Don’t Be Succinct; Bloviate About Context Clues

Subject: English/VocabularyGrade(s): 7 and up OverviewNo matter what a student’s reading or vocabulary level is, context clues are a great way to help decipher and understand the meaning of new or unusual words. Here are four types of context clues that can help your students comprehend new vocabulary with aplomb.ObjectivesStudents will:Recognize different types of context […]

Free Parent Involvement Activity – "Better Than…" – Grades 1-3

Expressing Ideas, Critical Thinking, Persuasion Skills, Sentence Structure Debate Team — Ask your child for input as you select a topic of debate (speedboat vs. sailboat, cat vs. dog, pancakes vs. waffles, etc.) and let him choose which side of the “debate” he wants to take. You and your child will each write down five […]

Free Parent Involvement Activity – "Blocks & Sticks" – Age 2

Motor Skills, Creativity Cut floral foam blocks into various sizes, and gather ten or more sticks (dowels, chopsticks, or twigs). Place the foam blocks and sticks in front of your child and show him how they can be joined together. Then let him create his own unusual structures. CAUTION! Monitor your child closely during this […]

Chicago School Supply and CHITAG featured on

Chicago School Suppy attended the Chicago Toy and Game Fair this past November. We displayed large SandLock Sandboxes full of Moon Sand and Insta-Snow. Our booth was a hit with the 1-8 year old children. They played in our booth for 20-30 minutes at a time! The NBC 5 NudeHippo crew was also at the […]

Free Teacher Quote – "How You Make Them Feel"

People will forget what you said,people will forget what you did,but people will never forgethow you made them feel.Quote by: Maya Angelou

Free Teacher Joke – "Man’s Best Friend"

I was sitting in a hospital waiting room watching a young mother helping her son finish a crossword puzzle. “Mom,” he asked, “what fits here?” “It’s Man’s best friend,” she hinted. The boy thought for a second then guessed, “Duct tape?” * * * * Well, it’s the last weekend of January 2008 already. I […]

On the Fence with Idioms

Subject: Language ArtsGrades: 4-6 OverviewDon’t leave your students “on the fence” over idioms. Help students understand idiomatic expressions with this game of charades. ObjectivesStudents will:· Demonstrate their understanding of idiomatic expressions. IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language ArtsStandard 4: Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate […]

Free Parent Involvement Activity – "Brain Busters" – Ages 7 and Up

What is the Rule of 72? Sock Drawer — So as not to wake up his brother, Mark leaves the light off while looking for a pair of socks. He knows he has twelve black socks and eight blue socks in the drawer. What is the minimum number of socks he will need to pick […]

Free Parent Involvement Activity – "Mix & Match" – Age 1

Visual Discrimination, Sorting Gather up pairs of socks, mittens, or spoons. Mix them up and encourage your child to try to match them. Or, mix up several pairs of shoes, then give your child one shoe from the pile and ask him to find the mate. Matching socks can also be a great way for […]

Massive Funding Cuts To ‘Reading First’ Generate Worries For Struggling Schools

The reading coaches, professional-development programs, and instructional materials that are the cornerstones of the Reading First program and are credited with improving instruction in struggling schools may be threatened by a deep cut included in the 2008 federal budget, officials and observers say. The reduction of more than 60 percent—from nearly $1 billion each year […]