Sunday Salon was on hiatus last week because I was traveling, so readers get an extra special long collection of links this week!
Easy is a compliment! Michelle explains why we should all want our classes to be easy.
Michelle also shared a neat experience where her students ended up live tweeting with Kirby Larson. I am sure her students will never forget the day a real live author they love responded to their tweets.
Tara shares a situation in her classroom where a parent is pushing his child to read a book the child hates. I thought Tara’s solution was quite elegant.
I also loved Tara’s post, How I Came to Own a Rolex Halfway through the Day. She was having a bad day, and one of her students decided to make it better.
Pernille Ripp read The Invisible Boy to her students and asked them to write about whether there were any invisible kids in their class. Their answers–and her response–show just how valuable it is to share this book with our students.
Gloria Steinem turns 80 this week! The New York Times has an interesting piece, though I am not sure why we have to continue harping on Steinem’s appearance. The reporter has to assure us that even at age 80, she looks good. Good grief! Still, I hope that I have half Steinem’s energy when I turn 80. I’m not sure I have energy to ride elephants in Botswana right now, and I’m half her age.
I’m teaching a new Digital Literacy class in the fall, and at some point, I’m going to have to jump in and start trying out different tools and technologies and messing around and failing a whole bunch. ProfHacker has just the idea for me: A Failure A Week.
I’ll also be lurking and learning from Margaret’s DigLit Sunday weekly feature.
I have really been enjoying Catherine’s daily posts for the Slice of Life challenge this month. In this one, she explores the value of daily writing and publishing.
Kwame Alexander has a new fan for life now that I’ve seen his awesome video asking librarians to read his book.
Jo Knowles has a lovely post about trusting your writing process.
I do not need any more books on my TBR list. Like, ever. But I want to read every single book featured in 21 YA Novels that Pack a Serious Genre Punch. (Well, except for the ones I’ve already read.)
I’m still trying to start using Pinterest, and this amazing diversity board from Lee & Low publishers is just the inspiration I need.
Laura Purdie Salas celebrates the publication of her new book by considering the ways that good books change us.
Katherine Sokolowski celebrates the gifted young writers in her classroom (plus, I love her commenting system using writer’s notebooks and post-its!).
Vicki Vinton analyzes some standardized test-prep programs and materials (non-spoiler alert: it’s all really bad!) and describes what happens when she and a group of teachers ask students to talk through their thinking process when they take a practice test. My kids are already stressed about the totally meaningless tests they’re taking this month–nobody will even see the score because it’s being used by the testing company to establish cut-off scores for FUTURE test-takers. So yes. Stop the madness!
Jennifer’s lovely post focuses on the times in her teaching day when she feels happy and content. I’m going to have to borrow this idea for a post later in the week!
Reading Leigh Anne’s post about her challenging third-period class reminded me so much of my fifth-period class in my first year of teaching. And my first period. Oh, and my seventh period too! And, a few years later, a different fifth-period class, where individually I had good relationships with students, but as a whole, the mixture of personalities in that class was kind of dysfunctional, and I could never find a way to make it work. Teaching is hard–even when we’re teaching from our areas of strength.
Teen Librarian Toolbox urges us to stop putting readers in boxes. And a big YES to everything she says about AR.
For the “Adults Are Annoying” file, we’ve got a post from John Green (yep, that John Green) about a book challenge in Colorado. I was most interested in the proposed syllabus to the elective course on Young Adult Lit that’s being challenged by, well, annoying adults, but there is also time to write letters of support for this heroic teacher who seems to be standing alone to support her students’ right to read.
Hilarious post on the R-rated situations English teachers find themselves in, thanks to a heady mix of classic literature and teenage brains.
I loved Amy Rasmussen’s post on “aiming higher” in the high school English classroom. Will be sharing this one in YA lit class this week.
I am really enjoying Ruth Ayres’s series of Slice of Life posts about her family. As the mom of children adopted when they were older, I relate to so many of these stories. She could be describing my older son in this one. How I wish I knew how to help a child develop the capacity, trust, confidence, ability, I don’t even know what word I want, to practice, to listen, to be able to learn from others.
Justin Stygles suggests five ways reading teachers can know that our students are becoming wild readers.
Kelsey reflects on how her teaching goals have changed now that she has much higher expectations for herself and her students.
Gigi McAllister wrote about the importance of relationships in helping our students become wild readers. Will be sharing this post with Children’s Lit class this week.
And one of my very favorite posts comes from Carrie Gelson, who reflected on 15 things she tries to make time for every day in her classroom. And what a marvelous place of learning it is!