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Confetti Attitude

Mar 11, 2016



Male Educators Unite!

Letter from the writer/editorWelcome,

Thank you for taking the time to read this publication that I have constructed to benefit the everyday educator. We live in a world where a name or idea that you conceive has likely already been created and spread into the world. Even still, as I searched online for two things that mean a lot to me, male teachers sharing their outlook on education and ties, I found very little. Yes, ties. The colorful cloth that hangs from a neck. The scarfs twin brother. What I did find, were statics about how only 2 in 10 teachers are men and even less, 1 in 10 teachers are from a minority group.* This should not surprise most people. It is no big secret that male teachers do not go into to teaching because it takes a lot longer to achieve financial stability than in other professions with the same level of experience.

So I decided to create a magazine where male teachers can share their outlook on literature, technology and of course ties. I am starting this issue off with eight book reviews for you (educators!) to use in your class with connections to core curriculum standards and technological application. Interspersed throughout the issue, will be poems created about ties that I own. I read a post from a blogger who tried to raise the call for teachers to be writers and artists. That statement sounds like a clique, but it struck a chord with me. If teachers become passionate about their curiosities and start to engage in their unique personalities as humans, that interest carries over into the classroom. My hope is that the next edition of this magazine will highlight the talents and ideas of male educators from around the world. Lofty goals indeed. In closing, I hope that this E-Zine reaches beyond just educators. This publication along with my blog, was created to invite people from all different professions to discuss/inspire what this teacher is trying to do in the classroom.


Zachary Zidek

New York Times article titled Men in Teaching Fall to a 40-Year Low, Survey Finds. This study is from 2004 and involved only a sampling from the United States.

By: Lana Button Age: Grade 1-2 Tag Line:

Do you have a student that is shy? Bright thinker, but not very vocal? Get this book!


The book follows Willow, a student who does not talk loud enough for people to hear her, so often she gets ignored. After she makes a special microphone that allows her to feel like people are listening to her, she gains confidence in speaking up for herself. Over time the magical microphone breaks, but she has confidence in her voice and what she has to say. It may sound cheezy, but having witnessed a story time session (using this book) with second graders, I can say that both boys and girls were engaged.

Classroom Use:

First or second week of school BANG! Start asking/showing (by using this book) your students how to build a classroom community. Every classroom has a student like willow. It may not be vocal shyness, but a student may not feel like they fit in or gets left behind with an experience that is less than meaningful in your class.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have students that just want to shout out and it's very hard for others to verbalize their opinions. For a situation like this, you might want to use My Mouth is a Volcano! By Julie Cooke. This book acts as a stepping stone for a student(s) to see the value in thinking of their unique ideas and balancing it with their peers opinion. The following is intended for first and second grade classrooms.

I always thought it would be interesting if mid way through the year, students can select their favorite read aloud (which the teacher will have read sometime during the first part of the year) and practice reading it (repeated reads), decide on a presentation platform (read aloud, puppets, Voice Thread, etc) and perform it during an open house or literacy night event. The student benefits by getting practice with his/her fluency, having the choice of how they want to present, and reinforcing the positive messages that underline our shared reading collection. WIN WIN for all involved.

Age Range: Mid Elementary High School

Tag Line: An inventor that cares more about making his community happy, then being famous or rich.

Synopsis: Great read aloud to discuss the prospect of becoming an inventor or someone successful. This author has a knack for superb sentence fluency and excellent word choice.

Sample Sentence: 'Sang a snippet of song and twirled a whirl of a fling'

Besides having the conventional writing skills that this book exemplifies, the heart of the book is on being yourself. That term has become a clique in schools and kids know that. Administrators can cram policy after policy into the school's code of conduct, but a lot of students know that those words, be yourself, don't mean a thing in the context of school. This is not to say that this book will solve all that, but it does offer a refreshing look at how people interact with one another. The main character shares in the joys and yearnings of his family and community. Once chosen to be a professional inventor, he loses the human connection which truly is the catalyst behind his inventions. Classroom Use: Due to the heightened word choice selection, this text is better suited for upper elementary and on through high school because it connects on quite a few different levels. In terms of elementary school, it could fit in as an example of poetry and give introduction into the lives of inventors. I am going to use this book to proceed a unit on renewable forms of energy (sun, algae, wind). The book sets up the idea that an inventor tries to invent things to benefit his fellow human. With each of the possible energy forms there are

Flamingos dance while they sleep.

Humans watch with their dresses and desks.

Bones smack the dirt and

We all shake inside.

No Talking!

By: Andrew Clements

Age: 4th Grade - 6th Grade

Tag Line: Remember when girls had cuddies? Well they still do, but this story is about boys and girls entering into an old school competition! Who can stay quiet longest? The boys or the girls?

Synopsis: This is a great story and I can't believe it has not gotten more praise. Anyway, the story follows a rowdy group of students in the 5th grade, who are called the unshusables by the teachers and school staff. Along the way, Dave, one of our main characters, decides he is going to stay quiet for as long as he can. He does this based on some readings from Ghandi that he encounters. Eventually the plot emerges and a female main character decides that she can top Dave's silent phase. What develops is a boys vs girls game to see who can stay quiet longer. Of course the school is furious. First the students are told to be quiet and they don't, then they are told to

Separate page Below is Iggy Architect book

By: Giles and Alexandra Milton Early Elementary Middle School Tag Line:

Have you ever dreamed of creating your own animal? Do you use Switcharoo Zoo? Teaching a lesson on recognition of a familiar topic in a new setting? If you said yes to any of these, then you should find time to read this book.


Although the recommend age group for this book is K-2, I have used this book with fifth graders and their first grade buddies. The book has a sense of wonder about it. You take a pigs leg, a pair of alligator teeth, a flamingos beak, etc. and create a new animal. Each page provides a different part of an animal and students have to identify what animal is being represented by that part.

Classroom Use:

This book could easily be tied to a project involving Switcheroo Zoo. (Don't know what this is? Please go to www.Switcheroo

This book can be used to model how different items, topics, and words all fall under the umbrella of a certain Idea or concept. For example, students can pick a topic and place all the items that fall into that category. Create a book (physical or virtual) and then at the end it culminates into a design of all the individual pieces. Much like a simple/complex sentence. It takes a bunch of pieces (noun, verb, adjective, and punctuation) to create the end result of a sentence that has meaning behind it.

What would really work best, is if you did an endangered species unit (tied in with Who Killed Cock Robin? By: Jean Craighead George if you are teaching fourth-fifth grade) and had students create a classroom book, where each of the pages had a piece of their animal in the form of a collage, and the end of the book is the unique creation of the entire animal they will be saving. Art + Science + LA = Great Curriculum! Every student could present on their animal. Students read an introduction about a presenter's animal the day preceding his/her speech and everyone is required to have a question or comment the next day.

Last Tie poem Page

End of magazine ask for people to help out and start contributing.

These are books that I have either used in the classroom this past year or intend to use and share with other Elementary Level teachers.

Age Level