“Your relationship with language is your freedom.” Jason Reynolds

“It took me a long time to understand how much literacy affected my life.” Jason Reynolds Please forgive the sound and editing quality of this video. I tried to add titles on some of the key moments of Jason Reynold’s ideas. He showed the students and staff pure love that day, pure truth, and I am forever grateful to Kristin Sierra for working for over two years to bring him to our area. My only regret is that I assumed I could use part of the $1500 budget awarded to me and my students this year and use $350 of…

For fun…

We teachers have full, wonderful lives outside of teaching. I think. Sure we do! YES! We most definitely do! And why let all the wonderful folks such as Barack Obama create a list!? Here’s my challenge, inspired by @jarredamato, the leader of #ProjectLit: What if all leaders — politics, education, business, you name it — shared their own lists each year? https://t.co/6N9bkDI2aY — Jarred Amato (@jarredamato) December 28, 2018 When a friend posted Obama’s list today, I immediately went to i-Tunes and grabbed some of the songs I liked. Dang, I used to be such an aficionado of new music!…

Fresh Start 101

Do students come to your classroom year with reputations?  Well. Yes. And–I’m struggling with the past clinging to some students. That’s about as diplomatic as I’m can muster right now. How Black Girls Aren’t Presumed to Be Innocent THE PRESENCE OF JUSTICE A new study finds that adults view them as less child-like and less in need of protection than their white peers. ADRIENNE GREEN JUN 29, 2017 A growing body of evidence has shown that the American education and criminal-justice systems dole out harsher and more frequent discipline to black youth compared with their non-black peers. But while most…

Summer Series of Saves: It’s not just you.

Is anyone else finding that social media/cell phones have completely altered their capacity to read books and concentrate on multi-page sequences? It’s become a major problem… — Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) August 10, 2018 I am concerned about my #ProjectLIT project stalling out. I need these books. Don’t want: need. They aren’t some glib luxury for my incoming 8th students, they are a lifeline. These books pulled me out of my own fractured, terrible attention span thinking. They brought back mental stamina– what my students lack, and desperately need if they’re going to move through high school with courage. Eighth grade…

Summer Series of Saves: Magic

Did you ever want to be a character from a book? Tomi Adeyemi wrote Children of Blood and Bone (which I just finished and REALLY WANT SOME TO TALK ABOUT THE ENDING WITH!) and she posted this beautiful photo: call me Zélie pic.twitter.com/lDlSG6tAbZ — Tomi Adeyemi (@tomi_adeyemi) July 20, 2018 Now: ideas for discussing books and characters with students: what elements of characters do you recognize in yourself? What powers or weaknesses do they have you see in yourself? And wow: when you don’t see a character that matches or represents you: WRITE IT.

Dismantle, disrupt, and…discontinue?

One of my personality flaws is the fear of being misunderstood. I say it’s a flaw because I spend too much mental energy trying to explain my meaning after the fact, and other folks are way past thinking about me or my dumb little thoughts.  But that is why I write this blog; it’s my space to make sense, process, and reflect. So: it’s early. If you want to go along on this cold coffee and stale toast mental journey with me, great. But if you need to get off at this stop, be my guest. Loudly and clearly: I…