Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Reviews from students that lived in refugee camps

Good Readers make connections to their world, other books and to characters. My students made connections to Karen Lynn Williams' books about refugees and their triumphs! 

"My book is about Four Feet, Two Sandals.

Lina  is  a  refugee  from  Afghanistan.  Lina  does  not have  shoes.  She  finds  a  sandal.  She  looks  for  the other  sandal.  She  meets  a  new  friend,  Feroza.  Feroza  has  the  other  sandal.  This  book  is  about  two friends  who  want  to  share  the  sandals.  Lina  gets  the  papers  to  go  to the  USA.  Who  takes  the sandals?  Will  Lina  and  Feroza  see  each  other  again? Read  the  book,  Four  Feet,  Two  Sandals!"
Students are actively involved reading Karen Lynn Williams' books.
"I read the book, MY NAME IS SANGOAL.

Sangoal   is  a  refugee  from  Sudan.  His  father  dies in the  war.  Sangoal,  his  mother  and  sister  come to America  to  begin  a  new  life.  When  Sangoal  starts his  new  school  he  meets  a  lot  of  new  friends.  But there  is  a  problem! No  one  can  pronounce  his  name!   You must  read   and  find  how  Sangoal  teaches his  friends and  his  teacher  how  to  say  his  name!"
Students made a follow up activity from the book, MY NAME IS SANGOAL:

~March 13, 2012 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love-Hate Relationship with your Computer

For all of us who feel  only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on:

At a recent computer  expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the  auto industry and stated, "If Ford had kept up with  technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that  got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to  Bill's comments, Ford issued a press release stating :

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the  following characteristics
(and I just love this):

1.     For no reason  whatsoever, your car would crash...twice a day.

2.   Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new  car.

3.   Occasionally  your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and  reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4.   Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and  refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the  engine.

5.   Macintosh  would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the  roads.

6.   The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single  "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7.   The airbag system would ask, "Are you  sure?" before deploying.

8.   Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in  until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold  of the radio antenna.

9.   Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all  over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the  old car.

10.You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

     PS - I'd like to add that when all else fails, you could call "customer service" in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car  yourself!

     Please share this  with your friends who have a love-hate relationship with their computer!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ray of Hope

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It was a pleasure to meet Ray Rice (American football running back for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League [NFL]) to thank him for his anti-bullying campaign.
Ray Rice continues his “Ray of Hope” campaign, speaking out against bullying and teaching kids compassion.

“They say sticks and stones will break your bones but words won’t hurt you,” Rice said. “But words, with the power of social media, are killing people.”

Howard County mom Christine McComas joined Rice. Her daughter Grace committed suicide after being bullied online and her death sparked anti-cyberbullying legislation in Maryland.

“She was happy from birth. Nice kid, good kid. But tonight we’re gonna talk about kindness because that’s really what has to change,” she said.
Grace’s story inspired Rice’s campaign. He hopes that by reaching out to parents and young people through different events, the pro-kindness, anti-bullying campaign will grow.

“It starts with a vision and what I need you to do is take our vision that we’re building of stopping bullying everywhere,” Rice said.

Are your students being bullied? This resource from the BRYC (Bridging Refugee Youth & Children’s Services) will help you and your students:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Teaching Friendship & Understanding through Literacy

“What is friendship? How can you be a true friend if it means giving up something that is important to you?"

I passed out a picture of a sandal to every student. The students had to find a partner with the matching sandal. Each pair of sandals had the same vocabulary word: camp, sandal, as-salaam alakum, shalwar-kameez, Afghanistan, Peshawar, Pakistan, Lina, Feroza, resettle, and relief worker.

Students paired-shared and discussed with the class their vocabulary words.

I posted some of the vocabulary pictures on the board. I read the book, "Four Feet, Two Sandals,” by Karen Lynn Williams. 

To help students and Emergent English Language Learners to participate and to develop listening  skills (CCSS) they were encouraged to hold up their sandals when they heard their word being read in the story.

After the story, students were actively engaged discussing the themes from this story: “What is friendship? How can you be a true friend if it means giving up something that is important to you? Think of a time when someone shared something special with you. What do you have that you can share with others? Does it have to be a thing? Many families had to face many losses, loss of home, country, family and friends. What can you do to help others that have lost something or someone? What language do you speak at home? At school? How would you feel if you moved to a new school and no one spoke your language? How could you help a new classmate that could not speak English?  Could you give me some examples how you could teach them English?”

One student said enthusiastically, “I would point to these pictures in the book and teach them how to say these words. I would teach them my language!”

The students paired-shared how they would help a new student feel welcomed in their new classroom and school!

At the end of the story Feroza carried one of the sandals and ran up to Lina as she was leaving for America. Feroza gave Lina the matching sandal. Will the two friends meet again?