By Kriscia Cabral

Editor's note: The Vocabulary Slideshow is a new feature that we're super excited about. These slideshows reinforce the vocabulary from our magazines in a way that is especially helpful for auditory, visual, and English language learners. Top teaching blogger Kriscia Cabral has a really great method for taking this one step further with her own unique twist...

By Kara Corridan

I'm closing in on my first year as editor of Storyworks Jr., and with the holidays upon us, I'm reflecting on everything I'm grateful for. High on the list is connecting with so many of you who bend over backwards to make learning fun and meaningful for your students. What you do every day, often amid challenging circumstances and shrinking resources, inspires all of us here. As a thank you, we're giving you one of my favorite stories from the Storyworks archives.

By Beth Orticelli

Editor's note: Leave it to Beth O, our Storyworks Jr. advisor and second-grade teacher, to blow our minds once again with her ultra-creative teaching strategies. This time she takes her students on a virtual field trip to Alcatraz, and delivers yet another jaw-dropping and riveting language-arts lesson. We absolutely love what Beth came up with—and it's so easy for any teacher to try. So, please do, and share your feedback in the Comments area below. 

 
By Amy Groesbeck

Editor's note: We discovered third grade teacher Amy Groesbeck of Texas while we were field-testing our sample issue of Storyworks Jr. We skyped with Amy and her teaching colleagues who had been given our sample issue to demo in their third-grade classrooms. We were delighted by a sticky-note activity she used with Storyworks Jr. content to encourage active reading. We begged Amy to share this more developed Genius Teaching Idea with our Ideabook readers. Try her strategy in your classroom and let us know how it works for you!

 

By Kristen Cruikshank

Part of the magic of Storyworks (and the delight of Storyworks editor Lauren Tarshis) is developing amazing content for you and your students to work with. Our aim is to provide stories that thrill and open doors of curiousity. We feel that the article "Escape from Alcatraz" is a good example of this. Our newest BFF, fourth-grade teacher Kristen Cruikshank of Houston, Texas, has held tight to her copies of this narrative nonfiction article (which ran in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Storyworks), and she's created a multi-pronged lesson which she plans to use again this year. BIG BONUS: All Storyworks subscribers have access to our deep archive of past content and can try this lesson out in their classroom whenever they see fit. Kristen has a decidedly TEKS focus for her instruction. You'll see below that she shares her genius ideas and offers takeaway goodies for you to try...

By Allison Friedman

“Black Sunday,” the nonfiction article in the December/January issue of Storyworks, is one of the most hauntingly fascinating disaster stories we’ve ever featured in the magazine. It’s the story of the Dust Bowl’s worst storm, a 200-mile-wide black dirt cloud that swallowed up the Southern Plains in April 1935...