Saturday, December 30, 2017


Shop your local indie bookstore.
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is a 2017 Newbery Honor Book. A great addition to coming of age stories like Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. The story begins with Annabelle, the main character saying “The year I turned 12, I learned how to lie.” It's a touching story where Annabelle learns that even though we may feel insignificant in the world, "The year I turned twelve, I learned that what I said and what I did mattered." Tons of ways to use this book in your middle grade classroom or as a family read. The New York Times Jennifer Donnelly has written a great review but I encourage you to read the book first.

Friday, December 8, 2017


Last year my 7th and 8th grade Media Class students participated in Hour of Code and we all learned so much. Hour of Code became more than an hour and it was a lot of fun as well. As a teacher or parent you do not need to know how to code to participate and use the Hour of Code materials.  A nonprofit group has put together everything you need to participate and it's FREE. There is something for everyone K-12. Watch the introductory video and then get involved!

Monday, December 4, 2017


Shop your local indie bookstore.
Some of the most meaningful lessons are the ones that come from unexpected people, places and things. Katherine Applegate, author of Newbery-Medal Award winner The One and Only Ivan, continues to distinguish herself for helping young and old readers alike understand complex themes while providing meaningful doable solutions. I particularly enjoyed Dominique Browning's review in The New York Times but only read it after I finished the book. If you are looking for a great read for your classroom to teach tolerance this may be for you. I would plan it for a March/April read culminating in a May 1st wishtree event. However, wishtree is a good read anytime and has many different possible lesson extensions from a science unit on trees to a focus on fact vs. opinion. I also believe this book would be a great family/home schooler read. Check out Common Sense Media's review if you want more information before you read it. I've also included the book trailer below. Email me if you need more ideas to teach with this wonderful story.