Tag Archives: literacy

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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Culturally Responsive Teaching in Third Grade: Going Beyond “The Single Story”

In this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and offer concrete examples and resources. Last month we explored bridging the familiar and unfamiliar in literature discussions for second grade. This month, educator Lindsay Barrett offers guidance on culturally responsive teaching in third grade by going beyond “The Single Story”.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Third Grade

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15 Ideas When Your Child Hates Reading

Short quiz:

Which best describes why you are reading this post:

A.) Your child is a struggling or reluctant reader

B.) You are looking to refresh your family’s bedtime reading routine

C.) You are trying to restart your family’s reading routine

D.) You are trying to create a family reading routine

15 IDEAS WHEN YOUR CHILD HATES READING Continue reading

What is Culturally Responsive Teaching?

We recognize:

  • Our classrooms today include diverse learners and learning needs
  • There are many initiatives and areas of focus competing for limited classroom time and educators’ attention
  • Some learners need additional supports
  • But with the right tools and support, we at LEE & LOW BOOKS believe all teachers can learn and excel in culturally responsive teaching

But…what is culturally responsive teaching? Continue reading

Teaching Tolerance and Anti-Bullying

1758877335Want to foster empathy and tolerance?

Through Booklist, we recently explored how to use culturally responsive titles in a library’s tolerance and anti-bullying units and book collections.

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Next Story Time, Have Dulé Hill Read to Your Students

 

Actor Dulé Hill reads As Fast As Words Could Fly on Storyline Online

As Fast As Words Could Fly was selected by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation for its latest read aloud on Storyline Online, an interactive literacy website where well-known actors read popular, award-winning children’s books to help students fall in love with reading.

As Fast As Words Could Fly was written by Pamela M. Tuck, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, and read by actor Dulé Hill now on Storyline Online.

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Plan Your Month Roundup: November Books

Can you believe it’s almost November? The autumn season is officially underway which means the holidays are right around the corner! Plan out your month with these book recommendations and resources to get you ready for the holiday season!
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What Diversity Means to Me: Lee & Low Staff Share Their Thoughts

Thanks to movements such as We Need Diverse Books, #1000BlackGirlBooks, and vocal authors, writers, and readers, the conversation regarding diversity in children’s books has gained more traction. Studies such as the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Publishing Statistics on Children’s Books and our Diversity Baseline Survey have helped to supplement these conversations, highlighting the need for more representation in children’s literature. We’re starting to see more stories that represent people from different backgrounds and different ways of life, and stories with protagonists and heroes that finally look like us. Here at LEE & LOW BOOKS, our mission is to publish children’s books about everyone and for everyone. So today, LEE & LOW staff share the impact and importance of diversity and what diversity truly means to them.

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The Importance of Text Selection: How to Incorporate Social Justice in an English Classroom

Guest BloggerWe at LEE & LOW BOOKS are excited to share the engaging, culturally relevant work happening in the high school classroom of Jarred Amato, veteran educator in Metro Nashville Public Schools. In his essay, Jarred describes the importance of text selection and how to incorporate social justice and relevant content into the English curriculum at the start of the school year. Originally posted at Jarred’s blog, A Look Inside Mr. Amato’s Classroom, this essay is reposted with permission. 

Confession: In eight years of teaching, I have never assigned work from a textbook. I don’t believe in test-prep passages or outdated texts that I know my students will struggle to relate to, connect with, or enjoy, either. My experience is that they generally do more harm than good.

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The Carle Honors Recognizes LEE & LOW BOOKS

Photo Credit: Johnny Wolf Photography
Photo Credit: Johnny Wolf Photography

On September 28th, The Carle Museum hosted The Carle Honors Annual Benefit Gala  in New York City. The Carle Honors is “the Museum’s annual benefit gala. At the heart of the Honors are four awards celebrating individuals whose creative vision and dedication are an inspiration to everyone who values picture books and their role in arts education and literacy.” This year, Lee & Low Books, represented by publisher Jason Low, was one of the four honorees recognized at The Carle Honors. Below are author Gregory Maguire’s remarks on the work and legacy of Lee & Low Books.
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