Library Links

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


Water Steps - A. LaFaye (eBook)

Preview eBooks in your browser before you buy
[LINK to individual title]
[LINK to Children's category]

Some titles on eBooks have a link that allows you to read the first few pages of most books before you buy. (Using the Amigo digital viewer.) This is a great way to get a feel for the tone and language level of the book.


Pictures and audio files in French

See the picture and hear the word

Twenty-one connected web pages featuring a total of 12,000 French words and images. Each image has a quicktime audio file associated with it that allows students to hear authentic French pronunciation. ("Je vous propose une méthode complète d'apprentissage de la lecture où l'enfant peut vérifier sa lecture par une bande audio.")


Science@NASA - Science Clips

Clips that answer fundamental questions about science

A collection of video clips produced by NASA. Learn about astronomical phenomena, the planets and NASA's projects by viewing this series.

"The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) engages the Nations science community, sponsors scientific research, and develops and deploys satellites and probes in collaboration with NASA's partners around the world to answer fundamental questions requiring the view from and into space. SMD seeks to understand the origins, evolution, and destiny of the universe and to understand the nature of the strange phenomena that shape it.



iTunesU Course - Children's Literature

Genres in Children's Literature by David Beagley

"In this course, students study current theories of literature, with a focus on genres relating to children's literature as a form of social practice. Topics covered include critical analysis, traditional story forms, modernist and postmodern picture books, emerging formats, fantasy and realistic fiction, non-fiction and poetry."

Note: The lessons have been posted in reverse order, so you will need to start with the "last" audio file.



FolgerLibrary - Shakespeare resources

Folger Shakespeare Library
A growing online teaching resources provide Shakespeare lesson plans and other materials for teachers around the world, including audio and video podcasts, and an expanding list of web features.

1) Shakespeare for Kids

2) Folger Digital Texts
Read online or Download full PDF versions of Shakespeare's plays.

3) Folger Teaching Video Clips

4) Folger Podcasts (iTunes)
Folger Podcasts explore Shakespeare, his works, and his world. Periodically we'll delve into topics around performances and programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library and hot trends in Shakespeare and early modern scholarship.



Incompetech - Royalty Free Music

Beautiful Tracks for your project work

This site is a bonanza for folks looking for music to use in school projects!

Kevin MacLeod has taken pity on schools with no money, and film makers who want to have music - but can't afford to clear copyrights. He has made it possible, using Creative Commons Licensing, to share his work, still get credit for it and help budding artists and producers of all ages!

The FAQ on the site answers the question "It says the music is royalty-free. Is it okay if I use it?" with the answer "anyone can use any of my music in any project" as long as the work is attributed correctly.


A Day on the Internet - Mind-blowing

"4.7 Billion Minutes a Day..."

A great infographic reposted by Jeff Yasinchuk that asks us to reflect on the sheer volume of information uploaded to the internet every day, as well as the number of blog posts, status updates and minutes spent browsing. As Jeff said, truly "mind-blowing".


Sources of Music for Video Projects

Learning and Leading - Dec 2012/Jan 2013 - Page 30

Read the December digital issue of L&L to find out more about the following 3 sources for royalty free music:

  • Purple Planet Royalty Free
  • Sound Jay
  • Royalty Free Music Room

We Give Books - Christmas titles

Virtual "Big Books" for the holidays

Visit "We Give Books" and read the following titles on a big screen with a projector! To access these Christmas titles (see below), you will need to create an account on WGB. The Editor's picks are freely viewable without a login.

  • Llama Llama Holiday Drama - For Ages: 4-7 (A great story!!)
  • A Most Mizerable Christmas - For Ages: 4-7
  • Angelina's Christmas - For Ages: 4-7
  • Snowmen All Year - For Ages: 4-7
  • Frosty the Snowman - For Ages: 0-3

iPad apps to capture "whiteboard" creations

Sent from my iPhone
Make Way for "Educreations"

There are a number of iPad apps that let you screen-capture your work for students to view later. This article mentions a number of them, and then focusses on "Educreations" with the bonus that it can also be used on desktop machines.

"One of the biggest, fastest shifts in ed tech the last couple years has been the evolution from the use of large interactive whiteboards to the use of mobile, agile multi-purpose apps. Currently, there are at least six products, all competing to become teachers' favorite. Replay Note, ScreenChomp, ShowMe, DoodleCast Pro, Knowmia, Explain Everything and Educreations all offer teachers the ability to record the visual and audio components of a "whiteboard" lesson on their iPads, and share it online.


100 Notable Books of 2012 -

Notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction

The year's notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction for adult readers, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. If you are looking to round out your reading list, check out some of these titles. Good suggestions for your book club!


10x10 · 100 Words and Pictures that Define our Time

Top 100 words and images, hour by hour

Looking for a current event topic or breaking news story? 10x10 gives you and your students a novel way to do this. Hour by hour, 10x10 scans the headlines for keywords and images and presents them on a grid for a quick overview. You can even view the top 100 words for each day, month and year.

"Move your mouse around the images and you'll see words that match which images. Click any word or image to zoom in and see the news headlines and read the original news stories. Browse through past hours, days, months, and years by clicking the "History" button, and select the year/month/day/hour you'd like to see. (You can also select "Full Day", "Full Month", or "Full Year" from the date list.)


Turn your pic into a Christmas Ornament

Add some holiday cheer to your webpage

Use either of these generators to turn your picture into a Christmas ornament. With the first option, select any pic from your desktop, upload, and voilà: instant decoration. With the second, click on the "plus" to add pictures and or text. You can even control the size and rotation of your image on the ornament.

(Here's another:


Creative Idea Generator - Random Word Generator

Train your brain to be more creative

Generate random words and/or images then use them to help your juices flow. Your newly-created list of words or images can be a great kick-start to a poetry exercise, the next chapter in your story, or inspiration for a work of art. Move the items around, resize them by scrolling over them, double-click on a choice to swap for another, or refresh them all at once and let it guide your mind as it wonders.

"This idea generator is a funky little doodad that will train your brain to be more creative through the use of random words.


"Expect More" - BC Libraries Summit - on Vimeo

David Lankes' presentation at the BC Libraries Summit

"R. David Lankes is a professor and Dean's Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse. His book, The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. Lankes is a passionate advocate for librarians and their essential role in today's society."


LM_NET Archive

Search the LM-Net archives

Many teacher-librarians subscribe to LM-Net, a great listserv that covers all things "library". Even if you aren't a regular subscriber, you can still search the archives in one of two batches, either Oct 2010 to present-day, or Mar 1994 to Sept 2010. Find out what solutions other TLs have suggested to issues you may currently be experiencing!

"LM_NET is the original discussion group open to school library media specialists worldwide, and to people involved with the school library media field. LM_NET provides an excellent way to network with other school library professionals, connect to new ideas in school library practice, seek advice, and ask library related questions."



World Book reference - feature review

A collection of powerful research tools

"World Book reference databases are a collection of powerful research tools that include encyclopedic, multimedia, e-book, and primary source content. They are designed for diverse ages, reading levels, and styles, and offer teacher resources, standards, correlations, and useful classroom research tools.

Review the features of each level of World Book using the links below:
(The menu bar along the top of each page introduces all of the features, with a labelled screenshot.)


Nancie Atwell - The Reading Zone

Nancie Atwell - Scholastic Author TalkAbout video interviews

In this "TalkAbout" video clip series Nancie Atwell, answers questions about reading comprehension, and shares advice on creating successful reading and writing workshops as well how to create passionate readers.

                 The Reading Zone (4:26). What core conditions are necessary for students to enter, and stay inside, the reading zone?

                 Comprehension (5:27). How do you know whether your students are understanding what they're reading?

                 Student Choice (4:19). Why is allowing students to choose their own books and topics fundamental to their success as readers and writers?

                 Reading & Writing Workshops (4:48). What is the best preparation for teachers who wish to teach reading and writing workshop-style?

                 ª Advice and Encouragement for New Teachers (3:30). Nancie shares advice based on her 30 years of teaching experience.

                 Creating Passionate Readers (4:27). Nancie tells about the childhood experience that helped her become a fluent, avid reader.


Jeff Wilhelm & Inquiry Based Learning

        Jeff Wilhelm & Inquiry Based Learning

Inquiry-Based Instruction: (video clip) (4:19) Are teachers using inquiry in classrooms now, or do they even know about it?

Using Inquiry in Language Arts.(video clip) (3:13). How does inquiry and the use of questions promote reading and understanding in language arts?

"Engaging readers & writers with inquiry" [LINK to record at DRC]

PDF sample.


The role of children's literature in the classroom

Video interviews with Carol Fuhler and Maria Walther

These two authors discuss the importance of using quality literature in the classroom. Video clips address the following:
  • The role of children's literature
  • Quality literature in curriculum
  • How children's books help writers
  • Recognizing a good book
  • Managing a busy teaching day
  • Advice to new teachers

Get the Most out of your Smartboard

Whiteboards for Dummies |

This article addresses some of the challenges in implementing Smartboards in the classroom. There are also some links to a useful blog and a Notebook repository.

"At their best, interactive whiteboards can get students out of their seats to lead their own learning. But, like all technology, the boards are only as good as the people using them. And the people using them are only as good as their training. There are ways to ensure that you're giving your staff the tools they need to make the most out of your district's investment."

12 Days of Christmas [LINK] (courtesy Mr Smart Trainer)


Joahua Foer "How I learned a language in 22 hours"

A web app that can help anyone memorise anything

Joshua Foer learns basic Lingala in a few weeks, using the Memrise application. (In fact the website challenges you to learn to read a Chinese menu!)

"Memrise encourages you to create a mnemonic, which it calls a "mem", for every word you want to learn. A mem could be a rhyme, an image, a video or just a note about the word's etymology, or something striking about its pronunciation. In the case of languages such as French and Chinese, where there are thousands of people learning it at any one time, you can browse through a catalogue of mems created by other members of the Memrise community. This is especially fun for Chinese, where users have uploaded videos of various logographic characters morphing into cartoons of the words they represent.


Global English: a language of controversy? iTunes course

Global English: a language of controversy?

Check out this course on iTunes U:

Cover Art

Global English: a language of controversy?

The Open University



7 Ratings

iTunes U
Please note that you have not been added to any email lists.
Copyright © 2012 Apple Canada Inc. All rights reserved

Sent from my iPad
A course on iTunes U: Global English.

'Britain and America,' wrote George Bernard Shaw, 'are two countries divided by a common language.' That witty comment summarises the problems and complexities of English. It has ended up as a world language, the widely used language of commerce and the internet.
"The idea of English as a global language is controversial, particularly for people in non-English-speaking countries. This learning pathway examines that controversial nature as well as its cultural and economic importance. Using text, video and audio it explores what English means to those who use it and what it means to learn English, both as a mother tongue and an additional language.


What's your choice for Checkup's Christmas list of good reading? CBC

Cross Country Checkup's book show - December 9, 2012
Listen to the show and read a replay of the live text chat.

"The book show: Help compile Checkup's annual Christmas list of good reading. Share your discoveries, whether fiction, non-fiction, classics, modern, poetry ...even reference. And tell us why they grabbed your attention.  With host Rex Murphy.



Vancouver Kidsbooks - Booklists to browse

See What Kidsbooks is recommending

Kidsbooks has put together some recommended title lists, grouped by topic.

Some examples...

  • Fractured Fairytales
  • Graphic Novels GRADES 3-6
  • young adult dystopian novels
(Don't forget that NoveList, in EBSCO also has great reviews and summaries of a range of titles for different ages.)    

Interesting ways to...integrate tech

Crowdsource Your Tech Ideas

The "Interesting Ways series" is a great example of how crowdsourcing can aggregate good quality classroom ideas.  You will need to log in to Google Docs to view and participate, but this is a great resource!


Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show!

Watch Sylvia build just about anything!

Sylvia, an elementary School aged student from California has created a "Bill Nye" style series of video clips on how to make just about anything. Her videos are good fun to watch, educational to boot, and would be a good model for teachers looking for ways their own students could represent their learning. Use an iPod or iPad to record, and you're on your way.


Library Displays on a Shoestring

Sharing some exciting ideas for displays

Elaine Pearson, the Librarian at Horowhenua College in Levin, New Zealand, created this blog in 2007 as a way of collecting great (and inexpensive) library display ideas that draw in students and promote the books in her collection.

"Gradually other librarians from New Zealand and around the world have shared some of their creativity and together, I hope, we have created a valuable resource.  Being a sole librarian with a limited budget all the displays are designed to be quick, easy and low cost - they do not claim to be great works of creative talent!"


What should educators know about eBooks?

Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education

Author: James Clay
Status: Preview version, available for comments
Report Link: Draft report (PDF)

For those looking to get a better handle on all the various issues related to using eBooks in education, this DRAFT covers the main points. Read the comments below as well, as there are some tweaks that are interesting to follow.

"Specifically, the report: 1) introduces the historical and present context of ebooks; 2) reviews the basics of ebooks; 3) considers scenarios for ebook adoption and usage; 4) addresses current challenges; and 5) considers the future. This report also provides a glossary to help clarify key terms and a 'References' section listing works cited.


Making Every Minute Count in the Literacy Block

100 Minutes - Making Every Minute Count - by Lisa Donohue
(Preview this book online)

"It is possible to create a literacy block where teachers meet with students for guided reading and writing conferences, and provide daily explicit instruction in both reading and writing. A comprehensive look at literacy and learning, 100 Minutes shows teachers how to fit balanced literacy into a daily 100-minute literacy block using a framework of whole-class instruction and writing sessions, combined with independent work.


LiTTech #58: Ebooks Revisited

ALA's eBook Toolkit (podcast)

The content starts after the "Chitchat" at about 5 minutes in.

"Never get librarians started on ebooks. We love them, but we wish they were easier to work with. We hate restrictions and we really hate that we don't own them. Happily, the ALA has put together a nifty Toolkit to help librarians explain their positions without sounding obsessive and scary.

ALA eBook Toolkit:

Trivia versus Power

Let's be clear on exactly how we are using technology in education

"What this means is that every request that a teacher makes of a student to use technology—in or out of class—should include, in addition to the content or curricular-related part, one or more of the following additional requirements as part of the assignment:

  • Determine the most powerful way(s) to use your device to do this.
  • Do the assignment using your device in a new (and powerful) way.
  • Invent a new, technology-based way to do this.
  • Include something technological you've never done before.
  • Use the device to connect in a new way to do the task better.
"It should include, as well, sharing the most interesting thing(s) you find with your teacher and your classmates. In short, every assignment using technology should involve using the technology to innovate.
Yes, every assignment.


Using "Explain Everything" to help with assessment

Download the official Twitter app here

Sent from my iPad
Pad Literacy Project: EE, Evernote, and iTunesU

Some thoughtful use of apps combined with iTunesU. This might also be doable with "Deliver" as a way of transfering files that doesn't require the student to use an email address.

"This user-submitted video is a wonderful example of how to leverage the best aspects of different tools and learning spaces in order to meet teaching, learning, and assessment objects. David Malone highlights using Explain Everything (construction of understanding) as a mediator between iTunes U (starting materials and direct instruction) and Evernote (repository and assessment)."


Literacy in the Digital Age - Resource Links

All the various literacies explained

Kathy Schrock has assembled a comprehensive set of links to help explain the various literacies and show how to support them. Some URLs include tools and lesson plans and cover the following:

  • TRADITIONAL Literacy
  • INFORMATION Literacy
  • VISUAL Literacy
  • CRITICAL Literacy
  • MEDIA Literacy
  • TOOL Literacy
  • DIGITAL Literacy
  • DATA Literacy
  • GLOBAL Literacy
  • ECONOMIC Literacy
  • CIVIC Literacy
  • HEALTH Literacy
  • HISTORICAL Literacy

Fiction for Young Adults - an iTunesU course

Fiction for Young Adults

Check out this collection on iTunes U:

Cover Art

Fiction for Young Adults

David Beagley


iTunes Store
Please note that you have not been added to any email lists.
Copyright © 2012 Apple Canada Inc. All rights reserved

Sent from my iPad
Fiction for Young Adults - by D. Beagley (La Trobe University)

"From Pride and Prejudice to Twilight, Looking for Alibrandi to The Hunger Games, students in this subject will analyse factors affecting the emergence and development of fiction for young adults as a distinctive literature category over the last twenty years. Students will also focus on recent trends in this field, including the development of a range of critical perspectives for interpreting themes, issues and responses to this literature by adults and adolescents.

(Note: the lessons are posted in reverse chronological order.)
These are the audio lectures from the course.



an iTunesU course: Technology in grades 3-5

Technology in K-12 Lesson Plans - 3-5

Check out this collection on iTunes U:

Cover Art

Technology in K-12 Lesson Plans - 3-5

University of South Florida, College of Education

Learning Resources

iTunes Store
Please note that you have not been added to any email lists.
Copyright © 2012 Apple Canada Inc. All rights reserved

Sent from my iPad
"Technology in K-12"  Lesson Ideas for grades  3 to 5
by University of South Florida, College of Education

The podcasts in this collection give examples of projects done for and by Elementary students at the grade 3-5 level.

View ideas for innovative technology practices that teachers can incorporate into their lesson plans in a variety of different subject areas.


A review of "Book Creator" for the iPad

The simple way to create beautiful books

"I liked Book Creator from the start. It's interface is simple and clean and intuitive. After I had played with it for a bit, my daughter picked up my iPad and said, "hey, you're writing a book about me!" since I had happened to use photos of her for my test. I told her she could make her own and she spent the next hour and a half happily placing photos and creating her own book. She asked me for help a couple of times, but mostly, she could figure it out without instructions.

(Get the app: )


Reading with Meaning - preview online

Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades

"In the second edition of Reading with Meaning, Debbie Miller shares her new thinking about comprehension strategy instruction, the gradual release of responsibility instructional model, and planning for student engagement and independence.


Create Trading Cards for People, Places, and Events

Trading Cards App for iPad

"ReadWriteThink's free Trading Cards app allows kids and teens a unique way to share their understanding of various topics, to build study aids for school, or to create their own fictional world of characters.

Create trading cards for any number of categories, including:
• Fictional person• Real person
• Fictional place• Real place• Object
• Event
• Vocabulary word
"Each category has specific guiding questions for creating a dynamic, information-rich trading card. Summarizing skills are critical as they drill down to the most important information to fit on the card. In addition, they become aware of writing for an audience because they can share their cards with others.

Some more ideas for using this app.

Online version (with lesson plans and samples)


"Thanks, Textbooks."

What were they thinking?

We've all had the experience of finding incorrect or just plain odd material in a textbook. This Tumblr site is dedicated to documenting errors, and inadvertently funny information in a range of textbooks.

Good for a chuckle! (And makes a good point about rethinking reliance on a single resource for your class.)



Library on Wheels

Bring the books to the kids

Here's a suggestion from Sandra Carswell, the teacher-librarian at S. C. Lee Junior High, in Copperas Cove, TX.

Do you want to drum up business for your fiction collection? Generate interest in sports titles? or create excitement for Dewey ranges that have languished a bit?  Try putting a bin full of your target books on a cart with a laptop and scanner, and hit the road. Quick booktalks drum up interest for titles, and "speed-dating" the books gives kids a chance to read the back, examine the cover, and flip through. A hand scanner and laptop let you sign out the books "on the spot." Have cart, will travel!



The role of the Teacher-Librarian. What's happening in Ontario School Libraries?

TVO Parents Episode "Do School Libraries Need to Have Books?"

Annie Kidder (People for Education), Paul Kay (TL) and Diane Maliszewski (TL, editor "Teaching Librarian" ) discuss the situation in Ontario school libraries. The first 5 minutes is a great re-cap of the importance and value of the service teacher-librarians provide. There is also an exploration of the growth of digital resources. It is interesting to see Ontario TLs dealing with many of the same issues as TLs in BC.

(The OSLA document "Together for Learning" is referenced a few times.)


25 of the Most Wonderful Book Covers of the Year

Cover Art of YA books for Adults

"In this week's Y.A. for Grownups column, I'm paying special homage to the oft under-applauded but always important art of the books; specifically, the cover art that's appeared on books published for teens and middle-grade audiences this year."

Read other posts from this column here.