Saturday, August 28, 2010

California Dreamin'

Can you believe we will be back at school in less than two weeks? I just returned from a wonderful vacation to San Francisco, Yosemite, and Napa Valley. It was the most interesting and fun trip ever! We learned all about the giant Sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove and Muir Woods. We saw the magnificent Yosemite, Bridalveil and Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park as well as watched rock climbers scale the face of El Capitan- it was breathtaking. We also learned about wine making in the Napa Valley and actually saw the clusters of grapes growing on the vines- they looked so delicious and colorful growing in perfect rows on acres and acres of farmland. We even took an aerial tram car to view the entire area from a mountaintop. In San Francisco we became experts at riding the cable cars and navigating the streets. We very carefully drove down Lombard Street "the crookedest street in the world" and marveled at the architecture on each side. We even took a boat ride around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge. I can't wait to share this adventure with you during the first week of school. I also can't wait to hear how you spent the summer months.
As vacation comes to an end, grab every last bit of sunshine- I will see you soon!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Is it August Already?

I have been busy at school helping our new principal Mrs. Chesnut, get things ready for back to school. It's going to be a great year!
My latest book is Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. Don't you love the name Beezus? Did you know her sister's name was really Beatrice? It's funny how some nicknames originate.
I read the Ramona series years ago when my girls were students at St. Charles. Re-reading the book brought back great memories of curling up on the sofa and reading with them.

I am happy to announce the book has stood the test of time. It was actually first published in 1955. Although a few words may be outdated, it is still a great read for students in the younger grades. With the movie debut and excellent reviews, it may be time to get your hands on a copy and become a reading detective. Try to discover how the story differs from the book. Although I have not seen the movie, I have read that Beverly Cleary was pleased with how the movie was produced. Apparently it is very true to the book. I'm sure it will be quite entertaining to actually see Ramona and her imagination in action.
Today, Beverly Cleary is 94 years old. Did you know her birthday, April 12th, is recognized as National Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day?
If you like the book, there are so many great Beverly Cleary chapter books. they follow Ramona from the age of four to fourth grade. Have fun many little time!