Blog Archives

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

unearthED itunes logo

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

World Book Talk Championship

There is no doubt about it.  We LOVE to read and we want to cultivate that same love of reading in our students.  One way we can do this is by talking about the books we love and involving our kids in the process.

Jen LaGarde and I are teaming up to bring you the World Book Talk Championship. This is the Super Bowl of book talks.  (We even included a few fun reading-themed commercials to complete the Super Bowl feel.)  We started with 16 incredible educators who each submitted a short book talk video.  We’re down to four finalists and we need your help.  Who will win the coveted “Vince LomBooki” award for best book talk in the world?

#30SecondTake Brackets 2016

It’s “I Love to Read Month” and we’re feeling the love!  Click HERE to view the championship round of the podcast.  In the eight minute video you’ll see two “Literacy Legends” take on two “Lead Learners,” but only one person can hoist the championship trophy.  YOU decide!

Click HERE to cast your vote online…voting is open through February.  We’re also seeing classrooms create their own versions of the #30SecondTake book talks too.  We’d love for you to share these with us as well.  Most importantly…keep reading!

 

Special thanks to Oliver Schinkten…his creative genius elevated our Super Bowl commercials to an entirely new level.

An interactive TouchCast is available at: http://www.touchcast.com/greenwood/30secondtake_podcast_world_book_talk_championship 

ConnectED BINGO

Classroom BINGO Winners! Photo from @GTMarrone

#StuConnect BINGO Winners! Photo via @GTMarrone

This past month a team of educators from across the country collaborated to create an epic ConnectED BINGO game for students.  The opportunity was created by John Fritzky (NJ), Tony Sinanis (NY), and me.  Our students have been connecting for close to two years now on collaborative cross-state podcasts.  The ConnectED BINGO game was our attempt to include EVERYONE in a connected celebration of literacy and learning.

We know that many classrooms are still plugging away on their BINGO boards, and we encourage everyone to keep connecting and sharing.  You can see all the exciting work kids are doing on the Twitter hashtag #StuConnect.  We’re also excited to announce the first round of winners from the collaborative cross-state BINGO game.  More winners will be announced soon.

To claim your prize please send me a direct message (DM) on Twitter with your school’s address.  Please share a Tweet with a picture of your book/prize to the #StuConnect hashtag on Twitter after you receive it. (We had some amazing authors donate books, and it would be great to thank them for their support.) More prizes will be randomly drawn soon.

2015 ConnectED BINGO Winners

Grand Prize (1):

Signed copy of Wendell the World’s Worst Wizard by John Spencer AND

original framed illustration!

@CassieJanda

First Place Book Prizes (10):

Signed copies of Spruce and Lucy book written by Todd Nesloney

@NESblazerLIB

@MissMartinTCE

@GTMarrone

@MsFelan

@Morgret_Class

@MongioviMoore

@MrsCarlson30

@LaffingLibrary

@SchoolMediaMom

@MrsLavelle

I Love to Read SMACKDOWN!

Image Credit: vortexeffect.net

Image Credit: vortexeffect.net

There has been a lot of buzz about the ConnectED BINGO game that started this month.  In fact, we’re so pumped to be reading and connecting that we are issuing a Reading Smackdown for educators. That’s right…and it’s all for the love of literacy!!

I was recently chatting with a few of my principal friends from around the country on Twitter and Voxer.  We challenged each other to a Reading Smackdown…..are YOU up for the challenge?!? Participating is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Create a short video clip of your favorite line from a book and post it to Vine.  Be creative and be sure to add the hashtag #StuConnect to your post. We can’t wait to see how educators walk the walk during “I Love to Read” month.  Special thanks to Chris Lehman for contributing this mini-challenge to the BINGO board.
  2. Join the fun, and print your BINGO board by clicking the link below. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQP80CJnm8EelZzSUt5bS12Sk0/view?usp=sharing
  3. Tag at least three more educators via Twitter or in a blog post and challenge them to join the #ReadingSmackDown too. Don’t forget to use the #StuConnect hashtag when posting your video on Vine.

I’m tagging my friends Tony Sinanis, John Fritzky, Amy Fadeji, Theresa Stager, Spike Cook, Adam Welcome & Mark French.  Good luck!

ConnectED BINGO

February is “I Love to Read” month and we’re inviting classrooms everywhere to join us in playing ConnectED BINGO. We collaborated with authors and educators across North America to create an epic reading opportunity! The goal is to foster a genuine love of reading through social interaction and great literature.  We are striving to facilitate student-centered connections between authors, educators, and classrooms.

BINGO pic

ConnectED BINGO

Click the blue link above to print a PDF of the game board. Some activities should be completed with guidance from a teacher or parent. Cultivating good character through digital citizenship is a shared responsibility.  Students will be best served if the adults in their lives take an active role in modeling and discussing responsible use of social media, sharing, and online interactions.  We hope you have a BLAST reading and connecting.

I LOVE to Read!

Pirate Pic Thumbnail

February is I Love to Read month and we are celebrating…Pirate-Style!!  Help your child “Seek Treasure in a Good Book.”  Check out the short podcast HERE to learn more about the adventures that await. 

Click HERE to download your very own copy of the Pirate’s Challenge game board.  Students should turn these into the main office at the end of the month.

Originally posted January 23, 2013

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