Great chapter books for grades 3-5 (Great holiday gifts!)

chapter books for elementary kids -- makes a great gift!

Parents contact me often asking for book recommendations. The books listed below are a mix of adventurous and funny realistic and historic fiction chapter books for kids in grades 3-5. I Survived series When Middle was 5, I found I Survived Hurricane Katrina at a Scholastic Book Fair. I had some concern that introducing my […]

20 ways to volunteer for your child’s school

volunteer at school

Nearly every child wants his mom or dad to be involved in school. If only it were so easy for nearly every parent. Here are ways to help out beyond lunch duty.* Can you spend some of your day at school? Before volunteering to help in at the school, review your child’s school policy or […]

How to use Disney Frozen books to enhance learning

frozen novel disney

I’m working with Disney Publishing to review and discuss Disney Frozen books as both a parent and an educator. With an obsessed four year old, we happily welcomed more and more of these stories into our home–each book offering a new light on the story that she knows so well. Below are brief video reviews […]

Journal-Themed books kids love reading

books for elementary kids journal theme

When connecting with books, most kids look for a character they identify with, or aim to be. Images help to tell the stories, and so does the first-person point of view. Reading a story from a child’s point of view makes kids feel a closer part of the book, and the fiction genre’s subcategory of […]

Sample monthly letter for teachers to send to parents (free download!)

letter from teacher

Dear elementary teachers,  Feel free to copy this and adapt to fit your classroom. We, your students’ parents, would love some communication. Really. We want to hear from you. As an educator, former elementary school teacher and a parent, I understand how busy teachers are, but I also understand the necessity in communication to run […]

How to find books your child will love

how to find books for kids

There are many things to be concerned with when selecting a book for your child to read, especially children who haven’t become devoted to a specific genre or author. Usually, kids around 2nd to 3rd grades are still “playing the field”, trying to determine the books of most interest. Or, they’ll get hooked on one […]

What is the best holiday gift for a teacher?


A little over a week ago, I received a very kind piece of hate mail in my comments. A teacher of over 32 years, ever so sweetly, told me she felt sorry for me and found me self-centered. Twice. She shared these feelings in a comment to one of my Teacher Gift posts that I write […]

Next Monday is Thank a Teacher Day

thank a teacher day

Last December, as our country mourned the devastation at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I brainstormed ways that we, as a nation, could recognize the teachers that gave (and those that continue to give) so much every day. This year, we’re celebrating the memories of the fallen and the dedication of our teachers on Monday, December […]

What is Pertussis and how will I know if my child has it?


This seems to happen every few years… we receive a notice from our school that children have been diagnosed with Pertussis. Or that there’s an outbreak in our town. This year at our school, coming on notice of a second diagnosis, children who haven’t been vaxxed are not permitted to return to school for 21 […]