Welcome to the April edition of the Roundup of New Resources. The RoNR is a collection of links to and ideas for tools that parents, kids, and teachers can use to help kids add more skills to their literacy toolbox. We publish this during the first week of each month. So let’s jump right in …
There is a new (to me) book site called Worm to Worm, which is akin to Goodreads and Shelfari, but IMHO has a simpler interface, which may make it attractive to young readers and book lovers. Isn’t that logo adorable?
This isn’t 21st Century Literacy, but … for those looking for bargains on books AND the chance to support children’s literacy, check out Thrift Recycling Management. “Thrift Recycling Management Inc. (TRM), the largest on-line seller of used books in the world, was established in 2004. With operations throughout the United States, TRM carries an inventory of nearly two million books for sale online at all times and uses a portion of the proceeds to support children’s literacy programs in the U.S. and abroad.” Two million books have been donated to Reading Tree, a Boston-based nonprofit; and in partnership with The Omprakash Foundation and Hands Across the Water, seven million books have been donated to establish community libraries. TRM just recently purchased Discover Books, which describes itself as “the largest recycler of used books in British Columbia and one of the largest in North America.” (via a TRM press release)
Thanks to an eMail from Chronicle Books, I learned about Readeo, “a cool new service that combines children’s books with video chat to create a shared reading experience. So a grandpa and his grandchild can both log in (with Mommy’s help) and read the same book at the same time online in real time.” Each person has an account (free) and there is a free book each month you can share. Together. See each other. At the same time. How cool is that? It all seems so Jetsons to me.
And have you seen Storyline Online? This free site, created by the Screen Actor’s Guild, features videos of famous people reading children’s books. Mike Falick recently posted a list of some of the available titles. How about: A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon, read by Sean Astin; or Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, by Eileen Spinellim read by Hector Elizondo. Fun stuff! (Via Nisha T’s March 26th Odds and Bookends column at FirstBook.
Creative Literacy for Kids
Listen Along Storybook is a new program offered by Sterling Publishers. Visitors can download audiobooks of select Sterling picture books. From the website: “It will delight children and bring backlist titles back into the spotlight … Every book in the program will have a sticker directing readers to the website, www.listenalongstorybook.com, where they can get the free downloads or listen to them as streaming audio.” My thanks to Through the Looking Glass Reviews for the link.
DogEared Blog on National Geographic Kids – Trust me, adults will love this too! The bloggers are readers ages 6 to 13, and they’re reading a wide variety in subjects of their personal interest. I love that they talk about non-book interests (like their Nintendo DS) … bookworms are wordly people. Hey, do I hear a new tag line? [Yes, I meant wordly.] (via Twitter @jamiesbarefoot and @FirstBook)
Literacy and Reading Tools for Parents
There is no denying the power of Twitter. When @gameclassroom started following me, I checked it out. Game Classroom offers creative homework help for kids in Kindergarten through sixth grade. “We scoured the web for the best and most trustworthy educational games with the single goal of providing students, parents and teachers with the best interactive homework help the web has to offer!”
I may have mentioned the On the Lap blog before, but I just got re-acquainted with it and met Mary Beth, a new contributor, via a Google Alert. This is a blog about sharing a love of reading, because as the tag line says “Children are made readers on the lap of a parent.” I just went back to a post last November about Echo Reading … good stuff!
Thanks to Twitter, I found Touchoo, which describes itself as “a publishing house for quality interactive book apps for toddlers and children. Our aim is to combine the beauty in traditional children’s books with the intuitiveness and flexibility of touch screen technology.” I like that the kids have to be part of the story. Since toddlers and preschoolers are the kids most likely to be with us waiting in line … and are most in need of “entertainment” during those moments, this may be a way to sneak in some interactive reading.
Literacy and Reading Tools for Educators
We can always count on Franki Sibberson when it comes to 21st Century Literacies and tools for educators. So it was no surprise to see that she had the link to the new iPod Touch Classroom Wiki. (via Twitter @Franki22 and @clifmims)
Thanks for your interest in reading resources and toys, I mean tools.