Saturday, April 26, 2014

What are you reading? (Five for Friday Style!)

Happy Saturday everyone! I am a little late linking up with Doodlebugs, but here's my five for Friday...all about what I've been reading lately!

This month, Ralph Fletcher has been sharing a poem a day on his blog, The Writer's Desk. (He's one of my favorite authors of books for kids and books for teachers!) This week, in second grade, I shared one of his poems, Rainbow in Ice:

After we read it a few times, we had kids write a response:

Here's Z's response:

Even though most of the poem is a little sad, about having the winter rainbow trapped in ice, I see where her thinking is coming from - finding a rainbow anywhere would make anyone happy!

I love that I can come to the blogs I follow for inspiration in my teaching! You can follow Ralph Fletcher here!

I started following The White Rhino - Ray Salazar. He's a Chicago Public Schools English Teacher and he writes lots about the kids he teaches and Chicago politics.

Chicago now has plans to open a new selective enrollment high school, named for our president. The thing is, that the school favors the higher income students of the north per usual. I'm pretty sure that most (if not all) of the selective enrollment schools are on the north side. Meanwhile, the south side continues to be underfunded and doesn't have as many opportunities as the north side. This makes me so angry!

How will our city reduce the crime rate when we don't invest in the south side? This is why I also am following Amara Enyia and reading what she has to say.....

This girl is beautiful - inside and out. She's going to run for mayor of Chicago for the 2015 election. Her campaign wants to make a Chicago for the people...

She's been doing neighborhood clean-ups, meeting people on all sides of the city, and really just getting to know her neighbors on her "Unity Tour." Even though she's so young, she's super smart - A law degree and a PhD in Educational Policy. She worked under Mayor Daley when he was in office and then went and worked on a grass roots level on the south and west sides. She knows that there are people in our city who don't have a voice. She knows that Rahm is funneling money into big projects (DePaul Stadium...River Walk) that don't serve all the people of our city. She'll make a great mayor but we need to spread the word! Find her on facebook, on twitter, and at her website and spread it around!

Also - see her reaction to the new high school here.

This is a blog I follow and the writing on it is hilarious. In his post entitled "What Test Prep Is Not," he ends with this....

I'm seriously lol-ing. His voice is the best!! No matter what your opinion on standardized testing, we can all agree that he is a great writer!

Anyways, his posts are also pretty eye-opening about the state of our education policies. In case you're not following what I'm following, I'd say that this tweet is very much true:

For more on this, you can follow Diane Ravitch, Badass Teachers Association, (read more about the BATs here) and Network for Public Education. Then you'll be in the know of what I know!

by R.J. Palacio

This book is about Auggie, a fifth grader who has a face that is a "medical anomaly." Some how, his genetics made his face look very different than everyone, and even with plastic surgery, he still looks very different than his peers.

He was homeschooled all the way till fifth grade, so Wonder is a story about his transition to school. What's great about Wonder is the narrator changes. Auggie narrates first, then his sister, then some kids from school. So, it's cool how Palacio unfolds the story bit by bit, depending on who is telling it.

I'm not all the way done yet, but over halfway and it's really great. Our fourth grade did it as a read aloud, and then I heard from my mentee that she read it with her sixth graders. Probably 7th and 8th could read it independently and get all the storyline and meaning from it.

Time to finish WonderWhat are you reading? Please share with me!

Happy weekend everyone!

PS - My blog is getting a makeover! It's currently in progress with Designs by Kassie and I can't wait to share it with you!

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