Help! How do I teach POETRY?

Until I was in college, poetry was a six-week course dumped in language arts class, with limericks always being the highlight. Every so often a “writer-in-residence” (I never understood that — were they living at the school?) would grace our class, and always the residing writer fit a stereotype: Older, female, verbose in a maddeningly slow manner,


Why we don’t use a summer reading chart

“Oh, your kids don’t have their summer reading charts yet,” the sweet librarian said. She pushed our towering stack of books across the counter and reached under her desk, producing plastic logoed bags. “Here you go! They can write down the books they read on this cute chart, and every time they come to the


Booklist: The Boys (and Girls) of Summer

Baseball and softball seasons are upon us, and I couldn’t be happier! There is little more amusing than watching tiny tee-ballers try to find first base! Because baseball is such a hit in the Wordplay household right now, I created a whole Baseball Language Arts Activity Book to tie our learning in with the kids’ current


Open Book: “Who Was/Is” series

Whenever Mr. Wordplay and I are outside doing yardwork, the kids are usually right there with us. Helping, of course — they love to trim the rosebushes, pick up sticks, blow leaves into piles. And occasionally ride bikes through the yard. Chase each other up trees. Throw tennis balls onto the roof for the sole

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