Free Printable Christmas Mad Libs

Christmas Mad Libs

Do you love fun and silly family activities? My kids were cracking up last week as I reminisced about the footy pajamas I got every year for Christmas . . . with butt flaps. Remember those? (Super classy!) Anyway, I decided to include the idea in a Christmas mad libs type letter. It's a free printable and should be silly enough for some good laughs. Christmas Mad … [Read more...]

Summarizing Fiction

FLOW MAP

Now that we've covered determining importance and summarizing nonfiction, let's talk about summarizing strategies for fiction. This is SO hard for those natural retellers who want to tell you every last detail of the story. That's why summarizing has to be taught, modeled, and practiced. A lot. Flow Maps Flow maps are thinking maps for sequencing the main events in a … [Read more...]

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...]

Holiday Checklist & Giveaway #TRUBatteriesIncluded

Grimlock 7

Hasbro and Duracell are teaming up with Toys“R”Us to help you get ready for the holidays and save money on this season’s hottest toys! From Fur Real Friends to Grimlock Transformers, Toys“R”Us is the perfect one-stop-shop to pick up all the toys on your holiday shopping list… but don’t forget the batteries! Last year my girls favorite gift was a Barbie Dream House. We learned … [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...]

Christmas Gifts for Kids That Spark Imagination

Christmas gifts for kids

This year I'm looking to buy Christmas gifts for my kids that spark their imaginations. Gifts that encourage creativity and pretend play. Gifts like these . . . Christmas Gifts for Kids . . . That Spark Imagination 1. Samantha’s Starter Collection - Doll and Book Samantha Parkington is BACK! She's kind, generous, and always ready to make a new friend. She has sparkling … [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...]