By Allie Curtis and Shannon Seigler

Editor's Note: Allie and Shannon, two ELA instructional gurus from Walton County, Florida, use Storyworks in amazing ways. We've been aching for their contribution to the Ideabook, but these ladies are busy. See below for their first installment: a delightful vocabulary approach that will have your students thinking about cotton candy while they learn new vocabulary in context. They've given you all the tools to give it a try in your classrooms—even the cute carousel music!

By Thomasine Mastrantoni and Deborah Goldstein, the Link Ladies

Editor's Note: Enjoy this 21st-century twist on the old-school "Wanted" poster for a super-fun, easy-to-try approach to help students share their thinking and practice text evidence. The Link Ladies, library media specialists in Harrison, New York, explain how they'll use the paired texts in the February issue of  Storyworks (about unlikely invasive species), offering up a great website and a 5-step lesson for skill-building support. 

By Erin Burns

Editor's note: Both Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. feature debates in every issue. We try to tackle topics that kids really care about—and the debate from the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Storyworks about whether schools should ban chocolate milk definitely fits the bill! We love seeing creative ways you teach our debates, and we just had to highlight this amazing, effective strategy from New York teacher Erin Burns. The best part: You can use it with ANY debate. Without further ado, here's Erin's 4-day debate plan...

Editor's note: Leave it to teaching pro and Storyworks Advisor Jackie Rabinoff of New York to devise a way to squeeze even more out of her subscription. We love her economical ways! Take a look at Jackie's beautifully organized Storyworks independent reading center that she happily makes available to her students. Just think of the amazingly rich reading practice it provides, and gives even more opportunities to grow knowledge and make content connections using our stories. Plus it offers a great extra boost of skills practice using our ready-to-go activity sheets. Think of the amazing formative assessments you'll gain from this easy-to-try Storyworks center!

 

By Meg Zucker

Editor’s Note: In the February issue of Storyworks Jr., the Paired Texts feature, “What Makes Charlie Awesome?” is about a young boy with physical differences. (Consider it a preview of the emphasis we'll be putting on social-emotional learning and character education in the 2017-18 school year.) Our writing contest asks students to describe what people would like to notice most about themselves. We asked Meg Zucker, Charlie’s mom and a woman with plenty of experience getting kids to think about what makes them unique, to tell us why it’s so critical to get kids thinking this way. We hope to read your students’ contest entries soon! 

 

 

In honor of Martin Luther King Day on January 16, and Black History Month in February, we want to highlight some of our favorite Civil Rights-related Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. content, which is always available to you in our archives. Most of what I’m recommending are plays, which gives your students the chance to step into the shoes of some of the most important figures in this movement...