Category Archives: Educator Resources

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

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.

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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

Free Upcoming Webinar: Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books

Join us for our free webinar about our Social Activism Diverse Reading List and different methods of teaching social activism in the classroom while highlighting relevant books and engaging activities on Wednesday, January 23rd at 4PM EST.

Katie Potter, Literacy Specialist at Lee & Low, and Ina Pannell-St. Surin, NYC-based special education teacher and Responsive Classroom teacher consultant, will lead a dynamic conversation about how to use books to discuss and inspire social activism in students with both historical and present-day contexts.

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM EST
Duration: 1 hour
How to Join: Register here.

Registration is free, but space is limited so register today! If you can’t join live, you can still register to receive a link to the recording after the webinar takes place.

Hope to see you there!

10 Great Diverse Books for Preschoolers

Reading books with preschool-age children not only helps them be better prepared for school, but it also opens their minds to new cultures and experiences. Exposing children early to both “mirror” and “window” books – that is, books in which they can see themselves, and books in which they can learn about others- is the best way to create engaged readers and support social and emotional growth.

Lee & Low Books offers hundreds of great books for preschoolers. Our books include English, Spanish, and bilingual titles; books about many different cultures; books that span a wide range of subjects and themes; and both fiction and nonfiction. Browse our preschool collections to see what we offer.

10 Diverse Books for Preschoolers

While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for preschoolers! Continue reading

How to Build a More Diverse Classroom Library

More Diverse Classroom 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

EmbraceRace and Lee & Low on Finding and Reading Great Stories with Kids

EmbraceRace

Earlier this week, Literacy Specialist Katie Potter joined EmbraceRace in conversation about how to find and share books that develop kids’ racial and social justice sensibilities and help them become the community members our increasingly multiracial democracy needs.

If you missed the webinar live (or just want to watch it again), you can watch the recording of the webinar here.

We’re offering 20% off and free shipping* for webinar registrants through December 11! Just visit the Lee & Low website and use the code EMBRACERACE at checkout.

Not sure where to begin? Start with these booklists featured in the webinar:

Books that inspire resilience in kids of color
Books that encourage kids of all colors to be inclusive and empathetic
Books that support kids to think critically about racial inequity
Books that animate kids (and adults!) to be racial justice advocates for all kids

For more about using books to engage kids in conversation about differences, click here for Katie’s tip sheet.

About EmbraceRace: EmbraceRace is a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities.

Have additional questions or comments? Please leave them below in the comments!

*Free shipping on US addresses only. Coupon code not valid on Bebop Books titles and full collections.

Reading Sight Words Automatically and Accurately

Reading Conferences #4

In the fourth post of our Reading Conferences with Beginning Readers blog series, renowned literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo shares how to read sight words automatically and accurately. This post is taken from our free, downloadable “Success Starts Early: Reading Conferences with Your Beginning Readers” guide.

What are sight words and why are they important?

Sight words are words that children have learned to recognize without having to decode. Sight words are some of the most frequently used words in English and some of the first words early readers learn to recognize on sight and read. Level A, B, and C books are filled with these familiar words. When children read books at these levels, they should be able to recognize the words they have learned and read them automatically. Continue reading

Behind the Novel Effect Soundscape: Baseball Saved Us

Novel Effect, a free voice interactive storytelling app, syncs theme music and sound effects to stories as you read them aloud. By now, you may have explored some of the Lee & Low titles available on the app, including Baby Born, The Story I’ll Tell, Sparkle Boy, and Baseball Saved Us (and more on the way!). What you may not know is that Novel Effect works with award-winning composers from film and gaming to custom create each and every soundscape.

Novel Effect

We sat down with composer Ian Silver and Audio Lead Matthew Boerner, two of the talents behind several Novel Effect soundscapes, to ask them about creating the Lee & Low soundscape for Baseball Saved Us.

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Add Magic to Read Alouds with Novel Effect

In this guest blog post, certified special educator and Chief of Education for Novel Effect Melody Zagami Furze  introduces Novel Effect, a free voice interactive storytelling app that can “add music, sounds, and even characters’ voices, simply by reading a book out loud” to enrich the storytelling experience with kids. Lee & Low is excited to have soundtracks for several of our books available now on Novel Effect!

As an early childhood educator and now a parent, I know how exhausting it can be to squeeze in all the classroom activities you need in a single day. We created Novel Effect so that story time can be an achievable daily goal for you and your students, especially the ones who may find it extra hard to sit still until the end of a book.

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Watch the Webinar: Guided Reading in Kindergarten

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “Guided Reading in Kindergarten”! If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), here is a recording of the webinar:

Click below for Jennifer Serravallo’s Reading Conferences with Your Beginning Readers document and a one-hour professional development certificate. You can also learn more about Bebop Books and our leveled reading collections by clicking below.

Reading Conferences with Your Beginning Readers
Professional Development Certificate
Bebop Books
Leveled Reading Collections

Have additional questions or comments? Please leave them below in the comments!