When An Elephant Comes To School by Jan OrmerodWhat happens when an elephant goes to school? Well he fits right in so he can learn, nap, paint, and dance, of course!
When an elephant comes to school he may be shy at first. A special friend can show him where to put his lunch box.
The first day of school is hard, especially when you are an elephant. But with the help of some new friends, any elephant could get into the swing of things. Jan Ormerods beautifully illustrated story, WHEN AN ELEPHANT COMES TO SCHOOL, is sure to delight and dazzle any child with excitement and imagination. What would your child do if an elephant came to his or her school?
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Films are less wild, less messy, less alive and energetic. More documentarians should take cues from Cassavetes and less from advertising and grant qualifiers. - Thank you! This elephant needs help in finding where to put his stuff; he needs lots of hugs; he loves story time and quiet time; he steps on toes by mistake, but he has his strengths, too, like giving science experiments an extra oomph and being a good ball handler.
The gentrification of many of our big cities is providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a large number of racially and socioeconomically integrated schools. But to capitalize on this opportunity, urban schools that currently serve a predominantly poor and minority population must find a way to attract and retain the gentrifiers—mostly white, upper-middle-class, highly educated parents. After interviewing more than 50 of these gentrifiers about their school-choice process, I concluded that it is the substantive differences in parenting styles between the white, upper-middle-class parents and the nonwhite, less-affluent parents that are hindering school integration, as these parenting styles directly affect school culture and expectations. This article explores how the disparate cultures found in gentrifying neighborhoods clash in schools, and the pivotal role school leaders play in determining whether integration succeeds or fails, based on their ability and willingness to bridge the two worlds. The cultural differences between the newcomers and the old-timers in gentrifying neighborhoods can be easily, though inadequately, summarized: white, upper-middle-class families prefer a progressive and discursive style of interaction with their children, both at home and in school, and lower-income, nonwhite families prefer a traditional or authoritarian style of interaction with their children in these same venues. In my research on school choice, one cultural disparity came up repeatedly as a reason for why white parents leave the schools they are trying to integrate. They were put off by near-constant yelling—from principals, teachers, school aides, and nonwhite parents who come to drop off and pick up their kids.
Headings identifying [End Page 32] the time or activity "Morning Time," "Arts and Crafts," "Storytelling" introduce each two-page spread, while a loose narrative line describes the elephant's likes, dislikes, and skills in simple language. Post-it-like notes in printed penmanship sprinkle the pages with advice to other students who may have an elephant join their class "Show him the bathroom right away," and "When he falls, make a big fuss over him" , adding a dash of humor to the otherwise unremarkable summary of a day's events. Not surprisingly, the elephant has many of the same needs and likes of his human counterparts, revealing the story for what it is: an overextended metaphor, punctuated by the occasional elephant joke, about what to do when a new student joins your class. The ginger-colored elephant is sized like a baby elephant, making him bigger than the students but not gigantic, and the physical interactions between the kids and the elephant are humorously rendered. The pastel-colored compositions, roughly sketched in pencil and then painted in, are generally washed out, though occasional bright splashes add some visual interest to the compositions.
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