Melanie is the Director of Teaching and Learning at Berman Hebrew Academy.

Which One Does Not Belong?

I am an avid shopper on Amazon Prime- especially when it comes to children's books. I believe the secrets to happiness and health can be found in children's books. I also believe that the foundation for amazing PD can be found in these colorful pages. My latest acquisition is no exception. Christopher Danielson uses the pages of his book, to ask the question, Which One Doesn't Belong. He prefaces each page by explaining that there is no right or wrong answer to the question on each page. He simply has images of 4 shapes that seem to have much in common but just as many differences. I don't always share my purchases with my 16 year old son, when he was much younger he was the one that had a stack a mile high for us to read before bed. This book intrigued him and we read it together pushing each others' thinking and asking each other questions about our choices. How often during his school day is he asked to think out loud, to listen to his peers as they grapple with simple and more complex questions? Where is his voice in the conversation of what is different and what is the same? I ask the same question about professional development. When I look through the pages of this book, I can envision teachers sitting together having conversations about math, about asking good questions, about allowing themselves and their students to debate, share, and create potential answers and even more questions about similarities and differences. How do we make professional development stick and be meaningful? Allow the teachers the opportunity to explore, discover and share- start with a page from a children's book- Which book would you use?