Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain!

…or the dates upon the entries!!!  Borrowing a famous line from The Wizard of Oz about the “real” wizard, I assure you that the “real” dates of this blog’s entries are the same as this one.  I checked every single blog entry and page on this site before posting this tonight and updated every single one.  There may be a few kinks to work out but I think you can find everything updated for your reading pleasure.  Just follow the yellow brick road.  Well, you know what I mean!  Have fun, and remember there’s no place like Home–to start from, that is!

Fall into a good book!

A flyer should be going out to students this week about Book Club. If you would like to continue being a part of Book Club, it is helpful if you re-register that way I know you have your parents’ permission and they have an opportunity to update all contact information and snack volunteer sign up. The registration form may also indicate whether or not you would like me to order a book for you. (We get Scholastic points that way and can get free stuff for members!  Cost is usually lower, too!)   Of course, you are free to order the book on your own in any format OR borrow it from the public library. NOTE: It is VERY important that you have a book so you can keep up with the readings! Sharing a book is ok, too, as long as you keep to the schedule which will be handed out by our 2nd meeting.

If you have friends you’d like to have join book club, now is the time to invite them! No new members will be accepted after Columbus Day.  Deadline for registration and book order is September 27th. Forms can be downloaded from this site. Mrs. Walsh will also have some registration forms.

Book Club members gather every week from dismissal time until 3:45 p.m. prompt pick-up. Winsor Hill club meets on Wednesdays while Barnes club meets on Thursdays. Parent volunteers bring weekly snacks but members are responsible for bringing their own drinks. They are also responsible for keeping up with the reading and bringing in an “entry ticket” every week that has something to do with what they read. More of this will be explained at the 1st meeting. Members and their families should also keep track of when meetings are scheduled. Should there be a change in schedule (due to weather, teacher sick day, etc.), students will be advised as soon as possible. Students should NOT be in the habit of calling home every week for rides. Neither should parents be calling the school every week to see if there is a meeting or not. PLEASE FOLLOW THE SCHEDULE! Put it somewhere where it can easily be seen and adhered to, thank you. SHOULD there be an issue concerning weather, we follow the superintendent’s call. If the district has no after school activities, we will have no meeting. If there is early dismissal, there will be no meeting. Students will call home if anything out of the ordinary occurs to cancel a scheduled meeting. Book club members help decide what the field trip experience will be at the end of our reading adventure. There is no cost to join book club except for the cost of the book should you choose to purchase a copy, and any cost connected to the field trip experience, which we try to keep to a minimum (under $10 whenever possible.) If you have any questions, contact Mrs. Walsh at school or by email dwalsh@johnstonschools.org

Looking forward to reading with you!

Exercise your brain!

Someone just sent me a link about “deep reading” saying, among other things, that it is a vigorous exercise for the brain AND increases our real-life capacity for empathy. As opposed to the often superficial reading we do on the Web, it is an endangered practice, one we ought to preserve as we would a historic building or a significant work of art. Cool! Not that I have anything against reading stuff online (duh, if you’re reading THIS, then you are online!), BUT we get the BEST brain exercise when we read from books. It’s kinda like we travel to another world and visit the people there. I know it has helped me to understand about so many different people and places. The article even said that sometimes it can be likened to a hypnotic trance. I remember my parents having to call me repeatedly when I was really “into” a book before I even heard them, let alone get up and come do whatever they wanted me to do! Not only could I NOT put the book down, but I really felt like I was someplace else or even someone else as I read.
Still happens. Bet you’ve had those moments, too. Here’s hoping you have many of those moments in your lifetime. Oh, but make sure to acknowledge your parents when they call for you though!

Love this book quote

As is often my custom, I wind up reading many more “books for grown-ups” in the summer time than I do all through the year. That’s because I sit on the nominating committee for Reading Across RI. (The Kids Reading Across RI event at the State House in June every year grew out of this!)

I read all kinds of stuff on an assigned list. (Yes, grown-ups have to do that sometimes, too!)
One of the books I LOVE is a non-fiction memoir about a man who begins a book club with his dying mother. They both are avid readers and decide to share books and discuss them while she is undergoing her medical treatments. The title is kind of funny: “The End of Your Life Book Club”. Its author Will Schwalbe however gives us such a wonderful picture of a beautiful life in sharing the story of his mother and her family.
This book has so much in it but it would probably be way over your heads right now. (Perfect for parents, grandparents and other adults in your family though!) There are many things that I learned while reading this book. But I want to quote one passage here from its very last page:

“…books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose…is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in the human conversation. Books really do matter: they’re how we know what we need to do in life, and how we tell others. They can help us make a difference in the world. Books can be how we get closer to each other, and stay close.”

Yeah. What he said.