Blog Archives

And the Winner Is…

The results of the World Book Talk Championship are in! We started with 16 educators who each created a 30 second book talk.  After thousands and thousands of votes only one book talk remains. 

Who will be victorious? Will it be the Lead Learners or Literacy Legends?  Watch the short (3 minute) episode of the #30SecondTake podcast below to see who won the Super Bowl of book talks.  In the podcast, guest-host Jennifer LaGarde (a.k.a. Library Girl) helps announce the winner of the highly coveted “Vince Lombooki” trophy and reveals the best book talk in the world.

 

#30SecondTake Brackets 2016

 

Click on the bracket above to view the final results video!  (To see how the Super Bowl of book talks began you can click HERE or HERE.)  If you’re looking for resources to support students in creating their own 30 second book talks you can connect directly with Jen LaGarde.  She’s compiled rubrics, bracket templates, and more.  When kids read, create, and communicate their learning is amplified!!  

Jen and I would like to thank Oliver Schinkten for sharing his time and talents throughout the entire project.  After all, it would not have been the book talk Super Bowl without some fun literacy-themed commercials.  Thank you, Oliver! 

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The Dark Part of Black History Month

Deafening

If you really want to know if you are a culturally sensitive leader just ask your students about Black History Month. 

Students often associate February with Valentine’s Day, I Love to Read Month, or even the 100th day of school.  These are really comfortable things to talk about.  What I’m less inclined to talk about is how the color of a person’s skin may impact the opportunities that person experiences.  I’m even less excited to reflect upon my own white privilege.   

These are some of the hardest conversations I’ve never had. 

And I’m done not having them.  Fortunately I work with an amazing team of teachers who are helping me with my journey.  They push me.  They help us get better for all kids…not just the kids who may look like us.

This school year I’ve been reading a different book each month to individual classrooms.  This month…Black History Month…I’m reading, “All Different Now” by Angela Johnson.  I’ve had the chance to fumble through some pretty powerful conversations with students.  Admittedly, my contributions have been limited to asking a few difficult questions and then listening to students.  I’m seeking to understand.  At the same time I’m digging deeper. 

What I’m learning is that I have a long way to go.  Our kids are counting on me, and us, to teach them how to be culturally sensitive.  How can I do that if I’m not part of the conversation?

The silence is blaring.

I need to confront my own comfort with the status quo.  I need to question why I might be feeling so comfortable while others around me are hurting, angry, and oppressed.  I need to acknowledge that my own truth is not always the same truth and journey that others have experienced.

Recently, I had the chance to connect with Brandi Bates about this topic on a radio program called, UnearthED.  You can click HERE to listen to our 10 minute conversation. 

Brandi helped me begin to shine the light on the dark part of Black History Month; my own white privilege. 

 

White Privilege

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Subscribe to “UnearthED” in iTunes for more conversations that matter to the kids we serve.

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