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Before getting started, I just want to point out that teachers have been amazing over the last few weeks. I’ve watched entire districts mobilize to provide online and long-distance instruction while also providing a safe way for kids to get breakfast and lunch. Someone tweeted to me that his entire school has made sure that each child has had a phone call from a teacher.

That’s pretty amazing.

It’s no wonder so many people will mention the name of a teacher when asked about who had the greatest impact on their life.

During this time of social isolation (at least that’s what I’m experiencing here in Oregon) my goal has been to create free content that teachers and parents will find useful. Last week, I created a guide and a toolkit. I also wrote a more personal post about providing spaces of permission. I also created a free writing prompt specifically for kids who are in social isolation.

You can download it here. You can embed the YouTube video or add the video in something like Google Classroom. The only thing I ask is that if you find it useful, please consider clicking the “like” button on the video below and maybe sharing it out on social media? Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel as well.

I’m Releasing a Free Novel

I also wanted to announce a small project that I’m starting today. As a dad, I’ve noticed that my kids are feeling a little anxious and stir crazy being stuck at home. I believe social isolation is the right thing to do and we are sticking with this as a family. However, that doesn’t make it any easier for my kids.

For this reason, I am writing a chapter a day in a children’s book. The age range is somewhere around 9-13. Think middle grades. I understand the need for children to process what they are feeling and to dive into rich stories with a powerful social message. There are some great books that will help children do that. However, I also think kids need to have an escape. They need to laugh and goof off and play. With that in mind, I am going to be sharing a fiction story. This is a new iteration of a story I told a few years ago to my kids a few years ago. I’m hoping other kids enjoy it as much as my kids did. Each day, I will release a new chapter with text and audio, along with a few discussion questions.

 

Overview

Tony Repugno is your average boy. Okay, he’s not your average boy. In fact, Tony isn’t even a boy. He’s a slice of pizza that came to life after a freak lab mistake. His whole life, Tony has been stuck at home in order to keep his thin crust safe and avoid the mockery of being different. But after his father goes missing, Tony leaves the house and heads off on a wild adventure where he must save the city from a sentient robot monster. He’s not the hero they asked for. He’s probably not even the hero they need. But he’s the only hero that showed up today, so that counts for something, right? For years, Tony has wanted to be normal. Now, he’s about to learn that the very thing that makes him different might just be what saves the day.

You can check out the first chapter here.

How to Get It

Each day, I will send out the text and the audio file via email. I will also embed the audio and text on this site. You can then share the site with your students or their families. You can also email out the files or embed them into a learning management system such as Google Classroom. Each day, I’ll include a few discussion questions as well.

Sign up below for access:

John Spencer

John Spencer

My goal is simple. I want to make something each day. Sometimes I make things. Sometimes I make a difference. On a good day, I get to do both.More about me

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