Category Archives: Educator Resources

Lesson plans, activity guides, and helpful tips from our literacy specialist and guest educators.

Diverse Books for Social Emotional Learning in Grade 1

Social and Emotional Learning in Grade 1

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic, but it’s certainly not new. Skills like empathy, cultivating and maintaining positive relationships, recognizing and managing emotions, problem solving, approaching tasks with grit and perseverance, and taking on others’ perspectives have always, and will always, be crucial to kids’ success. Research shared by CASEL reports that SEL programs lead to “immediate improvements in mental health, social skills, and academic achievement,” and “up to 18 years later, students exposed to SEL in school continue to do better than their peers on a number of indicators: positive social behaviors and attitudes, skills such as empathy and teamwork, and academics.” SEL is certainly worthy of time and attention from those who support children’s development.

Books are valuable tools for guiding conversations about SEL topics. Children can examine and learn from characters’ actions and experiences and relate them to their own. Of course, book selection is key. When kids see both themselves and others in diverse books, it says, “You matter. Reflect on your experiences.” and “Others matter. Listen and learn.” Therein lies the heart of SEL. 

As students grow and change, so do their social emotional learning needs. Linking diverse books to SEL goals and challenges across different ages is a powerful way to support students as they navigate each developmental stage. This blog series, written by educator Lindsay Barrett, explores how diverse books can be used to support social emotional learning at different grade levels. Continue reading

Social Activism Books for First Grade

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level. Check out our social activism book roundup for first grade below and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List!

Continue reading

Social Activism Books for Kindergarten

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, each month we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level starting with Kindergarten. Check out our social activism book roundup below, and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List! Continue reading

Using Diverse Books to Support Social and Emotional Learning in Kindergarten

Social and Emotional Learning in Kindergarten

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic, but it’s certainly not new. Skills like empathy, cultivating and maintaining positive relationships, recognizing and managing emotions, problem solving, approaching tasks with grit and perseverance, and taking on others’ perspectives have always, and will always, be crucial to kids’ success. Research shared by CASEL reports that SEL programs lead to “immediate improvements in mental health, social skills, and academic achievement,” and “up to 18 years later, students exposed to SEL in school continue to do better than their peers on a number of indicators: positive social behaviors and attitudes, skills such as empathy and teamwork, and academics.” SEL is certainly worthy of time and attention from those who support children’s development.

Books are valuable tools for guiding conversations about SEL topics. Children can examine and learn from characters’ actions and experiences and relate them to their own. Of course, book selection is key. When kids see both themselves and others in diverse books, it says, “You matter. Reflect on your experiences.” and “Others matter. Listen and learn.” Therein lies the heart of SEL. 

As students grow and change, so do their social emotional learning needs. Linking diverse books to SEL goals and challenges across different ages is a powerful way to support students as they navigate each developmental stage. This blog series explores how diverse books can be used to support social emotional learning at different grade levels. Continue reading

Authentic Spanish Books List for Grades PreK-5

Check out our new printable Authentic Spanish Book List that features some of our most popular award-winning bilingual and dual language texts written by authors from the cultures featured in our books.

The read alouds featured in this list will help build a solid foundation to achieve Spanish literacy or bilingualism while also affirming and validating a child’s identity, culture, and home language. These stories celebrate cultures, voices, and experiences of communities historically underrepresented or misrepresented in children’s literature.

Included in this list are culturally and linguistically authentic books that all children can enjoy.

Authentic Spanish Book List Collections:

Authentic Spanish Book List Collection
Authentic Spanish Book List Grades PreK-2 Collection
Authentic Spanish Book List Grades 3-5 Collection

Download, print, and share the Authentic Spanish Book List here.

Watch the Webinar: Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books”! If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), here is a recording of the webinar:

Continue reading

Tackling the Challenges of Implementing Diverse Libraries at Your School

implementing a diverse library

New year, new goals! If one of your professional goals this year is to add more diversity to your school or classroom library, we’re here with some inspiration to get you started. In the following blog post, originally posted at the Center for the Collaborative Classroom and cross-posted with permission, our Director of Curriculum and Literacy Strategy Jill Eisenberg shares tips and suggestions for how to move forward without becoming overwhelmed:

Continue reading

Using Diverse Books to Support Social and Emotional Learning in Preschool

In our newest series, educator Lindsay Barrett offers suggestions for using diverse books to teach social and emotional learning at various grade levels, beginning with preschool.

Social and Emotional Learning in Preschool Continue reading

Oprah Winfrey Reads The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen For Storyline Online

The itch. The Hula-Hoopin’ itch. My fingers start snappin’. My feet start tappin’. My hips start swingin’. ­

The Hula-Hoopin' QueenThe Hula Hoopin’ Queen was selected by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation for the first read aloud of 2019 on Storyline Online, an interactive literacy website where world-renowned actors and celebrities read popular, award-winning children’s books to help students fall in love with reading.

The Hula Hoopin’ Queen was written by Thelma Godin, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, and is now read by Oprah Winfrey on Emmy-nominated Storyline Online.

Continue reading

Guided Reading with English Language Learners in Kindergarten

Jen Serravallo #5Do you work with English Language Learners or have English Language Learners in your classroom? Whether your classroom has only a few ELLs or a majority, it’s critical to think about different strategies and skills that ELLs need to engage with books as they’re starting to read in kindergarten.

It’s also essential that your classroom library has authentic and culturally relevant texts in both English and Spanish so that all readers can have texts that fit their needs and interests. To get started, we recommend evaluating your classroom library. Our Classroom Library Questionnaire is a tool that can help you analyze the books in your library and determine where there are strengths and gaps in diversity.

Read on to find out different skills that you can teach ELLs when they’re reading at levels A, B, and C. Continue reading