Quest: Exploring Food Insecurity with the Rice and Beans Challenge

The average Supplemental Nutrition Benefit Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit per meal in the US is $1.86 (source). For the final experiment in our How Can We Help Solve the Hunger Crisis? Quest, we did an experiment to find out what its like to prepare a nutritious, delicious meal for our “Quest family” on that budget. […]

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6th Grade Sentence Starters for Finding Windows and Empathy in Books

Finding windows and mirrors in your reading can be really tricky if you’re still developing and strengthening your empathy muscles. And if you’re in middle school, when your development is screaming at you to focus on other things. Sixth grade readers put together this list of sentence starters today, to help give readers a push […]

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On Pronouncing Names and Owning Mistakes

All of our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have been learning about the amazing work of Vashti Harrison in preparation for her visit through the Virginia Festival of the Book next month. They’ve been talking about her nonstop, and we’ve been studying her work in many of my classes. And last week, in a meeting about […]

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50 Books We Loved for a Skin Tone Picture Book Walk

After posting Finding our Color Words Using Honeysmoke last week, readers asked me to share a list of the picture books that we used and loved for our skin tone picture book walk. I pulled these books thoughtfully and with my human skin tone palettes in hand, hoping to include as many shades as possible. […]

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Finding Our Color Words using Honeysmoke

Since our schoolwide conversation about Black History Month, the kids have been curious and open about discussing race and differences. Here’s a lesson, inspired by middle schoolers, that I shared with my K-4 students last week, if you’d like to see.     Last week, I was talking to my middle schoolers about what they […]

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Person-First Language in the Library

How do you best prepare your students for discussions about race, ability, and other human differences in your classroom? The conversations in the library since our community Black History Month discussion have really been remarkable. I’ve been so impressed with the way that students have opened up and asked questions out loud that they’ve previously […]

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Peer Mentoring: What Does a New 5th Grader Need?

This week we asked our group of 5th grade Peer Mentors: What does the ideal 4th grade graduate look like? What does every 5th grader need in terms of skills and knowledge to be successful when they begin middle school? Here’s what they created: In case you can’t read my handwriting, here’s a few off […]

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