Family Road Trips

I grew up in a family with five siblings and parents who were both educators. That being the case, our family vacations often consisted of our loaded station wagon making stops at historical sites in our home state of Ohio. The destinations were close enough, so overnight stays were never required. By the time I […]

Harry Potter

Harry Potter: A Rich Source of Descriptive Language

A recent trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios had me thinking back to my first Harry Potter memory and the treasure trove of descriptive language found in the series. Do you have an early Harry Potter memory? Mine was the summer of ‘99. I heard Oprah Winfrey talking about a […]

Honoring our Presidents

It’s February, when teachers everywhere turn to thoughts of… presidents. I, being no different, made sure to attend the updated and recently reopened Hall of Presidents attraction during my recent trip to Disney World. The video portion of the presentation appears on a panoramic screen. It tells how the Founding Fathers had a new idea […]


Galileo  Happy  454th Birthday!    I had such fun writing the Ben Franklin birthday blog, I thought I’d write about another scientist. I stumbled upon Galileo’s name in a novel I was reading, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, in which two characters briefly discuss one of Galileo’s discoveries. “What I recall about this Galileo […]

Take Your Class On A Virtual Field Trip

Snap out of the day-to-day monotony in the classroom by planning a virtual field trip to…anywhere. Virtual field trips are a great way to enhance your curriculum and make learning more engaging. They incorporate 21st century technology in a meaningful way, provide interactive learning experiences, and expose students to places they may never have a […]

The Winter Olympics are Here!

It happens every four years. The magic and thrill of the Winter Olympics is why I can put my life on hold for two weeks to watch athletes with amazing skills and compelling backstories compete at the top of their sport! The Olympics have always had a hold over my heart. Most students will be […]


Ben Franklin January 17th is the birthdate of one of early America’s preeminent citizens, Benjamin Franklin. Not only was he a founding father and a distinguished journalist, but he was also an accomplished scientist. *Digging into our database of quality websites, I located these links to celebrate Ben Franklin’s birthday by recognizing his many accomplishments. […]

shark week

Test-Taking Skills

 Practice test-taking skills this summer! For some middle school kids, taking a test is as scary as facing a shark. One way to ease those fears is to practice test-taking strategies. Our Summer Solutions Study Skills books provide students with note-taking and test-taking strategies that will help them once school starts again in the fall.   […]

Exploring How Poetry Works

Let’s talk about poetry! World Poetry Day is March 21st! We know that poetry isn’t always students’ (or teachers’) favorite subject. Oftentimes, poetry can seem difficult to explain or difficult for students to fully understand, especially when dealing with more contemporary poetic forms—those that don’t rhyme or follow easy patterns.   But don’t let these […]


Sarah E. Goode Lesson and Inventing Activity

  According to US Census records, Sarah E. Goode was born in Ohio. However, other details of her early life are hazy, and reports are conflicting. One thing is for sure: Goode made history in 1885 by being the first (or possibly second) African-American woman to receive a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark […]