By Thomasine Mastrantoni and Deborah Goldstein, the Link Ladies

Our favorite library media specialists, The Link Ladies, are back to share one of their essential “App-Style Learning” ideas for back to school. Any Link Ladies-approved app follows some basic guidelines: It's easy to use, it's fun and effective, and it's free. Your classroom toolkit would not be complete without one of our favorite apps, Chatterpix. This already popular app is an amazing engagement tool that can offer real learning benefits, especially when used with the great ELA content found in Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. If you are not familiar with it, this is a MUST-TRY, especially during your first few weeks back in the classroom...

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 Michelle Divkey

Editor's note: The plays in Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. are always a huge hit with students—and it's easy to see why. They're engaging, digestible, and tons of fun! Teachers like them for the fluency boost reading aloud gives their students. Teacher Michelle Divkey of the blog Teach123 has some AMAZING ideas for how to incorporate reader's theater into your curriculum. This post was created for Scholastic's #SmartTeachingTips campaign. Search the hashtag for lots of other amazing teaching tips...

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!