Experienced educator, literacy nonprofit director and literacy consultant. Skilled in production of early, elementary, and family literacy-related curriculum, resources, and online content.
16 Fun Alphabet Books To Share With Students
Alphabet books make learning letters fun and are ready-made engaging read alouds. They help teach content information in memorable ways and spark creative writing and classroom projects, too. Ready to freshen up your selection of classroom alphabet books? Here are 16 faves you might not have yet.
Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!
A mouse sets off on an onomatopoeic journey through the alphabet to de...
Tips, Tricks and Lesson Ideas for Winter Outdoor Learning
The benefits of time outside are well-documented at this point, and added incentives during COVID times have prompted even more schools to take learning outdoors when they can. But what about when the temperature drops and the snow flies? You don’t have to teach in a forest school or have a yurt to get out there. With flexible expectations, strategic planning—and definitely some warm additions to your teacher wardrobe—winter outdoor learning IS possible. We’ve pulled together a helpful list o...
PreK and Kindergarten Teachers, You’ll Want To Try Every One of These Fun Sensory Tables
Early childhood teachers know that hands-on learning is essential. Sensory play encourages open-ended thinking, language development, collaboration, and builds fine motor skills. Sensory materials are magically both engaging and calming.
The great thing about sensory tables and bins is that reinventing the wheel is not required. Tried-and-true materials like sand, beans, rice, and water will always delight children. But, since mixing it up is fun, too, we’ve gathered some of our favorite next...
26 Books About Activism & Speaking Up for Young Readers
We all want our students to believe they can change the world through thoughtful and peaceful action. Offering a steady and diverse diet of examples of activism can inspire kids to become activists themselves and helps them appreciate the work of activists throughout history. Check out 26 of our favorite recent books about activism and speaking up for young readers.
1. The Little Book of Little Activists by Penguin Young Readers (PreK-2)
We love this book for introducing our youngest students...
Could We Really Teach Outdoors This Year?
As we debate about how to safely offer in-person instruction during COVID-19, many wonder if outdoor learning is an answer. The American Academy of Pediatrics guidance on reopening schools lists “utilize outdoor spaces when possible” as a high-priority strategy. This aligns with the general shift towards moving more of life outdoors, where experts consider the risk of virus transmission to be lower, with appropriate precautions.
Increasing time outdoors for kids isn’t a new idea; research sho...
19 Easy Ways to Get Kids into Birding
You can watch and wonder about birds whether you’re age two or ninety-two. Birding is a fantastic hobby for all ages, and relates to science, literacy, and math. It’s flexible to many different settings—even a window will do—but encourages a connection to nature, regardless. It also encourages slowing down to look and listen carefully—good for all of us to practice!
Best of all, it’s easy to get into birding. Here are plenty of simple entry points to get kids interested in birds at school or ...
22 Ways to Use Loose Parts for Learning
Buttons, pom-poms, rocks, bottle caps, acorns, blocks … the possibilities for loose parts are virtually endless. Loose parts are collections that can be used for open-ended activity—sensory play, design and building, storytelling, problem-solving, inquiry, and more.
For the full run-down on loose parts theory, we suggest diving into Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky’s Loose Parts book series, especially their latest Loose Parts 4: Inspiring 21st-Century Learning.
Here are just a few reasons to...
Books on Growing Up for Kids Ages 0 – 2
Baby & Toddler
Any parent or infant caregiver has firsthand appreciation for the growth that happens during the first two years of a child’s life. From immobile, squawky newborn to busy, opinionated toddler, ages 0 to 2 are full of nothing but growing. All along the way, of course, are plenty of snuggly opportunities to celebrate both the everyday and the momentous milestones through sharing books together. These seven titles are great start.
Love is … growing up surrounded by those who care ...
Remote Learning Doesn’t Mean Reading Needs to Become One-Size-Fits-All
Brought to you by Rosen Publishing
Rosen LevelUp is an adaptive reading platform for grades preK-2+ that provides a customized digital library for every student. Get a free trial and learn more>>
School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have launched educators headlong into unchartered territory. We’re quickly attempting to translate our best practices into remote learning. Even though we can’t see those little faces in person every day, individualized knowledge about our students still m...
8 Books That Will Spark Imagination in Babies and Toddlers
Baby & Toddler
Supporting a child’s growing imagination and the brain-boosting play and conversation that comes along with it is an important task for parents and caregivers. While babies and young toddlers aren’t yet developmentally able to dive deeply into imaginary worlds themselves, books are the perfect gateway to begin exposing them to imaginative ideas.
Plus, sharing imaginative books with little ones of this age is a prime way for adults to wake up and shake up the creative muscles of...
25 Best Educational Toys and Games for Preschool
When choosing toys and games for preschoolers, less is definitely more. Simple, durable, and open-ended materials that invite kiddos to imagine, explore, create, and stretch their developing language and reasoning skills are the way to go. We’ve gathered 25 of our favorite educational toys for preschool that are guaranteed to keep those little hands and brains busy learning at school or home.
Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only reco...
Easy As A, B, C: Fun Ways To Help Kids Learn Their Letters
Parents, caregivers, and educators celebrate children’s mastery of the ABCs as an important milestone on the road to reading and writing. But, there’s much more to learning the alphabet than a cute rendition of the ABC song.
Here’s the lowdown on the different aspects of learning about letters—and plenty of fun activities to help your children or students become alphabet experts.
How kids first learn about letters and sounds
Many children begin learning their letters by singing the alphabet s...
How To Make Learning Fun: Using Playtime To Build Literacy
We all want our kids to learn what they need to be successful. But guess what most kids want to do? Play! And let’s face it: we adults want to play, too.
But learning and playtime can, and should, happily overlap. A growing body of research highlights the many benefits of open-ended play activities like building, pretending, creating, and just getting all-around messy for kids. Doctors, according to an article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, even “prescribe” play to support h...
How Kids Learn to Write, And How to Help Them Do It
Children have lots of ideas. When they begin to communicate these ideas on paper, it’s a window into their thinking that’s both endearing and fascinating.
Now, every child is unique, of course, but early writing usually progresses through recognizable stages: scribbling, pretend writing, and approximated spelling all lead up to the real thing. Here’s a rundown on what you’ll likely see between toddlerhood and early elementary school, and tips for supporting each phase.
Please note that the ag...
It Isn’t Winter Without Our Favorite Jan Brett Books
When the first dusting of snow rolled in for us this year, my kids couldn’t get outside fast enough. My third son desperately raced to pull on his hand-me-down snowsuit, distinctive to me because of the memories it sparked of both his brothers struggling into it in just the same way. Each season unfolds with its own familiar actions and traditions that say, “We’ve done this before.”
When everyone finally tumbles inside from playing in the snow, we tend to spend more time snuggled up reading t...