Thanksgiving Reading?

Back in the day when the best way to watch movies at home was to schlep to the video store, I worked in one of those now nearly extinct stores. The busiest days of the year for rentals were the day before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Apparently, turkey and a movie (as you fall asleep on the couch) was a special, annual treat.

Now, with so many ways to stream movies, TV and more entertainment whenever and wherever you want, I wonder if turkey then a watching a movie from your love seat is still part of many people’s plans. Might the ubiquitous RedBox machines see lines and shortages today?

While my family and I are planning on the special treat of going out to a movie tomorrow after dinner, I’m not looking forward to watching anything over the long weekend. Rather, I have some books ready to be read during these holidays I’m not grading or preparing for class.

If you’re like me, here’s some lists which may help guide your selections:

50 Super Smart Books for Everyone on Your List

We Read All 20 National Book Award Nominees for 2015 – Here’s What We Thought

Top 10 Books: The Girard Option of Interdisciplinary Influence

100 Novels All Kids Should Read Before Leaving High School

(Here’s the Top Ten from this list)

1 Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell (free eBook, Audiobook & study resources)

2 To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (free eBook)

3 Animal Farm, by George Orwell (free eBook)

4 Lord Of The Flies, by William Golding (Amazon)

5 Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck (Amazon)

6 The Harry Potter series, by J K Rowling (Amazon)

7 A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (free eBook)

8 The Catcher In The Rye, by J D Salinger (Amazon)

9 Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens (free eBook)

10 Pride And Prejudice, by Jane Austen (free eBook)

OR: The 100 Best Novels Written in English

Here are the Best Books from 2015 So Far (in August)

Black Girls Matter: A YA Reading List

All the Most Thrilling Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming this Fall

You Must Read These Five Books Which Will Totally Transform Your Classroom

And if you read any of these books, will you be able to talk about it with colleagues via an on-line book club?

Regardless of what you read, will you choose it by its cover? If so, here’s some fascinating research on that very topic.

Or maybe you’d like to read this short story composed entirely of 5,000 “tag lines” from movies.

Would this be fiction or non? If the former, reading it can actually transform the functioning of your brain.

Maybe you’d like to read not an ebook on your tablet, but an interactive, digital book. Here’s 10 of the best of this emerging genre.

Or perhaps you’ll tell stories at the dinner table. Research shows that it makes kids voracious readers!

And after dinner, maybe watch a TED Talk or two:

10 of Our Favorite Literary TED Talks from 2015

Finally, perhaps the weather will be nice and you’ll take a walk, bring your smart phone and stream free audio books or listen to any of these 25 Outstanding Podcasts for Readers

 

 

13 Common Sayings to Avoid in the Classroom and at Home

It might make me Captain Obvious to say that the language we use in the classroom is integral to the environment we seek to create.  This is so important that I believe that this is the theme of our first in-service a week from this Friday.

This list, from the esteemed Edutopia blog, reminds teachers and parents alike of a baker’s dozen of really unhelpful and downright toxic statements to make to our students or children:

  1. “You have potential, but don’t use it.”
  2. “I’m disappointed in you.”
  3. “What did you say?”
  4. “If I do that for you, I’ll have to do it for everyone”
  5. “It’s against the rules.”
  6. “Your brother/sister was better than you.”
  7. “I like the way n is sitting”
  8. “You’ll never amount to anything”
  9. “Who do you think you are?”
  10. “Don’t you ever stop talking?”
  11. “I’m busy now.”
  12. “The whole class will miss unless someone admits to y
  13. “What is wrong with you?”

The author’s conclusion is thoughtful:

If a teacher loses his [or her] temper or gets frustrated and says one of these things once or even twice during the year, it’s understandable. For most students, a rare mishap makes no difference with a teacher who they respect and like. But if trust hasn’t been established, students are less forgiving when they feel insulted or wronged. On the other hand, we can say something nice or neutral that might be heard by a student as an insult. These instances are hard to avoid. What we can avoid is saying things that we know in advance are hurtful.

Edutopia’s Top 10 Articles for 2014

It’s time for another year-end list – this one from Edutopia.  It provides an interesting snapshot into the topics that educators found most pertinent this year.

Edutopia’s Top 10 for 2014

  1. 6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use With Your Students
  2. 7 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills
  3. Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding
  4. 30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class
  5. 8 Myths that Undermine Educational Effectiveness
  6. Doing it Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary
  7. 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout
  8. 8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom
  9. What I Wish I’d Known as a New Teacher
  10. Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step