Close Reading Toolbox

Close Reading Toolbox

Today’s world is fast paced. Answers load instantaneously at the click of a button, and with phones, we always have access to information and people. Well, we have a close reading toolbox for you, teachers and caregivers, to get your students and kids to slow down and focus on what they’re reading. First off, we have some great new titles for them to hunker down with–either at their desk or in front of the fire over the holiday season. For those who love a mystery, there’s A Murder for Max, a short novel that centers […]






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Spelling is Hard

Spelling in sand

Spelling is hard. And English words rarely sound as they spell which makes it even more complicated. But we have an easy-to-make and on-the-run way for teachers and caregivers to get kids to practice their spelling. 3 things are required for it: Sand — it can be kinetic sand, which is more easily malleable and stays in place better. An old pencil case Flashcards with words for kids to spell. Making this fun practice tool is easy. Simply put the sand in the bottom of the pencil case. Kids practice spelling and reading the words […]






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Audio Books as a Literacy Tool

Reading aloud to children is widely accepted as the single most important activity in language acquisition. But not all kids get this at home. As teachers, you have no power over what your students are exposed to before they land in your classroom. What you can do is provide them with activities that will replicate the benefits of read aloud in early childhood. One activity that provides these benefits and more is listening to an audio book. Listening to an audio book can be an experience shared by all of your students regardless of reading […]






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#GreenTeacher: Petitions for a Greener World

Your students are already thinking about the environment. You’ve taught them about waste reduction and other sustainability issues, and your class likely has a green project underway. Good for you. But your students may need your help taking their green initiatives beyond the classroom. Kids who learn early that their voices deserve to be heard in the world are more likely to work toward positive change later in life. Today’s technology and government processes make that easier than ever. Petitions are one of the best ways for kids to effect positive change. A great example […]






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US Elections in the Classroom: A Dialogue About Differences

Your students are going to encounter media about the US election, which will have an impact in the classroom. Make that impact educational with a lesson plan that keeps your students engaged and on track. Last week we sent out a teacher newsletter that included a survey about the upcoming US election. According to TeachingTolerance.org, 40% of teachers are hesitant to teach about the election this year. We drafted our survey, in part, to find out why. We will publish the results of the survey in our next email. If you haven’t already signed up […]






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9 Ways to Reduce Garbage in the Classroom

Trash Talk by Michelle Mulder

In our last teacher feature, we discussed the benefits of non-academic goals, and we suggested a zero-waste classroom as an option. For this month’s #GreenTeacher article, we have ideas for creating a zero-waste classroom, just in time for the new school year. Talking about garbage is one of the best ways to start a conversation about the environment. For one thing, garbage is ugly and unsightly; it’s easy to make an argument that reducing garbage is a good way to go. And garbage contributes to the larger environmental issues we face. Did you know that […]






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