Best Bedtime Picture Books

previewAs a mom and a first grade teacher, I know all the challenges that come with bedtime. The reality is, most kids don’t like to go to sleep. Life is too interesting! Still, lack of sleep makes it for tough days. “Bedtime for Buzzy” by T.J. Hackworth does an amazing job of not saying “go to bed” but having characters explain that the importance of good night sleep. The Moon Man, Captain Pete, Giant Dinosaur, and the Courageous Explorer are perfect characters. The author sends Buzzy off to bed with a task of finding the City of Gold in his dreams. The clever storyline is complemented with awesomely intricate illustrations. This is a definite reread!

21827911-_sx540_Another bedtime favorite is the “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. As in “Bedtime for Buzzy”, kids are able to wind down by saying goodnight to all the things in the room. Again, the detailed illustrations and tracking of the tiny mouse are the most interesting activities for kids ages 4-7.

We can’t have a best bedtime book list without “Harold and the Purple Crayon”. Harold like Buzzy has trouble settling for bed, goes on all kinds of adventures, then he finds the Moon, draws a window around it, and finds his bed.

tumblr_m6skdfskfx1rzdm6ao1_400There is nothing better than story time. Often bedtime routines seem never ending. Still the importance of reading and good night sleep pay off tremendously in the long run.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.

What We Are Reading…

27075122-_uy200_It’s February, the stress of testing is here. Daily class reading provides a refreshing break from it all. We have been working through a number of novels. Here are the reviews…

“Hour of the Bees” by Lindsay Eagar – This amazing coming of age book with themes of family, identity, loss, passage of time, and sibling relations is a sure hit. Beautifully written and funny. “Hour of the Bees” should have been the Newbery Award Winner of 2017.

2. “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis – This books along with “Return to Sender” by Julia Alvarez has been a popular read in these past few weeks. Students are curious about what is taking place in the world. What is the difference between an immigrant and a refugee? How do people become refugees and why do they leave their countries? “The Breadwinner” is an ideal book for upper elementary students who are learning about world history and current world affairs.

“The Breadwinner” Novel Guide – Lesson Plan

“Return to Sender” Novel Guide – Lesson Plan

Have Fun Reading!

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.






STEM Giveaway!!!

stem-bundle-giveawaySTEM GUIDE & LESSON BUNDLE Giveaway!

Open to all residents of the United States.

Enter Giveaway: 

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Giveaway ends on Feb. 17th, 2017.


Why Don’t We Teach History?

We don’t teach american history or world history or geography for the same reason we don’t teach science, iflag-1377524_960_720t’s not on the end of the year standardized test. We don’t have social studies on the schedule. There is no science on the schedule either. It’s an afterthought if there is time. That is what teachers are told by their superiors.

Now, I  have seen many thoughtful teachers, teach social studies through language arts.  Science is much harder to teach without hands on activities and adequate supplies.

Social studies and science are an afterthought until students reach 5th and 6th grade. With the current STEM hype, everyone is ready to stamp the STEM label. It makes the school look good. It tells parents that at this special school students will have enriched experience. Don’t fall for this fad. There is many F schools that have a huge STEM sign in their front door. If schools don’t care about students’ whole education, they don’t need to worry about STEM. STEM is for the achieving schools. Schools that teach social studies, science, art, and music. The proven educational strategies implemented by educational leaders around the world. Encompassing education is what grows a critical mind and life long learners. There is no S in STEM if science isn’t taught from an early age. Engineering and technology both depend on art and  knowledge of the social world. Humans don’t run before they crawl. It’s making a recipe with only half of ingredients. It’s just not going to work.

What is for parents to do? If your child is attending one of these misguided schools with no art, science, social studies, music, …. You have to teach it yourself because this educational system doesn’t care about our kids. Each student is just a test score number.