Thursday, September 20, 2018

Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley

Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Tracy Subisak reminds me of many children I've had over the years obsessed with a topic.  They are truly experts about their passion.  Shawn is an expert on sharks and can't wait for the predator project selection day.  As you can guess, Shawn does not get sharks and gets really upset when another student in class does.  He gets seals and is quite distraught because sharks eat seals.  The shark and seal topic carries over to a game of chase on the playground even with roles reversed because Shawn use to chase everyone around being a shark.  I love that Shawn reads and as he learns he changes his mind about seals.  He learns how seals would get away from sharks and uses some of these tactics on the playground.  In the end, Shawn learns to love two things and sometimes we have students who need this too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Poor Louie by Tony Fucile

Poor Louie by Tony Fucile is another dog story I explored this weekend from my school library.  As I read the story I kept connecting in our yearly days of marriage with just us and one dog.  The three of us did everything together and then things started to change a bit when a baby was on the way.  As Louie watches new things arrive to his home he realizes he may not be quite prepared for this.  He begins to think there's going to be two new things coming home.  As a reader, I could feel Louie's uneasy feelings through the illustrations.  They are carefully crafted to support this story.  I so desperately want to share the ending of this story but it was a huge surprise to me and one I didn't predict.  

Monday, September 17, 2018

Franki by Mary Sullivan

I love dog stories and I met Franki in my school library.  Franki is written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan.  The text is simple and arranged in a text bubble format.  I found myself wanting to find a class of kindergarteners to read this book to.  Kindergarteners will be so excited to read the word no frequently as Franki adjusts to his new home with another dog, Nico.  Nico doesn't really like to share and Franki thinks everything is his.  All ages will enjoy the ending where Franki finds a solution for claiming his own items and how Nico decides to be a bit like Franki.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I AM A WARRIOR GODDESS and how I used it in class

This public library book is overdue.  I must return it for others to enjoy and I must personally buy it.  I first shared this title on my 10 for 10 Picture Book Event - Books to Help with Worry.  After reading it with students and using it to foster thinking I wanted to share more about it here.  

I'M A WARRIOR GODDESS by Jennifer Adams and Illustrated by Carme Lemniscates is warm and soft and empowering!  The little girl greets different aspects of  nature each morning to start her day and reads to train her brain.  Next she fills her heart with kindness, "the most powerful weapon there is."  The following pages show scenarios where the little girl is demonstrating an affirmation in action.  She is grateful when she receives flowers and generous when she shares them with someone else.  I love the page when she's painting bold shapes with a paint brush and views herself as fierce.  At the end of her day, she says goodnight to different aspects of nature before going to sleep.  

After reading this text and illustrating our own self portraits, I had my students add their own affirmation.  I love this addition to a project I've done each year.  The students thoughts were sincere and I think they will be helpful on a sad or frustrate day.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Thinking Together 9 Beliefs for Building a Math Community {Professional Read}

Thinking Together 9 Beliefs for Building a Mathematical Community by Rozlynn Dance and Tessa Kaplan is a book worth having to start a new school year with and one to revisit during the school year.  It's an easy book to read and won't take long if you are feeling the back to school crunch or starting right now, like many of us in Central Ohio.  

I love their child centered belief statements.  They are worded in kid friendly language and get to the core of classroom community for math workshop;  Good mathematicians are brave and try new things and it's not just about the answer are two I can't wait to focus on and believe all of our students need help with.  Questions from the teacher helps us grow and learn is one I don't know if I've really spent time on in the past and realize it's an important belief to help build their confidence and chase worries away.  

Nudges I found to try within my own work

- read the book,Chrysthanemum - discuss disrespectful treatment more in-depth
- model and post sentence stems to help develop language
-use their math attitude survey p39
-instead of thumbs down for disagreeing, tap your brain
-use this sentence stem to help students to help students explain their exact steps..."First I _____, next I ______, then I ______.
-teach the difference between a question and a statement

Quotes that are sticking with me
"Simply put - the process is more important than the product."

"We let our students know that disagreements are not a negative thing but something wonderful, as they show that we are thinking deeply about math, allowing our brains to grow stronger."

"The structures we set up in our classroom and the community we build can support our students as they persevere through productive struggle, encouraging them to continue to persist when things get tough."

Friday, August 10, 2018

Books to Help with Worry {#pb10for10}

Today is my last day of summer and I always find myself reflecting.  There are waves, hills, valleys, bumps, and seasons in life and education isn't exempted.  The beginning of the school year means new friends, faces, bodies, and minds coming together to form a community to make learning possible.  During the past year I've found myself reading more personally and professionally about mindset, play, goals, emotions, emotion dysregulation, and mental health.  Maybe I was young and naive, 1993 was my first year teaching and things in general seemed easier for everyone.  As I keep reading and thinking about everything just mentioned I think worries is something we need to explore more with our students.  I think they need far more guidance in experiencing and managing worries.  I truly wish I could take this list of books and go into high school classrooms.  They are beautifully illustrated and just tugged at my heart as an adult reader.  Enjoy!

Dear Cathy, 

I didn't follow our original intention of sharing my nearest and dearest picture books.  I heard a calling and followed a dream...I know you'll understand.

Your friend,

by Julie Kraals

Worries are heavy things and Whimsy shows us ignoring them doesn't help and offers guidance for breaking them in smaller pieces to make them manageable.

by Tom Percival

Ruby is very happy until one day she discovers a worry and it continues to grow.  This is very uncomfortable for her and one day she discovers talking about it makes it shrink.  Sweet, sweet, story.

by Deborah Sosin

Charlotte lives in a busy world of noise.  Charlotte guides the reader to find a quiet place where your breathing in and out and how you can keep this feeling inside you as you live within a world of noise.  I think it's important to allow for breaks and quiet.

by Lauren Rubinstein

A beautiful book guiding the reader to acknowledge and learn to identify your feelings in practical kid like ways - "Is it sharp like stepping on stones with bare feet? Or smooth like ice cream - your favorite treat?

by John Frank

It is also Poetry Friday friends.  Helping others is a great thing to do and it can help with worries.  This book touches on lots of things for mental health strategies; music, pets, friends, self care, exercise, nature, reading, writing, building, and creating. 

by Lemniscates

A beautiful book guiding the reader to listen for things they don't often hear.  My daughter shared the other day she was listening for the quiet-est thing.  What would that be for you?

by Jennifer Adams

Guidance for tackling your day and affirmations for how you can help others and tackle your day.

Happiness with Four Pebbles
by Thich Nhat Hanh

This is a small picture book and shares a pebble meditation practice that is simple and can be done anywhere.  The pebbles represent flower, mountain, water, and space.  I think it would wonderful to go on a hike or bring pebbles in and have students select their own pebbles for the year.

by Heather Krantz

Ideas and tips for using bubbles to help regulate our thinking and breathing.  Who doesn't enjoy spending time with bubbles.

By Rana DiOrio

Such beautiful example of what being present isn't and then the simple things we can do as individuals that it is.  I had forgotten this wisdom - "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift - that's why we call it the present!"  This book is part of Little Pickle Stories, I think other titles are worth checking out!

#pb10for10 Nuts and Bolts

Happy 10 for 10 Picture Books Day !

Here are the nuts and bolts for joining and sharing picture books today.

  1. Grab a Badge (I like to select the image and save image as...)
  2. Join the #pb10for10 Google Community
  3. Choose Your Favorites:  All you need to do is choose ten picture books you cannot live without for whatever reason.  In the first days of this event, everyone shared their ten very favorite titles.  This still works.  You will notice, however, that many past participants choose some type of theme to determine their selections.  We'll leave this up to you.
  4. Narrow Your List to Ten:  It isn't easy, is it?  We've seen some crafty ways to get around that number, but really ten is plenty. 
  5. Write Your August 10th Post:  Write a post about the ten books you cannot live without.  Share your post on August 10th and link it to the Picture Book 10 for 10 Community.  
  6. No Blog?  No Problem:  If you don't have a blog, this might be the perfect time to start one --- or now with the Google Community it is quite easy to just post your favorites directly into the community without a blog.  We will also be tweeting from the #pb10for10 hashtag.
  7. Comment:  On August 10th (and maybe for a week --- there are a lot of posts) take some time to read posts from other participants.  Please comment on at least three.