Thursday, September 16

Five Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.

Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave an average of 450 speeches per year? When we ask our students about Martin Luther King, Jr. and which of his speeches they are most familiar with, the vast majority of them will say I Have a Dream. I Have a Dream may be his most famous speech... but it's definitely not his only. Keep reading to learn about five of his other significant speeches. Excerpts from each speech are included.

Children can learn about and listen to five speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have a Dream, I've Been to the Mountaintop, What Is Your Life's Blueprint, The Other America, Nobel Prize acceptance speech, and Remaining Awake

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

Saturday, September 11

Minecraft Math Halloween Pixel Art

Anybody who knows me will be able to tell you about my love for the game Minecraft. In a previous post, I wrote about how you can use Minecraft to teach finding the area of an object in math. With Halloween right around the corner, I’d like to share another fun STEAM activity with you in today's post… how to use math and technology skills to create Halloween pictures in Minecraft. In the Minecraft community, these types of pictures are called pixel art. But in the classroom, teachers often refer to them as graph art.

Kids practice their geometry and other math skills when they create Halloween pixel art designs in Minecraft. STEM and STEAM activity. Minecraft math.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, September 10

What's an Og? by Mary Barry

Learning about letters and the sounds they make... phonics/phonetics... are important parts of learning how to read.  Engaging children in wordplay with rhyming words is one strategy parents and teachers can use to help their students become more proficient in reading.  In today's guest post, children's author Mary Barry talks about her recently released children's book called What's an Og?... a book full of wordplay and rhymes for the /og/ sound. Keep reading to learn about What's an Og? and how Mary Barry came up with her idea for the story!

Children will learn to read and practice words with the /og/ sound while reading What's an Og by Mary Barry. Phonics. Rhyming book. Preprimer/Primer.

This is a guest post by Mary Barry. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Tuesday, September 7

How to Upcycle and Reuse Old Books to Make Beautiful Bookmarks

Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Have you ever wondered what to do with your old, well-loved books that are falling apart?  Instead of tossing them into a trash bin and sending them to a landfill, upcycle and reuse them into something useful.  In today's guest post, veteran librarian and homeschooling mom Shecki Bernard shares with us one way to upcycle and reuse old books to create beautiful bookmarks for your students and children to use.  Keep reading to learn more!

Don't throw your old books away. Upcycle & reuse them to make new bookmarks with your students. All you need are some watercolor paints & old books.

This is a guest post by Shecki Bernard. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Sunday, September 5

13 Halloween Treats for Your Class Party

Trick or treat!  Every year, children look forward to their Halloween parties at school.  Traditionally, children bring Halloween candy to school to share with their friends, get to wear their Halloween costumes, and march throughout the school in a Halloween parade.  Good times!  

A round up of 13 Halloween party snacks for kids. Ghost lollipops, apple mummies, candy spiders, clementine pumpkins, free printables, and more!

The Halloween snacks featured in this round-up would be perfect for a Halloween party at school.  They were created by moms and teachers from all over the internet and are made from fresh fruit and/or prepackaged items.  These treats can be made at home or as a Halloween craft at school.  There are lots of tasty treats in this post, so let's dive right in!

Thursday, September 2

Helping Children Make Friends

I recently read an online article from Parenting Science called How to Help Kids Make Friends by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.  This article describes strategies parents can use to help their children develop positive relationships. Although Dr. Dewar wrote this article with parents in mind, many of the strategies can be utilized by teachers in the classroom as well.  Keep reading to learn more!

Summary of the article How to Help Kids Make Friends by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. 12 strategies for parents and teachers to help children form friendships.
This is an updated version of an article I wrote in 2015.

Wednesday, September 1

Helping Preschool Students Identify and Express Their Emotions

Sometimes little children have difficulty managing large emotions. They don't always have words to describe how they are feeling or why they are feeling a certain way. Children may also need guidance about appropriate ways to express their feelings.  

Yes, it's OK to be mad... but it's not OK to throw toys when you are mad... what can you do instead?  

Tatiana Green is a preschool teacher at Alphabet Kids Preschool. In today's guest post, Tatiana Green shares her thoughts about the importance of talking to children in preschool about their feelings. Keep reading to see what she has to say!

The importance of teaching children how to identify their feelings and emotions and how to express them appropriately. Preschool children and teachers

The following post was written by Tatiana Green. This post originally appeared in the Homeschool Whisperer Facebook group.

Tuesday, August 24

Three Important Children's Learning Styles

As parents and teachers, we want our students to do well in school and to feel confident about themselves and what they are learning.  One of the most important things we can do to help our students is to identify what their individual learning styles are.  In today's guest post, educator Djew Bennis introduces three main learning styles and encourages us to reflect on what our learning styles may be.  Keep reading to learn more!

Descriptions of three learning styles among children: visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic and tactile learners. Preschool to third grade. #kellysclassroomonline

The following is a guest post written by Djew Bennis. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Saturday, August 21

Minecraft Math Find the Area

With Minecraft being the rage among children... and adults... of all ages, teachers are wondering how they can tap into the excitement and use Minecraft as a teaching tool. Believe it or not, Minecraft can be used to teach math skills such as finding the area, volume, and perimeter of shapes. 

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m not going to teach you how to play Minecraft. There are many resources online and books you can read to learn how to play it. Rather, I’m going to show you how to use Minecraft to introduce finding the area to your young students.


This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, August 20

How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman

When I first starting teaching many years ago, studying Japan was a major component of the second-grade social studies curriculum I needed to teach.  We would spend roughly a month learning about Japanese history, geography, and culture.  At the end of the unit, my students and I would read How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman together, go to the Japanese restaurant nearby, and learn how to eat with chopsticks.  Good times!

How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman. A little girl tells the story of how her parents met, fell in love, and learned how to eat. (Japanese + American culture. Written in English) #kellysclassroom

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, August 19

If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff

If you’ve read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and enjoyed it, then you need to read her book If You Give a Moose a Muffin. If You Give a Moose a Muffin is about a hungry moose who wants a snack.  Once he gets his muffins, a whole chain of events gets set into motion, and the story ends where it began.  If You Give a Moose a Muffin is a good example of a circle story.  What is a circle story?  How can you use this book to teach circle stories to your students?  Keep reading to find out!

A circle story craft for If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff. Sequence of events. Cause-effect. Story circle. Circular story plot.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Wednesday, August 18

Top Five Science Materials in Your Junk Drawer

Once upon a time many moons ago, I posted an article called The Top 5 Science Materials to Keep in Your Kitchen. Science materials don't need to be high-tech or expensive. Check out these top five science materials you probably have in your junk drawer right now.

Use the paper clips, coins, batteries, rubber bands, and old candy in your junk drawer for some awesome STEM experiments and science experiments!

This is an updated version of a post I wrote in 2014.  
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, August 17

15 Reasons Why Children Need Recess

In February 2014, The Learning Network conducted an interesting survey about recess in schools. They asked children in middle school and high school... 13 years old and older... to read an article called The Students Who Lose Recess Are the Ones Who Need It the Most by Jessica Lahley. After reading the article, the children were asked to respond to some questions and give their opinions.  These are their responses in their own words.  Read on to see what these children had to say!

Children were asked to read an article about recess & answer questions about it. Do they think they need recess? Yes, they do! Read their reasons why!

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2014.
The article published by The Learning Network was updated in 2019.

Monday, August 16

Mermaid Math: Counting, Colors, and Patterns

Earlier this year, I wrote about the children's book The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam by Kirk Kirkpatrick... a book about a mermaid and her fish friend who work together to solve a problem and come up with a fun solution for it.  This mermaid math activity was inspired by The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam and can be used to teach a variety of math skills:

🍎 counting verbally
🍎 identifying colors
🍎 identifying and creating patterns
🍎 understanding one-to-one correspondence
🍎 discovering basic concepts of addition and subtracting
🍎 and more

You can use this mermaid activity while working with students one-on-one, in a math center, as a busy bag, or when students finish their work early.  Keep reading to learn more about this mermaid math activity and for three simple ways you can use it with your students!

Students in preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten can practice their math skills with Mermaid Math activity. Counting, colors, patterning, etc.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, August 12

Five Fun Facts About Dandelions

Dandelions are plants that people often take for granted.  Children love them and call them flowers.  Some grown-ups despise them and call them weeds. Regardless of we feel about dandelions, they play an important role in our ecosystem. Here are five fun facts about dandelions you can share with the children you work with.

Five fun facts about dandelions. Where do dandelions come from? Are dandelions edible? What animals eat dandelions? Do bees like dandelions? And more!

Wednesday, August 11

Rosh Hashanah Recipes

Cooking with kids is a terrific way to teach a variety of math and reading skills in a hands-on, enjoyable, and meaningful way.  It may not always be practical to cook with students in the classroom, but it's worth a try if you can.  Many homeschooling families already find ways to integrate cooking into their lessons.  By working together to follow a recipe, your students and children can practice the following skills:

  • reading for information
  • following directions
  • following a sequence
  • fractions
  • units of measurement
  • problem-solving
  • making observations

A round-up of kid friendly Rosh Hashanah recipes.  Recipes include honey and apple cookies, pancakes, muffins, bread, ice cream, and even popsicles!

The Rosh Hashanah recipes featured in today's round-up were created by moms and foodies from all over the internet. If you see a recipe in this post that you'd like to try, click on its link to see the ingredients, directions, photos, and handy tidbits. There are lots of delicious recipes in this post, so let's dive right in! Shana Tova!

Tuesday, August 10

The Adventures of Little Miss History by Barbara Ann Mojica

I recently learned about The Adventures of Little Miss History... a children's book series by Barbara Ann Mojica.  Little Miss History is a middle school student who travels around the world to learn as much as she can.  In today's guest post, Barbara Ann Mojica introduces us to Little Miss History and tells us more about the books in her series.  Keep reading!

Learn about the children's book series The Adventures of Little Miss History by Barbara Ann Mojica. Books include Battleship Iowa and Mount Vernon.

The following is a guest post written by Barbara Ann Mojica. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page. Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Sunday, August 8

Straw Bridge STEM Challenge

Building bridges out of straws is a popular STEM challenge among elementary school teachers and a HUGE favorite among students.  In this straw bridge STEM activity, your students will be handed a bundle of straws, a pair of scissors, and a roll of clear tape.  Their objective... to design and construct a bridge that can span a distance of one foot and bear a reasonable amount of weight without collapsing.  Can it be done?  If so, who will build the strongest bridge in your class?

Straw Bridge STEM Challenge: Who Built the Strongest Bridge?

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, August 6

The Smiley Girl by Emmanuel Ndayishimiye and Ornella Ngabire

The Smiley Girl by Emmanuel Ndayishimiye and Ornella Ngabire is a children's book about a little girl named Cindy who keeps track of her daily acts of kindness toward others in a special calendar she created. She calls her calendar a kindness calendar.  In today's guest post, author Ornella Ngabire writes about The Smiley Girl and describes what kindness calendars are and how you can use these kindness calendars at home or at school. Keep reading to learn more!
 
Learn about random acts of kindness and kindness calendars with The Smiley Girl by Emmanuel Ndayishimiye and Ornella Ngabire. Children's book. PreK-3. #kellysclassroomonline

The following is a guest post written by Ornella Ngabire. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Monday, August 2

Back to School Red Apple Crafts for Kids

Apples have been a powerful symbol of knowledge and education for hundreds of years.  Did you know that in the 1700s and 1800s poor families would give bushels of apples to teachers to pay for their children's education?  It's true.  Since then, apples and schools have always gone together.  It's also why we say an apple for the teacher.

The apple crafts featured in this round-up were created by moms and teachers from all over the internet. If you see a craft in this post that you'd like to try at home or at school, click on its link and head to its original website for material lists, directions, photos, etc. There are lots of cute activities in this post, so let's dive right in!

A round up of 15 red apple crafts for kids. Crafts include: Paper plate apples. Handprint apples. Quilling apples. Tissue paper apples. Apple picture frames. PreK-3rd grade.

Sunday, August 1

Fun Facts About Sloths

Last week, I wrote a blog post about Slothee Wants Coffee, a children's book by Nikki Pezzopane and Cameron Fica.  In Slothee Wants Coffee, a sloth named Slothee traveled the world in search of the perfect cup of coffee.  Today's blog post is full of fun facts about sloths like Slothee.  Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating... and absolutely adorable... animals!

Learn fun facts about sloths, what sloths eat and drink, where sloths live, how sloths protect themselves, and sloths' conservation status.
This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.

Thursday, July 29

Where Does Coffee Come From?

If you were to ask a child where coffee comes from, you might get an answer like Starbucks, Dunkin,' or... my personal favorite place... Tim Hortons.  But... if you were to follow up that question and ask where the coffee comes before it gets to Starbucks, Dunkin', or Tim Hortons... you may get a blank stare.  Have you ever wondered where coffee comes from?  Keep reading to find out!

Learn where coffee comes from with the children's book Slothee Wants Coffee by Nikki Pezzopane and Cameron Fica. Geography minilesson included.

The inspiration for this blog post came from the children's book Slothee Wants Coffee by Nikki Pezzopane and her son Cameron Fica.  Slothee Wants Coffee is about a sloth named Slothee who travels the world in search of the perfect cup of coffee.  

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, July 26

Fun Facts About Mountain Lions and P22

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about the children's book The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee MoralThe Cat That Changed America tells a fictionalized account of the mountain lion P22 that lives in Griffith Park in downtown Los Angeles.  Even though P22 is a bit of a celebrity in the Los Angeles area, people outside of Los Angeles were surprised to learn there really is a mountain lion living in the middle of the city!  They wanted to learn more about P22 and mountain lions in general.  In this blog post, I'll be sharing five fun facts about mountain lions and relating them to P22.  Keep reading to learn more!

Five fun facts about mountain lions and P22, the mountain lion that lives in Griffith Park, downtown Los Angeles, California. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Sunday, July 25

How to Make Seed Paper Hearts

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about Love Grows Love, a children's book by Lauren Fischer.  Love Grows Love teaches children about emotions and empathy.  Making seed paper is a fun craft that can be used as a follow-up enrichment activity to reading Love Grows Love, as a standalone craft for Earth Day, or as a part of your science lessons about seeds and plants.  

Be warned... making seed paper is is a deceptively simple activity.  It's fun, has very few steps to follow, and won't cost much when you buy the supplies at the store.  Sounds great, yes?  Making seed paper in the classroom, however, can be messy and a time-consuming process.  It can take several days from start to finish to make seed paper.  This craft isn't for everyone.  Keep reading to learn what you will need to make seed paper and the directions.  Then let us know in the comments if you think you might give this craft a try!

Learn how to make seed paper from tissue paper, white glue, seeds, and glitter. Fun Earth Day activity or addition to your science lessons about seeds

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, July 23

Back-to-School Crafts for Kids

It's almost time to head back to school!  Celebrate the beginning of the school year with some of the crafts in this post.  The crafts featured in this round-up were created by moms and teachers from all over the internet.  If you see a craft in this post that you'd like to try, click on its link and head to its original website for material lists, directions, photos, etc.  There are lots of cute activities in this post, so let's dive right in!

A round up of 10 children's back-to-school crafts. Apples, pencils, school buses, photo props. Preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade.

Wednesday, July 21

15 Children's Books for the First Day of School

Are you looking for some children's books to read with your students during the first week of school?  Here is a collection of 15 of my favorite back-to-school books you should check out.  Some of these are classics I read with my students back in the 90s.  Others are 'new favorites' I recently discovered.  

15 children's books to read at the beginning of the school year. Back-to-school. Preschool, preK, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, July 20

Pumpkin Life Cycle STEM Activity

Autumn is the perfect time of year to learn about pumpkin life cycles.  You can find pumpkins at farmer's markets, grocery stores, and roadside stands.  And... you can even find them in coffees, teas, bread, pies, soups, muffins, and more!  Since pumpkins seem to be everywhere and in everything during this time of year, it makes sense to incorporate pumpkin life cycles into your science lessons in the fall instead of waiting until spring when other plant concepts are taught.

Blakely Kantor... an elementary school teacher in North Dakota... starts teaching pumpkin life cycles as soon as school starts in September.  She has her students conduct this  year-long science and STEM experiment in which they watch a pumpkin decompose and new seedlings grow from it.  This would be a terrific activity to integrate with your own science lessons.  Keep reading to learn more!

Decomposing Pumpkins Science and STEM Experiment: A STEM and science experiment inspired by the children's book Pumpkin Jack. Learn about the pumpkin life cycles/decomposition. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
All photos were used with the permission of Blakeley Kantor.

Monday, July 19

Grouchy Goose by Betina Baptist

Grouchy Goose by Betina Baptist is a children's book about two geese... Grouchy Goose and Gossipy Goose... who learn about manners, making good choices, and friendship.  In today's guest post, Betina Baptist describes the inspiration for Grouchy Goose and how you can integrate it into your lessons about emotions and facial expressions.  Keep reading to learn more! 

Learn about emotions, facial expressions, & friendship with the children's book Grouchy Goose by Betina Baptist. Guest post. Minilesson. Animal story.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
The following is a guest post written by Betina Baptist. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Sunday, July 18

Managing Test Anxiety

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about helping children with generalized anxiety and worry.  In that post, I described the symptoms of childhood anxiety that parents and teachers need to be aware of and keep an eye on.  Today's guest post by college student Allyson Gott talks about one of the specific causes of anxiety in children... test anxiety.  Test anxiety is something that used to be associated with high school and college, but now more and more students in elementary school are feeling it too.  Keep reading to learn more about test anxiety and for some simple strategies you can use to help your students at home and at school.

Managing Test Taking Anxiety: Learn about test anxiety in children. Post includes strategies to use at home or school to help children manage stress. Guest post by Allyson Gott. #kellysclassroomonline

The following is a guest post written by Allyson Gott. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Friday, July 16

Talking to Children About Race

It’s normal and natural for children to observe and point out differences. It’s our responsibility to help them celebrate these differences and understand how they may affect our lives.
-Alanna Ekua Nzoma, M.D., University of Michigan Health

Aditi Wardhan Singh is an avid writer and has written several books for children and adults.  She is known for writing the Sparkling Me series of books for children and Raising the Global Mindset and Strong Roots Have No Fear for parents and teachers.  Aditi Wardhan Singh is passionate about multicultural education and promoting mindfulness, empathy, and community.  In today's guest post, Aditi Wardhan Singh writes about strategies parents and teachers can use when talking to children about race.  She also gives us a quick peek at her children's book How Our Skin Sparkles.  Enjoy!


Author Aditi Wardhan Singh provides strategies parents and teachers can use while talking about race with children. Guest post. Mindfulness. Empathy.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
The following is a guest post written by Aditi Wardhan Singh. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.
 

Wednesday, July 14

It Smells Like Tuesday by Amy Provinzono-Thomas

Children's author Amy Provinzono-Thomas released her first children's book It Smells Like Tuesday a couple of months ago. It Smells Like Tuesday is a fantasy book about a little boy who takes his favorite scents and bottles them up so he can smell them whenever he wants to remember something special. In this guest post, Amy Provinzono-Thomas tells us more about her new book and shares some of her favorite illustrations with us. Enjoy!
 
Learn more about the children's book It Smells Like Tuesday by Amy Provinzono-Thomas in this guest post by the author.  Fiction. Grades K-2nd.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
The following is a guest post written by Amy Provinzono-Thomas. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  

Tuesday, July 13

School is More Than a Building by Kelley Donner

Are you looking for a new children's book to read to your students during the first week of school? A book to make them feel positive about coming back to school? A book to make them feel like a valued member of the school community? Children's author and illustrator Kelley Donner published her children's book School is More Than a Building in May and it would be an excellent read for that first week. In this blog post, Kelley Donner writes about her new book, where the inspiration for the book came from, and the resources you can download to go with it. Keep reading to learn more about School is More Than a Building!

School is More Than a Building by Kelley Donner

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
This is a guest post written by Kelley Donner. To learn more about guest posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.

Monday, July 12

How to Grow Radishes from Scraps

Children in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade learn about the parts of plants and food that come from plants.  They learn about the roots, stems, leaves, seeds, and flowers and the function of each of these parts.  Quite often children... and sometimes adults... are surprised to find out that the radishes we eat don't just come from a plant... they are actually a part of the plant!  This quick blog post will give you the directions you need to plant a radish in the classroom and watch it transform into a full plant.

Learn how to grow radishes from scraps at home or in the classroom. You only need a radish, toothpicks, a glass and some water. #kellysclassroomonline

Tuesday, July 6

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Summertime is here and lots of families are getting excited about going camping.  Some families will camp in tents.  Some will camp in RVs.  And... some brave families will camp under the stars.  Fun times for all!  

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd is a wordless book about a child who goes camping, wanders around in the dark, and gets lost.  Oh no!  How will the child get back to the tent?  Keep reading to find out what happens to the child, to learn more about Flashlight and the importance of wordless books, and to find the directions for a fun, book-inspired art activity!

Art enrichment activity. Create a nighttime scene inspired by the wordless book Flashlight by Lizi Boyd. Camping theme. Story elements. Illustrations.

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2014.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, July 5

10 Children's Books About Residential Schools

Conversations have been happening in homes and classrooms across Canada and the United States since the remains of 215 Indigenous children buried at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School were found.  At the time of this post, nearly 1,000 bodies have been found and that number is expected to rise as the grounds of more residential schools in Canada and the United States get searched.  Parents and teachers are finding themselves fielding some hard questions from their children...  Why were these children taken from their homes?  Why were they forced to go to these schools?  Why were they treated so badly there?  Why didn't they all get to go home?

Explaining that Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and put into residential schools where they were abused and prohibited from speaking their languages or expressing their culture requires both delicacy and honesty, according to experts.

Listed below are 10 children's books and Youtube videos written specifically to help children answer some of these difficult questions.  Many of these books are written by residential school survivors or their descendants.  All of these books were written before 2021... long before the remains of the original 215 children were found.

10 Children's Books About Residential Schools

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Thursday, July 1

The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White

I usually write about books and activities for early childhood and early elementary students, but every once in a while I find a book for the upper elementary grades that teachers and parents should know about.  The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White is one of them.  The Hoopstar is a realistic fiction children's book inspired by real life.  It is about a 12-year-old girl named Brylane who loves to play basketball.  On the basketball court, she is confident and fearless... a true champion!  But on the inside, there is something making Brylane feel less confident, something most of the people around her don't know about...  she has dyslexia.  What is dyslexia?  How does it affect Brylane's life?  How does Brylane overcome having dyslexia to achieve her dreams?  Keep reading to learn about dyslexia and to learn more about The Hoopstar!

The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White: Learn about dyslexia and character traits with The Hoopstar by Chavon D. White. A girl has dyslexia but it doesn't stop her from doing well at school and from playing basketball! #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.
 

Friday, June 25

Pepper and Soap STEM Experiment

Are you looking for an activity to show children why it's important to use soap when they wash their hands?  This pepper + soap STEM experiment is a favorite among early childhood and elementary school teachers and shows children exactly why they need to use soap.  It requires very few materials and... chances are... you already have them in your kitchen.  Keep reading to learn more!

Pepper and Soap STEM Experiment: This pepper and soap STEM + science experiment teaches young children the importance of using soap while washing their hands. #kellysclassroomonline

Tuesday, June 22

Fun Facts About Sled Dogs

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about Run Like a Sled Dog and Black Bear Goes to Washington by Denise Lawson.  (Run Like a Sled Dog and Black Bear Goes to Washington are two children's books inspired by a retired sled dog that Denise Lawson adopted.)  That particular post generated some interest in my readers to learn more about the lives of sled dogs.  What are sled dogs like?  What do sled dogs eat?  How do sled dogs manage in the Arctic cold?  Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and to learn more about these magnificent creatures!

Fun Facts About Sled Dogs by Kelly's Classroom Online

Sunday, June 20

The Brave Butterfly Gratitude Journal Product Review

Several months ago, I wrote a blog post about Abby Cadet... the young author who wrote and published Living in Two Homes Is Tough when she was 9 years old. Since then, she has written a second children's book and has released a series of gratitude journals for children. (Pretty amazing, yes?)  Today's blog post is a product review of one of Abby Cadet's gratitude journals that can be used at home or at school.  Keep reading to learn more!

The Brave Butterfly Gratitude Journal for Kids by Cindy and Abby Cadet #kellysclassroomonline

This is an unpaid review of a Brave Butterfly Gratitude Journal. I was given a promotional journal in exchange for my HONEST review.  To learn more about product reviews, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, June 18

Fourth of July Fireworks

Five little firecrackers getting ready to zoom...
Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle...
... BOOM!

The Fourth of July... also known as Independence Day... is only a few weeks away.  On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, separating the 13 colonies from England.  Since then, the Fourth of July has been considered 'America's birthday' and people all over the United States continue to celebrate America's birthday with parades, picnics, and... everybody's favorite... fireworks!  Are you looking for a simple craft to help with your Fourth of July celebrations?  Try this simple painting activity with your children at home or school.  Enjoy!

Painting red, white, & blue fireworks. Preschool and kindergarten.  Process art activity. Fun for the Fourth of July. Can also be used for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Labor Day. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Tuesday, June 8

10+ Children's Books About Juneteenth

Juneteenth will be here in a couple of weeks!  What is Juneteenth?  Juneteenth is an important day in American history and for Black Americans across the country.  On June 19, 1865... two years, five months, and 18 days after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued... slaves in Galveston, Texas finally learned they were free.  Since then, Juneteenth... named for June + 19th... has been celebrated with festivals, cookouts, picnics, family reunions, fireworks, church gatherings, etc.  There is no one way to celebrate Juneteenth.  Anywhere people gather together to commemorate Juneteenth is a celebration.

Listed below are 10+ fiction and nonfiction children's books about Juneteenth, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Opal Lee... the Grandmother of Juneteenth.  Keep reading to learn about these books.  If you know of a children's book that should be added to the list, tell me in the comments below.  If it's a good fit for this list, I'll add it for you!

Compilation of 10+ children's books about Juneteenth, Jubilee, Civil Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Fiction and nonfiction. 1st-5th grade.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, June 7

DIY You Rock Picture Frames

Has anyone ever told you, "You Rock?"  If so, they were paying you a compliment!  They were being sincere in telling you how awesome they think you are.  Do you know someone who rocks?  Do you want to make a unique gift for them?  Keep reading to learn how to make these pretty picture frames with your students!

You rock! Directions to make a fun photo frame for kids to make and give to someone they love. Perfect gift for Mother's Day or  Father's Day. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, May 31

All People Are Beautiful by Vincent Kelly

Last month, Vincent Kelly released his children's book called All People Are BeautifulAll People Are Beautiful is a cheerful, delightful story that will put a smile on your face and make you feel good inside.  It has bright illustrations and features children from all over the world.  Keep reading to learn more about All People Are Beautiful and how you can use it in your classroom.


Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Fun Facts About Cicadas

It's summer 2021... the year of the Brood X (Brood Ten) cicada!  At the time of this posting, billions of cicadas have already emerged from the ground in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington DC and are singing their mating songs, hoping to find a mate.  Do you live in an area that has been inundated with cicadas?  Have you ever wondered what the life of a cicada is like?  Read on to learn some interesting facts about these noisy insects!

Nine fun facts about cicadas for children. Life cycle, life span, how they make that noise, where they live, etc. #kellysclassroomonline

Wednesday, May 26

Dancing Popcorn Science and STEM Experiment

Dancing Popcorn is a popular STEM experiment among teachers of young children.  It requires only three materials, is easy to prepare and clean up, and can be used to teach a variety of science concepts such as:
  • buoyancy, sink, float
  • density
  • states of matter (solids, liquids, and gases)
  • chemical changes
  • making and confirming predictions
  • vocabulary development: carbon dioxide
There are two ways to do the Dancing Popcorn STEM experiment, one using seltzer water and the other using vinegar and baking soda.  This blog post is going to focus on the easier of the two... dropping popcorn kernels into seltzer water.  Keep reading to learn more about this experiment and how you can use it with your little ones.

A glass of seltzer water is sitting on a tree stump.  There are popcorn kernels floating in the glass.  #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Sink or Float STEM Experiment with Oil and Water

Sink or float science and STEM experiments and popular with early education and early elementary school teachers.  These experiments are easy to prepare and conduct and have a fun wow factor with students.  Back in September, I wrote a blog post about a Halloween candy-themed sink or float STEM activity you can use in your classroom.  This blog post is about another sink or float activity... but with a twist.  In this STEM activity, you will be dropping objects into a container of oil and water.  How will this change the results?  Keep reading to find out!

Sink or float science and STEM activity using small objects, oil and water. Free record sheet provided in blog post. #kellysclassroomonline

Monday, May 24

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul

Plastic shopping bags became widely used in the 1980s.  They're popular with manufacturers because they are cheaper to make than paper bags and popular with consumers because of their convenience.  (How many of us have carried four or five bags of groceries in one hand while bringing them into the house, right?)  

Manufacturers have justified making plastic shopping bags by claiming it was good for the environment... it reduced the number of trees being cut each year.  However, plastic shopping bags have actually hurt the environment in large parts of the world.  One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul is the true story of how plastic shopping bags have wreaked havoc in one community and how a woman named Isatou Ceesay was determined to do something about it.  Keep reading to learn more about One Plastic Bag, how you can use it in the classroom, and for a simple art enrichment activity that repurposes plastic shopping bags.


Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Friday, May 14

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May. On this day, we honor the men and women who died while serving in the military. Memorial Day also marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Here are six fun facts about Memorial Day for you.

Six fun facts for children about Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, a day we honor the men and women who served in the military and died. #kellysclassroomonline

Thursday, May 13

Six Children's Books About Egyptian Mummies

Several weeks ago I wrote a blog post about How to Make a Mummy and included the step-by-step directions on how to recreate the mummification process to mummify an apple.  This week, I pulled together a list of six popular children's books about Egyptian mummies to help you extend your students' learning in the classroom.  These are nonfiction books that students in second grade and above would enjoy.

Six children's books about Egyptian mummies. Nonfiction. Second to fifth grade. Facts about mummies, pyramids, ancient Egypt. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post.

Wednesday, May 12

Fun Facts About Camels

Happy Wednesday!  It's Wednesday-Hump-Day... the halfway point of the workweek.  The phrase 'Hump Day' became popular during the 1960s and since then the camel has been the unofficial Hump Day mascot.  How much do you know about camels?  Why is the camel the Hump Day mascot?  Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating animals!

Learn about camels, where they live, what they eat, and their amazing adaptations.  Dromedary, wild Bactrian, domesticated dromedary camels. #kellysclassroomonline

Sunday, May 9

Incredible Animals by Dunia Rahwan

If you're a frequent visitor to Kelly's Classroom Online, then you know I enjoy writing posts about animals.  So far, I've written about bees, groundhogs, reindeer, and rhinoceros.  I even compiled a list of children's books about animal poop!  If you enjoyed those posts, you will enjoy today's post about Incredible Animals by Dunia Rahwan.  Incredible Animals is a fact-packed, nonfiction book about animals from all over the world.  If you've enjoyed reading my Fun Facts About Animals series, you will definitely enjoy reading this book.  Keep reading to learn more about Incredible Animals and for a FREE animal research printable you can use it with.


Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Saturday, May 8

Dippin' Dandelions STEM Challenge

Dipping dandelions into a glass of water to see what happens to them is the newest TikTok challenge out there.  (I found out about this challenge from someone who told me about it after reading Learning About Dandelion Life Cycles.)  To do this challenge, you dip a white fuzzy dandelion head into a glass of water, keep it submerged for a few seconds, and pull it out.  Then you observe any changes that may have occurred.  Pretty simple, eh?  My son and I gave it a try earlier today and this is what happened...

What happens when you dip a dandelion in some water? We tried the dipping dandelions TikTok challenge to find out! Fun STEM activity for all ages. #kellysclassroomonline

Thursday, May 6

Learning About Dandelion Life Cycles

Dandelions... also called puffballs, lion's head, lion's tooth, and monk's head... are some of the first flowers that appear in the spring.  Spring animals love to eat them.  Children love to play with them.  Science teachers and homeschooling families like to use them to talk about plant life cycles.  Keep reading for a quick science + craft activity and children's book suggestion you can use to teach dandelion life cycles to the children you work with!

Learn about plant life cycles, make a  dandelion life cycle craft, and read The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony.  Perfect from spring!  Preschool to first grade.  Science, ELA, STEM/STEAM. #kellysclassroomonline

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Sunday, April 25

The Bridge of the Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand

Karl Beckstrand is a prolific author of 30+ multicultural children's stories.  He has written stories that take place in a variety of countries around the world and has written stories in multiple languages.  Four of Karl Beckstrand's books have been featured on Kelly's Classroom Online so far:

🍎 Anna's Prayer (Sweden, United States)
🍎 Ida's Witness (Sweden, United States)
🍎 It Came from Under the High Chair (English, Spanish)
🍎 Great Cape O' Colors (English, Spanish)

Today's blog post is the fifth one about one of Karl Beckstrand's books... The Bridge of the Golden Wood.  The Bridge of the Golden Wood is a modern-day folktale/parable that takes place in China and that teaches children about the importance of helping others and saving money.  Keep reading to learn about this book and for some language arts and economics minilessons inspired by the book!

The Bridge of the Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand is a modern day folktale about good deeds & helping others. STEM + economics + ELA minilessons.

If you are looking for the building bridges STEM activity, it has been moved to its own blog post.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Monday, April 19

How to Make Earth Day Seed Bombs

Earth Day is almost here... are you looking for an easy-to-make craft your students and children can make?  Stevie Rae from 🌱🌍 Funtimes Daily Fun and Learning 🌍🌱 and her family recently made some Earth Day-themed seed bombs using items that can be purchased inexpensively at a dollar store.  In this guest post, Stevie Rae describes how they made their seed bombs and shares some of the photos she took along the way.  Thanks, Stevie!

Learn how to make seed bombs from construction paper and flower seeds with this easy DIY Earth Day themed seed bomb recipe. #kellysclassroomonline

The following is a guest post by Stevie Rae.  To learn more about sponsored posts, please visit the Authors, Publishers, and Sponsors page.  Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.