K2 Read Alouds: Week 10: Eboné Tales

Week of November 18-22.

Monday

We had a field trip to the Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary on Monday. One of our activities was to paint a mural on recycled paper, using bits of nature  to paint our strokes rather than bristled brushes. There was a book on a bench. So I read it to the children while they created our mural. The book was The Color Box by Dayle Ann Dodds. Illustrated by Giles Laroche.

The-Color-Box-Dodds-Dayle-Ann-9780316188203

Tuesday

Eboné tale, The Girl Who Spun Gold by Virginia Hamilton. Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon. The children asked if we could act out this story sometime. So I’ll have to fit it into the curriculum at some point, to appease the budding actors.

The Girl Who Spun Gold By Virginia Hamilton

The Girl Who Spun Gold
By Virginia Hamilton

Illustration by Leo & Diane Dillon for Virginia Hamilton's The Girl Who Spun Gold

Illustration by Leo & Diane Dillon for Virginia Hamilton’s The Girl Who Spun Gold

Wednesday

The Science teacher read the students a story, but I don’t know which one. Though, I’m sure it was awesome because our Science teacher is pretty awesome.

 Thursday and Friday

Eboné tale, Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life by Jerdine Nolen. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

We’ve begun creating miniature furniture for Hewitt, in the classroom. The kids have begun learning to sew as well. Thus far, the protagonist, Hewitt, has three hand-sewn pillows to rest his petite head on beds of plastic crate pieces and feathers. Photos to come.

Hewitt-Andersons-Great-Big-Life-Paperback-P9781442460355

 

In the Listening Center

I picked up Nikki Giovanni’s Hip Hop Speaks to Children book & CD, for a steal at Rodney’s Used Bookstore in Cambridge.

hiphopcoverThanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

K2 Read Alouds: Week 1

We just completed our first week back at school. As I wrote previously, I’m teaching Kindergarten this year.  These are the titles I read aloud this week:

Monday

“If you stare at a painting and do not see yourself there, paint your own portrait. Let the world see that you do exist and that you are truly special – like the boy whose style was so unique.” – Lee, Giant Steps to Change the World

Giant Steps to Change the World By Spike and Tonya Lee Illustrated by Sean Qualls

Giant Steps to Change the World
By Spike and Tonya Lee
Illustrated by Sean Quall

I have a confession to make though. I adlib and sub-lib some of the words in this beautiful picture book. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, as a radical teacher I don’t use the word ‘dark’ in reference to anything with a negative connotation in my classroom, regardless of how harmless or minute the reference may be perceived by others. Young children today, are a different generation than our’s. There *may* be more opportunities for them but self-image is all amuck. I know this because I have the honor of observing the hearts & eyes of 18 beautiful 5-year olds daily.

The page that reads, “Press on through the darkness…” I replace ‘darkness‘ with ‘bad place’.

We talk about skin hue in the classroom. Well, the kids talk about it, and I listen, and guide, and praise, and embrace, and then listen some more. I’m not going to reference ‘darkness’ in a readaloud as something undesirable, or as something you must evolve out of,  to then witness children commenting, with no ill intention, “You’re dark too”, or “I’m dark but my mama’s light” or whatever their perfect voices may say, regardless, they’re not going to hear me reference dark as something undesirable. We amp up the concept of darkness actually in the classroom. “Ooh lets use the dark green one.” or, “Dark vegetables are better for you. They have more of the good stuff, like vitamins and other nutrients.”  or, “I love your dark blue backpack.” Yup. That’s my classroom. My practices are based solely on my observations of young children’s delicate states of mind. The more diverse the classroom, the more conscious children are of their delightful darkness, their shades, their piece in the puzzle, their self-worth.

Tuesday

Frog and Toad are Friends By Arnold Lobel

Frog and Toad are Friends
By Arnold Lobel

I read chapter 2, “The Story” from Lobel’s beloved Frog and Toad are Friends. This story was a perfect segue into talking about ‘storytelling’, an activity that my students will engage in often in the classroom this year.

han some more. I’m not going to reference ‘darkness’ in a readaloud as something undesirable, or as something you must evolve out of, and then also witness children commenting, with no ill intention, “You’re dark too”, or “I’m dark but my mama’s light” Or whatever their perfect voices may say, regardless, they’re not going to hear me reference dark as something undesirable. We amp up the concept of darkness actually in the classroom. “Ooh lets use the dark green one.” or, “Dark vegetables are better for you. They have more of the good stuff, l                                                                                                                                                                        

Wednesday and Thursday

Leola and the Honeybears By Melodye Benson Rosales

Leola and the Honeybears
By Melodye Benson Rosales 

Leola and the Honeybears is a classroom favorite already! Took us two days to get through because the children had so much to say about it during the readaloud. Which is great in K2! I love when they speak up because their voices are important.

Leola 

I set up these two classic Seussian tales for two very mindful and strategic reasons: 1) It’s what I had ready and available! 2) It’s what I had ready and available!

No for real though, there’s nothing more appropriate for K2 kids than phonetically-based rhymes at the start of the school year. The kids dug ’em.

and the Honeybears is a classroom favorite already! Took us two days to get through because the children had so much to say about it during the readaloud. Which is great in K2! I love when they speak up because their voices are important.e already! Took us two days to get through because the children had so mimp.Friday

The Tortoise of The Hare By Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison Illustrated by Joe Cepeda

The Tortoise or The Hare
By Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison
Illustrated by Joe Cepeda

Perfect. Just perfect!…way to end the week. The last page of this story pretty much sums up our classroom ideology for the first week. I suggest you snag a copy for your classroom.

Perfect. Just perfect!…way to end the week. The last page of this story pretty much sums up our classroom ideology for the first week. I suggest you snag a copy for your classroom.

Perfect. Just perfect!…way to end the week. The last page of this story pretty much sums up our classroom ideology for the first week. I suggest you snag a copy for your

Oh wait….here’s a little more:

In the Listening Center

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I set up these two classic Seussian tales for two very mindful and strategic reasons: 1) It’s what I had ready and available! 2) It’s what I had ready and available!

No for real though, there’s nothing more appropriate for K2 kids than phonetically-based rhymes at the start of the school year. The kids dug ’em.

 

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

 

Charis Books and More: Your Independent Feminist Bookstore

Photo taken by me. In Little 5 Points, Atlanta. January 2013.

Photo taken by me. In Little 5 Points, Atlanta. January 2013.

I payed my first visit to this bookstore a few weeks ago, while down in Atlanta visiting friends. What’s most beautiful about this bookstore, is that it has such a large children’s section. One would think that it does not cater to the minds of the young; carrying only texts in feminist theory. Not at all. In fact, they carried a wide array of titles. Many of which I haven’t heard of before.

Children's section at Charis Books, in Atlanta.Photo taken by me. 2013.

Children’s section at Charis Books, in Atlanta.
Photo taken by me. 2013.

What I bought:

DSC01585

The Biggest Kiss written by Joanna Walsh, illustrated by Judi Abbot
Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. 2011

“A kiss with honey, a kiss that’s yummy, a kiss on the elbow, a kiss on the tummy.” – Joanna Walsh

The Biggest Kiss is such an enjoyable read. Although, it may not be mindful of me to read it aloud with enthusiasm, to my students. It definitely encourages kissing. I want to read it to them, but the joy that I want it to induce, may turn into children taking liberties that they cannot. I already have some students that are overly zealous about touching and kissing their peers. (by touching I mean hugging, and grabbing, not ‘guidance counselor’ worthy “touching”). As a first-grade teacher, I practice the theory of “personal space”. No matter how much fun kisses on cheeks may be, it is not something that I can encourage them to do to each other. If another kid kisses another on the cheek, and the kissed child does not mind, then I don’t say anything, but if a child doesn’t like it, I must set boundaries.

Therefore, I will keep this book in the take-home Lending Library. Children can enjoy this story, at home with their families.

The Princess and the Pea. Retold by Rachel IsadoraPublished by Puffin. 2009.

The Princess and the Pea. Retold by Rachel Isadora
Published by Puffin. 2009.

I have much respect for author Rachel Isadora. Re-imaging fairytale classics. Yes. She has many titles in this series of retold fairytale classics. I will absolutely keep this book in the classroom for the children to read, and will read it aloud at some point. But I must tell you, that as a teacher, my acceptance of princess-focused literature is an flux.   I want to steer away from our culture’s long history of associating princess life with girlhood. The two main components of princess-themed literature that I aim to disassociate with girlhood are: the blonde-haired, blue-eyed standard, AND, prince charming!  Prince charming does not exhibit any qualities that one should seek in a mate. Prince charming’s character often resembles that of an abuser’s wooing stage. Blindly in-love with the princess, and wants to do everything for her because she is meek, fragile, worthy of worship and a caged life. Prince charming embodies ‘Chivalry’. Chivalry is a concept based on falsehoods. I sharpied the word out of our classroom’s dictionaries. That’s right.

Although this story does character a prince looking for a “real princess”, it also shows that princess look like any woman. The prince in the story cannot tell the difference between the two. Because, ladies and gentlemen, there is no difference. That is the message I will tell my students when reading it.

IMG_0588

I bought 2 coloring books by Jacinta Bunnel.
Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be…Coloring Book
by Jacinta Bunnell and Irit Reinheimer. Published by Soft Skull Press. 2004.
Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon Coloring Book
by Jacinta Bunnel & Nathaniel Kusinitz.
Published by PM Press, and Reach And Teach.

I just had to get these two coloring books. I had never seen such books before. There are pages in them, that I will not photocopy for the children, but about half of the pages in each book, are appropriate for the public school classroom.  Some of the more appropriate pages, I include in my previous blog post: What’s in a Coloring Page Anyways?

Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place by bell hooks.Published by University Press of Kentucky. 2012.

Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place by bell hooks.
Published by University Press of Kentucky. 2012.

Ah bell hooks. Okay, so I did not buy this one for the classroom, but I can very well see myself including one or two of it’s poems in our June poetry unit.  I mostly include poetry written for adults in our poetry unit. See my previous blog post Poetry in Pictures.

If you are not familiar with the works of bell hooks, and you are an educator, then I highly recommend two of her books for you. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, and  All About Love: New Visions.

Here are some snapshots I took while in Charis Books. It was too beautiful not to capture.

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

First bookstore visit to ignite tears of joy in me. I cried twice over their beloved children’s section. I scoffed once over their non-existent teachers’ discount. If I was given no reason to scoff, my purchases would have been far greater. Non the less, I would  visit this bookstore again, next time I’m in Atlanta.

Charis Books and More

Located in Little 5 Points.

1189 Euclid Ave NE  Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 524-0304

www.charisbooksandmore.com/

Teacher discount: 0%

Thank you for reading The Picture Book Pusher