Tag Archives: Teachers

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?


Happy Birthday to Us: We Have a Winner!

29 Sep

A HUGE congratulations goes out to Judy D. for winning a box of books! And a heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated—we loved hearing what you had to say. Some of you loved the recommendations, some loved the discussions, and others loved being in the know about children’s literature news! It’s because of you that our Facebook page has become such a success, and we literally could not do it without you!

We look forward to another great year of conversation with all of you!

Teacher Town Hall: Recap

27 Sep

Did you all watch and/or participate in the Teacher Town Hall last Sunday?

Pro-charter school, pro-public school, pro-tenure, anti-tenure—the opinions were strong, poignant, and conflicting.  It’s clear that there is no “one” answer to enhance America’s educational system.  But what do you think can help make a difference? And perhaps this question is more meaningful to you: What do you already do to affect lives? We heard from teachers who spend over $1,000 to help stock their classrooms, from teachers who stay until late in the evening to help supervise study hall for their students—I’m sure you have more to share.

Thank you to all of the teachers out there who help make a difference.  Really, we salute you. 

If you didn’t get a chance to tune in, you can learn more here: www.educationnation.com. Education Nation is throughout the week of September 26th, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.

Labor Day Weekend Reads

3 Sep

Now, we know that you may think that Labor Day means one thing: BBQ. But for the Book Talk crew, it means we get one extra day to do what we love best: read.

Yes, we will enjoy copious amounts of grilled delicacies, family, and friends, but we’ll also enjoy catching some rays while reading some fantastic books. What could be better? Not much, we say!

Here’s an inside lens into our Labor Day Weekend Reads (of course, we want to hear from you too!):

Preeti: My hopes are probably too high for this weekend, but I’ll be at the beach with more than a few reads. I’m most excited about Entwined, a young adult novel about my faaavorite fairy tale, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” I also intend to relive the excitement of Scaredy-Cat, Splat! , which I am going to share with my friends so we can squeal over its cuteness!

Trevor: I’ll be reading an adult title (GASP!)—Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad—as well as reading the final installment in The 39 Clues® series, The 39 Clues®, Book Ten: Into the Gauntlet!

Erin: This weekend is filled with traveling, so I’ll have a lot of time to devote to some BIG books. I’m rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (for about the seventh time…). And because I can’t just read children’s books ALL the time (sigh), I’m going back to my history major tendencies and reading The Pillars of the Earth. Have a great weekend!

Jen: My weekend is going to be filled with family read-alongs! I’ll be rereading Mockingjay with my 14-year-old cousin. I’ll also be diving into the world of medicine with My Body (from Firefly September) so I can keep up with my loved ones, many of whom are doctors (hey, I’ve got to learn it somehow!).

What are you all reading this weekend?

NYTIMES Came for a Visit…

2 Sep

…To talk about you! Thanks for helping to make our social media community, well, such a community! Check out this NYTIMES article that featured our Twitter, Facebook and Blog (that’s you!) collective missions: to help connect teachers to teachers, teachers to parents, and children’s booklovers across the nation.  Let’s keep helping children nationwide become readers!

Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf

2 Sep

Some of you may have noticed the book Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf on September’s Arrow and Lucky clubs. What you may not know is that this is the first book, children’s or adult, to be published on this unfortunate disaster. You may also have seen something about this by our friends at On Our Minds who recently posted about how our Scholastic Kids Press Corps reporters are covering the oil spill. Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf was the result of a lot of hard work and long hours, but it was worth it to have a book out in the market for kids so they can understand the effects of a tragedy such as this. Our Editorial Director David Allender wanted to share some thoughts on how this book came about and why we felt we had to publish such a book.

Dear Teachers and Parents,

Nonfiction is invaluable because it connects children to their world. When catastrophe struck in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year, we knew we had to offer a book about this subject in September Book Clubs so that kids could learn about it in a way that would be meaningful for them.

The only problem was that there was no book available. So we decided to make it ourselves. You might say this is how Book Clubs spent our summer vacation—three intense weeks in June and July creating this book.

Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf tells what happened and explains how and why. The book was thoroughly vetted by experts, and is profusely illustrated with photographs, diagrams, and illustrations. As you’d expect from Scholastic, the book supports the curriculum in so many ways, including inspiring kids to conduct their own inquiries into the science of energy.

We are very proud to publish the very first book about this environmental catastrophe. It helps us fulfill a central part of Book Clubs’ mission: to provide a connection between young minds and information. And that connection can truly change the world.

Sincerely,

David Allender
Editorial Director, Scholastic Book Clubs

Back to School!

31 Aug

 

Strange new teacher.
Strange new toys.
Lots of kids and lots of noise!

Llama Llama Misses Mama! Like many kids this fall, Llama Llama is heading to school for the first time. Anna Dewdney has provided teachers and parents alike with a great story to encourage social and emotional development. Brand new on Firefly this September, Llama Llama must learn how to get along with a new teacher and new friends and without Mama Llama. Check out our Firefly editor’s review of Llama Llama Misses Mama! Our friends at Penguin have also put together a collection of classroom activities go along with Llama Llama Misses Mama, grab them here!

In celebration of back to school stories, we Book Talkers thought we’d let you know about some other great September titles for all ages!

Ready for Kindergarten, Stinky Face?

On SeeSaw this September, Stinky Face has a million questions for his mother – What if the sink pours grape juice instead of water? Just how strange will Kindergarten be?



Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School

Meet our favorite mixed-up lady as a young girl, in this Lucky September offer! Amelia Bedelia can’t WAIT for school!



Dexter the Tough

On Arrow this fall, Dexter starts his first day in the fourth grade at a new school by slipping and falling in front of everyone – could it get any worse? This is a wonderful chapter book chronicling a boy’s trouble fitting in – in school and life.

 

What are some books that have helped your kids get ready for school? Leave a comment and let us know!