Library Links

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


minutephysics's Channel - Physics in a minute


Simply put: cool physics and other sweet science. Short clips (whiteboard and marker style) that address concepts and ideas in Physics. Great for introducing certain topics. Use them as a model for creating your own, or have students do them as summative projects - don't forget the jazzy bass line. (Have them post to Youtube, and have a mini-film festival!) Ads start each clip.

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
~Rutherford via Einstein? (wikiquote)


The Right Words for Best Search Results

How to improve your Google Search

Tasha Bergson-Michelson offers some suggestions on how to help students focus their seach terms for a more effective Google Search. For younger students, try creating a rebus.



English Class in the 21st-Century

Inquiry & project-based, technology embedded classroom

Shelley Wright shares her experiences using examples from her practice.

"I don't lecture. My students don't take notes, at least not in the traditional sense, and we don't read a novel and simply answer the questions.

It means my classroom is a place where my students spend time piecing together what they have learned, critically evaluating its larger purpose, and reflecting on their own learning. It also means my students don't acquire knowledge just for the sake of acquiring it. They need to do something with it — that's where "project-based" comes into play..."


Write rhymes, with help!

The Rhyme Suggester

A real help for aspiring poets. Type into the text box, and by option-clicking on a word, you get a list of suggested rhyming words. Your finished poem can be downloaded as a txt document to be workshopped further, or printed right from the webpage.


Need a story starter?

Find a starting point for your story.

"Story Starter, Jr." provides 2,340 story starters for kids. Write down the starter line to begin writing your story or... click the button again for a different story idea.  The Story Starter was first created by Joel Heffner in 2003 and continues to be updated with new combinations.

There is also the original StoryStarter with ideas more suitable for older writers. (The link is on the Jr site.)


Google Search Story Creator

Create a "story clip" using search results

Input a number of search strings, specify what resources you want to search (images, web, books, etc), choose a soundtrack, and Google will create a 30 second mini-story that you can share, add to a website or use in class.

Here's where you click to begin:

Some ideas for using this in your classroom


Building his own arm - an inspirational story

Mark Lesek - One of the SearchStories on Youtube

Mark lost his arm several years ago. Now his search for a better prosthetic could improve the lives of amputees everywhere. SearchStories features people who want to make a difference.

See others here:
[LINK to SearchStories]


25 Word Stories - a writing activity with a difference

So what's a 25 word story?
-- and more importantly, why would you want your kids to write them?

The site offers a handout that illustrates this strategy along with some examples. Students could tweet or text their finished products. The stories are also short enough to be added as a comment to a blog post "stem" (ie. "add your 25 word story below"). Blog posts could help separate stories by genre or topic. Students could also post stories to TodaysMeet (via cellphone) as away to share in class, or Edmodo (microblogging).

"A '25-word-story' is a writing style that I first discovered by following Kevin Hogdson -- a really remarkable sixth grade language arts teacher -- in Twitter.  Kevin was regularly writing these incredible stories contained in a single tweet that had a clear beginning, middle and ending.  They were emotional.  They were funny.  They were provocative and they were cool."  


StoryJumper: publish your own children's book.

Quick Picture Book Publishing

Create your own account and start writing. Write a story to illustrate a concept you are trying to teach. Share it "publicly" and use it in your class. Teachers can create a class account and manage student work.

"StoryJumper is a website that allows kids to build their own books. You can easily create cover pages, add text, upload drawings or photos to illustrate your story, and you can use the StoryJumper clipart gallery, too. When you re done, you can order your own professionally published hardback book."

Step-by-step instructions:

================= - Create a Poem with a Pic

Teaching Poetry?

Use Piclits as a way to jumpstart poetry writing. Many great images to choose from. Students can even add their verses to the image, and then download to use on a blog, website or print for a project.


Storyrobe - iOS app

A digital storytelling application

Easy to use. Select pictures from your camera roll, record audio as you advance the pics, then save the final product. Videos are uploaded to the Storyrobe server, but can also be uploaded to Youtube if you have an account. (An email account is needed to share the link.) Only 99¢

"Storyrobe is an exciting new digital storytelling application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Storyrobe lets you tell create digital stories using images and video from your camera or photo library. You can use the built in microphone, or any 3rd party microphone to create audio recordings with photos and videos. Use Storyrobe to tell, share, and add to others stories creating a Storyrobe™. "


Scriveners' Trappings | for teachers of writing

"Aids and resources for writers and teachers of writing"  
Curated by Jim Lerman

Many great links featured here. Writing prompts, video workshops, lesson plans and more.


Clever Public Library campaign fights tax cuts

A library fights back.

"The city of Troy, Michigan was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule tax increase, powerful anti-tax groups in the area were organized against it. A vote was scheduled amongst the city's residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Watch the video."


Science Buddies Website

Comprehensive, scientist-authored tools, tips, and techniques

"Science Buddies empowers K-12 students, parents, and teachers to quickly and easily find free project ideas and help in all areas of science from physics to food science and music to microbiology. Whether your goal is to find a fun science activity for your kids or win the international science fair, puts comprehensive, scientist-authored tools, tips, and techniques at your fingertips."



2011 “School Libraries Matter” Video Competition Winners - OSLA

Short videos on the theme "School Libraries Matter!"

Ontario School Library Association Announces
2011 "School Libraries Matter" Video Competition Winners

"To celebrate Canadian Library Month, which takes place in October of each year, The Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) asked schools from across the province to submit short videos on the theme School Libraries Matter. It gives us great pleasure to announce the four winners of the 2011 Video Competition. All videos were posted by their creators on YouTube."

This could be a fun project for classes to work on - post the winner(s) to your library or school homepage!


Red Cedar and Stellar Titles

Book Contests

(See the latest titles)


Looking for the next title to tackle?

Your Next Read

View titles popular in Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the US. Select your country and start browsing. Or input a title and see what comes up. Choosing a book will generate a web of related titles, along with Amazon reviews.

"While most online book stores proudly offer in excess of 2 million books, browsing and searching for a book without a title or author in mind is very difficult. In fact trying to find new authors is quite a difficult task. We started YourNextRead to make discovering, buying and enjoying a book as simple as finding your next film or band."



Bill Nye - new series - "Stuff happens"

In the Stuff happens with Bill Nye series, Bill Nye examines the everyday stuff of our lives (in 12 different areas) and the far-reaching effects our actions have on the planet.  (intended for gr. 6-12)

There are 3 sets of 4 DVDs of this series.  
(Click the links to preview each of them)


Learning in Hand - Creating Podcasts

Broadcast Yourself or Your Students

"Creating podcasts has many educational benefits. Create a product to share with a potentially world-wide audience! The process of putting together an audio recording is extremely valuable and is certainly a cross-curricular experience. Learn the four steps to creating a podcast: preproduction, recording, postproduction, and publishing."

For step-by-step directions for creating an audio podcast, download this EXCELLENT free 34-page booklet Podcasting for Teachers & Students.


Take students outside - (preview book on line)

Moving the Classroom Outdoors
(Schoolyard enhanced learning)

"Take students outside and invigorate your instruction! Moving the Classroom Outdoors gives teachers of any subject practical activities and tips for schoolyard learning. You'll see dozens of illustrated examples from schools across the country. Preview the entire book online."


Newspapers from around the world?

Bringing the World to your LIbrary

Looking to expose your students to cultures and languages from around the world?
Try browsing these two "newsy" sites for ideas and publications:

[Example: link to papers for Europe]
This site shows you the front pages of newspapers from North America and around the world. By clicking on an image, you can view the website of the newspaper you've chosen, complete with articles from the current day. The front page can be downloaded as a readable PDF, or printed. Consider printing a couple of front pages daily on 11x17 and using them in a display. Maybe students could build a "clippings" box or bulletin board on some world topic. (Print and cut out)

Internet Public Library
Another great selection, including magazines. Links take you directly to the websites of these publications. While most magazines require a subscription, some current content is usually accessible. Some resources will be available in "flippable" digital format. (Consider using an English translation bookmarklet to "read" foreign language papers.)


Learning with the New York Times

The NYT Learning Network Blog

"The Learning Network provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on New York Times content.Teachers can use or adapt our lessons across subject areas and levels. Students can respond to our Opinion questions, take our News Quizzes, learn the Word of the Day, try our Test Yourself questions, complete a Fill-In or read our Poetry Pairings."

Articles, video clips, lessons plans.

"Considering the Future of Reading."


Back of the Bus - Black HIstory Month

Rosa Parks - a bystander's perspective
[Link here] Read this online
Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds

"It seems like any other winter day in Montgomery, Alabama. Mama and child are riding where they're supposed to - way in the back of the bus. The boy passes the time by watching his marble roll up and down the aisle with the motion of the bus, until from way up front a big commotion breaks out."

For more about "", visit this link.


Scholastic "Underground Railway" site

From Slavery to Freedom

Images, text, audio clips, teacher's guide, downloadables. Online and off-line activities.

"Students will travel back to the year 1860 and follow a young slave as he flees a Kentucky plantation for Canada along the Underground Railroad. Along the way, they can read or listen to the runaway slave describe his terrifying journey from slavery to freedom. They'll discover what life was like as a slave, encounter the dangers of the Underground Railroad, meet brave abolitionists who took great risks to help runaways, and compare life in the North and South.

There are four "stops" on this journey, and each one explores a different curriculum theme in American History."



Anti-Racism clips

Use these contest winning clips with your students.

"Racism. Stop it!" is a national video competition sponsored by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The dedication and efforts of the participating students have helped to promote multiculturalism and made a positive contribution to this country. View clips and read transcripts. (French subtitles on the French version of the site.) Great for introducing anti-racism to students (esp Grade 6) - could be a springboard for a school based mini-campaign.