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Urban Intellectuals Sankofa Club (2-8-20)
Urban Intellectuals, the same group that publishes the fantastic Black trivia card packs, has a new offering. A monthly digital learning kit for kids! We don’t recommend anything that we haven’t checked out first. So with an introductory of just 2.99, we had to try it out. It is a mix of online games and printables, all related to Black and African diaspora history. There is also a private Facebook group. There are 3 sets of printables by grade: Red for PK-2nd, Black for 2nd-4th, and Green for 4th-6th.
This is awesome for so many reasons. One, many Black Americans are just as ignorant of their history as the majority of Americans (shout out to public education). This makes it easy for families to learn together. Two, representation matters. A positive view of people that look like you promotes a positive self-image, increasing a sense of wellbeing. Three, this helps build vocabulary and engages students in critical thinking activities, both of which are critical for academic success. Use the link above to sign up for your students. Start a club in your area to discuss and engage in the activities together. And remember that Black is history is for everyone, not just Black America. 😉
The Mis-Education of the Negro (2-1-20)
Published in 1933, this short volume continues to be eerily accurate and relevant in the present day. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History, posits that the lack of progress among Black Americans is rooted in how they are educated.
Calm is an amazing meditation app that is well worth every penny of its subscription. Our favorite feature is the sleep stories. Choose from a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, and even ASMR. Calm is a great way to learn and teach emotional regulation and improve literacy. Check out the Festival of the First Moon by Lucy Liu to learn more about the Lunar New Year
Libraries are America’s greatest institutions – a completely free education for the taking (minus transportation costs). In this digital age, libraries are offering Hoopla, a digital multimedia library with ebooks, audiobooks, music, etc… We love Hoopla for their audiobooks, a perfect occupation for busy brains with reading struggles. Visit hoopla’s website or your local library for access.
Reading Intervention Behind School Walls (1-13-20)
Faith Borkowsky, a master literacy coach, is one of the few voices crying out about America’s illiteracy problem. Teachers are not equipped to teach reading and students and parents are blamed for failing. This is a great book for learning more about why our national reading scores are awful and what you can do about it.
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days (1-7-20)
Students enjoy these bright illustrations of the things that frustrate these superheroes. Rhyme is used to explain that even though one may feel like throwing a tantrum, there are other ways to let off steam. A truly enjoyable read, this book is appropriate for all ages and good for elementary independent readers. This story helps students practice rhyme and build social-emotional skills.