Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Power of Athlete Activists: Making Connections in the Classroom

Athletes have the power and ability to inspire social action, even though they may face criticism that their work should be “left on the field.” Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began #takeaknee by kneeling for the national anthem during an NFL football game in 2017. When people questioned him about his intentions, he stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a country that oppresses black people and people of color…”.

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Webinar Update: Teaching Tough Topics with Children’s Literature

Teaching Tough Topics with Children's Literature

Our highly anticipated webinar, “Teaching Tough Topics with Children’s Literature” has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 4:00 PM EDT!

Join us for our timely webinar with panelists Jinnie Spiegler, Director of Curriculum at Anti Defamation League (ADL) and Katie Potter, Literacy Specialist at Lee & Low Books to discuss how to talk to young people about topics such as: bullying, bias, what’s happening in the news, allyship, and action through worthy books and corresponding activities and resources.

At the end of this webinar, participants will receive a toolkit that features book lists relevant to the topics, free resources about these issues, links to relevant websites, and a one-hour professional development certificate.

Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Time: 4:00 PM EDT/1:00 PM PDT
How to Join: You can register here.

Registration is FREE, but space is limited so register today! Even if you can’t attend live, you can still register and we will send a recording of the webinar to all registrants after the webinar takes place.

If you have any questions or particular topics you would like to see covered, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Mini Shared Reading with Más Piñata

mini shared readingIn the second post of our new Más Piñata blog series, Dr. Barbara Flores introduces the benefits of Mini Shared Reading, a method that prepares children to become independent readers.

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Jennifer Serravallo Shares Reading Strategies for Kindergarten

It’s Back-to-School time, which means new educator resources on the Lee & Low blog!

Lee & Low Books is extremely excited to announce our “Success Starts Early: Reading Conferences with Your Beginning Readers” Guide written by renowned literacy expert, Jennifer Serravallo! Jennifer Serravallo is a prominent leader in the field of education and literacy, and a national literacy consultant, speaker, and bestselling author. We are proud to feature these new Conferencing Documents as essential resources for teachers in the classroom working with beginning readers.

Our Conferencing Guide includes tips and techniques for conferring with readers at guided reading levels A, B, and C. The Guide also includes “Teaching Cheat Sheets” that feature how to examine a student’s reading behavior, and turn those observations into teaching moments so students can achieve the targeted reading skill.

Below, Jennifer Serravallo shares what conferencing entails in the classroom.

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Más Piñata and the Story Behind Culturally Authentic Leveled Reading

In the first post of our new blog series, Dr. Barbara Flores shares the history and philosophy behind the beloved dual language leveled reading series, Más Piñata.

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Book List: Best Multicultural Story Books to Read Aloud

Summer is quickly approaching, which means more time to read picture books aloud to the children in your lives! Below we’ve compiled a list of amazing multicultural books to read aloud to children. And maybe they can even read aloud to you! Continue reading

The Role of Cultural Experts and Sensitivity Readers

After her recent interview about sensitivity readers in the New York Times, Editorial Director and Publisher of Tu Books, Stacy Whitman, further discusses the role of cultural experts and sensitivity readers and the important part they play in the editorial process.

Over the last several months, outlets like the New York Times have started discussions of the use in publishing of what are now being called sensitivity readers—what we here at Lee and Low have called cultural experts. In particular, the New York Times framed their take on the subject as a question of censorship. The current headline reads, “In an Era of Online Outrage, Do Sensitivity Readers Result in Better Books, or Censorship?” which is updated from the print version, “Sensitivity or Censorship? The Vetting of Children’s Books in an Era of Outrage.”

I’m not sure that the update changes the framing, which still implies that what should be a standard part of the editorial process is somehow a form of censorship.

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Classroom Guide for I Am Alfonso Jones

I Am Alfonso JonesLast month was the release of I Am Alfonso Jones written by Tony Medina and illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings. In this book, Alfonso Jones can’t wait to play the role of Hamlet in his school’s hip-hop rendition of the classic Shakespearean play. He also wants to let his best friend, Danetta, know how he really feels about her. But as he is buying his first suit, an off-duty police officer mistakes a clothes hanger for a gun, and he shoots Alfonso.

When Alfonso wakes up in the afterlife, he’s on a ghost train guided by well-known victims of police shootings, who teach him what he needs to know about this subterranean spiritual world. Meanwhile, Alfonso’s family and friends struggle with their grief and seek justice for Alfonso in the streets. As they confront their new realities, both Alfonso and those he loves realize the work that lies ahead in the fight for justice.

Accompanying our title is the I Am Alfonso Jones teacher’s guide, which offers resources and tips on how to guide discussions of race, racism, and social justice in the classroom. Our teacher’s guide also features summary and background information, prereading and discussion questions, ideas for reader’s response and writing activities, strategies for ESL/ELL, and interdisciplinary activities and connections. Below we’ve gathered a few prereading questions, discussion questions, activities, and resources from the I Am Alfonso Jones teacher’s guide.

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A Culturally Responsive Approach to Discussing Thanksgiving in the Classroom

In this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and offer concrete examples and resources. Last week we explored going beyond “The Single Story”Today, educator Lindsay Barrett offers a culturally responsive approach to discussing Thanksgiving in the Classroom. 

Culturally Responsive Teaching Thanksgiving

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Book List: 7 Activist Athletes in Children’s Books

Given the current conversation surrounding the role of athletes in regards to politics, some people question whether athletes should be able to voice their opinions on certain matters. But what many people don’t know is that athletes have always been prominent activists whether on the field or off. From Louis Sockalexis to Jim Thorpe, we’re highlighting seven activist athletes who stood up for what they believed in to make the world a better place.

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