What I’ve Read and Learned: August and September 2019

Whew! Start of school has shifted my time away from reading – between professional learning before school started and all that came with the return of teachers and students, I’ll share a few links to what I’ve learned from over the last two months.

Books and Articles

Study shows students in ‘active learning’ classrooms learn more than they think – This article from The Harvard Gazette names that students often think they are learning more from an engaging lecture, but scores on summative evaluations show students actually learn more from active learning strategies.

Why the way we teach kids table manners is actually kind of racist – discounting cultural traditions as “rude” is assuming every child should conform to “norms” by the societal majority. This article has implications for classrooms and all who work with students!

1619 Project: This project, available in print and an interactive online collection was released by the NYTimes to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people being brought to the United States. The issue explores the impact on nearly every aspect of American life through images, poetry, historical reporting and more.

Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria – Beverly Daniel Tatum

This book has been on my list to read for months. I added it to my audible and I couldn’t stop listening. Dr. Tatum narrates this revised 20th anniversary edition, full of research and conversations that name implications of racist assumptions. This is a must read for educators!

How to Be An Antiracist – Ibram Kendi

Dr. Kendi writes that the opposite of Racist isn’t not-Racist, but ANTI-Racist. We must actively combat our biases and stand up against both actions and policies that perpetuate Racism. This book is a blend of theory, action steps and Dr. Kendi’s personal narrative telling of his own evolution of thinking and action.

Young Adult Fiction

Tiffany Jackson novels – Allegedly and Monday’s Not Coming: These books are incredible. Tiffany Jackson captures the interaction of teens dealing with very adult situations – child abuse, the criminal justice system and murder accusations. These books were so entrancing that I didn’t sleep, I stayed up reading more and then downloaded the next book!

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

This book also takes on the perspective of a high school student encountering what we often consider adult issues – identity struggles, racism, discrimination after 9/11 and more. I devoured this book and felt so deeply for the characters.


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