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Book Matchmaker: Short Vowel Practice with Older Students

In this installment of Book Matchmaker, Franki Sibberson tackles the tough question of how to find texts for students who need help with short vowels, but are too old to enjoy many primary texts.

Book Matchmaker: Texts to Inspire Our Youngest Readers and Writers

In this installment of the Book Matchmaker series with Franki Sibberson, Franki helps first-grade teacher Danielle think through what books might spark better writing in her young students who are mostly interested in toys and video games.

Using Picture Books to Spice Up Vocabulary Instruction (BOOKLIST)

Picture books are a terrific tool for vocabulary instruction – students have so much fun reading them they are hardly aware of all the new words they are picking up.  Franki Sibberson shares her top picks for spicing up vocabulary instruction in this booklist.

Great Little Books for Professional Book Clubs

What books are most likely to succeed in teacher study groups? Shari Frost shares her criteria for books teachers will embrace. . .and actually read with enthusiasm.

Reorganizing Books in the Reading Support Classroom

Katie DiCesare helps her mom, a reading support teacher, reorganize her materials to better serve students.

Injecting Writing into . . . Everything: Ellipsis Stories

"DOT DOT DOT" – a phrase made famous in Mama Mia, it's also the spark for some writing instruction linked to read alouds from Heather Rader.

Save the Picture Books!

Are picture books endangered species? Sales are plummeting, in part because parents and teachers are pushing students into chapter books at ever-younger ages.  Shari Frost turns a critical eye on her own practice, and brainstorms practical ways to promote the value of picture books in classrooms.

Primary Series Study

Katie DiCesare describes the primary series study unit she completes with her 1st and 2nd graders, combining reading, writing, and community building.

Books and Activities from Around the World to Celebrate the Holiday Season

People around the world celebrate the holidays in different ways, and that diversity provides wonderful learning opportunities this time of year.  Stella Villalba shares literary holiday projects and a booklist around the themes of “peace” and “wishes” that might help students find common ground in family traditions.

Injecting Writing into Everything: Prediction Stories

What happens between kindergarten and upper elementary grades to make students more hesitant about making predictions? Heather Rader has books and teaching suggestions for building prediction skills.

Characters I Know Too Well

Books with themes of sexual abuse may be the most difficult for many of us to grapple with, if only because the issue horrifies us. Yet for some abused teens, a book may be the needed catalyst for breaking their silence about what's going on outside school.  Andie Cunningham shares an annotated booklist on this tough topic.

Book Matchmaker: New Books for Intermediate Readers

From humor to novels in verse, Franki Sibberson shares her top picks for intermediate readers in this Book Matchmaker.

Social Justice Picture Books

If you’re looking for a read aloud to spark some discussions about making a difference in the world, you might enjoy Ruth Shagoury’s new booklist of children’s literature with a  social justice theme.

Creating a Kindergarten Classroom Library

Mandy Robek finds herself overwhelmed when moving from a 3rd grade to kindergarten classroom. Her therapy? Rolling up her sleeves and designing a kindergarten classroom library.

Young Learners and Martin Luther King Day (BOOKLIST)

Teachers of young learners face special challenges in honoring Martin Luther King and dealing with the violent nature of his death at the same time. Mandy Robek offers some insights into how to celebrate King's life with even the youngest students.

Reflections on a Year of Read Alouds

Karen Terlecky mulls over a year of read alouds in her 5th grade classroom as she makes plans for the coming year.

Book Matchmaker: A Friendship Theme for Literature Circles

Franki Sibberson shares her top picks for literacy circles with a friendship theme. This is an excellent theme for building community any time of year.

Using Picture Books to Teach Theme in Grades 3-6

Many students in the upper elementary and middle school grades shun all picture books, yet they are an invaluable resource for teaching sophisticated literacy concepts.  Franki Sibberson explains how to teach the concept of theme using picture books in this booklist.

Ready-to-Go Readers’ Theater Books

If you want to do more with readers’ theater to promote fluency, but can’t afford one of those expensive kits, you’ll enjoy this booklist.  Shari Frost has compiled her favorite  readers’ theater books with texts and illustrations students love.

“This Could Be Our Family”: Books for Children with Lesbian and Gay Parents

Andie Cunningham considers the diversity in how “families” are defined in children’s literature, as well as how some newer books can support children with lesbian or gay parents in our new booklist.

Great Books to Share When Studying the Ecosystem (BOOKLIST)

Karen Terlecky shares books for studying the ecosystem in our this booklist.

Biographies Off the Beaten Path

Here are some quirky biographies that will inspire and delight your students.

Making a Difference: Examples from Children’s Literature (BOOKLIST)

Spring is a time in many schools for volunteer work and community service projects. This booklist will inspire your students.

Character Study in Grades 3-6

A character study unit is a terrific choice early in the school year, since it taps into students' reading histories and favorites from years past. Franki Sibberson has suggestions of books and questions for use in read-alouds.

Great Nonfiction for Elementary Students

As the quality of nonfiction for students has grown, so have our expectations for using these books with students.  Franki Sibberson's presents texts that can help students move beyond "skimming and scanning," and into more in-depth reading.

Mentor Texts for Urban Students

What texts work best for students with urban backgrounds? Shari Frost has suggestions for teachers.

Mentor Texts for Word Choice (BOOKLIST)

Choosing words in writing is a key to effectively communicating ideas. Franki Sibberson finds that the best way to introduce and extend conversations about words is through the use of picture books.

Books That Invite Thoughtful Conversation in Grades K-2

Nothing beats an engaging and fun text to spark conversations among young children. Here are some suggestions of terrific read-alouds to get the chatter started in classrooms.

Picture Books for Shared Reading

Shared reading builds skills and community in Katie DiCesare's 1st grade classroom.

Book Basket Idea: Cars and Trucks

Katie DiCesare remembers books that were fought over among the boys in her 1st grade classroom, and this leads to creating a new basket for the fall on cars and trucks.  She shares a booklist of fun titles in the basket.

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