The Polar Express is more than a book for some people. It's a holiday family tradition that has become an eagerly-anticipated December event!
The following guest post is written by Karen Blake in 2013, but it's one of my most popular holiday posts.
Karen is a teacher, mom of three, and aunt of many. She's a lover of traditions and is quite honestly one of the most creative and crafty friends I have.
Traditions are my favorite.
And Christmas traditions are the absolute BEST!
My … Read More...
I've found five books for the middle school gamers in your life.
Have a middle schooler (or high schooler) who just can't seem to tear himself (or herself) away from the screen?
I get it. Believe me, I get it.
But I am willing to bet big Pokédollars that at least one of these books will catch your gamer's fancy.
Here's the skinny. . .
5 Books for the Middle School Gamers in Your Life
First and foremost, my suggestion to you is that you read these books before or along … Read More...
This is the must-have gift for anyone who wants to raise a reader.
THE gift for new parents who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for grandparents who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for aunts, uncles, and Godparents who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for caregivers who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for early childhood educators who want to help their students' families raise readers.
It's super-simple, and it's surprisingly affordable.
This raise a reader gift … Read More...
These holiday notes may turn out to be one of your family's most coveted and meaningful traditions!
It's so easy for our little ones (and even adults sometimes!) to lose sight of what the holiday season is all about.
So in 2008, when I saw this idea on a late-night, dvr'd Oprah, I knew I wanted to use it. With a little prompting, my family tried out Holiday Notes with both sides of the family.
Even though some interpreted the exchange a little differently, it was a success overall. Most … Read More...
Did you know that today is Giving Tuesday?
It's a really simple concept: give.
Any way you are able, to anyone. Give.
The concept of giving is especially important at this time of the year, and lucky for us, many organizations have made it super easy--and so meaningful!--to give at holiday time.
Looking at my kids' bedrooms and our playroom, I see we need very little.
So I'm encouraging all of our family members to do something this year that packs a bit more of a punch: buying gifts that … Read More...
Between Election Day, parent-teacher conferences, and field trips, it always seems like things get nutty in November.
The novelty of the new year has worn off, and kids—and parents—start slowly slipping into the mid-year blues or pre-holiday anxiety.
And if things are crazy for our family, I can only imagine how difficult things can be for our teachers.
So November is a great time for us all to step back and extend a bit of thanks to those teachers with whom our children spend hours and … Read More...
Planning class parties can be a real struggle, especially when you're rolling solo as the Room Parent.
But for years now, I've made it my goal to share as much as was humanly possible so that no one's stuck trying to figure out what to do with 30 kids eager for a good Halloween par-tay.
If you need a full-fledged Halloween class party, you can check out:
Halloween class party ideas
MORE Halloween class party ideas
for the whole deal.
But if you just need a quickie 10-minute activity … Read More...
This is a post sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and Sparky.org.
It's October, which means I get to share all about the free fire prevention resources and games from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Woo-hoooo!
The resources for educators and families that NFPA provides are totally amazing, and it's something that everyone, whether at home or in school, needs to know about.
Here's the skinny. . .
Free Fire Prevention Resources and Games
First, … Read More...
This week, Owen and I had an absolute blast taking a look at some of the fab science kits that were sent to us from our friends at Ward's Science.
Ward's Science is seriously an educator's one-stop shop for all things science, and it has been for years and years.
They've got tons and tons of products, resources, lesson plans, and support for helping students connect to science and to really make science come alive for them.
And the coolest things about this company are the … Read More...
It’s crazy, all of the things we need to think about as parents,
isn’t it? Healthcare, school community, family dynamics. Vaccinations, online
safety, and friendships. It can be so much.
So, when I come across something that is recommended to me by a
reliable source or good pal, I tend to go with it.
I didn’t have the bandwidth to do the legwork and research needed
to find an orthodontist, so when we realized that Maddy was in dire need of
some teeth-straightening, I … Read More...