I love participating in teacher groups on Facebook and following other educators on Twitter. One downside to it is there are times when I read or participate in conversations that make my blood boil. For example, I was following a chat by an author that I actually very much admire. They were talking about "rules" for reading kids chapter books. The protagonist should only be 2 years older than your students-according to the experts. A teacher asked if the book Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper was appropriate for 3rd Graders. Well, I replied that I am actually reading it right now to my gifted Kinders. You would have thought I said I don't believe in TPT or something by the response! I was told that was inappropriate. That there's no way these kids could understand that book. It actually made me wonder if any of them had actually read the story.
Well, I respectfully disagree. I very much think they understand this book. One of my students even has a cousin with cerebral palsy-they have been able to really connect with that theme. If you haven't read the book, it's told from the perspective of a little girl growing up with cerebral palsy. She can't walk or talk but is very intelligent and ends up trying out for the school quiz team. What I really like about the story is the ending is not the typical happy ending you expect reading it. She faces some serious discrimination. I would not recommend it for a child this age to read themselves, but certainly a chapter a day read by me and guidance in answering any questions or explaining anything they don't understand--I think it's completely appropriate.
I asked my students to think from the perspective of the main character, Melody. I can tell from their answers that they understand completely!
If I were Melody and did not have the talking device, I would do the tornado a lot of times.
I would be the strongest girl in the world and say words know what means and how to inspire to be a superstar.
I would think about my family and be the smartest girl in the world. I will not let my family down forever.
I would be sad that I do not have a voice and I want to so so so so so so so much. I wnat to be the queen of smart.
I would wish I could talk without the computer.
I would stare at my teacher.
It would be better in Heaven so I can see God.
It would be boring. I can't want or talk by myself.
My life would be terrible. You know why? Because someone has to help, that's why.
I know if you put yourself out there sometimes there will be pushback for your ideas. Especially if you are like me and sometimes have crazy ideas! :) But I have no question that I made the right choice for my kiddos.