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10 Books Celebrating Black Joy and Daily Life

While books about oppression, struggle, and suffering are of critical importance to read and discuss with children, so are books about Black joy and about the daily lives of Black children. I’ve curated a list of ten new (i.e., published in 2019 and 2020) texts that focus on Black people living life. Depending on who your students are, these books could serve as mirrors, windows, and/or sliding glass doors.

Write the Moments: Documenting a Most Unusual School Year

If ever there were a moment in education to pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it in our writing, I wager it’s now. This is the season of school evolving and changing. This is the back to school season with words we never imagined before- sneeze guards, Zoom breakouts, synchronous and asynchronous, mask breaks, temperature checks, distance learning, hybrid model. What we always knew is no longer, for the most part. What remains? How do we teach well in a COVID-19 world? What matters? What doesn’t? This year, we need to write the moments.

A Very Kindergarten Appropriate Assessment: Writing and Drawing Observations

Instead of an on-demand writing assessment early on in kindergarten this year, I drafted a Writing and Drawing Observation. This is an informal observation of children drawing and writing during their writing workshop time. Observing young children and keeping anecdotal records of their behaviors is a time-tested tradition in early childhood education.

Oral Storytelling Before Writing

“Let me tell you a story…” are some of the first words that make their way out of my mouth and into the imaginations of students who don’t quite know what to think of me at the start of the year. They come in cautious. In a few days, they will come to school carrying far beyond the simple feeling of cautiousness. They will, many of them, bring with them fear, worry, and anxiety. #TWTBlog