Bullet Journal: October Plan With Me
Birthday Month Begins
I love October. I fall for all things pumpkin and leaves and warm coffee. The inspirational books from this month were very deliberate, and yet they all sort of fell into place naturally. I am going to be reading Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes with my classes this month in preparation for her author's visit to Kalamazoo in November. We will be writing ghost personal narratives while studying this mentor text, and also learning skills in scene writing, dialogue, snapshots, and imagery. Some other things I am excited about this month:
My husband and my birthday are on the same day this month.
Michigan Council for Teachers of English is this month! I am presenting on mentor texts and receiving an award!
I am presenting in my district about mentor texts this month.
Jason Reynolds Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks comes out on the 8th!
The FIRST marking period of the year comes to a close this month.
The FIRST round of parent/teacher conferences is this month.
I speak at Western Michigan University to a group of pre-service teachers this month.
My Inspiration This Month
I love the color scheme this month. I would not normally put the lavender color with the bright red, but something about it pops off of the pages when you put it together. The books that inspired this month’s spreads also were purposeful. Each one has something that has to do with ghosts, monsters, and some sort of mayhem. We get some great narrative mentor text writing in Victoria Schwab’s book. I also just started her sequel to this book, Tunnel of Bones. Both City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones would make excellent scary book recommendations to middle school students who don’t want too scary of a read. The second book, Ghost Boys, has been a mentor text that kids reach for time and time again. I stated above that Jewell Parker Rhodes is coming to Kalamazoo, but more so, this book combines the haunted with harsh reality. Students will be motivated to look at what matters to them in the world around them. Lastly, Pet was an unexpected YA read. While the sequence was pretty straight-forward, I found myself thinking deeply about who or what are monsters in our world, and what does it mean to have good vs evil around us. I had a feeling I knew how this book would end…and I was wrong.
I am excited to focus on all things that may cause fear, hesitation, or doubt. These things can be scary. However, I am more excited about the tools that we put in place to conquer all three of these anxieties as we head into a busy month.
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Inspiration: Ghosts, Setting Description, Imagery
Amazon Summary: “Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.
So things are already pretty strange. But they're about to get much stranger.
When Cass's parents start hosting a TV show about the world's most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her "gift," she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil -- and herself.
And she'll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.”
Favorite Quote: “Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself every good story needs twists and turns.”
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Inspiration: Ghosts, Activism, History
Amazon Summary: “Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that's been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.
Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father's actions.
Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today's world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.”
Favorite Quote: “Only living can make the world better. live and make it better.”
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Inspiration: Monsters, Good vs. Evil
Amazon Summary: “There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question--How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi makes their riveting and timely young adult debut with a book that asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial.”
Favorite Quote: “Forgetting is how the monsters come back.”
I went for a simple cover page this month. I love pumpkins. The pumpkin patch is something we did every year growing up, and it is something that still makes me smile when I drive by a farm of pumpkins.
This month’s tools and books all laid out and ready to go.
Monthly spread using the purple and red color scheme and some fall decor. The falling leaves in the middle of the calendar turned out to be my favorite.
This is my simple September reflection spread. These reflection spreads might be the most powerful in my journal because they provide me space to acknowledge my achievements and make space for new growth.
Physical wellness creates capacity for needed strength. I keep this as a goal-in-progress for the month of October.
My first weekly spread has some cute little purple ghosts! These are the opposite of the monster described in Pet, but they still made me happy when I set up my weekly plan.