If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that every other year the school where I work holds an all school read. Students are given a copy of the chosen book, participate in school led activities and the culmination is a visit from the author. This year the chosen book for the all school read is All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall.
The book is based on actual events and set in a junior high school in Cleveland, Ohio. That alone immediately makes me bias as I am Northeast Ohio born and bred. As a Northeastern Ohio resident herself, it is understandable that Pearsall uses the streets of Cleveland as the setting for a few of her books.
The story follows Mr. Collins, a beyond frustrated seventh grade math teacher who is looking for any way to motivate his students. As an educator, I could feel his pain. I have had that moment in the middle of lesson where the faces of the students are blank and you just know that no one is learning. In that moment you want something, anything that will engage your students. In his effort to reach his students Mr. Collins takes the suggestion to enter a contest. That contest becomes building the largest tetrahedron. One so large that it beats records and can land Mr. Collins and his students in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Pearsall does an excellent job of drawing you in to each of the main characters. The students who become members of the “club” to build the tetrahedron are complex characters who on the surface seem like your typical run of the mill teenagers. As you continue on, you realize that is not the case. The “club” becomes an outlet for them as they deal with everything else in their lives. Broken families and dreams that may not materialize are real issues that affect many young people today. It is also one of the reasons that many young people can relate to the characters in this book. Pearsall has created characters that are in your schools and classes right now. Will the club meet their deadline to finish the tetrahedron or will they get thrown out of shape? Pun intended! 🙂 Read to find out!
All of the Above is a must read for you and your students! I forgot to mention that there are also tasty recipes included in the book. Mrs. Pearsall will visit our school this week to speak with students and families. Students have also created their own tetrahedrons. Check my instagram account for updates later this week!
If you are looking to create your own tetrahedron like the one above, click here for directions. You could use a Cricut machine to get a precise cut for your individual pieces.
Until next time, read on! Kandi B