Thursday, January 14, 2016

Digging Deeper

**Update** I'm excited to be linking up with a wonderful group of bloggers for a linky about Getting Beyond Dr. King

Happy almost Friday teacher friends!
This particular post has been on my to do list for a couple of weeks now. To be honest I've been struggling with completing this post because I wasn't quite sure what to say until a small yet powerful moment happened in my classroom today that changed everything.
We all recognize the man in this picture, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This afternoon I read Martin's Big Words to my class like I have for the last few years around this time. I of course knew that my student's already had background knowledge of who he was. Among the standard answers of he believe in peace and treating all people fairly one boy shook me to my core with what he knew. He raised his hand and shared how MLK walked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. I'd never heard a student of mine share this knowledge! On the inside I felt like this...
On the outside I was curious to know where his background knowledge came from. How did this child know such things? He's  visited and walked on the bridge because his parents took him for a visit. I knew in that moment I owed it to my students to dig deeper. One student sparked curiosity, and it was my job to help fuel the flame.
Too many times we just scratch the surface with our students, either assuming they only  need to know the basics or they're incapable of learning more.
We didn't follow up the book with some cutesy craftivity or having students write what their dream is. I'm all for cutesy activities if they can also provide content. We had an open discussion. We discussed what segregation meant. We discussed how even today we may see or hear people with prejudice thoughts and actions. 
I believe we need to be teaching our students beyond MLK. Don't get me wrong he deserves recognition and credit along with countless others who do or don't make history. I believe we  can contribute to disengagement by only teaching about the SAME few people every single year. Sure we all know about the Montgomery Bus Boycott but how many know about the Tallahassee Bus Boycott? I had no clue until I decided to dig deeper for myself. The name Rosa Parks is instantly recognizable, but what about Claudette Colvin? She refused to give up her seat on a bus before Rosa Parks did. Is her story less deserving of attention? 
I'm challenging myself as well as I share this post. I had to evaluate whether or not I've been teaching my students to think beyond what they've heard before. Our students deserve to know more about the people of all races who fought for equality. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Snapshots of History

Happy Saturday everyone! My poor 'lil blog has been so neglected lately I had to clear away some cobwebs! I've had the opportunity to collaborate with some AMAZING bloggers on a project. I'm happy to share our Black History Month Digital Sampler is now available!

The sampler is full of links to resources  perfect Black History Month supplements for  K-2 classrooms. Each resource will help your students dig deeper into learning about important people in Black History. Students will dig deeper and extend their knowledge beyond well known people such as MLK. Click on the picture to learn more!