Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Few Recommendations

We have been reading several books in preparation for the upcoming holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. I really enjoy these for the depth of conversation and thinking that they promote.

First, I love White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman. Kids really sense the bravery in the little girl in the story, and how she inspires adults to stand up for what is right.

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodsen is another wonderful book, using the symbolism of a fence running through town as a vivid example of the separation between whites and blacks in the time.

Also, My Brother Martin by Christine King Ferris is a great biography written from the point of view of MLK Jr's sister. The kids see King in his childhood, and learn through story form why he decided to dedicate his life to what is right.

Finally, The Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson shares a march from the eyes of a child.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

An inspirational book

Has it been since December since I posted? Ooo, that's bad. I have been so caught up in cleaning my house after replacing 75% of the downstairs tile (MESSY, but they are beautiful!), keeping holiday guests busy, and now resuming "normal" life.

All this and our internet at home is hit or miss (very frustrating).

I read cover to cover a book that I feel I could have written myself (probably not as eloquently). It is called The Book Whisperer By Donalyn Miller - she teaches here in Texas, and I have read her blog from time to time.

She believes, pretty much lock and step, what I do. Give kids time to authentically read. Model reading. Be  excited about reading. Enthuse them, don't worksheet them.

My favorite quote, however, comes from Mark Twain. I am going to share it with a few of my students tomorrow and get their feedback on what it means.

"He who does not read books is no more than the man who can't."

WOW. That hits right between the eyes.

It's wasted talent not to pick up a book.

In that case, let's read.