Tuesday, December 18, 2012

60 Titles for Reluctant Readers K-4

This is a follow-up post to books for reluctant middle school readers.  The last of these posts will cover grades 9-12. You can download a copy of the list below HERE.

The Adventures of Taxi Dog- Debra Barracca

Bad Kitty Books- Nick Bruel

The Berenstain Bears- Stan and Jan Berenstain

Clifford Books-Norman Bridwell

Corduroy Books- Don Freeman

Curious George Books- H.A. Ray

Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten! The Story of Little Red Riding Hood as Told by the Wolf- Trisha Speed Shashkan

I Spy Books- Jean Marzollo

Knuffle Bunny- Mo Willems

No, David!- David Shannon

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses- Ian Falconer

Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?

Dr. Seuss Books

The Polar Express- Chris Van Allsburg

The Three Ninja Pigs- Corey Rosen Schwartz

Where the Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

Where's Waldo Books- Martin Handford

Arthur- Marc Brown

The Big Field- by Mike Lupica

Big Nate Series- Lincoln Peirce

Boxcar Children Series- Gertrude Chandler

Amber Brown Series- Paula Danziger

The Baseball Card Adventures- Dan Gutman

Brian's Winter- Gary Paulsen

Bunnicula Series- James Howe

Cam Jansen Series- David Adler

Captain Underpants Collection- Dav Pilky

The Chet Gecko Mysteries- Bruce Hale

Mr. Chickee's Funny Money- Christopher Paul Curtis

The Cricket in Times Square- George Selden

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series- Jeff Kinney

Encyclopedia Brown Series- Donald J. Sobol

Fantastic Mr. Fox- Roald Dahl

Flat Stanley Collection- Jeff Brown

Freckle Juice- Judy Blume

Frindle- Andrew Clements

Frog and Toad Series- Arnold Lobel

Goosebumps Series- R.L. Stine

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup- Sharon Creech

James and the Giant Peach- Roald Dahl

Judy Moody Series- Megan McDonald

Junie B. Jones Books- Barbara Park

The Kids of the Polk Street School Series- Patricia Reilly Giff

Lawn Boy- Gary Paulsen

Lunch Money- Andrew Clements

The Magic School Bus Series- Joanna  Cole

Magic Tree House Series- Mary Pope Osborne

Matt Christopher's Sports Series

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane- Kate DiCamillo

My Teacher is an Alien- Bruce Coville

The Ralph Mouse Collection- Beverly Cleary

Ribsy- Beverly Cleary

Shiloh- Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Sideways Stories from Wayside School- Louis Sachar

Skinny-Bones- Barbara Park

Stuart Little- E.B. White

Superfudge- Judy Blume

The Twits- Roald Dahl

My Weird School Daze Series- Dan Gutman

Wonder- R.J. Palacio

Sunday, December 16, 2012

30 Resources to Help Our Children Cope with Tragedies

 There are no words I can say about what happened in Newtown, Connecticut without getting on my soapbox about gun control. This madness has to end. (Here is a timeline of worldwide school shootings and mass shootings since 1996.) As teachers, we go through lock-down drills on a regular basis, praying that we will never have a real life and death situation. If not for those practice drills, teachers in Newtown would not have known what to do on Friday. Angela Maiers posted "There is No Lesson Plan for Tragedy-Teachers YOU Know What to Do" on her blog. It is a must-read. My heart is so heavy and I have been asking "why" just like everyone else. I am anxious about going to work tomorrow, not because I don't feel safe, but because I'm worried about our kids and how they have reacted to Friday's massacre. Here are resources to aid you and to aid parents in helping kids deal with the violence.

10 Tips to Help Your Kids Deal with Violence- from Parenting Press 

10 Ways to Put Brakes on Mass Shootings in Schools- from CNN

10 Ways to Talk to Students About Sensitive Issues in the News- New York Times guest post

Checklist to Help Prevent Violence in Schools
- 10 things you can do 

Columbine Legacy: Schools Safer?- from CBS News

Dealing with Tragedy: Tips and Resources for Teachers and Parents

Discussing Hate and Violence with Your Children- from the National PTA 

Hello Grief- "a place to share about grief and loss"

Helping Children Cope with Tragic Events
- many sources from Share My Lesson 

Helping Kids Cope with Violence in the News- child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Bob Hilt gives advice in a video

Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of School Shootings- from the American Psychological Association

How to Talk to Kids About a School Shooting

How to Talk to Kids About Violence- 2011 article from the Washington Post

No Lesson Plan for Tragedy- from Teaching Tolerance, this was written 5 years after Columbine

Preparing for the Worst Case Scenario- written by Kristopher Sill

School Violence and the News- from Kids' Health 

Six Lessons from the Horrors of a School Shooting- from Dr. Michele Borba, Education Consultant

Taking Aim at Violence in Schools- New York Times Learning Network lesson plan

Talking and Teaching About the
Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut
- resources from the New York Times Learning Network

Talking to Children About Violence from the NASP (National Association of School Psychologists)

Talking to Kids About School Violence- downloadable PDF files cover guidelines for schools, recognizing when children need help, caring for kids after trauma, disaster and death

Talking with Kids About News- from PBS parents

TeacherVision Resources on School Violence

TeachersFirst Resources for School Violence-  10 resource links

Tragic Events in the News- The late Mister Rogers on video with advice on this page to aid parents

Tips for Talking to Children About the Shooting- from the New York Times health section

Unspeakable Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary- from Edutopia; many links from Edutopia and other sites listed

Friday, December 14, 2012

Reluctant Readers in Your School? Middle School Students Will Enjoy These 56 Titles

I admit it. As a child, I really didn't enjoy reading. The one time it was fun was when my dad would read with me before bedtime. I had chosen the story (the last one I remember was Nobody's Boy- French version here ) and over the course of many weeks read together. It was a wonderful bonding experience for me. Do parents today have time to read with their kids, or do they place them in front of the TV or computer to "entertain" them? Here's a great quote about books: "There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book."- Frank Serafini

Author James Patterson began writing books for young kids when he found that his son didn't like to read. There a a few series books by now: Witch and Wizard, Maximum Ride, Daniel X and Middle School. Students in my school who didn't enjoy reading are checking out these books every day. I thought that a list of book suggestions for reluctant readers would be very helpful, so read on...... today's books are for grades 5-8, depending on the student's reading level. I'll be covering K-4 and 9-12 in the next few postings. You can download today's list here.

The Absolutely Amazing Adventures of Auggie Spinoza- Steven Stickler

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian- Sherman Alexie

After Eli- Rebecca Rupp

Al Capone Does My Shirts
- Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Shines My Shoes- Gennifer Choldenko

Artemis Fowl Series- Eon Colfer

Bad Island (Graphic Novel) - Doug Tennapel

The Batboy
- Mike Lupica

The Black Stone Prophecy- Alex Baj

Bud, Not Buddy- Christopher Paul Curtis

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit -Tom Greenwald

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading -Tom Greenwald

Chomp- Carl Hiaasen

Comeback Kids Series- Mike Lupica

Crispin: The Cross of Lead- Avi

Crossing the Wire- Will Hobbs

The Cruisers (3 books)- Walter Dean Myers

Crush: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Love - Gary Paulson

Daniel X Series- James Patterson

The Dawn Patrol- Don Winslow

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series -Jeff Kinney

Dork Diaries Books- Rachel Renee Russell

The Encyclopedia of Me- Karen Rivers

Flipped- Wendelin Van Draanen

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making- Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There- Catherynne M. Valente

The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman 

Grey Griffins Series- Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis

Holes- Louis Sachar

Hoops- Walter Dean Myers

Hoot- Carl Hiaasen

I Funny: A Middle School Story- James Paterson

Island of Thieves- Josh Lacey

Joey Pigza Books- Jack Gantos

Journal of a Schoolyard Bully: Notes on Nooglies, Wet Willies,  and Wedgies -Farley Katz

The Kill Order- James Dashner

Liar and Spy- Rebecca Stead

Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom and the Challenges of Bad Hair- C.C. Payne

Maniac Magee- Jerry Spinelli

Maximum Ride Series- James Patterson

The Maze Runner Books- James Dashner

Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!- James Patterson

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life- James Patterson

My Life as a Stuntboy- Janet Tashjian

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World- E.L. Konigsburg

NERDS Books- Michael Buckley

Peak- Roland Smith

Percy Jackson Series- Rick Riordan

Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief- David Jarrett

See You at Harry's- Jo Knowles

A Series of Unfortunate Events Series- Lemony Snicket

Stickman Odyssey, Book 1: An Epic Doodle- Christopher Ford

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea- Ellis Weiner

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963- Christopher Paul Curtis

The Wish List- Eon Colfer

Witch and Wizard Series- James Patterson

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

54 Resources for Civics Teachers


The Bill of Rights

Celebrate Bill of Rights Day- list of resources

Congress for Kids: The Constitution

The Constitution- from Ben's Guide to Government

Constitution Clips- from C-Span Classroom; register on the site for free

The Constitution for Grades 4-7

The Constitution for Grades 8-12

Constitution Day Lessons  and Resources- Education World

The Constitution of the United States

Mr. Donn's Government Resources

The Signers of the Constitution- from the National Archives

Interactive Games
The Bill of Rights Game- interactive

Constitution Duel- interactive game; knowledge duel

The Constitutional Convention of 1787- interactive game

Constitution Relay Game

The First Amendment Game- interactive

Interactive Constitution

Life Without the Bill of Rights-interactive game
Lesson Plans
The Constitution: Drafting a More Perfect Union- from the Library of Congress; grades 9-12

Constitution Lesson Plans- by grade level (all covered)

Constitution Day Lesson Plan- from iCivics

It's My Right- grades 6-8

No Time for Tea- grades 3-5

Private v. Public Rights- grades 9-12

Teaching Six Big Ideas in the Constitution- from the National Archives
We the People- lesson plan from Discovery Education

Ben's Guide to Government for Kids- by grade level; resources for teachers

Congress for Kids

The Executive Branch 

Government Resources- from the Library of Congress' Thomas

How Does Government Affect Me?- from PBS' The Democracy Project

Legislative Branch

NeoK12- different grade level videos

United States House of Representitives

United States Senate

The White House Official Site

Interactive Games
Activate- campaign for an issue

Branches of Government

Cast Your Vote- choose questions for your candidates to debate

Immigration Nation- guide newcomers to citizenship

Supreme Court History Interactives- nine interactives for high school students

U.S. Government Games and Activities- for younger kids

We The Jury- iCivics has provided many interactive games

Lesson Plans
Civics and Government Lesson Plans- from the Library of Congress

Foundations of Government- from iCivics

Government Lesson Plans- from Kids.gov

How Our Laws are Made- terrific infographic

TeacherVision's Lesson Plans on Government

TeAchnology's Government Lesson Plans

Three Branches of Government: Interactive Teaching Unit- grades 5-8

Civics Clip Art
Google Image Search- large images for printing

Scholastic- 22 images

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Edmodo's Update Looks More Like Facebook!

A while back, I did a posting about 35 Social Networking Programs Other Than Facebook and Twitter. The program that still stands out as the best is Edmodo, which recently upgraded its appearance. It now looks even more like Facebook, and your students will enjoy using it for that reason alone. Edmodo offers you and your class a private social network, where you can have class discussions or message students privately. 
I love Edmodo's version of the "like" button in Facebook:
 If you haven't looked at Edmodo, you're missing a really wonderful free program.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Edublog Voting Begins Today!

Voting began today for the 2012 Edublog Awards and will continue until December 12th. This is the third year that I was nominated, and I am very thankful for the support which I have received from my readers and followers. You can vote here by selecting the category you wish to vote in.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Have You Tried TED ED? Here Are 6 Sample Videos

If you haven't taken a look at TED-Ed, you are missing a wonderful resource for your classes. With 11 subject categories, each video comes with multiple choice and short answer questions, resources about the video 's subject, information on the creator of the video and the ability to flip the lesson. Take the TED-Ed tour here.

1. DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY: How Inventions Change History (for better or worse)

2. HEALTH: How Breathing Works

3. MATHEMATICS: Logarithms, Explained

4. PSYCHOLOGY: Rethinking Thinking

5. SCIENCE: How Do Nerves Work?

6. SOCIAL STUDIES: Why Do Americans Vote on Tuesdays?

The Holiday Listing from September to June

 In August of 2011, I posted a mega-listing of resources for holidays from September to June. Since Chanukah, Kwanza and Christmas are right around the corner, I want to remind you to bookmark this post so you'll have it close by all school year.

Have I missed a day? Please let me know and I'll post resources for that day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My 2012 Edublog Nominations

Here are my 2012 nominations for the Edublog Awards:

Administrator Blog- A Principal's Reflections

Free Web Tool-Google Apps for Education

Individual Blog- Free Technology For Teachers

EdTech Blog- Educational Technology Guy

Librarian Blog- The Daring Librarian

Individual Tweeter- Steven Anderson's Web 2.0 Classroom

Lifetime Achievement- Larry Ferlazzo

340+ Sites with Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts for the iPad

A while back I did a post on 39 Sites for Using iPads in the Classroom. It has become my most popular post so far, so I decided to look into tips, shortcuts and tricks for the iPad. There are  many sites devoted to the most popular tablet in the world, so it is quite possible that you'll find duplicates on some of these lists:

9 Fun iPad Tricks 

10 Useful Apple iPad Tips and Tricks- from Mashable

11 Tricks for iPhone, iPad and iPod Earphones

17 iPad Tips and Tricks:

32 iPad Tips and Tricks
- from PC Magazine

40+ Super Secret iPad Features and Shortcuts

50 Really Useful iPad 2 Tips and Tricks- from a great site, Apps in Education; you should bookmark this site!

100 iPad  Tips and Tricks- this pdf download has a table of contents so you can see what's inside

Setting Up Shortcuts for iPhone and iPad:

Seven iPad Keyboard Tricks- from Macworld:

The Best iPad Tips and Tricks
- from Gizmo's Freeware, this site has a great quick select index to find tips

The Complete List of iPad Tips, Tricks and Tutorials- about 55 on this site from How to Geek.

Ten Tips and Tricks Every iPhone and iPad User Should Know- from the Wall Street Journal

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Resources to Share With Your Parents

 I have just finished updating our school's library website with a new section for parents. Here are the 20 sites I shared with them:

About Our Kids- information on mental health for children; resources for parents & professionals, this site is sponsored by the NYU Child Study Center

EmTech- extensive listing of resources for parents

Family Education Network- contains news and articles on all topics; also includes an Idea Exchange area

Family Fun- articles on crafts, cooking, planning parties, traveling etc.

Help and Hope for Single Parents

Help for Parents of Teenagers

Inside the Teenager's Brain- from the PBS program Frontline

Making Lemonade: The Single Parent Network

Mothering Magazine- the magazine of natural family living

New Jersey Cares About Bullying- how to end bullying and how adults can help

ParenTalk Newsletter (pre-teen years)- many issues covered here, from mental development to school issues, physical development, behavior and emotion

Parenthood- online encyclopedia of parenting topics

Parenting Adolescents- award winning site; ask a social worker questions

Parenting at iVillage- ages 15-18

Parents and Teens- from a Christian perspective

Parents Without Partners- international, non-profit organization

What Works- ideas from parents

Monday, November 19, 2012

Talk About Your Tech.....Please

Last week I posted a request from those of you who have great technology plans in your districts. If you have a moment, please fill out the form here to help out my district. THANK YOU!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Looking For Schools with Great Tech Plans

Does your school have a great tech plan in place? If so, I could really use your assistance. As a member of our district's technology committee, I have been asked to research several things for our district. So...if you're using tablets, have a great Internet provider etc. please take a few minutes to answer and submit the form below.

Thank you so much for your input! It is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's Time for the Edublog Award Nominations!

Nominations for the 2012 Edublog Awards are open and will be accepted until November 26, 2012.  The purpose of these awards is to "promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media."  Here's how to nominate: write a post on your blog with your nominations and send a link to the post on the nominations page. Here are the categories for this year's awards:

  • Best individual blog
  • Best group blog
  • Best new blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best library / librarian blog
  • Best administrator blog
  • Most influential blog post
  • Best individual tweeter
  • Best twitter hashtag
  • Best free web tool
  • Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast
  • Best educational wiki
  • Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
  • Best educational use of a social network
  • Best mobile app
  • Lifetime achievement

Friday, November 9, 2012

What I Realized After Sandy Came to Town

Greetings from Bergen County, New Jersey, 12 days since Hurricane Sandy swept through this part of the United States and changed the lives of people forever. After missing 7 days of school, we are here on November 9th, which should have been the second day of the N.J. Educator's Association's yearly convention in Atlantic City. Many of my colleagues and students were directly affected by the storm; some losing their cars and some losing everything they owned. I realized how important social media was in helping us communicate with one another. If you owned a smartphone and found power to recharge, you could check email, Facebook, or Twitter. Schools which utilized social media were able to get the word out about closings, delayed openings and clothing drives for those in need. Our school does not use Twitter or Facebook, but check the links if you want to introduce social media into your school.

With so many people still living without power, I once again pondered how great it would be if we didn't have to rely on the oil and power companies the way we do.The recent gas lines in the New York metropolitan area reminded me of the '70s, waiting for the correct day (odd or even) depending on the last number on your license plate.  What about the electric companies? Alternative energies have been around for a while, yet why don't we harness them?  News reports are now saying that some may people will not see the light at the end of the tunnel until 2013, because an electrician has to inspect their home and make sure it is safe to turn on the power. (To donate to the Red Cross, click the image on the top right of this page.) How do your students feel about alternative energies? Here are 28 places to start your lesson plan:

K-12 Energy Lesson Plans and Activities- U.S. government site

About Hydropower

Adventures in Energy-a look at oil and gas (interactive)

Alternative Energy- solutions for the 21st century

Alternative Energy News- news and resources

Department of Energy- covers all types of alternative energies, including hydrogen, solar, wind

Energy From the Sun Teacher and Student Guides- seven lessons for grades K-4

Energy Fueling the Future- this site is from the UK; take one of their quizzes and see how much you know about energy

Energy Kids- wind, solar energy

The Energy Story
- read the twenty chapter story online

Geothermal Energy- from the Geothermal Education Office

Harness the Power of Wind- from National Geographic

National Science Digital Library Ocean Wave Energy Company

New York Times Article on Solar Energy

Solar Electric Power Association- harness the power of the sun!

Solar Energy Lesson Plans- listed by grade level

Solar Energy Videos- from NeoK12

Solar Lesson Plans- divided by grade level

Solar Energy Basics- from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Treehugger- archived news articles about alternative energy

Wind Energy Basics- from the U.S. government

Wave Power

Wind Energy Curricula and Teaching Materials- from the U.S. Department of Energy; nice listing of links

Wind Energy Curriculum for K-12

(This listing will be added to the "Science" page)

Monday, October 29, 2012

UPDATES are Ongoing

Many posts are added to the pages listed at the top of this blog. For example, today's post on hurricanes can also be found on the Science page. SO.......check back often and use the pages or the search box (left column) to find what you are looking for on the blog.  Thank you for your continued support!

Using Fake Tweet Builder in Your Classroom

Thank you to history teacher Ken Halla for sharing this tool on his blog.  A colleague of his set up an assignment here using Fake Tweet Builder, asking his students what Stalin and Hitler would tweet to each other if Twitter existed back then.  You don't have to be a history teacher to take advantage of this terrific tool. For example, language arts teachers could use Fake Tweet Builder when students discuss various authors. 

27 Sites with Information About Hurricanes

As I sit here on the first of two days off because of an impending hurricane named Sandy, I thought I create a post or two in case I lose power. (I'd rather lose TV, phone and Internet than power!) It seems surreal that in the New York area we are living through what people in Florida are used to: hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding etc. But the reality is that Sandy means business and the gusting winds happening right now are only a prelude of what's to come. To those of you who are in the "eye of the storm", stay safe.

A to Z Teacher Stuff- small list of lessons about hurricanes

Apps for Tracking Hurricanes- nice listing of apps available in the iTunes store; most $$, some free

BrainPop- video on hurricanes (younger kids)

Editors' Choices from Education World- best books to teach about hurricanes

FEMA Site- steps to prepare for a hurricane; kids site here.

Horrific Hurricanes

How Hurricanes Work- from How Stuff Works; includes quiz, video

How Names are Chosen- includes listing of names to 2017

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank- "Launched in 2005, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita." 

Hurricane Facts and Figures- from the St. Petersburg Times; includes hurricane gallery 

Hurricane Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities- from Education World

Hurricane Tracker- from weather.com

Hurricane Tracking Activity- from Enchanted Learning

Hurricanes- page includes graphs, maps

Make a Hurricane Spiral- for younger students; three hurricane spirals to cut out

Make Your Own Tracking Map- printable black and white map of the eastern United States

Miami Museum of Science Teacher Resources- a lot here in a friendly user interface

National Hurricane Center- forecasts, tools, podcasts

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale- explains each level in detail

Scholastic.com : Severe Weather and Natural Disasters- site includes quiz

Severe Weather: Hurricanes

Student Hurricane Activities- choose from 10 activities, including a crossword puzzle, quiz and word find

Teacher Guide to Hurricanes and Tornadoes- from TeAchnology; 

WatchKnowLearn- 68 videos about hurricanes; covers ages 7-18 (each one labeled for age)

Weather Coloring Books for Kids- includes downloadable posters, videos, more

Weather Wiz Kids- images, diagrams, list of hurricane names

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's Your Blood Type?

The Blood Typing Game is an interactive activity where students try to detect the blood type of various patients. After choosing a patient, you are asked to use a syringe and take blood which you then put into three vials. Guessing the patient's blood type is the final step. The Blood Typing Game was the 2012 Winner of the Best Game Category by Swedish Learning Awards. Students will really enjoy this game, which was recommended to me by my colleague Pat, who teaches biology.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Trusted Online Source: Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life is a terrific online resource with "information and pictures of all species known to science". Search an animal's name and several tabs are made available, including the overview, details, outside resources on that topic, classifications and names for the animal and so much more. If you are a biology teacher, this is a site you should bookmark for your students.

Refraction: A Math Game About Fractions

With support from University of Washington Center for Game Science, DARPA, Gates Foundation, NSF, Adobe, Microsoft and Intel, Refraction was created to teach fractions. According to the website, "In Refraction, the player must partition lasers in order to power spaceships containing various animals who have gotten stuck in space, as shown in the picture. These animal spaceships all require different fractions of the lasers, and the player is given several pieces that split and bend the lasers to reach the animals and satisfy these requirements".  Refraction won the Best in Show Award in the 2010 Learning Challenge, which was sponsored by Disney Research. Below is a description of the program.


10 Websites to Create Monsters and Creatures

With Halloween arriving next week, I thought it would be great to share some sites where students could create their own monsters and creatures. Teachers can turn the project into a creative writing experience by having the kids write stories about their monsters. You can find a huge listing of other holidays from September to June here on this blog. 

Thank you to my colleague Norma for telling me about the resources!

Alien: Assembly Required- for younger kids; part of the Arthur site

Goosebumps Monster Maker- based on the R.L. Stine series Goosebumps, students drag and drop body parts to create their own monsters.

Make a Monster- simple interface for younger kids

Me Make Monster- easy to use; share or save the monster created or print it on a tee shirt, mug, bag or baseball hat

Me Make Zombie- students upload a photo and make it into a zombie

Monster Maker- select various body parts for your monster and control the width, height, texture and background

Playnormous Monster Gallery- choose eyes, nose, ears etc. and have your monster rated on the site; gallery currently has over 5400 monsters.

Tinkatolli- create a "Tinka"

Toonix- create a "toonix" on this colorful site; many choices to create

The Troop: Monster Creator- the premise is simple: students recreate the monster they saw by clicking and scaling body parts

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Have You Seen the Google Cultural Institute?

Currently showcasing 42 different exhibits online,  Google's Cultural Institute  is a treasure-trove of photos and videos which cover events over the last 100 years. The current list of exhibitions includes:

World Wonders Project
Bringing to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world

Art Project

The world’s art at your fingertips

Yad Vashem

Remembering the Holocaust

Dead Sea Scrolls
Digitizing the biblical manuscripts

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Presenting Nelson Mandela’s legacy online

Versailles 3D

Discover the Palace of Versailles in 3D throughout the ages

Le Pavillon de l’Arsenal

A Liquid Galaxy digital display of Paris in 2020

La France en relief

17th century France in Google Earth

Here's an overview of Google's Cultural Institute:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Read Books For Free Online

We Give Books is a wonderful site which offers children the chance to read books online for free. Created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation, the books are divided into the following sections: Classics, Editor's Picks, Featured and New. Every Penguin or DK book read online helps a child receive a book through one of the literacy programs supported by the Pearson Foundation.

Friday, October 12, 2012

22 Great Places If You Teach Research Skills

If you are a teacher-librarian or media specialist, you are the one responsible for making sure students have learned the proper research skills. Since all students need to how to do research, why are school districts still cutting jobs for our position? Once kids get to middle and high school, they need to know how to do certain things tied to research, including a bibliography, website evaluation, searching techniques and so much more. Below you will find sites to assist you in teaching research skills for all ages.Use the Teacher-Librarians tab at the top to find a megalist of stuff for you.

The 6 Online Research Skills Your Students Need- from Scholastic

Copyright, Fair Use and Research Skills for Elementary Students
- LiveBinder

Doing Research at the Elementary Level
- written by technology teacher Mary Beth Hertz

Evaluating Information Sources Worksheet- for older students

The Future of Research- written by middle school librarian Jennifer LaGarde

Google Scholar- advanced scholarly searches

Infomine- scholarly Internet searches

iResearch: Information Skills for Life
- 10 modules (covers plagiarism and searching databases) each include a PDF download

The Free Library- over 20 million articles and books

K-4 Research Materials- LiveBinder

Kentucky Virtual Library's How to Do Research- excellent interactive poster designed like a game board

Research it Right- from Acadia University's Library; animated interactive

Research Skills Lesson Plans- from Lesson Planet

Research Skills Worksheets- from TeAchnology; covers various topic areas 

Research Skills Worksheets- teacher-reviewed; grades listed

Research Skills Unit- for 8th grade students

Rutgers University's R.I.O.T.- wonderful interactive modules include: Selecting a Topic, Finding Sources, Selecting Keywords, Identifying Citations, Evaluating Sources.

State Library of Victoria- research skills for grades 5-9

Teaching Research Skills to Young Students- the role of the media specialist is explained

Teaching the Ten Steps to Better Web Research from SweetSearch

Using Critical Thinking to find Trustworthy Websites-video lesson by N.Y. middle school teacher Emily Koch (Grades 6-8)

Wading Through the Web: Teaching Internet Research Strategies- Three complete 45-minute lessons for grades 6-8

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