Literacy and Reading Tools Roundup – Winter 2012

Updated: Fixed Title to current year. Obviously my brain is still hibernating!

It may feel like spring, but we still have a few days until the Spring Equinox and the official change of seasons. Just in the nick of time, we have our Roundup of links to articles, websites, and online tools that facilitate the processes of reading and learning.

The Literacy and Reading tools Roundup is a periodic annex to the Literacy and Reading News Roundup, a collaborative project with Jen Robinson (Jen Robinson’s Book Page) and Carol Rasco (Rasco from RIF). Y

Whether the information is recently published or a couple years’ old, it’s new to me and may be new to you. Enjoy!

Resources for Kids

My go-to source of cool literacy tools for kids is always my favorite Chook, Susan Stephenson of the Book Chook. How can you not love the idea of LEGO, history, adventure, and comics all rolled into one?!

Would you like to know a little @ trivia? any history @ all? Well, then Grammar Girl has just what you’re looking for. Of course, after I read the article Where Did the @ Symbol Come From? I ended up spending lots of time exploring other topics … and I bet you will too! Thanks, Carol!

In the midst of doing some Root Word research for a certain 10-year-old in my house, I discovered Now I get regular emails, and recently found this idea to have kids (they recommend middle school … I bet upper elementary would love it too. What is it? Chart 100 Books You’ve Read – in poster form.

Our thanks to School Library Journal’s Extra Helping for the link to PowerKids Earth & Space. SLJ describes it asthe newest online resource in the PowerKids Science Suite specifically designed for learners in grades 3 – 6!”


Resources for Parents and Educators

personal photo terry dohertyAmy of Delightful Children’s Books has been working on several new resources for families. What I love about her Babies and Toddlers Page is that rather than just throw a list of ideas at you, she talks about her own experiences as a parent trying to read with an infant and toddler.

She’s also careful to parse the list based on the kinds of things babies like (and can comprehend) at certain stages. Her article Introducing Children to Books (Ages 0 to 13 months) is a nice complement to her directory.

Leave it to my friends in the Nerdy Book Club [this time in the person of @MrSchuReads] to find a virtual Book Release Calendar! Want to know when the new Fly Guy comes out? Then you HAVE to have this calendar (March 1, by the way).

[amazon_link id=”1586831879″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ethnic Book Awards: A Directory Of Multicultural Literature For Young Readers[/amazon_link]My thanks to Carol Rasco for sending along a link to Sherry York’s book Ethnic Book Awards: A Directory of Multicultural Literacy for Young Readers. The book is designed for librarians, but I would bet if you are interested in diversifying your personal library and adding high-quality literature, you’ll find plenty of recommendations. Use to see if your library has a copy. We have added this book to our index for Share a Story this year.

Speaking of book lists … There are several annual resources I look forward to – and count on – every year. One of them is Susan Thomsen’s Super-fantastic List of Lists. She has just posted the 2011 Best Children’s Book: A List of Lists and Awards. There is no shortage of year-end resources, but I always go to Susan’s list at Chicken Spaghetti first!

Another favorite bookworm’s resource is Zoe Toft’s Worldwide List of Reading and Literacy Charities. The 2012 edition went up in February 2012.

Little Parachutes

You know the saying … “I’d go back to being “[insert age here]” if I knew now what I didn’t know then? Well, if I could go back and pick my teachers, I’d want Mary Lee Hahn for Fourth Grade. In What’s on My Wonderopolis iPad (at A Year of Reading) she shares how she is using “iPads, a couple of iPods and a Kindle in her fourth grade classroom. Check out. You’ll want to go back to Fourth Grade in Dublin, Ohio, too!

Thanks to a Google Alert, I discovered AppStar Pick and the newly launched Fun Educational Apps blogsite. I don’t have any Apple products, but if you do, and if you have kids, you will want to bookmark the site – and the Directory of 250+ Apps for Kids that are reviewed by independent sites. The directory is available for free in the iTunes Store. Be sure to check out the Free iPad Apps of the Day category, too.

My thanks to Susan Stephenson for “scooping” Little Parachutes, a website designed to help parents find picture books “to help children with life’s challenges. Strolling through the Little Parachutes library is a ready-made list of books on key subjects from basic to challenging: sharing, moving house, potty training, eating healthy, grief, adoption, divorce and serious illness.

It has been a while since I posted a Literacy and Reading Tools roundup, and a number of new (or new to me!) tools have popped up. One of them is I have recently started curating the Family Literacy Topic on My goal there is to offer “tips and ideas to make literacy easy for busy parents.” Hope to see you there! The aforementioned the Book Chook curates the Supporting Children’s Literacy topic. If you’re there, stop by … if you’re talking reading, literacy, books, or literacy-related tools, I’ll follow you anywhere!