All posts in 5) Middle School

Big Fat Notebooks Middle School Study Guides

#BigFatNotebooks Giveaway

Big Fat Notebook

Are you starting to think about school yet? Are your kids in school already? Yikes! We have a few more weeks to go before school starts. Our school system has stuck to the “After Labor Day” start day, but then we get out very late, during the third week of June.

Big Fat Notebooks for Those Who Don’t Know Much About History …

Today, I wanted to talk about Big Fat Notebooks, a study guide series for middle school students from the folks behind Brain Quest. There are five books in all that cover comprehensively all the material covered in Middle School: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Whew! That’s a lot of material, right?

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Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books & GIVEAWAY

Please welcome illustrator Wendy Martin today with her Top 10 favorite Spanish bilingual picture books! I’m especially excited about bilingual Spanish picture books as a way to learn Spanish. This works equally well for kids and teens who are taking Spanish at school! I have another bilingual Spanish picture book list as well, if you are looking for more titles.

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The Story Circle by Diane Gonzales Bertrand, illustrated by Wendy Martin

The Story Circle is a book about how some elementary school children cope when a terrible flood ruins all their storybooks. During circle time, their wise teacher tells them they can have fun without books by making up their own stories. She starts off with one of her own, which excites all the children into shouting out theirs. She then helps them to write the stories down and then to add pictures to the words, creating new books to put on the empty shelves in the classroom. [bilingual picture book, ages 2 and up]

Top 10 Bilingual Picture Books & GIVEAWAY Read more…

YA Dystopia for Middle School

Dystopian YA Like The Giver, Legend and Hunger Games

PickyKidPix reading Legend by Marie Lu

PickyKidPix has very specific tastes in books. She likes realistic fiction and dystopian, and that’s it. No fantasy, nonfiction, or action adventure for her. No Percy Jackson (boring), Harry Potter (snooze), or even YA chick lit romance. She also likes her realistic fiction be pretty dramatic. Special needs characters are a plus for her.

Even with such a limited range of books, her blog has garnered a lot of traffic for her book posts. Her third grade book list written as a third grader generally spends time on the page 1 of a google search.

7th Grade Books from a 7th Grader

6th Grade Chapter Books from a 6th Grader

5th Grade Book Recommendations from a 5th Grader

4th Grade Books I Liked When I Was In 4th Grade

4th Grade Chapter Books by a Picky 4th Grader

4th Grade Books Recommended by a Fourth Grader

Top 10: Best Books for 3rd Grade by Me (A Third Grade Girl Who is Very Picky)

Now that she’s reading YA dystopia which is not my cup of tea, I am at a loss to find her more books. And god knows that I stress out when she doesn’t have any books to read, because reading is a low on her priority list. Luckily, my Instagram followers were willing to assist me.
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Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

I consulted my 8th grader, PickyKidPix, about middle school curriculum. She pays attention to everything going on so she remembers what she studied and notices what other grades are doing. She said that her teachers have generally covered the same curriculum they have always done which seemed to naturally follow Common Core but that different teachers put different emphasis on units based on their preferences.

For example, Grasshopper and Sensei, in 6th grade was delighted to find that 6th Grade English included an extensive Mythology unit with she aced without studying because she loves mythology. She took the National Mythology Examination in 5th grade for fun, for example. For PickyKidPix however, her teacher wasn’t as into mythology so this was a single week unit (which suited her just fine because she never got into the Percy Jackson series).

6th grade curriculum for my kids included Greek and Roman Mythology, World Geography, culture and modern life of different countries around the world, and World Religions (Buddhism, Muslim, Catholic, Judaism, Hinduism). 6th Grade STEM included chemistry, physics and bridges and 6th Grade English included Tuck Everlasting, Beowolf, The Giver, The Odyssey.

What diversity picture books would you add? Thanks for your suggestions!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

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Drawing Hands and Feet

How to Draw Hands and Feet

Grasshopper and Sensei eye drawingsMy daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school after she graduates from high school so I’ve been hard at work trying to figure out how that works.

Grasshoppper and Sensei XTreme Week at Mass College of Art

Step 1: Meet with a college counselor specializing in art colleges. She works with art college counselor, Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten Peanuts who attended Rhode Island School of Design. Read more…

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Please welcome author Jim Westcott who is a literacy specialist as well. Today, he shares his favorite young adult books for teen struggling readers. These books are high interest with a lower reader level to draw in reluctant teen readers, both boys and girls.

We’d love your suggestions as well! Please share!

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Great Books for Reluctant Boy Readers

Great Books for Reluctant Boy Readers & GIVEAWAY

Please welcome author David Kelly of the Ballpark Mystery series and also my neighbor here in Newton, MA. We’re not exactly next door neighbors but we live in the same town! How cool is that? Other notable children’s book authors from Newton include Mitali Perkins (until she moved two years ago) and Karen Day. Jacqueline Davies of The Lemonade War series lives one town over in Needham, MA.

Today, David Kelly is writing about finding books for reluctant boy readers. His series is another great choice for boys or girls who like baseball, particularly those of the Red Sox Nation.

How about you? What books have kept your kids reading? Please share! Thanks! 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!

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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…