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Easter
California
Easter is a mom, family literacy coordinator, and writer who loves sharing books with children and their families. She has a Master's degree in gifted from the College of William and Mary.
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Mar 16, 2010
Whew! Between the holidays and some family drama (everyone is okay), the blog got away from me for a little while. I'm back now, and I've done some thinking about Owl in the Library and how it fits into my personal goals. I've decided to try a regular posting schedule for 2010. I'll be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. One post will be a book review. The other two will be about gifted issues. My posting schedule starts tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope everyone's 2010 has gotten off to a wonderful start! Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2010 at Owl in the Library
I ran into a friend at Target today, and we chatted about the politics of local gifted programs. As I drove away, I found myself considering one of my all time most burning questions about gifted education: Why does it so often seem that school districts don't consider expertise or interest in gifted a prerequisite for gifted coordinators? I can't tell you how many gifted coordinators I have known who have Master's degrees in special education but no coursework in gifted, or who taught gifted kids once, years ago, or who have gifted kids of their own, or who found... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2009 at Owl in the Library
This week's poetry stretch is to write a clerihew. This is a four line poem with an a/a/b/b rhyme scheme that is biographical and humorous. My offering is a holiday poem that will also go a long way toward explaining why my blogging has been so sporadic of late:The Joy of Handmade Gifts: An Autobiographical Clerihew 'Tis the week before Christmas; I'm frantically knittng. My skills 'gainst your holiday wishes I'm pitting. Next year, if for hand knits you happen to thirst, Better tell me before December first! Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2009 at Owl in the Library
The Book:The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman Publisher's Age Range: 9-14 Age of Main Character(s): 28 and 12 (the dybbuk) Publisher's Description: Avrom Amos likes to crack jokes. He loves the spotlight. And if he wants something, he knows how to get it. He's just like any other boy, except for one thing: He's a ghost - a dybbuk. During World War Two he'd been murdered by the Nazis, right after he saved the life of a young ventriloquist named Freddie. Freddie doesn't know it yet, but he's about to return the favor. Because the dybbuk wants revenge,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2009 at Owl in the Library
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What is it about kids? Try as I might to introduce them to more highbrow fare, they love the gross, the disgusting, the bizarre. Like most children, my kids have a beloved collection of creepy toys: a skull with brains that bulge out the eye sockets when you squeeze it, a giant plastic cockroach that can stick to (and walk down) the wall, Whoopee cushions, and the like. So a few years ago, when I discovered this week's books, both written by Joy Masoff and published by Workman, I knew they would be a surefire hit. I was right. All... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2009 at Owl in the Library
I came across an article in today's Washington Post about the difficulties of teaching mildly autistic students in public schools. The article rightly points out that it's hard to meet the social needs of these children. Putting them into an isolated special education setting may seem to be the right solution for their social issues, but it takes them out of the regular classroom even though they can complete the academic work.This is especially true for twice exceptional children - those who are both gifted and on the autistic spectrum - even though this population is not addressed in the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2009 at Owl in the Library
The Book: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull Publisher's Age Range: 9-12 Age of Main Character(s): 11 and 14Publisher's Description: For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite. Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2009 at Owl in the Library
Between Nanowrimo and the poetry writing handbook I reviewed for Nonfiction Monday, I've been thinking about gifted writers even more than usual. Perusing the poetry book reminded me of a grad school moment, so I thought I'd share it with you. I discovered the work of Dr. Jane Piirto in a class on creativity. It was the first class I took in my Master's program, and it led to the first of many a-ha moments I enjoyed during my time at William and Mary. This particular moment grew out of the textbook we used, Piirto's Understanding Those Who Create. One... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2009 at Owl in the Library
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I'm always on the lookout for fun writing guides aimed at middle grade students, so I was thrilled to find Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life by Allan Wolf.This is not a book that takes itself too seriously. Readers are introduced to poetic archetypes like the Angry Poet, the Goth Poet, and the Professor Poet as they try to answer the question "What Kind of Poet Are You?" and encouraged to carry a Bent Book in their back pocket for ideas ("Those of you who carry your notebook in this... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2009 at Owl in the Library
Welcome, Clarissa! I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. Thanks for the web site recommendation. I bookmarked it; it looks like a great resource for game information!
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We did it! Team Library won Nanowrimo! My book: The Naga Project, 50,493 words (and I won Piboidmo, too) Owlet A's book: Hel's Hammer, 20,070 words Owlet N's book: Aurcs, 15,016 words (his second Nano win) Owlet S's book: The Adventures of Super Pillow, 1,251 words We had to cut Owlet S's word goal because having two people noveling on one computer did not work very well. All in all, though, an extremely successful November. Tonight, we will be having pie and sparkling apple juice. Toasting the Novels is a beloved Library tradition, dating all the way back to 2008.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2009 at Owl in the Library
I'm a member of the amazon affiliates program, which means that if you click on the amazon link in the review and then buy the book, I get a little commission on the sale. No one ever clicks the links, and I put them in more for your convenience than out of some wish to make big bucks, but the FCC recently put a policy in place that bloggers are required to reveal any income they get from links, so I put that little sentence in.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2009 on Review: The Castle Corona at Owl in the Library
The Book: The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech Publisher's Age Range: 9-12 Age of Main Character(s): Ranges from childhood to old age Publisher's Description: Long ago and far away . . . There was a castle. But not just any castle. This was a castle that glittered and sparkled and rose majestically above the banks of the winding Winono River: the Castle Corona. And in this castle lived a family. But not just any family. This was the family of King Guido: rich and royal and . . . spoiled. And King Guido was so spoiled that neither jewels nor... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2009 at Owl in the Library
I'm thankful for all the regular stuff today: my family is happy and healthy and here. But as the holiday stress level starts to rev up, I find I'm also very thankful for something different this year: silliness! Yes, plain old-fashioned taking-a-minute-to-relax-and-play silliness. So, for your holiday enjoyment, a completely non-holiday clip of my favorite purveyors of silly, the Muppets. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2009 at Owl in the Library
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I am so excited about this challenge! Participants agree to read and review at least twelve YA or middle grade novels by debut authors during 2010. If you are interested in joining in the fun, you can sign up at The Story Siren. I haven't chosen all of my books yet; I'll update this tentative list as I find additional titles that intrigue me. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at Owl in the Library
I came across this article at the Psychology Today blog. The author talks about creativity, and how creative children often suffer in the classroom because teachers are not properly attuned to their needs. Interestingly, says the author, studies show that teachers say they value creativity in the classroom, but they often punish children for creative behaviors. In my experience, this is true of giftedness as well. I've known many teachers who accepted GATE classrooms because they thought the kids would be "easier." Some of them love it, of course, but others can't wait to go back to the normal classroom.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at Owl in the Library
Thanks, Andromeda! I'm glad you enjoyed them. I've been having so much fun with the Monday Poetry Stretch.
Both Owlet N and I participated in (and won) NaNoWriMo last year, and we are currently planning this year's novels along with Owlets A and S, who want to join in the fun. I can't recommend National Novel Writing Month highly enough for gifted kids. The idea is that participants will write a novel in one month. The word count for adults is 50,000 words, but Young Writer participants choose their own word count. Participants sign up for a free account and enter their word count, which is tracked on the site. I think it is great for gifted kids... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2009 at Owl in the Library
Moms Inspire Learning: Why Parents Should Read YA Books This great post on why parents should read the YA novels their kids are reading got me thinking about YA novels and gifted readers. I've seen parents hand their nine year old Twilight or Thirteen Reasons because "it matches their Accelerated Reading level." I encourage them to read these titles first, and decide whether that content is the right content for their child's maturity level. I love YA novels, but they deal with the concerns of adolescence. They should; they're written for adolescents, after all. But these concerns, notably constructing an... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2009 at Owl in the Library