to think and question, to be able to grow and do this on her own. It was empowering.

In Cheryl Strayed's Wild, she recounts her journey hiking the Pacific Coast Trail back in the nineties- before all the technology we have grown to use daily. She decides to make this hike alone, despite having very little training, after a particularly difficult time in her life.

After the death of her mother and the failure of her marriage. I was really impressed with the way she blends the practical details of daily hiking with the insurmountable complications of her personal life. The transitions were seamless.

If this had been a simple travelogue, I might have been bored. Similarly, if it had been exclusively about her personal drama, it might have been overwhelming, with its many issues. But I thought it worked really well together and felt very well-balanced.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie. I have found several quotes I absolutely loved about this story and I find myself thinking about her.

I absolutely loved this novel. A.J. Fikry is the owner of a small, independent bookstore on the small Alice Island in the Northeast. He is smart, cynical, cranky, and depressed...and not without reason. The recent death of his wife has left him a widower at the age of thirty-nine. Their shared love of books seems to have died with his wife and A.J. is left behind with his bitterness.

Enter an absolutely delightful cast of secondary characters who populate the island and A.J.'s life. You're bound to love them. I couldn't help myself.

Next we have the unexpected hope and redemption of A.J. I'm not giving any spoilers here. Yes, it's a feel-good book. But it's more than that: it's a love letter to the power books have in our lives. If you have ever felt changed by a book, this novel will speak to'll "get" it. And if you loved "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" or "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" you'll find lots to love here, as well - not because the plots are similar, but because of the similar feel to the novels that comes from a good cast of eccentric townsfolk, a small community, and a sense of closeness among the characters, is exactly what you will walk away with when you finish reading this delightful story.
 Product Details

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Set in 1986,(Which ironically, happens to be the year I graduated from high school) Eleanor & Park is funny and sad, sarcastic and sincere, and above all a geeky story of first love. These characters are both 16-year-old misfits in their working-class Omaha neighborhood. Park is half-Korean and is into alternative music and comic books. Eleanor is big (she thinks of herself as fat) and awkward and poor, the oldest of five kids with a painfully difficult home life, and she defiantly flaunts her crazy red hair and strange clothes, which makes her an easy target for others.

Eleanor and Park find themselves sitting together on the school bus every day. Over time they're reluctantly drawn together by sharing Park's comic books. Despite their friends' efforts and their families' disapproval, they fall in love over mix tapes featuring The Cure and The Smiths.

This story of first love and how it is so intense and uncertain, how you feel desperate and hopeless and wildly hopeful all at the same time. This story will take you right back to those thrilling, queasy,  teenage days, when you felt like you would suffocate under the weight of the love you felt.
This is quite simply a  first love, story. This book transported me back to high school. I found myself  laughing at the things it helped me to remember. I'm smiling as I write this. I loved it! Sweet, sweet story!
This was February's book club pick for Peanut Blossom's Book Club For the Reluctant Reader.
Product Details
I am currently reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.


My latest swap is one that I just signed up for (today) and one that I was so happy to be a part of again.  It's called the mug of comfort swap and it is hosted by the lovely ladies of Chaotic Goddess Swaps. You can find the link below to their blog and sign up for the swap here. This swaps sign up is open until Feb. 16th.

Happy Reading,
Mrs. Shamhart