CTA & You

New Work From Members: Lit from Within

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

Shoes Off, Mommy? / ¿Me descalzo, mami?

Little Ali loves to take her shoes off and go barefoot — she feels most free without her shoes. With her mom’s support she discovers modern dance, her true calling, where she can be herself — barefoot and free!

Alison Rose is an elementary dance educator and United Teachers Los Angeles member. Shoes Off, Mommy? (2017), illustrated by Kathleen Vaslett-Carr, is based on Rose’s own personal narrative and is best for ages 5-8. It’s available in English and a Spanish and English bilingual version on Amazon.


School Rules! and I Like to Read!

Veteran kindergarten teacher Dwayne Douglas Kohn has written and illustrated numerous books for the classroom, including School Rules! (2016). Perfect for the youngest students, the book introduces them to their new animal classmates, with teacher Miss G. Raff explaining some rules that make school even more fun and exciting.

Kohn, a member of Vista Teachers Association, also just released I Like to Read! (2019), a two-volume set with stories for beginning readers. Each story is eight pages long with limited vocabulary and high-frequency sight words, colorful illustrations, and entertaining characters. Topics include insects, wild animals, careers, the rain forest, fairy tales, dinosaurs, butterflies, transportation and more. On Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Kohn’s books have been published in Spanish, Chinese and other languages.


Giraffes Only Do the Can-Can on Tuesdays

What do zoo animals do at night when no humans are around? According to precocious third-grader Scarlett in Giraffes Only Do the Can-Can on Tuesdays (2019), quite a lot! She spins a wildly imaginative yarn for her classmates — and who knows, she might not be that far from the truth.

The book by BigKat Manning, a member of both the Association of Coronado Teachers and Southwestern College Education Association, is meant for grades 3-6. It deals not only with animals but standing up for oneself when being verbally assaulted by the classroom troublemaker. On Amazon.

Manning, who teaches filmmaking, public speaking and interpersonal communications, published his first children’s book Crackers, It’s Cold Outside! in 2018.


Creating Community

Danielle Parker says you can safely retire “two truths and a lie” and inspire a little more fun and engagement with activities listed in Creating Community: 101 Ideas and Activities for the Classroom (2019). The book, co-authored by Parker and Rachel Lawrence, helps teachers and students at all grade levels build a connected and caring classroom, from name games to ideas about creating space to everyday greatness. On Amazon.

Parker is a high school English teacher and member of Asociación de Maestros Unidos in Los Angeles (currently on leave).


Got something for this section? 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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