Black boy Joy! Black Girl Magic!

….and finally the world woke up!

I don’t know what it is about the time of Corona Virus that finally made White people wake up to the killing of Black People.

Black Lives Mattered.

They have always mattered.

When African KIngs and Queens were stolen from Africa to build this country called the United States of America.

When this country was built on land stolen from the indigenous tribes already living here by White people.

At the first Thanksgiving the Wampanoag brought corn and farming and hospitality. We gave them smallpox and encrouachment and death.

Two hundred years later, despite the genocide that has been done to black and brown bodies, we still enjoy Black Genius, Black Music, Black Poetry, Black Brilliance, Black Joy!

I say this as a White Jewish Cis-gender Hetero Male who has been given ALL the privileges and ALL the advantages. But I don’t want to play any game where the deck is so stacked against all the other players.

I say this as White Jewish Male who every year for over 40 years has celebrated the survival of being a Jew in the world. No, I have not experienced much anti-semitism directly. But yes, I am reminded every year by my cultural rituals that we too were slaves in Egypt. I am AWARE that we will NEVER FORGET the Holocaust and the that many people in many countries-not just Germany- have tried to exterminate our culture, our bodies, and our existence.

So here is my summer project:

I want to De-colonize my classroom by creating a list of 52 books-1 one for each week of the year-where I can feature the brilliance, the joy, the magic of Black boys and Girls.

Because I work in a place called Public School in America where we SAY we want to eliminate the racial achievement gap but really all I see in the past 2 decades is how we collect data but continue to fail.

How about trying to teach children to read by giving them books that act as mirrors to their brilliance not just their absence. (And of course we will teach phonics, and reading skills, and academic rigor but not JUST that!)

I dream of a different world than the one we currently occupy. AND IT’s NOT THAT FAR away.

Geography: How to Research A Place


Geography = Geo (world) + graph (to write) or “writing down the world.”

Your Mission:

  1. Listen to Mr. Avirom read “P is Passport”
  2.  Choose a place you want to learn more about.
    1. Mr. Avirom will model with Minnesota State and Japan
  3. Write down a few questions. Use “Passport” as inspiration.
    1. Homes? Where do people live?
    2. Food? What do they eat?
    3. School? What do they learn in school?
    4. Famous People? Who lives there?
    5. Language? How do they say hello?
  4. Resources:
    1. Epic: Mr. Avirom has shared many collections with you. Check in your “mailbox”
    2. Ducksters :
    3. Mr. Nussbaum: “Landmarks or geography is a good place to start”
    4. PebbleGo!
  5. Take notes on your Geography sheet.
  6. Use the top frame to draw pictures, take notes, and record what you learn!
  7. We’ll share what we learn at the end of the day. You can even make a poster or picolage!

Who is Gene Luen Yang?


  1. He is a teacher

  1. He is a cartoonist / comic book author.

Here’s his website:

Why Comics Belong in the Classroom, 10 minutes

  1. He is the author of ABC or “American Born Chinese”

Here are 9 things to know about him:

Three Little Birds

The Saint Paul Civic Symphony came to our school on Tuesday, May 16th. Carol Henseler has been working very hard to organize for us this concert.

Would you like to hear the story again? Watch the video below and then retell it in your own words and pictures. Can you retell it in just 6 or 7 scenes?


“What happens when characters from Star Wars, the movie, attend a classical music concert? Discover the answer for yourself at one of the Twin Cities most fun, interactive, and free family events for all ages-the Saint Paul Civic Symphony Children’s Concert in collaboration with artists from ArtStart!

Led by artists and performers from ArtStart, the concert features an original composition “The Three Little Birds – A Tale from Guinea, West Africa” composed by Jan Gilbert for symphony orchestra and performers from Duniya Dance & Drum ensemble”


How to Deal With Your Annoying Little Brother…..and GIANTS!

Do you love to write? What should you write about?

Well, you should always: WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW,

even that means writing about your annoying little sibling. That’s what a 1st grade girl from Alabama did, and now she’s a published author!

Here’s another video:


Another great book I’m in love with at the moment is

The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel.

Not only is it a TOON BOOK and a graphic novel but it’s a true story!

That’s right! It’s a biography. Watch more below:



Whatcha Readin’ Mr. Avirom?

Here are some new (to me) books that I’m excited about!

Do you love comic books a.k.a graphic novels?

Do you wish there was something for readers at (Guided Reading) Level  I-J-K?

Well these books are for you!

Blip! and other TOON BOOKS:


Bunny + Ninjitsu = BUNjitsu!



Flat Stanley!


Fly Guy!


Do you like animals? Want to hear about the BEST NEW children’s Books?

Head to…Wild RUMPUS!

rats.JPGWild Rumpus logo extra small_3.jpg

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