June 20, 2017

Double Duty Tuesday

Today's post is serving double duty. First of all it's the third Tuesday of the month so that means it's time to join Forever in 5th Grade for...
... and since it's Tuesday during the summer, it's also time to join Kidpeople Classroom for...

The book that I'd like to share this week is from a particular favorite author of mine, Patricia Polacco.

The Amazon blurb has this to say about the book:
An Irish family stays together with the help of Fiona’s talent for making one-of-a-kind lace in this heartwarming immigration story from the New York Times bestselling creator of The Keeping Quilt.
Many years ago, times were hard in all of Ireland, so when passage to America becomes available, Fiona and her family travel to Chicago. They find work in domestic service to pay back their passage, and at night Fiona turns tangles of thread into a fine, glorious lace. Then when the family is separated, it is the lace that Fiona’s parents follow to find her and her sister and bring the family back together. And it is the lace that will always provide Fiona with memories of Ireland and of her mother’s words: “In your heart your true home resides, and it will always be with you as long as you remember those you love.”
This generational story from the family of Patricia Polacco’s Irish father brims with the same warmth and heart as the classic The Keeping Quilt and The Blessing Cup, which Kirkus Reviews called “deeply affecting” in a starred review, and embraces the comfort of family commitment and togetherness that Patricia Polacco’s books are known for.
So many ways to incorporate this book into a classroom curriculum! 

With immigrant issues in the news, this book can serve as a timely discussion starter for the topic. Teaching poetry? Limericks? The immigrant family hails from this Irish town. Teaching genre? Narratives? The story is the perfect example! Teaching figurative language? The text contains imagery, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. Teaching commas in a series? There are multiple examples to be found. Teaching apostrophes? Contractions? The book is full of common and not so common examples. Teaching history? There is reference to the Great Chicago Fire. Teaching plot development, particularly conflict? This is the book for you. 

Pay no attention to the recommended reading level of ages 4 to 8. This book is suitable for all ages, especially as a read aloud! I will be using it with sixth graders as a mentor text for all of the ELA topics that I've mentioned and as a companion piece for Lauren Tarshish's book "I Survived the Chicago Fire 1871" when the school year resumes in late August.

Be sure to stop by Kathleen's blog Kidpeople Classroom for more Teacher Book Talk posts and to add one of your own when you've finished reading my other Show and Tell items.

I recently attended an EdTechTeam Technology Summit. WOW! It was well worth my time. I thought I was very knowledgeable regarding Google and all its apps. Not so since I learned a WHOLE lot more! I will be sharing some of what I've learned throughout the coming school year as I incorporate my learning into my lessons and classes.

One thing that I will be teaching as part of my Science/ELA classes is coding. I wasn't sure how I wanted to approach this new subject for my students (and me) but I attended an awesome session wherein the presenter shared how she introduces coding... with legos!

 I've already ordered the base plates and single unit blocks, enough for a class of thirty! I can't wait to start coding with my middle schoolers!

Besides bringing back new knowledge from the EdTechTeam Summit, I also brought this back. I actually won a door prize!

Don't judge my appearance on this day... no make-up, no contacts, hair pulled back in a clip. I was supposed to wake up at 4:45am for a 5:50 carpool ride. Ha, I woke up at 5:35am. YIKES, I was lucky to have been dressed properly.

And as always, I must include a fur baby picture. This month is a pic of DaisyMae, my senior girl. I live in a century home. Needless to say there is always a lot of work to be done, repairing this and repairing that. One thing that I've wished for is central air conditioning. Unfortunately, that is low on the totem pole of things to be done. Instead of central air, I have a floor model that does a really nice job of cooling off the majority of the first floor. It sits next to my rocker. Everytime that DaisyMae jumps into my lap she has to inspect the a/c unit.

What a silly girl!

Please be sure to stop by Stephanie's blog Forever in 5th Grade to read more Show and Tell Tuesday posts from teacher bloggers around the cyber world. Perhaps you'll join in the fun with a post of your own!


  1. Thanks for reminding me of Fiona's Lace. I expand St. Patrick's Day in the classroom to a few more things Irish, as my family hails from there. I'll look for your techie posts because I love to use it and know the latest. Our home is over 120 years old now and it is AC units for us, too. I have one of those non-window ones for my classroom's hottest weeks and it helps take the worst temps down. See you around. Kathleen

    1. You are such a lucky teacher. We've been encouraging our admins to allow us to have the portable a/c units in our classroom. Apparently someone experimented with one and felt it didn't throw enough cool air for the cost of the electricity. In my opinion they had too small of a unit. My big one does fine for an entire floor of a house. It surely could handle a classroom.

  2. That book sounds wonderful! I love to read to my 6th graders and they really seem to enjoy it too. And Wow - coding! That's something my own son has shown interest in so I guess I will have to try and find out about the Lego connection!

    1. I will be sure to blog about my coding attempts as soon as possible once school starts. I've got a few links to share and I'll be sharing photos also. I've used HTML coding for aeons and am fairly adept with it, but this is a whole other world! Still... fun!

  3. I love using Patricia Polacco books for mentor texts, and Fiona's Lace sounds like another wonderful story! I will have to find that one to add to my Polacco collection. Thanks for linking up!

    Forever in Fifth Grade

    1. Patricia Polacco has THE BEST stories! I think it's because so many of them are HER stories, real stories. My older kids LOVE them! So many of them can identify with her struggles in school and coming from a broken home. If you enjoy her books, you definitely will like Fiona's Lace!

  4. I love coding--next our building technology teacher is adding coding to her K-3 program. I love the idea of using Legos.

    1. WOW! K-3 coding? Awesome! I will be the first in our K-12 building to attempt this. The Legos make such sense, and I can see them being used with very young students, too.

  5. I attended a Edtech summit two years ago. I bet that information is already outdated!


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