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Parent engagement

What books do best

Books entertain, educate, inform, engage, and more — more than we may realize. Readers meet others and see themselves in them. They may feel validated, see change, or may be changed by a book.

A recent piece by Katia Hetter exploring how children's books help families explore diversity brought this home for me.

Sharing science with your youngest learners

I recently read a post about providing opportunities to connect families with their child's education that I really liked. Peggy Ashbrook's post Involving families in early childhood science education from the NSTA Blog provides several ideas and resources for getting parents together with a focus on science. I've listed a few of my favorites here, plus a few others.

My teacher gives more homework

Do you ever hear this complaint? Kids know which teacher gives the most homework AND which teacher gives almost no homework at all. I think there are two issues here: how much homework is good? And should teachers at the same grade level give the same amount of homework?

Teacher appreciation a few months early

Teacher Appreciation Week is typically the first week of May. But January can be long, cold, and drab with mid-year assessments and paperwork taking up too much time. This seems like a good opportunity to remind all teachers just how important and wonderful you are! Every day you stand before very special people, and every day you have the power to ignite a spark that will last a lifetime.

Super Ambassadors for young people and reading!

What do a red cape, a magic wand and a light sword represent? Each seems to be a sign of magic, heroics, something more than mere human, right?

What happens when the writers who hold these objects come together in one room? They become the superheroes and spokespeople to let the world know about the importance of reading.

These are the Super National Ambassadors for Young People's Literature! Together, their power can change the world! And that's just what current and former Ambassadors have set out to do.

New school year resolutions

I recently had dinner with some teacher friends who are preparing for the new school year. The conversation turned to "New School Year Resolutions." With their permission, I thought I'd share three of the resolutions with you and also find out what sorts of teaching (or parenting) resolutions you're making at the start of this school year.

Teacher appreciation

A very happy teacher appreciation week to all educators! Teachers deserve far more than a week's celebration, but setting aside this designated week gives parents and PTOs an opportunity to pool resources and volunteers and recognize teachers for all they do.

Thanks for another great year

This will be my last post for 2010. The girls are off from school and I'm looking forward to spending some time with them away from any screens. And the forecast is for a white Christmas! We're very excited.

Thanks for your many comments on my posts this year. I love to hear from you, even when you completely disagree with me!

Gifts for teachers, parents, and kids

It's the time of year when many of us are bustling around to find just the right gifts for the teachers, caregivers and kids in our life. Here are some ideas I've come across that you may find useful:

Thankful for many things

One day every year is set aside to give thanks and to remember our history. History and family often come together. Sometimes it's through family stories shared around a dinner table or even books shared aloud. These are often times worth remembering as well as worthy of thanksgiving.

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"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln