Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

September 27, 2017

by Laurie Wallmark
illustrated by Katy Wu

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Grace was a curious girl, exploring how clocks work by taking them apart and putting them back together again.  That curiosity and tensity continued into college where she took courses in physics and math while other women were taking courses called “Husbands and Wives” and “Motherhood.”  She continued to persevere until she convinced the Navy to enlist her even though she didn’t meet the age and weight requirements at the time.  Good thing they did, too!  Grace went on to write computer code that no one else had done, and fix problems that no one could seem to solve.

BUG! This term is known in the computer science world for a mistake in the program’s code.  In this book, the author shows how Grace Hopper and her colleagues actually found a bug inside their computer which cause a switch to malfunction.  Even since then, computer glitches have been called bugs!

At one point in the book Grace needs to pass Latin (she had a failing grade) in order to go to college.  Briefly, this book shows the hard work she does in order to accomplish something she didn’t like to get to her dream of going to college.

Check out this PDF for some discussion questions and extension activities to do with this book.

*Timeline activity in the PDF link above.

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The Girl Who Ran

September 11, 2017

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston  Marathon
by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee
Illustrated by Susanna Chapman

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Do you want a book about NEVER GIVING UP?  This is for you!  Bobbi Gibb is a girl in the 1960s.  All she wants to do is run.  But others try to stop her, her father even says “Girls don’t run!”  That doesn’t stop Bobbi.  For her first race, she disguises herself as a boy, wearing boy tennis shoes and covering her hair with a hooded sweatshirt.  Midway through the race, she had been spotted and the men running the race replied “We won’t let anyone throw you out; it’s a free road.”  So Bobbi took off her sweatshirt and finished the race!

An inspiring biography of one person who wanted to change the world, who wanted to follow her heart.

Use this at the beginning of the school year as you build community and discuss hopes and dreams!  Bobbi Gibb will definitely inspire your students to never give up and to follow their dreams!


What Do You Do With a Problem?

October 18, 2016

by Kobi Yamada

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A young boy is plagued with a problem–appearing as a black cloud–that won’t go away by worrying about it or avoiding it; it only grows bigger. The boy finally finds the courage to face the problem and learns its secret: It contains an opportunity to learn and grow.

Talk about problem solving with your students using this lesson plan.

 


George Ferris’ Grand Idea: The Ferris Wheel

May 10, 2016

by Jenna Glatzer

Talk about grit and determination!  George Ferris has them both! Mr. Ferris had an idea (the Ferris Wheel), and he did not let any obstacles (and there were many!) get in the way of making his dream come true.

For teachers who want to emphasize the concept of grit and perseverance, read this book!

 


Don’t Throw it to Mo

March 3, 2016

Don’t Throw it to Mo

by David Adler

***Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award 2016*** (Best book for young people)

Book blurb from the catalog: Even though Mo Jackson loves football, he is kind of clumsy, and no one will throw the ball to him. Mo will have to find a way to help his team in spite of no one throwing the ball to him.

Teaching growth mindset to your students?  Mo is a great example of a boy who simply doesn’t give up.  Mo is the smallest player on his football team.  Coach Steve uses him as a decoy for most of the plays.  But, Mo doesn’t complain; he just runs down the field and no one throws him the ball.  That is, until the final play of the game!  Spoiler alert—Mo wins the game with an amazing catch!

Use this book when teaching goal setting, growth mindset, analyzing character traits (there are some bully players in this book as well), and when setting up a classroom community of diverse learners.


Diva and Flea

January 4, 2016

Diva and Flea

by Mo Willems

Mo Willems is at it again!  And no, it’s not an Elephant and Piggie book!

His latest book, The Story of Diva and Flea, is a chapter book illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi.  As I read it I kept thinking how it is a great book to read aloud to kiddos to teach or reinforce the growth mindset!

Diva is a fancy little dog who lives in a fancy apartment in Paris, France.  Flea is a stray cat who goes wandering throughout the city on his daily adventures.  The two meet in Diva’s courtyard and they both teach the other something great about their lifestyle and each has to act “brave” while trying new things they never though were possible.

Needing to teach grit? Growth mindset? Just want a great read aloud?  Check this book out!

Good for all ages! Grades 1-5, could even be used in Kindergarten!