The Osborne Association works with individuals, families, and communities affected by the criminal justice system to further develop their strengths and lead lives of responsibility and contribution.
This month, they are running the campaign, #SeeUsSupportUs, where they highlight voices directly impacted by parental incarceration. I’m honored to be featured today here.
The Attendance Note by Pamela Brunskill
Crammed into the tiny attendance office at Williamsville South High School, I handed my note to the woman behind the desk. Mom had written that I would be picked up after second period again. It was day three of what would be Dad’s two-and-a-half week murder trial.
The chic blonde unfolded the note, read it, and raised her eyebrows. “Why will you be leaving?”
I tucked my head down. I remained silent, trying to figure out what to say.
The blonde sighed and tried again. “Is it for a doctor’s appointment? The dentist?”
Read the rest of the essay here.
If you know of a third-seventh grader interested in California’s complex water system, my newest book is available now.
As summarized on Amazon, this book addresses:
Where does California’s water come from? Who are its users? How is water conserved? California has the largest economy and population in the United States, and its limited water supply must meet the demands of many people. Learn about the history of California’s water system with this primary source reader that builds literacy and social studies content knowledge! Primary source documents help students look at the world and current issues with a historical lens, and encourage them to consider bias and the validity and reliability of sources. This leveled text offers instructional opportunities to guide students to increased fluency and comprehension of nonfiction text and is aligned to the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) and other national and state standards.
You can read more about it and view sample pages here. I hope you enjoy it!
Teacher friends, if you’ve been overwhelmed by sorting through the amount of information online or have grown frustrated when trying to assess the authenticity of an article, you might be interested in my latest project for Teacher Created Materials. It’s called Information Literacy: Separating Fact from Fiction. In ten chapters, Sara Armstrong and I talk about finding, analyzing, and using information in today’s world. This deals with oldies but goodies like how to use graphic organizers and primary sources, and it incorporates new material such as how to spot fake news and online search tips to save you a Google of time. For educators who wish to blog and produce resources outside of the classroom, it also includes a chapter on copyright and fair use.
From interviews with librarians, instructional technology experts and specialists, the book includes background information to help educators sort through the maze of Internet sites and resources. Even more, there are ready-to-use handouts and activities for students.
If you teach expository or opinion writing, Information Literacy would be a valuable resource for your classroom and professional development. Here are a few sample pages to give you an idea what’s inside:
Should you read Information Literacy: Separating Fact from Fiction, please let me know your thoughts! I hope you enjoy it! It is available for pre-order now on Amazon here! Or, you can purchase elsewhere on September 1, 2017!
I have an essay up on Goodhousekeeping.com today that explores the idea of the crime gene. Take a look at how fear impacted my parenting during my lowest moment, and how gathering courage to face that fear allowed for me to be a better parent and person.
“A week after the birth of my third child, I brought a few cups from the kitchen table to the growing pile of dirty dishes on the counter, too exhausted to actually load them. The C-section and my son Michael’s stay in the NICU had taken its toll, and I could barely function…”
Read the rest of the essay here!
I’m participating in #kidlitforAleppo on Twitter through Wed. 12/21. If you make a donation to an organization helping in Aleppo, post an image of your receipt (mark out the identifying details or take a screenshot of any part of the e-receipt that doesn’t show your personal information) to my Tweet here. I will randomly choose a winner on 12/22.
For a background on #kidlitforAleppo, or to see what organizations qualify, click on Dana Alison Levy’s post, “The Stories We Don’t Want to Tell: Aleppo.” (Note: Dana Alison Levy and Rachel Allen came up with the idea)
I argue Donald Trump’s proposed tough-on-crime policies will be tougher on children in this op-Ed piece in the NY Daily News.
President Obama, releasing a new batch of non-violent drug offenders, has just set a single-year clemency record…
My newest teacher’s guide is available! This is a resource I created with my company, Authors and Educators, LLC. I hope you enjoy both the book and the guide(s)!
Click below to get a FREE teacher’s guide and/or discussion questions for Dee Romito’s The BFF Bucket List.
Comprehensive Literature Guide
Ella and Skyler have been best friends since kindergarten–so close that people smoosh their names together like they’re the same person: EllaandSkyler. SkylerandElla.
But Ella notices the little ways she and Skyler have been slowly drifting apart. And she’s determined to fix things with a fun project she’s sure will bring them closer together—The BFF Bucket List. Skyler is totally on board.
The girls must complete each task on the list together: things like facing their fears, hosting a fancy dinner party, and the biggest of them all—speaking actual words to their respective crushes before the end of summer. But as new friends, epic opportunities, and super-cute boys enter the picture, the challenges on the list aren’t the only ones they face.
And with each girl hiding a big secret that could threaten their entire friendship, will the list–and their BFF status–go bust?
Themes of friendship, challenges, and growing up are woven throughout the book.