Blog Posts

The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom, by Felicia Rose Chavez

At heart, the Anti-Racist writing workshop imports a pedagogy of deep listening—Felicia Rose Chavez I highly recommend this book for all educators who teach reading and writing. While Chavez works mostly with adult students, and much of her focus in the book is about making thoughtful, purposeful changes in a college-level writing workshop, her basic… Continue reading The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom, by Felicia Rose Chavez

Blog Posts

Usha and the Big Digger

Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight. Illustrations by Sandhya Probhat. As an elementary science specialist I am always on the lookout for picture-books that bring science ideas to an accessible level for my students. Celestial patterns, like seasonal daylight, lunar phases, and constellations are particularly valuable. The ever-changing day and night sky… Continue reading Usha and the Big Digger

Blog Posts

Big Feelings ~ are you feeling them?

The book jacket is a poster that can be used for a variety of things. Here I am introducing new feeling words. I have so much to say about the true power of this book…So many incredible things that have already happened with my students because of this book.  But the thing I’m currently feeling… Continue reading Big Feelings ~ are you feeling them?

Blog Posts

Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea!

Written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Alea Marley Abby is a relatable character who anxiously awaits her friend’s arrival to her house for tea time. She spends time meticulously preparing her table and refreshments, as this is how she regards Phoebe Dupree's standards. Abby describes Phoebe as “speedy...smart...brilliant...sings like a bird…”. Abby works diligently… Continue reading Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea!

Blog Posts

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old.

Book love is contagious. Kids catch it from their parents, siblings, teachers and friends. Goodnight Moon was my daughter’s favorite book. Before she could speak she would grab a copy of it and climb up into my lap for me to read it to her. A while back my husband gifted me this t-shirt. No… Continue reading Make New Friends, But Keep The Old.

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Equity Work with Milo’s Museum by Heather Rader

Milo’s Museum was recommended by our counselor during my time as a remote teacher of fourth graders. Initially I thought it might be better for younger students, but the depth of conversation it promoted left me feeling very inspired.  I broke my lesson into four parts:  IdentityA Sense of Belonging DiversityAction Identity  For identity, I opened… Continue reading Equity Work with Milo’s Museum by Heather Rader

Blog Posts

Coming Soon: September 2021 Releases!

Last week, author Meg Medina shared a link to an article on Twitter--Why Adults Should Read Middle Grade Books: The value in returning to these books as adults is in reminding ourselves what it’s like to be a kid, to gain a different perspective on the world, and to expand our understanding of different experiences… Continue reading Coming Soon: September 2021 Releases!

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Launching Reading and Writing Workshop with the help of Ekua Holmes

Beginning the year feels BIG to me, and I want it to feel BIG to kids too. To prepare, I reread my notes from a professional development session about deeper learning, and I paused at this list: AntiracistCurious and CreativeAdaptable and CourageousEmpathetic and Equity-MindedAdvocates, Collaborators, and LeadersAbility to Build a Life of Possibility This list… Continue reading Launching Reading and Writing Workshop with the help of Ekua Holmes

Blog Posts, Read Aloud

Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder

If you’ve just started school or are seeing the first day come over the horizon at the end of the month, you’re probably building community in your new classroom by learning about and celebrating each other. Add Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder to your collection of identity-affirming read alouds for primary readers!  Feder’s playful… Continue reading Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder

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Setting Intentions: The Author’s Craft

At this time of year, I consider the beginning of a new school year. There are many obligations given to me as a literacy educator in a school district, but along with those noble ideas, I always set an intention for the focus of my work for the year, my personal work, my inner work,… Continue reading Setting Intentions: The Author’s Craft

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Class Act by Jerry Craft

Companion to the Newbery Medal Winner "New Kid" The first page of this graphic novel by Jerry Craft makes the theme perfectly clear: Be kind. Be fair. Be you. While this sounds like a simple request, "Class Act" shows the struggles students face while navigating racial and cultural differences. The prestigious Riverdale Academy has students… Continue reading Class Act by Jerry Craft

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What I Learned from Going Back to the Classroom…and What I’m Reading This Summer to Learn More

I started my career as a first grade teacher and spent ten years in the primary grades before transitioning to becoming a literacy specialist. Even so, when my district asked me to go back into the classroom this year to help provide cohorts small enough to teach in person, I did have that sneaking fear:… Continue reading What I Learned from Going Back to the Classroom…and What I’m Reading This Summer to Learn More