Category Archives: Uncategorized

Take Some Cues from Gilligan: Build a Nation of Readers, Not an Island by Naomi Bates

Take Some Cues from Gilligan: Build a Nation of Readers, Not an Island by Naomi Bates

Nerdy Book Club

Taking a cue from a popular show in the sixties, Gilligan’s Island, I re-wrote the intro to reflect today’s school libraries (so sing it with the music in mind):

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,

A tale of some really good reads,

That started on the very first page

Aboard the library.
You really need to integrate

Technology brave and sure

Soon teens will start to pick up books

Fav books won’t be obscure… Fav books won’t be obscure

Trying to get students to look beyond a textbook and read for pleasure is a situation that occurs frequently in high schools. One librarian vs. many teachers on campus isn’t a well-balanced scale, but it’s not so much the tipping point as much as it is the approach.  Understanding the expectations of academics and being able to integrate pleasure reading into this can be the start of a…

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Top Ten Books to Get Kids Moving by Annie Orsini and Kendra Limback

Top Ten Books to Get Kids Moving by Annie Orsini and Kendra Limback

Nerdy Book Club

Our days typically begin with a run (and end with a book).  Finding time to be physically active with families to love, students to teach, and books to read is an ongoing challenge.  We often find ourselves up at 5:15 a.m. running and, in Kendra’s case, yoga-ing.  Running gives us time to be alone with our profound (and more often trivial) thoughts.  We put our day together and find our focus as our feet pound the pavement.  Sometimes, running lets us laugh and spend time with a friend.  Running makes us stronger and healthier, both mentally and physically.

As we think about our students and their future, we recognize that physical activity is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy minds and healthy bodies are the true goal.  According to Let’s Move, children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day.  Movement during the…

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Expanded library programs pull in young patrons


MASC 363-1 Blog

By Lauren Colie

Local libraries are shaking things up. If you haven’t visited recently, you might have missed how they are updating programs such as summer book lists, storytime and guest visits to encourage children and young adults to visit.

Beth Morris, the Children’s Services Coordinator, said all the programs do relate to a book, but that the programs seek to engage younger audiences with fun.

“We’ve had a pot-bellied pig come in and do a pig story time with us, where the children were able to, you know, really learn about this animal, pet it, give it a couple little treats, watch it do its tricks and then sat down and read a book with them,” Morris said.

Younger guests can use the children’s wing of the library, where noise is permitted—and welcomed. The computers are equipped with educational games, which Morris says helps get kids interested in reading…

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Growing Up Global – Is it changing our students? – the #globalclassroom Chats (May 10/11)


Have been wanting to get this going for a number of years. perhaps now the time has come…..

The Global Classroom Project

Thankyou to @beachcat11 who is helping organise the chats this month, and provided our topic.

“Men often hate each other because they fear each other;

they fear each other because they don’t know each other;

they don’t know each other because they can not communicate;

they can not communicate because they are separated.”

~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

What do you think?

“Global Computer Networking” courtesy of cuteimage /

When I first read these words, I immediately started wondering: Our kids aren’t separated in the same way any more. So will our students’ ability to connect and collaborate on a global scale eventually help to reduce human conflicts and overcome such hate and fear? Will students who regularly communicate and form relationships with students of different cultures and lifestyles become any more tolerant and understanding than those who don’t?

Our students are clearly ‘growing up global’ in a connected…

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What Students Really Need to Hear

What Students Really Need to Hear

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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The Web is Your Oyster: Where to Find Free-to-Use Images

The Web is Your Oyster: Where to Find Free-to-Use Images

always useful to know about more places to find good quality , free images, specially when you are teaching primary students not to copy and paste other’s work.

The Daily Post

For many of you, images are an integral part of your site. But sometimes, you might not have the right photograph to use for a post. As we’ve mentioned before, you can use the Creative Commons to search for images you need across the web, from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons, and source and attribute images that you find.

This spring, announced embed support for Getty Images, which means you can also access and share photos from Getty’s extensive library for non-commercial use.

We’ve recently noticed other sites that compile great images that are free to use for your personal projects — like your blog — or commercial work. Let’s take a peek.

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#WeNeedDiverseBooks in the Classroom!


makes you think about your own choices for the library shelves in your keeping….

The Reading Zone

In recent weeks, there has been a lot talk about the lack of diversity in children’s literature. Then the recent BEA BookCon nonsense in which an all-white male panel of “luminaries” in children’s literature was announced and the outrage was evident very quickly.

Yesterday, my students and I discussed the power of words and the effects our choice of words may have on others.  We are reading Things Fall Apart and The Purple Hibiscus and language plays a powerful role in both books, along with gender roles and expectations.  When I shared the Bookcon panel with my students they immediately realized the power given to a panel labeled as “luminaries”.  We discussed how money talks and that when an all male, white panel is described as luminaries then people will buy their books.  When people only buy books by white men or starring straight, white characters then that is what bookstores will…

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Top Ten Lessons My 4th Graders and I Have Learned from Chapter Books this Year by Suzanne Buhner

Top Ten Lessons My 4th Graders and I Have Learned from Chapter Books this Year by Suzanne Buhner

What a lovely way to distill learning from students …definitely deeper level thinking going on here….

Nerdy Book Club

may 3 post

One day I shared a Top Ten post from this very blog as an introduction to a new unit of study with my fourth grade students. Shortly thereafter my students approached me and asked if we could publish a post regarding the top ten lessons we had learned from the shared readings we engage in daily.  They wanted to let others know how very much they learn from good literature, learnings that cannot be measured on a test or found within a story summary.  Here is our top ten list.  We hope you will be inspired to revisit text you have not read for a while or learn about new text.  We also hope this will serve as a thank you for writing, discussing, sharing, and posting about good literature.  We “hear” you and we are benefitting from your work!

10. Be yourself.  These sage words came from the…

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Ebook Readers Read More


This guy talks about statistics about adult readers and how many books they read each year on average. According to the report he quotes, adults who read ebooks on average read 20 books a year, compared with 15 for readers of traditional print books. How does this tie in with my blog post about ebooks and younger readers? The point from the article was that if an ebook has too many bells and whistles, this can detract from a developing reader making sense of the text. Perhaps these ebooks for adults don’t have the bells and whistles and also adult reader presumably are already competent readers, not to be distracted by a different format. As the guy goes in to say, probably the difference comes about because of ease of access. He suggests that if you finish the 1st book in a series at 12pm, you can go online and buy the next, right there and then, and not have to wait for the library or bookstore to open, when you are not working. This makes sense to me. It is a reminder that ebooks are changing the face of reading right here and now.

At the BookShelf

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