Book Review- Balloons Over Broadway

Beautiful picture book to use with biography and Thanksgiving via Wonder Teacher I have a book to share with you and I love it so much I can’t wait until the “proper season.” It’s called Balloons over Broadway, written and illustrated by the wonderful Melissa Sweet. The story is about Tony Sarg, the man who is the creative father of the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade. (This sort of puts it in a “Thanksgiving” category except not really because it’s just as much about creativity and puppetry and artistic problem-solving and general inspiration!) There are so many reasons to build some teaching time around this book! [Read more…]

Maximize Student Learning After A Weather Break: Publish a “special issue” class magazine

publish a class magazine after weather break

What do you do when you have experienced a weather-related school shutdown (like “Southern Snow Storm Leon AKA “Smowmageddon 2014”?)

Sleep late and wear your PJs all day, of course!

No- I mean when you get back to school. Do you just jump back in right where you left off? Or should you stop and spend some time processing what happened with your students? After all, if school was canceled, you probably experienced a significant and/or unusual local event. The children will have a lot of schema and story to share along with interest and excitement for writing about an event they personally experienced.

But what should you have them do? Talking about it in a morning meeting is nice, but with all that “real life” experience, you could take it a lot further.

Please do not lame out with something like this: Write a paragraph telling what you did over the snow days. So boring! My eyelids are getting heavy just thinking about it.

Let’s take that idea 5 steps further. How could you engage your students in thinking, writing, and creating in an authentic manner that will be fun and motivating?

Here’s an idea! Publish a “special issue” magazine! [Read more…]

Why You Should Publish Student Writing

Why you should Publish In the Classroom As you have probably realized, I am crazy about having kids publish books in the classroom! Why? Lots of reasons, but here are three at the top of my list. [Read more…]

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