Friday, November 23, 2018

What’s Important To YOU!

Ibi Zoboi the author of American Street and Pride

If you are thinking about giving your students more choice in what they read, or if you are giving your students choice in what they read, just know, that it requires the teacher to be very secure in her thoughts about reading. You have to know that you know that reading is fundamental and is extremely important.

I know, without a doubt, that reading changes people. I know for sure that the more a person reads, the more that a person will want to read. Reading is like going to the gym! If you go regularly, it can become a habit, and you just do it. However, if you miss a few weeks or even a month, it can be difficult to go back, but once you go back regularly, you can fall right back into the habit.

Tomi Adeyemi author of Children of Blood and Bones

I have always been a reader, but my reading has had its ebb and flow; times when I have read more than at other times. When I starting the 10 to 40 reading challenge with my students, this caused me to be more conscious about my reading. I started reading more young adult books, book with characters who don’t look like me, more memoirs, and every other book that peaked my interest, and I must say that it has tremendously, positively impacted my life. I love deeper, I am definitely more empathic, I know more, and I am in relations with more and more people because of books. And of course, this transfers to my classroom; I want my students to experience the growth that can take place because of reading, and therefore, I take what I know for sure into my classroom.

Elizabeth Acevedo author of The Poet X

Teachers, I know you are thinking about fake reading. Students read when they find a book that they want to read, and this can be challenging. Almost all of my students are reading, but I do have a few who jump from book to book, but every, single class, I give those students different books with the hope that they will finally start the journey of being a lifelong reader. Many days I want to give up, but I remember how the whole class novel put me in the driver sit, and put the ownership of the students’ learning on me, but I know now that their learning is a joint adventure. They must take some ownership, and choice does that, so I continue to plug away.

I can not say that reading is important and not be a reader, so here are the eleven books that I have read since September 22nd: the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall:

The Power was recommended by President Obama, and it is amazing. It is speculative fiction that looks at the idea of what if women had all the power. Men, according to this book, y’all should be scared.

Ghost Boys is a young adult book about a boy who was killed, but he comes back as a ghost, and he spends time with Emmett Till. Yes, Emmett Till. This is an amazing, quick read.

So You Want to Talk About Race is about race in America. If you are new to talking about race, then this is the book for you.

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali is one of the best young adult books that I have read this school year. It is eye-opening, and we get a glimpse into the lives of children who are trying to navigate between two cultures... We get to go to Bangladesh!!!

There There is a story about modern day Native Americans. There a lot of characters, and each story is delightful with very strong voices, but while reading this, I went to Tuskegee for homecoming, and I had few other things going on so, I may need to try this one again.

The Outward Mindset was the Superintendent of my school district book club selection. I believe in every word of this book; if we all think about the greater good of the school, and not just our roles, there should be little lack in any school.

The 57 Bus is a young adult book that is thought-provoking and is based on a true story. Grown folks read this book to gain an understanding of young folks, and then share, share, share with as many young folks as possible. 

Song of Solomon is one of my favorite books of all times.. It’s a well-written story written by one of my favorite authors: Toni Morrison.

Heavy is Kiese Laymon’s memoir, and it is beautiful and though-provoking. If we want to understand American, we have to read folks stories. This one is powerful, and I will read it over and over again. 

Kinky Gapacho is for all of those Black high school students who are navigating white spaces and is doing a very, fine job. 

The Star Side of Bird Hill is absolutely beautiful... What do you do when one of the most important people in your life is mentally ill? Enchanting story of resilience. 

I just started A River of Stars, and I am completely captivated. Great story about an Asian woman who wants the best for her unborn child.

Y’all if you want to keep up with my reading, follow me on Goodreads.... I finally decided to try Goodreads again; It’s GOOD!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


I had a wonderful summer like always. I was busy at the beginning of the summer, and it was a good busy. I spent time working with some awesome teachers and vacationing. The summer was perfectly timed, meaning that I had the three or four weeks before school started to really, really relax. I was feeling a kind of peace that passes all understanding.

However, school started and it felt like I was hit by a tsunami. This school year, it did not feel like I had that honeymoon period that I think occurs at the beginning of most school years, or maybe that honeymoon period is all a figment of my imagination. (Memory is abstract!)

Emails and Emails about students who would need lots of love this year, getting adjusted to a new co-teacher, getting use to a new on-line system, and getting to know my new students. Many days, I felt like I was literally running around like a rat on a wheel.

However in the midst of the craziness, I managed to read eleven books and write two articles for Booksource's banter blog.

Here are the links to the articles:

ENJOY, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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