#DBCBookBlogs: The Princes of Serendip

Do you remember your first car? I remember mine, clearly.

Two-toned – dark blue and gray. 1990. Lexus ES250. Power windows. Sunroof. Decent sound system. While this may sound like luxury to some, looking back I can assure you it was not. I went to school with kids from very wealthy families. There were brand new sports cars, new Jeeps, BMWs, Explorers, etc. in our the spaces of our senior parking lot. My car could be heard from miles away, and the rust was showing and paint was chipping off. The fabric of the interior was hanging from the roof of the car. But to this 16 year old, the windows, sunroof, and sound system worked and it had the “L” on the front grill, so it was better than walking.

Why do I start this blog talking about my first car? Because my mom bought the car for me to drive and made me pay every cent of the car back to her. I remember being so angry. She made me pay for the car and pay for the gas to drive it. (She did pay the insurance.) Very few of my friends were made to pay for their car; their parents paid for it and gifted it to them. Not me. Nope. I got a job at a clothing chain and worked to pay for the car and my gas. Mom always told me that I would appreciate the car more if I worked to pay for it.

Allyson Apsey brings us the 58th book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line of awesome. (At this point, can we really call it anything other than that? I mean, really?) If you’ll remember correctly, Allyson also brought us book 46 as well, The Path to Serendipity. Her newest book, just released a couple of days ago, shares a powerful message in picture book format. Yep – DBC now has TWO children’s books! The Princes of Serendip joins the family and shows us the importance of pride, kindness, and gratitude. The illustrations are absolutely stunning! The illustrator for this book is Molly Blaisdell, and she did a terrific job with the artistry of the princes and their lessons learned.

princesofserendip

Allyson newest book is her own version of the 16th century Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip. In the original tale (as much as my limited research could bring up), the King questions his three sons about their readiness to take over the role of king and is proud of their answers. He decides they have completed their formal education and sends them out into the village to discover what life is like there to polish their education through real world experiences. The three princes decide to tell the emperor that they saw a camel on the road based on clues from their trip along the road, even though they did not. They are accused to stealing the camel and are sent to jail. Someone finds the camel, and they are released. When questioned about how they knew about the camel so well without ever seeing it, they share their keen observation skills and the emperor is so impressed that he asks them to stay at his guests.

There are several variations of the story as it has been passed down through generations. Find more information here and here. These could easily be adapted to be more appropriate for younger students, if desired.

Allyson’s tale is about the princes discovery of pride, kindness, and gratitude. It is heartwarming and the perfect social-emotional learning book for any home, classroom, or school! Much like with Dolphins in Trees by Aaron Polansky, I immediately started thinking of ways to use this book in a classroom setting. It opens up so many conversation possibilities as a read aloud option!

  • Why do you believe the King was disgusted with his sons?
  • How would you feel as the King?
  • Why do you believe the author chose those three virtues for the princes to discover?
  • Which of these virtues do you believe is the most important?
  • What other virtue would you have them discover?
  • Create a parable (short story) that teaches the princes about the virtue you chose.
  • How would this story be different if it was set in today’s time?

Some terrific opportunities present themselves to create authentic learning and self-reflection from this children’s book as well.

  • Think of someone (or a people, charity, etc) less fortunate than you. Research the day-to-day problems they must overcome, and create a way to help solve their problems.
  • What unfamiliar words do you see? How can we use the context around them to infer their meaning?
  • Serendipity is defined in this book – why do you believe the author shares the origin of the word?
  • What did formal education look like for princes and/or princesses of the medieval times? Compare this to the story.
  • Compare the original tale (or a modified version of the original for younger students, if desired) to Allyson’s story.
  • How do the pictures enhance the story?
  • Illustrate your version of a modern-day Princes of Serendip.
  • Writing prompt: Do you believe Americans are spoiled? (Reference the USA Today article on the Ryder Cup in Paris, Oct 2, 2018)
  • Do you believe you are like the princes? Why or why not?
  • How do the princes change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story?

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. I am certain you have many amazing ideas for incorporating this story into your classroom, home, or school! Please share those awesome ideas on the flipgrid that Andrea Paulakovich and I co-pilot.

Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #PrincesOfSerendip. The most precious video can be found on Facebook and YouTube of Allyson opening the Amazon package of her book for the first time. It is moving to see an author touch a book they have worked so hard to create, and see and hear the pride as they hold the finished product in their hands. Check out the video below (or click here if you have problems viewing)!

This is the perfect book to purchase your child’s teacher and/or librarian in this holiday season! Here is the Amazon link to purchase The Princes of Serendip.

My girls’ reactions after asking me to read it for a second time, scooting closer and closer as I read each page:

My 5 year old: “My favorite part of the book was when the kids worked hard to cheer up their dad when he was sad. Kindness is my favorite and it means to be really nice to another human. It was really sad that the girl got burned. I don’t like fire.”

My 9 year old: “My favorite part of the book was the whole entire thing. I loved it. Kindness is my favorite because there is kindness inside of us and we can be kind to others. I like that they stop ordering their servants around at the end. I love the illustrations.”

So how will I implement this book? The problem of the Princes of Serendip is that everything was handed to them. They were spoiled. I will allow my students to fail and experience defeat. I will encourage them to get back up and try again every single time. It is only through reflecting on our failures that we learn life lessons. When the students I serve are working through a tough BreakoutEDU game, I watch the frustration on their faces. I see them get agitated as they work through the problems; I see them put down a clue, and eventually pick it back up again. I smile at them as they whine and complain that it’s too hard. Then, we celebrate together as they unlock the locks one by one. The pride in themselves is so evident as I hear squealing and laughter throughout the media center. This is part of my why. Allowing students to fail in a controlled, safe environment and encouraging them to persevere and get back up again, determined to succeed, gives them the resilience to get back up again when the stakes are higher.

I’m so excited to see where the DBC, Inc line goes next! Definitely go to the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc website and sign up for their newsletter, if you’ve not already! From the November eNewsletter, it appears that 2/3 of the Start. Right. Now. crew is coming out with a second book titled Stop. Right. Now. I’m intrigued by what Jimmy Casas and Jeff Zoul have in story for us and can’t wait for it to come out! Several books are being transformed into audiobooks in the near future, so watch for those! If you’ve subscribed to their newsletter, you will also receive #SundaySeven which is super cool!

Finally, my mom was right. I do appreciate things more if I work hard for them. (Don’t tell her I said that though.)

#DBC50Summer 48/50: Sparks in the Dark

I’ve not finished the book. I had to stop reading. So many ideas were swirling in my head that I couldn’t continue without getting part of these thoughts written down. I promise I’ll finish it. Surely, if you’ve been with me since the beginning of #DBC50Summer, you trust that I will uphold the integrity of #DBC50Summer by reading every word of every book. I will finish book 48. But it won’t be tonight. I can’t.

I have decided that Todd Nesloney is my spirit animal. Seriously – the parallels in our educational walk are insane… right up to where he becomes an administrator. I’m going to let you keep that one for both of us, okay, Todd? In previous blogs, I mentioned my journey in education. I was hired after three interviews with the same administrator (two face-to-face and one over the phone) as a fifth grade math teacher on a three-teacher team. I taught math to three sets of 20-22 fifth grade students. I had one small 20-25 minute block of SSR time (self-selected reading or silent sustained reading – pick an acronym meaning) and rarely conferenced with students. Why? Teaching reading was the job of our ELA teacher. Not. My. Job. (I, too, Todd, was wrong.) I used that time to grade papers, conference about Accelerated Math or Superstars Math, or troubleshoot the problems our Accelerated Reader program was having (ugh). It was the most dreaded part of my day, and I didn’t mind letting students know that I hated it. How arrogant I was! Then I transitioned to become a math and science teacher on two-teacher team. After two years of that, I was self-contained, teaching all subject areas in fifth grade. Only then, did I view myself as a reading teacher. How I wish I could go back and change my mindset then!

When former students hear that I work in a media center, I usually receive one of two reactions. A sideways glance and “oh really?” or a flat out “No WAY! I never imagined you in a library!” That’s how bad my disdain for teaching reading was coming across to students. I realize the impossibility of my next statement, but boy do I wish I had Sparks in the Dark by Travis Crowder and Todd Nesloney (coauthor of Kids Deserve It and author of Stories from Webb) when I was in the classroom!

This beautiful book eloquently states all that is right with reading and writing in the classroom! Every classroom, not just ELA, should be reading and writing daily! With intentionality. When I taught math and when I taught math and science, I should have been incorporating reading and writing. In a math methods class in college, I took a course that required writing every step to a problem in a problem set in paragraph form. We were to explain our chosen problem like we were explaining complex math to a kindergarten student. It was our responsibility to read the responses of our teammates, because we then presented their responses to the class. We wrote, read, and talked… in math. Never once did we draw diagrams unless we could specifically describe those diagrams in paragraph form. It was the hardest class I took in my undergrad coursework, but also the most meaningful. (I never used the information while teaching math, but I should have. Looking back, I realize that I did my students a huge disservice.)

I’m only on chapter 8, but I had to stop and share my takeaways thus far.

Takeaway 1: These fellas have passion for reading and writing in the classroom. Travis and Todd share their own failures, not only with us as readers, but with their students through written word. I had never considered writing for my students. I should definitely try that and see what happens! I did share the #DBC50Summer Explained post with them during media as an introduction to goal setting and reading as a choice. After they read the post, I asked them who the author was. Most had no idea. When I pointed out the URL was from aliciaray.com, several requested time to reread the article (or let’s be real, read it for the first time because they were now invested). Several immediately bookmarked my blog which blew my mind that they would be interested in these posts. I even shared that it was all “teacher-y stuff” but they didn’t seem to mind bookmarking anyway. (If any of you are reading this, hi and I love you! Do you have a book near you?)

Takeaway 2: Students deserve and crave choice and voice in their reading and writing. I have had a revelation in the past 5 years in the media center… I despise reading quizzes and book reports. I hate what it does to students’ love of reading. I’ve watched my own child devour a book and after watching her eyes light up as she tells me about it, I ask her if she’s doing to take a test on it the next day. It’s like flipping a switch. The light goes out. She’s no longer excited about the book. When did we get to that point as educators? Can’t they just read to enjoy reading? When did the enjoyment of reading a book become superseded by a need to reward students with arbitrary kids’ meal prizes or reward trips that parents still have to pay for after their child earned it (many times at the last moment due to peer pressure)? Traditional book reports do the same thing. Having authentic conversations about what a child is reading, giving them the opportunity to discuss their books with their peers… that will create a love of reading. Travis and Todd agree!

Takeaway 3: The quotes… oh the quotes from this book. Whether it’s the quotes from the likes of Penny Kittle, T.S. Eliot, John Maxwell, Virginia Woolf, Maya Angelou, etc at the beginning of each chapter, or the quotes interspersed within the chapter, this baby is full of amazing quotes! Here are some of my favorites:

  • “My reading scores were improving… [but] none of my students were leaving my classroom with a love of reading and writing. Change was necessary.”
  • “Change isn’t meant to be easy. If it were, everyone would love and seek out change.”
  • “When students see your genuine passion and interest, it will pique theirs.”
  • “Reading is part of a well-rounded life.”
  • “I find it exciting to work with children who claim to hate reading because much of the time the problem is they simply haven’t found a book that grips their heart or reaches their soul.”
  • “Providing time for children to read in every classroom shows the students just how important reading is and that, yes, your math teacher reads, too.”
  • “Our children are seeking to be understood while simultaneously seeking to understand. They have questions about current events and the choices that people make…we need to provide a safe space for them to discuss their fears, their worries, their uncertainties.”
  • “Arm us with books. Because the pen is mightier than the sword.”

See… powerful stuff, right? That’s not even close to all I’ve highlighted and written notes beside! What power reading and writing have for our students, and for us! If I’ve learned nothing else from #DBC50Summer, it is that truth. Reading and writing has proven to be an insanely powerful practice, and one that I will continue to pursue now that I’ve found my voice again. I will move from professional development books to middle school books and some young adult and picture books and continue this practice of reading and blogging. I believe it’s important for me to practice what I preach, so I want my students to be able to reference my publishing the blogs to a public audience as a positive example of digital footprint, citizenship, goal-setting, and writing for a purpose.

I have so many ideas of implementation plans swirling that I cannot possibly pick one right now…. and I’ve not even finished the book yet. I just had to stop and reflect! I can, however, share some of the possibilities with you.

  • Little Free Library – Our carpentry class made these for each elementary school three or four years ago and we supplied the LFL with discard books and Scholastic dollar books. I’d love to lead the initiative to create one for each of our middle and high schools this year.
  • Implementing a time in the media center to reflect on books as they return them. What did they like or not like? Should we keep the book in the media center or not? We are just recreating a reading culture at my school and many of the books (especially fiction) are not checked out very much. I have analyzed our collection over and over again, but this time, I will do it with the most important voices – the students’. They will help me decide which books to discard and which books we need to add to our collection through book suggestions.
  • We are doing a book tasting as part of a much larger Project-Based Learning experience next month. Stay tuned for a blog post with epic pictures and step-by-step directions for implementing at your school if you choose to do so.
  • For the first time ever, our students are given full freedom in book selection in the media center. In the past (in elementary school), every book was leveled and students could only check out books on their level. When students arrived at middle school, I do not level books, but I did require that students choose one fiction and one nonfiction book for a total of two books checked out at a time. I’m releasing control (whew – scary, but it’s the right thing for students, so I’m doing it) and allowing students to check out any three books they’d like. Of course, I’m encouraging them to read a variety of texts and to step out of their comfort zone in genres to try something new, but the ultimate decision is theirs.
  • Students are setting their own reading goals this year. Each quarter they are committing to reading “x” number of books before the end of the quarter. We discussed length of books being a factor, reading speed, genre, etc and that every book counted equally. So whether they read a picture book or Divergent, it counts as one book. Because there is no competition between students, only trying to reach your own goal, students were encouraged to create a realistic goal for themselves and share it with me. They then created a flipgrid video that shared their goal and their plan for reaching the goal using the following sentence frame: My name is __(tell your name)__ and my reading goal is to read ___(tell how many books)___ books by October 31. I will reach my goal by ___(share your plan)___. Finally, we will revisit these goals halfway through the quarter, evaluating our progress and at the end of the quarter will share on flipgrid whether they reached the goal and what their next quarter’s goal will be.

There is no reward for reaching their goal other than the satisfaction of reaching their goal and reading tremendous books. There is no consequence for not reaching their goal; we will just make plans for how to reach the goal next time. Finally, there is no quiz, project, report, etc to prove they have read or not read.

Crazy, right? But we’re trying it. Giving them complete ownership will hopefully create a desire to read like never before. Check back in early November for an update on how it’s going. Students had approximately 6 weeks left in the quarter when they created their goal. I am impressed that only 9% of students committed to only reading one book (zero wasn’t an option – they are expected to read something) in six weeks, while 50% of students created a goal of reading 3-8 books in this same time period. That’s an average of a book per week. If my students reach that goal, I will be super pumped! Reading a book per week is a HUGE upgrade from where we are now!

I’m excited to work alongside my administration and teachers to promote a love of reading, writing, and learning in our school. This book is exactly what we need as we partner with our students to create a literacy plan that empowers students to make their own goals and lead the way with reading and writing. It’s going to be awesome! I look forward to finishing the book tomorrow before starting book 49!

In the meantime, go get a copy of Sparks in the Dark and get inspired to implement great changes in your school in regards to reading and writing with purpose and excitement. Be sure to follow Travis and Todd on Twitter at @teachermantrav and @techninjatodd, respectively. Follow the hashtag #SparksintheDark for awesome conversation and ideas to integrate reading and writing into every content area. Check out Todd’s website here and Travis’s website here for more resources, including blogs! The podcast below from Vicki (@coolcatteacher) Davis is an amazing look into the book and the hearts of these two astounding educators! *I highly recommend 10-Minute Teacher Podcast – always! Great resources, conversation, and doesn’t take up a lot of your time. Win-Win-Win!*

Finally, hop over to the flipgrid and share your own story of a time when you saw sparks in the dark! This may be how you create a lifelong love of reading and writing in your school, classroom, or district. It may be a story about a student who finally “got it” and fell in love with literacy because of “that book”. Share with us! Andrea Paulakovich (creator of this amazing flipgrid space and the idea of global collaboration on all DBC, Inc book on flipgrid) and I would love for you to add your thoughts to the flipgrid!

Speaking of book 49 (which I will begin ONLY after I finish the last few chapters of Sparks in the Dark – remember, we’ve established that trust now, yes?)… Sean – it’s time! It’s FINALLY time! I have the best story about my friend Sean, and how we met and mutually connected to Dave Burgess in 2015! I cannot wait to share that story with you when I finally get to read, connect, reflect, and create an implementation plan for his book that released this summer! I’ve been waiting for this moment all summer, Sean! Book 49 is called The Pepper Effect and is written by my friend (and “neighbor”), Sean Gaillard!

#DBC50Summer Book 31-40 Recap

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I think I can, I think I can, I think I can! Here we are – entering the final stretch for #DBC50Summer with books 41-50. The official end of summer is on September 22 at 9:54 pm EST. Are you thinking there’s no way I can do it? Are you thinking that this lady has less than 14 days to read, develop an implementation, and blog 10 more books? I have a secret! You’ll have to check out the next ten blog posts to find out my secret(s)!

This journey was born out of creative alchemy. I had probably half of the books published by Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc on a shelf and came home with five more after meeting Dave in April. I thought my husband would flip his lid when I came home with five more books to essentially fill space on a shelf. I’d wanted to read them, but never had the opportunity. There was always something else to do. I also wanted to get back into blogging. I remembered the growth I experienced the summer that I did the EdTechSummer series on my blog. It reframed my mindset and provided an opportunity to be intentional about viewing “outside” technology as tools for use “inside” of education. Sharing it allowed me to expand my PLN that summer as well. Finally, I desperately wanted new ideas for the new school year. After my students shared their hearts in a survey at the end of the year, I realized that I wasn’t doing all I could to make school the very best experience they could ask for. New ideas would motivate, inspire, and excite me as I prepared for 2018-2019 with them. Put those three things in a cauldron and stir it up… you have the ambitious plan for #DBC50Summer – reading, choosing at least one thing to implement, and blogging reflections about each book. See Summer Recap 1 on books 1-10 here and Summer Recap 2 on books 11-20 by clicking here. Summer Recap 3 on books 21-30 can be found here.

Since I’ve been back at work several have asked why I did this journey with #DBC50Summer. I’ve been given “the alien look” from Kids Deserve It. They want to know why I put so much time into it? “What’s in it for you,” they’d ask.

Seriously? What’s in it for me? It just sounds so selfish. Yes, #DBC50Summer was my idea (an insanely crazy one, but mine nonetheless). But it’s not about me. This has never been about me! This has been about my students, my staff, my school by making myself the best educator I can for them! It’s been about knowing there’s a lifeline out there and grabbing hold with all my might. It’s been about relationships. It’s been about bettering teaching practices. It’s been about inspiration and motivation. It’s been about making 2018-2019 the very best school year I possibly can for those around me. It’s not about me. It’s about them. Dave Burgess has his six words that drive him crazy… I guess I have my own version now… five little words.

What’s

In

It

For

Me?

Well… if you really want to know – here’s what was in it “for me” as they say.

*#DBC50Summer is in order of release dates according to authors, blogs, and tweets. This was intentional so I didn’t just grab the books I was interested in reading first and neglect the others. There have been so many books that surprised me – books I probably wouldn’t have read due to content that was seemingly irrelevant to my current position. Now I can look back on the past 40 books and say that they were all relevant.*

31 – Ditch That Homework by Matt Miller & Alice Keeler: Giving students an authentic audience pulls them deeper into the learning. Homework isn’t a bad thing if it’s relevant to the student. It’s not about the philosophy of homework, but the type of homework given. If my homework after reading these books was to fill out a worksheet sharing the title, author, theme, conflict, setting, etc, I would have never even started. I have an authentic audience and am making the content relevant to my world.

32 – The Four O’Clock Faculty by Rich Czyz: Giving teachers opportunity to have choice and voice in their professional development makes a world of difference in attitude and experience for adults, just as giving students choice and voice does the same. Reflecting on the best professional development I’ve had, it’s been voluntary, collaborative, relevant, and has had some sort of follow-up. This book gives oodles of examples to make PD better for educators by taking charge of your own learning.

33 – Culturize by Jimmy Casas: This entire book was an eye-opener. It tore me apart, then put me back together. It’s a must-read for every educator. It makes us take responsibility on the individual level for the culture of our schools. Rather than complaining about our culture, if we start with the “(wo)man in the mirror,” we can make effective change toward a positive environment for students and staff alike.

34 – Code Breaker by Brian Aspinall: I am fortunate to be able to provide my students and teachers with incredible opportunities to develop coding skills through robotics, computer science discoveries, and MinecraftEdu. We have evolved way beyond “Hour of Code” and are starting to work toward coding being about the critical thinking and problem solving. This book gave me multiple ideas for lessons as I work with teachers to create cross-curricular project-based learning opportunities for students.

35 – The Wild Card by Wade and Hope King: Every student has been dealt a different hand in the cards of life. How can we be that wild card for them to make their hand better, not worse? How can we give them the extra boost to get to the next round? There are no excuses for mediocrity. I should want to go all out for my students, doing everything I can to make middle school the best years they’ve ever had. What advantage can I give each student and teacher I work with?

36 – Stories from Webb by Todd Nesloney: So I’m going to write a book. This book is about my epic fails in teaching – from fails with parents, other teachers, administrators, and my students. We all know that hIndsight is 20/20, but what should I do differently next time? What could other teachers learn from my failures? What could they identify with and realize someone else has done something similar? Todd and his teachers, parents, wife, and other stakeholders inspired me with their stories, and I look forward to writing mine. It may never see the light of day in its entirety, only living on my Google Drive. Some of it will likely work its way into a new blog series though! Stay tuned!

37 – The Principled Principal by Jeff Zoul and Anthony McConnell: I have to be the calming voice of reason when others are in a frenzy. When people talk to me when they feel as though they are in a hurricane, I should be the eye of the storm, calm and peaceful. Hopefully I can help with whatever is on their mind, but if not, I certainly don’t need to add to the wind and rain, but be their few moments of sunshine. This was one of the unexpected gems of DBC for me. With no desire to be an administrator, I expected to get nothing from this one. Instead, I identified with almost every single chapter in the book! Don’t let “Principal” scare you; it’s about leadership, and if you’re an educator, you’re a leader.

38 – Google Apps for Littles by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler: If you get nothing more than logistically managing devices from this book, that’s enough! Christine blows my mind with all that her transitional kindergarten students (four and five year olds) can do! This book is about believing in kids. Give them the opportunities to prove they can do something rather than shutting the technological door as they walk up to it. So many excellent strategies and tools in this book, no matter the age of the student!

39 – The Limitless School by Abe Hege and Adam Dovico: These North Carolina boys brought the house down with their book. Removing limitations by breaking down barriers is what Abe and Adam do. They show you how to do it, too! Another must-read for all who want to improve the culture of their school for your students and staff – and let’s face it. We should all want to improve.

40 – The EduProtocol Field Guide by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo: I loved my second trip into this book! Listening to my students’ feedback, I knew I needed to revamp some of my media lessons and I’m thrilled to have read this the weekend before having my first media lessons of the year. Overhauling this week’s lessons, with the help of Marlena herself, to include Smart Starts and fast-paced mini-lessons has me enthusiastic about heading back to work tomorrow! It’s a fresh start and an immediate look into things to come for students and staff from my #DBC50Summer journey.

Well… isn’t that interesting? Every single one of those books gave me something to change, do, or continue doing for my students and teachers. What’s in it for me looks pretty good if you’re a teacher or student that I have the privilege of serving, doesn’t it?

If you want to see what’s in it for you by hopping on the #DBC50Summer journey with me, do it! You don’t have to commit to reading the first 50 books published by DBC! You can read just one! Just one book and implement something you learned. Share your reflections, your implementation plan, and then reflect on it upon completion. It’s that easy!

That leads me to two things I need your help with!

A) The flipgrid that Andrea Paulakovich and I are copiloting is silent. When Andrea mentioned this digital space for global collaboration for all DBC books, I was blown away by her creativity! Still am! Would love to have your thoughts added to the flipgrids. We will release the link to the grid itself once we are finished with the books and blogs. (We’ve also got a couple of awesome things in the works so stay tuned for that, too!) For now, you can use my implementation plan which includes the links to individual topics within the flipgrid!

B) Summer is over in less than 2 weeks. I will finish the final 10 books in the first 50 books published by DBC. I have no plans to stop reading, reflecting, and implementing something from DBC books after book 50. There are incredible books waiting to be read and shared after book 50! So how do we rebrand #DBC50Summer? Help me think! Tweet out your ideas for a new hashtag that can remain relevant no matter the season or book number, or add your ideas in the comments below.

When I started this journey in June, I had no idea what it would look like. I figured no one would ever read these posts, and that it would essentially become a notebook of reflections that I could refer back to as needed when supporting teachers and students. I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined my summer would turn out the way it has. My PLN is incredible. Absolutely, mind-blowingly (not a word, I know), insanely spectacular! I am beyond thankful for each person who has read even one word, tolerated my incessant tweets (and e-mails for those who are subscribed to receive emails for each new blog), encouraged me, and supported me. You have inspired so much growth through your conversations and kind words and I can never thank you enough. But it’s not time to get sappy yet. This isn’t the acceptance speech, because we’re not finished yet.

Just as the first 40 were, these last 10 are for my students and staff. What’s in it for them?

Ten books, less than 14 days… and I’ve got a secret. Let’s go!