Monday, August 28, 2017

Some Positive Quotes for a Monday morning

Positive quotes, Monday morning, classroom, education
It's the first day of school in my district!  I thought this quote was a good reminder that it's usually the "little stuff" that's actually the "big stuff."                                                                      
                                 Positive quotes, Monday morning, classroom, education
It's easy to get cranky about some of the kids in your class.  Especially if you've been given certain students because you "get" them.  You just don't want to "get" too many of them in one classroom! Swearing aside, this one is a great reminder that it's our job as teachers to do the best we can with the room full of kids we've been given.

Positive quotes, Monday morning, education, classroom
This man is one of my heroes.  I'm sure he was human, but it feels like everything he said was worthy of being written down. 
Positive quotes, Monday morning, education, classroom
Don't you wish we could all be like this?  So. Hard! 
Let's try!

Have a great Monday, everyone!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Video Review of Great Historical Fiction book

video, War that Saved My Life, book review
When students explain why they don't like historical fiction, they usually say something like, "It doesn't grab me in the beginning,"  "It takes a while for the action to start," or "It starts off too slowly."

My job is to convince them to hang in there, that once the setting and the characters are set in the time period, the action starts.  But with this book, there's no need to do that.  It starts off with a bang! Literally!

Here's my latest review of a great book for upper elementary and middle school students, filled with Growth Mindset themes!  
I've created a novel study for this book which is available on Teachers Pay Teachers here.  You can also buy a Crossword Puzzle and Word Search of all the key names and places here.

If you're back to school, have a great week!  And if you're still "summerin'," enjoy the last of it!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

One Race: Human. What we Need to Teach our Students



Teaching Students about racism
Sometimes, in this country, I feel like a stranger in a strange land.

I can usually wrap my head around the thinking of people whose views are different than my own.
I may not agree with them.

But I get where they're coming from.

Not so much anymore.  And, after the events in Charlottesville this past weekend, I don't want to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Again.

Nope, I want to go, with renewed commitment, into my classroom, and gently remind and demonstrate through my actions, that labels we put on each other are just that.  Labels.  Labels can be good, but they can also divide.  We need to remember that we are all people, allowed to share this amazing planet we live on, for however brief or long a time as we get to spend here.  And we are strengthened when we work with, not against each other.  Our race, gender, religion, sexuality, or political views demonstrate that we can be unique.

TOGETHER.

We are needed, now more than ever, to teach that message to our students.  Our strength as a society comes when working for "we" becomes more important than working for "me."  We need to be explicit in our teaching and not be afraid to address racism by name.  We can not let fear, which is most often based on ignorance, rule the day.  We are better than that.  And our students need to hear from us.  Because maybe, this is the only place they're hearing it.

TWO HELPFUL RESOURCES:

  • Pernille Ripp shared this google docs to her Passionate Readers group on Facebook.  It was put together by several people in response to the events in Charlottesville.  Please download it for a source of good articles and thoughts about how to address this with your children or students.
  • Mary Ramming Chappell of The Librarian's Literature Links posted this video about the book, Let's Talk about Race.  It looks like a great book, worth reading with elementary children.  





P.S.  Although I've searched online, I do not know the graphic artist who created the picture above. If you should happen to know, please comment below, so that I can give credit where it's deserved. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why your students should read Echo: a video review

Video review of Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Have you ever read a book where you marveled about how the author came up with the ideas?  I admit, I do that pretty often, but nothing like how I felt when I read Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan.  My word!

The author has managed to intertwine five different stories: a fairy tale and four different historical fiction stories.  What’s the common thread?  A harmonica.  Yup, you read that correctly.  And if that doesn’t sound interesting, trust me when I tell you that some of your upper elementary or middle school students will be completely blown away by this book.

I hope your students enjoy it as much as my students and I have!