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Showing posts from August, 2015

Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Mr. Daniels

A friend recently gave me a copy of Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Fish in a Tree. I devoured the middle-grade book in just two days, and I ended it wanting to be more like the main character's teacher, Mr. Daniels.

This book reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher. Growing up, school was a safe place for me. I felt accepted, and I knew I knew that I had adults who cared about me and that showed an unwavering commitment to making sure I learned and, most importantly, felt safe. That is exactly who Mr. Daniels is.

Ally Nickerson, the main character, suffers from dyslexia. She knows she's different from everyone else, and a few of her peers make her painfully aware that they notice it too. But things change when Mr. Daniels becomes their teacher. He treats all students with respect, and he works to show every student that all types of learning are valued.

With less than a month before school starts, this is who I want to be. Remaining steadfastly positive is so difficult when we s…

My Take-Aways from 'Watchman'

Please note that the entry below may include some information that spoils the Go Set a Watchman for you if you haven’t read it.
After reading Go Set a Watchman, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to talk to students about Harper Lee’s book. I’ve had a few students email me this summer to ask if I had seen the hoopla or read the book, so I know that many will already have heard something about it. I also know that others who hated Mockingbird won’t have gone near it. (Now I’m thinking that I could write an entirely separate post about how Mockingbird, while one of my all-time favorite novels, just isn’t the right book at the right time for so many of my students.)
There are a couple of things that I want students to know and understand about Watchman. For starters, it was written beforeTo Kill a Mockingbird, and I want students to see how a part of a book can become inspiration for another, whether it’s by choice or an editor’s suggestion. This is part of the process that I try t…