Friday, February 14, 2020

Parable of the Brown Girl

I just finished reading one of the most thought-provoking books I've read in a long while, Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color.  Author, Khristi Lauren Adams, tells about the challenges of girls growing up brown-skinned in a society that seems to undervalue their uniqueness.  She mines historical, cultural, and spirituals truths from the experiences of a number of girls she has worked with over the years, as well as her own.  Parable is just this month reaching bookstore shelves.

Each chapter presents a different challenge faced by black girls, not only in today's society but in some cases, for generations.  Through the stories of the many of the girls she has counseled and mentored she lays out how those challenges shape their self concepts and personalities.  They have to navigate cultural expectations of the black as well as the white settings in which they live and go to school. She shows how negative societal myths impact these girls' lives. In her work with these girls she helps them understand how God can work through their adverse experiences and learn from them.

Author Khristi Adams is a speaker, author and advocate. Khristi, an ordained Minister with American Baptist Churches USA, is the Firestone Endowment Chaplain and instructor of religious studies and philosophy at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA. She is co-director of Diversity at the Hill School. Previously she was Interim Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown University Law Center & Georgetown University, Associate Campus Pastor for Preaching & Spiritual Programming at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, and former Director of Youth Ministries at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, NJ.

Growing up in a white world, I did not face many of the challenges described in this book.  As a mother, I did not have to worry about those particular things when raising my daughter in a white society.  What an eye-opener this book is to people like me.  I highly encourage parents, teachers, school administrators, counselors, coaches, church workers, and anyone who works with teenage girls to read this worthwhile book.  It would be inspirational for teen readers as well.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Sign of the Times


Today I ran across this Caldecott Honor book  I hadn't read before.  The Paperboy tells about a young boy and his trusty dog, who crawl out of their cozy, warm bed at the crack of early.  He rolls through the neighborhood with his dog trotting along behind in the dark chill of early morning to deliver newspapers. It's a sweet, simple story with lovely illustrations.

As I finished this book, I was struck by how much society has changed since it was first published in 1996.  Nowadays, who would allow their child to deliver newspapers in the wee hours, alone-even with an accompanying canine.  I know, the story is a romanticized idea.  But it's a sad truth that today's world can be a scary, even dangerous place for our children.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Fly, Fly Again

Jenny has always wanted to fly.  Although her many attempts to do so were not successful, she never gave up.  She studied her pet red-tailed hawk to learn more about how flight works.  When her latest aeronautical creation crashed in her neighbor Jude’s back yard, she teamed up with him to rework her design. They learned about pitch, roll, drift, yaw, and how lift, control, and speed play a part in getting their tiny plane to fly.  One more attempt and - - - SUCCESS!!  Of course, this inspired their next project, a rocket to Mars!

Mother and daughter Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson collaborated on this entertaining story that introduces elementary-aged kids to some basic aeronautical engineering terms.  Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wrote the forward to this hot-off-the-press picture book.  Tammie Lyon’s delightfully creative illustrations add the perfect touch to Fly, Fly Again. A portion of the proceeds from this book  will be donated to UNICEF and Buzz Aldrin Ventures.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Gnome for the Holidays

I made this cute little guy after watching a Youtube video

I switched out the rice she used for a bag of beans and subbed a ping pong ball for Gnomey's nose.

Since Christmas Spirit is my favorite essential oil blend to use this time of the year, I applied a few drops to his beard and he became a passive diffuser. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Last Day

It's the last day of school before we break for the holidays.  Excitement is high (and noisy) among our littler learners today.  

May you have a peaceful and meaningful Christmas.  May you find new purpose and enthusiasm for the coming new year/decade.

Teachers, enjoy your time off from school.   Take time to relax, rejuvenate, and read a couple of really good books over the break. 


Parents enjoy your little ones.  Find time to read to them.  Take an excursion to your local library so they can pick out some books to enjoy during vacation.


Friday, November 1, 2019

Sweet Idea

Recognize these?  Of course, they're gelato spoons.

My teacher friend, Michele is like me.  She loves to repurpose anything and everything to use in the classroom.  She gave me a handful of these spoons to use for my students to track their words while reading.  Maybe it will help  your young students to spoon up some good focus.

Speaking of tracking, I'm a little late to remind you of a previous post on tracking words with creepy fingers.   Maybe you can catch some of them on Halloween clearance.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sight Word Activity

 Early emergent readers and children who struggle to learn to read sometimes have difficulty realizing a word that starts with a capital letter is the same word as the identical word that is all lower case or is in a different font.

I made this game for a couple of my second graders who are finding remembering sight words quite a challenge.  They'll get a little fine motor practice as well.  See the rubber-tipped tongs?  I found them at Walmart.  Adds a little fun element to the game as they search for matches.

I also found at Walmart some colored laminating sheets.  Didn't know they made such.  The top layer is clear, and the bottom layer is a translucent color.  I used light blue card stock for this game.  When I was laminating, I accidentally put the colored side on top of one of the sheets.  You can see the darker sheet in the top picture.  Fortunately, it's still readable.