This year was one for the books in so many ways! As always, at the end of the year I sit back and reflect: What worked? What didn't? What should I do again? What do I need to do better? This year's reflection was almost as tough as the year itself. Sure, I gave myself… Continue reading One for the Books!
Getting books into kids’ hands is very important. Getting them books that they CAN read and WANT to read is even more important. One of the greatest challenges we face daily in this remote learning world is that kids just don't have enough books or the right books to read at home. Digital books are… Continue reading Book Shopping 2020 Style
Sophie and I are a Therapy Dog Team. In ordinary times we visit patients at the hospital bringing smiles to faces with each pet and wag. These days the closest Sophie and I can get with our friends is a Zoom camera. Our recent visit was with Ms. Uvanni's second grade class as we all… Continue reading A Read Aloud and a Furry Friend
It’s no secret that I’ve had a hard time adjusting to supporting students, teachers and parents during a pandemic. I am a planner or, as my husband likes to say, a Control Enthusiast. I need to know where I’m going, how I’m getting there, and what I’ll see and do along the way. Truth be… Continue reading A Control Enthusiast Shows Up
Calm Ninja by Mary Nhin Who isn't feeling a little extra stress these days? Whether you are a student, parent or teacher, back to school in 2020 has brought challenges we've never experienced. All of this can lead to some really difficult situations and some seriously stressed little (and big) people. Calm Ninja to the… Continue reading The Calm Ninja
By Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed This compelling story of two young brothers' survival in a refugee camp after fleeing their warn-torn country of Somalia is based on the lives of Omar and Hassan Mohamed. When Stars Are Scattered vividly paints a picture of what a refugee camp is actually like: the struggle for food,… Continue reading When Stars Are Scattered
Picture this… the Colosseum in Rome, sword in hand, facing a mighty opponent - remote teaching! Russell Crowe made a mean Gladiator but so did lots of Remote Teachers this spring! Ancient Gladiators had exotic animals and intensely armored opponents ready to fight to the death. The modern-day beasts teachers faced this spring, while less… Continue reading Summer Reading for Healing
Brendan Wenzel's latest book, A Stone Sat Still, is a perfect book to share during this challenging time. Using a variety of creatures and changes in nature, Wenzel teaches us a powerful life lesson in perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11LB4A-pjI Brendan Wenzel talks about A Stone Sat Still It’s long been said that perspective is reality. This pandemic… Continue reading A Stone Sat Still
Give your students a little control in a world where we've lost so much of that. You may be like me - stretched to your limit, worried about students in so many ways, wanting to teach but struggling to manage the many needs and schedules of our at home learners. While I can't make all… Continue reading Distance Learning with Choice Boards
Just like kids and puppy dogs, I just couldn't tell you which of the many Robert Munsch books is my favorite. BUT... if I were going to be stranded on a desert island (or quarantined in my home) these would be at the top of the list. The Paper Bag Princess is one of my… Continue reading Munsch a Few Books
Being a fact is not always easy. "A Fact is a Fact" is a simple statement and yet, it can also be bold and intimidating. Among the best things about reading with first graders are their inquisitive nature and honesty. Both were on full display during this reading of The Sad Little Fact by Jonah… Continue reading The Sad Little Fact
Is Ho'onani wahine (girl) or kane (boy)? She doesn't see herself as either. Instead she feels most comfortable somewhere in the middle. Ho'onani: Hula Warrior is based on the true story of 11-year-old Ho'onani Kamai of Honolulu, Hawaii. The reader can't help but think about gender roles/identity and also about love, unconditional acceptance, and determination… Continue reading Ho’onani: Hula Warrior
This laugh-out-loud fractured fairy tale will appeal to the young and the young at heart! Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story by Edward Hemingway had kids and teachers laughing out loud! Younger ones loved making connections to the classic Gingerbread Man and older students and teachers enjoyed each and every play on words, rolling their eyes… Continue reading Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story
Oge Mora has beautifully woven the themes of kindness, friendship, caring and generosity into the gorgeously illustrated, Thank You, Omu! Mrs. Unger's twenty-two, first graders truly enjoyed this heartwarming narrative, predicting who’d arrive at the door and how Omu would react upon finding nothing in left in her pot. The read aloud seamlessly shifted to… Continue reading Thank You, Omu!
Finding your color is a beautiful thing! "Can we read this book first?... She looks just like me!" This request from a first grader lead to one of the most meaningful conversations I've ever had with a student. While the beautiful, biracial girl on the cover caught her attention, the excitement only grew when she… Continue reading Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color
Children of all colors, sizes and abilities stand together to Say Something! perfectly summing up this book. Every now and then it might be okay to judge a book by its cover. Students couldn’t help but think of things to say. Teachers can use this timely book to help build a culture of shared responsibility… Continue reading Peter Reynolds’ Say Something!
by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Holly Hatam "You've got to be you or you won't be happy!" bellowed a first grade student eager to share her thinking with the class. Her enthusiasm and conviction were as evident as the message of this fantastic children's book. Students from kindergarten through second grade easily understood this book's… Continue reading Jack (Not Jackie)