Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2016

My Year in Reading

Although I won't meet my goal of reading 165 books by midnight tonight, I did read quite a few great books this year worth sharing. Other personal goals including reading more with my ears and getting over my hesitancy to read non-fiction. I did accomplish those two, although it's taken me months to get through the audio version of Endurance (I think this has caused a bit of an audio reading slump). I categorized my favorites of this past year below:

Picture Book: A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers

This book reminded me of words and their ability to lead us down thousands of different paths and journeys. Children and adults can appreciate the intertextuality of this book. Stories change us forever.

Non-Fiction: What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri

This is a book that I seem to mention to every teacher friend of mine. There are so many parallels between the lives of doctors and teachers that we really need to explore how we can become a…

Don't Be Complicit

I'm enjoying winter break. It's given me time to catch up with friends and family and plenty of time to read. One of my bosses and I have been working through Tim Ferris' newest, Tools of Titans. By no means do I ever want to start a business, but I find the three-to-four page entries easily digestible and enlightening. What Ferris has done here is distill his interviews with so many successful people into small write-ups. I'm only halfway through, but I've found my to-read list growing at a high rate, and many quotes force me to stop and think.

During the chapter with Phil Libin, the co-founder of Evernote, Tim Ferris shares this advice from Jerry Colonna: "How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don't want?"

I'm very fortunate to work in a building with supportive colleagues and bosses, but I think of this quotation and how applicable it is to so many people that I know, especially those in education. Find ways to take a sta…

Six Things to Keep in Mind When Your Class is NaNo-ing

Students recently drafted their reflections about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so I wrote beside them about the lessons that I had learned. Here they are:


Limit the other work you give. While you may feel the pressure to have copious assignments in your grade book (there tends to be a sort of teacher shaming if you don't have many assignments in, as if there is a magical number), you have to recognize what is valuable and what is not, especially during the 30-day writing frenzy that NaNoWriMo is. I tried to make every assignment relevant for the month and their novels. Students encountered "daily challenges" (these quickly turned into every-other-day challenges) that focused on many of the necessary elements to good novels: dialogue, story world development, character creation, subplots, etc. Everything was designed so that students could use their work in their novels, and it allowed me to have short glimpses of the types of things they were writing about. Q…