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It’s Christmas, David! Let’s Make an Ornament!

21 Dec

Have you ever noticed how perfectly round and ornament-like David’s head is? Well, we did! In honor of David Shannon’s hilarious new book, It’s Christmas, David!, Scholastic Book Clubs offered the Make a David Ornament Sweepstakes and asked teachers and students to be creative! The premise? David’s head is round like an ornament—so why not have your students create a David-inspired decoration as a classroom holiday art project? We received hundreds of wonderful, creative, and inspired ornaments that captured the playfulness and

The Scholastic Christmas Tree

naughtiness of the favorite character David. They were so good, we even have them hanging on the Scholastic tree in the lobby of the New York office!


The sweepstakes may be over, but there’s still time to create your own holiday ornament inspired by David’s round head. Create your own, or use the shapes provided here to decorate and embellish. And don’t forget to read David Shannon’s newest book before you start your art project—I promise you’ll be inspired by David’s antics, and you might just see a little of yourself as a child, eagerly awaiting a visit from Santa!


The 5 Winning Ornaments!

 

It’s Christmas, David! can be found in Firefly December, and all-year online in Club Shop.

Reading for Rosa

1 Dec

Fifty-five years ago today, Rosa Parks kept her seat on a bus and took a stand for civil rights. Inspired by this anniversary, we over here at Book Talk have been thinking about some of the books that can help kids learn about civil rights and the ongoing struggle for equality.

Let’s start with a few absolutely gorgeous picture books that tell the real-life stories of real-life heroes. There’s Henry’s Freedom Box, the story of Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom in a wooden crate. Nikki Giovanni and Bryan Collier’s Rosa tells the story of Rosa Parks, whom we’re honoring today. Then there’s Martin’s Big Words, which is about—you guessed it—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The illustrations in these books are seriously out of this world, and the stories are (of course) incredible, too.

Then, my personal favorite: the novels (I love learning history this way). In these books, the fight for equality is the background against which the fictional story takes place. The now-classic The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 is an absolute must-read that follows one family as it moves to Birmingham, Alabama during the violent summer of 1963. For a more recent title and a slightly different angle, we love Jacqueline Woodson’s Feathers, in which a white student joins the narrator’s all-black class.

There are tons of wonderful books to read today in honor of Rosa Parks.  Tell us: what’s on your list?

Note: You can find Henry’s Freedom Box, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, and Feathers online all year long in the “Award Winners” category on Club Shop! Martin’s Big Words is also in Club Shop, under “Nonfiction and Reference.” Rosa is available in Scholastic Book Clubs’ End-of-Year catalog, and don’t miss our special January Voices catalog, which celebrates African American Literature, History and Life! Click here to check them out.

SBC Loves First-Time Teachers and Teachers-to-Be!

27 Oct

As a recent(ish) college grad, I have a lot of friends who are first-time teachers. They’re scattered all over—in Boston and San Francisco, in rural Pennsylvania, and in the southernmost part of Texas (hi, Sam!). I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately, because even though they’re some of the most wonderful, creative, and hardworking people I know, it’s clear that the first year of teaching is still a HUGE challenge.

Enter Scholastic Book Clubs. We know that we can’t help with all the challenges that new teachers and teachers-to-be face, but we can make it easier for you to get great, age-appropriate books for your classroom library. New teachers who sign up for Book Clubs can receive up to 25 FREE Books during their first year teaching, and Bonus Points and contests help you earn more books and curriculum tie-ins for your classroom! Plus, for those of you who are in training to become teachers, if you register on our Web site, we’ll send you info about awesome giveaways and sweepstakes so that by the time you do walk into your own classroom, you’ll have some great materials to bring with you.

But enough about us. New teachers and teachers-to-be, we want to hear from YOU about what kinds of rewards, materials, and programs you want to see available from Scholastic Book Clubs. Veteran teachers, we want to know what advice you can offer your colleagues who are just starting out in the world of teaching. And thanks again to all of you for working so hard to inspire a love of learning in your students!

This post comes to you from Liz, Guest Blogger and Recent Addition to the Book Clubs Family.

Teachable Moment: Special Days

30 Sep


Firefly October Featured Book: The Spooky Wheels on the Bus

This humorous, Halloween-themed version of the classic song “The Wheels on the Bus” is a perfect new book for the season. It features a shiny foil cover with vibrant illustrations on each page, and children will love following along with the bold, repeating text. The story chronicles one bus driver’s night as he cruises through town on Halloween, picking up all sorts of unexpected passengers. Plus, the story provides a great opportunity to practice simple counting skills. From “one spooky bus” to “ten goofy ghosts,” children will enjoy counting and singing along to this not-so-spooky Halloween rhyme!

In addition to being a fun read-aloud, we especially love this book because it’s a wonderful introduction to the holiday. Reading stories like this one about Halloween helps children understand why holidays are special days. They can pick out images from the story that signify Halloween to them, such as jack-o’-lanterns, black cats, mummies, and witches. You can also talk to your children about what words like “spooky” mean to them. Discussing what makes certain days more special than others helps young children make sense of their world.  Costumes, candy, decorations—it can be overwhelming for a kid to take in all at once, but a lot goes into making holidays special. Once your child understands the holiday better, celebrating can be all the more exciting!

What are some other books you’ve found that provide teachable moments?


FIRST CLASS: Help for New Teachers!

29 Sep

Walking into your FIRST CLASS for the very first time as a new teacher can be really overwhelming.

We think it would be so helpful if teachers (and parents) could lend a hand to new teachers by sharing the top five things they wished they had known when they first set foot into their classrooms.

We can start by letting you know how Book Clubs can help:

  1. Build your classroom library quickly and easily! In addition to the monthly rewards you receive for ordering, you (as a brand-new teacher) can receive up to 25 FREE Books throughout the school year. Click here for more info.
  2. Build your classroom library with Bonus Points! Each order earns you Bonus Points, which you can use to build your dream classroom. You can use your Bonus Points to get FREE Books from the monthly catalogs, teacher resources from our new Teacher Essentials catalog, and classroom materials from our Classroom Bonus catalog!
  3. Engage your classroom through ClassroomsCare, a motivational reading program that teaches students about giving to kids in need.
  4. Engage your class via contests, curriculum tie-ins, and more—all found in the teacher pages of our monthly catalogs. Visit Contests, Etc. for more information.
  5. E-mail or call us if you have any questions! You can reach us at your exclusive FIRST CLASS in-box at firstclass@scholastic.com.  You can also call us at 1-800-SCHOLASTIC (1-800-724-6527) and follow the prompts for new teachers.  We’re here to help!

Here are some other useful tools:

Reading at Home. Discuss.

10 Aug

Life these days is a whirlwind. You wake up, scramble to get everyone out the door for school, eat breakfast on your commute to work, make it through the work-day, pick up the kids, take them to their after-school activities, pick them up, make dinner, check your email, help the kids with their homework, and collapse into bed only to start the day all over again. Are we forgetting anything? Probably.

You may ask, during a day like this, who has time to read?

We all do.

Read Skippyjon Jones when you’re waiting for dinner to finish cooking. Ask your child to read Junie B. Jones at the counter with you as you all prep for the next day ahead. Snuggle in bed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Make family time reading time, and you’ll all win.

Research has shown that reading at home for just 20 minutes every day can make a difference in your child’s life…so get on the reading train if you aren’t on it already.

What are your tips to make reading at home part of your family’s daily routine?