Mining for Gold: Gold Rush-Themed Lesson Ideas That Start With Books

On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California, sparking one of the largest migrations in America’s history. Americans and immigrants flocked to California by the thousands, hoping to strike it rich as miners in the gold fields or as merchants selling supplies.  

Although it seems like ages ago, students can find […]

Crises and Crusades: Support Content Area Literacy with These Historical Titles by Albert Marrin

Albert Marrin is a well-regarded author of juvenile nonfiction. Having penned over three dozen titles, he is not only prolific but also award-winning, and clearly dedicated to bringing history to life for his readers.

I recently spent some time with three of Marrin’s titles: A Volcano Beneath the Snow, FDR and the American Crisis and Thomas […]

10 Ways to Use Authentic Literature in Elementary, Middle AND High School Classrooms

Authentic literature has the power to excite students and foster a love of engaged reading, but it’s often challenging for busy teachers to find time to integrate real books into an already jam-packed schedule of daily lessons. How can you harness the power of a classroom library and get students reading more throughout the day—especially […]

By |December 20th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, classroom libraries, Contests and Freebies, Elementary, Feature, High School, Middle School|Comments Off on 10 Ways to Use Authentic Literature in Elementary, Middle AND High School Classrooms

Lola StVil’s Girls Like Me: Mentor Text for Writing or Independent Read?

Every month, the Booksource Book Club meets to discuss a different classroom library title. It’s always interesting to share our (often diverse) opinions on a given book, and debate the many ways it might be used to engage students as readers. One of our most recent reads, Lola StVil’s Girls Like Me, presented an interesting […]

By |December 16th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Booksource Book Club, Classroom Ideas, classroom libraries, High School, Middle School, Striving Readers|Comments Off on Lola StVil’s Girls Like Me: Mentor Text for Writing or Independent Read?

Teach a Holiday Lesson in Multiculturalism with These 5 Holidays Around the World Collections

Holidays can be tricky for teachers to navigate, especially in the elementary grades where many classroom activities revolve around the latest opportunity for celebration.

So how can educators and administrators best integrate holidays into school curriculum? While individual schools and districts will ultimately have to decide what approach works best for them, don’t forget about the […]

By |December 5th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, classroom libraries, Early Childhood, Elementary, Feature, High School, Middle School|Comments Off on Teach a Holiday Lesson in Multiculturalism with These 5 Holidays Around the World Collections

Make Good Choices! Author KA Holt on Writing to Explore Consequences

In my family, it’s a little bit of a joke when I yell, “Make good choices!” as my kids go off to school, or to play with friends. They always shake their heads and laugh, but hopefully my words sink in a little bit. It’s hard to make good choices, especially when you’re growing up […]

By |December 5th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, classroom libraries, Middle School|Comments Off on Make Good Choices! Author KA Holt on Writing to Explore Consequences

A Classroom Library Quick Reference Guide

“Research proves that access to books and providing students with choices in what they read improves students’ reading motivation, engagement and achievement. A well-curated classroom library offers students the support they need to become lifelong readers.”

–Donalynn Miller
When you build a classroom library filled with engaging books, students get excited about reading. But how do you […]

How One Kansas City Elementary School Used Classroom Libraries to Boost Grade Level Proficiency by 20%

When Principal Ryan Most came to Kansas City’s New Stanley Elementary School in 2012, the school ranked in the bottom 5% of the state. Classroom libraries were outdated, and teachers received little, if any, professional development.

Materials being used were mostly remnants from past basal programs. They targeted below-grade-level readers, and were working for some students, […]

By |November 29th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, Elementary, Feature, Professional Learning|Comments Off on How One Kansas City Elementary School Used Classroom Libraries to Boost Grade Level Proficiency by 20%

Top Takeaways from Our Favorite NCTE 2016 Sessions in Atlanta

“Books are our co-teachers. When we bring books into the classroom we are never lonely.”  @JoEllenMcCarthy, #NCTE16

We’re back—from NCTE 2016, that is! This annual conference, which took place in Atlanta, GA last weekend, couldn’t have come at a better time of year. Over and over, we heard from educators who connected with their tribe, discovered […]

How to Electrify Learning with Informational Read Alouds

Reading aloud to young children has always been a delight, but I must plead guilty to spending too many years focusing on fiction-based read alouds. I was afraid that informational selections couldn’t possibly hold the attention of my ever-so-wiggly elementary students. But how wrong I was!

Once I began to experiment with informational read alouds from […]

By |November 22nd, 2016|Classroom Ideas, Elementary, Experts from the Field, Feature, Science, Social Studies|Comments Off on How to Electrify Learning with Informational Read Alouds