May was an absolute blast for my weekly bookchats. If you weren’t able to join during our LIVE broadcast, don’t worry about it because I got you!!
First up, by Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy, was Project Based Learning: Real Questions, Real Answers. How to Unpack PBL and Inquiry. There is a difference between assigning projects and cultivating a project based culture in your classroom. The first depends mostly on you as the teacher and the latter depends on how you set up inquiry for your students and access for discovery. You might fall somewhere in between the spectrum of teacher control and student choice. I loved how Ross & Erin set up this book to give you starting points wherever you are in this journey. If you have never explored PBL, you will know where to start for the next school year. If you find yourself beginning without the follow through, you will understand how to help your students go the distance with their projects. And the best part is that no one needs to be perfect! Mistakes are celebrated as a part of learning for teacher and student alike. I feel more confident in this area and am so glad I read it!
My second May bookchat was with the incredible Alice Aspinall, who brings us daily math tips and encouragement on her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram socials. She also offers FREE resources on her website. Her newest children’s book, Let’s Explore Math: A Journey in Four Parts is the second in her Everyone Can Learn Math series. This book is an excellent add to every personal and classroom library. It’s a great read on its own as a children’s story, but it also incorporates characters who struggle and collaborate when faced with different real life math problems. Alice includes a glossary and ideas of how a teacher can incorporate her book into math lessons. Helping children develop a math mindset is so important and this book takes the reader and listener into the right direction! We are big fans of Alice Aspinall’s work in my home!
Daddies and Uncles and More, Oh My!
This bookchat with new author AND publisher, Kashama Leo-Henry was such a sweet time! Her book, Daddies and Uncles and More, Oh My! celebrates the contributions of healthy father and father figure relationships. It celebrates families that are different from the status quo and welcomes readers to feel seen and validated. You can read more about my bookchat with Kashama in a previous blog post.
The Transplant Teacher
My last May bookchat with Alaskan educator and author, Angie Busch Alston, was such a timely read. Angie writes about her life of leaving her hometown in the Lower 48 to an adventure with her new husband to the Alaskan Bush in her book, The Transplant Teacher: Looking Inward and Reaching Outward When You’re Far From Home. It was fascinating reading about all the things she and her husband had to learn and adjust to, and how different it was from their planning. The differences from what they knew was so challenging, they almost decided to go home, but one, emotional moment gave them hope and turned their lives around for the better! Angie is such a light, and I enjoyed her stories and wisdom, but I also loved her energy. I don’t know that I could have done what she and her husband did. Have you ever contemplated leaving for a new life somewhere remote or just vastly different than your current normal? Angie shares insights with her readers that will help them adjust and form new relationships with those in new places. When you can’t change your location, you can probably change your mindset and that’s what they learned how to do. You can read even more about her on her website.
If you love reading like I do, and if you love hearing about the writing process behind the books, tune in to my weekly bookchats! They are every Wednesday at 8pm EST at youtube.com/alicekeeler.
About the Author
Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story. She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing and Alice Keeler, LLC. McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com. If you would like to schedule an author read with your class, please contact her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Melody’s BookChat every Wednesday at 8pm EST at YouTube.com/melodymcallister