Reading

How to Read Fiction and Poetry for Standardized Testing

If you are reading a fiction or poetry passage, your goal is to think about the type of mood the author is creating, which is similar to the tone, and how the details are used to help you understand the mood the author is trying to create. Pay special attention to symbolism and imagery throughout the piece. Read the following passage, and think carefully about the details that are being used. Notice the use of…

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Best Young Adult Books of Summer 2017

September is upon us and the children have gone back to school, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy some of the best books of the summer! Check out these great young adult books released in summer 2017.  Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which…

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Best Children’s Books of Summer 2017

September is upon us and the children have gone back to school, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy some of the best books of the summer! Check out these great children’s books released in summer 2017.  Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket, illus. by Lisa Brown. In a quiet bedroom bowl, Goldfish Ghost came to be—just floating belly up above the water. As much as he liked his home, he longed for friends…

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Last Minute Summer Reading Tips

Does your child continually put off starting their summer reading? Does she protest that there is plenty of time and that you are being ridiculous for suggesting getting started now? Some students hate to read and will always avoid it, but even those who enjoy books sometimes resist reading in the summer. Here are some strategies you can try to help your child finish up that last minute summer reading.  These first two strategies may…

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Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Vocabulary

Since the adoption of Common Core in the US, teaching vocabulary is no longer strictly the domain of the English-Language Arts classroom. This makes vocabulary a matter of standard and law, so it’s pretty important to make the most of vocab lessons. Here are some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to teaching vocabulary.  DO help students come up with their own definitions. Studies show that students are much more likely to retain meaning…

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Advice for Student Writers

There is no one way to learn how to write, but that is part of the beauty of writing. Here are a few tips for students who want to become better writers.  1. Write often and in different styles. The best way to improve your writing is to write as much as possible! Give yourself a boost with regular and varied writing practice, such as journaling, essays, stories, poems, blogs, and more. Perhaps the best way…

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Best Places to Buy Books

While reading is an activity that has many benefits, it can also become costly. In 2016, the average price for a Hardcover book in the United States was just over $21. This may not seem like a hefty price tag until you find yourself purchasing a few books a month. The total can easily come in over $100, or much higher, depending on the number of books read each month. However, reading is essential for…

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Author to Read: Henry David Thoreau

Do you love reading? Writing? Nature? Beauty? Philosophy? Social justice? Learning about yourself? 2017 marks the 200th birthday of American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau. Henry David Thoreau was a transcendentalist writer who lived in Concord, Massachusetts. Much of his writing focuses on nature and how understanding nature can help us to understand and empower ourselves. His most famous book, Walden, is a testament to his ideas about philosophy, nature, and individualism. His long…

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