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Growing up, one of my favorite movies was the Wizard of Oz. I was so enthralled by the Land of Oz – the elaborate outfits, the vibrant colors, the enchanting characters…One of my favorite parts of the movie was the “horse of a different color” scene, where Dorothy is captivated by the steed that seemed to shift its shade as it pulled her carriage through the Emerald City. How did they do that?! Magic, perhaps?

"Horse of a Different Color" from the Wizard of Oz


How thrilling it is for eager young minds to believe that every day, ordinary events and places can be transformed beyond our wildest dreams. Of course, we all know that Toto pulls the curtain back on the Wizard, revealing an ordinary human being, just like us, creating extraordinary illusions. And that “horse of a different color?” Did you know that the production crew created that using Jell-O powder on four different white horses and some simple camera tricks? The horses had to be prevented from licking the powder off of themselves between takes! Magic tricks seem mystical, until you know the secret behind the sleight of hand.


We are in for an unforgettable summer as we kick off the NAAE Virtual Book Club reading Make Learning Magical by Tisha Richmond! You don’t have to rub Jell-O on horses or wave a magic wand to make your classroom a place of excitement and inspiration for your students. This book will pull back the curtain to show you new strategies and gamified experiences that you can easily implement into your curriculum. Let’s get started!


In chapter two, Tisha describes the ways she creates “Memorable Beginnings” in her classroom using the psychology of color, homey accents and sincerity in getting to know students. Before we begin our journey together, let’s take some time to get to know each other!


1. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, and a few of the classes you teach.
2. Answer at least one of these:


- If you could wave a magic wand and create the perfect classroom, what would it look like? (Draw a picture and post it with your response!)
- What is a tried and true strategy or idea you have already implemented into your teaching that makes learning more magical for your students? (Let's swap ideas!)

Welcome and thank you to those who have signed up for this summer's book club.  We are excited to get started and hope everyone was able to purchase the book.  

Our first assignment is to read Chapters 1-3.  We will post the discussion questions and activities on Monday of each week and we would like for you to complete the discussion questions as well as any activities for this first assignment by Friday, June 14th.  Please be on the look-out for the complete assignment timeline to be posted very soon.  


Happy Reading!!!