Library Links

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


Musqueam First Nation

 People of the River Grass.

Find out more about the First Nation that gathered, hunted and fished on Lulu Island for generations.

"The Musqueam people have lived in our present location for thousands of years. Our traditional territory once occupied much of what is now Vancouver and surrounding areas. The name Musqueam relates back to the River Grass, the name of the grass is məθkʷəy̓. There is a story that has been passed on from generation to generation that explains how we became known as the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) - People of the River Grass."


Top Apps for PE Teachers – Part 20

Apps from Mr. Robbo – The P.E Geek

So many apps, so little time to wade through them all. Mr. Robbo has culled the iPad applications he thinks have the most potential for PE teachers. This is part 20 of a much longer list. You will find apps for personal fitness, planning and exercise, as well as some that kids will find a blast.


20+ Digital Storytelling Apps

Free apps to help you begin creating digital stories

Shelly Sanchez Terrell offers a list of free apps to explore with students. Lots of potential for creativity here!

Educators now have 100s of fantastic free online tools to help their students create and learn through digital storytelling. Many of these online tools have free apps available on i-devices and Android devices. Through digital storytelling we motivate our learners to apply, contextualize, visualize, and personalize the knowledge they learn. With a mobile device it is hands-on and students can incorporate images, sound-bytes, and videos they create on the go. Below are some great free apps to help you begin creating digital stories with your learners.


New & Notable Sci-Fi/Fantasy | Kirkus Book Reviews

Latest Sci-fi titles!

Read reviews and summaries of some of the hottest new authors. It's a great way to stay on top of the genre.


Finalists Announced for the 2012 Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards

Some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators

"This year's finalists include fantastic stories introducing readers to a 16-year-old Sherlock Holmes; a clever continuation of one pussycat's journey following his visit with the queen; an incredibly moving collection of photos of Afghanistan; a young soldier's harrowing experiences during World War I; and a haven for faeries hidden deep underneath New York City.

"The 2012 Canadian Children's Book Awards will honour the first winner of the new Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, which is sponsored by HarperCollins Canada in memory of the late Monica Hughes.

"The nominated books exemplify some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The Canadian Children's Book Centre is proud to share these titles and the juries' notes with you. Click the link above for the list of finalists for each award, including comments from the juries.



DRAFT Digital Literacy Standards - Ministry of Ed

Grade by Grade Digital Literacy Standards

Take a look at the proposed Digital Literacy Standards for BC Schools. (Leave feedback on the site if you have any observations or suggestions.) The one thing that occurs to me is that we will need the Ministry to create exemptions for K-12 regarding PIPA and FIPPA otherwise teachers will not be able to use any of the Web 2.0 tools that can make this a reality.

'Digital Literacy is "the interest, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital technology and communication tools to access, manage, integrate, analyze and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, create and communicate with others in order to participate effectively in society".


Thousands of expert book reviews - BookVerdict

A powerful collection development resource

"Book Verdict is a home for hundreds of thousands of expert reviews updated on a weekly basis. Browse over 300,000 reviews of books and media from Library Journal, School Library Journal, Horn Book Magazine and Horn Book Guide—including starred reviews, "Best" lists and Junior Library Guild selections—all in one place using this powerful collection development resource.  Using flexible search and filtering tools, users can quickly find exactly what they need, share reviews and lists via email and social media, and even purchase products via online retailers."


ClassRealm - Creative Classroom Management

ClassRealm makes learning a grand adventure!

This new site offers a "game-ified" way to approach classroom management. While not up and running yet (you can sign up for an email notice), I'll be interested to see how successful ClassRealm's implementation is.

"ClassRealm is a customizable classroom management system built on role playing themes. Teachers can use ClassRealm to set up specific goals and achievements for individual students or entire classes, as well as to track student data and progress. Students can earn achievements and experience points by doing a wide array of school related tasks such as doing well on tests, helping others, and reading extra books. Parents can use ClassRealm to follow their child's many adventures online and can even create personalized side quests. ClassRealm makes learning a grand adventure!



An introduction to UDL and online resources

UDL resources organized by the category

Here is the link to a new website developed by SET-BC consultant Paul Hamilton.  This site hosts information about Universal Design for Learning, and it suggests free and low-cost digital tools that facilitate a UDL approach to learning, as well as tools to support learners with access challenges.   (Paul has also included a selection of apps that support reading and writing.)


NoveList Plus - Appeal Factors - Powerful Readers Advisory

How can you "pitch" a book to your readers?

While the audience for this article is the public librarian, many of the ideas will resonate for those of us working in schools.

Find out why certain readers are attracted to a particular kind of book. Learn about the model Joyce Saricks promotes which groups major appeal factors together and applies them to large genre groups: Adrenaline, Intellect, Emotion, and Landscape that can each be applied to a group of genres. Explore a third way to view appeal through what Nancy Pearl calls the doorway method. Pearl suggests that readers enter the world of a book through one of four doorways: Story, Setting, Character, and Language.

This detailed article gives us new vocabulary and additional ways to think about the match between reader and book.


EBSCO Host - Curricular Connections

Books and Ideas to Share with Children, Grades PreK-6, Fall, 2012

Judy Freeman suggests some marvelous picture books that can be used at any age to get students reminiscing and writing about "the carefree days of summer, wishes and wants coming true, overcoming fears, and making something special out of the ordinary."

You might save some titles to use closer to school year-end as anticipation activities, or use them now as the days get shorter and we'd all like a trip to the beach.

For each of the 5 titles Judy lists, she provides a summary and then a series of "small, pithy, useful, do-able ideas to integrate into your own story hours or lesson plans." (ie worksheets, writing prompts, songs, creative drama activities, craft suggestions, or ways to use the book across the school curriculum.)

She also provides a list of related titles, arranged thematically, that you can pull together for units, read-alouds, read-alones, or book discussion sessions, or to hand out to children.


Diving Deep into Canadian Literature: What Is It? | NoveList Blog

What makes a book Canadian?

To answer this question, NoveList staffers recently compiled a set of resources including these helpful articles/books:

  • What is CanLit? (New York Times, August 22, 2006)
  • Canadian Fiction: A Guide to Reading Interests (Libraries Unlimited, 2005)
  • Canadian Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2007)
Armed with those resources, they explored titles ranging from Kamouraska by Anne Hebert to How to be a Canadian by Will and Ian Ferguson. They discussed what makes a book Canadian and how the individual titles fit into the common themes of Canadian literature.

(Perhaps book club members, high school students and English teachers might want to delve further into this topic.)


Challenge Based Learning

A new twist on Inquiry Based learning
Rather than imagining a final project that "might" be doable, or contriving a scenario that seems "almost" like the real thing, why not put all the energy, research and collaboration into helping students solve a real-world problem.

"Challenge Based Learning is an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that encourages learners to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems. Challenge Based Learning is collaborative and hands-on, asking students to work with peers, teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to ask good questions, develop deep subject area knowledge, identify and solve challenges, take action, and share their experience."

You'll find a number of tools on the site, as well as examples of challenges other students are tackling and solutions they have developed.

Book Creator for iPad

An easy way to create ebooks for the iBook app

Let your students get into publishing their own works using an iPad. This app (Book Creator) costs $4.99, which may seem pricey compared to some of the 99 ¢ offerings out there, but you will be impressed by the results.


Create and Print Special Occasion Cards

Quick and Easy Card Creation

"While ecards may be viewed instantly and forgotten over time, printed cards can be saved, cherished and shared for years."

Your students can design and create their own card and print it out to send home. Use the templates provided or upload a unique image. (Get the kids to create their own and personalize the card.) Students can choose from among the many message options and also add their own personal note. Print it out and voila!

Makes for a fun design project.


41 Free Resources for Teaching the 12 Bar Blues

Get your "Blues on" with these resources

Articles, apps, videos and more.

"The 12 bar blues has long been a favourite amongst music educators for teaching form, triads, the blues scale, cyclical chord progressions and music history. Here are some of my favourite online music resources."


Converting YouTube to iPad Video - with iCab Mobile

How to save that Youtube clip on an iPad

Sometimes you need a clip to embed in a slide show, or to show when the wifi is acting up, but streaming capture apps don't play nicely with iOS. One solution might be to try it with a different browser. Here's an idea from TechinMusicEd:

"If you need to convert a YouTube file to an iPad Video you can embed in Keynote, one of the best options is the app iCab Mobile, which is an alternative browser to Safari. By pressing and holding while a YouTube video is playing, you can download it, and the you can later save it to your photo roll."

You will probably want to rename it (hold on the download arrow in the menu bar to access this) and save it in an album so it appears in your photo roll. Very slick.