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May 2018
VABBing with Mindset

Mindset Reflections:
Your 2018 Summer Reading List


What would summer be without a book or two or three to read? Summer and reading go hand in hand, as does being culturally responsive and lifelong learning. Learning in CLR means continuing to build your knowledge in order to be better in your cultural and linguistic responsiveness. Summer is a great opportunity for building knowledge through reading - just you and a book on a beach, in the mountains, or in your backyard.  As you make plans for well-deserved fun, relaxation, and rest, be sure to include these recommended reads to increase your capacity to VABB come August and September. The titles offered for your multi-day cruise, the long flight to paradise, or road trip are eclectic this year - a classic, something old; a contemporary, something new; and a content-related text, something special.
The Classic - Any book by Jonathon Kozol
Recently, while spending some time in East St. Paul, I was reminded of an oldie but a goodie by a legendary author who taught us to never forget the underserved, or why we do what we do. The book is Savage Inequalities, and the author is Johnathon Kozol. There was a time when you could not go through a teacher education program without reading something by Kozol. My first dose of the realities of inequities in schools was Death at an Early Age. But most remember and have read his most popular text - Savage Inequalities, which discusses the disparities in education between schools of different classes and races. It is based on his observations of various classrooms in the public school systems of East St. Louis, Chicago, New York City, Camden, Cincinnati, and Washington D.C.. You cannot go wrong with anything Kozol, a dim reminder of how much things have changed but stayed the same, or gotten worse.
The Contemporary
Youth culture is the predominant cultural behavior in your classroom. Understanding your students from this lens is key to your CLR success. The book, Attack of the Teenage Brain! Understanding and Supporting the Weird and Wonderful Adolescent Learner by John Medina, explores the neurological and evolutionary factors that drive teenage behavior and can affect both achievement and engagement. If you are like me, you often forget that you were a teenager once, and what that feels like. Here is a book that not only reminds us of that, but adds brain based and psychological research to our experiences. Armed with this knowledge, you can better VABB your students from their perspective, and not your generation's way.
The Content-Related Special
A common question asked is,  "how does CLR look in math or science or art or PE?" The answer is the same as it would be in any class or subject area, especially at the engagement/activity level (call and response, protocols for response and discussion, and movement activities). But I understand the implication of the question, which is really a request for examples of CLR in content areas. This is a fair request and I wish that I had a recommendation for each content area (forthcoming). For now, I do have a recommendation for math, Teaching Students to Communicate Mathematically by Laney Sammons. This text will be more than you bargained for as it goes beyond CLR. What is great about it is there are chapters directly related to the discussion protocols and building on academic vocabulary and academic language. This may not be a cover to cover read, but it may give you just what you need to VABB with your math instruction.
You had a great year! You deserve a break…a long break. Building knowledge is important but restoring your heart, mind, and body is  more important. Be certain to restore YOU so that you can be more for those who will need you the most next year.
Happy Summer! And VABB On!!!
VABBing with Skillset

Skillset  Reflections:

May is time to REFLECT and CELEBRATE

Get together with colleagues and reflect on your year of VABB. Discuss and celebrate your accomplishments with one of the protocols below.

Advanced:  1-3-6 + Headlines- To reflect and celebrate, try out the 1-3-6 Protocol along with Headlines

  • Use 1-3-6 to reflect, share and discuss some of the questions below and then create individual or group Headlines for your CLR-ness.  Post the Headlines around the school!

Premium: Chalk Talk- To reflect and celebrate, try out Chalk Talk

Reflection Prompts

  • How has CLR impacted your teaching and your students’ engagement? 
  • In what ways have you connected with your students to make them feel validated and affirmed?

  • How have you provided a culturally responsive environment for your students that makes everyone feel welcomed, safe and valued?

  • How has the mantra:  “My First Thought Isn’t My Last Thought” affected your teaching?

  • How have you looked at behavior differently and VABBed using your reactive VABBing skills?

  • What would your students say they have appreciated or liked about different protocols you use?

  • In what ways have your students been more engaged in your classroom?

  • What protocols are your students’ favorites and why?

  • In what ways has CLR helped your students with situational appropriateness and code-switching?

  • What can you tell a colleague that is hesitant about getting in the CLR pool?


VOCABULARY: Looking for a fun vocabulary activity to end the year with?

Advanced/Premium:  Shades of Meaning with emojis!  Try the emoji version! Use emojis to elicit synonyms.
  1. First, assign each group an emoji.  Have a Tier 2 word ready for each emoji you choose, but don’t give them that word yet! Instead you could give them a simpler Tier 1 word you think they would already know and then they will brainstorm other synonyms (VA)

  2. Second, after the brainstorming,  give each group their Tier 2 word (BB)

  3. Third, have students discuss the shades/gradients of their words and put them in an order. (Have them pick 4-7 words to discuss with one of them being the Tier 2 word given by the teacher)

  4. Fourth, have students use the protocol Gallery Walk to discuss what each group came up with for their emoji!

  5. Fifth, have students put their words in their Personal Thesaurus!

In closing…   This work is about celebrating who each individual student is, and connecting our teaching to our students.  It is about engaging all of our students. It just takes one person to start, to take a stand and to get FIRED UP!   Be that person!

Let’s hear from you!

Share about it with @validateaffirm on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

#BeYou #celebrateCLR  #reflectonyourCLR

By Gina Spoo, CLR Instructional Coach

Responsive Reads~Summer Reads

Click image above for Responsive Reads Pinterest Page

While you are making your summer reading list, don't forget to add some Responsive Reads to it!  The list of Responsive texts is dynamic, so, in addition to  the Responsive Reads website, check out a few great resources below.


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