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Sunday, 14 January 2018

Astonishing Results on Diversity That are Unique to a Crayon!

I am going to tell you a story about a teachable moment, 

which was spontaneous

in my classroom.  All events are true and happened as described. The only change is the name of the student involved.

Setting:  Urban school in the mid 1990's in January.  Population of the school was 50% white, 50% black students.  This is a first grade classroom with 28 students.  Students desks are grouped in sets of four. Each group of students shared job responsibilities.  

I was finishing up with a reading group at the reading table.  I had a moment to check out what was happening in my class.   

I then overheard this comment from Michael.  "I am the only Black child in this group, so you have to listen to me.  I am the Boss of you!" (The others, three white students just looked at him, but didn't comment.) 

I didn't like what I heard, but knew that Michael's family was very insistent on teaching him that their skin color was better than anyone else's.  I also didn't like the idea of him bullying the other children.

I called Michael up to my reading table, and said, "I heard what you said to your group about you being the Boss, because you are black. But Michael you are not black."

Of course he looked at me like I was crazy!  I asked him to bring his crayon box up to the table.  He did.

"Michael take out your black crayon and put it against your hand."  He did, and it didn't match.  "So Michael you can't be black, because you don't match."  I asked him to get out a white crayon and put it next to my hand, which he did. "So Michael, I'm not white either, I don't match the white crayon."

His response was a quietness, and less arrogance after seeing this.   We then went through the other crayons and tried to find matches to our skin.  His turned out to be a beautiful shade of brown, and mine almost peach.

We then shared our findings with the rest of the class, and everyone was trying to find a match to their skin tone.  

After that, we had many discussions about how we all were people with unique qualities.  However, no one was the BOSS of anyone else in the room, just because of skin color.

I have to say that Michael did become a kinder student as the year progressed.

As I stated at the beginning this was all spontaneous.  I might never had thought of using the crayon shades, if I hadn't overheard Michael's remark to his classmates.  But we all learned a lesson.  We were a diverse group of people making up this first grade classroom.

Since this is the time of year honoring Martin Luther King and his peaceful response to disparity, and the upcoming love month of February.  You might want to try getting out crayons and finding the multitudes of shades in your own classroom.


Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas Countdown Day 1

Merry Christmas!

Countdown Day 1

I hope you stop by for some $1 deals!  

My special deal is for January Number Sense!

Have a Great and Joyous Holiday!


Saturday, 23 December 2017

Countdown to Christmas Sale Day #2

Countdown to Christmas
Day #2

Stop over for some $2 deals. 

My Special Markdown is
great for reading comprehension! K-3

Happy Shopping!


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Countdown to Christmas Day 3

Countdown to Christmas 

Day 3

Time for more great deals!

 Great Deal from my store is Alphabetical Order by the Second Letter!  Definitely a hard skill with minimum resources.  I hope you can use check it out!

Enjoy Shopping!


Countdown to Christmas Day #4

Countdown to Christmas!

I hope you joined us yesterday for Day 5.  Now hop over for Day #4.

Today I have marked down a resource for Math for K-4.  The shapes are differentiated so you only have to use the ones you are working on. 

Happy Shopping!


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Deals for Christmas!

to Christmas Sale

Come and Take advantage of savings for some great products from some of the TpT sellers. 

Each day a new product will be listed at a discounted price. 

Here is the link for my product for Pre-K to K teachers on assessments for Number Sense

Happy Shopping!
Come Back tomorrow for the next deal!


Thursday, 14 December 2017



Winter Holidays!

      Have you ever thought to use graphing as aspontaneous way to keep students busy practicing a skill, while their minds are on upcoming holidays! Or coming back to school after a holiday, when they rather be still at home.

Here are some ways to get your mind thinking about graphing:

Going somewhere in the school:  

line up by categories:   

long hair- short hair, 

jeans-no jeans,

 ride a bus- car rider- walk home, 

brothers - no brothers   

Note Cards: 

 Ask the students to draw their favorite pet, game, outdoor fun, etc. 

 Then arrange the cards into a graph.

Read a Book:  Ask them their favorite character.

What do they like to do when it snows?

Have a yes or no question each day for them to answer as they come in the door. 


 Do you have brown eyes?  

Can you ride a bike? 

 Do you go to bed before 8 or after 8 at night?

Graphing can become a normal part of your day.   If you practice this daily, the skill becomes automatic for them.

     I hope this jump starts your thinking. 

Here is a free activity for winter graphing.  I am attaching a link for it.  You can use it any time of year, but winter and Christmas are the best fit. 

Happy Winter Break!

by Michele Strayer