Tuesday, November 26, 2019

#NCTE19 Presentation Slides

I was honored to present several times at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention last week in Baltimore. Two were full sessions and two were #BuildYourStack booktalk sessions. I'm sharing my slideshows here for those who asked, and for any who would like to see some of what was shared.

Monday, November 18, 2019

November #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Today I'm shining the spotlight on 
Kevin Noble Maillard & Juana Martinez-Neal,
author & illustrator of #cbadspotlight pick 
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story 
an NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book
Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner Juana Martinez-Neal.

Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

One of the most important parts of this book, to me, is the extensive back matter in Kevin's author's note that provides context and around Native history in this country. It is a valuable material for educators who do any teaching around Indigenous peoples, Nations, and U.S. history.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Where to Find Me @ #NCTE19

 Attending the NCTE Annual Convention in Baltimore next week? 
Here's where I'll be sharing and learning alongside some awesome authors.
Hoping to see many edufriends there!

Monday, November 11, 2019

November #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Bilal Cooks Daal with Author Aisha Saeed & Illustrator Anoosha Syed

Today I'm shining the spotlight on 
Aisha Saeed & Anoosha Syed,
author & illustrator of #cbadspotlight pick Bilal Cooks Daal 
and also illustrated by Anoosha: I Am Perfectly Designed
Bilal Cooks Daal
Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing.

Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does?

This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.

Thank you, Aisha & Anoosha, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight video & guest post today!

Monday, November 4, 2019

November #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on The Field with Author Baptiste Paul & Illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara

Today I'm shining the spotlight on
Baptiste Paul & Jacqueline Alcántara,
author & illustrator of #cbadspotlight pick The Field 
and also co-authored by Baptise with Miranda Paul I Am Farmer & Adventures to School
and also illustrated by Jacqueline Freedom Soup
The Field
The world’s most popular and inclusive sport has found its spirited, poetic, and authentic voice in Baptiste Paul’s debut picture book—highlighting the joys of the game along with its universal themes: teamwork, leadership, diversity, and acceptance. Creole words (as spoken in St. Lucia, the author’s birthplace island in the Caribbean) add spice to the story and are a strong reminder of the sport’s world fame. Bright and brilliant illustrations by debut children’s book illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara—winner of the We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentorship Award—capture the grit and glory of the game and the beauty of the island setting where this particular field was inspired. Soccer fan or not, the call of The Field is irresistible.

Thank you, Baptiste & Jacqueline, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight interview today!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Picture Books for #classroombookaday during Native American Heritage Month & All Year Long

Edit 11/1/19:
It was brought to my attention that in centering my work I neglected to recognize the work of Native librarians and scholars who have been doing this work for many years. In my efforts to promote quality books, I missed the chance to amplify voices of Native scholars / organizations / sites that are my go-to resources for finding Native perspectives and guidance on evaluating books with Native content. I am adding several of them to the beginning of this post and encourage you to visit/follow them, read their work, and use their recommendations to guide your book selection. They have all informed my work, practice, & understanding of Native Nations' cultures and representation.
A first place to go for recommendations on books with Native creators/content is the American Indian Library Association's American Indian Youth Literature Award. Every other year, since 2006, "the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by and about Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Books selected to receive the award present Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity." Their award will also be announced as part of the ALA Youth Media Awards announcements for the first time in January 2020.

Dr. Debbie Reese’s website, American Indians in Children’s Literature, is one of my go-to resources for finding critical reviews of children’s literature with Indigenous content. I have learned much from her and her critiques about the essential need for representation that is accurate and authentic in books about Native Nations and peoples. She also includes yearly best books recommendations.

Oyate "a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed with honesty and integrity, and that all people know that our stories belong to us. For Indian children growing up in the 21st century, it is as important as ever for them to know who they are and learn about the histories that they come from. For all children, it is time to know and acknowledge the truths of history. Only then will they come to have the understanding and respect for each other that now, more than ever, will be necessary for life to continue."

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation, children's book author of picture books to young adult. She also promotes Native books and creators and has kidlit recommendations on her site.

Indigo's Bookshelf is a blog by the teens & young adults behind the twitter account @OfGlades.

Original Post 10/30/19:
My November #classroombookday post for Follett Community this year shares my picture book recommendations for Honoring Voices of Native Nations. My post is timed to align with Native American Heritage Month, but I hope you'll share these books with your students throughout the year, not just in November, because all students deserve to be represented in the classroom all year long. Please visit this link to read my entire post supporting these recommendations with more context and guidance for critically analyzing Native representation in books you choose to share with students.
All of my Follett #classroombookaday posts/webinars & this year's book recommendation lists are at bit.ly/heisefollett. All of my info on #classroombookaday is at classroombookaday.com.

Also important for when you are searching for titles, I compiled
critical considerations of Native representation from my recent MLIS research of Native scholars and researchers.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

October #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung

Today I'm shining the spotlight on Arree Chung,
author of #cbadspotlight pick Mixed: A Colorful Story 
and also Out!, Ninja!, and Ninja: Attack of the Clan
The reds, the yellows, and the blues all think they're the best in this vibrant, thought-provoking picture book with a message of acceptance and unity.
In the beginning, there were three colors . . .
and Blues.
All special in their own ways, all living in harmony--until one day, a Red says "Reds are the best!" and starts a color kerfuffle. When the colors decide to separate, is there anyting that can change their minds?
A Yellow, a Blue, and a never-before-seen color might just save the day in this inspiring book about color, tolerance, and embracing differences.

While Arree wasn't able to visit personally, he sent along 
this fab teacher's guide 
with activities you can do with your students!

Monday, October 14, 2019

October #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh with Author Supriya Kelkar

Today I'm shining the spotlight on Supriya Kelkar,
author of #cbadspotlight pick The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh 
and also middle grade novels Ahimsa and coming in March 2020: American as Paneer Pie

Harpreet Singh loves his colors—but when his family moves to a new city, everything just feels gray. Can he find a way to make life bright again?

Harpreet Singh has a different color for every mood and occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra beats to red for courage. He especially takes care with his patka—his turban—smoothing it out and making sure it always matches his outfit. But when Harpreet’s mom finds a new job in a snowy city and they have to move, all he wants is to be invisible. Will he ever feel a happy sunny yellow again? 

Thank you, Supriya, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight interview today!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

October #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Let Me Finish! with Illustrator Isabel Roxas

Today I'm shining the spotlight on Isabel Roxas,
illustrator of #cbadspotlight pick
Let Me Finish! 

When our young hero settles in to read, the last thing he wants is for some noisy animals to ruin the ending of the story.
But ruin it they do.
And as it turns out, the boy is quickly approaching a surprise ending of his own! Maybe he should have listened to the animals after all. . . .
This silly, timeless picturebook with a clever meta twist introduces debut author Minh Lê's witty text and Isabel Roxas's eye-catching illustrations.

Thank you, Isabel, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight interview today!

Monday, October 7, 2019

October #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Let Me Finish! with Author Minh Lê

Today I'm shining the spotlight on Minh Lê,
author of #cbadspotlight pick
Let Me Finish! 
and also Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature for Picture Book Drawn Together
and the upcoming picture book The Perfect Seat & graphic novel Green Lantern: Legacy

When our young hero settles in to read, the last thing he wants is for some noisy animals to ruin the ending of the story.
But ruin it they do.
And as it turns out, the boy is quickly approaching a surprise ending of his own! Maybe he should have listened to the animals after all. . . .
This silly, timeless picturebook with a clever meta twist introduces debut author Minh Lê's witty text and Isabel Roxas's eye-catching illustrations.

Thank you, Minh, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight video today!

Monday, September 30, 2019

September #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Alma and How She Got Her Name with Author/Illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal

Today I'm shining the spotlight on Juana Martinez-Neal,
author/illustrator of #cbadspotlight pick & Caldecott Honor book 
Alma and How She Got Her Name 
and also illustrator of La Princesa and the Pea, La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Lost Niños,
Babymoon & Frybread: A Native American Family Story

What's in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from — and who she may one day be.
If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

Thank you, Juana, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight guest post today!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

September #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on The Day You Begin with Illustrator Rafael López

Today I'm shining the spotlight on multiple time Pura Belpré & Américas Illustrator Honor & Award Winner Rafael Lópezillustrator of #cbadspotlight pick The Day You Begin 
and also Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music, We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands, Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, Book Fiesta!, The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred, Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics, My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz, Tito Puente: Mambo King, and the recently published Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln and Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpre Illustrator Award winner Rafael Lopez have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.
There will be times when you walk into a roomand no one there is quite like you.
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael Lopez's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

Thank you, Rafael, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight guest post interview today!

Friday, September 6, 2019

September #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on The King of Kindergarten with Author Derrick Barnes

Today I'm shining the spotlight on Derrick Barnes,
author of #cbadspotlight pick The King of Kindergarten 
and also #classroombookaday favorite Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut,
a Newbery Honor, Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Author & Illustrator Honor book

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten.
The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head--like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!
Starting kindergarten is a big milestone--and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He's dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can't wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he's up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can't wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements--and then wake up to start another day.

Thank you, Derrick, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight interview today!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Back-to-School Picture Books 2019 #classroombookaday Recommendations

When considering picture books to recommend for #classroombookaday read alouds, one consideration I use is time of year or what may be happening in schools. Back-to-school time is when I think carefully about what those first read alouds of the year might be - those books that will help set the tone for the classroom community for the school year. The picture books below are some of the newer ones I am most looking forward to sharing with my students this year during the first month of school, and beyond.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

#pb10for10 2019 | Ten New Picture Books Honoring Family

I always love participating in Cathy & Mandy's #pb10for10 event celebrating picture books and providing many fabulous #classroombookaday choices! I inevitably end up with a longer wish list and shopping cart and a maxed out hold list at my library. So get ready, and then go check out other educators lists today back at Reflect & Refine

I've been thinking a lot about family this summer. With everything going on at the border and kids being separated from their families when seeking asylum, to kids who have been tragically lost in mass shootings or suicides, to some reflections around the reading about students of color and kids in poverty and trauma and the impact on families... they all have me thinking about my attitude toward, and assumptions I may make about, those who love those precious little lives in our buildings.

So with this year's Picture Book 10 for 10 list,
I wanted to celebrate the sense of family in new & upcoming picture books, 
in honor of the little humans I have the privilege to work with at school, 
and those who love them and leave them in our charge each day.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Introducing #cbadspotlight & the 2019-20 Monthly #classroombookaday Selections

#classroombookaday is celebrating it's 5 year anniversary this summer! I'm amazed this small thing I started in my 7th & 8th grade classroom back in 2014, to bring Donalyn Miller's #bookaday into the classroom with a daily picture book read aloud, has grown into something thousands of educators are joining in on with their own students. 
With all the conversations I was seeing online from participating teachers, I wanted to find a way to help deepen the experience, help connect teachers with those in other schools also implementing this initiative, and find a way to showcase inclusive authors and #ownvoices titles that I hope more teachers would know and share with students. 

Introducing #cbadspotlight
Connecting teachers and classes & spotlighting three picture books
each month for common titles to build conversations around.
Below are the 27 titles,
3 for each month September-May,
for the first year of #cbadspotlight!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

#classroombookaday - Picture Books Are For ANY Grade

With as much as I share about #classroombookaday and recommend picture books, there is a question I get often that I want to process in this post. Variations on where is the list for __ grade? 

When I see requests for picture books that "work" or are "for" intermediate/middle grades, I worry that as educators we're putting too much focus on amount of text & numerical complexity considerations. I read a few hundred new picture books each year, and I can tell you that the thought complexity that can be done with these books far outweighs what the industry age recommendation might say. Some of the deepest themes and impacts I've seen with kids in relation to books have come from picture books. Often with limited text in the book.

The complexity of a book has three components to consider: Quantitative text "level" (which I put the least focus on), ALONG WITH Qualitative factors based on content and themes and topics, AND what the Reader is asked to DO with the book.

So if we're asking kids to consider theme, which can be a difficult concept for kids to grasp and teachers to teach, the text we're using to help teach it becomes a more complex text than a quantitative number might indicate. When we ask kids to do complex thinking about a picture book that we have read aloud, we are equalizing access to that text through the read aloud and supporting students in being able to do some deeper thinking with consideration of theme. If we constantly do that with picture books that are text heavy and long, students will disengage & become demotivated. Some of the deepest conversations my students have had about books are when we read wordless picture books together and had to determine the story from illustrations and analyze for theme. They need many chances to practice and scaffold skills, and if I'm using daily picture book read alouds to accomplish this, my kids get 15 chances to do this in three weeks, whereas if I were reading aloud a novel in that time, they'd only get one chance at the end to practice it. And as we've built the skill through practice with these picture books, it becomes a transferable skill to the chapter books and novels they choose to read on their own.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

12 Steps to EduGrowth When Called In

I shared this on social media and was asked to house it on the blog also for easier citation.
Feel free to use for your own reflection or share (with credit!) as you see fit.

12 Steps to EduGrowth When Called In
©2019 Jillian Heise @heisereads

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Webinar Recording - Building Community with #classroombookaday Read Alouds

Sharing about #classroombookaday is always a joy for me. I couldn’t have imagined back in 2014, when I started it inspired by Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday challenge for teachers, how it could have grown and spread to classrooms across the country. The impact of this simple idea, reading aloud a picture book every day of the school year, is beyond what I could have imagined back then. It grows community, builds empathy, deepens learning, and so much more!

To help get you started with #classroombookaday, I shared these 20 picture books that are my go-to recommendations to kick off your year of read alouds.

If you weren’t able to join the webinar live, you can register, or sign in if you previously registered, to watch the recording of the webinar, at this link.

And be sure to check out other #classroombookday posts on Follet Community for more information from me about the initiative. And stay tuned for even more picture book recommendations to support your efforts to try #classroombookday in coming months!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Join Me for a #classroombookaday Webinar!

I'm excited to be partnering with Follett Community for some exciting #classroombookaday things this year,
and we're kicking it off with a webinar! 
Since I started incorporating a daily picture book read-aloud in my middle school classroom in 2014, inspired by Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday, I have seen the positive impact of this simple addition to the classroom routine grow beyond anything I could have anticipated. And now as an elementary librarian, I continue to see the impact of shared read-aloud experiences.
The basic formula:
  •  Read aloud a picture book each day.
  •  Build classroom community.
  •  Grow students’ thinking about text.
  •  Develop deeper empathy.
  •  Add joyful engagement to your classroom.
  •  Track the books read visually.
  •  Enjoy profound impact.
I have received many questions from teachers and librarians who want to get started, but are unsure about making it work. So I’m going live to help answer some of those questions!

Join me on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00pm CDT for a webinar
on how to get started with incorporating #classroombookaday in your classroom next year, the logistics of making it work, the benefits of adding this 5-10 minute routine, and my “getting started” book list recommendations.

If you can't make it for the live webinar,
be sure to register so you get an email with the link to watch the recording afterwards!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sharing the Heart to Offset the Hate in the Headlines: Books From Muslim Authors

With the news about the terrorist attack on mosques in New Zealand, my mind went to books I could share with students. The books that would help them better understand the wearing of a hijab. The books that would help them better understand what it means when they hear the word Muslim or Islam. The books that would help them better understand that there are Muslim authors in this country writing books for them to read. The books that would help them better understand that our library is an inclusive space. The books that would help them better understand the heart of the people instead of the hate from the headlines. The books that would help them better understand that we are not talking about an "other" but a "someone".  Because that is the power of books. They grow understanding and empathy, and if we are critical about representation and are intentional about what and when we share and promote them, they can grow a better society. So I'm sharing some recommendations of kidlit books by Muslim authors and illustrators. I hope you find titles to read and share on these lists.

Yo Soy Muslim, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Saffron Ice Cream, Mommy's Khimar, Under My Hijab, Malala's Magic Pencil, Stepping Stones, Salam Alaikum, The Proudest Blue, Bilal Cooks Daal, Leila in Saffron