Happy Picture Book Month!

Picture of a bulletin board, featuring different picture books each day.

How do you plan on celebrating this AMAZING month?

The picture above is one of the ways that I celebrated last year, when I worked at an elementary school. I transformed one of the hallway bulletin boards into one that highlights some of my all-time favorite picture books.

You can read a bit about some of the ways I celebrated this month, from last year’s National Picture Book Month post, by clicking HERE.

I am still processing through how I plan on celebrating this year, now that I am at the middle school (so more news to come about that)…BUT…one of my website goals, it is share about a different science-themed picture book, at least every workday.

So…let’s get started!

Photo from Amazon. Visit Amazon to read more and order this amazing book!

If you are anything like me, then you watched “Hidden Figures“, and read (and bought) all the connecting books, like:

“Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13” by Helaine Becker (illustrated by Dow Phumiruk), focuses on a different part of Katherine’s epic career–when, on April 11, 1970, the 3rd day of Apollo 13’s voyage, an explosion crippled the spaceship, followed by that famous line:

“Houston, we have a problem” by Jim Lovell

Katherine worked hard and fast on her calculations, and to communicate them to the team, to safely get the astronauts home. Her knowledge, problem-solving skills, focus, drive, communication, and so many additional skills and talents provide us with a multitude of life lessons, including inspiration.

Please consider adding this to your classroom (or school) library, for not only the science in the story, but the scientist story.

And before I go, a couple resources:

The movie Apollo 13 (one of my favorite movies!)

Katherine Johnson Documentary by Olivia Meyer a student completing her National History Day project.

Happy Reading and Happy Picture Book Month!


“Moon! Earth’s Best Friend”

Simply just take a look at this book cover!

Don’t you just want to pick it up and read it! ๐Ÿ˜

I did, and so did many of my 8th graders, when I displayed it. So just imagine the K-5 audience!

Well, if you do pick it up…you won’t be disappointed. The moon, our natural satellite, shares all the features of its friendship with Earth and what makes it Earth’s BFF: like being dependable with its rotation and revolution.

Image result for moon, earth's best friend

Lunar phases, size comparison with other moons, the affect of its gravitational pull on the earth, and additional cause and effect connections are explored through this kid-catching artwork, causing them to be hooked, to learn, and to wonder. Great job illustrator Stevie Lewis! ๐Ÿ‘Š

One of my favorite features of this book is more than just the content, but how the content can be shared. The well spaced and well sized illustrations and larger text, make it perfect for a whole class read aloud, small group read aloud, and as an individual choice read. The careful attention to factual content, also make it worthy of a resource for student or class research. My mind is now flooding with the visuals of KWL charts (personally renamed: Know-Wonder-Learned), Wonder Walls, and students picking up this book again and again to revisit certain pages for the content shared. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Oh…and the K-2 audience will love the pages that dispel the idea that the cow jumped over the moon! ๐Ÿ˜‚ (or maybe the adults will…not sure how much that nursery rhyme is still shared…but I loved those pages.)

This book simply makes me happy!

So much so, that I wasn’t surprised to see that it is from the same author as “Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years”, a book I thought I have shared, but when I searched my own site…I don’t think I have yet. Ok, be on the lookout for that share!

Happy Reading! โค๏ธ Kalynda

“On Earth” by G. Brian Karas

This past summer I posted about the amazing children’s books I found about all things space, when I visited the McCall Public Library. For the next few weeks, I hope to share with you some of those treasures. “On Earth” by G. Brian Karas is one of those treasures.

With its broad sweeping art, this book appeals to preK-2, however its contents reach far beyond, to that of 3rd-5th (and even to some of my 8th graders who struggle with the sun, moon, earth standards and need some supporting background knowledge). While it doesn’t have the full features to support 5-ESS1-2 Earth’s Place in the Universe, it can start a discussion toward that standard, help you assess background knowledge, identify any misconceptions, and be a book of choice that you add to your display of content area books.

Starting with a beautiful sunny day, arms open wide to feel the wind glide across the valley, it starts: “On earth we go for a giant ride in space, spinning like a merry-go-round.” When you turn the page, you turn towards understanding the why. As you continue, you notice this repeating pattern of everyday aspect of life on earth (sun warming our face, to shadows), to a few pages explaining the why…the “what’s happening” to cause this, for its target reading audience.

I love the personal aspect G. Brian Karas threads throughout this informative story.

It helps students relate to a daily occurrence, for us all, and sets them up to wonder and question to learn more about our miraculous days “On Earth”.

–Happy Reading and Wondering! โค๏ธKalynda

Cultural Fabric: Class Building Activity

Being of Hispanic Heritage, and being an ELL (English Language Learner) Specialist, I look forward to National Hispanic Heritage Month! This September 15th-October 15th time, is a time of honoring the influential Hispanics in our nation’s history, across the globe, and within our own lives.

For my own school, team, and classroom, I wanted to create an activity that not only honors the Hispanics in our school (for which there is a high percentage), but also the cultural background that is in all of us. Something individual, but yet something that helps to bind us all.

As I thought and thought, my mind kept going back to the idea of a quilt and the multiple threads that are used to create a beautiful masterpiece. The idea of how we each have our own Cultural Fabric was a powerful image for me. I created a possible quilt square that individuals could reflect on and complete, to be later placed side-by-side for a classroom quilt, team quilt, or even a school quilt. The PDF of what I created and my own individual square are below:

You can access the FREE PDF HERE to see the details a bit better. ๐Ÿ˜

Notice that one of my suggestions is to get more science involved. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I thought that would also be fun twist.

Want to see a picture of multiple student created ones together in a Cultural Fabric quilt??? Me, too! I presented this idea to my principal, and he had me present it to the leadership team. To my happy surprise…they loved it, and want to devote a week to it, to take the time to have the needed discussions and connections. We will be sharing it with our Advisory classes early in October, as we had other amazing events already on the calendar. This also allows teams to decide to go with my 16 prompts, use some of my suggestions, or create some of their own. In addition, I did share with the team my why, and about National Hispanic Heritage Month. It is also part of the plan to share this event with our classes, as part of the discussion.

I cannot wait for these conversations and end quilt result. I do know that they decided to go with larger squares than I suggested: 8 1/2 x 8 1/2, to be able to use the paper better, printing the “key” on the unused portion as a student reference…great thinking! ๐Ÿ‘Š

I will post pictures of our end result in October. I hope you get the chance to share this idea with your team.

Additionally, check out my additional Facebook Page, Science Sites for Education today, and next week for links to sites that provide you with information about impactful Hispanic scientists.

Happy Reflecting, Discussing, and Creating!

โค๏ธ Kalynda

Resource Share: Booksource

Have you gotten so many books that you struggle to remember what you own? Also, if you lend them out, do you struggle to remember who has it?

I do…so much so that I have, on occasion, bought an already owned book. Yikes (but makes for a great future gift). Enter…Booksource.


Booksource offers discounts on books, information on reading levels, AND…Their Classroom Organizer! It is a feature I have just started using. I created an account and am inputting the ISBNs of my collection. My main reason for this is for keeping track, and keeping organized, for my own knowledge and use…but as a bonus, they also provide you the opportunity to add students and have them check-out books from your library (so great!). ๐Ÿ˜ƒ #books #classroomlibrary

If you are so inclined, you can also input the reading level (or lexile level or AR level), and depending on the book, that information gets automatically generated.

Also, I am just getting started in Booksource, but I already love their “Library Lens” feature, that provides you with achievements, suggestions, and issues (like right now my library only has 3 books…I better get to inputting those IBSNs). ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The Dashboard also provides a quick view of your library balance:

Have I mentioned that this is free to use? I should have started there. ๐Ÿ˜

Happy Classroom Library Building, Organizing, and Sharing!

She Series Posters, Other Resources, and an Idea

If you haven’t checked out the “A Mighty Girl” Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/amightygirl) or their website (https://www.amightygirl.com/) then please add it to your check-them-out list. ๐Ÿ™‚

Recently I saw a Facebook post from them about the “She Series” posters and other resources. Here is a picture of the post I am referring to:

As you can imagine, I love this! Especially since they included the fictional characters that are near and dear to our heart!

Since the picture above is just a picture, below I will include all their links for you to check out the opportunities for yourself.

She Series Poster 1: https://www.amightygirl.com/she-series-poster-1

(Scroll down on the link to see the related posters, that included the whole series and the collage print)

Additional posters http://amgrl.co/2wiViDo

“A Mighty Girl” Character Collection List: https://www.amightygirl.com/character-collection

Posters outside your price limit? What about prompting your students to make up their own posters? Featuring both genders or not…your choice. Collaboratively, they could create a list of positive character traits or values, and brainstorm historical figures, fictional characters, and commonly known people (like school personnel) that are an example of that trait. Then together they could design their own classroom poster, with their list of life guides on it.

They could also each take it further, and create a personal poster to include people in their lives.

Thank You, “A Mighty Girl”, what a great idea!

I now want to make one for my own reflection and journaling as I start this upcoming school year.

Happy Reflection! Happy Creating! ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œLocal Favoritesโ€

During my visit to the McCall Public Library (McCall, Idaho Public Library) I was delighted to see the opportunity they provided their visitors, with a chance to highlight their favorite book.

When I commented how much I loved that idea, the librarian told me that whenever he hears someone mention a book they love, he encourages them to let others know, with their Local Favorite slips at the ready:

Does your school library already do this? If not, it would be a wonderful add to this coming year.

Happy Book Highlighting and Sharing! ๐Ÿ˜€