Monday, July 23, 2012

Choose to Be Brave

Surfer Chick

Surfer Chick is stoked that her superstar surfer dad is going to teach her how to surf.  She is nervous and a little scared that she will not be a great surfer, but when she chooses to be brave, Chick learns that she might be totally awesome after all!

I met author Kristy Dempsey when I was presenting at the CERRA Induction Symposium a few weeks ago.  Her book Surfer Chick was published in May of 2012, and it is a beautiful book with an inspirational story for our youngest students.  Kristy is a native of South Carolina, and is now living in Brazil with her family.  She is also a teacher and next year will be her first year as a librarian!  How cool to have your own librarian be an author!  

I was so excited when Kristy mentioned that she offers free Skype visits!  She will visit with your class through Skype for 15 minutes for free or 45 minutes for $50 to talk about her books and the writing process.  Of course the time difference could pose a problem so if you cannot work out a good time, she will accept questions from your class and send you a video response.  Check out the trailer for her book and follow her on Twitter @kristydempsey

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wonder...Because Nice Matters

Choose Kind

Have you ever read the most wonderfully perfect book and wanted to share it with everyone?  I found that book in Wonder by RJ Palacio.  It makes me want to be a better person and gives me hope that there are still loving, caring and accepting people in our world.  

Meet August Pullman, an ordinary 5th grader with a severe facial deformity.  Until now, he has been homeschooled, but his parents will be enrolling Auggie in middle school at Beecher Prep in the fall.  He wants nothing more than to be just like everyone else, but he is used to the stares and unkind comments about his facial disfiguration.  Auggie's year is a difficult one, and Wonder is his story, told from the point of view of many people in his life.  Read this wonderful story to be mesmerized by Auggie's life and the people in his life who choose to be kind.

Get Involved in the Wonder of Wonder

Wonder is taking over the world of reading one student, teacher, librarian and book lover at a time!  I participated in a twitter chat tonight about #thewonderofwonder, and I came away with so many ideas about how to use this fabulous book in my school but more importantly, how to encourage my students to just be nice to each other.  

The book trailer for Wonder is the perfect way to introduce the book to anyone you are trying to entice! 

I am planning to use the trailer to introduce the novel to my student and teacher book clubs.  This is going to be our first read of the 2012-2013 school year.  Along with the book trailer, we will be reading and discussing the picture book One by Kathryn Otoshi as a tie in to get the discussion started about bullying and being unkind.

My new Twitter friend, David Etkin, created an iTunes playlist just for Wonder, and I love it!  Give him a shout out on Twitter @DavidAEtkin if you download any of these songs to listen to as you are reading!

Bullying is rampant in middle school, and as a teacher, it is my job to set a good example for my students and encourage them to be kind to everyone they encounter.  I want to instill the knowledge in my students that every person has something special to offer to my life, and every person is able to do the same for them in return.  The Pledge to Choose Kind tumblr encourages students to think about situations where they have been bullied and the effect this had on their lives.  The beginning of change starts with a conversation, and I hope this conversation will begin to change the way our students treat their peers.

If you are using Wonder in your classroom, I would love to read about your ideas!  If you haven't read Wonder, I look forward to hearing what you think!

Happy Reading!