Choice Words

In Choice Words, Peter Johnston (2004) discusses how “[language] creates realities and invites identities” (p. 9). In other words, the language we use communicates to others how we see them as individuals and as members of a larger community. In the classroom, language plays an integral role in shaping students’ identity, developing their sense ofContinue reading “Choice Words”

The Line Tender

Allen, K. (2019). The Line Tender. Puffin Books. Category: Middle-grade realistic fiction Summary: Twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart deals with unimaginable grief and loss while attempting to find solace in finishing what her marine-biologist mother started. Theme: Even loss brings new beginnings. Generalizations: death, loss, grief, family, friendship, love Potential uses in the classroom: The Line TenderContinue reading “The Line Tender”

Concrete Rose

Do you enjoy stories of personal growth and redemption? Do you like reading about authentic characters navigating real and relevant issues? If the answer is yes, prepare to get hooked on on this tale of love, friendship, and loyalty. Seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter’s got a lot going on. Not only is Mav about to start hisContinue reading “Concrete Rose”

Unspoken

Unspoken, illustrated by Henry Cole Cole, H. (2012). Unspoken: A story from the Underground Railroad. Scholastic Press. Category: Wordless book Summary: A young girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in the family’s barn and must decide what to do. Theme: Doing what’s right takes courage. Generalizations: the Civil War, slavery, the Underground Railroad, freedom, empathy,Continue reading “Unspoken”

English Orthography

Orthography is a broad term that refers to the spelling, punctuation, spacing, and special features of a language. According to Freeman and Freeman (2014), “One reason that spelling gets so much attention in schools is that English spelling is complex” (p. 149). This is due to its roots in German, French, Latin, and Greek, asContinue reading “English Orthography”

Haim Ginott

I discovered this quote from Haim Ginott hanging in one of the classrooms at SUNY Cortland on my very first day. I took a picture and saved it to my camera roll, and I often reread it to remind myself that everything I do and say matters. Haim Ginott (1922-1973) was child psychologist and teacherContinue reading “Haim Ginott”

Ghost Boys

Ghost Boys written by Jewell Parker Rhodes Rhodes, J.P. (2018). Ghost Boys. Little, Brown and Company.   Category: Middle-grade Contemporary Fiction Summary: Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot and killed by a white police officer while playing with a toy gun. As a ghost, he witnesses the emotional aftermath of his murder and realizes that “only theContinue reading “Ghost Boys”

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone, written by Tomi Adeyemi Adeyemi, T. (2018). Children of Blood and Bone. Henry Holt and Company. Category: Fantasy novel Summary: Seventeen-year-old Zelie Adebola fights for the rights and preservation of her people and the magic they possess. Theme: Stand up against those who seek to oppress. Generalizations: loyalty, family, authority,Continue reading “Children of Blood and Bone”

Back to School Again

Today marks the first day of the new semester, so of course this song has been taking up space in my head. You’re welcome. Unlike in the movie, however, there is no unmasked, group-dancing in early-September sunshine to celebrate the occasion. It is February 2021, and we’re still learning from home in our Covid-quarantine bubblesContinue reading “Back to School Again”