Literacy Learning in the Kitchen: Building Vocabulary, Practicing Procedural Thinking, and Learning to Tell Time

        At ages 3 and 2, Keith and Maceo, respectively, have little patience for workbooks and sitting down for long lengths of time as a means to “practice” literacy skills. So at this stage, to grow their vocabulary, build skill in strategic thinking, and support their practice of various ways of learning,…

Using Texts to Kindle Reading and Relationships  

  Have a variety of books and materials that are immediately accessible for children to touch. Use them as a means to ignite inquiry and spark dialogue.     Kids are tactile. Having an array of resources within hands’ reach sparks their curiosity and instigates exploration, spawning the beginnings of inquiry and dialogue.  So I have…

Changing Policy, Changing Lives: Angela Roman’s Fight for Underserved Young People

  Angela Nikki Romans works relentlessly in actualizing the promise and possibilities of historically underserved young people. She invests in proliferating pathways of success traveling from cradle to classroom to college. Dismantling policies and disrupting practices that inhibit access, opportunity and resources, she is a catalyst for change on multiple fronts, spanning classrooms, school districts,…

A Place to Belong: A Place to Become (Movie Review)

I remember the lessons learned as both member and president of the local youth chapter of the National Council of Negro Women where I grew up. The strengthening of sisterhood through bringing divergent points of view into focus on a common goal. Learning the importance of outreach, of volunteering, to make a difference in the…

“I Be from The Bronx”

    I be from cold yellow snow and hot okra gumbo, Born of Father from Morningside Avenue, Mother of Charleston. As beat and breath, I dwell at 145th and Amsterdam, the school on the hill, the hills, hollows, and holiness of Harlem, Fish Fry Fridays, handholding walking to school. Five flight walk-up in-labor Mother…

NaPoWriMo, Day 27, “Write from a Photo”

    They are learning and learned. Each takes to table task of touching Fringes, folly with guesses, risk standing And falling to study more. Maceo is coaching Legs to lock and step to follow older brother, Monitor and grab and taste objects he puts down, Decipher then render them into his tools. Older brother…

Parents are the Frontline of Their Children’s Academic Achievement: A Book Review of I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother by Suzette Clarke

              Class is in session. In her self-published book, I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother, Suzette Clarke ignites a controversial conversation about the “true source” of student failure. While finger-pointing has typically designated teachers, schools, standardized tests, and standards as the source of fault, Clarke turns the finger to…

Making Memories Plate by Plate

Food is sacrament. Forkful by forkful, something old unfolds and something new begins to take its first breath. Food is sacrament. Through its creations and sharing, I am educated in how to give and bless back the family and friends that purpose my living. Family albums bloom with snapshots where we celebrate anniversaries, show thanks…

Of Hair and Origin

In this guest blogpost, Tricia Amiel, a mother, writer, adjunct instructor and former teacher, takes an introspective and candid look into the intersection of race, identity and self-perception.  She divulges some hard truths and hurts that emanate from others asking her questions about her roots.  Then, in turning affliction into learning opportunity, she discusses how…

I Will Not Partner With My Own Invisibility: Lessons Learned from Being a Victim of 9 Crimes in 4 Years in Newark, NJ

From very early in life we are sold the American dream of owning a home.  But imagine stepping out to buy a home in a neighborhood “on the mend,” only to find yourself the constant victim of crime.  This blog offers a reflection on my four years of owning a home, the nine crimes I…

The Lone Crusaders of “Valhalla Rising” and “The Book of Eli”: Preternatural Archetypes and Iconic Rebels

This won’t be a review of these two films evaluating their merits and detractions.  More so, this blogpost is an investigative pondering, a thinking out loud about the power of movies serving as introspective lenses into ourselves.  After seeing “Valhalla Rising” a few days ago, it has not left my bones or cognitive preoccupation.  The…

Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman Redux: Are We a Nation Rhetorically at War with Itself?

What do we as a nation think of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case?   Here are recent posts from CNN’s website covering different aspects of the Trayvon Martin case.[1][2] you know: what a good scapegoat for blacks to point at and cry racism. P41: Caucasians are liars, murderers, thieves, rapists, sodomites, false witnesses, blasphemers, gluttons, idolaters,…

From Native Son to Invisible Man: Reflections on Trayvon Martin and Rearing a Black Man-Child in America

Early this morning I was drafting a guest blog post about what it is like to be a new wife and mother. The wife version I completed, and just when I was to start drafting the part about raising a son, I read several posts and articles about Trayvon Martin’s murder. And I read Sheree’s…