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This is an excellent article about supporting our EL students in the classroom setting! I feel like it's a 'must read' for all teachers. Re. #3 - Please let me know if you'd like me to support the vocabulary pertaining to a unit you're teaching - or - if you'd like to collaborate in any way! When thinking about our EL students, I think this quote from Kim is important to keep in mind, "They’re doing twice the job of everybody else in the class even though the result looks like half as much.”

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I saw this story over the weekend and wondered about all of the steps in the process before the project went on display. There must have been adults who knew, who saw the project being put together, who saw text being composed or research being done or books on a desk? How many teachers were uncomfortable addressing it?
A large part of library school is the issue of free speech, but I still barely have my legs under me talking about issues like this. We talked about "yelling fire in a crowded theater" and once in a while "issuing permits for Nazi parades" but as a thing that never happens, not as a thing that is about to happen around the corner from where I live. Expecting people to just "be nice" isn't enough, and I am feeling now more than ever that I need to be able to articulate why free speech has limits, and why that is actually something that strengthens free speech rather than chilling it.

Readaloud ideas for this month! We have several of these -- others are at buildings throughout the district and we can have them sent over :)

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This is a thought on our recent PD, not our book discussion, but hope it's ok to post here.
I like to group my learning and put things in buckets - when I was first learning technology, it calmed me down to see how much everything was "like Word."

In case you are like me, I pulled some articles comparing a few of the text-set / leveled-reading web sites we've been hearing about in both tech and ELA PDs - you can use these for shared reading or when you are looking for nonfiction passages. I like how I can glance over the pros/cons and decide which is right for me before I invest my time. One article is below, two others in the comments (see the chart in the last article which shows which features are in which platform).
If you want help setting up any of these for your room, please let me or Rick know - but from what I see, they all let you use Google accounts. Keep in mind: Newsela is also linked to Brainpop, which we have for this year.

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Saw this video on Facebook and thought it was very powerful. We had a discussion on Thursday with my class and Dawn’s about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A student from Dawn’s class made a very powerful statement about Dr. King. He stated that Dr. King fought for the rights of all people. He fought with words not guns or weapons.

The video may be from the late 60s/ early 70s but it still resonates today. Treating people differently based on their eye color, skin color or background, does have a negative impact on them. It is our job to be mindful on how we, as educators, treat our kids.

Thanks Beth for sharing this on Facebook.

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Came across this - "Teenagers Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi started the student-run organization CHOOSE to overcome racism and inspire harmony through exposure, education, and empowerment. This enterprise led them to collaborate with Princeton University on The Classroom Index, a 224-page textbook devoted to racial literacy."
"The Classroom Index is the work of bold high school students who sought to do something about the way we do, or do not engage in conversations about race. The book is an excellent and riveting resource that every K-12 district should include in their curriculum."
The girls spoke at TED last year, 3 years after starting their organization. So neat!

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I have some children in my room that have gone to Disney every year, and they're only 5, and some can't even imagine what Disney is like. This article is interesting to me in so many ways. When talking to students about their birthdays or traveling, or even after school sports I have to be careful. Not all my students are the same.Some children get big elaborate toys, trips, while others may tell me they didn't get anything, or didn't do anything over break or on a snow day. Getting to know the children is a good thing, but keeping it relatable as to who they are, is also very important.

Reading Chapter 10 for "Things I wish my teacher knew" I was thinking about how our subscriptions to Brainpop & Discovery Education can help make those real-world connections in the classroom. Every Brainpop video has a link to a Newsela article on a related topic. Newsela is an educational newspaper for students that easily changes reading levels for you. Discovery Education has a daily 5 min or less video clip of current events that is student appropriate. Both have lots of extra features to flesh out those lessons. If you are struggling to find kid-appropriate current events, these are two fast and easy ways that could help launch conversations or writing assignments in the classroom.

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From the Monday Memo -
I am SO EXCITED to see us not on this list. Maybe we haven't been for a while, but I will never forget being at a board meeting for a union issue years ago and hearing a parent raise this issue and hearing the then-board & Supt brush it off like it didn't matter. At that time we were on the list and had been for years, and the leadership had no plans on getting us off the list - the plan seemed to be to discredit the list as valuable insight.
Us not being on this list is a sign that things are changing in a good way!
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