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No sports at Newsela, but . . .

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I first wrote about Newsela nearly a year ago (Newsela: Making News Accessible for Learners).  Across the curriculum, my teachers and students loved it. This morning, founder and CEO Matthew Gross, shared the announcement of the expansion of the news platform that engages readers in news at their own level, with launch of the Newsela Sports [...]

Newsela Free Summer Reading Challenge

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For those many kids who choose not to read books, for those kids who are news junkies, for those kids who choose to focus on nonfiction, for those kids who read everything anyway, and for those kids who are motivated by regular, tangible rewards, Newsela’s Free Summer Reading Challenge may be just the thing to [...]

Booktrack for amplifying story

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Booktrack is a new, free platform designed to encourage readers to immerse themselves in their readings by accompanying digital texts with movie-style soundtracks. Booktrack Classroom offers a library of public domain books to which soundtracks have already been added.  Students may opt to create their own soundtracks content they’ve authored themselves. And teachers may create [...]

Unite for Literacy offers free early literacy ebooks

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Attention primary and elementary librarians and teachers and parents! Exciting news from Colorado:  The Colorado Library Consortuim (CLiC), Douglas County Libraries and Unite for Literacy, a Colorado-based publisher funded by sponsorships, have partnered to provide access to more than 120 free ebooks for young children. The project site shares that these early literacy titles: are all [...]

Expanding the universe of the book

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Last week, I attended Laura Fleming’s session on Storytelling in the Digital Age at the West Essex WeTech Conference.  Laura’s talk updated her 2010 Edutopia post, A Primer on Interactive Books. For Laura, it is all about the story and how we experience it.  She contends: Many children expect a different reading experience now.  And [...]

Summer SYNC Line-up announced

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SYNC is back.  So make sure your favorite kiddos have their ear-buds ready for reading this summer.  Please also share this news with your favorite teachers. Beginning on May 15, the SYNC program, associated with the Audiobook Community, will offer teens weekly selections of free digital audiobooks pairings.  Each audiobook pair consists of a current [...]

Newsela: making news accessible for more learners

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Face it.  The news is not written for most of our kids, especially those who are struggling readers or new English learners. I showed Newsela to my ELL and several of my ELA teachers early this semester and we have some devoted fans. Launched in June, and the winner of a Gates Foundation Literacy Courseware Challenge, Newsela publishes articles [...]

Promoting new titles with Pinterest (Check out Alida’s boards)

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Here’s one Pinterest rabbit hole well worth falling through. I discovered Alida Hanson’s wonderfully comprehensive and attractive Pinterest boards promoting the new books and media at Weston High School (MA) Library, via a recent AASLForum discussion. When I asked Alida if she’d allow me to share her process for organizing those boards, she generously agreed. [...]

YALSA Teen Book Finder App, updated

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YALSA’s Teen Book Finder is one of my favorite apps.  I recommend it to my high school students and I/we often take it to the shelves on our iPhones, iPods or iPads for inspiration connected to YALSA’s recommended titles.   Good news.  This week, YALSA launched an updated version of the free app that now includes titles [...]

BiblioNasium: social reading for kids

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My high school readers (and most other serious readers I know) are obsessed with Good Reads. And if they’re not, they are connected on either LibraryThing or Shelfari. Socially connected readers seek and trust the recommendations and lists of their networks; reviews purchasing and borrowing opportunities, as well as the attractive shelf metaphors, fun quotes, [...]