…the truth is

This week I am on a rare trip: my in-laws took me and my husband to Hawaii. My husband and I went on our honeymoon 26+ years ago to Maui, and haven’t had a trip since. We’ve been to visit relatives in California and Texas, but for big, magical trips, this is it. I have more to say about this trip, and I know I wrote a poem in my sleep about monk seals, and hope I can capture it from the ethereal realms. I am worried about my students this week. My husband told me not to, but I…

Life and History (history is life)

A Toy Monkey That Escaped Nazi Germany And Reunited A Family I began this project I called “dismantling the essay” or “disrupting the essay,” and it continues. Driving home today, I had NPR on, and the introduction to this story almost made me turn on my own music, and thank heavens I didn’t. Not sure what it was about the introduction that seemed kind of weak, but it is a beautiful story–first to listen to the voices on the radio, and then read the article with the accompanying pictures. I didn’t need the photographs to bring it to life, but…

Tell your story.

You’re 8 years old. Your 3rd grade class orders chinese food & your father delivers it. You are so excited to see your pops in school. He’s your hero. But apparently other kids don’t think he’s so cool. They laugh at him and mimic his accent. You don’t want to be Chinese anymore. pic.twitter.com/6vW9DXZK6x — Kimberly Yam (@kimmythepooh) August 18, 2018 Yesterday in one sitting I read Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai: it’s a short verse novel, so saying I finished it quickly is a silly boast. The story, light in words but heavy with my response…

Saving Summer: Where the Stories Are

https://giphy.com/embed/r8GaguhRgiwH6 via GIPHY If you follow the Notice and Note site on Facebook (and why are you still reading this if you’re not?!), you will see many teachers asking for recommendations on a variety of themes, theme topics, units, and niche text recommendations for a variety of grade levels and kids. It’s fantastic. There are many places to get good stories and texts, and here are just a few: Open Culture Lewis Carroll’s Classic Story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Told in Sand Animation https://t.co/7qOzMEvOwg pic.twitter.com/3ba2BlLIu5 — Open Culture (@openculture) July 5, 2017 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Book Riot: On this week’s All the…

Metaphorically speaking…

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsomersault1824%2Fposts%2F1133745360065457&width=500 At one point my life, I self-applied the moniker “Queen of the Metaphors.” Perhaps my crown tarnished a tad due to adjusting verbiage to suit more concrete/sequential folks, including differentiating for students who may not understand the nuances of abstract thought. In other words, I was tired of people saying they needed a translator. Metaphorical thinking and creating are pinnacles of new thought and ideas. Our ability to communicate precisely and clearly hinges on figurative language: it is a paradox. The more abstract one wordsmiths, the more concrete and accessible an idea may be. However, many don’t feel this way….

Series: Elements of Structure Part 4: Documentary Resources

NO INTERNET WEEK: FULL DOCUMENTARY from Mother on Vimeo. Documentaries are non-fiction with bias. At least that’s how I define it…because documentaries are so much more than just presenting facts. Sheila Curran Bernard says it better: “Documentaries bring viewers into new worlds and experiences through the presentation of factual information about real people, places, and events, generally — but not always — portrayed through the use of actual images and artifacts. But factuality alone does not define documentary films; it’s what the filmmaker does with those factual elements, weaving them into an overall narrative that strives to be as compelling as…

The Case of Kelly's Curious Curation

Note: Here is the challenge: take one hour on a Saturday or Sunday and curate your own list of three things you could make into a mini-unit, writing prompt, etc.  “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!” – Lewis Carroll How many times in a school year do students hear the word ‘authentic’ but…

Write-It-Right Wednesday

We are writers. Writing serves my creative mania. In my classroom, historically, we write more than we read. Do I love books? Of course! Am I passionate and excited about passages, excerpts, themes, patterns, characters, and juicy plots? Naturally! But in my experience, if you truly want to a student, a person– to engage, spill their guts, bare their soul and express themselves, writing is it. Write-It-Right Wednesdays are mini-lesson moments and writing workshop days. Mini lessons are those quick, here is a “thing you need to know” thing. Writing Workshop is a very different animal, and all I’ve learned…