Sunday, August 30, 2020

Remote Learning Organizer

Are you looking for a way to help keep yourself and your students or kids organized while learning online? I have created this hyperlinked Google Doc that allows you to input assignments across multiple sites / platforms, or even just paper work. You can embed links into the organizer that will take students straight to their assignments - on Google Drive or Classroom, PDFs, websites, videos, songs, etc. Students click on the table of contents to view their work for that day. 

Click here to download this 6 page Google Doc on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Check out my other products here.


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Open Books, Open Minds (Even More)

This post consists of a book list from a Donors Choose project I had funded in 2019. I was creating an author study and realized how lacking my classroom library was in diverse materials after 13 years of teaching. Sure, I had some books we used during Black History Month and Women's History Month, a couple of copies of diaries from Anne Frank and Zlata's Diary, as well as some whitewashed versions of Thanksgiving and Native American group profiles. But so many segments were not adequately represented, including many that my coworkers and students (past and present) could relate to - Jews, Muslims, female scientists, Hispanics, visible and invisible disabilities, divorced and / or nontraditional families, imprisoned family members, immigrants, and even just fictional characters from different cultures, among other categories. 
First, read the project description. Then check out the books and summaries of their plots. Don't forget to check out other books by these authors.
Help me give my students books like Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, Nonni's Moon, Pashmina, and Lailah's Lunchbox. These books will help us celebrate diversity in our classroom!

My Students

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today." - MX

My lively bunch of 28 students come from different cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds.

Each student has a unique and valuable set of experiences that they contribute to the class. We have worked hard to build bonds with each other and consider our class to be like a family, while our classroom is like a home. Students truly feel safe to be themselves, take risks, and explore.

My Project

Students will get to read books about characters from their cultures and others within our classroom. Reading books with diverse characters will motivate my students to read as they will be able to make connections with the characters and other students in our class.

These books will help students understand different aspects of their lives so that we can create a more inclusive, caring classroom.

Students will be able to understand social and cultural norms that may differ from theirs. This will help further our dialogue of multiculturalism and acceptance of all people. Children are learning to be productive members of a global classroom and society!


The first inhabitants of the Turtle Island, name formerly given to North America, were also people rich in legends. One of these famous legends is Gluskabe, the colossal and prodigious hero of the Wabanakis people.This first book of Gluskabe’s magical adventures tells you about the coming of our hero on Earth.

In Gluskabe's time, the squirrel was not the cute little rodent leaping from branch to branch that we see nowadays. It was a frightening beast, the size of the largest bear. “Gluskabe, I'm not afraid of your humans, the ALNOBAK. If they dare coming near my territory I will fight them, I will crush them. I will mash them into cranberry compote!” the squirrel retorted in a threatening tone.

The Game Bag is a ten thousand years old legend that joins today’s plea for a more equitable sharing of the natural resources. A fantastic read for children and grown-ups alike and an homage to our Abenaki environment advocate "Alanis Obomsawin".

A bridge between two hearts takes many moons, many seasons to build and has to be guarded against a fire named temper. 


Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story

Noni's Moon

Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors

Bounce Back (Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream)

On Point (Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream)

Power Forward (Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream)

The Whole Story of Half a Girl

Amina's Voice

Written in the Stars

Fortune Cookie Fortunes

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

The Empty Pot

The King's Chessboard

Kite Flying

Jasmine Launches a Startup

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Snow Flower And The Panther

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

I Wanna See You Be Brave

The world is a scary place right now, and always for many kids. I have compiled some of my son's favorite books, songs, and videos that are helping him through a variety of situations and topics, from potty training, to sleeping or being in the dark, getting a haircut, going to the dentist, and to trying new things. I have also included some of the resources I've used in my elementary school classroom. 

Preschool and Primary Grades

"Logan is a stay-at-home bunny - but he's about to discover how brave he really is. It's time for his first adventure, and he doesn't want to go. But there's an amazing world outside, if he can just pluck up courage to look."

Wemberly Worried video and book
"Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. "Worry, worry, worry," her family said. "Too much worry." And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all: her first day of school. But when she meets a fellow worrywart in her class, Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!"

"I Am Brave follows a little girl as she navigates her own family vacation, complete with her first airplane ride, a giant water slide at the hotel, a spooky cave—with bats!—and the main role in a disappearing trick. Thankfully, with her brother, parents, and even a magician as a guide, she learns to overcome hesitation and embrace her family’s new adventures. Repeating the affirmation that “I am brave” allows courage to take over and helps her have a very happy vacation."

"Meet Ruby--a happy, curious, imaginative girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry. It's not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . And a little bigger . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about. But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only that, there's a great way to get rid of them too . . ."

"Being brave isn't the same as not feeling scared. Being brave is about what you do, even when you do feel scared." -Gator
"Thomas and his friends face their fears in their boldest adventure yet! After a monstrous storm on the Island of Sodor, a landslide unearths some very unusual footprints. Thomas and Percy are eager to find out what could have made these marks but obstacles and danger seem to appear around every bend in the track. With the help of new friends, a little digging, and a heap of courage, they discover the surprising answer and, along the way, uncover the true meaning of bravery. Join Thomas & Friends in this exciting and inspiring movie adventure."

Thomas & Friends The Brave Song - "Such a Brave Little Engine" video
"Buffers and Bumpers! There are times to be brave and times to be strong, Thomas knows what must be done! He knows and what is more... He's the leader! Number one! Such a brave little engine for sure!"

Little Angel Baby's First Haircut video
Is your child going to get his or her first haircut or are they returning to the barber's chair for the first time after a long quarantine? This video may help.
"Baby John's getting his very first haircut, and he's very nervous! There's nothing to be afraid of baby, especially when the hairdresser has you dancing to baby shark! Enjoy this fun song about getting your first haircut."

"Belly Breathe" video by Common, Colbie Callait, and Elmo

Disney's Brave trailer video

Upper Elementary School
Wilma Jean The Worry Machine book and video

The Anti-Test Anxiety Society book

Upper Elementary / Middle School

"Esperanza thought she'd always live a privileged life on her family's ranch in Mexico. She'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama's life, and her own, depend on it."

"To twelve-year-old Molly Nathans, perfect is:

―The number four
―The tip of a newly sharpened No. 2 pencil
―A crisp white pad of paper
―Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines

What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly knows that promises are sometimes broken, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Poetry Slam Contest. The winner is honored at a fancy banquet with white tablecloths. Molly is sure her mother would never miss that. Right…? But as time passes, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep Molly's world from spinning out of control. In this fresh-voiced debut novel, one girl learns there is no such thing as perfect."

Sara Bareilles - "Brave"

Kelly Clarkson "Breakaway" is a great song to help empower kids to face fear of the unknown. Lyrics are clean and the song is calm enough to be played at school.


Check out other preschool posts here.

Check out other posts on test prep here.

Check out other posts on anxiety and other disabilities here.

Want more videos for learning?  Want more songs for learning?  Want more books for learning? 
 Click the links!