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Eight Picture Books That Show (vs. Tell) How to Be Mindful

Charlotte’s Web is arguably the most read, and perhaps the most beloved, chapter book in elementary classrooms. Of late, we’ve been learning and thinking about the value of mindfulness, and...

Top 10 Intermediate Books for Boys

Two years ago I stood side by side with a student, glancing over the shelves of books in my classroom. Matt was, by his own definition, a nonreader. He knew...

Books for Studying Illustration with First Graders

After many weeks of helping students get acquainted with the routines in writing workshop, I am excited to begin our first study. With such young writers, the notion of study...

Books for Brain Breaks

The bathroom. I couldn’t believe we were talking about the bathroom during my teacher evaluation last year. I thought I had a great plan for using the bathroom. My kindergarten...

A Strong Foundation: Books and Media for Launching Literacy Workshops

Beginnings are important, whether it is building a new relationship, building a home, or starting a new school year. Lucy Calkins talks about building invisible structures so that the deeper,...

Launching Writing Workshop: Mentor Texts

Writing is more than crafting an opinion, a narrative, or an informational piece to meet a standard. As I think about launching a writing workshop unit in second grade, I...

Launching Reading Workshop: Mentor Texts

Unless we reach into our students’ hearts, we have no entry into their minds.                                                                                                          Regie Routman Changing grade levels can be scary, because most likely the books and materials...

A Booklist for Memorial Day

This year, Memorial Day will be celebrated on Monday, May 26. Many local communities have parades and lay wreaths at monuments to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Volunteers...

Conferring About Independent Reading

Karen Terlecky confers with fifth grader Alex about making wise choices during independent reading time.  

Celebrating Screen-Free Week (BOOKLIST)

At our school, we have attempted for the last several years to get children and families talking about screen time during Screen-Free Week. Screen-Free Week is scheduled for May 5-11...

A Booklist for Earth Day

On April 22, people everywhere try to do their part to make the world a cleaner, greener place. We can use literature to impart lessons to our students about protecting...

The Power of Mystery Series for Teens and Tweens

It’s what every book lover dreams about: finding a book with wonderful characters and a gripping plot, only to discover that the story doesn’t end with this book. You do...

Children’s Literature for the Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics are about to get underway in Sochi, Russia. Soon the 24/7 coverage of the games will begin. We’ll watch video clips of athletes training, hear the...

Rethinking Nonfiction Topic-Based Text Sets

When I think about text sets, I consider the ways we collect books as teachers to help build background knowledge and understanding around a topic.  With text complexity being highlighted...

Rethinking Nonfiction Series Books

Series books have always been an anchor for my readers in grades 3-6. When it comes to fiction, once my students are hooked on a series, they are often set...

Rethinking Nonfiction Author Baskets

Last year, my class put together a Symbaloo page highlighting all of our favorite authors. It was a fun project as we reflected on authors we loved. We wanted to...

Mock Newbery Club

Last year I created my first ever Mock Newbery club. I rushed to come up with something in January, and students met with me over lunch one day to talk...

Curating a Nonfiction Classroom Library

We should be curators of our libraries, not just collectors. Offering students an engaging, diverse classroom library requires more than buying books and putting them on bookshelves . . ....

November Contract: Family and Memoir

November is a month of celebrating family and giving thanks.  It’s a time when many people go “home” to relatives and traditions. As much as we all love our families,...

She Wants to Be Katniss for Halloween: Courageous Girls in Books

Fifth-grader Kennedy has never dressed up as a girl for Halloween — at least not since she was three years old. As soon as she was old enough to state...

Strong Girls Book Group

Franki Sibberson shares a range of books that include compelling female characters with a group of fourth-grade girls.   Here is a list of the books mentioned by Franki in...