Monday, February 22, 2016

Scholastic Magazines

Blog posts two days in a row?! Crazy, I know but I just wanted to pass along a few tips and tricks for those of you who have access to Scholastics Magazines or those of you who are looking to purchase this resource. My school recently bought a subscription to Storyworks and I have been pretty impressed with what I've found so far. 

I've never really used Scholastic Magazines before, but let me tell you I have been impressed with what I have found! My teaching partner and I were looking for some passages that would be rigorous for our students as well as interesting. 

My first trick is that on the Storywork homepage you can get resources for issues all the way back to 2007 - 2008. Its crazy to think I was a senior in high school at that time! Although you can find the resources for these magazines, you can't print the articles themselves. So, if you have been a long time subscriber or a on and off again subscriber this is a great resource for you. My suggestion would be to print off the resources that are provided for the magazines that you have so you will have them for future use. 

Trick number two is that each magazine has a teacher guide that will allow you to download all kids of resources for this issue. I know teacher guides aren't the end all be all, but this would be a great resource for creating sub plans or just getting ideas on how to use the Storyworks magazine. In the teacher guide you can find tips for setting up the lesson, lesson objectives as well as purposes for reading, close reading questions and even differentiation. For first year teachers or even experiences teachers this teacher guide could come in handy! 

Just today I was looking for a passage to practice inferring with my students and I just started browsing Storyworks. I love how each magazine offers different genres, and even grammar and writing practice. I knew I was wanting my feature skill to be inferring so it was super easy to find a passage to meet my needs. Even though the feature skill I will be working on is inferring, I know I can use this passage on so many more things. Each passage also has a content connection and are engaging to students. 

The main reason my team teacher and I wanted to look into purchasing Storyworks was for rigorous passages for our 5th graders. It is so helpful that each passage comes with a complexity factor section that gives information on levels of meaning, structure, language and even DRA levels. It is also helpful to be able to connect the passage to specific standards. 

Last but not least, my FAVORITE trick that I found while exploring Storyworks online resource. Some articles have INTERACTIVE close reading questions and comprehension questions. For the close reading questions there are worksheets with text boxes for students to type their answers. I could see myself using this in Google Classroom for an exit slip or even partner practice. Want to sell this idea to your Principal, just say the words "Paperless Classroom"! 

For the comprehension questions students can complete multiple choice questions. This could be used as a whole class review on the SmartBoard or even as a quick assessment. Did I mention that this was self-grading?! 

I know that I didn't even begin to scratch the surface on what Scholastic Storyworks Magazine provides for teachers but hopefully if you are looking into the resource some of my tips and tricks will help you decide on if thesis right for your classroom or not. I'm interested in seeing how you use Storyworks in your classroom! 


  1. I love this! Thanks for sharing/blogging! :)

  2. I love this! Thanks for sharing/blogging! :)

  3. Newest reader over here...I just spent a good chunk of time reading a bunch of your blog posts. Thank you for sharing your awesome ideas and insight! I am a first year 4th grade teacher, and we use Storyworks. I really love the resource, but I have found myself struggling with how to BEST use the resources available, especially for my lower level students. I had no idea about your last tip. This takes Storyworks to a whole different level! Thank you so much for sharing! Happy teaching :)