professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Helping versus helping ourselves: A rant and a rave

I have seen some of the most absurd items come out that are "aligned" with the CCSS. It is sort of like all the hoopla about ads that touted their products as cholesterol free when, in fact, they never contained cholesterol to begin with. Now, I am seeing the same thing with gluten-free. Suddenly, items are being publicized as gluten-free when, again in fact, they never had gluten to begin with. And so it goes with CCSS. New publications are being rushed out that are CCSS-aligned. They purport to help teachers. In some cases, though, I feel they exploit the concern, frustration, uncertainty, etc. that rushing to implement new curriculum and assessments causes. I actually purchased a book today, from a heretofore trusted educational publisher, that COULD and SHOULD have been produced as a free ebook if the true aim was to help teachers.

Now, do not get me wrong: I have published three books, and I do receive royalties from each (thanks to those wonderful folks who have purchased them). There is not a thing wrong with offering publications to an audience of educators. Not. A. Thing. Where I draw the line, though, is with the same misleading advertising I see for gluten-free products. That is the end of the rant. No particulars. No calling out. I trust most teachers will figure out which publications will help and which are out there to cash in.

I have been reading loads of picture books lately. Many of them would be good for those seeking short works for NF to use as exemplars to connect kids to other NF books and longer works. I am posting these to Twitter and Facebook and to my book blog ( I hope this is helpful. I still dislike CCSS, but I love real books and want to see them used with kids in lieu of some of the horrific things on the exemplar list (which at some grade levels is a total of 5 items, BTW).

And now a rave.

There are many out there who are concerned with creating lifelong learners and lifelong, avid readers. They offer books, blog, articles, and more. I mentioned a few of them in yesterday's post. Tonight, #titletalk is devoted to the topic of selecting those first books for the school year, the ones that set the mood and tone for the year, that let kids see us as humans, that let kids know we love books and we love them. #titletalk is a twitter chat. It starts at 8 ET and runs for an hour. Search Twitter for the hashtag and follow the breakneck discussion (which, thankfully, is archived as well). Come and lurk. Better yet, join in. Be a part of the solution and not part of the problem to trot out a beloved cliché from the 60s. Starting off the year with the perfect book might just go a long way toward the goal of any good classroom: building, nourishing, growing readers.
Tags: ccss, sell outs, titletalk
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