10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

Countdown: My #1 Most Popular Post of 2015

10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade is my top post for 2015! It all happened when I went to Anne Ursu’s The Real Boy dinner hosted by publisher Charlesbridge and met Colby Sharp, a co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club blog. I was already a huge fan of this group blog.

Colby had just switched from teaching 4th grade to 3rd grade and we talked about our favorite read alouds for 3rd grade. It turns out our top three were identical and in the same order. My son was in 3rd grade at the time and his teacher coordinated her read alouds with the other two teachers in that grade. She too, had a made a grade switch that year like Colby, but from 5th to 3rd.

I tracked the read alouds all year and it was year of wonderful books. I then built lists for all elementary school grades, making sure not to repeat books from list to list.

There you have it! My Top 5 Post Countdown for 2015! Happy New Year’s Eve! Thank you all so much for reading my blog. I wish you a joyous New Year and hope to see you in 2016!



Zorpia is a Pfishing Scam: BEWARE!!

Countdown: My #2 Most Popular Post of 2015

Zorpia is a Pfishing Scam: BEWARE!!

Zorpia is a Pfishing Scam: BEWARE!! is my 2nd most popular post of 2015. After a bad experience when I accidentally gave Zorpia access to my Facebook in order to read a message “sent” to me by my daughter, I wrote this post. It took me nearly a week to shut down my Zorpia account. Zorpia somehow got access to my email and started emailing all my contacts with messages to join Zorpia from me!

I am convinced that Zorpia is not just a Pfishing scam but possibly the base from which China and/or Northern Korea are getting email addresses to use for cyber warfare.

My blog was recently hacked so I’ll be writing a post on that next. I think honest and helpful accounts of bad experiences are appreciated by anyone who goes through this same trauma! Or at least that is my takeaway from the popularity of this post for me!

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

Countdown: My #3 Most Popular Post of 2015

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21) is my #3 most popular post of 2015. I remember that this post didn’t get much traffic when I first posted it. I continued to add to the post as readers gave me suggestions and one day, much later, it took off after I made this image and posted in Pinterest. Back then, Pinterest favored square images. Now Pinterest likes portrait rectangular sized images.





Multicultural Books for Children: 60+ Book Lists

Countdown: My #4 Most Popular Post of 2015

Multicultural Books for Children: 60+ Book Lists

My #4 post for 2015 is Multicultural Books for Children: 60+ Book Lists, another list of lists.  I am trying to keep this list updated.

I also posted Diversity Picture Book lists for 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade and 8th Grade in order to encourage teachers to sign up for a FREE hardcover book through Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day BLOGGER Sign Up!!

Another way for anyone with a blog to get a FREE diversity book is to sign up for Multicultural Children’s Book Day and post a review on that book on January 27th 2016. Please join us!



Summer Reading Lists for Middle School Kids

Countdown: My #5 Most Popular Post of 2015

Summer Reading Lists for Middle School Kids

My #5 most popular post is Summer Reading Lists for Middle School Kids, a compilation of reading list posts. This reminds me that I either need to update these compilation of book lists or make one definitive List of My Book Lists. What is your suggestion? Thanks for your advice!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

MaryAnne of MamaSmiles turned me on to this gratitude challenge:

Today I’m joining a group of bloggers who are uniting to blog about 50 Happy Things for 2015 – and we would love for you to join us! If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s okay. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos. Dawn has a linky you can join on her blog if you decide to write a post!

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Staying Alive: Heart Attack and Living Forever?

Staying Alive: Heart Attack and Living Forever?

Yoga is just as good as aerobics, cycling and walking for cutting the risk of heart disease. The Daily Telegraph

Every minute, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with heart failure – nearly 6MM Americans total. My friend had a heart attack last week. Luckily, he self-diagnosed himself correctly when the heart attack occurred and went to the emergency room immediately.

Heart Attack and Living ForeverHe was rushed by police escorted ambulance to a larger hospital where a stent was inserted. From the door of his house to the stent, just eighty-one minutes. Nine more minutes and permanent heart damage occurs if any part of his heart was deprived of oxygen. In his case, it was.

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11 New DIVERSITY Early Chapter Books

15 New DIVERSITY Early Chapter Books

I’m excited to be judging first round Cybils this year in the categories of Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books. There were over 50 entrants for Early Chapter Books this year and we just finished picking the short list. Now, round 2 judges will take over to pick the final winners — 1 in each category!

There were some standout Early Chapter Books that had diversity in the mix and I wanted to highlight the best Early Chapter Books I’ve read so far. How about you? What Early Chapter Books are you loving? Please share!

New Great Early Chapter Books with Diversity Characters

I’m not sure why but Early Chapter Book are like newborn clothes; they are either GIRL or BOY.  What happened to gender neutral? My favorite book out of all these Early Chapter Book is Lulu and the Hamster in the Night but I can’t imagine a boy picking up this book and reading it. This genre of books felt a little girl audience heavy as well. I’m not sure if this is a new trend or just a fluke.
Lulu and the Hamster in the Night by Hilary McKay
It’s interesting that there were quite a few animal adoption themed Early Chapter Books this year but this is exactly the kind of Easy Chapter book that I wish there were more of. Lulu and Mellie just happen to be girls of color but that’s not the point. Their adventure as rescue pet adopters is perfectly pitched. I’m really impressed with this series — last year, another Lulu book made the short list.

The plot is a classic sit-com; the girls stay at their grandmother’s house but with their rescue hamster but as she doesn’t allow furry animals, they have to hide the hamster during their weekend stay. The hamster, of course, gets out and has to be rescued. What makes this book sing is the pacing of this very sweet story that is wonderfully descriptive without ever dragging the plot down. I hope this one gets a win this year! [easy chapter book, ages 6 and up]

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Really Cool Science Videos for Your Kids Curated by My Son

Really Cool Science Videos for Your Kids Curated by My Son

My son and I watched dozens of videos from The Kid Should See This to find our four favorites:

  • Watch how plants explode their seeds.
  • If you play soccer or basketball, you’ll love this video on backspin called the Magnus Effect.
  • I want a tree liks this: a tree with forty kinds of fruit! It’s an edible artwork!
  • Can you make a cloud in your MOUTH? You can! Just watch!

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