Teacher Advisors: Our Eyes and Ears

16 Aug

Although we here in Book Clubs love to read children’s books, and some of us even have children of our own, we rely heavily on the teachers out there on the frontlines to help us understand the pulse of the classroom year to year.  We are so lucky to be able to work with these wonderful educators who are just as excited as we are about new books and finding new ways to use them in their classrooms.  This year, you’ll be hearing from a few of these “Scholastic Teacher Advisors” as they  review hot new titles, but don’t be surprised if they pop up on the blog from time to time just to say hi!

Here’s a sneak peek of two of the September Teacher Advisor Reviews that went up on our Facebook page this morning:

Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill

[Available in Seesaw September]

It’s fire safety week in Miss Mingo’s room!  This book introduces fire drills and safety in a unique and fun way. This would be a perfect read aloud for teachers to introduce fire safety or for parents to ease their child’s worries! This book is great for animal lovers as well because it gives fun non-fiction facts about the animal characters in the book. If your child loves animals or learning about school, they would love this book. Enjoy!

—Brittany Begg Lee, First-Grade Teacher

[Available in Arrow September]

Scholastic fans young and old would enjoy THE SLIGHTLY ODD UNITED STATES OF AMERICA if they (1) have ever dreamed of being a contestant on Jeopardy, (2) would like to meet Alex Trebek, or (3) could impress millions of television viewers with their intelligence. If only (2) applies to you, I can’t help you much. Try his agent? THE SLIGHTLY ODD UNITED STATES OF AMERICA reinforced for me what a great, sometimes zany, country America is. I was delighted page after page with quiz-show worthy information such as: Did you know that the all the Coca-Cola that the world drinks in a single day would run Niagara Falls for 28 seconds? Would it shock you to know that the tallest building in North Dakota is only 19 stories? Have you learned about Mars Bluff, South Carolina surviving a 1958 nuclear bomb drop? What about Florida’s Duane Tucker who holds the record for perfect attendance–2, 340 days in a row?! I did not know these facts and the other brain-busting information before reading this vibrant and expertly designed book. Students can also complete quizzes, fun puzzles, and memory games after reading each section of the book (The Upper Right, The Lower Right, The Middle {sort of}, The Middle Middle, and the Left Side). These features make the book both informational and interactive–a true Daily Double! Obviously, in a classroom, the game/puzzle pages would need to be reproduced by the teacher. There are some very difficult vocabulary words (odyssey, simultaneously, reverberate) and concepts (guano-mining, consumer product testing, dialects) in this book, so I would recommend that student readers have other resources close by, such as a reference source or an adult consult.

This book will spur vast amounts of learning and enrich students’ minds. Plus, your Final Jeopardy category someday might be “Facts About America” and you’ll surely know what to wager! THE SLIGHTLY ODD UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a must-have for home and classroom libraries.

—Ryan Hanna, Fifth-Grade Teacher

One Response to “Teacher Advisors: Our Eyes and Ears”


  1. Reviews from the Experts: Teacher Advisors’ November Picks « Book Talk - October 22, 2010

    […] already introduced Our Scholastic Teacher Advisors to you on the blog earlier this school year and let you know that they would be back to say hi. Well, they’re […]

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