Thursday, October 29, 2009

_Letter_from_Death_ Illustrations on YouTube

Click on this link: to see a YouTube video made by Dave Moats made. It shows many of the illustrations from Letter from Death, a book he illustrated and I did the research for (well, some of it.) Oh yeah, and someone named Lillian Moats actually wrote the book. ( - :

I ordered a copy from and it arrived in the mail last week. How cool is that? The copy that Lillian gave me is currently on loan to a friend at work. I told my Silverstone friends about it during Ladies' Night on Monday, but my news was overshadowed by Kim's cute belly (she's 5 months pregnant) and Melissa's astonishing news that she's pregnant! (Her son, Dylan, is 15 and learning to drive!) The ladies that looked at the book really liked the look and feel of it, but with all the baby talk, no one got a chance to really delve into it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Looking for Books about Illinois Mound Builders

Third graders are studying Illinois history this year. Right now they're talking about the Cahokia Mounds. I've found only one book on this topic that seems appropriate for this age: Journey to Cahokia : a boy's visit to the great mound city. I'd really like to find more titles on this topic for my library. Any suggestions?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Read for the Record!

Yesterday I read The Hungry Caterpillar to 100 students in my library. It was part of an effort sponsored by jumpstart to make a world's record by reading the same book to over one million children worldwide. (Jumpstart is an organization working to increase preschool literacy through the efforts of college students and other community volunteers.)

I was excited to get other teachers in my building participating! Our music teacher, Mrs. Blake, read to six classes (124 students) and our art teacher, Mr. Gonka, read to two classes (49 students.) If we add in our three kindergarten classes (52 students) and a fourth grade class (26 students), our school total is 351 students!

We still don't know if we helped set a new world's record, but there sure were a lot of people reading the book yesterday.

The kids really enjoyed the book, even the older kids. One of our kindergarten teachers lent me a puppet caterpillar that "ate" felt food throughout the story. My valiant assistant tried to take pictures, but I kept moving around!

Monday, October 5, 2009


I have such a beautiful drive to get to work. I'm so lucky. A good bit of my commute is through a forest preserve. Unfortunately, most of my drives to school have been quite long lately, as it seems like every east-west route between C-ville and South Barrington are under construction all at the same time!

This morning, as I was sitting on Penny Road and being passed by the guy on the bike for the second time, I turned off NPR (yet another story about attacks in Afghanistan coming from Pakistan,) rolled down my windows, and enjoyed the gorgeous view and fall smells.

I need to get outside more.