All posts in 4) Grade 3-5

Top 10 Earth Day Picture Books

Top 10 Earth Day Picture Books

Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement that began in 1970. Today is a good reminder to celebrate Earth Day every day and pass lessons on environmental stewardship to our children. To this end, I wanted to share resources for teaching kids about the environment.

Scholastic and OPEI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) have partnered to create lesson plans and activities that empower students in grades K through 5 and their families to champion best practices in taking care of the green space in their communities. The program sets out to inspire an interest in backyard science, environmental activism, and encourage spending time in the outdoors.

Resources include a teachers section, a parents section, and a free e-Book – a digital storybook about superhero TurfMutt and the Outdoor Powers.

I also have a book list of our favorite earth day picture books. What books that you enjoy am I missing? Please share! Read more…

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

It’s been such a great year for those who love both multicultural/diversity/inclusive books for kids AND novels in verse! I picked five amazing favorites that I’ve loved from this past year and hope that the popularity of these books will encourage more diversity books to be published!

What are your favorite novels in verse? Please share! Thanks!

Read more…

Teaching Kids About Money TWITTER PARTY

Teaching Kids About Money TWITTER PARTY

What do we need to teach our kids about personal finance NOW when they are still too little to credit card or handle a checking account? And what about do as I say, not as I do? What if WE don’t have great personal finance skills ourselves? Does this mean our kids are doomed to a life of poor financial management?

I remember when I graduated from college and was trying to be responsible. I paid my credit card bill monthly — I didn’t pay it off but I made a payment. But once I stupidly paid my bill a few days late but with a higher amount that normal thinking that it’s better to pay more off and that a day or two late won’t matter. Boy was I wrong!

Teaching Kids About Money

I also applied and received too many credit cards. I didn’t know carrying a multitude of credit cards actually lowers your credit score! Read more…

Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

This is Part 2 of the 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award, for middle grade readers ages 8 and up. I haven’t read them all so I’ll use book jacket blurbs with age range to make this list more helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for kids.

Many of these chapter books deal with difficult themes like genocide, racism, and violent civil wars. Will kids and parents actually put themselves through these kinds of experiences where the protagonist goes through unimaginable hell? I hope so. These are important stories that haven’t received the attention they deserve and if kids are aware of the mistakes made by their elders in the past, perhaps this is our best hope they will not be repeated in the future.

Part I from the list of picture books are here. I will post on the best young adult books from this list at the next Kid Lit Blog Hop. Read more…

Books for 8yold Boy Reluctant Reader

Books for 8yold Boy Reluctant Reader

My friend Isra says her 8-year-old son is a reluctant reader. He likes Diary of a Wimpy Kid but now he’s exhausted that series so here are more! Books to appeal to an eight year old reluctant boy reader!

More Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid for Boys

Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look

My son thought this series was hysterically funny. Alvin is a boy who is nervous about a lot of things including girls, camping, school, and science projects. Set in Concord, Massachusetts, Isra’s son might also enjoy this Massachusetts connection!

Read more…

10 books for kids to explore China and Chinese New Year

12 Books to Explore CHINA for Chinese New Year

My kids do a country unit on China in second grade where they spent a day celebrating Chinese Culture with Red Envelope Crafts. My kids also studied Mandarin Chinese and my oldest middle school Chinese language teacher also did a Chinese New Year celebration with crafts and food.

Last year was The Year of the Horse, this year Chinese New Year falls on February 19 and is the Year of the Sheep.

Will you celebrate Chinese New Year with books and crafts? Our favorite Chinese New Year books are here and I have 10 more newly published books on China to explore for the year to come!

Read more…

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Part of the advice that I received from our art school private college counselor, Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten Peanuts blog, is to win art competitions as a way of building your art portfolio. Of course, the first step is finding art competitions to enter (and have enough notice so as not to miss the submission deadline).

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Scholastic Art and Writing Read more…

Five Books to Get Your Young Gamer Reading

Five Books to Get Your Young Gamer Reading & GIVEAWAY!

My son and I LOVED the Max Finder by Liam O’Donnell graphic novel mystery series when he was in first and second grade. These short mysteries were HARD to figure out; sometimes the two of us would be right, sometimes we missed the mark entirely. But, Liam’s books worked beautifully to keep my son reading and wanting more.

Now, he has a new series that is honestly sheer genius! A chapter book series based on MINECRAFT! My son is a serious gamer — he actually went to Minecraft camp not once but twice! — and my husband and I work hard but futilely to keep his screen time down to two hours a day. Our policing job is going to get easier!

Please welcome my guest post author today, Liam O’Donnell! Read more…

My best post of 2014

Top 5 Posts of 2014 Countdown: #1

Thanks for your patience with our countdown! MaryAnne of MamaSmiles and I are counting down our Top 5 Posts of 2014 and we are down to our number one post!

My number one post for 2014 is …

10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade with 36,212 views.

I met Colby Sharp, co-founder of The Nerdy Book Club, last year at an author dinner for Anne Ursu in Boston and then again at The Nerdy Book Club meet up. He’s a teacher in rural Michigan where kids don’t own any books and he had moved grades to teach 3rd grade. My son was in third grade at the time, and we bonded over our love of perfect chapter books for third grade. As we listed our favorites, we noticed with delight that they were the same. Hence, this post was born!

Read more…