Friday, February 14, 2020

Poetry Friday -- When They See You

Via Unsplash

Valentine Letter From Shadiya

I Love you so much
I ned you so much Miss Hahn
I nau you is so tieard
because I see yor pekchar in the book
I want show you your pekchar in 2018
You is so nice Miss Hahn
I see yor pekchar in the book
my firend has the book
you is so difrend in 2018 and 2020
I see you
and I see you is so tieard
if you ned hilpp
I can hilpp you.

Shadiya was new to the U.S. this fall. She is from Kurdistan, and speaks a rare dialect of Kurdish that has left her linguistically isolated in ways that none of our other EL students experience. There are no bilingual aides available to help her navigate our world. Every bit of English and our 5th grade curriculum that she has conquered has been won with grit and determination.

She must have always had this big heart we see in her letter to me, and it gives me comfort that the harsh reality of her isolation has not made her bitter and withdrawn. Rather, it has sweetened her already good nature like the boiling down of maple sap to make syrup. She begins and ends every day by giving me a hug. She keeps me centered and helps me remember why I do what I do.

Thank you, Shadiya. Yes, I am "so tieard" this year. But where would I be without you?

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope someone touches your heart like mine has been touched! Check out the Poetry Friday Roundup at TeacherDance.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

On a Snow-Melting Day

On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring
by Buffy Silverman
Millbrook Press, February 2020

On the day before our snow fell last week, I noticed that my daffodils are poking up! This will be the perfect book to share as I encourage my students to keep their eyes open for the signs of spring. Fun rhyming text and engaging photographs make this a great book for children of all ages.

Monday, February 10, 2020

My Eclectic Reading Life

Kent State
by Deborah Wiles
Scholastic, April 21, 2020
review copy provided by the publisher

This is an amazing book that belongs in every high school library, every high school US History course, every HS American Lit course, every high school student's hands.

It's greatest power is that it is told from multiple points of view represented by different fonts (not quite verse novel, not quite script). There can never be one single accounting of a moment in history and that was never more true than this one. This was an important, galvanizing moment for young people of that time to work together and make changes. We can only hope this book will help this generation to do the same. This history of youth activism is one we definitely want to be repeated.

by Judd Winick
Random House Books for Young Readers, February 4, 2020

A very satisfying ending to the HiLo story line. All the pieces do indeed fit, and as usual, the story is filled with big truths. (Don't despair! A new book comes out in 2021!)

For popular "next in the series" books like this, I get first dibs! When I take this into the classroom, we'll draw sticks for the order of the readers. Each reader gets the book for 24 hours and then must pass it on.

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
by Robert Dugoni
Audible Audiobook

This is my current listen. It's our book club book, and I started it without reading any reviews or synopses. I'm loving it. This book has lots to say about the power of family and friends, about discrimination, and about the lingering effects of bullying.