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Room on Our Rock by Jol and Kate Temple and Terri Rose Baynton

Two sides to every story, black and white, all or nothing... These beliefs capture the extremes of human nature which stop us in our tracks; for we are then, unable to see or accept the alternatives. "Room on our Rock" can be read from two perspectives. From front to back, according to my kindergartners, "the… Continue reading Room on Our Rock by Jol and Kate Temple and Terri Rose Baynton

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I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

Some picture books provide just the right inspiration and framework for poetry writing in the classroom.  I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and her daughter, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, is one of those books. The text and vivid illustrations by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell beautifully and succinctly describe four types of powerful storms: tornados,… Continue reading I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

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The Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

This is a “must have”, five star book, newly released in February 2021. Carole Boston Weatherford presents the historic tragedy of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 in a picture book appropriate to young readers. The book details how Greenwood, Oklahoma, was a community where the train tracks divided the Black and white communities. The Black… Continue reading The Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

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Reinventing the Reading Journal

Pre Pandemic, my literacy instruction followed the Readers Workshop model.  Reading journals were essential to the success of my instruction.  This fall I worked with my friend and fellow blogger, Ann Williams to create this journal to support her fourth graders with reading instruction.  While this journal has worked well for Ann’s fourth graders, we… Continue reading Reinventing the Reading Journal

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Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham

Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham is a book about the sudden shifts that occurred during the pandemic. It is not just a tale of going inside, it is a tale of coming together, withstanding troubling times, growing, and emerging stronger and better. The illustrations beautifully capture the stark difference between life inside and life outside.… Continue reading Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham

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Miss Mingo and the 100th Day of School

Many teachers and students are missing that familiar sense of normalcy. Well, thankfully, the time-honored tradition of the 100th day of school is just around the corner. Jamie Harper's, Miss Mingo and the 100th Day of School is a must-have title for this special day. In addition to featuring the various combinations of 100 such… Continue reading Miss Mingo and the 100th Day of School

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No Voice Too Small : Fourteen Young Americans Making History

In this year of pandemic schooling, it can feel like there is bad news all around us. Covid-19, political turmoil, social unrest - I have sometimes struggled to conduct class discussions that acknowledge all that we are going through but at the same time don’t lead us to despair. I feel the need to have… Continue reading No Voice Too Small : Fourteen Young Americans Making History

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Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon

As Black History Month continues, and as we strive to include the work of Black authors and illustrators in our curriculum year round, I encourage all teachers, families, and kids to find a moment to explore Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon. As readers navigate the first few pages of this beautiful book, a… Continue reading Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon

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Cendrillon A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D San Souci illustrated By Brian Pinkney

This book Is closed to our heart: it’s the rendition on an a old time favorite with a Caribbean twist. The children loved it because it takes place on their Island , Martinique, it’s not mentioned by name but they could recognize some of the traditions . The manicou, an animal present in many folktales… Continue reading Cendrillon A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D San Souci illustrated By Brian Pinkney

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All the Way to the Top

By Annette Bay Pimentel Illustrated by Nabi H. Ali All the Way to the Top tells the story of Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins and how she came to participate in the Capital Crawl when she was just 8 years old! The Capital Crawl was a protest considered to be instrumental in getting the Americans with Disabilities Act… Continue reading All the Way to the Top

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The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy

Kate O'Shaughnessy's first novel is one that touched the hearts of my students. The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane is the story of a girl who perseveres through hard times with the help of a kind hearted teacher and a boy named Tommy who has struggles of his own. Sixth graders Kate and Makenzie read… Continue reading The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy

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My Furry Foster Family Series by Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrated by Melanie Demmer

What I love most about teaching third grade is seeing the tremendous growth in my student's reading, particularly in their voracious love of chapter books. I’m always on the lookout for new series to introduce to my students. So when I discovered that Debbi Michiko Florence (author of the Jasmine Toguchi books) had written a… Continue reading My Furry Foster Family Series by Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrated by Melanie Demmer