New Patricia Polacco Book! Miss Keller and the Thesaurus

Patricia Polacco book about her writing teacher

If you've been a fan of Patricia Polacco like me, you'll know that she loves to share the stories of marvelous teachers, many of which were her own growing up. Her newest book, An A from Miss Keller, is a story about the teacher who transformed Patricia into a writer. It's a beautiful, bittersweet story that you can use at home and in the classroom to teach about friendship … [Read more...]

Playful Early Reader Books

early reader books

Beginning readers need lots of books to practice those new reading skills. So, I'm always excited to discover new early reader books and new early reader book series -- like these! See what you think and then for all my easy reader reviews, go to my best books for 5- and 6-year olds page. Playful Early Reader Books Gran on a Fan by Kevin Bolger, illustrated by Ben Hodson … [Read more...]

Four Rock-Your-World 2015 Middle Grade Books

four new middle grade book reviews 2015

Some books change your life. Here are four new (2015) middle grade books that will rock your world in a good way -- they're beautifully written with themes that are relevant to adults as well as children: the power of storytelling, the power of love, the power of forgiveness, and the power of love. These are all don't-stop-now-go-directly-and-buy-these books. Read them with … [Read more...]

14 NEW Beginning Chapter Book Reviews, Fall 2015

2015 beginning chapter book reviews for kids

If you're at that stage (around age six or seven) when your child is taking off with reading, you're no doubt searching for excellent books. Start with these beginning chapter book reviews and see what she want to read first. Let him choose the books. You buy them or check them out. Then find lots of time for reading every day. Go, you! For lots of at-home reading … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Mind Mapping STEM Concepts

Thinking maps and visual thinking with Post-it Notes

Mind mapping STEM concepts using the Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, Flags, and Tabs from the Post-it® Brand World of Color Rio de Janeiro collection allows students to visually see the connections between ideas or information. In a mind map, each fact or idea is written down with lines connecting to other ideas or facts. This is an important tool when … [Read more...]

Classroom Strategies for Sensory Processing Disorder

helping children with sensory issues in the classroom

Despite the DSM's (poor) decision last year not to recognize Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) as a disorder, SPD exists. And it affects many of our children, one of mine included. Fortunately, in the classroom, more teachers are becoming aware of SPD and the unique needs of children who have it. So what are helpful classroom strategies teachers are using for students with SPD … [Read more...]

Your Studying Strategies Aren’t Working (& What To Do Instead)

best study and learning strategies for students

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Reedier III and Mark A. McDaniel takes the latest research in cognitive psychology and other disciplines and synthesizes it into practical learning and studying strategies. And it's not what you think. In fact, how you studied in your educational life probably wasn't the best method. What's more, how … [Read more...]

STEM Study Tips for Teens

STEM study organization with Post-it Notes, Flags, and Tabs

Students in high school need study and organization tips that emphasize visual learning, especially with STEM topics. Most parents agree that STEM topics are essential subjects but are also subjects in which their children struggle. Students can use Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, Flags and Tabs from the Post-it® Brand World of Color Rio de Janeiro collection with these helpful … [Read more...]

8 Stellar Picture Book Biographies

nonfiction picture book biographies

I'm excited to share with you 8 recently published picture book biographies for your classroom (Common Core, anyone?) and for your home. These biographies pair first-rate writing with artwork with outstanding illustrations to engage and inform your children. Enjoy! 8 Picture Book Biographies Marvelous Cornelius Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil … [Read more...]

When White Kids Call Each Other the “N” Word

white kids using the n word

After reading a post on a (black) friend's Facebook page about his kids sharing that their white classmates call each other the "N" word, I asked my friend Karen DeGroot Carter to share her thoughts since her (biracial) kids go to that same school. Read what she thinks. Then, please comment to share your own thoughts! ~ Melissa written by Karen DeGroot Carter When I asked … [Read more...]