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No More Strong Girls?

“Why does every heroine have to be a Katniss?" asked Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer. “Aren’t there other ways for girls to be worthy role models without shooting...

Playful Texts for Beginning Readers

Easy as ABC? Child’s play? Not for some kids. For kids who find learning to read difficult, it is critical that we give them the most engaging books that we...

Books That Mirror the Children in Our Classrooms

A book can show you the world but it can also show you a reflection of yourself.                                   Grace Lin We sat in silence. “Comments? Thoughts?” I asked this group...

Graphic Novels for Beginning Readers

“Whoa! Do we get to read this?” asked Malik, holding up a copy of the graphic novel Binky the Space Cat. “No, sweetie,” replied Rochelle. “That book is for the...

Culturally Responsive Texts

We were gathered together on our rug, ready to dive into thinking and feeling along with the characters in a book. Having looked for a text that would be relatable...

Adjusting the Classroom Library for Student Needs

It won’t work. Can I make it work? No, I can’t make it work. This was my circle of thought during the first month of school. I had recently finished...

Teaching Inference Through Picture Books

One reading strategy my fifth graders still struggle with is inference. After years of working with students this age, I think they are making this more complicated than it needs...

Little Levels, Big Thinking

I’m teaching first grade after a year in third grade. It was such a good learning year for me. I realized that lots of books that work in first grade...

Reorganizing Primary Information Texts

Each summer, I think about all the things I want to change in my classroom for the upcoming year. I think about replenishing supplies like chart paper and colored paper,...

Nonfiction Books with More Than One Entry Point

My third graders love facts and information. Often their nonfiction reading lives consist of books that share lots of facts and isolated information about topics they love. I want to...

A Booklist for Grandparents Day

Grandparents are special people for many children. Sometimes they are baby-sitters or day care providers. Sometimes grandchildren live with their grandparents. Sometimes they live far away and only get to...

Read Alouds as “Third Things”

Many things are unpredictable each day in our classroom, but one thing my students can count on is that they will be read to every single day. I read aloud...

Student-Created Text Sets

My students are readers. For at least the two years they are in my classroom for seventh and eighth grade, a time in adolescence when research shows a decrease in...

Closing the Year and Making Space to Remember

Last summer, Kim moved from Long Island to Wellington, Florida. Although the move was an exciting and celebrated adventure for her family, leaving her dear home where both of her...

Favorite Wordless Picture Books for Teaching Inference

When children are first learning to read, figuring out the alphabetic system is often so taxing that grappling with letters and sounds relegates meaning to the back burner. Although we...

Using Picture Books to Foster Resilience

Each year as we work to build a strong classroom community, my fourth graders and I read several picture books focused on learning and working with others. Many focus on...

How to Speak “Friend”

In my morning pre-kindergarten class, we speak many languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and English. As we are considered an English language classroom, our focus is on building understanding and...

Blurring Genres and Real-Life Readers

As a teacher who likes to observe reading trends in my classroom, I sometimes start to lump kids into groups when it comes to reading preferences. For example, I have...

Exploring Literary Nonfiction with Middle School Students

Lately, I have noticed that nonfiction is sometimes hard to categorize because of the innovative ways authors are writing it. It seems more creative and literary than it used to...

Nine Picture Books for Teaching Mindfulness

In our last booklist for Choice Literacy, we shared titles with characters or events that demonstrated mindfulness. In this booklist, we offer picture books with more overt connections to mindfulness....

Multicultural Series Books

There were about 20 emails in my inbox that morning in March. They all had the same subject line: “Where are the people of color in children’s books?” The emails...