Library Links

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


Learning & Leading with Technology - Read online

Innovative and effective uses of technology.

ISTE's member magazine, Learning & Leading with Technology, is published eight times a year for educators who advance excellence in learning and teaching through innovative and effective uses of technology. This month's issue has an interesting article on how to use iPads in the classroom if you don't have one for every student.



Spongelab - interactive science media

Educational games, 3D animations, and many more
(Free registration)
Spongelab is an award-winning learning platform which collects and provides educational games, 3D animations, and many more online resources in different topics for learning and teaching purposes.  A useful site, especially for science teachers.

At Spongelab we believe that high quality interactive science education resources should be accessible to everyone. The Spongelab platform makes it easy for teachers and students to stitch together interactive science media with traditional educational tools and techniques.


Critical-thinking skills to bring to advertising

Create awareness of the techniques advertisers use

An interactive site which teaches critical-thinking skills and creates awareness of the techniques advertisers use to sell their products/services.  Includes resources for teachers and parents.


Learn how to make good videos

Video 101 on Vimeo Video School

"Making videos doesn't have to be hard. In fact, it's way easier than you think, we promise! Video 101 is here to teach you the very basics of making videos and show you how fun it can be. Join the friendly Vimeo Staff as we cover all the basics of shooting and editing videos you can be proud of. We've handcrafted these lessons for beginners of all backgrounds, check it out!"


Captcha, reCaptcha, Duolingo - TED talk

Learn a new language and help the web (Luis von Ahn)

"After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free."



Formative assessments as part of everyday instruction (Preview book online)

So What Do They Really Know? by Cris Tovani

See how to make formative assessments a powerful part of your everyday instruction. In So What Do They Really Know?, best-selling author and English teacher Cris Tovani shares successful lessons and strategies for getting to know your students well, differentiating instruction, giving feedback, grading, and more. Preview the entire book online!


Effective reading instruction - tips from "Core Learning Resources"

Strategies and activities to build strong learners
(using aboriginal themed materials)

Brenda Boreham provides descriptions of many successful strategies and activities that she has used with her students over the years. These strategies are built into the lesson plans (aboriginal focus) listed on this page.

Brenda credits the work of Faye Brownlie, Adrienne Gear, Sharon Taberski, David Booth and Richard Allington as being influential in her practise. Helping children to discover the magic of reading has been one of the most satisfying aspects of Brenda's role as a teacher.


Graphic Organizers Galore

Classify ideas and communicate more effectively

"Help your students children classify ideas and communicate more effectively. Use graphic organizers to structure writing projects, to help in problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research and brainstorming. Select a Graphic Organizer from the following list of links."


400+ Things That Kids Like « Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

Things that children like -- writing prompts and research topics

An eclectic list of 99 things that children like was given to Tara Lazar by a friend. As she says "the list was courtesy of children's sports author Andy Gutelle…and here I've added 300+ more (and more)!  I hope this list gives a spark to your writing for children."

Note: this list is more targeted toward picture-book-age children (8 and under) than tweens (8-12) or teens.

Use them as writing prompts, journal entries, poetry themes, art "starters", or research topics. Here they are represented in a Wordle:


Spark interest in voting and the electoral process

Elections Canada: We provide the tools!

Show the relevance of our parliamentary and democratic institutions to students – the voters of tomorrow. Elections Canada offers elementary, high school and ESL teachers the following free educational resources, tools, activities, information and links, all designed to make their work a little easier:

  • Canada's Democracy Week – Education Guides
  • Choosing Our Mascot
  • Canada at the Polls!
  • I Can Vote!
  • A History of the Vote in Canada
  • The Electoral System of Canada
  • Forum for Young Canadians

Getting started with critical thinking

Embedding Critical Thinking
(presentation at the 2006 Alberta Education Social Studies Summer Institute)

Garfield Gini-Newman defines critical thinking and describes how teachers can encourage critical thinking through activities requiring decision-making and judgment, based on criteria

In 6 short video clips

"Stop motion animation" with books

The Joy of Books

"Last year, "crazedadman" and his wife reorganized a small bookshelf and recorded the project in an endearing stop motion film. This year, they took things to the next level, spending "sleepless nights moving, stacking, and animating books at Type bookstore in Toronto."  The rest speaks for itself. "

See the other videos for book lovers linked on the same page.



Bring Black History into the Classroom

From 1605 to Present Day

A tremendous resource.
"Black history refers to the stories, experiences, and accomplishments of people of African origin. Black history did not begin in recent times in Canada, but in ancient times in Africa. People connected by their common African history and ancestry have created Black history here. The African-Canadian population is made up of individuals from a range of places across the globe including the United States, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Canada."


Want to know more about GVRL?

Gale Virtual Reference Library Video Tutorials
These tutorials will make you an expert in using the GVRL in no time!
                Basics (6:50)
                Bookmark Your Favorites (1:22)
                Browse & Search (3:12)
                Download PDF to Your eReader (1:56)
                How to Create a GRVL Subcollection (5:30)
                Listen to Your Articles (1:50)
                Perform Complex Searches (3:12)
                View in Multiple Languages (1:06)


"Census at School" project

Engage students from grades 4 to 12 in statistical enquiry

"Census at School is an international online project that engages students from grades 4 to 12 in statistical enquiry. Students anonymously fill in an online survey in class. They answer non-confidential questions about topics such as their height, the time it takes to travel to school, and their favourite subject at school.

"None of the survey questions asks for confidential or identifiable personal information. Responses remain anonymous as no names or identification numbers are attached to them.

"This project combines fun with learning. They discover how to use and interpret data about themselves as part of their classroom learning in math, social sciences or information technology. They also learn about the importance of the national census in providing essential information for planning education, health, transportation and many other services.


Display ideas for Library Materials

School Library Displays Blog

Created by Elaine Pearson, the Librarian at Horowhenua College in Levin, New Zealand. She uses this space to collaborate with librarians from New Zealand and around the world to share some of their creativity and ideas for displaying materials from their collection.


Movies "based on the book"

BOTB - Books that have been made into movies

While some say "the movie is never as good as the book", sometimes a movie tie-in can really improve a book's circulation. Students may be more interested in picking up a title if they've seen the movie, and in some cases, showing the movie to a class may be a perfect way to cap off a novel study, especially when students can compare the written work to the producer's interpretation.



What affordances does eReading offer?

eReading: How is reading changing with the advent of eBooks?

Jamie McKenzie reflects on the advantages of reading a digital text:

"Thanks to digital text and readers, the electronic book is finally coming of age. After many false starts, reading a book on a laptop, a Kindle, an iPad type device, or a smart phone offers some great advantages.

Teachers would be wise to test out this kind of reading in their own lives first and ask how it might enhance the comprehension and learning of their students."


Connecting With the Arts - video workshop

A video workshop for middle school teachers of the arts
 8 one-hour video programs, workshop guide, and Web site.

Connecting With the Arts: A Workshop for Middle Grades Teachers is a video workshop for grade 6-8 teachers of the arts and other subjects. (Scroll down the page to view each video - click on VOD icon.)

"The workshop includes eight hour-long video programs and a companion workshop guide and Web site. The workshop shows middle school teachers why and how to integrate the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual art) with other subjects (language arts, social studies, science, and math). Extensive classroom examples present teachers working together to create rich integrated learning experiences for their students."


"Light" workshops online

Make connections to real world phenomena

This series uses light as a theme through which to explore topics in physics, chemistry, biology, and Earth and space science. The workshops make connections to real world phenomena as they explore the behavior of light, the transformation of energy, and the role of light in plant production of food, weather and the seasons, and more. (Each workshop features a "content" video  - look for the VOD icon to play the video - and support materials to learn the content and teach your own students.)

Workshop 1: SHINE and SHADOW
Workshop 2: LAWS of LIGHT
Workshop 4: COLOR, CONES, and CORNEAS
Workshop 5: SUNLIGHT to STARCH
Workshop 7: SUN and SEASONS
Workshop 8: WIND and WEATHER


Guiding Young Mathematicians - preview book online

by Kassia Omohundro Wedekind

"Traditionally, small-group math instruction has been used as a format for reaching children who struggle to understand. Math coach Kassia Omohundro Wedekind uses small-group instruction as the centerpiece of her math workshop approach, engaging all students in rigorous "math exchanges."


DeweyMusic - free music

Public Domain Music Library

"DeweyMusic is a new interface for's wonderful public domain music library. You can listen to, download, remix, and share anything you see on this site legally and for free."

You can browse the collection ( using a variety of categories (Bulgarian, Dark Electro, Dixieland, Soundscapes, etc.).  This is a very eclectic repository.