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Octopuses Have Zero Bones: A Counting Book About Our Amazing World

About a year ago, I was sitting on my couch, when I realized with a shock that I had an implicit bias against nonfiction, and that this bias had not only unknowingly affected my impressions of my loved ones but of my students as well. If you're interested in taking a deep dive into how… Continue reading Octopuses Have Zero Bones: A Counting Book About Our Amazing World

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My Name Is Not Ed Tug

A name is one of the most important identifying features about a person.  It is one of the very first decisions that is made for you and you have no control or say in the matter.  Many people like their names, or learn to live with a nickname, some people do not.  When you get… Continue reading My Name Is Not Ed Tug

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Up Your Nose. . .?!

Two weeks ago, I drove to school thinking about the impressive features I had noticed in fourth graders' information books. Upon their arrival, I checked in with three writers about borrowing their books for the beginning of writing workshop. When we gathered on the rug, I quickly shared that I wanted to begin our time… Continue reading Up Your Nose. . .?!

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Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

Written by Nina LaCour & Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita "Have you have ever missed someone or something? Have you have ever missed someone or something and it almost felt like a physical ache? Have you have ever missed someone or something so much that when you were reunited the feelings of missing crashed into the… Continue reading Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

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Better Readers, Better Humans!

With 18 index cards in hand, I scoured the shelves of the Millis Public Library. I glanced down at the nonfiction topics each reader was interested in and started pulling book after book. The stack continued to grow as I simultaneously began to consider what mentor text I would use. . .time for something new.… Continue reading Better Readers, Better Humans!

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Turning Transitions into a Favorite Part of the Day

It all started because I didn't enjoy the transitions that are a part of classroom life. For whatever reason, clapping, chimes, and even silent signals just didn't feel right. So instead, I play music. When the students hear a song they end whatever they are doing and head to the meeting area. I really don't… Continue reading Turning Transitions into a Favorite Part of the Day

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Because Claudette

Because Claudette by Tracey Baptiste is a must-have book for upper elementary classrooms. There are many ways I could have used this book in my classroom this morning including, but not limited to: Examining cause and effect text structure Discussing Civil Rights Discussing Ageism Discussing Perseverance Discussing Collaboration Discussing Nonviolent Protest But today, I chose… Continue reading Because Claudette

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Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

“Yes, we are FINALLY going to read this book, I have been DYING for you  to read it,” exclaimed one of my fourth graders as he saw me pull Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story, from my basket.  Shouts of “Oh, me too” and “I can’t wait for this,” could also be heard.  Before reading, we acknowledged… Continue reading Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

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Ten Blocks to the Big Wok

I really like Ten Blocks to the Big Wok by Ying-Hwa Hu, published by Children’s Book Press 2022. Uncle Eddie & Mia walk to the Big Wok for dim sum, and along the way, they count all sorts of interesting Chinese cultural items such as neighbors practicing Tai Chi Chuan, lychee fruit, silk fans, fortune… Continue reading Ten Blocks to the Big Wok

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Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom

As the school year kicks off, many classrooms are highlighting small-moment stories. Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom is perfect as a mentor text for personal narratives, as an interactive read aloud, and/or as an addition to classroom and home libraries. This lovely picture book honors multi-generational families and Cuban-American traditions. Anita… Continue reading Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom

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The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño

Notebooks have always been a part of my life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a notepad close-by. My grandmother even had special notepads made for me with my name printed at the top. I treasured them.  At first, these notebooks were places to jot down ideas, make lists and doodle. But… Continue reading The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño