Currents: Listens & Reads


Brains On podcast-What is Dyslexia?: I just found this podcast today and am already in love! The format is a great interaction between a grown-up journalist and kid to dive into fun topics. Really enjoyed this episode on how we learn to read and how it might be challenging. I can’t wait to investigate the next episodes like All About Feelings-Happy, Sad, Angry, and Nervous.

But Why? A podcast for curious kids: Short podcasts to learn something new based on the big curious questions of kids like, “How Do Bears Sleep All Winter?” Fun for the car!

Dragons by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors: My favorite band drops an absolutely amazing new album.

The Science Pawdcast with Bunsen Berner: If you don’t follow @bunsenbernerbmd on Twitter, stop all things and do it now. This dog will warm your heart. His hooman-dad (twitter dog speak) is a Scientist who puts on a simply delightful “pawdcast” which gets five woofs from Toby and Atticus Thomas.


Brainchild on Netflix: I’ve only seen the first episode on Social Media, but I can envision this is a great co-watching series to introduce interesting topics. I would say that the first episode is great for 4th and 5th graders.


The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead: This book is yet another masterpiece from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad. After hearing him speak intimately of the book and his process at The Atlanta History Center this summer, I was eager to dig into this harrowing tale of two boys imprisoned in a “reformatory” in Florida based on the real-life Dozier School which only closed in this decade. The prose is exquisite and the story is even that more troubling (maddening, even) given that it is based in truth.

Reading to Make a Difference by Lester Laminack and Katie Kelly: This teacher text is for every teacher who works with children, no matter their subject area. It provides real-life examples, context, calls to action, and resources for using children’s literature to engage in big, hard topics. I ate this book up and want to give a copy to every teacher I know.

Range (read and listened) by David Epstein: Chapter 4 is worth the price of owning both the audio and hard copy of this book. It completely validates all of our work as a school to promote deep conceptual understanding over procedural fluency! It dives deep into the need for a broad range of experiences versus hyper-specialization in order to develop creative and problem solver minds. It considers the 10k Rule in the context of deliberate practice, not just mindless repetition-for activities that can be best mastered this way like chess, golf, or playing the piano. In an era where we need creative, flexible thinkers, we need people with deep and wide experiences.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson: I have read this picture book to about half of our division as well as our faculty during our conversation on Social Emotional Learning. Oh, how we might all be brave and steady as steal to share our stories that are fabulously quite ourselves.


1619 Project: Both a prose piece in the New York Times and a subsequent podcast with supplementary materials coming from just about everywhere including The Pulitzer Center, the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans coming to the “new world” offers us a place to ask hard questions and re-think our truths. I have only just begun to dig it because it takes great reflection and deep thoughtfulness to dig into these topics. I’m currently starting to think about how, if, when, we relate these stories and thoughts to young learners.


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