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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in adolescent literature

Posted by on in Literacy

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Read Across America 2019! 

Saturday, March 2nd, on a cold but suddenly sunny day in Eugene, so much fun reading Dr. Seuss!

Having a grand time re-reading a bunch of my Dr. Seuss books. Rather than reposting a couple earlier blogs I'm sitting here camped out with warm blanket, scarf, fuzzy slippers with pom poms, but no Dr Seuss hat. Instead a beanie. Mother Nature calmed down a bit in time for Dr. Seuss' birthday. For that I am so grateful. And ready for fun! 

My #oneword for 2019 is "Celebrate", so today's a perfect reading party. I'm waiting for you. Silly hats! Pjs and cocoa or hot cider, too. And bring your favorite Dr. Seuss stories, maybe a costume or too!

Each year, Dr. Seuss' birthday is celebrated on March 2nd. Or close to it. Due to weather, I am reading at the preschool a couple days late. I'm already planning probably two books and matching mini-lessons. I'll have the children pick their favorites. That in itself is a lesson in decision making. Maybe. Have to see. Thinking a nudge toward 'Hop On Pop', 'Ten Apples On Top'. Toss in a little word family action. I'm really sneaky with skills.

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Posted by on in General

Celebrate your freedom to read. Read a banned book! That's right, celebrate your freedom to read. It's an important freedom, and it's protected by the First Amendment. Celebrate the right to read which books we choose. Censorship is censorship. There's a fine line between challenged and banned books. Sometimes it's fine and, sometimes not.

Banned Books Week, promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International reminds us freedom is not easily maintained. We must retain our ability to think, reason and have access to thoughts different from our own.

Banned Books Week, Sept. 23-29 '18, is really about perspective. What you think is offensive, may not offend me, and vice-versa; who decides? I mean, who decides what we can read, as children and later as adults?

Books are still being banned. In 2018! Really. As of this writing, I have not been able to find a simple definitive figure for the number of books challenged and banned this year, on the ALA website, which I find disappointing. 

Well, in truth, the law actually already decided this very issue. Based on the First Amendment, librarians may not restrict any materials; in regard to children, only parents may do so. In Texas v. Johnson, ('89) Justice William J. Brennan gave this opinion: "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea solely because society finds that the idea itself is offensive or disagreeable..."  

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Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning

Empathy. Can't teach it, surely can model it. "Market Street", 2015, a Newberry, Caldecott and winner of other prestigious prizes, reads as a modern masterpiece for children of all ages. 

Not only does it appear to be a gentle intergenerational love story between a boy and his grandma,  we experience diversity, kindness and empathy throughout this simple story.

And the most lovely descriptions of a beautiful world maybe not so readily apparent until we really look beyond the obvious. Which is what we all certainly need to do.

 Let's take a bus ride, a very special one. Just us, like Nana and CJ, main characters in this heartwarming urban tale. 

Yesterday I went on the bus with Morgan's first grade field trip. She was so excited! I did a sleepover the night before. She woke me up about two hours before time for school, all dressed and lunch sack ready.

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Posted by on in Literacy

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Birthdays are always special. When it's time to party for Dr. Seuss, it's a big hurray for the day!

Mark your calendar-March 2, '17. Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! And get set for the party of parties, Read Across America! 

Two of my grandkids have Valentine birthdays. One, a teenager amazes me with her accomplishments- band, AP classes, Scouts, you name it. The years just flew by and birthday parties for her are not about pin the tail anymore.

Morgan, our Eugene adorable is turning six. Our Kindergartener is debating between various character themes, but it's going to be an old fashioned, at home party this year and we're pretty excited about that. This is our year of simple is best. Trips to the dollar store already, need a head start on a big girl party, complete with party dress and maybe a little lip gloss. Bet she invites Carter, planning to marry him.

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Posted by on in Curriculum & Unit Design

To Kill a Mockingbird 1

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is a foundational text in the American canon that attempts to deal with the complex issues of race and discrimination in the United States. Set in the Great Depression, this novel takes us to Maycomb, a fictional Alabama town where community members are wary of difference and where legal justice remains out of reach for men like Tom Robinson, a black man who is convicted of raping a white woman despite ample evidence of his innocence. While Lee’s novel succeeds in revealing many of the mechanisms by which discriminatory beliefs and attitudes are formed and perpetuated, the novel is also limited and limiting.

On Representations of Class

When we talk about Mockingbird, our discussions tend to skip over class and focus exclusively on race. This is something that some students — say, those living in low-income, rural areas — might pick up on. As one former student with whom I worked during a student teaching assignments wrote in an editorial:

...everybody talks about the Cunninghams because they are poor and can't afford for their kids to eat sometimes. People might not like that and might think that is rude that had to be in the book when it could have just been left out. Also maybe some people who read this book might not have a lot of money and the book makes it sound like it is the [poor people's] fault for being poor and they don't try to do anything about it.

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