Writing Inspiration: How to Get Ideas for a Story

story idea

The picture book, Any Questions by Marie-Louise Gay, is the author's answer to children about the writer's journey -- how to get ideas for a story. It's an interactive experience because you get to write part of a story, too and is beautifully illustrated with water color and ink. Gay writes that children often ask her where does a story start. That's a good question, she … [Read more...]

Phenomenal New Historical Fiction Books

phenomenal historical fiction books

I have so many totally heart-tugging, can't-stop-reading, phenomenal historical fiction middle grade books to tell you about! Before I dive into the reviews, I want to mention that these are SOOOO good but even so, they may be books that kids don't pick up and devour. However, I know that but they will genuinely LOVE the stories. Remember how important it is for all ages of … [Read more...]

2015 Newbery and Caldecott Winners

2015 Newbery and Caldecott Winners

The 2015 Newbery and Caldecott winners have been announced by the American Library Association (ALA). Want to know who won? 2015 Newbery Medal The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature is The Crossover by Kwame Alexander! It's written in prose, like the beat of a basketball game, about twins who compete on and off the court. As … [Read more...]

Outstanding Nonfiction Early Reader Series

non fiction easy reader

I recommend the following outstanding nonfiction early readers series from these publishers: Usborne, Newmark Learning, National Geographic Kids, Time for Kids, and Scholastic's Fly Guy Presents. When I evaluate early readers, I consider the text to picture ratio, the visual appeal, the quality of information, and the interest level to kids. These early fove reader series do … [Read more...]

Using Education Games in the Classroom

education games

We teachers love engaging children in learning. Education games are one way we can do this. Staples offers a wealth of educational games (among other things) that will provide opportunities in your classroom for enthusiastic and engaged kids. In fact, this post is sponsored by Staples. Using Education Games in the Classroom Here’s what you need to remember when using … [Read more...]

Celebrate Beautiful Oops Every Day #beautifuloops

Celebrate Beautiful Oops

One of my favorite children's books of all time is Barney Saltzberg's Beautiful Oops, a book which inspires viewing life with a whole new paradigm. Now it's also a worldwide celebration! The Paradigm of a Beautiful Oops A beautiful oops is making lemonade out of lemons. It's taking a mistake and making it something beautiful. Barney shows this … [Read more...]

Join National Readathon Day

National Readathon Day

A DAY FOR READING!? What luxury, what bliss! Penguin Random House and the National Book Foundation have collaborated to invent my new favorite holiday. National Readathon Day! Well, it's not really a holiday but a way to raise money for literacy programs like BookUp which provides books to middle school kids. Because did you know that while 53% of 9-year-olds read for … [Read more...]