The Barefoot Book of Children is a bright and vibrant look at diversity and similarities of children around the world. This book balances questioning and reflecting with informational snippets supported by careful and detailed illustrations. Thanks to Barefoot Books (@BarefootBooks)I was sent a copy of The Barefoot Book of Children on behalf of authors Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma (@kate_depalma) as a part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day to review and share with my students.
At first read through (and every time thereafter), The Barefoot Book of Children was the perfect fit for my class. With only 10% of children’s books published in the United States containing diverse content, this book was 100% my class. My current class of students are from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds speaking over 10 different languages at home. When reading each page, my students could either see themselves or hear of classmates that made connections to the illustrations and descriptions from around the world. The questions asked throughout the book helped promote think time and reflection beyond their immediate self, helping them better understand their neighbours and classmates.
The Barefoot Book of Children also fits PERFECTLY with the Ontario Social Studies and History curriculum for grades 1 & 2. In grade 1, students are inquiring about their roles, responsibilities and relationships and how they change over time connecting well with the portion of the book that describes how children may have different roles and responsibilities to help their family or community. My students were wide-eyed learning that children their age in other parts of the world were responsible for perhaps earning pocket money or doing jobs to help their family. Grade 2s dive into the cultural traditions and celebrations of their own ancestry and those within their community. Understanding the significance of traditional food, dress, celebrations, language are all focuses that students share with one another. Students are immersed in “identify[ing] and locat[ing] various physical features and selected communities around the world, and describe some aspects of people’s ways of life in those communities”. The Barefoot Book of Children provided a fantastic jumping off point as well as a return to reference throughout our units of study.
As mentioned in the beginning, the balance between questioning and reflecting was ideal for primary aged students to understand themselves and others in the world around them. This book offered my students a chance to share, learn and connect with their own culture as well as the other cultures within our classroom and beyond. My students greatly benefitted from reading this book as well as studying the images to help understand children from around the world.
I would highly recommend The Barefoot Book of Children to any early primary teacher, especially those in the province of Ontario because it provides immense discussion and thought towards the Social Studies and History curriculum.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O'Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
A new year and a new....whatever you want to make new! This year is going to be full of change and challenges in many different facets. Professionally, I am currently at a school that is closing and relocating the students to a brand new school in their community; therefore, it leaves all staff to land new positions else where. Personally, #TeamA starts school in the fall, so I am left clinging the time we have with her as a "little" girl and challenged to make sure she is as prepared for school as possible.
In thinking what I wanted my New Year's resolution to be or what I was going to make a commitment to do, I didn't want something that was a thing or a time. We all want to eat healthier, loose a few pounds, travel the world, but I was inspired by a Twitter friend Marilyn (@RunnerGirl13_1) who tweeted about finding just one word that would be your word of the year. For days leading up to and into 2017, I would read Marilyn's posts and encouragements to find my word and I kept thinking about it (like that program you keep running behind the 25 open tabs in your browser). I thought about it and thought about it and first came up with BALANCE.
I want 2017 to be about BALANCE. I want to balance my time I spend between school and home; balance time I give to others vs time I spend working on myself; balance between being hard on myself and celebrating my successes; balance sacrificing my goals for others and making my goals. Overall, I just want to feel that I have given in all areas of my life without tilting the balance too far one way compared to others. Balance was a huge struggle for me last year as I was transferred to a school 40+ minutes from home, in a new grade so I was feeling very overwhelmed. I would spend countless hours at school trying to get myself organized and figure out what my students needed, but that cut into my family time and the time we could get things done at home.
At home the balance was often hard to keep in equilibrium due to the nature of DH's job and schedule. We frequently were going in different directions, texting our only conversations of the day and trying to keep it together as we juggled ourselves to get ready in the bathroom or kitchen each morning. I felt that there was nothing happening for me personally. No me time, no passion, no special activities....nothing. Balance was needed big time.
The more I got thinking of how I wanted 2017 to be about balance, I got thinking how I was going to make it happen. That's when I was stuck on a second word: COMMITMENT. I was going to have to make a commitment to myself that I was going to make sure I was in balance and I was going to have to make sure my family knew and was committed to having a balance with me.
So far, I feel like I am in balance and I have made a few commitments that I feel I can stick with. I've committed to completing my Math Specialist qualifications, committed to running my 3 favourite races and committed to writing online more often. All three of these commitments have also brought me balance...not doing too much or too little...doing something for me while still being there for my family and balancing school life with home life.
I think I have found my way thanks to my online friend Marilyn!
Recognizing that this is a little late to be called a New Year's resolution (and it's not my resolution), but we can just say, life got in the way for the previous 22 day! But I am here today to make a commitment. A commitment to you, my students and their families and most importantly myself. I am going to commit to writing/posting a minimum of twice a week. My posts will be a combinations of personal reflection, happenings in our classrooms, family time and just things that motivate and inspire me.
I hope you will join me on this adventure and journey and excuse me if I fall a little behind should life get in the way.
As 2016 came ot a close there were many things that I found myself reflecting upon. Like everyone else, this past year has been a rollar coaster of a ride. There was the slow start to the year with the winter that felt like it was never going to end, and then it ride moved right into the reorganization and hiring season at school.
We celebrated #TeamO's first birthday along with #TeamA's third birthday, had 3 family weddings (all on the same side of the family!), and #TeamA attended her first birthday party.
The spring seems like a blur now, but I would have to say it was the most stressful time I've had in a very long time. I was applying to a variety of positions with the sole intention to move closer to home. I had some deep soul searching conversations with the amazing leaders around me and multiple times turned down interview opportunities. I know it sounds weird and almost appauling that I would do such a thing in such a competitive and hard to crack workforce, but the moves were just not right for my family. Looking back, I don't regret a single thing.
The summer months had to have been the highlight of the year. I am blessed to be able to spend the summers off with my kids and cherrish each moment. We spent day after day playing outside, blowing bubbles, building in the sandbox and splashing around in our special water table. We were out until it was either too hot to stay out or it was too dark to see. These are the days that I long for again.
Our summer finale we visited the most magical place on earth for 12 magical days. It was so refreshing to see the excitement and wonder through the eyes of the kids. We soaked in a ton of vitamin D, something that we are in desparate need of at the moment.
Getting back into a routine was easier than I expected, the kids back to daycare full time and both DH and I back to work full time. The drive to and from school seems tollerable this year compared to last; I am using the drive to refelct upon my day, plan what I need to get done and often catch up with a colleague over the phone (yes, using handsfree!). I feel more at peace this year about my school and teaching situation.
Going into the new year, I have my own personal goals and resolutions that I am going to try and stick with.
Until then, thank you for being along for the ride and hope you will check-in, drop in and be along for the ride of 2017.
A snippet about me...
I'm a grade 1/2 teacher; wife; mama to #TeamA & #TeamO; runner; chocolate lover and always wanting to learn.