Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

For Students & Teachers April 18

Top 10 Blog Post Ideas for Students (and Teachers!) by Casey Robertson

Student blogging is a growing practice within the classroom. With district & parent permission and the right privacy settings in place, this is an excellent format for students to express their ideas to an authentic audience. Blogging incorporates the use of technology and writing, helping to bridge the gap between student interest and classroom assignments. […]

Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia April 11

Ten (Plus Two) Tried-and-True Read Alouds for Middle Grades by Melanie Roy

Before becoming a librarian two Septembers ago I was a fourth grade teacher for seventeen years.  My favorite part of the day, the non-negotiable, the very best way to build classroom culture, was read aloud time.  My kids knew that no matter what our day looked like we would carve out 20 minutes every day […]

1 April 04


Book pairing is not just a Common Core tool for teachers; it’s a way to stimulate reading in all readers.  There are many types of pairings – fiction and nonfiction, historical fiction and nonfiction, YA lit and classics, and even YA titles with TV shows. As a writer and an environmental educator, I’m pairing nonfiction […]

The Detective's Assistant tagline cover April 03

Top 10 Pulse-Pounding, Nail-Biting Historical Fiction Adventures by Kate Hannigan

Historical fiction doesn’t have to be a hard sell. For some young readers – my own kids included – it conjures up images of wooden-toothed men in white wigs or dusty, musty storylines. Often, however, it is anything but. I first fell in love with heart-pounding historical fiction when I got my hands on Scott […]

it's okay to be different March 28

Top Ten Picture Books Celebrating Diversity by Jennifer McLaughlin

Culture refers to the “traditions, rituals, beliefs, and values that are shared amongst a group of people.”  The classroom is the first place many children encounter cultures other than their own.  Educators have a responsibility to assist children with recognizing differences, as well as similarities, among all cultures.  Allowing children to explore varying cultures through […]

and then it's spring March 27

The Rite of Spring: Top Ten Books for the Season by Jill Bryan

Winter has been fairly brutal this year. While Minnesota hasn’t seen our usual snowfall, (we stand in solidarity with the Northeast as they thaw out) it has been brutally cold over the last months. During the fleeting days of seeming warmth you can almost feel the ground trying to breathe. If you listen carefully you […]

encyclopedia of an ordinary life March 21

Ten Texts That Will Get Teachers Writing by Shawna Coppola

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: the best teachers of writing are also writers themselves.   What I don’t mean by this: Any ol’ writer can teach students to write. By “writers,” I mean professional, published authors. If you don’t write, you can’t teach students to write.   What I do mean […]

ways to live forever March 14


I love reading books (absolutely LOVE). So when I come across people my age (aka the certain species called the teenagers) who don’t read, I don’t know whether to cry or be amused. I feel like I slowly lose my faith in humanity when I try discussing a certain book and well, the other person […]

Sketch113194837 March 07

Top 10 Ways To Get Students Talking about their Reading by Tammy Mulligan

My grandmother was a kind and gentle person who only spoke when she had something important to say.   Although she didn’t carry on lengthy conversations, her words were full of wisdom.  As a young girl, I remember walking in the woods with her after arguing with my younger brother.  She stopped along the path, bent […]

bridge to terabithia February 27

Books That Make Us Cry (Part One) Collected by Donalyn Miller

Last spring, one of my fifth-graders, Heavenly, spent all of recess sitting under a tree finishing the final chapters of Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s One for the Murphys. Strolling around the playground, I gave Heavenly a wide berth when I walked near her reading spot. I knew where Heavenly was in the story and I didn’t […]