Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Living in Two Homes Is Tough by Abby Cadet, Age 9


When I was a child, someone gave me a T-shirt that said Never underestimate the power of a kid! on the front of it.  Those words gave me a bit of courage when I felt nervous or unsure of myself and lingered in my mind long after the T-shirt was gone.  Now, decades later, I find myself telling others to Never underestimate the power of a kid.   Even though kids are small, they can have HUGE ideas!  Kids are capable of doing amazing things when they are willing to work hard and do their best.  Abby Cadet is a good example of a child who has accomplished amazing things...  she recently wrote and published her first book and came up with the idea for a collection of journals for kids!   Her first book is called Living in Two Homes Is Tough.  When Abby wrote Living in Two Homes Is Tough, she based it on real-life experiences and on what it's like to split time between her parents' houses.  Keep reading to learn more about Abby Cadet and her book Living in Two Homes Is Tough.  Maybe you and your students will become inspired to do something amazing too!

Abby Cadet wrote and published her first book and became a kidpreneur when she was 9. Read about Abby Cadet and her book Living in Two Homes Is Tough.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow / El cojín especial para El Ratón Pérez by Ann Morris

Losing a tooth is a significant event when you're a child. How many of us wiggled and wiggled our loose teeth to get them to come? How many of us had parents or grandparents who tormented us with threats about tying a long string from around our loose teeth to a doorknob... just so they could slam the door and make those loose teeth come out? When those loose teeth finally came out, that's when the excitement happened! We could FINALLY put those teeth under our pillows and hope for the tooth fairy to leave us something nice in exchange for them while we slept. What would we find in the morning?  Money?  Sweets?  Small Trinkets?  

Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow / El cojín especial para El Ratón Pérez by Ann Morris (Lexi's Tooth Fairy Pillow for short) tells the story of a grandmother whose granddaughter lost a tooth.  The granddaughter was worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't come if she didn't have a tooth fairy pillow.  Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow is written in both English and Spanish, so it can be read and loved by children who speak one or both languages.  Keep reading to learn more about the story and how to help children make a tooth fairy pillow of their own!

Make your own tooth fairy pillow after reading Lexi's Special Tooth Fairy Pillow/El cojín especial para El Ratón Pérez by Ann Morris. English-Spanish.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Is It an Insect or a Spider?

Spiders and insects are not the same.  Even though we often refer to them both as 'bugs' and they are both arthropods, spiders and insects are actually two different species.  Spiders are classified as arachnids.  They are in the same family as scorpions, ticks, and mites.  Insects have their own classification, however.  There are a lot of different insects such as flies, bees, beetles, ants, etc.  How can you tell whether a 'bug' is a spider or an insect?  It can be confusing if you aren't sure what to look for.  Read on to learn how to tell the difference between the two!

Learn to tell the difference between spiders and insects by looking at their legs, eyes, body segments, extra appendages and how it eats.  #kellysclassroomonline

(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.)

How to Make Winnie the Pooh's Honey Snacks

National Winnie the Pooh Day falls on January 18th of each year.  Although it's not an official holiday, it's a special day of recognition.  January 18th is A.A. Milne's birthday... the author creator of Winnie the Pooh!  On this day, many schools host special reading days in which students and staff wear Winnie the Pooh hats and shirts, read Winnie the Pooh books, watch Winnie the Pooh videos, and have tasty Winnie the Pooh themed snacks.  Fun times!  Keep reading for a simple, sugary sweet recipe that you and your students can make for Winnie the Pooh Day.

January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Celebrate this fun day with this honey snacks recipe. Peanut butter, honey, Cheerios, sugar, and peanuts
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.)

Friday, December 18, 2020

Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers by John S. Armstrong

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about The Saint Nicholas Day Snow by Charlotte Riggle.  In that post, I wrote about the benefits of reading a story multiple times to help students improve their comprehension of the story.  Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers by John S. Armstrong is another story in which students can benefit from reading multiple times.  It lends itself well to choral readings, dramatic play, and music... making repeated readings of Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers FUN!  Keep reading to learn more about Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers and how you can integrate it into your language arts lessons.

Learn about characters and events while reading Broccoli Rob and the Garden Singers by John S. Armstrong. Make hand puppets and choral read the story. #kellysclassroomonline

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Storytime Book Club

A lot of community and public libraries are closed right now because of  COVID-19.  And... in the school districts that switched to virtual learning only... many school libraries are closed as well.  These closings are an unfortunate side effect of the pandemic.  For many children, these libraries were their only access to free books and literature.  Some libraries are finding ways to get books to their patrons, but that's not always the case.  

The creators of the Storytime Book Club recently contacted me about a sponsored post.  They wanted to pass on some information about their new subscription service.   This subscription service/book club helps parents find books for their children to read without having to rely on a library that may or may not be open at any given time.  When you join the Storytime Book Club, you will receive an assortment of books delivered to your house.  You and your children can read the books for as long as you'd like and send them back when you're done.  Then you can select themes for your next book assortment.  It's an interesting concept and one I think you should check out.  Keep reading for more details about this new book club!

Learn about the Storytime Book Club, its mission, and about its subscription boxes for children.  This is a sponsored post.  #kellysclassroomonline

(This is a paid sponsored post from Storytime.)

Monday, December 14, 2020

What's in the Box? A Barefoot Books Subscription Box Product Review

As a teacher and children's book blogger, I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting products that classroom teachers and homeschooling parents could use while teaching.  I recently received a promotional subscription box from Barefoot Books to take a look at and see if it's something my readers could use.  After opening the box and investigating its contents, I can honestly say that YES this subscription box is something my readers can use while teaching.  It'd be perfect for teaching geography and other social studies skills.  So... what's in the box?  Keep reading and find out!  

PS.  Read all of the way to the end of this blog post so you can enter a giveaway for your own Barefoot Books subscription box.  The giveaway ends December 22, 2020.  No purchase necessary.

Learn about the Barefoot Books subscription box with this unboxing blog post and product review. What is in a Barefoot Book box? Let's find out!  #kellysclassroomonline

(This is an unpaid review of a Barefoot Books subscription box.  I was given a promotional subscription box in exchange for my HONEST review.)

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Charlie Tractor and the Garden by Carrie and Katie Weyler

If you are an avid follower of Kelly's Classroom Online, then you know how much I love animal stories and books and activities about gardening.  I recently discovered Charlie Tractor and the Garden by Katie and Carrie Weyler... a realistic fiction story based on real-life events... that has both pets and gardens... yay!  Chalie Tractor and the Garden is about a boy named Charlie, his dog Pickles, and the naughty mischief Pickles gets himself into.  How is this story based on real-life?  What kind of 'pickle' does Pickles the dog get himself into?  (Yes... I went there...)  Keep reading and find out!

Learn about the characteristics of realistic fiction and making connections with the book Charlie Tractor and the Garden by Carrie and Katie Weyler.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

10 Children's Books About Hanukkah

Hanukkah... often referred to as the Festival of Lights... is an eight-day that begins on the 25th of the Jewish month Kislev of the Hebrew calendar. It is a celebration of the Maccabees' victory over the Assyrian army and the miracle in which one day's supply of oil lasted long enough for the menorah in the rededicate temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah by lighting a menorah each night, eating traditional foods like latkes and doughnuts (sufganiyot... yum!) that were fried in oil, listening to music, gift exchanges with family, and playing games with dreidels.  Contrary to popular belief... Hanukkah is not a Jewish Christmas... it is a magical and special holiday in its own right.

There are many children's books about Hanukkah available for children to read.  Listed below is a combination of fiction and nonfiction books you may enjoy.  Some of these books are old classics, whereas others are sure to be new favorites.  Keep reading to see what books are on my list!

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.
(affiliate links and descriptions from Amazon included)

Monday, December 7, 2020

Crazy Cats from Outer Space by Matt Bell

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Matt Bell's books The Rounders and the Tallers and The Jellies and the Crunchers.  Both of these books were about two groups of people who could not get along and sometimes treated each other poorly.  In The Rounders and the Tallers, one group of people went as far as to discriminate against the other by banning them from stores, beaches, etc.  Matt Bell's newest book Crazy Cats from Outer Space is similar to those first two in that it also about two groups who can't get along.  But... as the title suggests... these aren't two groups of people... they are two groups of CATS!  Keep reading to learn more about Crazy Cats from Outer Space and how you can use it to teach about tall tales.

Learn about the characteristics of tall tales with Crazy Cats from Outer Space by Matt Bell. Cats, space travel, pyramids of Giza and Chichén Itzá. #kellysclassroomonline

Saturday, December 5, 2020

How to Make a Milk Carton Gingerbread House

Making milk carton gingerbread houses is a traditional craft that elementary school teachers have been making with their students for decades.  They are fun to make, wildly popular with the students, and can be integrated with a wide variety of children's literature.  (Need I go down the endless list of gingerbread themed books, poems, fingerplays, and rhymes?)  To make milk carton gingerbread houses, you will need empty milk cartons from the school cafeteria, royal icing, and lots and lots of holiday candies.  Keep reading for more information!

Learn how to make little gingerbread houses out of milk cartons, graham crackers, royal icing, and holiday candies. Perfect for your class's Christmas parties!  #kellysclassroomonline
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.)

How to Make Cinnamon Scented Christmas Ornaments

Not too long ago, one of my friends was talking to me about some Christmas ornaments she and her granddaughter made together.  They made the ornaments out of applesauce and ground cinnamon, which surprised me.  I had no idea ornaments could be made that way!  (What rock do I live under?)  As proof, she sent me her recipe and the photos in this post.  She gave me permission to share here 'secret recipe' on my blog.  Read on to learn this 'secret recipe' so you can try making them too!

Learn how to make cinnamon scented Christmas ornaments from applesauce and ground cinnamon. Recipe included. Perfect gifts for children to give.  #kellysclassroomonline
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.)

Friday, December 4, 2020

The Saint Nicholas Day Snow by Charlotte Riggle

December is here and children all over the world are getting excited about their favorite holidays!  Christmas will take place on the 25th... Boxing Day will take place on the 26th... Kwanzaa will begin on the 26th and will last until January 1st... and... Hanukkah (2020 only) will begin on the 10th and will last until the 18th.  Most people will be familiar with these holidays... even if it's only because they recognize their names.  But... there is another holiday in December that takes place on the 6th...  It's Saint Nicholas Day!  Have you ever heard of Saint Nicholas Day?  Who is Saint Nicholas?  (Hint... he's NOT Santa Claus...)  What did Saint Nicholas do to deserve his own special day?  What are some of the traditions associated with Saint Nicholas Day?  The Saint Nicholas Day Snow by Charlotte Riggle is a children's story that will teach you everything you need to know about Saint Nicholas and his holiday.  Keep reading to learn more about The Saint Nicholas Day Snow and how you can use it during your language arts instruction.

Learn about Saint Nicholas and the Saint Nicholas Day traditions in The Saint Nicholas Day Snow written by Charlotte Riggle. #kellysclassroomonline

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Ten Fun Facts About Reindeer

There are 22 days until Christmas!  Children all over the world are getting excited about Santa loading up his sleigh with toys and goodies.  They sing songs about his reindeer and imagine them flying through the night sky as they pull Santa's sleigh.  Do Santa's reindeer really fly?  Are the reindeer who pull his sleigh male or female?  Can reindeer really have a red glowing nose?  What do they eat?  Read on to learn the answer to all of these questions and more!

Ten Fun Facts About Reindeer. What do reindeer eat? Where do reindeer live? What are caribou? Do  reindeer fly? Do reindeer have red noses? #kellysclassroomonline