A Time Out For Tolerance

At a time when it is unclear how much of the tumultuous political atmosphere is reaching our students, regardless of their points of view, it is important to take a time out of the curriculum to focus on things that matter above all else: tolerance, kindness, empathy, unity.  So that’s just what 4th and 5th grade will be doing this week: reading books that touch upon the value of the human experience and how we are more alike than we are unalike.

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No big discussion, no political grandstanding.  Just sharing and enjoying stories worth reading and ideas worth remembering, peacefully.

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Mo Willems & An Introduction to the Caldecott Medal

January is going to be a very fun month for preK, kindergarten and 1st graders!  We are doing an author study of the great Mo Willems and learning all about some pretty delightful characters: Piggie, Gerald, Knuffle Bunny, and of course, the Pigeon!

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This week we are focusing on The Pigeon and reading his books.  We are discussing how Mr. Willems using his seemingly simple illustrations to convey his ideas, and how he uses them to get his purpose across.

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It doesn’t take the students long to realize that many of Willems’s books have big shiny medals on them, mostly Caldecott, Red Clover, and Theodor Seuss Geisel Awards. This led to a natural discussion of past Caldecott Medal winners and throughout the day, I had to keep restocking my display as students happily took them off my hands!

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1T begged me to keep reading Pigeon books during class yesterday until I read all five that I had left in the library!  They loved his expressions and his sarcasm and especially when he yells!  I know Mo Willems month is going to be a huge success!