Summarizing with Thinking Maps

TREE MAP

Summarizing doesn't come easily for most kids. Most kids are natural retellers. You know, those kids who tell you every last detail of a movie that they just watched? (Oh, the agony!) :) Which is why I want to tell you about using thinking maps (graphic organizers) to write summaries. The goal with summarizing, unlike retelling, is to only pull out the main idea and key … [Read more...]

Determining Importance in Nonfiction Text

Important vs. Interesting

With Common Core's emphasis of reading nonfiction text, the comprehension strategy of determining importance is absolutely essential for readers. Determining importance means that the reader can distinguish the important information from text so they can decipher the main ideas and key details if reading expository (nonfiction) texts and the gist of the story when reading … [Read more...]

Stocking Stuffers for Kids

stocking stuffers

While gift cards always work as easy stocking stuffers, here are even more stocking stuffer gift ideas for your kids. Stocking Stuffers for Kids 1. Thinking Putty Creatures Green (ages 3+) Thinking Putty Creatures have a unique texture and come with a pair of big creature eyes. We love our original Thinking Putty building toy and now can't wait to try this expanded … [Read more...]

Best Gift Books of 2014

best children's books 2014 gifts

Ready for the best gift books of 2014? This list consists of activity books as well as nonfiction books for kids. Also read: the best chapter books of 2014, the best picture books of 2014, the best board books of 2014, and the best YA books of 2014. Best Activity Books 2014 1. Draw Patterns with Barroux (ages 4+) This colorful activity book and kit includes the Draw … [Read more...]

Best Board Books of 2014

best board books 2014

Do you have a baby or toddler who needs a board book? Get him or her one of these recommended best board books of 2014. The Best Board Books from 2014 1. My First Book of Girl Power From Wonder Woman's ability to find the truth to Black Canary's powerful voice to Batgirl's keen mind, readers will find lots of girl power to admire in this unique board book. 2. Super … [Read more...]

Best Chapter Books of 2014

best chapter books 2014

We always give at least one gift that is a book, do you? If you have a child who reads chapter books or YA books, here are my picks for the BEST children's books of 2014. Best Chapter Books 2014 1. The Haunted Library by Dori Hillestad Butler (ages 6 - 9) MYSTERY My daughter and I loved this entertaining new beginning reader chapter book series about a boy ghost, Kaz, … [Read more...]

Best Picture Books of 2014

best picture books 2014

Don't forget to give your children the gift of a good picture book or ten! Today I'm recommending what I think are the best children's picture books of 2014.  The Best Picture Books from 2014 1. It's Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr I love the message of this picture book - that it's okay to make mistakes. In fact not only will this book help remind kids that making … [Read more...]

MySELF Social Emotional Learning Books

social emotional learning

MySELF (Social Emotional Learning Foundations) books help children in PreK - 1st grade build both their early literacy skills and social and emotional intelligence skills. When children aquire and apply the skills necessary to manage emotions, set and achieve goals, resolve conflicts, feel empathy for others, and make responsible decisions, this is called social emotional … [Read more...]