February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Poetry: It’s in the Details

From haiku to animal poems to riffs on classic tales, this season’s new poetry titles open readers to the world around them—and some exquisite wordplay.

Meeting the CCSS Through Poetry | Professional Shelf

Can kids garner a passion for literature without Shakespeare, Silverstein, Salinger, or Sendak? Not in the opinion of the “lead architect of the Common Core Standards Initiative.” In celebration of National Poetry Month, we offer three titles that illuminate the intersection between the study of poetry and the goals of the CCSS.

“I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” | Emily Dickinson Plays Sleuth

Michaela MacColl is a history scholar drawn to strong female characters, both historical and literary. Her latest novel, Nobody’s Secret, features the poet Emily Dickinson, on the trail of a murderer.

Inquiry and Nonfiction | On Common Core

Inquiry and nonfiction are closely related and books that explore the work of scientists can be ideal mentor texts as students develop skills that are essential for learning.

The Autism Spectrum | Books for Kids, Parents, and Teachers

Recent statistics from the CDC reveal that 1 in 88 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Recent titles for students, teachers, and families, broaden our understanding of individual needs, and highlight the enormous potential for achievement for children and teens on the spectrum.

Doers and Dreamers | Celebrating Black History

In observation of Black History Month, Curriculum Connections takes a look at a variety of titles that highlight the achievement of African Americans. From abolitionists to artists, there’s something for every collection.

On Common Core | Talking about Nonfiction

“Talking takes time” note the authors, but allowing students time for conversations about the texts they are reading is essential.

Nick’s Picks | The 2013 American Library Association Award Winners

Listen to the recent winners of the 2013 ALA book awards share the stories behind their work.

Whiskers, Dreams, and Grave-Robbing Schemes | More on Abraham Lincoln

From fabulous picture books to top-shelf literary nonfiction, 2013 brings a number of new titles about America’s favorite president, Abraham Lincoln.

Deconstructing Nonfiction | On Common Core

If students are not familiar with nonfiction texts, they may assume that every nonfiction book serves the same function.

A Mission Above and Beyond Them | An Interview with Tanya Lee Stone

Author Tanya Lee Stone talked to Curriculum Connections about the importance of visual storytelling in her work “Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers.”

‘Pathways to the Common Core’ | Professional Shelf

“Pathways to the Common Core” offers solutions and directions for teachers looking for a way to understand and implement the Common Core State Standards into their lesson plans.

Amazing but True | Nonfiction for Reluctant Readers

Beyond those tried-and-true series entries there are many stand-alone titles with engaging texts and high-quality art to lure reluctant readers into informational texts.

Reaching Those Resistant Readers | Fun, Fast-Paced Fiction

When children and teens are ready to take a leap from those hybrid novels popularized by Jeff Kinney’s “Wimpy Kid” books into titles with a bit more text, where do they go? The books listed here will provide guidance.

Michael Hearst | A Fascination with the Unusual

Michael Hearst makes his children’s book debut with ‘Unusual Creatures’.” His definition of said species? “An animal that looks, sounds, smells, or acts in a way that makes you stop and say, ‘Whoa, dude!’ What’s up with that?”

Nick’s Picks | Celebrating World Languages Through Books

In this month’s column we celebrate our multilingual world by showcasing audio and video recordings in a variety of languages from the TeachingBooks.net collection. ¡Disfrute!

Clustering and the Common Core

Achieving the level of complex thinking in the classroom required by the Common Core standards can feel overwhelming, particularly when students will be reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing in this capacity throughout the day.

Population Shifts Through the Centuries | Nick’s Picks

Throughout the ages, individuals and groups have migrated, emigrated, fled, and been forcibly removed from their homelands. When teaching about the movement of people through history, books can offer students a variety of perspectives.

Does Character Matter?

In “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character,” Paul Tough challenges the notion that academic achievement rests primarily on the types of cognitive skills measured by IQ tests. Could it be that success is, in fact, more dependent upon non-cognitive skills or character traits such as social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity?

On Common Core | Content Over Coverage

One of the most common complaints about state or local curriculum standards is that they focus on covering a range of topics while sacrificing depth of understanding. Chances are you’ve heard your colleagues bemoan that these standards are “a mile long and an inch deep.” Are the Common Core State Standards any different?