Blogs, Bagels, & Books!

For those of you who have followed this blog for awhile now, you may now that I am a big fan of Donna from Math Coach's Corner. I've bought several of her products and have used them with even my students who struggle the most; the great part is through her attention to detail in lessons and games my students "get it." It's amazing.

Something else that I find a little amazing is the fact that Donna bopped by my blog this week. Not only that, but she contacted me last night to tell me she is featuring that post on her Blogs & Bagels weekly spot today! I was just a wee bit excited when I read that last night. I'm not sure my husband truly understood why I had the level of excitement that I did.


If you would like to see my math games post that was featured you can click on the picture below. Or, an even better idea, click to go back to Donna's blog, read up on my post and four others and then click to follow for more great math ideas throughout the week!

Onward now to a great linky that is going to hurt my wallet in the very near future: Mentor Texts with the Collaboration Cuties. (Scholastic Warehouse sale is coming up in a couple of weeks and my wishlist has grown exponentially due to this linky, and garage sales are popping up...)

This week the topic is social studies. I tried very hard this week to narrow it down to just one book; this was not an easy feat! I have a deep love for history, so I have worked hard to include engaging nonfiction and historical fiction books within my classroom library. Today I'm highlighting a book from one of my all time favorite children's authors: Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco.

Below is what Leah Polacco shared about the book, I think she does a much more fitting job than I do of telling about this heartwarming story.

 Pink and Say highlights the brief but intimate friendship of two young boys, Pinkus Aylee (Pink) and Sheldon Curtis (Say), during the Civil War. When wounded attempting to escape his unit, Say is rescued by Pink, who carries him back to his Georgia home where he and his family were slaves. While the frightened soldier is nursed back to health under the care of Pink’s mother, Moe Moe Bay, he begins to understand why his new found friend is so adamant on returning to the war; to fight against "the sickness" that is slavery. However it isn’t until marauders take Moe Moe Bay’s life, that Say is driven to fight. Although ultimately, both boys are taken prisoners of the Confederate Army, fortunately Say survives and was unable to pass along the story of Pink and Say to his daughter Rosa, Patricia Polacco’s great grandmother. As it was told, Pink was hanged just shortly after being taken prisoner, therefore Patricia’s book "serves as a written memory" of him. At the end of the story Patricia bids the reader, "Before you put this book down, say his name (Pinkus Aylee) out loud and vow to remember him always."
One of the more heartwarming moments of the story is when Say tells Pink and his mother that he once shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln. Convinced that his encounter is a "sign" of hope, Say reaches for Pink’s hand, exclaiming, "Now you can say you touched the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln!" At the end of the story when the boys are separated, Pink reaches for Say one last time to touch his hand.
After hearing this story from Patricia Polacco in the words of generations preceding, I eagerly touched her hand; the hand that has touched the hand, that has touched the hand… I can assure you, the hope is still alive!

One last resource that I want to share with you. The Smithsonian's History Explorer has over 300 books cataloged that would be great to draw from for any social studies unit. This site seems to be updated frequently as well. Each book has a brief synopsis, whether it's fiction or nonfiction, and a grade level band that the book would be appropriate for. This is just one little segment of a website with a wealth of information. 

Be sure to link up and share your favorite social studies texts with the Collaboration Cuties!


  1. I love all books by Patricia Polacco! Pink and Say is one of my favorites. I read this book during the first month of school and we focus a great deal on the friendship that is shared in the book.

    Foreman Teaches

  2. I just read Pink & Say to my students this week, too. I need to go check out the Smithsonian History Explorer. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love all her books so I'm sure I'll love this one! Addng it to the ever-growing list just like you. ;)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. A difficult topic for kiddos in our grade level but PP is such a great author. We could definitely incorporate this book into lessons with some of our advanced readers. Have a nice weekend!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  5. I love teaching with Patricia Polacco books. I don't have this one but have read and love it. I'll have to add it to my list to purchase now that you reminded me of it! :o)


  6. I totally get what you said about your husband! He tries to be interested and get it, but . . . . Congrats on being featured. That blog is my teaching partner's (she teaches math and science) absolute favorite!! We met Donna at the Houston blogger met up, and she was so excited!

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  7. Don't you LOVE Patricia Polacco! My favorite is The Bee Tree! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love Pink and Say-such a beautiful book! Congratulations on being featured!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  9. I feel happy for you- I'll check out that post in the near future! I love Patricia Polacco books... such heartwarming stories!

    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  10. Just read this last week as part of my school's book bracketology challenge. All week my kids were saying things like "This is the hand that touched the desk that the principal touched." Good book choice!
    Scholastic warehouse sales are the best!! I love that they come in the spring when some of my books need to be weeded out.


  11. Congrats on being featured - I love that blog - I understand why you would be so excited even if your husband didn't!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  12. I adore this story because it is so touching. Brings a tear to my eye every time I read it. Just found your blog with the mentor text linky and have become a follower. As a former fifth grade teacher of many years, I miss using this text. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  13. Patricia Polacco is one of my very favorite authors. I have this book. I have not read it. I heard it was sad. I just haven't brought myself to read it yet. Polacco has a way with words and I knew I'd probably cry. I'll have to man up and read the book...

    Congrats on being featured! Yay! And husbands just don't understand. But that's ok, cuz that's why you have friends like us who do and can celebrate with you!!!

    Collaboration Cuties


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