Library Links

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


WeGiveBooks - Editor's picks

Books for online reading
"All of the books available for online reading are children's picture books appropriate for children through age ten. There is a mix of fiction and nonfiction, a range of authors, and an equal balance between read-alouds and books for independent readers. We'll be adding news books every month, together with special seasonal offerings."

The editor's picks can be read on any device, including an iPad, without logging in. The rest of the content, for now, requires Flash (Puffin browser on the iPad can do this) and you'll need to login - create a free account using a valid email.

A projector or SmartBoard makes sharing with the whole class easy!


Where's The Octopus? - Science Friday

Camouflage in cephalopods

"When marine biologist Roger Hanlon captured the first scene in this video he started screaming. (If you need to see it again, here's the raw footage.) Hanlon, senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, studies camouflage in cephalopods--squid, cuttlefish and octopus. They are masters of optical illusion. These are some of Hanlon's top video picks of sea creatures going in and out of hiding.



Word Nerds - Preview this Stenhouse Book

Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary
by Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie H. Montgomery, Margot Holmes Smith
"Word Nerds takes you inside classrooms at a high-poverty urban school and shows how two teachers implement creative, flexible vocabulary instruction that improves their students' word knowledge and confidence, enhances classroom community, and increases achievement."

Download the Word Nerds Study Guide in PDF format!
Watch an interview with two of the authors on their local TV station.


The New York Review of Science Fiction! (freebie)

Download issue 300 of the NYRSF

"The New York Review of Science Fiction is 25 years old this month! And as a birthday present to the world, you can download issue 300 completely free in your choice of formats. Issue 300 is designed to be a sampler of all the types of material NYRSF publishes — appreciations of authors both well-known and forgotten; reviews, long and short, of good science fiction, fantasy, and horror books; theatre reviews; personal essays related to fantasy and science fiction as a field; and a vigorous letters column."



Getting Boys to Read

How to engage young male readers?

"While little boys often start out loving to read and loving the library, it's easy to lose them by the time they reach upper elementary school. There are all kinds of explanations why. Boys often gravitate toward nonfiction and librarians and teachers are often fiction lovers; boys see male role models "doing" rather than reading, boys receive negative feedback on the type of reading that does engage their interest, boys may be less verbal and as their reading material advances, they struggle to maintain skills and interest. So how we can engage our young male readers and keep them engaged year after year -- which we know will enrich their lives as well as help them keep up academically in countless ways? .....

Read the article for some great ideas.


Getting Up-to-Speed on a Genre

Use NoveList to "get the goods"
What if someone asks a question about a book you haven't read? or asks you to recommend a book you ahven't seen? or asks you to recommend a children's book? or a romance? Augh!

Read this article to pick up some tips on how NoveList can help you learn about an unfamiliar genre. Use these features: - Genre Outlines, Recommended Reads Lists, Feature Articles, and Advance Search to choose a title. NoveList helps you understand genres so you can the book that's just right for you (and your patrons)!


Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology - online course

Love dinosaurs?
(Watch introductory video on the info page)

Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology is a 12-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of non-avian dinosaurs. Topics covered: anatomy, eating, locomotion, growth, environmental and behavioral adaptations, origins and extinction. Lessons are delivered from museums, fossil-preparation labs and dig sites.


Comic Books and Graphic Novels -online course

Comics have much to teach us
(Watch introductory video on info page.)

"Comic Books and Graphic Novels" presents a survey of the history of American comics and a review of major graphic novels circulating in the U. S. today. It is focused on three main points. First, it argues that as comics develop in concert with, and participate in literary culture, they should be considered literature. Second, it reasons that such a designation forces us to redefine our concept of literature itself. Finally, it explores this transformative literary world by arguing that comics have much to teach us about ourselves.



Teaching With Movies?

Integrate movies into your curriculum

Teach With Movies site is a resource for those wanting to integrate film into their curriculum. Categories include: Snippets & Shorts, all subject areas, Movie Worksheets, and Social Emotional Learning (among others). The Snippets & Shorts offers ways to use popular films to teach concepts in science, history, English, and other subjects. A short review of each film with a mention of problem scenes is a welcome feature.


Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion - TED

The value of "relationship" in education

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level. (7m49s)


Wordless storybooks may mean richer language

The value of wordless picture books

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found that children hear more complex language from parents when they read a storybook with only pictures compared to a picture-vocabulary book. The findings appear in the latest issue of the journal First Language.


CC Search - Images etc. you can use!

From songs and videos to scientific and academic material
If you're looking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is a giant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There are hundreds of millions of works — from songs and videos to scientific and academic material — available to the public for free and legal use under the terms of our copyright licenses, with more being contributed every day.

Note that is not a search engine as such; it uses other search tools to find content labeled CC (You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link and checking the permissions.)


Genius Hour: Passion-Based Learning - webinar

Help students develop their own inquiry question
Classroom 2.0 LIVE webinar: May 18, 2013 (begins at 4m40s)

"Genius Hour is a precious time, loved by all my students. It is when they are allowed to develop their own inquiry question about whatever it is that they want to explore," so says Gallit Zvi (@gallit_z), one of our presenters. Why should you and your students do it? How does this kind of learning inform all we do in the classroom?

Join middle school educators Gallit Zvi, Denise Krebs (@mrsdkrebs), Hugh McDonald (@hughtheteacher), and Joy Kirr (@joykirr), as they share the basic philosophy of Genius Hour (or 20% Time).  You can also find out more on their wiki:


Reader's Theatre ideas and links

Bring text alive with RT

"Readers Theater is readers reading a script adapted from literature, and the audience picturing the action from hearing the script being read aloud.  It requires no sets, costumes, props, or memorized lines.  Instead of acting out literature as in a play, the performer's goal is to read a script aloud effectively, enabling the audience to visualize the action.  Performers bring the text alive by using voice, facial expressions, and some gestures."

Here are some resources to explore:

TLA Texas Bluebonnet Award reading list.
(Every award nominee has a RT script this year. )

Other Reading Theatre resources
Along with many of the kids' magazines in EBSCO, the following three (in HTML only) also have RT articles in many issues.


Library Sparks Archive

Engaging programming ideas

Selected content from previous Library Sparks magazines.

LibrarySparks Magazine is an indispensable resource bursting with fun and engaging programming ideas for today's elementary school and children's librarian. The pages of the magazine are brimming with practical, ready-to-use lessons and activities that are written by readers just like you. In addition, each issue centers on a theme to help keep your programming fresh and inspired.


Pairing up students with "the perfect match"

Speed Dating with Books

LMC Magazine has a good article in the Oct 2012 issue about matching kids to books. The article is for high school, but might work well with your Grade 7s.

"Oooh, book speed dating, I remember that. It was fun!" It made me smile to hear a senior boy pass by and say those words as I was setting up the decorations for a group of freshmen. It's always great to have students think a program is fun, but it's an added bonus when that program gets books into their hands that they really enjoy and actually finish. For our high school, speed dating with books is an effective approach to pairing up students with "the perfect match" of a book! ....