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#ShortStories
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kristinsmoyer
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In “The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn”, Isaiah‘s home life leads him to find an escape in reading/typing his father‘s old works at the library. The stuffiness of the motel room where his family lives made me think of how an unstable home life can leave a child feeling a sense of homelessness…like there‘s nowhere secure for them to turn to. This can definitely affect a child‘s behavior at school, with other adults, peers, etc.

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kristinsmoyer
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At the beginning of “The Difficult Path”, Lingsi experiences a lack of agency as a servant and a prospect for an arranged marriage. When Lingsi is taken by pirates, her ability to read makes her useful and saves her from a more brutal fate. This illustrates how literacy enhances an individual‘s agency.

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kristinsmoyer
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In the story “How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court”, I like how the narrator says there is a part of our brain that tries to justify procrastination or laziness. He is particularly referring to wanting to sleep in rather than practice basketball. I like how in the next line he says, “Reach into your own skull and smack this part of your brain upside the head”. It was a good reminder of the importance of diligence for achieving goals.

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ms.reagan
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I wanna come back to “Seventy Six Dollars and Forty Nine Cents”. Because this piece is a memoir, I think this would be a perfect opportunity to have your students construct a memoir of their own, whether traditional writing, verse, or maybe some sort of artsy thing! It demonstrates the liberty thad some memoirs can take and how artistic embellishment in stories is often a little fun!

kristinsmoyer I like how you‘re thinking of how to incorporate the text into a classroom activity! 2h
1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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In the Editor‘s note at the beginning of the book, I liked how the editor mentioned humanity‘s proclivity to tell stories. Our stories as individuals and groups help us form our identity. (page xii)

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ms.reagan
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After reading “Seventy Six Dollars and Forty Five Cents”, I personally cannot wait to take a look at more stories written in verse. It‘s such a different writing style then our students will be used to! Another thing is that it can open up discussions on how different writing styles can impact the overall perception and reception of a story. I personally cannot wait to use stories like this!

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CassidyCheatwood
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This is from “MONDAYS ARE QUIZ DAY.” I found this one quite intriguing due to the style of writing. It was harder to follow because of the stanzas but the story itself felt like someone was speaking directly to me, which I did like. I wonder what the authors intention was here, and in the following poems after, like “Jeopardy” and “The Kill.” If anyone has any ideas LETS TALK ABOUT IT!!!! Because seriously, I‘m curious.

ms.reagan I was also really interested in this writing style because of how personal it made the book feel! The direct speech brings a different (i‘m not sure how else to describe it )element that definitely could bring about healthy discussion in a classroom! 3h
1 comment
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CassidyCheatwood
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Using “How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court, into a Place of Higher Learning and You at the Podium” was a great choice to open up this anthology of short stories. To recall from the story, this moment was my favorite part. Some of my favorite parts of literature is when I see and feel vulnerability from a young person. He described his dad often as short with him during their rides and dinner, so this moment was touching to me.

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ms.gabourel
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This moment from “Sol Painting, Inc.” was incredibly impactful. Upon reflection, each story‘s ending is poignant. This is why I love reading books of short stories; you get to experience so many different worlds within 200 pages of a book. I think this would be a great story for MS aged students to read. It would‘ve definitely made me reconsider how I treated my parents 😬😬

kristinsmoyer I think the stories in this book show how when we‘re early teens, we‘re often insecure and very focused on ourselves, but having that moment of selflessness from the father definitely stands as a good reminder for kids of the sacrifices parents make on behalf of them! It would have been a good reminder for me at that age too! 2h
1 comment
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ms.gabourel
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I loved this final comment in, “How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court into a Place of Higher Learning and You at the Podium” by Matt De La Peña. I especially loved how the author uses the word “you.” When listening to the audiobook, this made the message feel very personal. I loved the sentiment of this final passage too.

ms.reagan I LOVED this direct address! It created such a deeply personal element to an already personal story. I think students would really enjoy this! 3h
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