Teach Your Children To Celebrate Their Differences! #LaFamiliaCool #Giveaway #Ad

    As many of you know, I have been a Literacy Specialist for over fifteen years in New York City.  Working in such a diverse city, I have always been surprised by the lack of multicultural reading material that has been available to my students over the years.  Every good reading teacher knows that children relate better to books and texts that they can personally connect to and see themselves in.  It's the best way to instill a true love of literature in them and to create lifelong readers and learners.     You can imagine my excitement when I learned that I would have the opportunity to review the new bilingual picture book La Familia Cool: El tesoro más valioso / The Most Valuable Treasure by Dania Santana.  It is a heartwarming story about a multicultural family who celebrates its diversity and takes pride in instilling values in its members.  My sons and I especially loved all of the different characters in the book who mirror … [Read more...]

10 Ways To Get Your Children Reading More At Home

    This week are parent-teacher conferences at my school.  If I had to choose the number one question that most parents ask me every year it would have to be how they can get their kids to read more at home.  Many of them have noticed that their children are only interested in spending time on the Internet or on their electronic devices than with a good book.     As a Literacy Specialist, I know all too well the importance of having kids read outside of school.  Not only does it improve their reading comprehension, but it also helps to better their reading stamina and their fluency.  These are all skills that they will need to navigate texts academically as well as on the state exams. Here are some of the tips that I give the parents of my own students to help them support their children in reading more at home: Create a reading nook or area in your home where your child can read quietly without interruptions that is stocked with books, newspapers and magazines that they like … [Read more...]

How Can You Make Your Kids Read More This Summer?

    I'm sure that most of you struggle with coaxing your children to read during summer vacation.  Even though I am a teacher, my kids would much rather ride their bikes outside and play on their tablets than read any day.  Believe me, teachers' kids are just as good as at other kids at getting out of doing anything that is remotely related to school work.     The truth is that I don't even read as much as I used to because I am just so busy most of the time.  However, I can tell you that reading is the foundation of everything that your kids will every do in school and it is important to encourage them to read as much as they can.     Doing so will help them with their fluency, which is the ability to pronounce words properly when they are reading aloud.  Also, reading frequently helps kids with their comprehension and their ability to clearly understand what is taking place in the text.     So here is the million dollar question, just how can we all get our kids to read more when … [Read more...]

Get Your Kids Excited About Reading! #Literacy #Education

    One of the most frequent questions that I get asked as an educator by parents is how they can get their kids to read more.  It seems that in this fast-paced, technologically advanced world that we currently live in, taking the time out to read a book has become something of an anomaly.  Unfortunately, it is something that I witness regularly with my own students as it is a daily struggle to get them to read.     Many parents blame themselves for this but, the reality is that the Internet and the easy access that we now have to all kinds of information has decreased our attention span for reading to a certain extent.  When I let my students go on the computers in my classroom they immediately become engaged but I rarely see the same enthusiasm when I put books in front of them.  As a parent, I also worry about whether my children are spending enough time reading.     There are many reasons why reading is such an important part of a child's academic and social development.  Reading … [Read more...]

Noodle Education Is A Life Long Education Search Engine For All! @NoodleEducation #Ad

*This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Noodle.org.  All opinions are 100% mine.    I am very excited to announce that Noodle.org is supporting Tough Cookie Mommy as I attend a blogging conference this year!  This collaboration is a virtual match made in heaven for this veteran of the New York City public school system and the first education search engine.  It truly is an honor to be representing Noodle.org at any event where I am networking with fellow bloggers and educators.     Noodle is the first and only FREE, life-long education related search company in the world.  Founded by John Katzman in 2011, who is the founder of the Princeton Review, the goal of Noodle.org is to help anyone find educational opportunities at any level.  This is an invaluable tool because the task of searching for educational opportunities can seem daunting when one considers the plethora of overwhelming information that is available.     Noodle.org offers extensive data on over 150,000 … [Read more...]

Are We Lost? Children’s Book Review and Giveaway

This post is written by me on behalf of author, Annie Fox. I received a product sample to review. All opinions are 100% mine.    Reading is very important in our home.  For one thing, I am a Literacy Specialist so I understand the importance of reading with my children as often as possible.  My older son learned to read very easily and all I had to do was support him by listening to him read and discussing the books that he read with him in order to increase his comprehension.  Initially, my younger son did not learn to read so easily so I had to spend a lot of time with him reading and sounding words out.     Our hard work paid off and he finally learned to read and completely took off!  He is now an avid reader who reads beautifully and enjoys literature immensely.  I can't begin to tell you how thrilled he was when I told him that we would be reviewing the children's book Are We Lost-A Raymond and Sheila Story, written by Annie Fox and illustrated by Eli Noyes.     The story … [Read more...]

#CaptainUnderpants Strikes Again! @Scholastic

    As long as I have been a Literacy Specialist, I have been familiar with the popular children's book series Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey.  These books have always been a staple in my classroom library and have enticed avid and reluctant readers alike over the years that I have been an educator.  My middle school students love to read all about the antics of Captain Underpants and heroes George and Harold.     In their latest adventure titled,  Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers, we are forced to consider a world without UNDERPANTS!  When we last saw our heroes, George and Harold, they had been turned into evil zombie nerds doomed to roam a devastated, post-apocalyptic planet for all eternity.        But why, you might ask, didn't the amazing Captain Underpants save the boys from this frightening fate? Because Tippy Tinkletrousers and his time-traveling hijinks prevented George and Harold from creating Captain Underpants … [Read more...]