Boo to You!

Treat yourself to some favorite Halloween books!

Product Details

Shake ‘dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola Lisa

Goldilocks, Li’l Red Riding Hood, Tom Thumb, and lots more fairy tale friends dance and sing at their hip-hop Halloween ball!

Big Pumpkin

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

Fun characters and silly voices make this repetitive book a big hit.  Perfect for story structure, readers’ theater, accountable talk.

Front Cover
Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
Beautifully illustrated, simple, sequential story.  Jamie plants his pumpkin seed and watches it grow, then creates a jack-o-lantern.
Product Details
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Another sequential story about a brave little lady who has an encounter with boots, gloves, shirt, pants, hat, more until they come together in a surprise ending.  The movement, sound effects, and sequence of this story make it perfect for acting out and engaging everyone.
Please share your picks.  Happy Halloween!

Get ready for an exciting NYC weekend!

Make your plans now for this weekend…so many fun things in the city!

At least once, everyone should experience the Village Halloween Parade.  The costumes, puppets, makeup, theatrics, and yes, lewdness are not to be believed.  Of course it is Saturday night, and it begins at 7 pm.  Go early for a good spot (or dress up and get in the line-up!),  prepare to wait and to be amazed.  Find out the details here.

On a more wholesome note, the NYC Marathon is on Sunday.  All five boroughs are covered, beginning in Staten Island, crossing over into Brooklyn, up to Queens, over the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan, going straight up First Avenue to 138th Street in the Bronx, then back down Fifth Avenue into Central Park, with the finish line near West 66th.  Whew, I’m tired just writing about it!  There are so many fun spots to watch and cheer people on.  Check out the spectators’ guide here.

Don’t forget you get an extra hour early Sunday morning…something we all can use.

Have fun and be safe,


It’s this Saturday!

Don’t forget the Saturday Reunion is this week!  Katherine Paterson’s keynote begins at 9 am at Riverside Church.  There are four sessions, then the closing at 2 pm in Cowin Center.  There is no break for lunch, but you can bring a sandwich or snack and eat during a session.  I counted 23 choices just for session one!

Thanks to those of you who are volunteering.  🙂

Fall Reading

Fall is definitely here, and I have been thinking of my favorite read-alouds for the season.

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger is a top contender.  Published just last year, it is a story about falling leaves, but also about the courage to face the unknown.  As the dedication says:  “To the Little Yellow Leaf in all of us and to the Little Scarlet Leaves that help us find our courage,” there is something for everyone in this sweet story.

Leaves, by David Ezra Stein, introduces a young bear experiencing his first fall.  He worries about the falling leaves, and he tries to put them back on the trees.  This proves to be futile and exhausting, and you can predict what happens…

A favorite non-fiction text is Ken Robbins’ Leaves. It’s almost a field guide in an easy picture book format.  The photographs are stunning (be sure to see the photosynthesizing leaf on a back page), and everyone is guaranteed to learn at least one new leaf fact.

What are your favorites?  Please share a title or two with us!  Save the Halloween books for the weekend of October 31st…I am already making a list.  🙂


PS  I have these and others in my office if you would like to borrow for a day or two.

TCRWP Saturday Reunion

The TC Reading and Writing Project’s Saturday Reunion is just around the corner!  On October 24th, teachers from all around the area (and some from far away!) will attend this professional development opportunity. It’s a homecoming of sorts,  a gathering of former Institute attendees and students.  Bonus:  it’s free and no registration is necessary.

Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Jacob Have I Loved, and many others, will be the keynote speaker.  Workshops on a variety of subjects and for all grade levels will be offered throughout the day.  All the action begins at 9 am at Riverside Church, then continues throughout the day in TC classrooms.

We are looking for volunteers to help out with welcoming and directing visitors. If you are willing to show up bright and 7:30 a.m. early, you’ll receive a free TCRWP T-shirt!  To volunteer, please email Sara Duncan at with the subject line Saturday Reunion Help.  After helping everyone find their way, you are free to participate in the day’s events.

Hope to see you there!

Just had to share this one…

Abby Bennethum

A family photo that shows a little girl beside her father and his fellow soldiers in uniform as they prepare to go to war has resonated well beyond the tight knit Bennethum clan.

Four-year-old Paige Bennethum really, really didn’t want her daddy to go to Iraq.

So much so, that when Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum lined up in formation at his deployment this July, she couldn’t let go.

No one had the heart to pull her away.

Read more at nbc philadelphia news site.

Equity in Education Forum – Wednesday afternoon

This is late notice, but please consider attending Wednesday’s Equity in Education Forum: Do After-School Programs Help Level the Playing Field for Disadvantaged Youth? This promises to be a thought-provoking dialogue.

Wednesday October 7, 2009
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

179 Grace Dodge Hall
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W. 120th Street
New York, NY 10027

Margo Gardner
Research Scientist, National Center for Children and Families
Jodie Roth
Senior Research Scientist,
National Center for Children and Families
Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of
Child Development and Education,
Teachers College, Columbia University

Robert Granger
President, William T. Grant Foundation
Lucy Friedman
President, The After School Corporation