Hello to all our friends and fans at Gurus! If you haven’t had time to visit us lately, not to worry! We know August is a particularly busy month for just about everyone, but especially for teachers getting ready to return to the classroom. And a few lucky people out there may still be enjoying vacation or a few quiet days at home. With that in mind, we’re going to prolong our temporary hiatus until JUST AFTER Labor Day. At that time, we want to offer our Fall Kicker, a series of tips to get you ready for teaching the Common Core Standards via literature, and linking the standards to the six traits of writing. Because (as you’ve likely noticed) the Common Core places such heavy emphasis on Ideas, we thought that would make a good place to begin. We’ll list books you are sure to find useful for teaching the trait of ideas and SIMULTANEOUSLY reinforcing many, many strategies connected to the Common Core. I will list and offer a quick review for about six favorites; Jeff will list and review his top six–and you’ll get them all in one package. We’ll cover a range of genres and grade levels, so expect variety. Shortly thereafter, we’ll offer a similar list for Organization. Watch for this upcoming feature as we launch full-tilt into 2012-2013. Thank you for your patience, enjoy the rest of your summer, and plan to visit us again in early September . . . and many times throughout the coming school year.

With all good wishes . . . Vicki & Jeff