March 3rd | Week in Review


¡Hola a todos! Happy beginning of March! Here are various resources that I am glad to share.

– Just for kicks, I thought you might enjoy Remezcla’s compilation of recipes for perros calientes: Journey Through Latin America’s Weird and Wonderful Hot Dog Creations. My mouth was watering!

– Also by Remezcla, here is an Intimate Look at Las Patronas, the Mexican Women Who Feed Migrants Traveling on La Bestia.

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En la Clase: 10 Go-To Places for Quality Multicultural Resources

2015-08-14We talk about blogs, webpages and other sites for quality resources throughout the year, but I thought it may be helpful to have all of those resources in one place, like a cheat sheet of links to resources that we consult ourselves.  In no way does the list below encompass all of the great resources out there.  This is just meant as a starting place.  For a longer list check out our tab “Sites We Like.” If you think we’ve missed any, please let us know in the comments and we’ll get them added!

  1. De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
    This is usually my first stop for critical, high-quality reviews of children’s and YA Latino Literature.
  2. American Indians in Children’s Literature
    When it comes to reviews of Native American Literature or representations of Native Americans in literature, Debbie Reese’s blog is the best out there.
  3. Lee & Low Books Blog: Open Book
    Lee & Low Books is one of our favorite publishers.  They are wonderful advocates for diverse literature and they offer great teaching resources through their blog.
  4. Rethinking Schools website and blog
    It’s no secret that we love the work that Rethinking Schools does.  Their teaching materials are amazing!
  5. Teaching Tolerance
    Another wonderful place to go for excellent resources and lesson plans–all free!
  6. We Need Diverse Books
    We love the mission of We Need Diverse Books.  In just two short years, they have built a site with great resources for teachers and have really succeeded in spreading the word on the need for diverse literature.
  7. Zinn Education Project
    The Zinn Education Project offers great tools for critical and complex approaches to teaching.
  8. Teaching for Change
    All of the materials by Teaching for Change focus on social justice in the classroom – a message near and dear to our hearts!
  9. Cooperative Children’s Book Center
    The CCBC does amazing work promoting, analyzing, and discussing multicultural literature for children and young adults. Although it’s no longer an ongoing effort, the CCBC Listserv is a particular gem. We recommend checking out the archives to listen in on conversations among authors, publishers, teachers, and librarians.
  10. Bookjoy
    Run by one of our favorite authors, Pat Mora, this site focuses on creativity and the love of reading alongside multicultural literature.

We hope you find this useful.  If you have any other suggestions, let us know! We’d love to hear them.


En la Clase: Building a Multicultural Classroom: Ideas for the Start of the Year

Vamos a Leer | Building a Multicultural Classroom: Ideas for the Start of the YearFirst, welcome back!

Over the past year we’ve connected with new readers and followers, and since many of you are teachers who return to the classroom over the next few weeks, I thought I’d share links to some of our past posts that talk about our approach to multicultural education here at Vamos a Leer and some great beginning-of-the-year activities.  We hope you’ll find them helpful! If you have any other ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments. We’d love to hear about them, and we know our teaching community would appreciate hearing as well!

A few summers ago we shared a series of En la Clase posts featuring lesson plans that introduce teaching about race, culture, difference, acceptance, and respect as ways to encourage community building in the classroom.  These lessons were written primarily for younger grades, but many could be adapted for older students as well.  It’s not uncommon for parents and educators to believe that we don’t need to (or even shouldn’t) discuss things like race, class, gender, difference, or acceptance, with our younger children.  Yet research has shown that young children do notice these things.  They talk about them, think about them, and draw conclusions based on what they see and hear, which for me means we shouldn’t wait until they’re older to begin discussing these things in explicit ways in the classroom.  I’ve linked to these lessons below.

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Local Event with Rethinking Schools! Rethinking the Lines Between Us: Multicultural Education and Social Justice

2015-04-09-Rethinking-Schools-EveningWe are so excited for next week’s evening session with Rethinking Schools! Join the LAII for a participatory evening event in which Rethinking Schools editors Wayne Au, Bill Bigelow, and Linda Christensen will demonstrate ways that they engage students in critical, multicultural education for social justice. They will explore the implications of this kind of teaching in the era of the Common Core standards and tests. 

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En la Clase: Welcome Back to Another Year!

Welcome BackWe hope you all had a wonderful summer full of fun times and lots of rest and relaxation!  We are back posting periodically this month and will be back with our regular ¡Mira, Look!, En la Clase and WWW posts at the beginning of September.  We have an almost entirely new blogging team this year and we’re giving them time to settle in! Keira and I are so sad to say goodbye to both Adam and Neoshia.  Adam graduated from law school this past spring and is now working for a local law firm.  We’ll definitely be celebrating this huge accomplishment when he gets sworn in! Neoshia spent the summer in Guatemala and is starting her first year of law school as we speak! We miss them already, but we’re eagerly waiting to hear about all of the new and exciting things happening for them.  We’re also excited to introduce you to our two new bloggers. You’ll get to know both Lorraine and Jake well as they take over writing our weekly posts in September.

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¡Mira Look!: Beyond Heroes and Holidays

As you may have already read, the theme for our first month back is multicultural education.  Many of our posts this month may not have that specific focus on Latin America that they typically do, but the topics and ideas that they cover undergird much of our approach to how and why we hope educators incorporate multicultural teaching in the classroom, and the specific Latin American resources we offer here at Vamos a Leer.

Beyond Heroes and HolidaysIn today’s ¡Mira Look! I wanted to share one of my favorite teacher resource books, Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural, Education and Staff Development edited by Enid Lee, Deborah Menkart and Margo Okazawa-Rey. It’s an award winning educator’s guide that provides lessons and readings on topics such as how to analyze the roots of racism, investigate the impact of racism on all our lives, examine the relationship between racism and other forms of oppression such as sexism, classism, and heterosexism, and learn to work to dismantle racism in our schools, communities and the wider society.  Goodreads provides a great description of the book: Continue reading