Vote your Values

Today is Election Day in the United States. Please vote.

And when you vote, please consider your beliefs, your values. When I vote, I tend to think about the greater good. I think about the people who have not had the luck, the blessings that I have had. I consider the Catholic Church’s preferential option for the poor, the impoverished. Who would create conditions and policies that would favor them?

I also think about welcoming the stranger, the migrant, and the children. Which candidate will create conditions at home and abroad where all feel welcome and safe? No one wants to be forced to leave home, but sometimes it is necessary for reasons of health and safety. Who will be welcoming while helping to create a world where migrating is a choice, not a matter of life or death?

I think about education. When quality education is available for all, possibilities emerge, futures are possible. Education never stops; we never stop learning. Which candidate will create conditions so that life-long learners have the opportunity to think critically? I want people to think deeply and from various perspectives. I want people to see the world in shades of grey while avoiding dualistic thinking. We weave the tapestry of the world with many colored threads. That beauty is diminished with either/or thinking.

I think about the future. When we care for the world, the air, the water, we will preserve the world for future generations. No one wants to breathe dirty air nor drink contaminated water. Which candidate will promote healthy development so that the future is better for all? We know that some resources are non renewable. How are we preparing now for a future without those resources? Which candidates will help us create a better world for the future?

The world I long for, I try to help create everyday, sometimes with more success than others. In addition to the above, I think about rights and responsibilities, the dignity of work, health care, peace, and solidarity with the most vulnerable. My vote can help create that world. I will do my part.

Please do your part and vote your values, hopefully for an inclusive world built on solidarity, love, and hope for all.

Watching the Cubs in Lima

The last time I watched a baseball game was… never.  The last time I went to a Major League Baseball game was in 1986- a road trip to Wrigley Field in Chicago with Chris, Pete, Baz and Jim.  Tonight I am glued to the TV here in Lima watching the Cubs take game 7 of the World Series.

This has nothing to do with baseball.  This is all about being connected.  After a challenging few months, energy flows strong and I am reconnecting.  Reconnecting with culture and language, life and spirit, hope and future.  And part of that, oddly enough, is baseball.

Part of being bilingual and bicultural is occasionally missing the other language and culture.  If I were in Minnesota I would not be watching the game.  I would wait until morning and find someone like Mr. Sports, Mr. Action, Mr. Jim Ed Poole who “knows all and tells only some.”  Someone who would let me know who won.  That’s all.  But that is not tonight.

Tonight I root for language and culture.  I root for connectedness and feeling at home wherever you are.  I root for hope and life and spirit.

Go Cubs!

Unfair to Learn?

Is it unfair to learn?

As I teach my classes, four sections of the same grade level content, I become a better teacher-  I notice the mistakes that the previous class made;  I understand their misunderstandings; I see the gaps in my teaching.  I learn.  That being said, class #4 receives all of my learning from the previous three classes and produces higher quality work.  They may even receive, on average, higher grades (I will check to see if this last item is true).

Is this unfair for class #1?  Is it unfair that the teaching they receive, because they receive it first, will always be a little less complete and polished?  Is this like asking if it is unfair for the first child in a family to have to train the parents?

Now, I return to weave the threads of learning for that first class, perhaps with colors not as bright but beautiful nonetheless.

Recursos en español/ Spanish Resources

Here is a list of resources that I have been compiling over the years.  Most of them are links to texts and curriculum from all over Latin America.  Enjoy!

Son antologías que se usan en países de habla hispana de primer grado a 6to grado

 

Sick in Bed

a four-legged horse
with a very flat back
carried cereal and milk
which Jack will attack

with his sword and a slurp
he’ll devour his prey
this banquet for kings
will return him to play

My School, My Teacher

I hate it on the playground
when someone’s on the swing.
I wait and wait and wait my turn
but hear the lunch-bell ring.

I love it, though, in springtime
and my teacher I adore
when recess isn’t over
and she gives ten minutes more.

I hate it in the classroom
when we’re sitting down to write
and Rob blames me for punching Pete.
Teach’ knows I never fight.

I love ‘em, though, the stories
of future, present, past.
I wish those times of wonder
Could last and last and last

(Ending 1)
My school is like kitchen and
my teacher’s like a mother-
serving up the Lima beans
with cookies like no other.

(Ending 2)
My school is like a woodshop and
my teacher’s like a dad-
sanding imperfections of
rough edges that I had.

Getting Ready for Second Grade

If you spend at least 30 minutes a day reading, writing, speaking and listening in English, your English will improve.

  • Write for 15 minutes (But don’t sit and say, “I don’t know what to write about.” That doesn’t count as time writing.)
  • Read and listen for 15 minutes.

I already shared some resources for reading/ listening online.
Here is a curated list of resources to use over the summer:

Websites for Reading
Starfall Begins with sounds; continues through short stories
Funbrain Reading
Robert Munsch– Wonderful stories to read and listen

Websites for Listening
Storyline
A Story Before Bed– Read and listen to authors read their stories

Writing
Keep a journal– What did you do today?  What will you do tomorrow? What did you like?  What didn’t you like? 46 more questions to write about, 50 more writing prompts,

Reading Passages
http://www.readworks.org/summer-reading-passages  (requires a free account)
http://www.k5learning.com/reading-comprehension-worksheets/first-grade-1 http://www.k5learning.com/reading-comprehension-worksheets/second-grade-2

If you know of other great resources (there are lots of them!) please add them to the comments section.