Class Set of FISH IN A TREE Giveaway #SupportTeachers

Greetings, Teachers and School Librarians,

What strange times these are, huh? I have been thinking of you all, knowing that whether you are distance teaching from home or in your school building, these times are full of unique challenges. There are plans that seem to change daily. There is uncertainty. There are times when you, as teachers on the front lines, do not feel seen and supported.

But you ARE supported. There are scores of us out in the world thinking of and praying  for you. I think teachers this fall must be experiencing the epitome of conflicting emotions. Thrilled to be in your classrooms and to see your kids again (if in person) but the worry of masks and social distancing and the unpredictability of…well, of it ALL. And those of you teaching online. Yes, it feels safer but it’s teaching without the very BEST part of teaching – the kids.

I love to visit with kids virtually, but it isn’t like standing in a gym with them. Walking up and down the aisles, high-fiving kids, asking their names, shaking hands with their teachers, visiting their library and signing things for them. Quiet conversations with kids who connect to my books in special ways; making memories.

YET…this school year is one your kids will LONG remember. They will remember how you showed up for them. They will remember how hard you tried. They will remember your efforts to connect to them such as a hand-written, (mailed if distanced) note. Yeah, something like that takes time but it will make a BIG impact on kids. If Lynda at 10 years old had you for a teacher this year, I would have need you. And if I knew you cared. That you saw me. I’d log in each day. I’d work very hard for you.

See the child before the student. Tend to their hearts and souls as well as their brains. Even in these nutty times, the HEART of teaching is STILL the Children. NO ONE expects perfection. Do the best you can. Take care of the child. At ANY age. You know, those big high school kids really need their teachers as well. This is sometimes forgotten.

I DO support you – as always. During the fall, I will be posting videos for you. I will also be doing giveaways for virtual visits and personalized videos. But, for the time being, I have teamed up with Kimberly Lynn, illustrator of FISH IN A TREE for the following giveaway. It includes an original piece of art which I find VERY hard to part with! SERIOUSLY. But for you, I WILL!

Here are the giveaway items. (Directions to enter are at the bottom of this post.)

GRAND PRIZE WINNER:

Everything in these pictures:

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An ORIGINAL color drawing by the illustrator of Fish in a Tree, Kimberly Lynn Hunt. I’m not going to lie; I’d love to keep this. BUT I WON’T! 🙂

25 signed FISH IN A TREE paperbacks for kids. One personalized hardcover for the teacher.

25 SIGNED paperbacks of FISH IN A TREE. And 1 personalized hardcover for the teacher/winner 🙂

Swag giveaway

TWO personalized posters (see below) 1 OFTM pen, 2 FIAT pens, 30 wooden nickels, 120 stickers total, 30 “Great Minds…” tattoos, 30 silicone bracelets, and a bunch of SIGNED bookmarks.

Poster 3 books

TWO Posters – personalized for your school or classroom.

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One signed copy of each – One for the Murphys & Shouting at the Rain

book packs in bags

Each book is bagged with swag enclosed for each student. Easy, safe distribution.

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Digital Download of a Teacher Planner

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Digital Download of Teacher Planner/Calendar

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NOTE: Digital planning pages generously offered by:

BEAR ISLAND CREATIVE  (Link to store) 

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***IN ADDITION, I will choose some additional winners to get smaller “Just Swag Packs” OR “Just Stickers Packs”. 

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MY MESSAGE TO TEACHERS.

The backstory of FISH IN A TREE. The Teacher who saved me. 

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To ENTER, please retweet and/or post to social media with the hashtag #FIAT. ALSO, please include your twitter handle, if you have one!

ALSO, please comment below about some of the challenges and victories you are experiencing – whether they be virtual or in person. If I learn more about your experiences, it will help me find ways to help you.

I am planning to create more videos for the fall that you can share with your kids. Also, I have asked the illustrator of the Sketchbook of Impossible Things (found at the back of the paperback) to create activities for you to share with your kids – they will be coming in early September. If there are ANY specific activities you’d like made, PLEASE share that with me as well. WE WILL MAKE IT FOR YOU! Again, I would like to help, if I can.

NOTE: I will ship to a private residence, however, winner MUST be currently employed by a school system (and listed as such on their district website). ALL materials will come in ONE box. Winning teacher is responsible for distribution to kids. US and Canada only.

GIVEAWAY ENDS Tuesday night at 11:59 PM.

Bless you.

Thank you.

Stay well.

Lynda

 

90 Comments on “Class Set of FISH IN A TREE Giveaway #SupportTeachers

  1. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks completely rethinking how to approach this year and ensure I do so with the positivity and smile I know my students need. Thank you for such an uplifting post and giveaway ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, your generosity is amazing. Although I am not yet “back to school” for the year—teachers start back virtually August 24th and school will be virtual until at least January—I have been busy preparing.

      I have been gathering distance learning resources and tips from other educators, spent 3+ weeks this summer helping to write student facing science lessons to replace the current resources for 4th grade teachers in my county, and will begin my role as master teacher tomorrow as I train new fourth grade teachers in the county in ELA, math, science, and SS—also virtually.

      I am excited and nervous to meet my new class and can’t help to feel disappointed that we may never sit in a room together to share a single read aloud. I still plan to participate in #classroombookaday and share my passion for books and reading.

      Your offer would make a huge difference to any class who wins. I am crossing my fingers. Please know how much you are appreciated for all you do for teachers and kids!

      Like

    • Biggest issue a week in a half in of virtual learning is audio! Much of the time is spent asking kids to repeat or type in the chat what they are trying to express. Grateful my upper elementary kids can type! My amazing group has already shown perseverance and grace. I am so proud of them and hope we will be together in person soon!

      Like

    • Digitally it’s been a struggle especially for my homeless kids! I haven’t been able to find two from Spring and it worries me constantly. My kids loved meeting authors in the spring. It gave them hope. One day some of our books will be published and you will know them personally.

      Like

  2. I would love to win anything in your list. I am the sole librarian at the largest middle school in VA – FCPS you may have heard drug through the mud by Trump & his minion DeVos. My school has a high population of free & reduced lunch and English Language Learners. Our neighborhood has been especially hit with Covid. We are starting virtually so I am challenged with difficulty providing library services to my kids. However, I am energized by bringing the library out to our communities and providing a mobile library service with either free donated books or library books that kids can check out. We are doing mobile school library twice a month and hope to have book giveaways at the three different neighborhoods that we go to this fall. Thanks for any help or donation you can provide! Your books are well loved at my school!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad I’m able to build relationships with my middle school students. They still connect with me on their needs and what is going on in their lives. My struggle is getting the materials I need for my classroom. When I arrived my room was almost empty and in order to teach and continue to help students, we need books and basic supplies. I have been writing lots of grants but it’s been a struggle!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The last few months have been a struggle, finding ways to have a connection with students that you can’t see in person. Our district is going to be virtual through the end of the first semester, which means it will be close to a year that will have passed since we teach our kids in person. Still hard to believe, but your message helps give a much needed boost of morale. Thanks for doing this giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am to-the-bone-tired from preparing for online learning. I so want to support my kids in the rural community but it is so hard to do from home. 😦 I am sad to not be with them in person. I would love to use this during advisory time to build relationships.

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  6. I think for all teachers the next few weeks are full of challenges, but among those challenges we will find the victories. Getting more than half the kids on a Zoom session, seeing that kids can still have those aha moments when they aren’t in the classroom, and realizing that we are all in this together will be tremendous victories that I will savor!

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  7. I teach 5th grade, and we are going back on a hybrid schedule. One positive is that my team is committed to prioritizing building relationships, supporting emotional health, and engaging readers through choice and conversation. One negative is that many of our students don’t have internet access, so we are very concerned about going 100% remote. Fish in a Tree is our favorite read aloud to start the year.

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  8. As a teacher and a parent, the past months have been surreal. This summer I have tried to be balanced – spending beach days with my boys while learning how to be an effective remote teacher. I’ve hit a wall this week, there is only so much planning that can be done without knowing the specifics of our new virtual normal. Your words today (and everyday) bring much needed comfort. Thank you.

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  9. One of the challenges we faced as a family is that a week before school begins my district has moved hybrid. This caused a huge childcare issue as I have elementary age children and they are unable to be alone. My husband’s work has decided to give him a layoff for the fall and winter which we are actually grateful for. This too shall pass, stay strong everyone!

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  10. My biggest challenge, this coming year, will be having Library Skills classes without being in the physical library. I plan to make my lessons exciting so that the students will be clamoring to get in the library when it opens.

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  11. I teach gifted students and most of them are above grade level readers. They absolutely love to read. One of the biggest challenges I have always faced is finding appropriate literature that challenges them. Our favorite time in class and on zoom is book clubs and my goal is to continue to ignite their love of reading by exposing them to books that will foster engaging discussions.

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  12. Trying to help my own two kids with their school work while also teaching full-time was near impossible, since my husband is essential with a 9-5 job. This year we’re stretching our finances to pay for some childcare each week to help with some of that. I teach in an independent school with just one class/grade, so I’m the only teacher for my grade level and have no one to plan with or share the workload for making videos, team-teaching, creating lessons, etc. Up until this week, I was supposed to figure out how to teach both students at home and in person at the same time, so in many ways I’m grateful we are starting the year remotely. I could post almost exactly what Larissa said above about my summer!

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  13. I think my biggest challenge is being so isolated. I love school and I enjoy working with my kids. I do read alouds with them to help them build empathy and resilience. I work with students with Emotional Disabilities and they often struggle with these things. They also love to be read to!

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  14. I teach at Tower School in Marblehead, MA. I just started reading your book and I LOVE it! I can’t put it down. My biggest challenge has been getting over the anxiety of the pandemic and moving forward with work. I felt lucky to see my students on Zoom each morning. Their smiling faces help me through the most difficult days. In the Fall I am teaching our after school program. I would love anything on your giveaway list!

    Like

  15. This is so appreciated! Right now, besides all the turmoil all teachers are feeling, I am struggling with how to address needs of all students since I will be doing both in person and virtual teaching. My students are already behind grade level in academics and I want so badly to not have them fall further behind during this chaotic year.

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  16. First, and always Lynda thank you for your amazing generosity and kindness! That being said, approaching this school year has been so different for me. I missed the excitement of learning next to peers at Nerd Camp and other conferences. Setting up our learning community in rows, separated from one and another feels like I am going back in time. However, we have three orientation sessions planned this week to get our humans back into the school. Today, I met with one family and it felt amazing to talk to the young woman who would be a part of our learning community. It was right then, that while it is going to be challenging for sure, that I knew I would be alright. I am here for the kids and the kids are coming back! Thanks again Lynda!

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  17. Thank you for offering this to teachers. I am struggling to get used to this “new normal” we call life. I think books can be so powerful and am looking forward to reading with my students again and connecting with them through texts. I’m struggling to find ways to connect virtually with kids and a class set of books will allow for each student to get their own 🙂

    Like

  18. One of the most challenging times over the past few months was Distance Learning with my 26 students, while also teaching/ helping my 5th grade son with his work. He had an IEP and is dyslexic. I struggled at times and felt like a failure trying to juggle both demands at once. My low socioeconomic students with needs that went way beyond the classroom and my son who didn’t want me to reach him, he just wanted his mom.

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  19. Lynda, this is such a generous contest. We have not begun yet, due to our start date being pushed twice, and we are on the 15th update from administration of the summer. I am so anxious about how this year will go with my fifth graders, but I know one thing for sure, I will start my year with my annual fall read aloud, Fish in a Tree. I love it and the message it sends to students: they are all unique and special and carry their own strengths. We are in this together!

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  20. One of my biggest challenges has been figuring out how to support the students of my school district both those who will be attending in person and those who will be virtual only with no library budgets K-12 this year. But, as I always say (and this is year 21), challenge accepted! Here we go!

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  21. The hardest part of the schools being closed is making sure our kids are fed and well cared for. When they are with us they hear, “I love you” and “You can do hard things.” It is support they don’t get at home. Our district did the best job at feeding our kids. I cannot wait to see them so we can now feed their souls!

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  22. Lynda, thank you so much for the opportunity to win this. My anxiety has been through the roof since we went to remote learning in April. With only a couple of weeks to go I’m still not sure what September will look like. By this time most years, everything would be set up and September planned, but with all of the last minute changes it just hasn’t been possible! I know my students struggle even more, many didn’t even leave their apartments after March Break. As a Teacher Librarian I struggled to connect with students in a virtual setting, but offering read alouds of picture and chapter books gave me opportunities to continue relationship building. While I’m not sure what the new school year will bring, I’m hoping for better times and to be able to see all of my students in person once again. Your blog post brought tears to my eyes and it was a much needed reminder of the love and importance of the education community in a time when our government acts as if we don’t matter. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make the world a little better ❤

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  23. I haven’t started yet-next week! Right now, a challenge is that I still don’t know what my job will look like. My Ss had a very hard time learning how to utilize technology from home and didn’t have access to books that I’d like. One positive at this point, is that I’m still sane!! As far as the spring goes, all the phone calls, texts and zooms allowed me to get to know my Ss more than I would have in the classroom.

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  24. Thank you so much for this opportunity to win! With students being virtual I have really been thinking of ways to get more books onto their homes once school resumes. Our school population is low poverty and lack books at home. I am currently working on getting a book vending machine we will use for academic and citizenship awards. So rather than giving out stickers, candy or toys students can select a book from a vending machine!! These books would go into our book vending machine! Any sharing of my book vending machine project would be appreciated! Thank you! https://www.donorschoose.org/project/rewarding-with-books-a-book-vending-ma/5058895/?challengeid=21606976

    Like

  25. I courageously sent a letter to the newspaper expressing my many concerns about schools opening up in full in CT and it was published. Most of the feedback I got back was supportive and soon after the state offered up hybrid. I feel my letter played a small part in that change. It feels good.

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    • I am a media specialist in a rural district. One challenge is getting kids to read when they don’t have to come to the library. Last spring, I offered access to request books, and was saddened how few took advantage. I am trying to get kids pumped about reading, like a summer reading program all year.

      Like

  26. Honestly the thing I’m finding most challenging right now is the lack of safety provisions in our restart plan. I am so mad all the time. This break has not been relaxing. My mental health has taken a hit for sure cuz I cannot turn my brain off. I’m not very good at putting myself first and so I’m just really worried how I will manage all of the emotions I’m feeling once I have a class of students who all need me.

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  27. Hi Lynda! One of my biggest struggles right now is just getting organized for the school year. My disrict recently changed to remote learning — which I’m grateful for but we don’t know what our model will be so it’s very hard to plan.

    A victory of mine is that I just finished my summer course with my graduate school work — I’m 6/10 of a certified reading specialist!

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  28. A victory I am experiencing is getting my house organized, saving money by not commuting, spending more time with my family and I have been on an incredible weight loss journey while quarantined. Those are personal victories!

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  29. Getting ready to start next week. Trying to wrap my brain around how I establish relationships with 30 third graders using only a computer screen.

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  30. The hardest thing for me was not being able to say goodbye and good luck to my 5th graders last school year. We missed out celebrating them. I did give them each a personal card, as I always do, but the excitement and nervous conversations about middle school never occurred. The best part has been how our district stepped up for all students, distributing laptops, hotspots and having meals for students throughout the school closure and summer. Our population is high needs and we did best by kids. I’m looking forward to students returning next week, they are my reason.

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  31. One struggle I am having is that I will have to put aside my typical duties as a school librarian when I return to school is a few weeks, in order to help with social distancing in the classrooms. I love my job, and I really wish that Covid didn’t change my ability to do it.
    However, I have been relatively successful in not stressing about this and I have been trying to enjoy the last few days of summer with my kids. I’m afraid that the stress is going to hit me like a wall that first day back, though.

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  32. I’m a 5th grade teacher at a Title 1 school in VA. I have read Fish in a Tree to my class every year. The story of Ally can teach my students so much about who they are and how they should treat others. This year, we’re starting virtually. My students don’t have supplies at home, so I’m trying to find a way to get them what they need, find ways to change up my instruction to make it virtual, and let go of the challenges of last year. I’m excited to meet my new students and introduce them to Ally. Thank you for writing this story.

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  33. Lynda, thank you so much for your overwhelming generosity to teachers! I look forward to trying virtual book clubs with our middle school reading classes this year. Thank you for this chance to put books directly into students’ hands!

    Like

  34. Thank you so much for this!! The biggest struggle I have is how to fuel that love of reading in my 4th grade students virtually. Fourth grade is this beautiful moment where kids move from learning how to read to falling in love with really great books. How do they browse through the class library? How do I know which books to put into their hands? How will they fall in love with books from their computer screen? My win is that over the summer I ran a virtual summer school class teaching students age 7-12 about blogging. I was able to connect online with 8-10 kids in each class and have them up and writing on our blog in just a few days. It was a blast and I was thrilled about how much writing these students did. That experience made me excited to try again this September with my new class of 4th graders. I can do this.

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  35. I am blown away by the resiliency of my amazing students and the dedication of teachers. We are thankfully still in a position to open for in- person learning and while we are still figuring out so many logistics, from PPE to class size to mask breaks, we’re so excited to welcome endive back in a few weeks. much success to all teachers who are getting back to the business of educating children… whether in person or on line, you’re all rockstars!

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  36. Due to the character limit on Twitter I was not able to post all my thoughts. Lynda, thank you for supporting teachers through this giveaway. I was lucky enough to be able to read Fish in a Tree to my grade 4/5 class at the beginning of the school year last year and we were just able to finish it before remote learning started. As a first year homeroom teacher, as much as I love read alouds, I realize it is so much more beneficial if each of the students had a copy of the novel themselves to follow along or even work in literature circles. You can imagine when remote learning started, it was challenging looking for novels while respecting copyrights for all the students to read. Again, thank you for supporting teachers and Fish in a tree is definitely one of my favourite novels to read for my class and I will definitely read it again! @teacherschoi

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  37. 2020 has been a weird year for sure. I’ve always talked about teaching virtually one day but not being forced to and in a weird time like this. I read “Fish in a Tree” for the first time this summer and was truly inspired with the message. I can’t wait to read it with my fourth graders and see what kind of discussions it sparks. I look for any way I can connect with the kids through my Zoom sessions and I’m excited to see what kinds of resources you have. Thank you for your support because we really need all we can get right now!

    Like

  38. I am a library aide for a Title One elementary school. We haven’t even started our school year as of yet (first day of remote learning for kids is Thursday) and I am concerned about making sure each kid has the resources they need to be successful. I hope to be able to get library books into our students hands but am not sure how that is going to look as of yet. I so much appreciate your generosity! Retweeting your post under my handle @yeahhappy.

    Like

  39. This is amazing! We haven’t started school, but are returning in a hybrid model. The lack of info is anxiety inducing! I read Fish in a Tree as my 2nd read aloud every year. It is such a great way to introduce mindset. Thank you for your generosity!

    Like

  40. The school I am at is doing a hybrid model. We (teachers) are having a hard time balancing teaching the kids in the school while also checking the work that the kids at home are doing. I wonder if anyone has figured out a good way to manage this.

    Like

  41. This would be such an amazing boost to such a difficult beginning of our school year. Our state requires 5 hours of learning with a Zoom session on the entire time except for lunch. It will be such a challenge to keep up stamina, energy, and positivity in such circumstances.
    Writing will be very challenging this year remotely. I would love to have some insight on your craft. What is your process? It would be amazing to have you pose a writing task/prompt and then model how you would attack it. If you were willing to choose some student work to give feedback, that would be amazing as well. (I know that part is a big ask)
    Thank you for even wanting to take the time to hear from us and offering such a giveaway.

    Like

  42. Hi Lynda, and thank you!
    Your concern for teachers and librarians is apparently limitless. It (and you) is appreciated,
    Here is my biggest takeaway from 10 or so weeks of remote learning: the true heroes are the kids. When the sudden shut-down occurred we were but two weeks away from baseball. Soccer and lacrosse seasons were beckoning as well, After months of patient waiting, no sports. No school, no friends, no restaurants. No malls, no parties, no movies. No Field Day, no field trip, no spring concert. Only more “no”. And how did kids react to the loss and uncertainty? My amazing, spunky, funny, and kind students simply soldiered on. They showed up for Zoom meetings. They logged into Google Classroom. They worked, they learned, and they did their best. Even better, they did these hard things with grace and good humor. They smiled and joked. And during the challenging three months of this unprecedented spring, I never heard a single complaint from any of the kids — not one! And that is truly heroic. And I am certain that my experience is not unique. My school is heading back to in-person classes soon. There is a solid, thoughtful plan in place. If I am honest, I’ll admit to some apprehension. Still, I am also truly eager to be back in my classroom where I continue to be inspired – daily – by amazing kids. Thanks again!
    Chris

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  43. Relationships are the most important thing in teaching, no matter how or where we teach. I learned last spring how important that was when one of my students had completed nothing for our virtual learning. I went to his home and realized why. He had so many responsibilities and very little parental support. We worked outside under a big oak tree for days and he was so motivated while I was there. He did end up passing and I was grateful to see his success. He was also grateful to have the support. The kids are going through so much-we have to meet them where they are. @Riddle_inMiddle

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  44. This year has been very different from any other year. No one seems to know what’s going on and no one seems to know the answers to any questions we have. We have found that all of our information is contradicting itself and we don’t know what to do. It has been very frustrating and overwhelming to say the least. We are also trying to learn a new online platform/curriculum to teach our students. ( We are a title 1 school and most students don’t even have internet and even if they could afford it, it’s not available in most places.) We are all just exhausted. Hopefully we will all just have some normalcy soon.

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  45. Thank you for the opportunity! I got hired to be a K-5 school librarian, after teaching for eight years. Students begin virtually on the 25th and I really want to have a virtual book club. I am looking for ways to engage my learners and readers. I would love to use #FIAT and have a personalized video for my entire learning community. Thank you!

    Like

  46. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’ve had a variety of challenges but the biggest one has been managing being a mommy, wife and teacher while also remembering to take care of me too.
    @wallburner

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  47. Our teachers returned today for meetings. This year will likely be full of challenges. Updates in paperwork for special education, the possibility of teaching in person and online, just to name a few. My students love Fish in a Tree and I read it to a group of students each year, this year it will happen one way or another. @CRHarris1987

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  48. Your thoughtfulness is noticed. Teaching has been interesting, to say the least, through this trying time.

    I’m worried about the possibility of never meeting my students, or not meeting them until January. I’m nervous about not being able to show my excitement for reading through technology. I’m anxious about spending so many hours on school work that I miss out on valuable time with my husband and three young children. I hope to read a chapter each day to my classes. We havr to continue to put books in our kids’ hands, even if it’s through a device.

    I want to continue to foster a love for reading. I have a good handle on our learning management system and I hope to promote reading and writing through this format.

    We’re all struggling in 2020! Books help us escape this chaos and slip into a different role. Isn’t that what we all need right now?!

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  49. I am preparing to return to school in a hybrid model in early September. I teach emerging readers in 7th and 8th grade. I am looking forward to meeting my students and creating a Community readers. Individual copies of titles and permission to use titles in video recordings will definitely help me to develop this community.

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  50. I shifted into a career as an Elementary School Teacher following over 20 years in marketing…a midlife crisis. Year one, I was placed in a self-contained Autism room. I adored my students and they were growing…because they were listened to. When March 13th happened, I didn’t know what to do. I spent a week trying to figure out how to teach remotely. My students loved when I read Mo Willems to them, so it seemed natural to have them participate in Lunch Doodles with Mo. One student, who couldn’t hold a pencil properly (OT goals), began watching Mo and drawing doodles with his mom. He thrived during distance learning and when I saw him in person the end of the year, I was gifted a doodle of his from his mom. It will forever live framed in my class. @BrianColton

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  51. Thank you so much for the opportunity 📚. Teaching online has been hard. Connecting with kids has been hard. Having a book of this magnitude with such a powerful message to share with them would be amazing. Books connect us in ways nothing else can.

    #FIAT
    From @SeahawksTeacher on Twitter

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  52. I am a teaching assistant on Long Island. I feel what you are doing is so generous. It was rough tryIng to help the fifth grade teacher I was working with. There were so many virtual glitches, this past semester.
    I will be working with the same teacher this year in an ICT environment. I feel Fish In A Tree would be the perfect complement to this years curriculum.#FIAT
    @CindyConroy

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  53. I just wanted to thank-you for sharing your story and your talent for writing. I also have had similar experiences with the uncertainty and anxiety of having to adapt to circumstances beyond our control. I have to say that among all the stories and experiences educators, parents, and students have had (and are having); we are persevering – we are finding our inner strength and pushing through. I have been inspired by teachers who have never used technology stepping up to the plate (with the help of fellow teachers, family and anyone who can help). I quickly learned that the best lesson plans took second priority to ongoing communication/support with students, families, and fellow educators. Sometimes it gets hard but we have no choice – we are driven by our students. I do miss being in the classroom, and want to look forward to those first few weeks of school in anticipation, meeting my classroom family and starting our learning journey. I know it will be a different reality than what we are used to…#FIAT

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  54. One of my challenges is making our children believe in theirselves and push for more! Historically aspirations are low and I want children to aim and achieve high. Breaking the barriers down is a hard one but small steps and I’m hoping we get there.

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  55. What a generous gift! I am hopeful that this year will build relationships with parents and students in ways I never thought possible. I worry that the level of equity for my virtual learners compares to my in person learners. Having both, simultaneously, has me fearful that someone will miss out.

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  56. I am writing this post @ 5 in the morning, another largely sleepless night because my brain is swirling with thoughts of digital learning and Covid woes! My husband works in healthcare and is facing a different, but equally stressful type of fatigue. It feels like lately our evenings are spent sharing worries of the world over takeout meals. We have recently vowed to try to create our new sense of normal and that has its good days and bad. I am immensely thankful for the support teacher hashtag as I look for strategies and affirmations in these crazy times.

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  57. This certainly has been an interesting time for everyone. We are worried about our students and our teacher friends. One of the challenges we will face is making connections with each other in a remote setting. I am hopeful that new ways to connect with families will be possible. A shared love of reading is one of the possible ways to engage families. Thank you for this incredible offer.

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  58. The change to virtual with a hybrid in person model is exhausting. Our admin is doing its best but given state and federal mandates, my quality of service to students will be a challenge. We do our best because that is what teachers do. The hope is that legislators see the value in education and listen to educators.

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  59. Challenging start? That’s an understatement! I work as a reading specialist. We are supposed to be in person starting in two weeks from today. However, last night the board decided with the health department that we will not be in person. We will start with a hybrid model. Although we have no idea what that will look like at the elementary level. We now have two weeks to figure it out. As curriculum support, I’m supposed to support the teachers, but I don’t know how. I’m supposed to provide interventions for students, but I don’t know how. I’m supposed to support acceleration, but I don’t know how. It’s not that I don’t know how typically. It is that I don’t know how when school looks like this. It’s my job to help teachers and children be excited about reading and we do that by getting great books by fantastic authors into their hands and hooking them. When we are told that our library is off limits and our children will no longer be able to browse books, I have to be creative and do book talks constantly! Having a book for each child would be an awesome way to get them reading! I can’t thank you enough for your support!

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  60. I think the unknowns are most challenging. We don’t know for how long we’ll be in the school building. We have to be ready to pivot and make adjustments as needed. Learning new technologies can also pose a challenge but also open the doors to new opportunities, too. What’s important is that we make connections with our kids. We need to really LISTEN to them so they know they’re being heard. Getting up know our kids on a personal level will be the key to engaging our students no matter what school looks like this year. Thank you for supporting teachers, Lynda, and for the encouraging messages of what’s really important! <3.

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  61. Wow. I am blown away at this post. Thank you for thinking of teachers and students right now, it’s a weird time for sure! My school is going back in person in just two days. I am scared, to put it mildly. I hope that books can be a way for us to connect to each other our classroom and a way for us to escape the world around us. I hope to inspire students to use these new feelings to write new stories. To use this time to explore themselves and what they can do and accomplish. I hope to show them they are strong, and to show myself this as well. I hope to keep the love of learning and reading going, whether we are virtual or physical. These books will be a great gift for students and would be a great read aloud. I also think your videos and fun activities would be wonderful for kids. We will need some escape during this time. Thank you. 💜💜💜

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  62. One of the big problems I’m facing right now is just the backlash from community members who just a few months ago were lauding teachers as heroes. Some of these same people are calling for us to be furloughed and for money to be given to families – they don’t realize that behind the scenes, we are working harder than ever. This is unprecedented and new for everyone. It’s been eye-opening and even frustrating. I’m just going to focus on the kids and do the best I can for them. Thanks for asking.

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  63. First, thank you for thinking of us teachers. There are so many challenges right now. Finding balance in the chaos is one way to name the sum challenge. We have to keep ourselves healthy in mind and body, while working so hard for our students’ best interests. On a practical level, we need books. I want my students to still read from the real, paper, bound book. There is too much screen time already! We need sets of books that we can read together. If they don’t or can’t come back to school after they are used remotely, so be it. Thank you for offering this giveaway!

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  64. The hardest part is missing the kids and interactions. Science via Zoom is challenging when they don’t all have supplies and we’re limited on what labs/activities we can do. My classes are known for being very hands-on. A victory has been fundraising for some of the basic supplies that my students need and finding some really cool new ways to engage my students. This is a really awesome giveaway! Thank you for the opportunity. @Smreed81

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  65. I just found out the other day that I will be teaching half of the virtual students and half of my hybrid students in person 2 days a week. I am still trying to wrap my head around all of it! I know it will bring many challenges, but we are all in this together. I am confident that we will overcome this challenge because teachers are the most determined and dedicated people on this earth! I read Fish in a Tree as my read aloud to my students last year and they absolutely LOVED it! They could not wait for me to read the next chapter! I plan on starting my year off with this book! This is a very generous offer and I would love to be able to share it with my students! Thank you for doing this!

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  66. Hello! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming again to your blog for more soon.

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  67. I’m so happy to hear from you. I have had huge success using Fish in a Tree in my classroom. I switched out the realistic fiction book in the first unit of our curriculum and used FinaT it to teach my fifth graders about the structure of fiction books, how to analyze by drawing and writing their thoughts in their reader’s notebook, character development, and, of course, empathy. Every single year, we all cry at the end. We (the students) also do a huge bulletin board dedicated to the book, as well. It will always be my favorite story to read to children. Thank you so much. I would love to be able to give each student a copy of this book if we go full remote. I think it would make a huge difference in our learning.

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  68. Lynda,

    Your generosity continues to blow me away!! What a shining example of kindness and light you are for our students. Teaching fourth graders virtually has been difficult for sure. While it was hard enough with children I had already known for an entire school year….I’m nervous to teach kiddos I’ve never met in person through a computer. How do I form a genuine connection and bond via Google Meet? Will they get to know the real me, and I them? How will I be able to do my favorite part of every school day: read alouds! I’m sure us teachers will all figure out a way to make it work…we always do… but it’s not an easy road ahead. Thank you for your support of teachers always. We all love you.

    Ashley McMichael
    @AshMcMichael

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  69. This is so great! My kids love listening to FIAT as our read aloud last year. This year, I think our primary focus is going to be on meeting with and teaching the whole child. Focusing on anxiety and social emotional well-being as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation. I am sharing this offer on Facebook and Twitter… 🤞 I never won anything, but this one I’d really LOVE to win!
    (@tayemaddison) (taye.maddison@tdsb.on.ca)

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  70. Our biggest issue is not having the materials or support for remote
    or hybrid learning.

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  71. Thank you so much for your continued support of the teaching community. We are teaching face to face and virtually. Our school year was delayed two days at first and then an additional week. That week was really needed to grasp the mechanics of a new online program. I was able to record lessons and instructions for my virtual students for the first week, but it came at personal expense. It took hours on a Friday night. I’m not sure I have that much time and energy to do that every week while also teaching face to face.

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  72. We are set to go back Sept. 8 face to face learning! There is still much planning being done by our board so we do not have any specifics yet! I am excited to be back in the classroom but am struggling to plan when I do not have an idea of what we can and can not do and what a ‘normal day’ may look like!

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  73. I love “Fish in a Tree” and think we all need a little empathy right now and grace as we navigate these unpredictable times. I wish I could write something more inspiring but I am brain fried and tired as I just heard we will be teaching remotely…The original game plan was to start school with social distancing expectations in place and we have been getting our classrooms ready for the last week. Kids were supposed to start on Monday but our cases went up….

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  74. Just figuring out where to start has been my biggest challenge. Where to start with curriculum and planning, how to arrange desks, teach new routines. I feel like a first year teacher again.

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  75. Wow, it has certainly been a strange six months. So far this year, each task I can complete feels like a huge accomplishment. The last months of the 2019-2020 school year were a whirlwind, but they seem mild in comparison to now. The struggle we are facing now is learning an entirely new online platform in less than a month and with three days until school starts, we are still unable to upload anything due to courses and students not being added. Right now, having a positive-look-at-the-bright-side attitude, is a must!!! So, I’ll continue to celebrate crossing things off of my To Do list! I am grateful that when I get home, I can spend time with my family, unwind and then curl up with a good book.

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  76. Hi! What an amazing gift package you are offering! Thank you!

    My class theme is “In this classroom you are safe, seen, heard, and celebrated.” I strive to meet the needs of my kids’ social and emotional health daily, in many ways. One of the ways I do this is through daily chapter book read alouds. I love Fish In a Tree, and it’s included in my stack of read aloud books for the school year. The kids love it, too. Fish In a Tree offers great opportunities for discussions about empathy, tolerance, and self-love.

    With the strange year that lies ahead, I’d love to give my kids their own copies so they can follow along while I’m reading, whether it be in person or virtually.

    As for me, my biggest challenge right now is I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed. I am teaching remotely, coaching colleagues on tech practices, and taking graduate level classes, all while balancing my family and home life. Whew! I know I’m not alone, as many of us are in the same boat. Time for some deep breaths.

    Thanks so much for what you’re doing! #ItMatters and you are so very appreciated. Much love to you! #GoodGoesAround. Thanks for being a part of it!

    Love, Karrie

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  77. Thank you so much for your amazing work, Lynda. I’m writing from Cape Cod, MA. I first learned of Fish in A Tree in 2015, when Pernille Ripp chose it for the GRA. My fifth graders and I fully participated in the GRA that year. We made global connections with fifth graders from around the world. We used Skype to have discussions and make connections. I’ve continued to read FIAT every year. Students fall in love with Ally and many can relate to her. I plan to start off the year reading FIAT remotely this year. It will be our first read aloud and I plan to use Sceencastify to share my screen so that students may follow along. While the technology is great, there is nothing like a child holding a book in their hands. That’s going to be the challenge this year, getting books in their hands. As teachers, we need to make it happen. Thanks for the opportunity and for all of your great writing. TeamFive loves all of your books!

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  78. I am currently reading Fish In a Tree to my 5th graders for our pets and paperbacks time. They can not get enough and are so engrossed as I read the story that when times up they don’t want me to stop. I feel like I can connect to Ally in the story because right now nobody understands. We are doing the impossible but making it possible. Everyday there are so many opportunities and challenges to overcome. I feel like Ally that I try not to get in trouble but I do get in trouble in the since when my lesson plan fails due to technology problems or students don’t show up and I have to repeat my lesson and record it. It’s a lot of trial and error. We just have to keep o. Though because at the end of the day the most important thing is making the connections with our students and seeing them happy.

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  79. The beginning of the year has been challenging with my own children going back to school and teaching. My husband and I are both teachers so there is a lot of learning and teaching happening in this house.

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  80. Thank you so much for always supporting teachers! Sadly, not all are supporting us the way they did in the spring. Adapting to ever changing recommendations and restrictions has been the biggest struggle as we prepare to return to the classroom.

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  81. Not back to school just yet, but I taught summer school this year. I have to say that the kids were pretty good about wearing their masks if they came in with them, but all the extra handwashing and sanitizing of materials did take away from instructional time. I teach special ed and it was impossible to social distance from our students. Right now High needs are slated to go back in person, but waiting on a vote this week to hopefully change that. Because if it isn’t safe for all, then it’s not safe for our most vulnerable.

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  82. Thank you, Lynda, for this opportunity! In the midst of this pandemic, you’re bringing some positivity to many educators and children. I have been experiencing major anxiety since my son and I have asthma, and my parents are also immune-compromised. One thing that has kept me sane is thinking back to times spent in the library learning commons, with students who love being in the space and the excitement that new resources brings to the school. I appreciate your offer so much!

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  83. I am so excited to go back to school and help my students make connections. It is a scary time to be in a classroom right now but as a Teacher I need to put on that brave hat and help my students find their path in this new unsettling world. Learning about others challenges in this book is so empowering and offers so many great opportunities for dis us soo s about learning. What a wonderful way to start a school year. Thank you for writing this wonderful novel!

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  84. I teach in a small village school in Devon, UK, on the river Dart.
    My first day is tomorrow and the ‘read aloud’ I have in my bag is Fish in a Tree!
    I read it this summer and – of all the books out there – I’ve decided that this is the one to begin the school year. I would love to ‘win’ your generous prize.
    I’m not on twitter but I can share on Facebook and in my Whats App group.

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