CTA & You

Lit From Within: New Works by Members

Often educators’ creativity spills over into a book, blog, app or other work. We’re happy to showcase members’ talents.

Often educators’ creativity spills over into a book, blog, app or other work. We’re happy to showcase members’ talents.

Classroom literacy

Krishna Dalal, a math coach and member of the San Rafael Teachers Association, is the author of two award-winning picture books that are ideal for students ages 6-10.

Found All Around (2014) explores found poetry, where words are taken from existing texts (newspapers, menus, books, etc.), reordered and turned into poems. The how-to book includes creative found poems and illustrates the origin and process of each. Perfect for hesitant and proficient poets alike.

Sardoodledom: A Spelling Bee Tale (2011) follows four students as they spell their way through the annual Jefferson Elementary School spelling bee. The spellers entertain and educate by playing with rhyme, telling knock-knock jokes, tackling homophones, and more.

Both books are available on Amazon.

Jasmine’s ‘superpowers’

Amber Harrell-Tobey, an eighth-grade math teacher and member of NEA-Jurupa, wrote and published a book this year inspired by her 7-year-old daughter, who has cerebral palsy. The disorder impairs body movements and causes a reduced range of motion.

Written under the pen name Amber Nichole and illustrated by Mike Motz, Hey Jasmine! Let’s Go to the Park looks at some of the challenges the energetic child faces, as when other kids at a park are confused by her leg braces and mannerisms and refuse to play with her. The story goes on to show the little girl making friends and highlights her “superpower” abilities.

“It’s a great resource for teachers to use with their students to teach them how to be more sensitive to students with special needs, while also celebrating the accomplishments that children with special needs can do,” says Harrell-Tobey, who has taught for more than 17 years and has twice been named Teacher of the Year in her district. “I want to celebrate them! They deserve to see characters that look like them too.” The book is available on Amazon.

Got something for this page? Send details to editor@cta.org with “Lit From Within” in the subject line. We lean toward new(ish) work that can be used in the classroom.

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