Endings and Beginnings
Last year I wrote about having that bittersweet feeling. And I feel it again. Endings have such a sadness to them. And we shouldn’t feel bad that we feel this sadness when things come to an end.
This summer I left a school and will be starting a new one tomorrow. As I left, my principal said to me everything in life that really means something to us is always terrifying when it begins and sad when it ends. And it’s so true. A new job. A marriage. The birth of a child. The birth of a friendship. Starting school. Everything.
But we also can’t allow ourselves to be sad forever. So it’s nice to know that endings also signify a new beginning.
Last year, at this time I left my readers with some end of summer poems. But this year I started thinking about endings and found some amazing quotes.
Two of my favorites are about butterflies.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a butterfly. -Unknown/Proverb
If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. - Unknown
"There is no real ending. It's just the place where you stop the story."
"Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don't really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren't really an ending; some things are never-ending."
-C. JoyBell C.
"The greatest challenges humans face throw-out their lives are two:
1- the challenge of where to start
2- the challenge of when to stop."
"Every ending is a beginning. We just don't know it at the time."
"And above all else, remember that the end of a movie (or a TV show, or a play, or a book) is never really the end."
-Jen Calonita,On Location
And for anyone who has studied the craft of writing:
"The best endings resonate because they echo a word, phrase, or image from earlier in the story, and the reader is prompted to think back to that reference and speculate on a deeper meaning."
This last one if my favorite, not only because it’s related to writing but because it’s related to life. It makes me think about in life when something has ended, what image or word or phrase in the beginning of the that story (in my life) would have echoed near the end that would have some greater meaning?
How about you? What image from your beginning would be echoed near the end? And why?
How do you feel about endings?
One of the last days of summer...
By Mira Reisberg
I'm so excited to be sharing this delightful book about the trials and rewards of a budding friendship. Pig and Pug by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Gemma Correll is a wonderfully quirky children’s book featuring a pug-in-a-purse and a pig-in-a-pocket. Edited by Knopf/Random House editor, Julia Maguire while she was at Simon and Schuster, who worked with awesome art director Lucy Cummins to bring this book to life, this book is wonderful on many levels.
As soon as they meet, Pig and Pug are off to the races, doing what many children are delightfully skilled at—pushing each other’s buttons. Despite their similar stature, Pig and Pug don’t see eye to eye and both Lynne Berry and Gemma Correll do a fantastic job of showing this in words and illustrations. Lynne Berry has a grand time exploiting the alliteration of the letter P, especially with names like Pig and Pug. The short sentences and teasing dialogue make the story very appealing to all ages. Gemma’s simple limited color palette and incredibly expressive characters (keep an eye on their facial expressions!) indulging in recognizably child-like behavior truly brings Pig and Pug to rough and tumble life in a way that’ll keep you reading it over and over again.
Note how the very simple clothing and limited color palette puts the focus on the character's expressions and reactions to each other. Also note the fun repetition.
Also note how incredibly simple and fun these illustrations are and how effectively Gemma uses relatable color choices for emotional moments - red to show anger (with a scribble anger cloud to emphasize) and black to show tunneling vision and focus. I also love the cropped close up when Pig sees black.
Pig and Pug's behavior mirrors each other to show the idea that people can be similar to each other and still have conflict.
And here they are from the beginning - Pug in a purse and Pig in a pocket. I'm not going to give the ending away but it has a wonderful twist that mirrors this image (and real life) in a really fun way. So if you like to laugh and play with language, take a peek at this sweetie!
It basically measures if a child knows (the concepts of print) and how a book works such as, letters make up words, words make up sentences, print carries meaning etc…
You can view a copy of this test here:
Concepts of Print test
Some students come to kindergarten already having mastered these skills and some will learn these skills during kindergarten.
The great thing about this test is that parents can prepare their kids to pass this test without actually “teaching” them anything.
In a way this test secretly measures whether or not the child’s parent read to them before kindergarten. Because if a child was read to on a consistent basis, he or she will master this test before they start kindergarten.
Here are a few tips for parents when reading to toddlers:
*Choose fun books.
*Read with expression and funny voices and sounds.
*Don’t worry about finishing the whole book.
*If a child isn’t interested in reading a book with you, choose a fun kids book that you love and read it independently out loud. The more fun you are having, the more likely your child will want to join in.
*When reading aloud point to the words so they begin to see that you are reading the words on the page.
*Don’t rush through books. Let a child linger on a page if they want to.
*Talk about the pages. “Do you see the ducky? Look at his red boots. Awe look how sad he looks. He lost his ball. Poor ducky.” (You don’t always have to do this. Sometimes it’s fun just to read it straight through.)
*Have a special reading nook with a small chair and basket of books or a small shelf.
*Have books everywhere. (Especially in the car.)
*Model, model, model. Our children mimic what we do and say. If they see you reading books, they will want to read books.
*Rotate books in and out. Add new ones in but also keep the favorites near by.
*Take your children to the library and bookstores to expose them to a wide variety of books.
Following these tips will guarantee your child will score very high on the Concept of Print test in kindergarten.
If you have any tips to share, please comment below!
This idea not only works when discussing politics, but also religion. Think how many people may be turned away by someone telling their opinion about the way you should act. But rather someone may be inspired to see the world differently by a simple act of kindness.
It works in parenting too. You can “tell” your child all day that you want him to read so he can be a better reader. But children that see adults setting the example and being a reader are more likely to become a reader too.
In teaching, I can mark with a red pen all over a student’s paper and tell him my opinion of his writing. “Sloppy!” “No emotion.” “Incorrect grammar!” “Idea not developed enough.” “Need more elaboration.”
But telling him my opinion makes no difference. Instead if I were to show him an example of what I mean and model good writing for him, it will have a greater impact on his writing.
In writing, we develop our character’s traits by showing the way they respond or act to different situations. The example you set (good or bad) and the actions you take in life are what show your true character. When you want to develop a believable character you show this through his example or actions.
In writing, in real life, on Facebook, when parenting, or when teaching, talk is cheap. It’s your actions that will change (or form) people’s opinions.
Disclaimer: I realize this is just my opinion of this and by me telling you that the world is changed by example, I don't expect your opinion to change if you disagree. But hopefully some of the examples I provided above may help you see my point of view. :)
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome multi-published former student Shirin Shamsi who will be focusing on Muslim and cultural kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break