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Kassia Omohundro Wedekind
Kassia Omohundro Wedekind spent many wonderful years as a classroom teacher and math coach in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia and now splits her time between being an independent math coach and an editor at Stenhouse Publishers. Her favorite days are spent in classrooms learning from the many ways children talk, listen and negotiate meaning together.
Kassia and her co-author, Christy Thompson, met at Bailey’s Elementary School where they learned together and became friends through book studies, co-teaching math together, and participating in a series of particularly grueling after school yoga classes. Later Kassia became a math coach and Christy became a literacy coach at Belvedere Elementary School where they explored a mutual interest in building classroom communities rooted in discourse and exploring the crossover between math and literacy.
Kassia is also the author of Math Exchanges: Guiding Young Mathematicians in Small-Group Meetingsand a chapter co-author of Choral Counting and Counting Collections:Transforming the PreK-5 Math Classroom.
Kassia lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, Aron, who shares her love of sushi and coffee (but not served together). Their children, Louisa and Frank, are skeptical of sushi and prefer hot chocolate. They all share a love of going to the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings where they eat chocolate croissants and almost never buy vegetables.
Kassia Omohundro Wedekind and Christy Hermann Thompson:::100130
Hands Down, Speak Out
Few skills are as critical or as rare today as the ability to hear and comprehend what other people are saying. The authors of Hands Down, Speak Out argue that we need new tools to teach the art of listening and they've put forward a simple yet transformative model for encouraging student conversations that are inclusive, empowering, and rich in content. This classroom guide for grades K-5 is particularly needed in the aftermath of two disrupted school years.
Teaching Foundational Skills Across Subjects:Hands Down, Speak Out is a practical guide for teaching listening and talking skills that span both literacy and math instruction and can be applied to a multitude of curriculums.
K-5 Classroom Management Focused on Dialogue: Too often, the practice of hand-raising favors the performance of answers by a few students over the construction of meaning involving the whole class. Help all students develop dialogue skills that will deepen their understanding of literacy and mathematics, as well as of themselves, their communities, and the world.
28 Student-Centered Micro Lessons: Each of these short, incremental lessons build specific skills during content instruction rather than taking time away from it. Students will be energized by a discourse structure in which their ideas and voices take the lead while teachers focus on listening and facilitating.
Nurturing Disagreements: The authors provide guidance for managing difficult conversations by teaching students to engage in debate and discussion in a way that values listening equally with talking. Students are able to spend time developing active listening and speaking skills in a constructive environment.
"When we build talk communities with children, our greatest hope is that what they learn through talking about reading, writing, and math is matched by what they learn about living in the world with others," write Kassia Omohundro Wedekind and Christy Hermann Thompson. Hands Down, Speak Out demonstrates how teachers and leaders can run inclusive and accessible classrooms that respect each student's level of participation.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion