Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book on Celebrating Diversity with Empathy and Giveaway

Teaching empathy is something we school counselors do oh so well and what better way to model and show empathy to our students than through books.  Author Maria Dismondy's newest book Chocolate Milk, Por Favor is a fantastic book to use to show empathy AND teaches accepting others through diversity.  

What I really like about this book is that this story is very relatable because it's Maria own story of a new student (Gabe) at her school who's an non-English speaker from another country and how another student (Johnny) goes out of his way to be unkind to him.  Throughout the students differences Johnny learns that those differences make people special or unique.  He learns that these special differences don't mean that you can't be kind and learn from others that may be different (and in this case, speak a different language than you).  This same story happens in many of our school buildings with (initial) non-English speaking students.  I can see this being shared with many of the classes and teachers in my school.  This is a great addition to my school counselor book library.

As an added bonus super fantastic Maria already has Chocolate Milk, Por Favor Reader's Guide with worksheets and ideas to use with students (thank you Maria).  Maria has been so kind to give an autographed copy of the book away.  Enter below.  This is a win-win and activities, what more can I say!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Clear and Bold Writing Aid...Hemingway

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you...this IS a new post!  I am so glad to be back in the blog world and share more counselor tools with you.  With that said, let's roll:

How many times have to typed a document or email for school and thought to yourself "does this make sense" or "I hope that this is fairly easy for people to understand".  I can gladly say that this is me.  I've been known to type something, reread it multiple times and even have a second reader proof it for me.

So I have a cool web tool that was shared by one of the fabulous teachers at my school and it is Hemingway (like the author).  What exactly does this tool do?  Well counselor friends, it does oh so much, it's like the friend that you ask to check your writing but on your computer/tablet.

To get started, just type or copy and paste your text on the page

As your written text appears, Hemingway identifies grammar tools (such as adverbs, passive voice) and gives you suggestions to update it.  Hemingway also gives you a readability level AND breaks down your writing to let you know sentence/phrase difficulty.

I am so excited to use this tool.  I may just sound like a "true writer" now, so if my blog writing seems a little more "polished" it just may be due to Hemingway (actually, I'll probably use this more for school related stuff, blog posts will be "just me").

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