DEN Reads & Shares

Title: Wonder

Author:  R. J. Palacio
Rating: 5, This was a great read! It would be great for a classroom read to spark conversations about difference, disabilities, and acceptance of others.

Favorite Line/Quote:  When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Idea Shift: One teacher gave students a precept each month. These quotes, thoughts, ideas were used to spark the students’ thoughts and he then had students journal about how the precept related to them or what thoughts it evoked. At the end of the school year the students had to write their own precept. Awesome idea for a class!!

Take Away: That kindness is so important and that our actions speak louder than our words!

Reviewed by Alison Schleede from North CarolinaWhat’s Next: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


Title: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Author: Sir Ken Robinson

Rating: 5, I am rereading this after the Sir Ken Robinson Talk during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Favorite Line/Quote: Enjoyed the different chapters on creativity, intelligence, education, and so on.
I also learned about many important people around the world that have contributed deeply by giving thru their extraordinary work.

Idea Shift: Discussed is the fact that children who were labeled with conditions such as ADD/ADHD or who are deemed learning disabled were made to feel they are broken, different (in a bad way), or stupid. We hear stories of some people who found passion in other areas of life that were not the focus in traditional schools (especially the arts) but wound up not just fulfilled but successful at their job, wealthy and with celebrity status, sometimes with their area of strength being directly from their `disability’. Somehow, the book manages to come off pro-teacher though, in no way is this book an attack on the teaching profession in general.

Take Away: A thorough discussion of what creativity is and how to take practical steps to use creativity and make things happen is not just inspirational but makes it clear that all people can begin living a creative life at any time they choose to open their minds to the notion and commit to taking active steps to make it happen.

What’s Next: Waiting on the next book by Sir Ken Robinson – Finding the Element

Reviewed by Cheryl Woolwine from Florida


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