Things that Made My Brain Explode: December 8, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 2.41.25 PMArticles and news stories 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. Learn more about Things that Made My Brain Explode – and see past posts – here


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

  • I am constantly getting questions about good audiobooks for families to share, so I was thrilled when one of my favorite mamas (hi, Aimee!) sent me this list of 25 of the Best Family Audiobooks to Listen to in 2018. She says, “For families traveling over the holidays! We love listening to pod casts and books together. To Kill A Mockingbird was especially poignant and HARD last summer as we were traveling back to Charlottesville on August 11 – 12.”
  • Everything to Everyone: Understanding the Teacher Crisis. A graphic novel representation of a day in the life of a primary school teacher in New Zealand. Much of this is the same as being a teacher in the US (although as a specials teacher, my schedule is very different, and my “class” is a group of 500!). If you’ve ever wondered why teachers are so tired, this gives you a basic look.
  • This is, by far, the best part of my job.
  • In this week’s episode of Things that Made Me Cry at my Desk at Work: “In a world where so many choices are driven by algorithms, it’s wonderful to get a recommendation from a real person. And school librarians are generally the kindest, warmest, most intuitive recommendation-givers ever. They get to know your kids. They get a sense of them. They’ve learned through study, hard work, and practice which books will work for particular students and which ones won’t. School librarians build actual relationships, so they know, on a personal level if ‘this kid would love The Hunger Games’ or ‘Oh wow, this kid definitely isn’t ready for The Hunger Games yet.’ The sophistication of their recommendations is staggering. […] School librarians aren’t gatekeepers. They give kids the keys and teach them how to use the gate.The Difference a School Librarian can Make, According to One Dad.
  • I’m looking to expand our winter holiday book collection to help students learn about a wider variety of celebrations and traditions from around the word. There’s so much love, joy, and light at this time of year, and it’s a perfect time to embrace childrens’ curiosity about the world. If, like me, you’re looking to bring more diversity into your holiday conversations and reading, then you might appreciate this: 9 Winter Holidays Around the World.
  • I love the resources from Teaching Tolerance. I always learn something new from them. This week, I was talking to a coworker about the difference between an ally and an accomplice (sometimes called a practitioner, or a co-conspirator), and this article showed up as if by magic: Ally or Accomplice? The Language of Activism.
  • I may have shared this before, but I reference it enough, that it’s worth posting twice: Checking Yourself for Bias in the Classroom. I grew up a white cisgender female attending public schools, and I can’t change the bias that that brings into my life. But I can carefully consider that balance and be sure that I’m being as neutral and possible in my classroom. I especially loved the “Me, They, We” examples here. A must read for all educators.
  • It’s December, and the “Best of” lists are all over the place. This list from We Need Diverse Books, The Must-Reads of 2018,  is my favorite yet. I loved so many of these, and I bet you will too!
  • Should disciplining children, and helping them to understand their choices, result in a consequence or a solution? In Restorative Justice Helps Students Learn, Edutopia makes it clear, and shares the science behind both.. and why one is far more effective than the other.
  • What is the difference between feminism and white feminism? Why does it matter? This article from Mic (The Brutal Truth Every White Feminist Needs to Hear) spells it out.
  • Shameless plug: We’re rocking and rolling through our third annual Twelve Days of Tech-Mas celebration in my school library, and it has been so much fun so far. Learn more about Tech-Mas here, see our celebration from last year here, and see photos from this year’s festivities so far here, Cute kids and cute robots – you can’t go wrong!

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