Emotional Agility

Susan David’s book Emotional Agility inspired me to write this review.

I knew I would love this book when the author made reference to Dr. Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning. This book takes a candid look at the negative self talk and endless bombardment of thoughts that contribute to our emotional state.  We can choose to tackle or tame them.  Even one negative thought can morph into anger that manifests itself in unintended ways.  There are so many life-changing statements in this book that you will need a highlighter or two and bookmarks to locate the nuggets of truth and guidance when you need it.  The author has a conversational style that makes it an easy read, yet profoundly powerful.  This was my forth and best book purchase of the new year.  Susan David offers advice about “showing up,” learning to tame negative thoughts and practice self-compassion.  This truly remarkable book belongs in everyone’s toolkit.   I have attended, then facilitated Book Circles on this amazing book.  
                             I give it my highest endorsement:   ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Here is the author, Susan David

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Multi-cultural children’s books

Teachers should carefully select books for their classroom that teach about other cultures.

USE  The Horn Book Guide to identify the right books for your age group.  Click on the links to explore.

Horn Book Guide Online       http://www.hornbookguide.com/cgi-bin/hbonline.pl  

CCBC = Cooperative Children’s Book Center https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/multicultural.asp

These are a few samplings of my favorites:

Favorites for Ages 2-5

Favorites for Ages 5-7

For Ages 7 – 9

For Ages 9-12

Here are some resources for ebooks online. Just click to visit the sites.

Fiction.usClassic ReaderChildren’s Books Online  

 ****•Magic Keys •International Children’s Digital Library

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Neighborhood Library box

I am a book lover. I wish I had a library next door. My dream is to someday own a bookstore, or work in one. While driving in my golf cart I passed by a little library box next to the parking lot for the beach. I had to take a look. Some thoughtful person, probably the creator of this mini-library, placed books that would appeal to all interests. There were several children’s books too. I also noticed a knitted scarf that was either found in the sand or placed for someone who might be in need of warmth. I asked my retired husband if he would consider building a library box for our block. I am not sure if he nodded to quiet me or if he will build one, but either way, I found some plans online. Hopefully it will be a place where fellow book lovers will find a book that appeals to them. My other hope is that it will be inspiration to others to make their own neighborhood library box.

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My Surf Adventure

My Ride of a Lifetime

The palm tree out my window reminds me of my trip to Hawaii almost thirteen years ago. Two weeks before our planned adventure my husband bought me my first surfboard and wetsuit. Being an avid surfer himself, he wanted me to know how thrilling it can be to ride the waves. He made it look easy.

When we got to Oahu, we couldn’t wait to get into the warm water. There were already more surfers out than I could count. I did exactly as he said and carried my board like a pro. My husband told me he would be watching me and to remember what he taught me.

“Go have fun. I’m going to be watching you.” Off he went to join the line up of surfers while I remained close to the shore. I spotted an old man giving lessons to kids and started paddling to get within earshot. As I paddled, a beautiful Hawaiian girl paddled toward me and shouted, “Howlie, stay in the channel.” I didn’t know what the channel was so I nodded and paddled on. I listen as the old man told the kids what to do. I followed each command from a distance. The people on the sand seemed miles away. When the old man shouted, “Stand up,” I did exactly as he said and I was riding a wave.

The waves would seem to end, yet reform and I was still surfing. It was gloriously exhilarating and I was so proud of myself. I kept thinking, “I hope my husband is seeing this.” I did not remember how to disembark and I saw the shore drawing close so I jumped off. Later he told me that he saw me surf and our next lesson will be on how to turn around and go back out. He tends to lose all track of time when he is surfing. Now I know why.

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Teaching Vocabulary

•Students must learn 3,000 words per year by 3rd grade. •Only 400 words a year are directly taught by teachers. •Academic demands are high •Everyday speech consists of only 5,000- 7,000 words.  The books that young children are able to read are intended to help them practice their reading skills rather than build their vocabulary. While we can use these books to build the vocabulary knowledge of young children, it takes some effort and thought on the part of the teacher, tutor, or parent. 

Young children do not build their vocabulary by reading books but rather by having books read to them.

:Strategies to Teach Vocabulary Words

1. Read the story.

2. Contextualize the word within the story. 

3. Have children say the word.

4. Provide a student-friendly explanation of the word.

5. Present examples of the word used in contexts different from the story context.

6. Engage children in activities that get them to interact with the words.

7. Have children say the word. 

•For students with special needs, it is important that the teacher introduces a new word and provide VISUALS

Build on prior knowledge

Define in kid friendly terms and provide examples

Use games, songs, multi-sensory activities.

Use Semantic Mapping:

Vocabulary words fall into 3 tiers:

Tier One: Basic words that rarely require instructional focus (door, house, book)

Tier Two: Words that appear with high frequency, across a variety of domains, and are crucial when using mature, academic language (coincidence, reluctant, analysis).

Tier Three: Frequency of these words is quite low and often limited to specific fields of study (isotope, Reconstruction, Buddhism).

****Robert Marzano has written several books on Vocabulary Instruction. Here are his strategies:

Step one: The teacher explains a new word, going beyond reciting its definition (tap into prior knowledge of students, use imagery).

Step two: Students restate or explain the new word in their own words (verbally and/or in writing).

Step three: Ask students to create a non-linguistic representation of the word (a picture, or symbolic representation).

Step four: Students engage in activities to deepen their knowledge of the new word (compare words, classify terms, write their own analogies and metaphors).

Step five: Students discuss the new word (pair-share, elbow partners).

Step six: Students periodically play games to review new vocabulary (Pyramid, Jeopardy, Telephone).


Bringing Words to Life by Isabel Beck
Vocabulary Games for the Classroom by Lindsey Carlton and Robert J. Marzano
Words, Words, Words by Janet Allen
Teaching Basic and Advanced Vocabulary: A Framework for Direct Instruction by Robert J. Marzano

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Repeated readings help students with fluently. Make 2 copies of a page of text . Put them in clear plastic sleeves. Set timer for one minute. Go over errors.

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression

•A fluent reader reads smoothly and is interesting to listen to.

Ways to Foster Fluency:

Repeated Readings

Readers Theater

Shared Reading

Parner Reading

Choral Reading

Books on Tape

Echo Reading

How can we foster reading fluency?

  1. Paired or “Buddy” Reading. The easiest and best way to help your child develop fluency is to sit with your child and read! … 
  2. Reread Favorite Books. Another way parents can help develop fluency is to build a tall stack of books that your child can read quickly and easily. … 
  3. Record It.
  4. Reader’s Theater (select shorter passages for early readers)

10 Strategies for fluency

  • Record students reading aloud on their own. … 
  • Ask kids to use a ruler or finger to follow along. … 
  • Have them read the same thing several times. …  Check out Six Minute Fluency
  • Pre-teach vocabulary. … 
  • Drill sight words. … 
  • Make use of a variety of books and materials. … 
  • Try different font and text sizes. … 
  • Create a stress free environment.

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My English roses

When my daughter asked me if she could be a summer camp counselor in the hills of Santa Cruz, at first I said no. The distance from our house to the camp was too far and I was not keen on letting her go by herself. She approached me again, this time she had a plan to recruit her brother who was in college. I relented because her brother could watch over her and that seemed like a good bonding time for the two of them. My daughter, Katie, met a young medical student, Steven, from England who was curious about California and looking for a summer adventure. That summer Katie and Steven fell in love. Then my daughter decided to go to college in England. She and Steven married and began their busy professional lives. Katie gave birth to my granddaughter on a snowy January. Then four years later she had another daughter in the summer. I travel to see My English Roses as often as I can. When the pandemic is over and it’s safe to travel, we all plan to have a grand reunion. Every day I give thanks for FaceTime so I can see their beautiful faces and stay connected. I miss my loved ones across “the pond.”

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