Celebrating the Journey: Sue Ganz-Schmitt on Space, Planet Kindergarten and the 100th Day of School

When I was in kindergarten, I found my power in story dictation. I was a quiet kid and I didn’t have a voice in my boisterous family. Each week, a volunteer parent sat with me listening intently and typing my words­, like they mattered. I illustrated my work with a free hand (no coloring book […]

By |January 31st, 2017|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, Elementary, Science|0 Comments

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

Because of a Book, a Scientist

By Lola M. Schaefer, author of Because of an Acorn (Chronicle Books, 2016) 

I still remember the first book that excited me about science. I was eight years old and the title was Insects. It wasn’t a field guide, but an illustrated children’s book all about the bugs in my backyard: katydids, ladybugs, moths, beetles, butterflies […]

By |October 27th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Elementary, Experts from the Field, Science|Comments Off on Because of a Book, a Scientist

Sally Ride Continues to Bring Space into the Classroom

When I was in grade school, I was lucky enough to spend a week at the most magical place on earth. We loaded up the family car and headed south, not to Disney World, but to someplace even better: Space Camp. I spent the week taking a simulated trip to Mars, imagining myself on the moon in a […]

By |June 10th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, Elementary, High School, Middle School, Science|Comments Off on Sally Ride Continues to Bring Space into the Classroom

Earth Day: The Perfect Time to Go Blue

Most students have heard the tag line going green, but what about going blue? Earth Day is an opportunity for students to not only learn about the different vulnerabilities of the earth, but it is also an opportunity to figure out a plan to help it! A lot of compelling literature on environmental issues exists […]

By |April 19th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, High School, Middle School, Professional Learning, Science|Comments Off on Earth Day: The Perfect Time to Go Blue

Starting from Scratch: Titles to Support Coding and Computer Science

Without a doubt, more and more emphasis is being placed on incorporating technology and computer science into the classroom. Numerous articles and studies have shown the significant benefits of doing so. However, it can be daunting for educators to learn a new technology—especially one that students may know better, or pick up faster, than their […]

By |February 22nd, 2016|Book Recommendation, Elementary, Middle School, Science|Comments Off on Starting from Scratch: Titles to Support Coding and Computer Science

…So Is Pluto a Planet? Or What?

Eighty-six years ago on February 18, 1930, more than ten years after a ninth planet was proposed, astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh discovered Pluto. When I found out that February 18th is Pluto Day, I immediately became overzealous thinking about the implications for the classroom. Using Google, I set out to find the current status timeline […]

By |February 12th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, Elementary, High School, Middle School, Science|Comments Off on …So Is Pluto a Planet? Or What?

Text Sets: Your Answer to Content, Vocabulary and Comprehension

I was buying some books to send to my cousin’s preschoolers this week. She lives 2000 miles away, so I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with her boys. I asked her if they had any favorite authors or series, and as expected she said they both love Mo Willems. And who […]

By |December 9th, 2015|Classroom Ideas, Professional Learning, Science|1 Comment

8 Content Area Activities that Use Real Books

Sometimes students and teachers alike forget that reading can take place across the curriculum. So we asked past and present teachers to let us know their favorite lessons and classroom activities from different content areas that were supported by real books. Here’s what they had to say!

1. “When I taught Pre-K, my favorite go-to lesson […]

By |December 8th, 2015|Book Recommendation, Elementary, Feature, Science, Social Studies|Comments Off on 8 Content Area Activities that Use Real Books

Illustrated Picture Book Celebrates the Marvel of Microbes!

Hidden on every surface and inside everything, tiny, microscopic beings are lurking. The delightful Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes (Grades K-3, Level O, Lexile: AD1020) takes us in for a closer look at the microbes that exist all around us. From their more well-known functions like making us sick, to lesser-known roles they play […]

By |December 1st, 2015|Book Recommendation, Elementary, Feature, Science|Comments Off on Illustrated Picture Book Celebrates the Marvel of Microbes!