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Top 10: Newbery-ish Small Town Quirky Chapter Books (ages 8-14)

4th Grade and 5th Grade Chapter Books

Is there something about small towns in America that has a special place in the hearts of the Newbery judges? Or is it the people who live there are somehow more quirky, more worthy of nuanced layers of personality ranging from slightly deranged to just plain weird? Are murder and violence somehow easier in a small town? I doubt that. Perhaps it’s easier when resentments simmer for decades or even generations. Read more…

Pollination: Video and Ideas for Summer Learning

Science Activities for Kids

My mom sent me this gorgeous video of the wonders of pollination. We try to plant a garden every spring that attracts butterflies but I miss the hummingbirds that used to visit my garden in California. I think there are hummingbirds in New England, but I haven’t seen any in my garden yet. I probably need a hummingbird feeder though. Read more…

Harnessing Your Creative Energy By Ignoring Your Email

Unlock Your Creative Potential

Brendon Burchard is the Anti-Dilbert, challenging us all to find The Charge (or spark or passion or whatever you want to call it) in our lives and careers. It has a spillover effect. You find the charge at work and are able to bring it home and vice versa. Read more…

If You Like This Picture Book, Try This Newly Published One GIVEAWAY

New Picture Books Like Old Favorites

In reviewing new picture books, I am finding that I can shorthand a review to a friend by just matching it up to an older, well-known book.  If You Like This, Try That … kind of thing. What do you think? Does it work for you?

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Week 4: Summer Math Fun for Incoming 2nd Grade Kids

FREE Summer Math Program for Rising 2nd Grade

My elementary school also recommends these great FREE math websites. Read more…

Graffiti as Street Math? Or as History?

Graffiti as Math Street Art

The idea of street art and graffiti as something other than hooligans defacing public spaces intrigued me. And that art and even street art has math concepts built-in is an argument for my 6th grader who wants to go to art school to pay attention to math. I suppose concepts like symmetry make sense for art, but how about measurement, proportion, and scale? Read more…

Avoid Summer Learning Loss: Use a Summer Journal

Summer Journaling for Kids

Kindergarten teachers do an incredible job with students during the first year of formal education, however, once the last school bell rings, it is the job of the parents and guardians to reinforce the skills that were acquired during the year. Read more…

Kathryn Starke

How To: Teach Kids to Read Independently

Reading Strategies for Independent Reading

Please welcome my guest author, Kathryn Starke, who is am an urban elementary school literacy specialist, children’s author, freelance writer and the founder/CEO of Creative Minds Publications and Consulting, global educational companies. Read more…

Happy July 4th with Pinterest Ideas for Celebrating!

4th of July Celebration Ideas

I love Pinterest. I’ve discovered that I am a digital hoarder of things that I am not good at. These pins inspire me to be better at crafting and get generally more into the spirit of holidays. Yep, my Pinterest boards are me in my fantasy world of Martha Stewart-like perfection. Read more…