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WinkWorld February 2013

Hello Friends,

In this issue of WinkWorld, you will find:

Loving Those Libraries
These little free libraries, sometimes called birdcage libraries, are popping up everywhere. I’m hoping to get one for my birthday.

Little Free Library

More teeny, tiny free libraries popping up in Turlock CA.
Thank you to Susan Keeley Clapper for sharing this great information.

Map of Little Free Libraries

Austin and Garrett, this one is for you. Can you find any more in WI?
It’s a Mailbox; It’s a Bird House; No, Wait, It’s a Library

Images of Tiny Free Libraries

Images of Birdhouse Libraries

Library Mapping
Often I ask students in my graduate classes to do a library mapping experience, and consistently I have found this to be a very positive experience for most.
From Teaching Passionately: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

If you want more examples, search at

Library Mapping from Nicole Skrdlant

Library Mapping to Action from Jodi Holzer

Writers’ Workshop Resources
The Black Hills State University teachers in my class this semester will be doing more with Writers’ Workshop.

Research Studies We Can’t Forget: Discrimination, Expectations, and the Marshmallow Test
(Thanks, Sharon, for reminding me of these studies.)

First, The Pygmalion Effect, or the Rosenthal and Jacobson Study.

Second, remember The Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes study?

Jane Elliott, 3rd grade teacher in Iowa after MLK was killed.

A Class Divided

Jane Elliott’s own webpages

Third, The Marshmallow Study, or the Daniel Goleman Study
One of the tests on YouTube (you can see more on YouTube)

TED Talks and the marshmallow

Slate: Marshmallow Test Revisited

Qatar University, Doha Qatar
I had a fabulous and fascinating trip to Qatar to work with Qatar University faculty. To view my presentations, go to:

English Language Foundation Schedule for January 16 -17, 2013
The Value of Reflective Teaching and Learning Plenary

Reflective Plenary
Various Approaches to Using the Reflective Cycle with Students: An Interactive Session
Reflective Interactive

In what follows, I want to capture snapshots of some of my memories.

When I returned home, I had an amazing conversation with Garrett, our 7-year -old grandson, who was filled with questions about continents, countries, camels, and customs. Yes, he really did begin the conversation by immediately telling me that Qatar is in another continent. OK, dear Garrett, here are your answers.

Continents and Countries
The flight between Washington DC and Doha, Qatar takes almost 15 hours. I marveled at the many Indian, Qatari, and Saudi families traveling with children on the long flights. I will never forget all of the little kids’ new tennis shoes with lights in the soles. I loved watching the children bounce around as we waited in long customs lines, security checks, baggage checks. I also liked those twinkling little lights going up and down the aisles of the long flights.

If you are as interested in continents and countries, as is Garrett, this is more or less our flight pattern coming home: We left Qatar and flew north up the Persian Gulf while passing over Bahrain and a bit of Kuwait. From there we continued north over (and now it gets a little foggy) Iran and/or Iraq; it looked to me like we went right over Basrah and then Baghdad. We continued north over either Syria, or maybe just Turkey. I couldn’t be sure from the electronic plane image moving on the TV monitor in the plane. From there we continued our Northwest trajectory over Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatian and finally, I looked down on the spectacular Dolomites of Northern Italy. France, England, and the northern Atlantic came next, and finally we passed over Greenland and came down through Canada as we headed straight South into DC.

Cities we flew over: *Scroll down to the map

Yes, Garrett, I saw camels, and I even saw the Emir’s herd of Arabian horses.

Yes, Garrett really did use the word, customs. Yes, the Qatari really do wear their traditional clothing: Men with the long flowing white robes (thobes) and scarves (ghotras) on their heads, and women in the long, flowing black robes (abayas) and black head coverings (hijabs).

Contrary to Western thought, I felt in no danger. Qatar so carefully screens all who enter the country that the bad guys can’t get in. Also, people take pride in the fact that they are a weaponless society. Crime is negligible. My ex-pat American friends, who live there, say that they love their kids going to schools in Qatar, as it is as safe and secure as the often longed-for 1950s in the US. (And, for the record, I never was too fond of the 50s. . . .) Garrett, I would describe the culture as Arab, Muslim, and international. For the true cultural experience, I watched Al Jeerzeria TV from my hotel. It reminded me of BBC or SKY News from the UK. I looked hard with my critical eye to find the feared biases – I did not see any examples.

My hosts were so kind and generous and took me all over Doha; I decided that I did not go there to sleep, and I certainly didn’t. I saw a lot. For the real cultural experience, we visited the Souq Waqif, which is like a mercado or bazaar.

Spices in Souq Waquif

Qatar was a barren, flat desert until very recently. In 3 generations, families have gone from living in tents and riding camels to living in cities with unbelievable wealth. Doha grew from desert to a gorgeous cosmopolitan city in the last 5 years. Driving in Doha is a wild experience: Remember some of the drivers have lots of experiences racing camels; now, that they have beautiful roads and round-abouts, they sometimes seem to forget that their world is no longer a flat desert.

My favorite vehicle in Doha.

If you are interested, these photos probably capture it best.
60 Minutes of CBS did a short special on Qatar.
I particularly loved the Venice of Qatar (yes, they built a replica of Venice).

Images of the Venice of Doha

Every culture has contradictions; I dare say I could cite several in the culture of my own home, my state, my country. However, as a rule, we tend to see contradictions in others, more than we do in ourselves. Here is my perspective on the contradictions, which I noticed in Qatar. My guess is that the Emir (Sheik) would like to come out of the Arab Spring as the leader of the Arab community, and I am guessing that most Westerners would welcome that. Qatar is a moderate, modern, and safe country; it very much is looking to the future. However, I do not know how a country can be a world leader in the next century, when � of the population is not included in many aspects of society, including leadership. This is a cultural contradiction, which Qatar will need to resolve. One part of the solution appears to be emerging from the Emir’s wife, Sheikha Mozah, who has, what appears to me, unlimited funds for education. She has an entire complex, Education City, which is devoted to education for all children, including the impoverished children of her country. In addition, boys and girls and men and women learn together in the same classroom, which is basically not the traditional and historical pattern. Education City and Qatar Foundation: If you care about teaching and learning, keep your eyes on these, as we move into the future. Fascinating, to say the least!

Education City

Images of Education City

And, yes, Garrett, schools are a part of the culture, too.

Several US universities are also at Education City, including my dear TX A&M, where I was given a grand tour by the Dean.

And, while I was there, I had the joy of introducing several former Mallorca/TCNJ students and a couple of friends from the mid-80s in Davis CA.

FVR (Free Voluntary Reading)
The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luís Alberto Urrea
Click here to get your copy.

Books for Teachers
The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning by James Paul Gee
Click here to order your copy

Caldecott Award Winners: Congratulations Authors!

Newbery Award Winners: Congratulations Authors!

And, oh, how I would love to see Alma Flor Ada’s books win next year.

More from Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

Creative Reading Methodology
Fully described and great examples can be found in:

The Magical Encounter: Latino Children’s Literature in the Classroom

Click here to order your copy

The authors share the process of authorship for teachers, students, and families and also offers activities to promote anti-bias attitudes as well as transformative reflections.

Authors in the Classroom: A Transformative Process

Click here to order your copy

New Angels
Junie (Davis, CA), Jim (formerly from Mobridge SD), Nancy (ND, and formerly from Mobridge, SD), Grandpa Nielson (OR)

Welcome To The World

Loved this baby announcement from two Black Hills State University students, Jamie and Kevin Neth, and their two children Malaki and Gracie. The photo was taken by Brandon Horst of Horst Photography of Chadron, NE.

Notes from the Real World
Christmas on the Ranch

Austin’s (age 9) Christmas list:
I was amazed at Austin’s Christmas list, which he prepared all by himself, including looking up the prices. Literacy can be found in many places.

Christmas in South Dakota State Capitol: Spectacular!

It was complete joy to be able to visit the Capitol with my dear Betty Jay (in photo) and my BFF, Diane Kindt, from my k-12 days in Mobridge, SD.

RoseBowl Parade
“Oh, The Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss
It was worth waiting my whole life to see it! Fabulous. And, their theme was “Oh, The Places You Will Go,” a terrific read. Jane Goodall was Grand Marshall. Now, I have checked everything off my bucket previous list: Willy Nelson, buffalo round-up, and RoseBowl Parade. However, I have since added to my new bucket list: elect a woman president in my lifetime.

And, one last look at 2012 Buffalo Round-Up in Custer State Park. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to be able to ride and bring in the buffalo.

Prairie Pedagogy
Rural Education, Atall School

Some readers of WinkWorld will think longingly of one-room schools. Out here on the prairies, many students and teachers still live this life everyday.

Atall School, Meade County
Missy (Mrs. Urbaniak) captured one small snapshot of one of her days.

Thank you, Missy. WinkWorld readers, you have met her son, Bailey, previously.

The Atall School is a lone building along a gravel road. It is fenced out from the pasture that it sits in with barbed wire. The family who owns the pasture will often use it for grazing for their cattle.

This family also has twin daughters who are in second grade and attend the Atall School. In addition to the twins, one third grader, two fourth graders, one sixth grader, and one seventh grader attend Atall School. All of these kids are ranch kids. They are growing up on ranches which their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and in some cases even great-great grandparents helped establish in western South Dakota. I am the teacher here, and I am blessed to have a paraprofessional who comes to help me each day. Most days I am caught up in the regular duties of a teacher in the 21st century. However, there are frequent reminders that my teaching assignment is rather unique.

For example, our school district has a Buildings and Grounds Department with janitors, electricians, plumbers, and general maintenance workers. However, they are located 50 miles away from my school.

One of them delivers water to our school every other week. He drives a large truck with a water tank on the back that he uses to fill our cistern. Every time he comes he informs me of how much water he puts in the tank. This has been an issue of some concern lately, because it seems that the water is going missing, probably the result of a leak somewhere.

Because of this mysterious leak, I turn off the pump each afternoon. More accurately, my son, Bailey, who is in the fourth grade and comes with me to school each day, turns off the pump for me each afternoon, and then he turns it back on again in the morning. The switch for the pump is outside near the cistern on the side of a small building in the schoolyard that was once the schoolhouse where his grandmother attended school, but is now used for storage. Bailey is happy to help with this simple chore, and it has become part of his daily after-school routine, along with fetching the mail from the mailbox for me.

The last time that our maintenance worker delivered water, he had only 300 gallons. His plan was to come out the next day with more water for us. However, the next morning, when we tried to use the faucets, no water would come out, all 300 gallons had leaked away into the ground. A couple of phone calls to the buildings and grounds department 50 miles away and to my principal, whose office is 65 miles away, and we had a plan in place to deal with not having water for the day. The maintenance worker would bring the water truck out and check on the cistern to see what the trouble was. He provided us with five gallon buckets of water. This water was to flush the toilets with, and as power outages and water issues of this type are common, the older children have experience with situation and were happy to help dump the water into the toilets to force them to flush.

Thankfully, we have gallons of water for drinking in the refrigerator and plenty of hand sanitizer to get us by in a pinch. So our day continued much in the usual manner and by the afternoon, the maintenance workers had the water running again.

Dawn Wink, DewDrops

Writing Spaces of the World

Meadowlark: The Veil Thins (more about Grandma Grace)

An Invitation – Artists Among Us