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 Dana Canales

Dana Canales is a relied-upon Storyworks teacher advisor from Spring, Texas. She teaches in a Title 1 school. Dana's voice is so important in our editorial ear, as teachers across the state are preparing for their state assessment all year long, and more rigously in late winter. We love that Dana totally gets that Storyworks can be the "spoonful of sugar" in her regular TEKS lesson planning, and can be used as amped-up STAAR practice too! You've got to check out how she works a recent nonfiction article into 5 days of  test-prep for her fourth graders. Storyworks has always been a staple of my STAAR preparation.  There's no other resource in my classroom that covers every genre tested on our state test here in Texas.  What follows is a sample week in my class using the non fiction selection “ Disaster in Space”...

By Lisa Shumaker

Editor's note: Lisa Shumaker from St. Charles, Illinois, is one of our secret weapons at Storyworks Jr. She is not only tech-savvy, she is a remarkably gifted teacher. We think your students will love this super-simple but high-impact activity to practice main idea and supporting details. Please share how it works in your classroom this spring.

By Beth Orticelli

Editor's note: See how superstar second-grade teacher Beth O serves up a great curriculum tie-in to her science standards using our Paragraph Power article from the March/April issue of Storyworks Jr. It's about an incredible kid named Khloe, who took initiative to help homeless women in her community. Frankly, we never even thought that it could be connected to science! Take a look at this innovative way to use our Paragraph Power article and see if it can work for you.

By Allison Friedman

Storyworks’s most recent nonfiction feature will introduce your students to one of our favorite historical heroes: Robert Smalls. During the Civil War, desperate to free his family from slavery, Smalls risked his life to commandeer a Southern ship and steer it towards freedom. This thrilling story is a perfect jumping-off point to further learning about slavery in America and the Civil War. Here are a few resources to get you and your students started...

By Kara Corridan

I'll be frank: The one part of Storyworks Jr. that gets the most mixed feedback is our poetry. For every teacher who tells us how grateful she is that we include poems in each issue, another tells us it's the part of Storyworks Jr. she uses the least. But we continue to include poems because we believe in their ability to present language and ideas in unique ways, and to help children explore their own voices and emotions. And then every once in a while we learn of the impact a particular poem has had on students, and we know we're on the right path. Here's one such story that deeply moved us.