Skype Selfie

Skype Selfie
Click on this photo to find out about my school visits on SANDRA MARKLE SPEAKS!

Friday, October 28, 2016


LOVE all those happy readers. Welcome to the READ-IN Scott Fillner's fourth graders
at Bowmen Elementary in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

SOMETHING EXCITING is happening!  

My publisher Tumblehome Learning is hosting GASPARILLA’S GOLD READ-IN ACROSS AMERICA in honor of the publication of my very first Middle Grade novel GASPARILLA’S GOLD. Here are the details of this SPECIAL event!

From November 1, 2016 (the official publication date) through January 31, 2017, every class that signs up for GASPARILLA’S GOLD READ-IN ACROSS AMERICA will receive the following:

·      Classroom set of my novel GASPARILLA’S GOLD—25 paperback copies for students and a hardbound teachers copy. (See story overview below.)
·      Classroom set of bookmarks.
·      Discovery Pack of activities designed to enrich this whole class reading experience.

All for $125.00 (less than half-price and it includes FREE shipping). 

Here's the link to get started. SIGN UP NOW

TEN classes that sign up for GASPARILLA’S GOLD READ-IN ACROSS AMERICA will also receive a FREE Skype visit with me (a $250 value). More about this will soon be posted on the Tumblehome Learning website

And there’s more!

Every class that signs up for GASPARILLA’S GOLD READ-IN ACROSS AMERICA also receives access to additional learning experiences and fun activities on Tumblehome Learning’s website and my blog. There will also be an opportunity for classes to share student book reviews and Tumblehome Learning will publish a selection of these on their website (with class and school credits).

PLUS— Every class that signs up for GASPARILLA’S GOLD READ-IN ACROSS AMERICA will become part of the Class Database. So your class will immediately gain reading buddies to connect with in other schools and states to multiply the fun of puzzling out the mysteries as Gus, Fiona and Coop hunt for pirate treasure. Then your class can share cheering for Gus and Fiona as they join forces to save a rare (and totally cute) Florida panther cub from poachers.

I can’t wait to share 
with you!

GASPARILLA’S GOLD (story overview) Gus goes to spend the summer with his aunt in Florida and help out at her wildlife shelter. Then he discovers a carved whale’s tooth and is caught up in solving clues that could reveal the long hidden site of the pirate Gasparilla’s buried gold. But Gus also gets caught up in an even wilder race to save a rare Florida panther cub from poachers. A search for pirate treasure becomes much more . . .

is going to be a blast! 

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Wow! Who knew we could have an excuse to have fun exploring dinosaurs. But October is it! I LOVE that October is INTERNATIONAL DINOSAUR MONTH!

Dig In
Here are some sites where you can find lots of fun things to do and ways for children to investigate.

Science Made Fun
This site is packed with info about dinosaur record holders. For example do you know which dinosaur is the smallest when fully-grown? Or which kind was the first ever to be discovered in North America? You will once you visit this site.

Can you make up a story about what's going on in this picture?

Child Care Lounge: Dinosaur Activities
Songs and crafts add fun and games to learning about dinosaurs.

Enchanted Learning: Dinosaur Quizes

Ten questions, word unscrambles, crosswords and name hunts. There's lots of dino-fun here. 

And don't miss the jokes! You'll find the answers to these and more.

Why did the Archaeopteryx catch the worm?

What do you get when dinosaurs crash their cars?

Breaking News: Dinosaur Egg Discovered

Check out this latest discovery of dinosaur eggs. Also, take a look inside my book to see how the latest technology let scientists study baby dinosaurs. And learn what they were like and how they developed.
See a real baby dinosaur on page 35

 Encourage children to imagine dinosaur eggs were discovered at their school or at home in their backyard. Have them become reporters to bring this breaking news to the world.

South Pole Dinosaurs
Dr. Christian Sidor with fossil

Hard as it is to believe, during the Age of Dinosaurs the world's climate was very different. In fact, it was a time of Greenhouse kind of warming. So there were forests in Antarctica where the land is now covered with thick ice sheets. Scientist Dr. Vanessa Bowman reported that the rainforests of New Zealand with their fern trees show what the Antarctic forests were once like. In fact, Robert Falcon Scott found fossilized plants there in 1912. Since, explorers have discovered fossilized, bush-sized beech trees and remains of ginkgos, another ancient kind of tree. And dinosaur bones have also been discovered.
What's fascinating about these dinosaur remains isn't that they lived in Antarctica. It's that they had to deal with the polar night. Though the climate was clearly warmer in that ancient time, there still would have been the long period of dark. Professor Thomas Rich has found several of the now eight known species (kinds) of Antarctic dinosaurs. And the only complete skeleton found was for LeaellynasauraThis provided a big clue as to how the dinosaurs managed. Its skull had extra big eye sockets so it probably had big eyes--what it would have needed to see in the long night. 

[Don't miss the sweet story of how this dinosaur got its name.]

So what kinds of dinosaurs once lived near the South Pole? Here's the names of three. Click on the name of each to link to a site where you can begin learning more about that dinosaur. If you're interested go online to discover more about one or more of these dinosaurs. And create a 12-page mini-picture book about the dinosaur.

 Antarctopelta, meaning “Antarctic shield.” Discovered in 1986. Believed to be an ankylosaurus type of armored plant eater.


Cryolophosaurus, means “coldcrested lizard.” Approximately 20–26 feet (6–8 m) long, this massive creature must have required a hefty diet, including other dinosaurs.

Glacialisaurus, meaning “frozen lizard.” The entire dinosaur must have been 20–25 feet (6–8 m) long and weighed an estimated 4–6 tons.

Now, imagine that you have travelled to Antarctica. And you're part of a team that has found the fossil remains of a brand new kind of dinosaur. Read this story about someone who lived that exciting adventure. Then make up a story about being along on this expedition.

Have Dino Dreams

Dinosaurs are also perfect for launching all sorts of creative thinking. Let children look at this picture and:
1. Imagine living in that city.
2. Draw another kind of dinosaur that's hosting a city.
3. Dream up a class pet dinosaur. 

And enjoy some of these fun reads:
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Dinosaur Dig