By Thomasine Mastrantoni and Deborah Goldstein, the Link Ladies

Editor's note: The Link Ladies, two of our favorite library media specialists, have brought us yet another winning app that will make your teaching life easier and make your students excited to learn. This latest app, Tell About This, allows students to record answers to prompts and questions, boosting fluency, comprehension, and confidence. Follow the Link Ladies' simple step-by-step instructions and bring app-based learning into your classroom!

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...

By Stephanie Van Horn

Colorado third-grade teacher Stephanie Van Horn is new to Storyworks Jr., but not new to Scholastic. We asked her to try out our resource in her classroom and share her thoughts on her hit blog, 3rd Grade Thoughts. This post was created for Scholastic's #SmartTeachingTips campaign. Search the hashtag for lots of other amazing teaching tips! Stephanie focused on October/November's paired texts, "Explorers Then and Now," and here's what she had to say:

By Beth Orticelli

We know that many of our Storyworks teachers—and now Storyworks Jr. classrooms—have come to love and rely upon our read-aloud plays. Not only is this genre super-engaging for students (of all ages) but it affords wonderful opportunities to practice fluency skills and public speaking, and it gets kids up out of their chairs. Of course it also offers a great way to infuse fables, myths, and folktales into your curriculum. Our beloved Beth Orticelli shares her unique method for using our October/November 2016 play "Yeh Shen" with her second-graders. We hope you give it a try in your classrooms this year...

By Anna Starecheski
We're always hoping to engage your students with a topic that they might not know much about. The plight of the California condor probably falls into that category! I certainly didn't know much about it when I started researching and writing this article for the December/January issue of Storyworks Jr. Now, I'm a tiny bit obsessed with condors. Did you know that they can live for up to 60 years? Or that they used to roam as far as Florida and New York? Or that they have no natural predators? Or—okay, okay, I'll stop now...