Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

I am a Teacher and a Hypocrite

November 7, 2019

 

I have been reading my unpublished novel to my classes for the last 18 years. First as an unfinished manuscript, and later as a finished story.

I would always get the same question from my students – “When are you going to publish?”

I always dismissed the question. I told them that my chances of getting published were slim because first-time writers without a literary agent hardly ever get accepted by publishers.

In other words, I was making excuses.

Deep down I knew the real reason was fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of having your blood, sweat and tears in the public domain.

But earlier this year I had a reawakening. What a hypocrite am I! Here I am, day in and day out, lecturing the students about trying their best and following their dreams and I refuse to abide by my own tenets.

So I decided to get my book published. The best thing I have ever done!

In two weeks time, I will be in a position to officially share my hard work of almost two decades.

Finally, I can look at my students in the eye and tell them to overcome their fears without feeling like a hypocrite and a fraud.

 

Update: Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.

My Novel: 18 Years in the Making

November 6, 2019

 

After 18 painstaking years of drafts and edits, the launch of my young adult book, My Favourite Comedian, is only two weeks away!

This book is a labour of love for me, geared for my wonderful students, as I try to show them the immense power of good literature.

It is through them and their ongoing championing of the book that I have bitten the bullet and sought publication. They are the main reason I have made this available to the wider public.

Thank you for all the subscribers and visitors to this blog. I appreciate your patience during my hiatus. It’s good to be back.

I will be contributing regularly as I provide updates about my book as well as making commentary on all things education.

Stay tuned!

Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension.

December 28, 2014

comp2

Via Mark Barnes

 

 

Click on the link to read List of Kids Books that Would Make Great Christmas Gifts

Click on the link to read Helping Children Become Successful Readers

Click on the link to read Children’s Hilariously Inappropriate Spelling Mistakes

Click on the link to read How Spelling Mistakes can Turn a Compliment into Something Quite Different.

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important at Starbucks

Helping Children Become Successful Readers

November 6, 2014

 

A good clip by Phyllis C. Hunter.

 

Click on the link to read Children’s Hilariously Inappropriate Spelling Mistakes

Click on the link to read How Spelling Mistakes can Turn a Compliment into Something Quite Different.

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important at Starbucks

Click on the link to read The Ability to Spell is a Prerequisite for Getting a Tattoo (Photos)

Click on the link to read This is What Happens When You Rely on Spell Check

Instructing Teachers to be Frauds

July 1, 2014

morpurgo

A good teacher relies on a relationship with their students built on trust. Our students will only take appropriate risks and be sufficiently motivated if they trust that the teacher is genuine and dependable.

I don’t care how well intentioned the cause may be, I am not about to pretend, cheat or con my students about anything. If a book I am reading makes me emotional, my students will notice. If it doesn’t resonate with me, I will most certainly not pretend it does:

 

Teachers should let themselves cry in class when reading poignant stories to help teach children that books matter, the author Michael Morpurgo has said.

Morpurgo, the former children’s laureate and writer of War Horse, said showing emotion in schools when reading sad tales should not be avoided, being an essential part of being a “good teacher”.

Speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival, where he discussed his First World War novels, he added it was important to let children see stories can touch the adults around them, to help them learn the value of literature.

His novels, including War Horse and Private Peaceful, are known for their emotive subject matters and tell the often distressing stories about the First World War.

Speaking in front of an audience of children, Morpurgo argued it was essential to tell them the truth about life, without patronising them by “wrapping everything up in a little pink bow”.

 

 

Click on the link to read 10 Questions to Get Kids Thinking Deeper About their Books.

Click on the link to read 24 Books to Get Your Children Reading

Click on the link to read 17 Children’s Books You Still Love as an Adult

Click on the link to read The Telegraph’s Best Children’s Book of All Time

Click on the link to read The New York Public Library’s 100 Most Requested Children’s Books

Click on the link to read Stunning Photographs of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

10 Questions to Get Kids Thinking Deeper About their Books.

June 25, 2014

 

A very worthwhile list:

questions

 

 

Click on the link to read 24 Books to Get Your Children Reading

Click on the link to read 17 Children’s Books You Still Love as an Adult

Click on the link to read The Telegraph’s Best Children’s Book of All Time

Click on the link to read The New York Public Library’s 100 Most Requested Children’s Books

Click on the link to read Stunning Photographs of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Kids From Reading Books they Actually Enjoy

24 Books to Get Your Children Reading

June 19, 2014

 

reading and children

Courtesy of Huffington Post blogger Devon Corneal:

 

  • Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz
    First it was the Three Little Pigs, now Red Riding Hood is studying martial arts! Thank goodness, because how else can she be expected to fend off the Big Bad Wolf? If you liked The Three Ninja Pigs, you’re going to love this new take on an old classic. Get ready — KIYA!
  • Counting has never been so much fun. Detailed pen and ink illustrations splashed with color will keep young readers engaged as they try to spot the adventurous dragon.
  • Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson
    Tabitha Lumpit is loud and messy and doesn’t fit in with her very neat and polite human family. Timothy Limpet is quiet and tidy and doesn’t think he belongs with his scary, mucky troll family. So they do what any two kids would do — they swap places. While it’s fun at first, Tabitha and Timothy soon discover what we all know: there’s no place like home.
  • Little Pear Tree by Jenny Bowers
    Sometimes I recommend books just because they’re beautiful and visually interesting and feel good in my hands. This is one of those times. Little Pear Tree is a gorgeous, eye-catching explosion of color that invites little hands to explore the seasons with an array of images and words tucked behind cleverly designed flaps. Young readers will enjoy searching for the next hidden gem and grown-ups will want to do it right along with them.

 

  • It’s good to know things about our presidents. Important things. Like whether or not a particular president got himself stuck in a bathtub. These are the sort of facts I wonder about when I’m sitting by the pool drinking lemonade. Maybe you do, too.

(more…)

Why the Call to Fine Parents for Not Reading to Their Children is Utter Stupidity

June 17, 2014

 

sir michael wilshaw

Every parent should be reading to their kids. We all know that. Even those parents that don’t do it know they should. But should we be fining parents that don’t?

Of course we shouldn’t!

There are two very important points to make on this insane proposal.

1. If we as teachers are any chance of helping our students reach their potential we must work with, not against, their parents. We must be offering support to them whilst also regularly communicating and encouraging them. The best outcomes take place when teachers don’t judge the habits of parents but actively work to help refocus and empower them.

2. Teachers need to stop whinging and making excuses. Our students come to us from all kind of environments and family backgrounds. In any given class a teacher must expect that some students will be well adjusted and well trained whilst others may have issues and complicated home lives. This is the norm, and it is about time we embraced it. It’s part of what makes our job challenging, yet also potentially exciting.  It is because of this reality that teachers should never assume that their set homework will come back complete or that for example, a single mother with multiple kids will have the time to read with all her children on a regular basis. But you know what? That’s OK. We teachers are well equipped to overcome any such deficiency and help that child make up from any lost ground. Whinging and excuse making only serve to prevent the teacher from being accountable for the job they are doing with their struggling students.

“Don’t blame me for Tommy’s lack of progress. His parents don’t read to him!”

That’s why the insane idea of fining parents for not reading to their children is potentially quite destructive. It encourages bad vibes between crucial stakeholders and let’s the very focus, the children, suffer whilst the teacher and parents fight it out:

 

Parents who do not read to their children should be fined, the chief inspector of schools suggested yesterday. 

Sir Michael Wilshaw also called for headteachers to have the power to punish parents who miss school events or allow their child’s homework to go undone. 

The head of Ofsted railed against ‘bad parents’ who were not supporting their children’s education. 

Sir Michael, 67, accused white working class families of no longer regarding doing well at school as the way to improve their family’s future. 

Instead, pupils from migrant families were outperforming white British counterparts in the classroom because many held a deep cultural belief in the value of education, he claimed. 

Talking about his own days running a school, Sir Michael told The Times: ‘I was absolutely clear with parents; if they weren’t doing a good job, I would tell them so. 

‘It’s up to headteachers to say quite clearly, “You’re a poor parent”. 

‘If parents didn’t come into school, didn’t come to parents’ evening, didn’t read with their children, didn’t ensure they did their homework, I would tell them they were bad parents. 

‘Headteachers should have the power to fine them. It’s sending the message that you are responsible for your children no matter how poor you are.’

Click on the link to read Children are Precious!

Click on the link to read Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

Click on the link to read 9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

Click on the link to read 9 Secrets for Raising Happy Children

Click on the link to read Brilliant Prank Photos Show Parenting at its Worst

Click on the link to read Little Girl’s Delightful “Brake Up” Note

 

10 Tips to Help Children Enjoy Reading

June 1, 2014

reading

Courtesy of uk.pearson.com:

 

Make books part of your family life – Always have books around so that you and your children are ready to read whenever there’s a chance.

Join your local library – Get your child a library card. You’ll find the latest videogames, blu-rays and DVDs, plus tons and tons of fantastic books. Allow them to pick their own books, encouraging their own interests.

Match their interests – Help them find the right book – it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction. Try our top recommendations.

All reading is good – Don’t discount non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines and leaflets. Reading is reading and it is all good.

Get comfortable! – Snuggle up somewhere warm and cosy with your child, either in bed, on a beanbag or on the sofa, or make sure they have somewhere comfy when reading alone.

Ask questions – To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read such as, ‘What do you think will happen next?’ or ‘Where did we get to last night? Can you remember what had happened already?’

Read whenever you get the chance – Bring along a book or magazine for any time your child has to wait, such as at a doctor’s surgery.

Rhyme and repetition – Books and poems which include rhyme and repetition are great for encouraging your child or children to join in and remember the words.

 

Click on the link to read 17 Children’s Books You Still Love as an Adult

Click on the link to read The Telegraph’s Best Children’s Book of All Time

Click on the link to read The New York Public Library’s 100 Most Requested Children’s Books

Click on the link to read Stunning Photographs of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Kids From Reading Books they Actually Enjoy

Click on the link to read The Classic Children’s Books they Tried to Ban

Click on the link to read How Spelling Mistakes can Turn a Compliment into Something Quite Different.

17 Children’s Books You Still Love as an Adult

April 13, 2014

 

places

 

List courtesy of huffingtonpost.com:

 

1. “The Story of Ferdinand”
ferdinand
“I think one of the joys of parenthood was re-connecting with books from my youth that I shared with my kids when they were little,” said Hank Zona.

2. “Go, Dog. Go!”
“I still love the dog party in the tree and ‘Do you like my hat?'” said Jim Britt.

3. “The Laura Ingalls Wilder books”
“Have reread them several times…as an adult,” said Ellen Whitford.

4. “The Phantom Tollbooth”
phantom
“The plays on words, the messages about the importance of numbers and words and feelings, the Jules Feiffer drawings… it just gets better with every reading,” said Anne Bagamery.

5. “My Side of the Mountain”
“Read it will all my kids,” said Liz Moore.

6. “Bridge to Terabithia”
“I think some of the upper elementary school/middle school books are more poignant than adult fiction,” said Melissa Wagner-Bigelow.

7. “The Giving Tree”
giving tree
“Makes me smile when I see it,” said Sherry Kerrigan.

8. “Katy No-Pocket”
“Such a sweet story,” said Linda Maltz Wolff.

9. “Favorite Tales of Monsters and Trolls”
“I loved the art in that so much, I recently spent $40 on Amazon for a somewhat ratty paperback copy of it,” said Chris Nesi.

10. “Chronicles of Narnia” series
narnia
“They opened up such a rich life of the imagination,” said Chris Schons.

11. “All-of-a-Kind Family”
“NY In the 19th Century. Family with five sisters, I had only brothers!” said Lisa Endlich Heffernan.

12. “Keeper of the Bees” and “Girl of the Limberlost”
“They’re straightforwardly moral — a throwback to a quaint and simpler time — and all about living in harmony with nature,” said Marcia Lawrence.

13. “Arm in Arm”
arm
“Circa 1969. My favorite book when I was around 4 or 5. Puts the world in a different perspective with artsy illustrations. I still have it. It’s in the bookshelf in my house,” said Hollie Reddington.

14. “Wylly Folk St. John Mysteries” series
“I was a HUGE fan… my daughter loves them, too,” said Faith Peppers.

15. “Sammy the Seal”
“Cause it was the first book I ever read,” said Robin Hoffman.

16. “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”
basil
“It totally fueled my imagination and made me dream of sleeping in the museum,” said Lois Alter Mark. “As a child growing up in New York, I used to visit the Met and try to find places where I could stow away and make that happen. To this day, when I visit, it brings back all those memories and transports me right back into the joy I experienced… that’s what a great book can do.”

“I remember growing up in Kansas and thinking how cool would that be to live in the metropolitan museum of art in NYC. well now I live in NYC and can confirm that this is city is like one huge museum and still very cool,” said Mary Lynn Manning.

17. “Chip Hilton Series”
“Those books that I read in the 1950s helped inspire me to become an athlete and writer,” said Mark Stodghill.

 

 

Click on the link to read Student Writes Nasty Letter to Teacher and Teacher Corrects it!

Click on the link to read The Telegraph’s Best Children’s Book of All Time

Click on the link to read The New York Public Library’s 100 Most Requested Children’s Books

Click on the link to read Stunning Photographs of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Kids From Reading Books they Actually Enjoy

Click on the link to read The Classic Children’s Books they Tried to Ban

Click on the link to read How Spelling Mistakes can Turn a Compliment into Something Quite Different.


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