Hello teachers! I wish you could come to our New York offices and listen in on some of our discussions (and share some of the delicious coffee we get across the street). Really, all we talk about is YOU...

By Anna Starecheski

One of my favorite parts of my job is managing student writing contests. We get so many fantastic entries, and it's truly a joy to read them! We love to recognize our winners and their hard work, and thus the Student Writer Spotlight was born. Each issue, we'll choose one winner from Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. to celebrate here on Ideabook. We hope that this will both encourage your students to enter and provide you with some great examples of successful entries...

By Anna Starecheski

One of my favorite parts of my job is managing student writing contests. We get so many fantastic entries, and it's truly a joy to read them! We love to recognize our winners and their hard work, and thus the Student Writer Spotlight was born. Each issue, we'll choose one winner from Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. to celebrate here on Ideabook. We hope that this will both encourage your students to enter and provide you with some great examples of successful entries...

By Meg Zucker

Editor’s note: We at Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. love working with Meg Zucker. Meg is the founder of Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, a not-for-profit organization that works to advance acceptance, understanding, tolerance and mutual respect for a person's blatant or invisible difference. We have great admiration for Meg’s commitment, and she has been an invaluable partner to us at Storyworks Jr. as we continue our SEL focus.

By Allie Curtis

Editor's note: We love this simple idea for differentiation from superstar 4th-grade teacher Allie Curtis. Allie took our Close-Reading Questions (found in the Teacher's Guide) and put her own spin on them with her "Color RAP" strategy. Try Allie's lesson in your classroom (she's even provided her materials for you) and let us know how it works for your students!

By Rebecca Leon

If you've read our latest nonfiction feature, "Swarms of Terror," about the sky-blackening masses of locusts that descended on the American prairie in the late 1800s, you know what a thrilling read it is. (And if you haven't, there's a treat waiting to - er - leap out of your December/January issue.) But did you know that there's a brand-new Research Kit that goes along with it?