Roundup of Resources for Literacy and Reading – August 2010

Literacy Reading News RoundupWelcome to the dog days … the last stretch of fun before we start using the “S” word on a regular basis. Not THAT “s” word … SCHOOL! Actually, I have a new moniker for the “S” word …. stretch yourself. [Okay, two words!]

Susan Stephenson sent me a link to Elif Shafak’s Ted Global 2010 presentation that is part memoir, part storyteller, and completely thought provoking. Using her life as an example, she explains that in this global community there are great risks of too many people thinking alike … and that writing and fiction (thinking beyond ourselves and the familiar) is the key to keeping independent thought alive. It is most definitely worth 20 minutes of your time.

As you may remember, last month I had a link to the Printz Medal read-alikes list. This month (arriving just in the nick of time … courtesy of Fuse 8/Betsy Bird and the Kidlitosphere Yahoo! Group) is This is a site for EVERYONE – parents, teachers, kids, librarians. Whether you want to better understand reading levels or want to match the perfect book with your young reader, this is DEFINITELY the place to go. I admit, it’s a triple bonus for me, because Barb Langridge lives in my home town.

21st Century Literacies

Just in time for school, Barnes and Noble tool is releasing Nook Study, a computer application to help you read, annotate, and organize your school-related stuff. You don’t have to own a Nook eReader to use the tools, and you will still have access to 500,000 free eBooks. What I found interesting in the press release that it was “designed by students, for students.”

Creative Literacy for Kids

Have you seen Wacky Web Tales? We have talked about Mad-lib type story generators, but I love this one. It’s built for kids grades 3 and up … and even includes a story called Burp! Thanks to Mary Ann Dames at Reading, Writing & Recipes for the link.

Literacy and Reading Tools for Parents

On the Reading Recovery site (sponsored by the US Department of Education), you’ll find a space filled with videos and ideas about Making it Easy to Learn. Because it is the Department of Ed, the tone is speaking more toward teachers, but the information is really transparent between classroom and home. In fact, the material may be more useful to parents, as it helps you understand the component parts of learning to read.

Literacy and Reading Tools for Educators

TOON Books is working to make its blog “a forum for parents, librarians, and educators interested in sharing their thoughts relating to all kinds of issues dealing with kids, books, and early readers. We hope to get Mommy and Daddy bloggers involved in all of our discussions. TOON Books will pay a nominal fee ($25) for every published post. Sharon Hrycewicz of the Downers Grove Library in Downers Grove, Illinois wrote a thoughtful guide to shelving TOON Books, enumerating the various options and explaining the pros and cons of each one. If you are interested in contributing to our blog, contact Julie at

Kathy Shrock, MLS, has everything you need to know – complete with suggestions – on using Twitter in an educational setting. Her site Twittercure is loaded with links and videos with everything from Twitter 101 to suggestions on ways to engage kids with this microblogging tool. Tweet!

From WorldCat: “WorldCat has teamed up with MetaMetrics to offer “Find a Book” to help connect readers with books appropriate for their reading level, using the popular Lexile Framework® for Reading…Once they find the books they’re interested in, they connect to your library through and check availability.”

Have you seen Picture Books in ELT (English Language Training) yet? It is really cool, in her intro to the blog Sandie Mourão explains why she loves picture books: “My intention is to discuss picture books, in particular the pictures in them! Why? Because, in ELT we tend to select picture books because they contain words our students might know.” You can meet Sandie and other educators, authors, librarians, teachers, etal in the Kidlitosphere Yahoo Group. That’s how I found out about Picture Books in ELT.

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