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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Recording kids’ history as readers

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I had to share this wonderful idea from Sarah Mulhern Gross’s recent Infotopia post: Beyond the Book: Infographics of Students’ Reading History!   Sarah, a high school English teacher, was excited about sharing her lesson with the school library community. Sarah describes herself as a book evangelist.  She shared her interest in having students think about some of the books that have affected [...]

From Karen: Nonfiction eBook Collections: The Pros and Cons

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My friend Hornberger and I are having a conversation about nonfiction ebooks. In a recent post I chatted about my students’ eager acceptance of the EBSCO e-Book Academic Collection. Karen, the librarian at Palisades High School, as well as our PSLA Tech Committee co-chair and blogger, decided to test drive the database herself.  She also [...]

Small Demons: Welcome to the storyverse!

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Because these are the details we obsess over. The authors who write them and the readers who read them. They connect us with our stories and connect our stories with each other. And with these connections comes a whole new world of discovery.  Valla Vakili’s talk at the Tools of Change Conference. 2/14/12 In his [...]

A great year for #SWVBC (with Libba and Lauren!)

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It’s been a great year for our Somewhat Virtual Book Club.  Actually, it seems easy to forget that it’s also been the first year for the SomeWhat Virtual Book Club. In the fall I shared that we experimented by joining several schools around the country for monthly book discussions.  Our kids were happy to make [...]

Join the June 7th #summerreading tweetfest!

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New York Times Learning Network editor/blogger, Katherine Schulten, wrote asking me to share news of what promises to be a big day in the bibliotwittersphere. Mark your calendars. Spread the word. Tell your colleagues.  Tell the kiddos. Let’s make this a huge international conversation. Let’s create the kind of  feed that even the most Twitter-resistant [...]

About The Watermelon: Can a YA novel change the world?

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My old college buddy (SUNY Binghamton ’75), author Michael Laser recently shared his latest young adult novel with me. We chatted a bit about the world of YA literature and about what inspires him to write. He shared with me that his latest book was differently motivated. The Watermelon is a loss of innocence story [...]