December Activities

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Looking for reading and writing fun for your kids in December? Here are some ideas to get you started. Since there are lots of celebrations and busy days this month, these activities are great for the entire family. Family Movie Discussion: The more I work with young children, the more convinced I am that movies give us an opportunity to speak about plots, plot points, character traits, and details in a fun way at a very … Continue reading

National Adoption Month

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November is National Adoption Month – a time to celebrate adoption as a way of creating families. My family is an adoptive family. I have three children, two of whom are adopted – I forget which ones. Seriously, the love, affection, and strong ties in our adoptive family are every bit as real and forever as those in non-adoptive families. The thing is, adoption is just one of the many special-situation topics that receive scant … Continue reading

November Activities

tiny-hands

Welcome to November! The month when the air is crisp, the leaves are swirling, and the mornings are too dark! Here are some language arts activities for you and your kids! ~Gina Crayon Crunchers: These youngest kids range from lap babies to toddlers. They love to cuddle with you and share a story. They are at a great age for you to make up stories about what you see around you. You can explain how … Continue reading

Fall Reading/Writing Activities

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Fall is finally here! Now if we can just have a hard frost, I can bundle up and go outside for a walk! Housebound by asthma or not, this time of year is a lot of fun for kids. They can kick their way through leaf piles on their way to and from school or the bus stop. They can decorate pumpkins to sit out on the front stoop, and bake the seeds from their … Continue reading

YA Book Review: Air

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AIR, by Ryan Gattis, is one of the best books I’ve read all year. Grey is a guy who loves to get air – to ride his bicycle as fast as possible before taking off of a ramp or other stable structure and doing flips or other risky stunts. He doesn’t do this to be a risk-taker. He does it for the satisfaction of accomplishing something that seems to be impossible. He lives for the … Continue reading

Penguin Young Readers Awards

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2016 ALA AWARD WINNERS AND HONORS! We are thrilled to share with you all of our honors and winners from this year’s ALA Youth Media Awards. Congratulations to all! To see all of our award winners from past years, visit our National Awards page! JOHN NEWBERY MEDAL, RANDOLPH CALDECOTT HONOR, CORETTA SCOTT KING ILLUSTRATOR HONOR Last Stop on Market Street Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book A … Continue reading

Show vs Tell

Andy and Woody

Show versus Tell. Your kids have heard this a zillion times by the time they reach 10th grade. But what does it MEAN? Here’s one way to help them “get it.” 1. Watch Monsters, Inc from when you first see Sully until the point where Mike is so excited that he was on TV. Ask your children what they already know about Sully and Mike. Ask if someone TOLD them or if they know it from … Continue reading