Reader’s Response: The Story of the Milky Way


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Reader's Response | Posted on 12/15/2015


In this Cherokee tale, a boy is trying to solve a problem that was affecting an elderly couple in the village. When the boy realized what the problem was, he did not know how to solve it.  So he decided to ask the Belowed Woman for help. Luckily, she suggested a solution.

After reading the story, you will be thinking about the following questions:

1-What character traits can you infer about the boy?

2-What’s the theme of the story?

Rosa Parks: Beyond the Bus


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Civil Rights, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Teaching Ideas | Posted on 12/01/2015


December 1st marks the anniversary of the bus boycott day led by Rosa Parks. This year is the 60th anniversary from that inspiring day of courage. In preparation for this day, Teaching Tolerance offered an outstanding webinar that I had the privilege to attend. This webinar provided me with excellent tools to implement in my classroom to teach to my students the importance of Rosa Park’s leadership in the Civil Rights movement.


One of the key ideas that I took from this webinar, was that even though we recognize Rosa Parks as one of the leaders in the Civil rights movement, she did not act alone. There were a lot of other men and women that helped shape the movement. Among others, there were  Caucasian pastors and attorneys providing legal support and encouragement. The idea that is most relevant for the classroom though. is that it takes teamwork to accomplish a goal.

Some students sometimes believe that if they are not like a particular leader, they won’t be able to make any changes or to stand up for their what they believe in. The reality shows that big changes come from great leaders who are part of a group. So what the “Beyond the Bus” movement is trying to prove, is there are myths around the Rosa Parks’ story that need to be clarified. But above all, what I want my students to understand is that they don’t have to be politicians or rich and famous to promote action, or to be agents of change.

Rosa Parks was just a normal person, who was going home from work and by sitting down she stood up to change the world.


Media Response: Accents


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Global Education, Media Response | Posted on 11/03/2015

In class, we have discussed the importance of identifying the theme or central message when we read stories, poems or interact with social media. After watching this commercial, you will think about the following questions:
1- Can you determine the central message or theme that the producers are trying to communicate?
2- Why do you think this commercial was created?

Reader’s Response: Comparing and contrasting character transformation


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Global Education, Reader's Response | Posted on 11/13/2014

Amelia'sRubyDuring this unit, we have read and analyzed two different stories about two different girls: Ruby and Amelia. We have also discussed how these two characters changed from the beginning through the end of each of their stories. For this post, you are going to evaluate their actions based on your inferences about their character traits. In order to do that, you will use your notes from class and the paragraph you wrote comparing and contrasting both stories. After you gather all your sources, you will be ready to answeer the following questions:

1) How did both characters (Amelia and Ruby) changed from the beginning through the end? What was the same for both of them? What was different?

2) What actions in the story affected them changing?


What is 21st century education?


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Global Education, Research | Posted on 10/17/2014

While researching for ideas to develop a presentation for the staff at my school, I came up with this video that summarizes everything I wanted to say about teaching and learning in the 21st century. So, I thought it would be worth sharing.
Here’s the presentation



Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Book Reviews, Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Global Education, Reader's Response, Teaching Ideas, Writing | Posted on 07/31/2014


Poetry for Hope is a book of poems written and illustrated by my 4th grade students. It was the product of a unit on poetry at the end of the year in the 4th grade class that I co-teach with another teacher.
We started by analyzing different poems and we soon realized how difficult it was for them to grasp the concept of metaphors. The poem that we were reading was about hope, which they did not know the meaning of, but the poet was comparing it to a bird. When it was time for them to write their own metaphors, they struggled because they did not know what hope was. We were using a metaphor to introduce the concept, but they did not know what the word’s meaning. Until I thought about connecting it to something that almost all of us in that class had in common (including the other teacher)… and that is: Immigration. So, picture this… two immigrant teachers teaching the meaning of hope to immigrant students! It was the most amazing teaching moment ever! So, that is how the book was developed.
We started off by asking: What does hope mean to you? before they wrote their own metaphors. We sat we them, one by one to bring out their personal experiences and feelings that most of them had never dealt with. It was an incredible experience to make them feel successful by sharing their own stories. Then, they started producing their metaphors; hope is…
We ended the unit with a presentation for parents, other teachers and students and school administrators. While we were guiding them in their writing, I immediately thought about a book, but I wanted it to be different, so I recorded their voices and created QR codes so you can scan and listen to them reading their poems too!
After finishing the presentation, I told them that we thought we were teaching them something, but instead they taught us a lot more! We learned not only the meaning of determination, resilience, family, but also why we do what we do!

Media Response: “Failure”


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Media Response | Posted on 04/01/2014

In this unit, we have been learning about how to determine the theme in a story, poem, or passage.
Today, after watching this commerical and reading the script we had a class discussion around the tone, mood and the type of audience that creators wanted to target. So for this post, you will be answering the following:
1) What character traits can you infer from this commercial?
2) What is the theme of it?

Reader’s Response: The Secret to Freedom


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Civil Rights, Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Reader's Response | Posted on 01/24/2014




In this text, Lucy was just a little girl when her parents were sold off the plantation where her family lives.  With no family other than her siblings, Lucy learned from his older brother Albert that their lives could be different thanks to a secret code displayed on a number of quilts. The code  was part of the Underground Railroad: a system to help slaves be free. Using the information from the quilts, Albert escapes leaving Lucy behind.  Lucy was afraid that he would be caught and she would never see him again. Until one day…things changed.


In this story, we learned through these characters about how important family bonding is,  how difficult it could be to make some decisions and the importance of never giving up.

This secret code was created by the slaves to find freedom. For this post, I want you to think about what code would yu create if you were in a situation like that? Would you use a quilt or something different? Provide a brief description of your code and how you would use it.


Skip to toolbar