Library Links

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


Vancouver Kidsbooks - Booklists to browse

See What Kidsbooks is recommending

Kidsbooks has put together some recommended title lists, grouped by topic.

Some examples...

  • Fractured Fairytales
  • Graphic Novels GRADES 3-6
  • young adult dystopian novels
(Don't forget that NoveList, in EBSCO also has great reviews and summaries of a range of titles for different ages.)    

Interesting ways to...integrate tech

Crowdsource Your Tech Ideas

The "Interesting Ways series" is a great example of how crowdsourcing can aggregate good quality classroom ideas.  You will need to log in to Google Docs to view and participate, but this is a great resource!


Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show!

Watch Sylvia build just about anything!

Sylvia, an elementary School aged student from California has created a "Bill Nye" style series of video clips on how to make just about anything. Her videos are good fun to watch, educational to boot, and would be a good model for teachers looking for ways their own students could represent their learning. Use an iPod or iPad to record, and you're on your way.


Library Displays on a Shoestring

Sharing some exciting ideas for displays

Elaine Pearson, the Librarian at Horowhenua College in Levin, New Zealand, created this blog in 2007 as a way of collecting great (and inexpensive) library display ideas that draw in students and promote the books in her collection.

"Gradually other librarians from New Zealand and around the world have shared some of their creativity and together, I hope, we have created a valuable resource.  Being a sole librarian with a limited budget all the displays are designed to be quick, easy and low cost - they do not claim to be great works of creative talent!"


What should educators know about eBooks?

Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education

Author: James Clay
Status: Preview version, available for comments
Report Link: Draft report (PDF)

For those looking to get a better handle on all the various issues related to using eBooks in education, this DRAFT covers the main points. Read the comments below as well, as there are some tweaks that are interesting to follow.

"Specifically, the report: 1) introduces the historical and present context of ebooks; 2) reviews the basics of ebooks; 3) considers scenarios for ebook adoption and usage; 4) addresses current challenges; and 5) considers the future. This report also provides a glossary to help clarify key terms and a 'References' section listing works cited.


Making Every Minute Count in the Literacy Block

100 Minutes - Making Every Minute Count - by Lisa Donohue
(Preview this book online)

"It is possible to create a literacy block where teachers meet with students for guided reading and writing conferences, and provide daily explicit instruction in both reading and writing. A comprehensive look at literacy and learning, 100 Minutes shows teachers how to fit balanced literacy into a daily 100-minute literacy block using a framework of whole-class instruction and writing sessions, combined with independent work.


LiTTech #58: Ebooks Revisited

ALA's eBook Toolkit (podcast)

The content starts after the "Chitchat" at about 5 minutes in.

"Never get librarians started on ebooks. We love them, but we wish they were easier to work with. We hate restrictions and we really hate that we don't own them. Happily, the ALA has put together a nifty Toolkit to help librarians explain their positions without sounding obsessive and scary.

ALA eBook Toolkit:

Trivia versus Power

Let's be clear on exactly how we are using technology in education

"What this means is that every request that a teacher makes of a student to use technology—in or out of class—should include, in addition to the content or curricular-related part, one or more of the following additional requirements as part of the assignment:

  • Determine the most powerful way(s) to use your device to do this.
  • Do the assignment using your device in a new (and powerful) way.
  • Invent a new, technology-based way to do this.
  • Include something technological you've never done before.
  • Use the device to connect in a new way to do the task better.
"It should include, as well, sharing the most interesting thing(s) you find with your teacher and your classmates. In short, every assignment using technology should involve using the technology to innovate.
Yes, every assignment.


Using "Explain Everything" to help with assessment

Download the official Twitter app here

Sent from my iPad
Pad Literacy Project: EE, Evernote, and iTunesU

Some thoughtful use of apps combined with iTunesU. This might also be doable with "Deliver" as a way of transfering files that doesn't require the student to use an email address.

"This user-submitted video is a wonderful example of how to leverage the best aspects of different tools and learning spaces in order to meet teaching, learning, and assessment objects. David Malone highlights using Explain Everything (construction of understanding) as a mediator between iTunes U (starting materials and direct instruction) and Evernote (repository and assessment)."


Literacy in the Digital Age - Resource Links

All the various literacies explained

Kathy Schrock has assembled a comprehensive set of links to help explain the various literacies and show how to support them. Some URLs include tools and lesson plans and cover the following:

  • TRADITIONAL Literacy
  • INFORMATION Literacy
  • VISUAL Literacy
  • CRITICAL Literacy
  • MEDIA Literacy
  • TOOL Literacy
  • DIGITAL Literacy
  • DATA Literacy
  • GLOBAL Literacy
  • ECONOMIC Literacy
  • CIVIC Literacy
  • HEALTH Literacy
  • HISTORICAL Literacy

Fiction for Young Adults - an iTunesU course

Fiction for Young Adults

Check out this collection on iTunes U:

Cover Art

Fiction for Young Adults

David Beagley


iTunes Store
Please note that you have not been added to any email lists.
Copyright © 2012 Apple Canada Inc. All rights reserved

Sent from my iPad
Fiction for Young Adults - by D. Beagley (La Trobe University)

"From Pride and Prejudice to Twilight, Looking for Alibrandi to The Hunger Games, students in this subject will analyse factors affecting the emergence and development of fiction for young adults as a distinctive literature category over the last twenty years. Students will also focus on recent trends in this field, including the development of a range of critical perspectives for interpreting themes, issues and responses to this literature by adults and adolescents.

(Note: the lessons are posted in reverse chronological order.)
These are the audio lectures from the course.



an iTunesU course: Technology in grades 3-5

Technology in K-12 Lesson Plans - 3-5

Check out this collection on iTunes U:

Cover Art

Technology in K-12 Lesson Plans - 3-5

University of South Florida, College of Education

Learning Resources

iTunes Store
Please note that you have not been added to any email lists.
Copyright © 2012 Apple Canada Inc. All rights reserved

Sent from my iPad
"Technology in K-12"  Lesson Ideas for grades  3 to 5
by University of South Florida, College of Education

The podcasts in this collection give examples of projects done for and by Elementary students at the grade 3-5 level.

View ideas for innovative technology practices that teachers can incorporate into their lesson plans in a variety of different subject areas.


A review of "Book Creator" for the iPad

The simple way to create beautiful books

"I liked Book Creator from the start. It's interface is simple and clean and intuitive. After I had played with it for a bit, my daughter picked up my iPad and said, "hey, you're writing a book about me!" since I had happened to use photos of her for my test. I told her she could make her own and she spent the next hour and a half happily placing photos and creating her own book. She asked me for help a couple of times, but mostly, she could figure it out without instructions.

(Get the app: )


Reading with Meaning - preview online

Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades

"In the second edition of Reading with Meaning, Debbie Miller shares her new thinking about comprehension strategy instruction, the gradual release of responsibility instructional model, and planning for student engagement and independence.


Create Trading Cards for People, Places, and Events

Trading Cards App for iPad

"ReadWriteThink's free Trading Cards app allows kids and teens a unique way to share their understanding of various topics, to build study aids for school, or to create their own fictional world of characters.

Create trading cards for any number of categories, including:
• Fictional person• Real person
• Fictional place• Real place• Object
• Event
• Vocabulary word
"Each category has specific guiding questions for creating a dynamic, information-rich trading card. Summarizing skills are critical as they drill down to the most important information to fit on the card. In addition, they become aware of writing for an audience because they can share their cards with others.

Some more ideas for using this app.

Online version (with lesson plans and samples)


"Thanks, Textbooks."

What were they thinking?

We've all had the experience of finding incorrect or just plain odd material in a textbook. This Tumblr site is dedicated to documenting errors, and inadvertently funny information in a range of textbooks.

Good for a chuckle! (And makes a good point about rethinking reliance on a single resource for your class.)



Library on Wheels

Bring the books to the kids

Here's a suggestion from Sandra Carswell, the teacher-librarian at S. C. Lee Junior High, in Copperas Cove, TX.

Do you want to drum up business for your fiction collection? Generate interest in sports titles? or create excitement for Dewey ranges that have languished a bit?  Try putting a bin full of your target books on a cart with a laptop and scanner, and hit the road. Quick booktalks drum up interest for titles, and "speed-dating" the books gives kids a chance to read the back, examine the cover, and flip through. A hand scanner and laptop let you sign out the books "on the spot." Have cart, will travel!



The role of the Teacher-Librarian. What's happening in Ontario School Libraries?

TVO Parents Episode "Do School Libraries Need to Have Books?"

Annie Kidder (People for Education), Paul Kay (TL) and Diane Maliszewski (TL, editor "Teaching Librarian" ) discuss the situation in Ontario school libraries. The first 5 minutes is a great re-cap of the importance and value of the service teacher-librarians provide. There is also an exploration of the growth of digital resources. It is interesting to see Ontario TLs dealing with many of the same issues as TLs in BC.

(The OSLA document "Together for Learning" is referenced a few times.)


25 of the Most Wonderful Book Covers of the Year

Cover Art of YA books for Adults

"In this week's Y.A. for Grownups column, I'm paying special homage to the oft under-applauded but always important art of the books; specifically, the cover art that's appeared on books published for teens and middle-grade audiences this year."

Read other posts from this column here.


Slate book review

Interesting Books of all kinds!

Looking for an interesting title for your adult book club, or something different for yourself? The Slate Book Review offers many fascinating candidates. For those of you familiar with Slate magazine, this section is always thought-provoking.


CK-12 Middle School Math - Grade 6

A supplement to intermediate math?

Here's a downloadable Math text that you might consider to supplement your program. (You will need to create an account - free - to download) Available as a PDF (with links to Flash content), epub (iPad) or mobi (Kindle).

Presents topics including number sense, variable expressions, statistics, decimals (including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), fractions (including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), ratios, proportions, percents, geometric figures, measurement, integers, equations, functions, and probability.


"Wonder" Read-alikes list

Dealing with life and disabilities

There has been a lot of interest in the New York Times bestseller "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio. If your students love it, and want to read more like it, take a look at NoveList. This EBSCO database can bring up read-alike lists for most popular titles. Take a look at these nine "Wonder" read-alikes, selected and annotated by NoveList contributors.


Poetry Mentor Texts - across subject areas

Making Reading and Writing Connections with Poetry, (K-8)

Preview this book online

"Building on the success of Mentor Texts and Nonfiction Mentor Texts, authors Lynne R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli now turn their attention to poetry. In Poetry Mentor Texts, Lynne and Rose show teachers how to use poems in both reading and writing workshops and across content areas. Written in a friendly, conversational tone, this practical book explores a variety of poetic forms, including poems that inspire response, list poems, acrostic poems, persona poems, and poems for two voices—versatile forms of poetry that can be used in every grade."


Using a 'whole novels' approach

Give students an authentic literary experience

Ariel Sacks is a 7th grade English teacher in Brooklyn. She uses a 'whole novels' approach to give her students an authentic literary experience. Her way of teaching novels looks at the narrative as a complete work rather than studying it piecemeal.

"Literary fiction ...seeks to create an immersive experience for the reader, but we ... parcel out books in pieces and ask students to analyze them along the way without the ability to understand a work in its entirety. ... Without the entire context, it lacks meaning and can become frustrating. Imagine walking into a movie theater and finding that the movie is switched off every few minutes. Someone in the front of the room asks questions designed to see if you understand what you are seeing and demands that you analyze the clip in front of the other moviegoers. ... It takes 12 hours to get through the entire feature-length film. If this were the norm, would you ever go to the movies?"



The Open Utopia - an experiment in social reading

Read a classic - with others

I just finished reading an article in the Chronicle by Jennifer Howard (With 'Social Reading,' Books Become Places to Meet). Her article resonates with some of my own thinking. I've been wondering lately if the digital shift to etextbooks and the availability of the "classics" online, means that we can re-imagine what it's like to read a text - and do it socially rather than individually. What if every student in a class could access everyone else's useful marginalia? What if you could see someone else's take on a thorny passage in a novel?

"This digital edition of Utopia is open: open to read, open to copying, open to modification. On this site Utopia is presented in different formats in order to enhance this openness. If the visitor wishes to read Utopia online they can find a copy. If they want to download and copy a version, I've provided links to do so in different formats for different devices. ...Those who like to listen will find a reading of Utopia on audio files, and those who want to watch and look can browse the user-generated galleries of Utopia-themed art and videos. For people interested in creating their own plan of an alternative society, I've created Wikitopia, a wiki with which to collaborate with others in drafting a new Utopia."


12 Christmas Trees Made Out Of Books

Use books from the shelf for holiday cheer

Here are some great pictures of books re-purposed as Christmas trees. While you might not be partial to folding or cutting pages like two of the examples shown, taking books that aren't circulating at the moment and stacking them with lights and ornaments can add a touch of whimsy to your seasonal displays!

(I'm thinking of all those bound National Geographic volumes I had in my previous library.... or even some of the "never consulted" encyclopedia sets!)