Tag Archives: collection

A Collection: SOL23 Day 12

I love books and I certainly have more than my share–in bookcases, stacked in piles, loaded on my Kindle, and in my classroom. Over the last decade or so, I have been making an intentional effort to diversify the books that I read in the classroom.

I’m always on the lookout for great new books–and there are so many to choose from. While I understand the value of a fine classic, I don’t think that today’s learners should have a steady diet of the same books we read as children. As a teacher, I have the opportunity to introduce students to books they might not pick up on their own–titles that might not be on the shelves of the local Barnes and Noble or might not show up as the most popular books…yet.

I’m learning to be discerning. To check out the authors. To be aware when a book written from a native perspective is actually written by a native person, and to prioritize #ownvoices when possible. I want to read books that offer students windows and mirrors, representing the widest possible array of backgrounds, cultures, abilities, and perspectives. I want the books I read to open conversations, to allow students to see themselves and to see those different from them. I want them to provoke questions, to spur action, and to offer possibility.

Some of the many books I have read to my class this year include (I limited myself to only 10 here):

All are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

A Normal Pig by K-Fai Steele

Listen by Gabi Snyder

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nelson

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mendez

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

Keepunumuk by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten

Fitting In by Haruka Aoki and John Olson

Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena

I love to talk books with teachers and others. What are some of your favorite books to read in the classroom? How do you make decisions about what to include?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collection

Like a line of ants, the trucks follow the leader up the length of the state of California along Interstate 5.  An elaborate dance, faster trucks dart out knowing they will slow the flow of traffic then edge back in a bit further ahead in line. Vacationers and other travelers join the line too. Sometimes they patiently blend into the caravan of trucks, other times they show their frustration as they weave in and out of the line accelerating only to slow again and again.

Road trips are an exercise in balancing focus and boredom.  Endless hours in the car–especially when motion sickness limits acceptable activity–means coming up with creative ways to entertain yourself, and hopefully the driver too.  My husband’s old iPod meant an endless stream of oldies to sing along with and my camera reminded me to pay attention to the details of the environment.

The tomato trucks got my attention, double trailers filled with red fruit (or is it a vegetable?) in heaps visible from afar.  I started by taking a photo of one (through the car window as we drove) and sending it to my dad.  He’s always talked about driving tomato trucks in his retirement…  Then I started seeing tomato truck after tomato truck, of all varieties and colors and I started snapping photos.  I tried different angles and distances as we approached and passed these trucks, sometimes taking the photo from a distance and other times waiting until we came right up on the truck.  Timing was tricky, sometimes it was hard to get a crisp focus.

Like a learning walk, this was a kind of learning drive–an opportunity to pay attention to the trucks that drive up and down our state.  I noticed that tomato trucks going north were full, those going south were empty. Trucks carrying produce (tomatoes, nuts, garlic) were most prevalent in the mid section of the state.  I never see them in my part of the state.

Then I started playing with the Prisma app, turning photos of trucks into a series of truck art.  I started with the tomato truck.


And then moved onto other trucks like the log truck.


And the garlic truck (we had to pass several before I figured out that those were garlics in the truck!).


And even the hay truck.


So, to my surprise, I now have a collection of truck photos and a greater appreciation of the  truckers who move goods, particularly food, up and down our state.

As I think about this collection of trucks, I realize that I often create collections of photos.  I have quite a collection of seagulls.  I’ve collected sandcastles, sunsets, trees, flowers, surfers, and more.  So this week’s challenge is to share one of your collections–or create one!

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #collection for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

As always, you can define what collection means to you.  It might be a couple of photos of the tree in your front yard, the birds on the fences in your neighborhood, your favorite flowers growing in the garden, the meals you ate in the last week…  What collection will you showcase this week?  I can’t wait to see your collections!