Mining for Junie B: A Slice of Life

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Writing teachers need to write themselves.
I am participating in the Slice of Life 2015 Challenge, 
where I attempt to write stories and narratives about moments in my life.
I apologize if this blog post veers off the informative "literacy lens" I usually write through.
This month I am pretending to be a writer, for my students' benefit (and my own).
Writers write. 

The prospect of literacy gold is high.

Snuggled under the covers, zoo pink plastic miner hat on, bedroom lights off. Let the exploration begin...  Page by page, we look for gold as we read the words of authors.  Tonight they were mining Junie B.

"I just like the B and that's all."

"Its name is birthday cake."

"...a meanie boy named Jim"

"Cause something had gone a little bit wrong here, I think."

The text has clues scattered like diamonds, and the illustrations light the path to big ideas.  Sometimes, questions arise.  

Is she going to get in trouble, Dad?

She should just say she is sorry.

Can I have cake, too?

Every night, our journey through books is the bedrock of all our literate lives.  Tonight, we ended on a piece of text that erupted us into laughter and put us at a bit of a crossroads.

"Hey!  I just figured out where I can move to!  It's called It's a Small World After All.  And it's at Disneyland!  'Member that, Daddy?  It's where all those puppets keep on singing that same song over and over and over again."

For my husband, this chapter might add a soundtrack to his dreams that will border on a nightmare.  

For my son, with his deep obsession for the Small World, the bedtime story will lead him to sweet dreams as we say goodnight to this day.  He can ride that joyful boat, this time with Junie B, for hours in his dreams.  I imagine he will be singing along.

Miner hat off, book closed, kiss goodnight.  

Gold was found.

(Junie B. Jones and that Meanie Jim's Birthday by Barbara Park)


  1. I love this snapshot of your husband and son! What a treasure trove of memories they are storing up! I hope your husband reads your blog!

  2. This is a post to treasure. Love the rituals involved in it (miner hat ).

  3. Love Junie B and so miss the nights reading her to my daughter. Thanks for taking me back in your slice.

  4. You had me at that precious picture. Then you go and weave a tale around Junie B. Love, love, love. This is one of my favorite slices of the day!

  5. What a great bedtime routine. The analogy of mining, is so perfect, and clearly, you have done a fantastic job of bringing it to life.