Library Links

"Content that might be of interest to Teacher-Librarians..."


Teaching Writing in a digital world

iWrite by Dana Wilber
"The power of Dana Wilber’s insight is in its simplicity. Students are texting, networking, and blogging— i.e., writing and reading— all the time, everywhere, just maybe in places we aren’t necessarily paying attention to. Build on their authentic interest and motivation using the technologies they are already committed to and you’ve won half the battle. You won’t believe how engaged they are; they won’t believe they’re learning for school."

The Digital Writing Workshop by Troy Hicks
"Where others have talked about new technologies and how they change writing, Hicks shows you how to use new technologies to enhance the teaching of writing you already do. Chapters are organized around the familiar principles of the writing workshop: student choice, active revision, studying author’s craft, publication beyond the classroom, and assessment of both product and process. In each chapter you’ll learn how to expand and improve your teaching by smartly incorporating new technologies like wikis, blogs, and other forms of multimedia."

Pyrotechnics on the Page - preview writing book online

Playful Craft That Sparks Writing
(Pyrotechnics on the Page)
Ralph Fletcher

"Writers in every field play with words each time they sit down at their desks. In his newest book, Ralph Fletcher demonstrates how playful craft can energize student writing and breathe new energy into the writing workshop.

Children have a natural affinity for language play; Pyrotechnics on the Page demonstrates how writing teachers can tap into it. This book provides a wealth of resources for teachers."



"Storyjumper" site

A great site to explore. Read my blog post about "Storyjumper"


Why do boys lag girls in reading and what can we do about it? IRA Radio

Now Playing on IRA Reading Radio: Boys Lag in Reading.

Why do boys lag girls in reading and what can we do about it? Listen as literacy expert William G. Brozo discusses the overwhelming evidence of a gender gap between boys and girls in reading that is an accelerating international phenomenon. Brozo explores how current notions of masculinity may be contributing factors and shares field-tested strategies for closing the gap.

Brozo is Professor of Literacy in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and is author of To Be a Boy, To Be a Reader: Engaging Teen and Preteen Boys in Active Literacy (International Reading Association). 

Drive: the science of Motivation

220410_91249_0.pngDaniel Pink has recently come out with a new book called: "Drive: the surprising Truth about what motivates us". In it, he talks about what makes us go the extra mile, what makes us pursue excellence. Is it "carrots and sticks" or something else? These ideas are critical for teachers who are looking for ways to engage students. In our schools, "marks" take the place of "dollars", and they just don't motivate most students. We need to key in on what Pink calls the "third drive."

"Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people--at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink explains in his new and paradigm-shattering book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today's world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world"

TED talk where he shares his findings.

Excerpt from his book: Drive

PBS segment on motivation

Cinderella around the world

For those doing Fairytales from other cultures:

The Annotated Cinderella

An Internet WebQuest on Cinderella Stories

Additional versions (including some PPT files)


Superheroes in your Library

Here is a library promotion idea from Dawne Murray in Surrey.
(I added a few additional links and ideas.)

Superheroes in the library
"The Library League"
The League of Extraordinary Reading
The Super Reading Team

The campaign is entitled: "Superheroes in your Library"

Capitalize on the excitement around graphic novels!

        The accompanying slogan is:
        Reading brings you endless power! (or make up your own)

There would be a team of superheroes associated with the library;
Fiction Boy, Non-Fiction Girl and Reference Bot.
The students participate in developing the superheroes.  They could submit drawings for the design of the characters.  (The drawing aspect might engage students who perhaps would not normally participate in library events.)  In brainstorming sessions, create a list of powers or attributes for each character.  This leads into lessons reviewing differences between Fiction and Non-Fiction.  (Fiction Boy's powers might include: can list all the names of popular authors in the blink of an eye,  can name favourite picture book illustrators at lightening speed, creates amazing characters faster than anyone, brings imaginary creatures to life, etc. )

Students use ComicLife to produce a series of adventures and present them to younger kids.

Use the superhero images on bookmarks, notices and on the staff newsletter.  Draw up and paint large superhero mural sized posters.  (This art project could work as a collaborative unit for an intermediate teacher.) Start your campaign with a superhero themed day when students are invited to dress up as a superhero of their own choice or of their own design.

A graphic novel or superhero themed novel would be a great kickoff for a school-wide reading campaign. (see lists below)  

Using comics in the classroom ( a mini-comic) created by Dawne.

Some superhero books for kids:

Picture books:
Max, by Bob Graham
Superdog: The Heart of a Hero, by Caralyn and Mark Buehner
Superhero ABC, by Bob McLeod
Superhero, by Marc Tauss

  • Chapter books:
Babymouse: Our Hero! By Jennifer and Matthew Holm
Magic Pickle series, by Scott Morse
MAXimum Boy series, by Dan Greenberg
Melvin Beederman, Superhero series, by Greg Trine
Shredderman series, by Wendelin Van Draanen
The Adventures of Captain Underpants (and its many sequels), by Dav Pilkey