Tag Archives: adventure

Looking Ahead to the Adventure!

3 Aug

It is August.  I notice that something seems to happen when the calendar changes from July to August.  I fall pretty hard into school mode.  I start doing a lot more school planning and back-to-school sales excite me as opposed to giving me chills.  (June is just too soon – I’m sorry but it is!)  I start to get kind of excited for the year to come.

Don’t get me wrong – I am very sad summer is coming to an end.  I love summer.  I love taking many trips to the zoo, hanging out at the beach, vacationing in the best place in the world, staying up late, and enjoying naps during the day.  It’s not that I want it to end at all.

But I know the new school year is coming and with it comes new possibilities.  My mind has been churning these last few days with what I am looking forward to when we head back in September.  I also take this is a sign that I am in the right profession.  Despite everything taking place in education, I still get pretty excited to teach each and every year.


I came across this sign when the husband and I were grocery shopping this weekend.  When I saw it, I knew I wanted it for my classroom.  I want to build a theme around this.  I want this year to be an adventure.  An adventure in reading and writing.  I have some ideas on what the room will look like and how to keep it going.  I hope to share those ideas as they come to be in my classroom.

But this year is really going to be an adventure.  There are so many changes going on.  First of all, we are changing from trimesters to semesters.  That is changing some of the curriculum in the classes I teach as well as opening so many opportunities when working with my students.  Every student will now have an English class all year instead of 2/3 of the year. I see this as helping my reading and writing community flourish.

I am also teaching a section of English 10 Honors this year.  I am looking forward to this opportunity.  I taught one section of 10 Honors B a few years ago and have been hoping for an opportunity to teach it again.

This year is definitely going to be an adventure!

But please don’t fear – I am still going to make the most of the summer that is left as I prepare.


Peak: A Review

1 Feb

Title Peak

Author: Roland Smith

Format: Paperback, personal purchase

Release Date: May 1, 2007

Summary (from Goodreads): The only thing you’ll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie far below. – Peak Marcello

After fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father’s renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. As owner of Peak Expeditions, he wants his son to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit–and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it’s also one that could cost him his life.

Roland Smith has created an action-packed adventure about friendship, sacrifice, family, and the drive to take on Everest, despite the incredible risk. The story of Peak’s dangerous ascent—told in his own words—is suspenseful, immediate, and impossible to put down.

I have heard about this book for quite awhile.  Whenever teachers share popular books in their classrooms, Peak came up over and over again.  I found a copy in the “bargin bin” at Barnes & Noble this summer because of a small mark on the top of the book.  I picked it up.  Like many other books I buy, it kept falling further down my to-read list.  One of these days I will learn to listen to my friends and colleagues and just read a book as soon as possible after they tell me.  I loved this one!

I think what I enjoyed most about this book is how much I learned.  I am not a climber in any way, shape, or form.  I knew very little about climbing Everest until I read this book.  I basically knew it was dangerous, you need oxygen when you got higher up the mountain, and many people have died trying.  I had no idea how long the process took and how long people had to take acclimate to the atmosphere that far up.  I had no idea climbers had to “climb high, sleep low,” making climbs to the various camps a number of times up and down.  I definitely still have no desire to go up to Everest myself, but I have so much respect for what people do to get there.

This was a book I never wanted to put down because I wanted to know if Peak would make it to the summit.  There is the perfect balance of suspense and plot to keep me hooked from beginning to end.  I have already started sharing this title with students and encouraging them to add it to their lists.  I highly recommend this one for any reader that appreciates an engaging adventure story.  Readers learn so much from this book and are entertained while learning.  Peak, Sun-jo, Zopa, Holly, Josh – every character helps make this a story readers want to read.

4/5 stars