Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cyber PD -- Week 2

Last week for Cyber PD, in response to chapters 1-3 of Peter H. Johnston's book, Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives, I offered a graphic and a single word as my response.

For chapters 4-6, I offer this picture book as my text-to-text connection to Johnston's book:

Nora the Mind Reader
by Orit Gidali
illustrated by Aya Gordon-Noy
Enchanted Lion Books, on shelves September 3, 2012
review copy provided by the publisher

JOHNSTON, Page 69: "The problem with apprenticing children into humanity -- the intellectual and social life of society -- is that much of the action we want them to understand takes place inside people's heads. We have to help them learn to imagine what goes on inside heads, and not just the cognitive strategies being used to solve problems, but the complex social-emotional logic that lies behind their behavior." Page 70: "...students who are not very good at reading faces will cause more disruptions in class because of their social behavior." Page 80: "Developing social imagination is a big deal and should be a curricular goal."

Nora gets her feelings hurt because a boy in her Kindergarten class tells her, "You have flamingo legs!" But Nora's mom gives her a magic wand that allows her to "see what people were saying as well as what they were really thinking." Even though Nora comes to realize that the other children don't always intend for what they say to be hurtful, it's best just to say what you really mean. When Nora's dog gets ahold of the magic wand, the moral of the story is translated into Wag More, Bark Less.

Jill Fisch has the roundup for today's Cyber PD posts at My Primary Passion.


  1. Your blog post was the first one I read this morning I had to stop by to add my comment. I was so curious to see how you would make the connection with Ch. 4-6 once again PERFECT!!

  2. When I read your GoodReads comment yesterday, I wondered if this was the connection you would make -- the title seemed to fit perfectly with chapter 6. Love it!

  3. What a fun book cover! Even from the title I can imagine that it would have great links to the ideas in chapter 6.

  4. This book sounds like so much fun! I know that there are times when it would be wonderful to have a magic wand to know what people are thinking - then again, there are times that it would definitely be better not to know. :)

  5. Thank you for your insight with this connection. I agree with Maria, it is perfection. (This was a title I needed last year - and will put it on my TBO (to be ordered) list!

  6. I look forward to reading both books – Johnston’s and Gidali’s. I work with several students who are diagnosed with Autism or are on the spectrum. They have a difficult time understanding other people’s point of view and reading social cues. I agree with Johnston, goals to develop those skills would be great, not just for kids on the autism spectrum, but for all students. It looks like Nora the Mind Reader would be a great place to begin with many of my students.

  7. I must get this book and a magic wand for my K room. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Love your connection. (Wish someone would tell me I had flamingo legs! OK, no name calling, but…) Thinking maybe some of us should start trying to compile a list of books that could be used to develop kids' social imagination.

  9. This a a great text-to-text connection. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. I love how Johnston addressed a lot of social/emotional behavior in these chapters. Your quotes summed up his thinking perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Mary Lee,
    You always are able to connect your reading to real life situations, books, photographs, comics, poems, and other authentic parts of our daily lives. It has to be wonderful to be able to share these connections with students as well.

    As I've been reading Peter's books, I keep thinking about books that might complement these conversations. Molly Lou Melon, The Recess Queen, The Sandwich Swap, and Yoko come to mind quickly. I'm wondering if Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth's new book, Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations, might pair nicely with this section of Johnston's book?

    Oh, to ponder...

  11. Love this creative connection ML!! And, Cathy has me thinking more about characters who will help kids practice social imagination. Thanks ladies!

  12. Adding this book to my "must buy" list! Thanks for making the connection.

  13. What a creative connection. Like Cathy, your post (and others) has me thinking about books to help students build the foundation for a strong social imagination as well as books that will spur deep conversations (of which I need to step back from a bit). I have a new understanding of the work our guidance counselor and intervention teachers do with some of our students who need help. I know that I will be more cognizant of my language with those students who struggle.


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