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Read Aloud Magic

Jen Court reminds us of the power of reading aloud to students and pushes us to remember the importance of planning to use books to engage students and hone teaching points.

Anthologies to Diversify Middle School Reading Instruction

Christy Rush-Levine offers a booklist of anthologies to diversify middle school reading instruction. In this robust list, everyone will find a new addition to use as a whole-class text.

Picture Books to Help Navigate Difficult Emotions (Booklist)

Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills share a meaningful book list to help navigate emotions that come from difficult experiences such as the death of a loved one, moving homes, or an unexpected diagnosis.

How Many? Counting Opportunities in Picture Books

Bitsy Parks shares the importance of counting and a booklist of picture books that lend themselves to counting opportunities.

Picture Books with Recipes to Foster Math Engagement

Mandy Robek shares a delicious list of picture books with recipes to connect reading and math engagement.

What I Am Reading the First Week of School

Jen Court plans to fill the first days of first grade with experiences around books. Selecting books carefully to create a sense of community in the classroom from the very beginning is the goal of this first-week booklist.

Befriending Characters in Times of Grief (Booklist)

Melissa Quimby shares a booklist that offers comforting characters to befriend in times of grief. This is a staple for all classrooms.

Bring Me Something Funny (Booklist)

Cathy Mere offers a booklist in response to a teacher’s response to “Bring me something funny.” These books are sure to fill your classroom with lighthearted laughter.

Creating Thematic Text Sets for Inquiry

Stephanie Affinito guides us to carefully curate text sets so that not only are they suited to students’ interests, but students are guided through the sequence of reading them. There’s no better way to launch students’ curiosity and reading motivation!

Five Books for Teacher Reflection

Stephanie Affinito offers five picture books to encourage teachers to relax and consider how to prioritize their own wellness.

Transitional Chapter Books: A Deeper Look at Features and Formats (Booklist)

Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills share a robust booklist for transitional chapter books. There is more incidental representation than ever, and a variety of formats welcome young readers to chapter books.

Intergenerational Booklist

Bitsy Parks shares the process of building a booklist to deepen the connections and synthesis of culture, family structure, and experiences. Use this booklist of 10 picture books to lead a powerful conversation in your classroom and empower young students to grow in their analysis.

Novels in Verse (Booklist)

Leigh Anne Eck curates a fantastic booklist of novels in verse for middle-grade and young adult readers.

What Criteria Should We Use When Selecting Whole-Class Texts?

Christy Rush-Levine reminds us that text selection affects students. By shaping a unit of study to contain texts of varying formats and representing a wide variety of characters, students are empowered to develop their own ideas even while reading a whole-class text. Download a diverse text list to deepen a discussion of how family shapes identity.

Book Talk: Sheets and Delicates by Brenna Thummler

Christy Rush-Levine pairs Brenna Thummler’s books Sheets and Delicates in a book talk for her sixth-grade class.

Books to Fuel Creativity and Imagination

Stella Villalba shares books that will fuel your creativity and nourish your imagination.

Picture Books that Help Construct a Wider Definition of Home

Stella Villalba compiles a book list about the topic of home. She shares the way she allows students to co-construct their own understanding of home by using picture books that provide a variety of lenses through which to view the topic.

Lead with Art, and Literacy Will Naturally Follow

Stella Villalba widens our perspective by sharing the link between art and literacy with suggested picture books to help build the bridge.

Beyond Personal Narrative: A Change in Perspective

Cathy Mere nudges us to consider perspective as a craft move and provides a stack of mentor texts in this book list.

Building Informed Empathy with Picture Books

Nawal Qarooni Casiano shares three gorgeously varied picture books and guiding questions designed to cultivate an inquisitive stance and informed empathy in students.

Best Graphic Novel Adaptations for the Middle Grades

Shari Frost shares her favorite graphic novel adaptations for the middle grades.

Picture Books That Affirm and Celebrate Students’ Identities

Stella Villalba shares picture books to celebrate and affirm students’ identities.

Issues Overload

Shari Frost finds that the issues students may be dealing with in some children’s books can be overwhelming. She shares some of her favorite books for grappling with one troubling topic at a time.

Picture Books for Mental Wellness

Mandy Robek learns a lot about worry from her daughter, and discovers a treasure trove of picture books to promote mental wellness and help students cope with difficult emotions.

Meet Someone New Monday: Using Picture Book Biographies to Bring Marginalized Voices into the Classroom

Melissa Quimby creates “Meet Someone New Monday” to inspire students with picture book biographies of little-known artists, activists, and citizens who accomplish remarkable feats.

Letting Students Organize Informational Books

Mandy Robek is a little nervous about setting her students loose to organize informational texts, but she couldn’t be more pleased by what they learn in the process.

Reassuring Worried Children with Picture Books

Mandy Robek learns a lot about worry from her daughter, and at the same time discovers a treasure trove of children’s books to help students overcome worries.

Reading and Writing for the 100th Day of School

The 100th day of school has become an opportunity for classroom and schoolwide celebrations. Shari Frost provides many resources to ensure reading and writing are front and center on this special day.

Raising Student Voices: Mentor Texts

Helping students find and raise their voices so that they can someday change the world is one of the most important things we do. Cathy Mere shares some of her favorite mentor texts for this essential work.

Detour Texts

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain the concept of “detour texts”—picture books to use as mentor texts in the intermediate grades to illustrate complex literary elements. They also share three of their favorite new children’s books to use as detours.

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