Things That Made my Brain Explode – October 12, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 11.32.06 AMThere’s a lot of really great information on the internet.

Of course, there’s a lot of junk, too – but if you look closely, and you’re plugged into the right communities, there’s a lot of really great information. Sometimes, it gets buried in the breaking news or weather alerts, and we miss it. (Or, if you’re anything like me, you leave the tab open on your browser for 4 days hoping to get to it, and then eventually the computer restarts and the piece is lost in cyberspace.)

These articles are constantly pushing me to consider something new, broaden my perspective, or change the way I look at an issue. My husband likes to joke that my brain explodes with something new on a daily basis. These articles – and the brain explosions that result from them – are so beneficial for me that I wanted to create a place where I could share them, in case you might want to read them, too.


Here’s a recent batch of Things that Made my Brain Explode:

  • “So, what happens to a culture that encourages girls to read books about boys but shoos boys away from reading books about girls? What happens to a boy who is taught he should be ashamed of reading a book about a girl? For feeling empathy for a girl? For trying to understand how she feels? For caring about her? What kind of a man does that boy grow up to be?” Shannon Hale’s recent piece for the Washington Post, titled What are we teaching boys when we discourage them from reading books about girls? really got me riled up. As a librarian, I am constantly battling the girl book/boy book myth, and not always just from my students.
  • I’m a graphic novel lover, and I love watching my students fall in love with them. But it’s hard to ignore the general grumbling and misconceptions about graphic novels and developing readers, or having these awesome tools in the classroom. Education superstar Pernille Ripp makes an empassioned argument for graphic novels in the classroom in her piece, Why Graphic Novels Belong in All of our Libraries. (Read more about my love of graphic novels here.)
  • How Puberty Kills Girls Confidence, from The Atlantic, has been making the rounds this month, and I want to make sure you don’t miss it. It’s heartbreaking to read as a middle school teacher. This quote in particular made me tear up: “‘If life were one long grade school,’ Carol Dweck, the Stanford University psychologist who wrote The Growth Mindset, explained to us in an interview for our first book, women ‘would be the undisputed rulers of the world. But life isn’t one long grade school.’ “
  • This third grade teacher talked to her students about consent in a totally kid-friendly, age-appropriate way. Parents.com covered it in their piece, Third Grade Teacher’s Brilliant Lesson on Consent is Going Viral. With this conversation, she lays the groundwork for the discussion to continue and build as these kids grow and change. I found this so inspiring. (Find more info on this lesson and on talking to kiddos about consent here.)
  • One of our amazing math specialists shared this video during her Chapel at school this week, which was all about the power of a growth mindset. It’s not an article, but it’s sure to get you dancing! The Power of Yet, with Sesame Street and Janelle Monae.
  • I’m honestly surprised to hear that any libraries would shun tweens, as this age group is often the most fragile and in need of welcoming spaces and positive role models – but in case you’re one of the librarians closing your doors, here’s some reasons from School Library Journal why you shouldn’t. Libraries Should Embrace Tweens, not Shun Them.
  • Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day might have passed for the 2018 calendar year, but it’s never too late to read a book and start a conversation. From Medium, Indigenous Reads by Indigenous Writers: A Children’s Reading List.
  • Banned Books Week came with so many fascinating articles, about the history of the event, why it’s important, and how banning books has changed over the years. I especially loved this article from Time Magazine titled What the List of Most Banned Books says about our Society’s Fears. (Learn more about Banned Books Week here. See the way I broached the subject with my middle schoolers here.)
  • Will you read this book about the teenage brain? The Guardian, in its recent piece Myth-busting study of teenage brains wins Royal Society prize, makes it look pretty great. Sign me up.
  • Locally, Cville OneBook has been working all year long to provide books and discussion and reflection experiences for young adults locally here in Charlottesville. This week, in collaboration with Hold the Line magazine, we sponsored a theater buyout to bring the Charlottesville community together to see the film and discuss and reflect afterwards. Learn more on NBC29’s recent news story, BLM-inspired Film to be Shown for Free at Stonefield. I’m a proud member of the Cville OneBook team and am so excited to finally see The Hate U Give! I am ready to listen, learn, and connect! Learn more about Cville OneBook (and find out how you can get involved!) here.

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