My post is late for Read Across America 2014. Many schedules, including mine, have recently changed based on our strange and treacherous winter weather. But I thought this resource was worth the mention even though it is late….and everyday is a good day to read.
I’ve had ongoing discussions with my pre-service secondary teachers for years on the value of read alouds, picture books, and children’s literature in the middle and high school classroom. Many say they just do not have time with so much content to teach. My response is, “We don’t NOT have time to engage our students, connect what we teach to everyday life, build meaningful relationships, and sometimes just have fun.
I am always on the lookout for resources to share with students and for others who agree with my perspective, so I was delighted when I read yesterday’s post on The Learning Network: Teaching and Learning with the New York Times
Great Blog Post……
Originally posted on Surviving to Thriving LjL:
American education is at a crossroads. There are two paths in front of us: One in which we destroy our strengths in order to “catch up” with others in test scores and one in which we build on our strengths so we can keep the lead in innovation and creativity. Yong Zhao
Anyone interested in a different perspective on PK-12 education and learning might find the following five books fascinating reading. These books will showcase a variety of perspectives that may challenge or change the way you currently perceive educational practices as well as the way in which you perceive learning in general. Any one of these books would make an excellent choice for a study group or book club.
Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
Top Five Reasons to Read in Your Classroom!
- The book is beautifully written by Ivan, the silverback gorilla. Students will connect with Ivan’s voice and point of view. He is funny, honest, and literal in his observations of both humans and animals. It won the 2013 Newbery Medal!
- It is inspired by a true story. Students want to connect reading and learning to their everyday lives. (Read about the real Ivan.) Ivan’s story will come to life for your children.
- It is about animals and addresses a very real issue. How do we treat animals in our society?
- It gives us hope that we can all change our world. From a small cage in a mall, Ivan is able to make a difference in not only his life, but that of his young responsibility.
- It teaches empathy, empathy for humans and animals. It is a kind book, though it tells an unkind story.
Resources for Teaching Ivan
- The One and Only Ivan
- The Real Ivan
- The Real Ivan – NPR
- Book Trailer
- Lesson from Harper Collins
- Lesson from Sweet on Books
- Activity Guide from Library Sparks
- Author Interview
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (absolutely not) Reviewed by Donalyn Miller blog post. (You have to read this teacher’s story.)
- $TPT The One and Only Ivan Unit Plan by Surviving to Thriving LjL
An excellent book recommendation……
Originally posted on Surviving to Thriving LjL:
You can’t judge a person by their looks. But once you know the other person’s inner self, both of you can be that much closer. Naoki Higashida
I just finished reading The Reason I Jump, written by a thirteen year old with autism. It’s a quick read that will stay with you for a long time, especially if you are a teacher or someone connected to a child with autism. Listed below are just a few quotes from this amazing book:
“But, like everyone else we want to do the best we possibly can. When we sense you’ve given up on us, it makes us feel miserable. So please keep helping us, through to the end” (Higashida, p. 42).
Every teacher shoul read this!
Imagine a world where everyone can read…
On World Read Aloud Day, celebrate by reading aloud or taking action on behalf of the 793 million people who cannot read.
Join the Movement.
Spread the word about World Read Aloud Day to friends, family and members of your network!
Read aloud with loved ones or new friends and tally your minutes. Find a sponsor to pledge a donation for the number of minutes you read.
Change the World.
Take action and host an event in your community or home, connect with friends near and far, and help grow the movement worldwide.
Visit litworld.org to join the movement, check out our free resources, and learn more!
WRAD 2014 Classroom Resources Kit Great teacher resources!
Today our college celebrated the successful completion of student teaching for a number of both undergraduates and master degree students in elementary, secondary, and special education certifications. What an accomplishment! It was hard for many to believe how quickly the time had passed, how much they had learned, and how much they love the profession they have chosen. They are still learning. Aren’t we all? But they have the passion and the energy become master teachers.
As they shared their experiences and advice, I was surprised and happy to hear some of my words of advice coming from them. From the beginning of our teacher ed program, our students are in schools. One of the things I and others share with them, is the idea that when you are observing or teaching as a guest in a school, it is like being on a long interview. You never know when the first school you are placed in will be the first school to have an opening and invite you to apply for a position. First impressions matter, from the secretary right up to the principal. The connections you make early in your course work and in your teaching career may well be lifelong relationships and professional connections.
Early in my career, I taught in an open concept school. My room had three walls and no door to close ever. Anyone might walk by. It challenged me to always be prepared for an administrator, a peer, or a parent to observe my instruction and interactions with students. I soon realized that if I planned and taught every lesson, every day, just as though I was doing it for an interview what an amazing effect that would have on my practice and on my students’ learning.
Many years later, I still plan that way. Today, I was encouraged to hear that my students, who are now teachers, have adopted that same philosophy.
Teaching as though you are on an interview means:
- You have well planned lessons.
- Your instruction engages students’ interests.
- Your instruction is relevant to students’ lives.
- Your instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of all the learners in your classroom.
- Your lessons use a variety of instructional strategies and are fun. (Learning should be fun for teachers and students.)
- Your lessons are student centered.
- Your classroom is a safe, learning community.
- You have respectful relationships with your students and their parents.
- You care and your students know it.
Congratulations to our newest educators! May you always teach as though you are interviewing for the job.