What to do if school budget cuts eliminate field trips

I spoke to a wonderful teacher the other day about how budget cuts have affected her class. Jennifer Boatwright, a third grade teacher from Hesperia, California was told this year her class would have no money to go on any field trips.

We’re hearing from a lot of teachers who aren’t able to go on field trips anymore. Some of them, like Jennifer’s class, are turning to “virtual field trips.” Virtual field trips are a free resource that many teachers have been using to take their students on class trips without worrying about expenses.  Continue reading What to do if school budget cuts eliminate field trips

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Thank you to my guidance counselor

Who is your favorite teacher? Sound familiar? Perhaps that is because just last week I was posting about the power of teachers and how that question is universal.   I’m happy to say I had many amazing teachers throughout the years that cared about me not just as a student but also as a person.  Memories range from Mrs. Duin declaring, with an exasperated voice, that “sometimes an eagle is just an eagle” when we were all overthinking in poetry class to Mrs. Smith helping me catch up after I had been sick for awhile. What may surprise you though is that when I answer the question most honestly, my answer is comprised of educators who helped me find direction within an advising role: Mr. Saulino, my high school guidance counselor and then my college admissions adviser Jamey Perry.

You all remember high school – slight cringe – it is a tumultuous time no matter how great the memories.  Life is just starting to get real and while you were dealing with your personal life, you needed to keep up in school.  Not an easy task.  My high school experience started with a big transition from a small Catholic school to a larger public school and my assigned guidance counselor, Mr. Saulino, was the first educator I met before the year even started.  In our first conversation to set up my classes for freshman year, he asked me what I wanted my major to be in college because whatever it was, he’d help me get there.  I won’t bother you with the details of my 14-yr-old ambition because needless to say the answer changed many times over four years but Mr. Saulino stood by me the entire time.  He was a roadmap to college because he saw my potential plus had the experience and knowledge to help me through the process.  Continue reading Thank you to my guidance counselor

Read fiction to succeed

By now you know that we believe that if you Read Every Day you will Lead a Better Life.  Personally I believe reading absolutely anything will improve your life but as I talk to some people, they tell me that they read but that they are absolutely too busy to read fiction.  They read newspapers, trade magazines, blogs, and news websites.  They feel that they are spending their time wisely because they are reading things that will help them in their professional lives.  Again, that’s great.  You won’t ever see me ever complain about anyone reading! 

But there may just be a flaw in their plan.  Continue reading Read fiction to succeed

Looking for a new kind of non-fiction? Introducing “Scholastic Discover More”

In the age of YouTube, Google and Wikipedia, today’s kids are looking for a new kind of non-fiction. In a few clicks students can enter a world of endless resources with video, images and games—but how many of those resources are really reliable and align to the Common Core State Standards? As the CCSS becomes a priority across school districts the demand for print and digital non-fiction resources has increased.

As Scholastic continues to partner with teachers we realize and recognize the need for more non-fiction books that engage our students and provide 21st century learning skills. We are excited to share our newest, multi-platform, non-fiction series Scholastic Discover More with you! Scholastic Discover More pairs non-fiction text, with digital companion materials that inspire students to explore their world and become lifelong readers.

Continue reading Looking for a new kind of non-fiction? Introducing “Scholastic Discover More”

Do we underestimate the reading habits of kids?

“That’s too long.  Kids won’t read that.”

How many times have we thought, said, or heard that statement?  It’s easy to slip into the mindset that kids and even teenagers have short attention spans in this digital, instant gratification, cloud driven world.  With all of the portable technology available, it’s easy to see how you would make that assumption.  But… is it true?

A blog post about the book Steve Jobs asked the question “What teen is going to sit down and read a 656-page biography?”  As she goes on to tell us…lots of them do.  This got me thinking.  Are we wrong?  Continue reading Do we underestimate the reading habits of kids?

In Our Feeds: A double dose of The Hunger Games, books as movies at the Oscars and more!

Each Friday, we share a handful of links we found interesting, provocative, funny — or just plain cool. We call it In Our Feeds. Enjoy!

Whether you’re a Capitol fashionista seeking inspiration for your latest look or a District citizen tracking rumors about the Tributes and other celebs, Capitol Couture is the only place to turn for pictures and news reports on the fashion, trends and lifestyle that make Capitol living so grand.

And speaking of The Hunger Games fashion, here’s a tutorial on ‘Girl on Fire’ inspired nail art!

The Guardian is predicting a sweep of the Oscars by literary adaptations. We may have some ideas on this as well…

On a more serious note, news from Twitter about restricting user content in certain countries. Is this a restriction on free speech, or a way to deal with too much content?

Finally, from the NY Times Motherlode blog, a study that shows girls are less happy with heavy media use.

We’ve won a Bulldog!

Our dreary, rainy Friday afternoon just got a bit brighter…

On Our Minds @Scholastic has won the Silver Award for Best Blog for a Company/Organization in the 2011 Digital/Social PR Bulldog Awards! This caps a wonderful week of awards news, following the ALA Awards on Monday and the Oscar nominations on Tuesday.

We love writing for OOM and hearing from you — the educators, students, parents, readers, and fans who keep us going, and who share in our mission of getting kids to learn to read and love to read. So, thanks for being readers!

Our congratulations to the rest of the award winners, too. Find them here.