Award winner: Bumbling Bea What’s a girl to do? Plenty.

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To purchase a copy of Bumbling Bea, go to Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Bumbling-Bea-Deborah-Baldwin/dp/1500390356

 

Find my award winning book at Amazon.com

both ebook and paperback

New Book reviews on Bumbling Bea

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New Book reviews on Bumbling Bea

 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️”Funny, well-plotted and populated with memorable characters. The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️” You really capture the spirit of those awkward early teen years. And I love the dinners described in flags of the world terms! Great job!” Amazon reviewer 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “This type of book is not my usual genre, but I have to admit it was a painfully good read.” Amazon reviewer 


Kamishibai Storytelling Unit– Engaging and Unique for Your Students

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Are you looking for an oral communication unit for your students? Check out my Kamishibai Storytelling unit on teacherspayteachers.com

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kamishibai-Storytelling-The-Paper-Drama-326037

What are Super Hero Postcard Stories? 

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What are Super Hero Postcard Stories? 

Another lesson plan is up! 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Storytelling-Super-Hero-Post-Card-Stories-3238578

The Reasons These Shows are My Favorite Broadway Musicals

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The Reasons  These Shows are My Favorite Broadway Musicals

 

I adore Broadway musicals.  I admit it happily and freely. Last weekend we attended the University of Kansas production of Next to Normal (which was well done, I might add) and this Saturday we are seeing American in Paris at the Starlight Theatre.

For seven years,  my husband and I took tour groups of  students and families to New York.  We thought it would be a fitting way for our daughters to be introduced to the city if, in fact, they wanted to pursue a performing career.

Consequently, we saw many musicals while in NYC–twenty-one to be exact.

Broadway and West 34th St.

On occasion, people ask me what are some of my favorite musicals which I’ve especially enjoyed attending.  Here they are in no particular order:

The Phantom of the Opera ( I’ve seen Phantom at least four times. However, a gal I performed with in Columbia, MO had been part of the cast at one time and  was able to take us backstage afterward.)

The Lion King (Took a tour and saw the costumes, masks and set up close and personal. Seen it twice–visually stunning.)

Wicked (We saw Wicked before it was popular and prior to the Tonys.  Got to see Kristen and Edina, too. I heard today Wicked has surpassed Phantom of the Opera as the second longest running musical on Broadway.) Read here:

http://www.playbill.com/article/wicked-surpasses-the-phantom-of-the-opera-as-second-highest-grossing-show-in-broadway-history

Les Mis ( I have seen Les Mis several times, but one performance included my student Becca Ayers in the cast.)

The Drowsy Chaperone (I laughed and laughed. This is one I’d like to direct.  It’s my kind of humor.)

Newsies (What can I say?  It was as much fun to see our kids (with tears in their eyes and  broad smiles)  meeting the cast afterwards as it was to see the show.)

Oklahoma!, Revival (A fella, Justin Bohon, who I directed once in Music Man in Columbia, MO was Will Parker. We were all so proud to be able to say we knew someone in the production.)

Schubert Alley

South Pacific, Revival  (Again, Becca Ayera was in the show. Got to see Kelly O’Hara, too.)

Mary Poppins (Oh my gosh, Mary flew right over us at the end of the show.  I wept.)

Rocky (Who’d think a musical about a boxer could be memorable? When the boxing ring was placed in the audience and Rocky boxed right in front of us, I was awe struck–so clever.)

Chicago (Our first tour was in March, less than a year after 9-11.  I will never forget how anxious we felt touring NYC, but Chicago distracted us from our worries and assuaged our fears of being in the city.  How?  Long legged female dancers and fabulous music!)

What are yours?

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

 

 

 

Like “Dear Evan Hansen”? Then You’ll Love This News

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http://www.playbill.com/article/steven-levenson-benj-pasek-and-justin-paul-writing-dear-evan-hansen-book

A behind the scenes book of the making of the Tony award winning musical, Dear Evan Hansen is coming out in the fall.  This is wonderful!  This came through my email from Playbill.com. The title character, Evan Hansen, is a high school senior with a social anxiety disorder who finds himself amid the turmoil that follows a classmate’s death. The plot is timely and spot on.

awkward boy

Read on:

“Grand Central Publishing told The Associated Press that it will release a new book titled Dear Evan Hansen: Through the Window November 21.

The new book is billed as a “behind-the-scenes” account of the making of the Tony-winning musical, written by the creative team of Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul, and will include personal memories, photographs, unreleased lyrics, and the Dear Evan Hansen libretto.

Dear Evan Hansen: Through the Window is available for pre-order here DearEvanHansenBook.com

The announcement follows the musical’s success at the 71st Annual Tony Awards in June, where it was the most-awarded production of the evening. The show, about a high school student longing for acceptance, was nominated for nine Tonys and won in six categories, including Best Musical.

Ben Platt took home the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his emotional performance in the show’s title role, while Rachel Bay Jones won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her performance as his mother Heidi. Oscar winners Pasek and Paul also took home their first Tony Award for Best Original Score, along with playwright Levenson, who won for Best Book of a Musical. Alex Lacamoire won his third Tony for Best Orchestrations, having previously won for Hamilton and In the Heights.”

awkward boy

Such a terrific source for all of us, whether we are drama teachers are simply lovers of Broadway musicals.  I look forward to seeing this book, don’t you?

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or my website DeborahBaldwin.net

 

 

 

Incredible: My Teacherspayteachers.com store is Open

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Incredible: My Teacherspayteachers.com store is Open

This is amazing for me. I have been trying to get this accomplished for several years. Finally, my brain wouldn’t let go of the idea until I did it. My store is up and open on Teacherspayteachers.com. Check it out will you?

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Dramamommaspeaks
There will be MANY more products available, so keep a look out for them and follow me!

New Jig Saw Puzzle Cover

Super Heros Cover jpg

 

What Everyone Ought to Consider About the Educating of Other People’s Children

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What Everyone Ought to Consider About the Educating of Other People’s Children

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-we-should-care-about-the-education-of-other-peoples_us_593ea655e4b094fa859f1a49

In my daily activity of researching various topics, I found this great article in Huffington Post. Wow, it’s great!  I thought you might be interested, too! 
Why We Should Care About the Education of Other People’s Children

By Arthur H. Camin

It is time to care about the education of other people’s children. Other people’s children are or will be our neighbors. Other people’s children – from almost anywhere in the United States and beyond – could end up as our coworkers. Other people’s children are tomorrow’s potential voters. How, what, and with whom they learn impacts us all. 

That is why we have public schools, paid for with pooled taxes. They are designed to serve the public good, not just to suit individual parent’s desires.
My granddaughter Ellie is almost 2. With each passing day, my wife and I worry more and more about the world in which she will grow up. We worry about what appears to be a celebration of divisiveness, ignorance, helplessness, and selfishness among too many people. We are particularly concerned about whether her education will help prepare her for a happy, successful life in troubled times. I know we are not alone.

In school – either by intention or by omission – children learn to make sense of the world around them. They learn how to treat other children and adults and how to regard others in the wider community. They learn whether or not they can participate in shaping their lives and that of others. They may or may not learn how to live, collaborate and respect all the different people whom they will inevitably encounter in their lives.
We can’t avoid it. What other people’s children learn affects each of us.

When she is ready to enter kindergarten, her parents, Eric and Laura, will probably ask us for advice about sending her to school. The answer is far from simple. They live in New York City where making school attendance decisions is a bit like desperate folks rushing the door when the department store opens on Black Friday. 

Making a decision will be challenging. Too many schools are maniacally focused on raising reading and math test scores. Too many are racially and economically segregated. I know that Eric and Laura will find a way that is best for their child. I’m confident that if their neighborhood school isn’t so great, my son and daughter-in-law will either struggle with other parents and teachers to make it better, find another, or move. Their individual freedom to make those choices is not the kind of freedom I value. It will not help Ellie grow up is a better world.

The easy short-term answer is, “Just worry about your own child. Do whatever you must to find the best school for her.” That is the thinking behind the current bipartisan embrace of three key features of charter schools and the renewed Republican push for vouchers: Schools competing for student enrollment; Parents competing for their children’s entry into the best-fit school of their choice; Schools governed privately rather than through democratically-elected school boards. 

As these strategies gain acceptance and spread, the result is to undermine education as a collective effort on behalf of the entire community. Divided parents and their communities end up with little collective voice. Similarly, without unions, teachers have no unified influence. Millions of personal decisions about what appears to be good for a single child at a moment in time is a recipe for divisiveness, not collective good.

I refuse to accept the ethos of selfishness and winning in a world of ruthless competition. Education policy focused on the educational choices of individual parents is not just morally repugnant but stupid and shortsighted. Does anyone really think that giving every parent the right to choose which school to send their children to is a recipe for raising the next generation of knowledgeable, capable, caring Americans?

Of course, some schools do a better job than others educating for life, work and citizenship. Some of those differences are a function of natural and unavoidable variation. But the big differentials in education outcomes are the result of political decisions about local, state and federal policy and funding. More significant, they are the result our country’s refusal to do anything substantive about the residential segregation and distrust that continually enable, perpetuate, and exacerbate inequity. 
The differences are the result of growing inequality, concentrated poverty, and the purposeful oblivion of those who live comfortable stable, if insulated lives. The differences are the result of an intentional political campaign to convince folks in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum– whose lives are hardly easy or secure– to blame other people who struggle even more, rather than the wealthy 1% who wield the levers of economic and political power.

Tragically, far too many parents have been forced to make morally and politically fraught decisions about their children’s education. Folks see the decision about whether or not to keep their children in a local school of questionable quality as a flight or fight decision.

 That is why the language of individual choice paired with policies that weaken rather than strengthen neighborhood pubic school is so insidiously successful. It is unrealistic to expect many parents who often feel disempowered to choose stay and fight. Instead, we need to build a political movement to do that. Narrow self-regard may be expedient, but it is self-defeating in the long run.
We all should worry and do something about the quality of education of other people’s children. Here are several reasons why. They apply to my granddaughter, but I think most other children too.
Other people’s children learn about whether and how to treat one another in school. Parents differ regarding whether or not they teach children to treat one another with kindness and respect. Some parents teach their kids to just care about themselves, and some teach them to also care about others. The same is true about schools.

 I think these are important, widely-accepted values. In recent testimony, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos–a parent choice zealot, refused to say that the federal government would act to ensure against discrimination. That is not OK! Every school, but especially any that gets taxpayer-generated support should teach kindness and respect. 

Kids don’t live in a bubble. So, no matter what other parents convey, other children my granddaughter encounters will influence her.

Other people’s children, of course, will eventually become adults who live and work together. Leaders across the business, public and non-profit realms all say that they value the same things among workers: good problem solvers, people who can collaborate and communicate well in diverse settings, and improve their talents and keep learning. No matter what and how well Ellie learns, she will be affected by others.


 Anyone like working with deadbeat, ignorant or nasty co-workers or bosses? Schools can’t solve ensure against all of that, but they sure can help. Leaving educational decisions up to individual parents and private charter and voucher boards is a recipe for too much selfishness, discrimination, corruption, and disruption.

Other people’s children will eventually become citizens. Some will vote, and some will decide not to. I hope that more people will vote and do so with the entire community in mind, rather than just one issue or the narrowly perceived interests of a just-like-me group of people. We would all be better off if more Americans treated one another and others around the world with increased rather than diminished decency and respect.

 Because so many communities tend to lack diversity, schools from pre-school though college can be a counterweight that broadens people’s perspective, insight, and empathy. Increasing funding for charter schools and vouchers–or worse, making parental choice the centerpiece of education policy is precisely the wrong road to take.

I won’t tell my son and daughter-in-law what to do about sending their daughter to school. I do not presume to tell other parents either. However, I urge everyone to get engaged politically at the local, state and federal levels to fight for broad equitable education for every child in democratically controlled public schools. 

I urge everyone to support elected officials who will roll back and eventually eliminate funding for charter schools and to steadfastly oppose vouchers.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

I’d love to hear from you! 

Student Survival: The Importance of Pleasure Reading for a Kid

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Student Survival:  The Importance of Pleasure Reading for a Kid

Recently, I was looking for a  pleasure reading book to purchase for my upcoming trip over seas. I was having a difficult time finding one.

books

Some people are selective about the genres they read.  I usually gravitate toward books with quirky characters in ordinary appearing plots. I say “ordinary appearing” because it is always intriguing to find the characters going somewhere else than you expected.

However, I am known to cheat and read the last chapter of a book if a. the story is moving too slowly for me or b. I’m dying to know what happens. When I was a child, my mother would scold me for doing so–still haven’t kicked the habit.  Sorry, Mom.

I worry about kids’ reading preferences. It seems many writers write for whatever trend is popular the time. A few years ago, it was zombies and time travelers. Not every child wants to read fantasy or graphic novels.  That’s why I penned Bumbling Bea.  If you haven’t picked up my book, you might want to try it.  I promise you, it isn’t your run of the mill plot! Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/n5at3oh

I ran on to an article concerning this concern and I thought you’d be interested, too.

Indie Book

Promoting the Pleasures of Reading: Why It Matters to Kids and to Country

June 10, 2017Advocacy, Inquiry, Literacy, Reading, Teachingpleasure readingLu Ann McNabb

This post is written by member Jeffrey Wilhelm.

Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want and Why We Should Let Them was this past year’s winner of the NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in English Education.

The research findings that we report in Reading Unbound have profound implications for us as teachers, for our students, and for democracy.

In our book, we argue that pleasure reading is a civil rights issue. Why? Because fine-grained longitudinal studies (e.g., the British Cohort study: Sullivan & Brown, 2013; and John Guthrie’s analysis of PISA data, 2004, among many others) demonstrate that pleasure reading in youth is the most explanatory factor in both cognitive progress and social mobility over time.

books swirling

Pleasure reading is more powerful than parents’ educational attainment or socioeconomic status. This means that pleasure reading is THE way to address social inequalities in terms of actualizing our students’ full potential and overcoming barriers to satisfying and successful lives.

We think that our data explain why pleasure reading leads to cognitive growth and social mobility.

The major takeaway for teachers is to focus on pleasure in our teaching. Pleasure has many forms: play pleasure/immersive pleasure, when you get lost in a book—this is a prerequisite pleasure and we can foster it in various ways, such as teaching with an inquiry approach, using drama and visualization strategies, etc.; work pleasure, where you get a functional and immediately applicable tool for doing something in your life; inner work pleasure, where you imaginatively rehearse for your life and consider what kind of person you want to be; intellectual pleasure, where you figure out what things mean and how texts were constructed to convey meanings and effects; and social pleasure, in which you relate to authors, characters, other readers, and yourself by staking your own identity.

Kids (like all other human beings!) do what they find pleasurable. You get good at what you do and then outgrow yourself by developing new related interests and capacities.

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Play pleasure develops the capacity to engage and immerse oneself, to visualize meanings and relate to characters. It is the desire to love and be loved. Work pleasure is the love of getting something functional done. Work pleasure is about the love of application and visible signs of accomplishment. Readers engaging in this pleasure cultivate transfer of strategies and insights to life.

Inner work pleasure involves imaginatively rehearsing what kind of person one wants to be. As our informant Helen asserted: “It’s not really learning about yourself, it’s learning about what you could be . . . .” and “Characters are ways of thinking really . . . They are ways of being you can try on.”

Inner work is the love of transformation—of connecting to something greater, of striving to become something more. When our informants engaged in this pleasure, they expressed and developed a growth mindset and a sense of personal and social possibility.

Intellectual pleasure is pursued for the joy of figuring things out; it develops the capacity to see connections and solve problems. Our informants developed resilience, grit, and proactivity through the exercise of this pleasure. Erik Erikson argued that staking one’s identity is the primary task of early to late adolescence and that this is achieved through evolving interests and competence.

Social pleasure involves this human developmental project because it involves relating to authors, characters, other readers, and the self in ways that stake identity. Social pleasure is the love of connection—to the self, others, community, and to doing significant work together. This pleasure develops social imagination: the capacity to experience the world from other perspectives; to learn from and appreciate others distant from us in time, space, and experience; and the willingness to relate, reciprocate, attend to, and help others different from ourselves.

In other words, it promotes cognitive progress, wisdom, wholeness, and the democratic project. In fact, all of the pleasures were found to do this.

Our data clearly establish that students gravitate to the kinds of books they need to navigate their current life challenges, and that many ancillary benefits accrue in the realms of cognition, psychology, emotional development, and socialness. So much so that we developed the mantra: Kids read what they need!

This finding led us to be more trusting of kids’ choices and to ask them about why they chose to read what they did, and eventually to championing these choices. We likewise found that each of the marginalized genres we studied (romance, horror, vampire, fantasy, and dystopia) provided specific benefits and helped students navigate different individual developmental challenges.

Our data also establish that young people are doing sophisticated intellectual work in their pleasure reading, much of it just the kind of work that the Common Core and other next generation standards call for. So making pleasure more central to our practice is not in conflict with working to achieve standards.

Standards and all the other significant goals described here can be achieved if teachers value interpretive complexity as much as they do textual complexity, if they create inquiry contexts that reward entering a story world and doing psychological and social work in addition to more traditional academic goals, and if they provide opportunities for choice and meaningful conversation.

Given the benefits of each pleasure, we are convinced that pleasure reading is not only a civil right, it is a social necessity of democracy.

That is why we urge you to promote pleasure reading in your classroom and school, and it is why our book is filled with practical ideas for how to do so while promoting each of the five pleasures. It is monumental work—and it is work we must undertake with the greatest urgency—particularly at this moment in history.

books

What are some of your favorite genres to read?  I’d love to hear from you.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

The Reason to Value the Broadway Wig Maker

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http://www.npr.org/2014/06/08/319778329/while-broadway-sings-its-praise-the-wigmaker-remains-unsung

The Undervalued Wig MakEr

There are some people who work backstage and behind the scenes of a play who are never acknowledged. One is the wig maker. I ran onto this article in NPR’s Kansas website and thought you’d find it interesting, too!

While Broadway Sings Its Praise, The Wigmaker Remains Unsung

Every time you see a Broadway show, chances are a lot of the actors are wearing wigs.
Sunday night at the 68th Annual Tony Awards, Broadway’s highest honors will be presented in a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Awards will go to actors, actresses, set and lighting designers, but not the people who make the wigs the stars wear, even though the wigs are an essential part of theater craft.

Essential, and yet often invisible, says Jason P. Hayes, the wig designer for Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-nominated play, Casa Valentina.

Jason Hayes spent almost a week weaving thousands of strands of human hair into this 1960s hairdo for Reed Birney’s character, Charlotte, in Casa Valentina. The wig’s name is, appropriately, “Charlotta.”

“The problem with being a good wig designer is that if you do your job properly, no one knows that any of your work is on the stage,” Hayes says.

“I don’t think people realize that half of the people they’re looking at are wearing a wig,” Hayes says. “And that’s where a lot of that labor and that love and that work goes unnoticed, because if you do it properly, no one knows … that you were ever in the building!”

Wigs play a central role in Casa Valentina. The drama is based on a real Catskills resort in the 1960s that catered to heterosexual cross-dressers. So Hayes had to create wigs that weren’t for drag queens, but for transvestites.

“It’s knowing that difference that’s very important and integral to getting the looks and the characters right for Casa Valentina,” he says.

“It’s understanding they’re not drag queens. The whole point of their feminine persona is that you should never notice them.”

For the character of Charlotte, Hayes created a realistic 1960s hairdo, painstakingly crafted on a base created from a mold of the actor’s head.

“It’s a very fine mesh lace, so imagine a cross between what looks like window screening, but is as fine as panty hose,” he explains. “For lack of a better word, you take one strand of hair and you hand-knot that, on that mesh. So, it’s almost like you’re doing latch hook.”

It took Hayes almost a week to weave the thousands of strands of human hair into just this one wig. Actor Reed Birney, who’s nominated for a Tony as Charlotte, says that kind of attention to detail helps him as an actor.

“It really is a crucial aspect of the performance, this wig, especially for me,” Birney says. “Your self-image suddenly changes. I can’t see myself, but I see myself in the mirror and I know I’ve got this honey-colored hair and a big swoop and it really does affect the way you move through space.”

Tony-nominated actress Sarah Greene says the wig she wears in The Cripple of Inishmaan completes her character, a volatile teenager on a remote Irish island in the 1930s. Yet initially the brunette actress resisted.

“When they came with the red wig, I was like ‘Oh no! I want my own hair,’ ” Greene says. “And yet, the minute I put it on, it was just like, ‘Oh no — the bold Helen is here.'”

If an actor is playing multiple characters, a wig can be crucial in helping to define them.

In the Tony-nominated musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, actor Jefferson Mays, who’s also a Tony-nominee, plays eight roles.

For the gender-bending musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, wigmaker Mike Potter made eight wigs and used magnets so actor Neil Patrick Harris can change quickly on stage. Click here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIaFn5lsLd8

The styling of the wigs is important, but so is the stuff they’re made of, says Charles LaPointe, who made the hairpieces for the musical. LaPointe, who’s got an impressive Broadway resume, has a studio with 23 employees.

“We build everything [with] human hair,” LaPointe says. And where does he get the hair?
“Well, we have distributors all over the place,” he says. “We get some from London, that’s like fine Caucasian hair; and then we get Indian hair from Bali; and we get Asian hair from the dime store around the corner.”

Perhaps the most outrageous wigs on Broadway right now sit atop Tony-nominee Neil Patrick Harris’ head in the gender-bending musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Mike Potter has designed all eight of Hedwig’s hairpieces — which evoke the likes of Farrah Fawcett and Tina Turner — in pink. For this show, Potter had to come up with a way for Neil Patrick Harris to change his wigs on the fly. So, he used magnets.

“They’re sown on these hat bases, called buckrams, and Neil has to do all of his own quick changes on stage,” Potter says. “And there are magnets built into his main wig, and so when he’s in the dark behind the car, he just pops it on and it’s like, instantly on his head.”

The actor will be showing off those expensively shaped locks on the Tony Awards broadcast Sunday evening. Harris wouldn’t be Hedwig without wigs, Potter says.

“They’re really a huge integral part of the character,” he says. “I mean, ‘wig’ is in her name!”