Sunday, August 30, 2015

Links Worth Talking About 8-30-15

Inspired by Elisabeth Ellington's weekly Links I Loved Last Week posts, I've decided to curate my own set of notable links from the past week. I'm hoping, like Elisabeth, to also make this a weekly event.

On the NCTE blog, LuAnn McNabb talks about the ways legislators around the country have been trying to stifle teacher voice. If this doesn't get teachers to start speaking up, then I don't know what will. We've remained silent for far too long out of fear for our jobs. Our perceived submissiveness has resulted in our profession being taken away from us. It's time to start taking it back.

On the second week of school, I assigned my students their first article of the week. Since we're still working on building our classroom community of learners in addition to discussing the ways we can be brave by reading the book Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo and watching the music video Brave by Sara Bareilles, I decided this blog post by Jennifer Gonzalez called The Breathtaking, Life-Altering Power of Being a Dork would be the perfect first article of the week for my 8th graders. I'm looking forward to discussing it with them tomorrow.

Speaking of my 8th graders, yesterday I celebrated a tall pile of their writers' notebooks on my kitchen table. And on Tuesday I celebrated a pulchritudinous day.

And while we're talking about building classroom community, I have to say I absolutely love the ways Brian Wyzlic is encouraging community building with his 9th graders on the first week of school.

Ever since I read the book Quiet by Susan Cain, I have felt so relieved to know that there is nothing wrong with being introverted and I should stop trying to force extroversion on myself. So I love coming across posts like this one: 10 Myths About Introverts because every single one of them applies to me. For those of us who are teachers, I think it's important to understand why forcing extroverted tasks on your introverted students is forcing them to be someone they're not. The better question in our minds should be, how can we create an authentic classroom community that welcomes and values both the extroverted and introverted students.

I'm very excited about the new calendar integration of Google Classroom and some of the other new features. If you're a teacher and haven't used Google Classroom yet,  start talking to the necessary people you need to in order to make your school a Google Apps for Education school. It's totally free so there should be no reason why it can't happen. Google Classroom completely streamlines the grading process and saves you so much time. As someone who is organizationally challenged, I can attest to what an incredible Godsend it was to me last year.

On Friday I read the picture book Rules of Summer to my 8th graders. I admitted that I don't really understand what the book's about. So we had some really great discussions about the book and what we think might be happening in the story. But then Elisabeth Ellington pointed out to me in a Tweet that even Shaun Tan doesn't really know what's going on in the story and then I felt better about myself. :) 

Mind numbing district faculty meeting + Les Mis + flash mob = pure awesome.

John and Hank Green do Question Tuesday: Goat Edition and these two brothers never cease to make me laugh.

In which I rant about celebrities writing children's books.

Josh Funk, author of Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, writes a great blog post about how to buy picture books without actually buying picture books (and I promise there's no shoplifting involved).

And speaking of picture books, here's a fantastic Huffington Post article of 50 more great 2015 picture books.

And finally, Leonard Pitts, Jr. wrote an absolutely beautiful piece about Jimmy Carter and what REAL faith should look like in America. 

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