MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Monday, September 29, 2008

BookPALS Online Storytelling

Click the above title to listen to a screen actor/actress read a story !

Have you heard the news about the collaboration with the Screen Actors Guild and the reading program which engages readers? If not, take the time to check out these links!

In an article, posted at this weeks Reading Rockets site, an article was posted which provides an enticing invitation to learn more about this program that was started in 1993. Given that many parents can't find time to read to their children, the Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools designed a program of "volunteers who read aloud weekly to children through out the school year." An instructional moment, using your Elmo and your computer/lab top, will promote an enthusiastic "read aloud" on a weekly basis for your students. Just click the links to either read more about this program or to share the stories on a Friday afternoon.

Happy Listening & Reading,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Into The Book

Click the above title to enter the website.

Into The Book is a great resource for all reading instructors across the content areas. Are you looking for instructional connections that will inspire your readers to use their prior knowledge and to make connections with the topic/theme? What about helping students with interpretative reading strategies by using questioning techniques or visulaizing methods which will bringing the writing to life? Maybe you just are looking for reading standards or a discussion forum that might "ignite" your student readers interest. Try this website it is a wonderful source for quick ideas.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Golden Books Art Display

Click the above title to read the article.

The Aurora Public Art Commission is bringing back childhood memories with stories to tell the future generations. Many, if not most of us grew up reading/hearing these perfect-sized readers. Just the mention of "The Poky Little Puppy" or "The Golden Book of Prayers," brings back the most endearing "comfort" that wraps us up as if we were still a youngster.

Enjoy this article,

Monday, September 15, 2008

Read, Write, Think

To enter website, just click the title above.

The Read, Write, Think website is not only an excellent resource for your language arts instructional design creations. . . . there are lesson plans and activity ideas for all "calendar" events for literacy projects. September 15 - October 15 is the Hispanic Heritage awareness month and this site provides free resources for your students.

Just click the calendar link to view these resources: Hispanic Heritage Resources

Mrs K

Friday, September 12, 2008

7 1/2 Habits of a Highly Successful Lifelong Learner

Click on the title above to view learning video !

Are you a life-long learner? What of the 7 1/2 habits are your learning foundational blocks? As an eduator, do your students know how to be highly successful as life-long learners?

Watch this video, share it with others, practice these steps.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dog-Eared Favorites: for Kids, by Kids

Just click the title above to go to the website !
National Geographic Kids launched a blog that's just for kids and book reviews. Log on to see what books kids like (and why), and encourage your own book reviewer at home! Reading the blog posts is a great way to get a sense of books you might want to find at your public library or bookstore.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

International Literacy Day: Sept 8, 2008

Welcome back to a new year of educational discoveries !

If you haven't investigated IRA's website, click on the above title to learn about this wonderful day of celebrating literacy within the United States and around the globe. As educators we have a passion for literacy for all students, yet we often get bogged down in the instructional design of our lessons and we become "separated" from the "united goal" of all educators. Take a moment to be renewed, to remember you aren't alone in your classroom, and to ignite your flame for literacy for all who enter your opened doors of literacy success.

Book mark this site, Reading Across the Continents, it is a site which connects students and teachers "Around the World via Technology and Literature."


Friday, August 22, 2008

African Library Project

Don't forget to click the title above for the website connection.

With school beginning, what will your students be doing as a global connection beyond the classroom?

The African Library Project would be an excellent outreach fundraiser for your classroom, for a building service project (PTA sponsored), or for a grade level service project. As you know, providing global connections for our students will inspire interest into the world in which they are growing up. Many buildings or grade levels have global community themes every year, consider adding this project to your instructional design. Opening the window to the world through international classroom connections is one seed planted in a child's heart towards global acceptance!

Chris Bradshaw, founder of the African Library Project, says, "Studentslearn that they can have a profound impact on the lives of hundreds ofAfricans who otherwise don't have easy access to books. During the courseof a book drive they learn about Africa, gain an appreciation of our ownresources, develop leadership skills and build local community spirit asthey help start a small library in Africa. It's amazing what we can do whenwe roll up our sleeves and work together."


PBS: ABCs Shows

Just click the title above for access to the article.

"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Super WHY team, soaring over Storybrook Village. The animated characters jump inside books and look for answers to questions they have." Out of the Blue Enterprises LLC

While picking up her pre-schooler, this parent was given a free DVD as part of a major initiative by the Department of Education in conjucture with a multimillion dollar grant with PBS to produce shows that would help children with their reading skills.

Check your local PBS scheduling to find these shows and then sit with your little ones for a few moments of "virtual reading."

Here's a link to the Super Why website:
Enjoy your reading skill discoveries with your younger readers !

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Student Reading & Comics

Click the title for the full article

Do you know a student who is struggling to read? Visual stimuli might be the hook for these readers. Higher levels of thinking and tracking occurs with readers who are comic lovers. Who doesn't love a comic book? How many did you read when you were younger?

Consider using comics that first week of school......what a great reading incentive for "hooking" your new students in their reading for enjoyment. Later revisit a "Comic" unit during history and have them work in groups of three to retell a historical moment through comic-frame shots and captions.

Check out the suggested 26 "important" comics, show the students this bit of reading history during a comic introduction.

Enjoy your re-discovery,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Get "Caught" Reading

Just click the above title to go to the website

Did you know that there was a photo contest for readers "in-action"?

Check out this video of 2007 entries, use it to inspire reading with some "mood" music and you have just set the stage for your back-to-school "free" reading environment.

Caught Reading Photos


Monday, July 21, 2008

Engaging male reluctant readers with technology tools

Are you wondering how others are inspiring those reluctant male readers? In the article, "A+ ADVICE: Can technology re-Kindle boy's interests in reading? by Leanna Landsman (7/21/08) the debate about plugging reluctant readers into technology is proving some benefits, just click the above title to read the entire article. Landsman stated, "Taking a "cross-media" approach is important, Harvey says. "It teaches your sons that we learn from a range of sources and makes them more eager consumers of information." I have found this to be a promising factor from 21st Century learning experiences, using the technology beyond the classroom and offering the book as the "missing link" with the technology tool of choice creates an interest hook in which to engage otherwise uninterested readers.

The article offers a further study to check out, "The 2008 Kids & Family Reading Report, a survey of children ages 5 through 17, found that kids who go online to extend their reading experience — by going to author Web sites or connecting with other readers — are more likely to read for fun every day. For more on the report, go to:

Enjoy these technology updates,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reading & the Arts

Summer Planning for the Fall . . . . . . . . . .

Artstart is an organization that was designed to enhance reading skills through the use of the arts (theatre, puppets, music, dance, visual arts, etc). In the school district of Charlotte-Mecklenburg teachers meet with the art teachers over the summer to collaborate and learn instructional design options for integrating the arts into their reading lessons.

What a beautiful connection. Click the posting title for the home page and discover what other teachers are using. Not all education is driven for testing, making the difference includes balancing a reading program with creative opportunitites for active participation and engaging skill practice !

To view the lessons, either scroll down to the section entitled "Arts-Integrated Curriculum" and click the word "online". . . . . or click to enter the page from this site. Pick the year to review below, enjoy your discoveries:

2007-2008 Lesson plans

2005-2006 Lesson plans

Enjoy your fall planning,

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer Reading

Summer time is here and it's the perfect season for sitting on your porch and taking a grand adventure beyond your front door. Check out the book collection in this short video, jot down the book title that catches your eye and investigate what lies within its cover.

Don't forget you can always put one of the titles on hold at your local library just click the following Library link:

  • then locate the "Catalog" navigational button
  • enter the book's title and search
  • have your library card ready to put the title on hold
  1. Fort Vancouver Regional Library:
  2. Camas Public Library:
  3. Multnomah County Library:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

International Reading For All Children

(Click the above title for Internet Link)

Students reading ON-LINE ? ? ?
Check out this International Online Library site for all readers. Multiple languages are presented for stories. Students, and you, can choose the book title and read the book online while turning "virtual" pages!

Enjoy a new way to read !

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Shift Happens

What is your educational goal for the 21st Learner?
Click the title above to watch the video.

Are your students doing "great" work? Does their CQ + PQ = their IQ?
Those educators whose vision for their students goes beyond the classroom boundaries will be "bridge builders" who are teaching students to be 21st century learners.

As an educator, how can you learn more about what areas of your instruction needs an "upgrade" in order to inspire and ignite your students to be "connectors" who are motivated and learning for their furture in 2036!

Log on to the 21st century educator wiki at:

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


Traits of Writing: Inking Thoughts

Booked 4 Success: Inspired Learning