Apps and websites, Uncategorized

More Podcasts, and Holocaust Remembrance Day

Hi HHCS! Just a reminder that I am running the Scholastic Book Club program for any classes in the school that aren’t already doing it through their homeroom class.  Instructions are on Sycamore News.  It’s a great program- affordable books for your family, and help to earn free books for our school library!

This week is the observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Here are some books on the topic for various age levels. Go to 

for a detailed list and description of many more books that help ensure we will never forget.


Last week I featured podcasts that are related to reading.  This week’s list is on various other topics such as science, history, and current events.

But Why? – topics such as science, poetry, space, history, and civics

Pants on Fire – Can you decide which stories are true and which are false?  Great podcast for learning to weed out “fake news”.

KidNuz – Current events

Tumble- Science Podcast for Kids

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd  – story-based time-traveling adventures in history

Brains On – science – A debate show that takes 2 cool things, smashes them together, and lets you decide which one is best.

Smash Boom Best

The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified – adventure series for the whole family

The Past and the Curious – Little-known stories from history

NPR- Wow in the World – science and technology


Thanks for reading!












Reading-Related Podcasts and Author-Illustrator Directed Drawing

Since we are all at home anyway for the Covid lockdown, I thought now might be a good time to do a blog post about podcasts!  This could be a great time for your kids to try some out! For this blog post I will focus on podcasts that are specifically related to reading.  Another time I will post kids’ podcasts about various other topics.  Then farther into this post you will find links to author/illustrator-directed drawing activities.  What a great at-home activity!

Publishers Weekly Kids Cast

Includes YA (fiction for Young Adults- tweens and teens)

Story Time with Julie Andrews

Yes, THE Julie Andrews, star of The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins!

Julie's Library

Books Between

Middle-grade literature

Common Sense Media- Parent Trapped

This one is not specifically reading-related but I thought I would include it right now as it will be very helpful to all of us as families at home during Covid 19.

Book Club for Kids

The place where young readers meet to talk about books.  Includes celebrity readers, and interviews with authors.

The Yarn

Behind the scenes of children’s literature – how authors and illustrators create.

Talking About Books for Kids

Diverse and multicultural books for kids and young people.

Kids submit their questions to authors and get them answered!

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Not just for girls- everyone will enjoy hearing the stories of famous or important women who have made a big impact on the world throughout history!

Big Life Kids Podcast

This one is not really reading-related but I thought I’d post it now as it has great social-emotional support- especially important right now as we are going through Covid 19.

Kid Lit Radio

Explore the world of children’s literature!

RAR #153: Jim Trelease’s Read-Aloud Handbook, 8th Edition


Apps and websites, Authors, Building Belonging- diversity, Events, Social-Emotional, Uncategorized

The Snowy Day, More Reading Resources, and Recent Read-Alouds

Hello HHCS! I thought I’d start off this week’s blog post with the children’s book that I most associate with winter and snow – The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats- a classic book loved by many.  (Although we don’t really have that much snow at the moment- but I hear we’re getting some more next week!)

Have a look at this interview with the author of A Poem for Peter- a book that tells about Ezra Jack Keats and his best-loved character, Peter- from The Snowy Day.

Enjoy some more snowy read-alouds:

Our public library is a very valuable resource for you right now! Got a library card?  Then you’re all set to go – sign out audiobooks and e-books on your library’s website!  Even if you don’t have a library card, you can now sign up for one via email or phone! You will be able to access Audiobookcloud, Cloudlibrary, Overdrive, etc. The Tumblebook library is an online collection for young readers of over 600 titles and reading levels from grades 3-8.  Ontario Download Centre – overdrive- ebooks

Libby is an app where you can borrow e-books and audiobooks using your library card:

Hoopla is through the public library as well and is a digital service that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, and tv shows to borrow.  There is no waiting at all when using Hoopla- you can stream or download immediately.

This past week I have been hosting Zoom read-alouds, available for all families from the school to drop in at 3:20.  You can find the link and information on Sycamore or in the list of links that your child’s homeroom teacher will have emailed to you.  I look forward to seeing you this coming week- I will be there every day during distance learning from Monday to Friday!  This past week we read some great books.  Mrs. Bonvanie loaned me her copy of Maybe God is Like that Too- a beautiful book about seeing God and the fruit of the spirit everywhere we go.

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We had fun reading the latest book by Jory John (author of The Bad Seed, The Good Egg, and The Cool Bean)- The Couch Potato! I love the social-emotional themes of these books, and of course I love that they are hilarious!

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The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be- a beautifully illustrated book with a beautiful message- written by Joanna Gaines- what a treasure!  This book reminds us that our diversity and different interests and talents make the world a better place.

Happy reading!

Apps and websites, Authors, Uncategorized

Reading Resources- Ways to Keep Your Kids Reading During Covid-19

Happy New Year HHCS!  Since we will be doing school from home for the next little bit, I wanted to give you some resources in case you might be running out of reading material at home!

First of all, I wanted to mention that students can be doing their AR (Accelerated Reader) tests from home!  This can be a good way to keep them on track with their reading.  Go to the link  If you have any difficulties then email your child’s homeroom teacher.  Let’s keep working on those Term 2 goals for AR!

Next, many of the homeroom teachers at HHCS have a class code for their students to use Epic. Even if the teachers are not currently using it, families can sign up for free for the first month. It features books, learning videos, and quizzes.  It has fiction and non-fiction, graphic novels, biographies, STEM and DIY books, the list goes on! Some of the books even have the “read to me” feature to be able to hear the audio.  If you haven’t used this already at home, please do, you’ll be glad you did!

Several homeroom teachers also use Raz Kids for reading support with their students.  This would be a great time to catch up on some reading here!

Next, you can scroll through my blog for previous posts, some of which will have online resources that can be accessed from home.  Click on this previous post about how the public library can help you!  Curbside pickup is still available, and read for more information as well!

Public Library Resources, Reading and Writing Gifts for Kids, and Bookmark Contest Results

Lastly, there are many online read-alouds on YouTube.  Here are a few good quality ones for you to enjoy!

Ryan and Craig are hilarious and have a big selection to choose from:

Some favourite and fun authors:

Storyline Online is so fun- celebrities reading aloud!


I’d love to have some comments from anyone who reads my posts!  Please share- what have your kids been reading lately?  Have a good week HHCS!