Penelope is my Great-niece. The night that my niece, Susan, gave birth I was in Florida visiting with my father. That was the first night I wrote the first book, Penelope. It really is a poem and although I love the content, now after learning so many things about writing and publishing, there are some changes I would make, and probably will, when I discontinue my contract with Page Publishing.
The second book, Penelope Picks Her Pals, was inspired by a first-grade classroom I worked in as a paraprofessional. That year I had written a “book” and included all of the kids in the class. I used alliteration throughout the entire book. It was so long ago, but if I remember correctly, I made a copy for each student before leaving that position, to go to my first teaching position. I love alliteration, the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words (Webster). Penelope Picks Her Pals is an alliteration book. It is a tongue twister. It is definitely for an adult to read to youngsters because of the vocabulary. While reading this at a local library I had the children laughing because I had such a hard time reading it fluently.
The third book, Penelope’s New Puppy, in my opinion is the best. It is about Penelope getting a new puppy from her grandma, which is my sister-in-law Jean. The book is about colors and opens up discussion for parents to have with their children exploring colors. Penelope wants to name her puppy according to the color and tries to come up with some names, yet she doesn’t know what the puppy will look like yet.
The fourth book, Penelope Still Picks Suzie, is a story about Penelope and a classmate she has that has a hard time behaving in school. I wrote this book because I began my teaching career in a school for socially-emotionally disturbed children. It was at this school that I learned all the behaviors that come with childhood conflict and trauma. When I say all the behaviors, I mean all the behaviors. Anyhow, what I learned was that these kids are stigmatized because they don’t know how to act correctly, which in turn isolates them, and makes behaviors escalate. Suzie is my niece, Penelope’s mother, so I used her as the misbehaver. In the book I also included Penelope’s father, Frankie, who is a police officer. In the book Frankie is one of Penelope’s friends who loves reading and wants to be a policeman when he grows up.
All of my Penelope books have a learning element. I have others in my files but since I used what they call, a Vanity Press, I don’t have the money to publish anymore right now. I may try to publish on my own, however the pictures would be different, since I hired an illustrator at Page Publishing. The pictures are technically mine, so I can reproduce them, but my books are still under contract so I hate to mess with any of that.
On Amazon, the books are about $11.95 each. I think there are sites where you can find them more around $10 each. On my blog I offer them signed. I have added on a fee for postage, since I would be mailing them out, but hey, I will sign them for anyone and make it personal.
I hope you will check out my books. The kids seem to love them and I know someday, when Penelope is old enough to understand (she is two now), she will love seeing her name in all those books.
No one is born into this world knowing things. It is with experience and education that we can grow our knowledge base, whether about the world or a more specific topic.
When students, who typically struggle with academics, start a new school year or start a class with a new teacher, they think back to their learning in the past and determine how they will do for the future. What is not told to so many young people is that everyone has to learn. There is practically nothing that people know because they were born with it.
To clarify, students don’t always understand that learning occurs constantly and builds upon itself. For students with behaviors, as those are the ones I have most experience with, they have a lot of missing information, gaps in learning, due to previous behaviors or the inability to remain focused in the classroom. They HAVE to be told that the gaps can be filled in and learning CAN proceed. This unfortunately is why students, who are behind, stay behind, because the thought of having to learn everything they missed is immeasurable, in their minds.
What is the point?
Everyone can learn: It may not be to the same capacity as others or about the same things others may learn, but any new information is learning!
Don’t give up because of gaps: There are faster ways to fill in missing gaps in learning. There are ways that you can work around deficiencies, so as to grow as a learner.
Everyone learns differently: Just because someone else in your class doesn’t seem to even pay attention, but learns anyway, it isn’t because they just have the knowledge, it’s just that they don’t show their learning in the same way.
Learn on your own: learning doesn’t have to be about worksheets and school lessons. The more you try to learn the more you grow academically. This can be in the form of a magazine article or a youtube video.
Remember that knowledge brings a sort of confidence to a person: The more you learn the better you feel about yourself. The better you feel about yourself, the more motivated you will to continue learning.
Keep a positive attitude and let students know that learning takes time and effort, nothing comes for free.