10 tips to help kids develop a love of reading

When I was six, I learned to read. The first book I remember reading was about a detective who loved pancakes. I haven’t stopped reading since. My family is a reading family. I remember first reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to my mom. That wizardly series quickly expanded and bonded my immediate and extended family. We had Halloween parties themed after Harry Potter, we went to the midnight releases of new books, and we cried together through the final book. When my family goes on a road trip, we each take a bag of books. I remember one long drive where my grandmother was listening to a Clive Cussler novel while I read my own book. I became quite practiced at tuning out outside distraction on that drive! When I was thirteen, I converted my best friend to reading simply because that was one of my favorite pastimes; now I’ve converted my husband as well. He recently told his mother how he has read thirteen books in the past thirteen months (she was very impressed).

However, with the growth of technology in our daily lives, our younger generation has many options for entertainment. With so many demands on their attention and so little time in the day, recreational reading seems to fall to the wayside. As a hobby that offers more than just a way to pass the time, here are some tips to get your kids to read. If you would like some tips specifically for teens, this article is a good source for ideas.

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We’re head over heels for Booster’s Valentine Creator

Share the love with your friends and family by using Booster’s Valentine Creator.

Booster’s Valentine Creator is an interactive webpage that helps you create customized valentines—all with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Here’s how to put a little pizzazz into your valentines this year:

Choose a character. All the Imagine Learning stars are here, from loveable Pete the Prairie Dog to chatterbox Mike the Microphone.

Select a colorful background. Roses are red and violets are blue; we’ve got a color that’s perfect for you.

Pick a memorable message. Using the arrows above the card, select the perfect sentiment.

Once you’ve completed your creation, download and print it, or email it to a lucky recipient.

Teachers, be sure to share the love with your class, as they will be absolutely smitten by this fun, interactive activity. So put some heart into it and make a sweet valentine for that special someone.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all your friends at Imagine Learning!

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Help your boys become reading champs

Have you ever noticed a significant gap in reading achievement between the girls and boys in your class? If you have, you’re not alone. Research by the Ontario Ministry of Education indicates that although educators do their best to ensure equal learning opportunities for both genders, boys seem to be at a disadvantage when it comes to reading. Here are some interesting facts about the gap between boys and girls: Read more »

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National Novel Writing Month: Creative writing exercises for students

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for the abbreviation-lovers out there. Every November, writers all over the world take on the challenge of writing a 50,000-word draft of a novel. Yes, you read that right: 50,000 words in 30 days. Crazy, I know, but last year, nearly 170,000 people participated in the event, writing a total of more than 2.4 billion words.

Your students or children might not be to the novel-writing stage yet, but this is a wonderful time to introduce them to the joys of creative writing. After all, each one of those 170,000 people had to start somewhere. For me, my start was in the second grade when I wrote the book pictured here. It wasn’t exactly a best-seller, trust me. But no matter how rough their first efforts are, it’s never too early to get your young learners ready to become the next great novelist. Here are some tips and starting points for getting them writing.

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Thirty-one book recommendations for Read-A-New-Book Month

The start of the school year is all about new things—new classrooms, new students, new friends, and that newly-sharpened pencil smell come to mind. The back-to-school season is also the perfect opportunity to find a new favorite book. September is Read-A-New-Book Month, and it’s the perfect time to challenge your students (and yourself!) to pick up a good book and have a new adventure.

There are a lot of great resources out there with wonderful suggestions of books for struggling readers, English learners, students with disabilities, and early childhood education students. I’ve gathered a few suggestions here just to get you started, including award-winners, picks from the American Library Association, and favorites from some of us here at Imagine Learning. I’ve included thirty-one books—one for each day of Read-A-New-Book Month, plus a spare, just in case.

If you have a book recommendation, please add it to the comments section!

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