November 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Thanksgiving is a time for families to get together and give thanks for each other’s company. Here at LitLife, we believe it’s also a time for sharing stories! As everyone lazily gathers together after dinner with full bellies, what better time is there to cuddle up and share a favorite story? We’ve gathered a few of our favorite Thanksgiving books to help you get into the holiday spirit:
1. The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
We love the colorful images and joyful lessons in all of Todd Parr’s children’s books, and this book of gratitude is no different. Reading this book aloud with your littlest family members will help them reflect on all of the things they have to be grateful for, and will provide some giggles as well!
2. Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet
There’s nothing that gets you in the holiday spirit quite like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you plan on watching the parade with little ones this year, this award winning picture book is the perfect read aloud. Through her creative collage illustrations, Melissa Sweet tells the story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who invented the giant balloons that have become the trademark of the Macy’s Parade.
3. Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
Award-winning storyteller, Joseph Bruchac shares the history of Thanksgiving from a Native American’s point of view with this historical account of Squanto. Even after he was kidnapped and shipped to Spain, Squanto befriended the English who landed in Plymouth and helped them survive the winter. Kids will love looking at Greg Shed’s full page illustrations and Bruchac’s unique historical account of the day.
4. Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Your kids may be surprised to learn that Thanksgiving wasn’t always a national holiday. It wasn’t until 1863, after Sarah Hale had been petitioning and writing letters to the government for 38 years, that Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday! This celebration of Hale’s perseverance from acclaimed author, Laurie Halse Anderson will quickly become a new family favorite.
5. A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
Poor Turkey is hidden away in his nest just trying to get through Thanksgiving when Moose and his friends come looking for him. Out on a quest for Mrs. Moose, who would like to have a turkey for dinner, Mr. Moose and his friends bring the trembling bird back for dinner. In the end, Turkey is pleasantly surprised to learn that he is a guest for dinner, and not the main course! This silly story will be loved by all but is especially good for families celebrating a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
November 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Every year, the National Council for Teachers of English holds a conference for English teachers from across the country to come together to learn from each other and to discuss the latest in educational policy, technology and more. This year the conference will be held in Boston, Ma and features over 700 presentations, workshops and discussions.
LitLife’s Executive Directer, Pam Allyn will be sharing her innovative approaches to teaching reading and writing during two sessions at the conference on Friday, November 22nd.
In her first session, “Developing Powerful Writing through Storytelling and Inquiry,” Pam Allyn will be joined by Kristin Domm, a children’s book author and professor at Mount Saint Vincent University. Together, they will share their 21st Century approaches to teaching writing. For more information on this session, check it out in the NCTE Convention Schedule: http://bit.ly/1idPaQ9
On Friday afternoon, Pam will present, “Literacy is Humankind’s Greatest Innovation: Teaching Locally, Thinking Globally.” During this hour and fifteen minute session, Pam will share her innovative solutions for incorporating changes in technology and globalization in literacy instruction. She will also share how she has helped create community based cultures that promote literacy through her work with LitWorld. You can find out more about this session here: http://bit.ly/1idQe6k
Are you attending NCTE this year? We hope to see you at these amazing sessions! Be sure to reach out to Pam (@pamallyn) and LitLife (@LitLifePD) on twitter for more info.
If you can’t make it to NCTE this year but still want to follow the action, you can follow #NCTE13 for updates from presenters and attendees.
October 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Jen is the proud parent of daughter Lily, who became an older sister this July to baby Charlie.
September 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
September 18, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Last night, LitLife Executive Director Pam Allyn and LitLife West Director Debbie Lera hosted a free webinar on teaching writing in the Common Core era as part of Pearson Education’s Changing Practices webinar series. From their whole-small-whole lesson structure to using close reading in writing lessons, they covered an array of useful information. If you missed the webinar, or are just looking for additional information, Pam and Debbie have also published a blog post for the Pearson Research & Innovation Network that covers all ten of their amazing tips.
We’ve included an excerpt of the post below, for the full article, follow the link at the bottom of the page.
Teaching Core Ready Writers: Top Ten Tips for Teaching Students to Write Well
Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Pam Allyn and Debbie Lera
In the era of the Common Core, writing is in the spotlight. Once pushed to the back burner, writing now must be a daily, purposeful lesson in every classroom. How can you make sure that the space you clear in your plan book for these writing lessons is effective? How can we all be sure we are offering the kind of dynamic, engaged writing instruction that motivates all students? Here are our top ten tips for ensuring that your Common Core Writing instruction makes the grade.
A Balanced Writing Diet: Narrative, Informational and Argument Writing
Make sure that every lesson you teach clearly conveys to your students the type of writing that is expected. Teach these three terms, define them, and together explore the qualities of the best examples of each type. Let students know that they are writing for a real purpose, which may be to entertain, to inform or to argue. Consider selecting sub-genres within each writing type that give student purpose. Need to teach argument writing? How about a unit on book reviews? Need to teach narrative writing? How about asking them to write short stories? Just make sure your students are crystal clear on the writing type you are asking them to use.
September 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Don’t worry! You can find the entire thread on the Scholastic page at http://www.facebook.com/Scholastic.
Here’s just one of the many wonderful conversations that took place last night.
September 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Join Pam Allyn and Scholastic on Monday, Sept 16th at 9 pm EST for a live Back to School Facebook chat!
Pam be chatting all about how to inspire a love of reading and learning in children that can be carried throughout the school year. We’ll be tuning in and would love you to be a part of the conversation!