Welcome to January in the Ozarks

The site outside my window could not be more beautiful!    The snow on the trees and shrubs is a scene straight from a postcard.  As I sit here this morning getting organized for the week ahead, my eyes keep drifting to the beautiful view outside and childhood memories of playing in the snow.  We haven’t had snow with the big, fluffy flakes in several years.  We’ve had ice, but not the kind of snow I remember from my childhood.  Today brings me back to those times.

What a great writing opportunity the snow provides!  One of my favorite writing activities to do with students is the Memory Map.  As I think about my “memory map,”  I think about the house on the hill where I lived when I was in third grade–the snowmen my sister and I built, the trouble we got into for sledding down the hill without permission, the squeals of excitement and fright as we whirled down the hill faster and faster.  My Memory Map includes several spots on that hill.  I hope you have time this month to let your kids discover their own “Memory Maps” of a special place they loved.  The snow just gives us an opportunity to work with personal narrative and descriptive words.  But. . . what an opportunity it is!

As teachers, we are always looking for those books that will inspire and guide our students as we work with them.  Over the holiday break, I came across a list of books I couldn’t wait to share with you.  This is a list of  the best lists for 2009.  I hope you will find new and exciting books to use in your classrooms!  Welcome back to reading and writing with kids!


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