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 […]

Build Student Literacy and Reading Skills with These 14 Not-So-Traditional Fairy Tales

Although not originally intended only for children, fairy tales have had a prominent place in children’s literature for centuries. With their fantastic, magical elements and plot lines that support character education and social and emotional learning, fairy tales in the classroom can introduce students to history, international settings, critical literacy skills and more.
Fairy Tales Teach […]

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

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

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

10 Helpful Teacher Hacks for Educators Who Need Fresh Ideas

“The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspective.”
–Robert John Meehan
Are you looking for new and innovative ideas for your classroom? Whether you spend each day with a wiggly group of kindergarten students or teach advanced high school English classes, other teachers […]

By |November 14th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, Elementary, High School, Middle School|Comments Off on 10 Helpful Teacher Hacks for Educators Who Need Fresh Ideas

Using Picture Books Across Content Areas: Classroom Strategies for Grades K-5

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
~ Dyer 2009
From the very first moment we started working together as math and reading specialists, we intently focused on our respective content areas. As we planned and worked with teachers individually around reading or math lessons, we never quite saw […]

By |November 9th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, Elementary, Experts from the Field, Feature, Math, Middle School|Comments Off on Using Picture Books Across Content Areas: Classroom Strategies for Grades K-5