Summer in the City Virtual Blog Tour: Let the Rhythm Move You!

Summer in the City Virtual Blog Tour:
Let the Rhythm Move You!

I am so honored to be part of Kathleen Wainwright's Summer in the City Virtual Blog Tour! Kathleen is a fellow teacher-author and you may know her from her fabulous blog "The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher." Her first book, Summer in the City, comes out March 8th and can be pre-ordered now at You can also enter the giveaway, below, for a chance to win your own copy of the book! Each book purchase from her website comes with a pair of jacks and a jumprope. The ebook can be purchased on TeachersPayTeachers and comes with free teaching resources.

When I first read Summer in the City I was drawn to the rhythm. The rhyming nature of the lines read just like a poem, and I found myself almost singing it page by page.

Pin ItLines like "Taking turns trading skates for the bike, playing from sun-up to sun-down...what every kid likes" combine rhymes with alliteration for a fantastic-sounding sentence brimming with life.

The gorgeous illustrations (by Nancy Devard) add to the beauty of the text and are full of life, as well. Each character is doing something on every page, giving all readers so much to absorb.

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And while I absolutely love the poetic nature of the book, I have to admit that my favorite part is that I can relate to it completely. It brings back such fond memories of my own childhood playing with my older siblings. Even though I grew up in an extremely small town in Iowa during the 70s and 80s, I see myself with my sister and friends on our front porch playing jacks and playing "hide-and-seek games" (like kick the can) at the park. And don't even get me started on wearing jellies! I can't stop smiling every time I read Kathleen's book, and I know you won't be able to, either.

Ultimately, I think the best books are those that offer both obvious and subtle details so you are instantly drawn to the pages, but continue to re-read to see what you missed the first time around. Summer in the City is certainly a book that I will read and re-read tirelessly year after year.

To learn more about the book and see a sneak peek, watch the book trailer, embedded below. Also, there are plenty of teaching resources available.

I want to thank Kathleen for letting me be part of her Summer in the City Virtual Blog Tour. Make sure to enter the contest and check out all the other great posts on the tour!

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About the author:

Kathleen Wainwright is a dedicated teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. She received her bachelor’s of Science degree in education from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and her master’s in education with a focus in literacy, from West Chester University, in West Chester, PA. Kathleen also teaches literacy courses to aspiring teachers at Temple University and developmental reading courses to incoming freshman at Delaware County Community College. “This story captures a typical summer’s day for me and my friends growing up in the 80’s! Every time I read it I travel back to some of my favorite childhood memories.” Kathleen recently earned National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts (Early and Middle Childhood). She enjoys sharing her personal teaching experiences and educational resources in her blog, The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher (

Each book purchase comes with a pair of jacks and a jumprope.

Purchase the eBook (with teaching resources) here:

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Vistaprint Rack Cards Double as Bookmarks

Vistaprint rack cards as bookmarks

Are you tired of waiting for Vistaprint to offer bookmarks? I've suggested it many times, but they still do not have that option. Instead of using business cards, I make my own bookmarks. And while I love doing it, the printing and trimming gets tedious. So when I decided to take the plunge and have business cards printed up via VistaPrint, I noticed the dimensions of the rack cards would be a great length for a bookmark. I am sure others have had this idea long before me, but in case you needed to know how to make your own, I created this visual with dimensions. (I use the full bleed dimensions and put those in Photoshop.) I save my images as .tiff files for the best quality.

The great thing about these is that you can have a the back printed in black/white free. I use the back to put the bulk of my information. On my Hunger Games bookmarks I added my favorite quotes from the novel. 
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The drawback to the rack cards is that they still have to be cut. I really wish they would offer this option, but until then, I will keep printing with the rack cards. I plan to make additional ones for my students in various themes from throughout the year. 

This can also be something you could do for graduation. I think it would be very cool to have an entire class sign their names (or just use their names in a word cloud, like I did HERE and HERE) and have them printed for your students.

UPDATE: Vistaprint is having a flash sale today (2/20) only until 4 p.m. EST. Fifty percent off everything!

Do you have any Vistaprint tips? Share in the comments below!

Let's Use "Lets" Correctly, Shall We?

Lets/Let's Grammar Usage Tips from

Students are never too old for reminders of common usage problem areas. "Lets" and "let's" are easily confused, so here is another chart you can use in your classroom (I promise the whole set and quizzes are coming soon!):

Use lets to mean “allows” or “permits.”
• My dad never lets me borrow the car.

Use let’s as a contraction of “let us.”
•  Let’s walk to class together.

If the word "allows" (or "permits") cannot be substituted in the sentence for "lets," then it is probably the contraction of "let us."

You can find this visual aid (without my blog tag), along with many more, 

If you'd like to purchase accompanying quizzes and activities, the bundle for all of them are here: 

Have a great weekend, friends!

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Do Your Students Struggle With Proper Usage?

Do your students struggle with proper usage, such as when to use there, their, and they're?

If so, here's a helpful visual aid you can print and post in your classroom. I've made several of these for the most common usage errors I see in my students' writing samples (and on Facebook, Twitter). 
Grammar Tips - Proper usage of There, Their, They're from

You can find this anchor chart (without my blog tag) and many more here:

I also posted quizzes and activities to compliment the frequently confused words here:

Have a great weekend, everyone! Aren't you glad it's Friday!?

Font by Kimberly Geswein of KG fonts

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