Library Links

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


DRAFT of Digital Literacy Framework on CEET

What digitally literate students should understand and be able to do.

The Digital Literacy Framework provides educators with a sense of what digitally literate students should understand and be able to do.

The intent is to help educators integrate technology and digital literacy-related activities into their classroom practice and to provide some basis for the development of assessment tools for the digital literacy competencies. (Compiled from CommonSense Media's "K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum" document and the European Commission's "Online Consultation on Experts' Views on Digital Competence".)
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The magic of Vedic math - Gaurav Tekriwal

The magic of Vedic math.

"There is more than one way to reach a correct answer in mathematics. Vedic math, an ancient Indian method, sidesteps traditional computations in a manner that provides a shortcut, while being fun to use and to learn. At TEDYouth 2012, to ooh's and aah's from the amazed crowd, Gaurav Tekriwal demonstrates the magic of Vedic math."


NFB Space School Takes Off April 22 | blog

Do you love science, space and all things astronaut?

"Starting April 22, the NFB is inviting all kids aged 11-15 to grab front row seats to Chris Hadfield's historic mission as the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station (ISS) with NFB Space School, a brand-new interactive experience designed just for them. (featuring exclusive footage of Chris Hadfield, interactive videos and quizzes.) Shortly thereafter, more modules on subjects such as astronomy, history and astrobiology will be added to the site."


AudioFile - The Great Gatsby

Books anytime, anywhere

Special on the Great Gatsby audiobook on
Use the promo code on the site for a free download of this title. If you want to explore audiobooks, take a look at this vendor. (You can order CDs or download as mp3 or iTunes compatible files) Lots of selection and regular specials.


The Poem Farm | growing poetry and lessons for all ages...

A tasty collection of poetry

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is a writer and teacher living on Heart Rock Farm (The Poem Farm) in Holland, NY. She writes the Poetry Farm Blog - a tremendous resource for teaching and sharing poetry with kids.

Find poems she has written by topic or by technique


MentorMab - Online Learning Games And Activities For Kids

Drag and drop ed games.

Lots of click and "drag-and-drop" activities that would work well on an IWB. (Some ads on some games)

"At our site, we have hundreds of free, online, educational games for kids. But anyone interested in online learning can use our site - we have so many subjects - (geography, math, animals, science) and  many levels, games and activities for learners of any age."


History Pin - Canada'a History comes alive

Help build an online photo scrapbook of your town

This could be a fun and informative project for a Socials class. There is also a great teacher resource page and a video clip explaining how it all works.

History Pin is an award-winning new project from the non-profit company We Are What We Do. This online collection contains historical photos that are "pinned" to their geographical location and then overlaid with their modern images utilizing Google Street View technology. History Pin has partnered with several large museums and archives to begin their collection, but users can also upload their photos, write stories and create collections and theme tours.



I Can Read! - for young readers

Tips for Helping Young Readers Transition from Picture Books

Kathy Stewart offers ideas for teachers and parents who want to help their younger readers transition from picture books to chapter books. It is after all a very big deal! It is a "young reader's equivalent of going from the minor leagues in baseball to the majors, or moving up from understudy to leading lady." Kathy presents some tips to keep in mind and a short selection of recommendations to help the process along.


Graphic Novels: Setting the Stage for Summer Reading Fun

Fun, well-crafted, exciting graphic novels

NoveList features graphic novel recommended reading lists on a variety of subjects and genres. This article also includes some recommended titles for various age groups.

"Many parents worry about making sure their kids are reading the "right" books over the summer. To those parents, graphic novels don't seem to be real reading at all, but mere fluff. Here are some tips for responding to common parental concerns about graphic novels to help you bridge that gap between what parents want their kids to read and what kids themselves are eager to pick up."


A teacher's guide to using “novels in verse”

An excellent prelude to the study of traditional poetry
[LINK to PDF teacher's guide] by Random House

Using novels in verse? Want some ideas and activities and titles?

"The relatively new trend of "novels in verse" opens up a new reading experience for students. All of the elements of story are there for them to embrace. Yet, the poetic form in which these novels are written calls upon the reader to participate in a much more intimate way than when they are reading prose.

"Using novels in verse with young adults is an excellent prelude to the study of traditional poetry. Once students are comfortable with the free verse form that appeals to their own senses, then they are more ready to explore the language of more conventional styles of poetry.


The Canadian Encyclopedia in the Classroom

A comprehensive and authoritative Canadian reference work

"The Canadian Encyclopedia and its related resources present the most comprehensive and authoritative general Canadian reference work available for students and teachers simply looking for verification of facts, or seeking broader descriptions, interpretations and ideas of all things Canadian. The many quizzes, games, links to other resources or the vast storehouse of multimedia are all appropriate for use in the classroom. (Owing to its support by Canadian Heritage and by the Historica Foundation, The Canadian Encyclopedia is available free of charge.)


TED-Ed on YouTube - curated educational videos

Video collaborations between educators and animators

Find an animated short clip for your classes

"TED-Ed's Original videos aim to capture and amplify the voices of the world's greatest educators. Within the growing TED-Ed video library, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators. We post a new TED-Ed lesson every day, Monday-Friday, and highlight useful educational TED Talks on the weekends."



Frequently challenged books of the 21st century | American Library Association

Challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

Books challenged in US public libraries and schools. How many books do you recognize?

"Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools.

"A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported.


Your Lesson's First Five Minutes: Make Them Grand

Ways of beginning lessons to make them grand

Teachers are best served by following the example of television shows that often make the first five minutes the best of the show so the audience won't change the channel. Great writers write so you will turn the page and not put the book down. Here are three of my favorite ways of beginning lessons to make them grand. Most of you already do some of these sometime, but I suggest that you do more of them more often.



IPads in the classroom: The right way to use them, demonstrated by a Swiss school

Capture students' experiences in school

What does lesson-changing iPad use look like?

"Teachers I talked to seemed uninterested, almost dismissive, of animations and gamelike apps. Instead, the tablets were intended to be used as video cameras, audio recorders, and multimedia notebooks of individual students' creations. The teachers cared most about how the devices could capture moments that told stories about their students' experiences in school. Instead of focusing on what was coming out of the iPad, they were focused on what was going into it."


Teaching Shakespeare In High School: Writing Soliloquies

Teaching Twelfth Night

Sarah Brown Wessling, English Language Arts teacher in Johnston, Iowa discusses how she led a "soliloguy writing exercise" with her high school students.

  • How does Ms. Wessling prepare students for writing soliloquies?
  • How does personifying love affect how students analyze the text?
  • How does Ms. Wessling encourage active participation from audience members?

Library Transformation | the Commons

A rapidly changing knowledge landscape

More about the Learning Commons mouvement from the BCLA:

"This site is an attempt to gather information, resources and discussion to help libraries of all kinds, public, school, post secondary or specialty, meet the needs of a rapidly changing knowledge landscape.

"Transformation isn't new computers, more staff or an exciting new program.
Transforming libraries is changing minds about what libraries can do. First our own, then our partners, then our communities. It's about making sure that what we change is anchored in the needs of those we serve. It's about ensuring that the changes we make do what we wanted.


More Than Listening Centers: Using Audio Books in Literacy Instruction

Scaffold students' reading experiences

"Using audio recordings to support the reading of multicultural literature also enriches the reading experience in several other useful ways besides helping the students deal with dialects. Some of the recordings include music and sound effects.... Audio books mediate and scaffold students' reading experiences of books from other cultures. The benefits extend to other books featuring that culture."


Clarity Through Brevity: Integrating Six-Word Memoirs

Try describing yourself in six words.

"At its core, the six-word memoir teaches us to be concise but also introspective. Try describing yourself in six words. Not easy, right? So, for English teachers, the six-word memoir is a great way to get students to focus on getting a point across in as few words as possible. Students have to choose words precisely since they can't waste any. The six-word memoir teaches all of us writers a critical skill: words are valuable and have meaning -- don't waste them."


What do teacher-librarians do?

27 things your TL does...
See how many you can check off! "Advocates, locates, engages, knows, extends, collaborates, provides....." Maybe we should be printing posters! (Thanks Val Martineau for pointing me to this infographic.)


Results of UK All-Party Parliamentary Reading Commission

Boys' underachievement in reading is a significant concern for UK

Exerpt from recommendations:

"All schools should have a library at their heart. The school librarian has an important role to play in enthusing teachers with a knowledge of reading materials. However, primary school libraries are infrequently staffed and school library services are closing. Even in secondary schools a minority of school libraries have a qualified librarian... The aim is to create a national network of school librarians, schools library services and public librarians coordinated through the proposed Cultural Learning Hubs."

Nine Recommendations to Government
  • 1. Schools should have access to an evidence framework to inform effective practice in supporting boys' reading.
  • 2. Every child should be supported by their school in developing as a reader.
  • 3. Every teacher should have an up-to-date knowledge of reading materials that will appeal to disengaged boys.
  • 4. Parents need to able to access information on how successful schools are in supporting boys' literacy.
  • 5. Libraries should target children (particularly boys) who are least likely to be supported in their reading at home.
  • 6. Social marketing and behavioural insight need to be deployed to encourage parents to support the literacy of their children – especially boys.
  • 7. Every boy should have weekly support from a male reading role model.
  • 8. Parenting initiatives must specifically support literacy and fathers.
  • 9. A cross-government approach to literacy needs to be developed and coordinated.