August 10, 2012

Fierce, Fearless and Free.

Stand Up for Girls with LitWorld 
and Take Action for Every Girl's Right to a Quality Education on 10.11.12, the International Day of the Girl

523 million girls and women worldwide cannot read or write.

 Let us stand together to champion the right of all girls to be

Fierce, Fearless and Free.
 LitWorld, an organization working towards achieving global literacy, has launched the Stand Up for Girls campaign to advocate for every girl's right to a quality education. Our entire civilization is at stake when girls’ lives are fragile because they are prevented from accessing the right to read and write. All girls must be able to vote with their names, read their medicine bottles, farm their land, ride a subway and go to college. Stand Up for Girls speaks to these issues and gives us all a chance, young and old, to show our daughters and the sisters of our hearts that we have not forgotten, that we want the world to be safe, fair and full of hope for all of them.

 Visit and pledge your commitment to take action and create positive change for women and girls worldwide, and to learn how to participate in LitWorld’s Photo Contest, plan your own Stand Up for Girls Event, become a Stand Up for Girls Champion, and more. Tell 10 people you know about Stand Up for Girls to help spread the world as far as possible. Ask your 10 to Tell 10 more people and together, let’s shout from the rooftops that every girl has the right to be fierce, fearless and free. 

Follow LitWorld:

August 9, 2012

SUCCESS: Mission Possible

New School Year, New Students, Even a New Room Make-Over
Welcome students and parents to 2012-2013: a year of learning opportunities!

I am always looking for new ideas to engage students in a successful school experience, so when I was asked to read and review Mission Possible: Secrets of the Success, written by Founder and CEO of the Success Academy Charter Schools, Eva Moskowitz, and literacy expert, Arin Lavinia, I was eager.

This is my 20th year teaching middle school students. I have seen incredible changes in education, technology, and society during this time. Stagnation has never been a problem with this age group or profession, so when asked to comment on the following comment, I was at a loss.

 “Stagnation, being unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level, is one of the greatest sources of low teacher morale.  Why do you think this country treats teaching so differently than it does other professions?” 

I believe that there are many reasons a teacher is at times “…unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level…” and the teaching profession is treated differently from other professions. As stated over and over again in Mission Possible, this can change when the education community works together with success as the overall goal.

After reading the book, I am as eager to share some key points in my back to school post. It is my hope that these ideas will ignite thinking and actions within our school community especially among our administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students.

“Secrets of Success” shared:
  • Keeping students challenged and engaged in learning.
  • Keeping parents informed, involved and engaged in learning.
  • Keeping teachers and administrators trained, prepared and engaged in learning.

I smile knowing, that our school district already knows this “Secret.”
We already focus on all of these points- daily. Can we do better?
Simple answer,  Yes- daily.
  • Teachers must have time and resources to prepare rigorous and passionate lessons.
  • Parents must support and invest in their child’s learning.
  • Students must take advantage of every opportunity with a goal of life-long learning.

Mission Possible shows when everyone focuses on these goals, success happens. I plan to use the last chapter title “Call to Action” as a reminder that I need to continue to make a difference.  
2012-2013 school year has SUCCESS written all over it.

Give Away: An extra copy of Mission Possible was made available to gift to one of my readers. The book also includes a DVD sharing student and teacher interactions shared in the book. I will randomly choosing a winner on August  31st. Simply leave a comment with your email contact information so I can contact the winner.

This sponsored post is part of a campaign presented by Read Mission and the SITS Girls. You can learn more about Mission Possible by following them on Twitter and Facebook. I was compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

August 6, 2012

Guys (and Gals) Read Sport Pages

A lineman with something to prove
              A vendetta against a baseball legend
The rise of a real-life NHL all-star
                           The luckiest grapefruit in sports history

Open up The Sports Pages, the third volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading, and you're in for all of this and more. From fiction to nonfiction, from baseball to mixed martial arts and everything in between, these are ten stories about the rush of victory and the crush of defeat on and off the field. 

Compiled by kid-lit all-star Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: The Sports Pages is a thrilling collection of brand-new short stories from some of your favorite authors and athletes.

Like Funny Business and Thriller, the first two Guys Read books, The Sports Pages is a collection of ten stories from middle grade fiction writers, along with some exciting guest contributors. This time around, it’s only fitting that some stories come directly from athletes themselves. 

Don't forget, the "Gals" will love this as much as the "Guys."

A great site to get into the game of reading: