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 […]

A New Way to Celebrate Black History Month

Here is a multi-layered Black History Month project that you can do with your upper elementary/middle school students. Pick the layer you’re comfortable with — or have time for — and go to town. LAYER 1 introduces students to this cream-of-the-crop website, The Undefeated 44, that has portraits and short biographical pieces of prominent African Americans. […]


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 […]

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 […]

Encouraging Boys to Read

Recently, we discovered a great website, Guys Read, that has excellent recommendations to peak boys’ interest in reading. An obvious, but overlooked idea, is to find interesting material. This website is so helpful! The books are categorized by theme. For example, books that deal with pirates, traveling, robots, and sports are just a few of […]

What has Dr. Seuss Done? Had Lots of Figurative Language Fun!

Dr. Seuss isn’t just for elementary classes anymore! Do you know what’s happening March 2nd? It’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day! Dr. Seuss is one of the most celebrated children’s authors today, and most children have read his books or have had his books read to them. By […]

Celebrate the Birthday of Dr. Seuss in Your Classroom

Look here; look there; find Dr. Seuss fun everywhere! Get excited everyone! Dr. Seuss’ Birthday and Read Across America Day are celebrated on March 2nd! Dr. Seuss’ catchy rhymes and fun illustrations never go out of style—they continue to amuse children and adults, year after year. To delight your students this year, the Simple Solutions […]