Holy canoli, where did June go? I’m going to kick off the July edition with a newly discovered blog: From the Mixed Up Files … of Middle Grade Authors. Don’t you love the name? Maybe I do because it closely resembles the name of one of my all-time favorite books. From the inaugural post: “Named in honor of the iconic middle-grade book by E. L. Konigsburg, this group blog and website is dedicated to bringing attention to middle-grade books and the people who write them. And we hope to have a little fun along the way, too. (For the truly curious, you can read more about us on our About Us page. You can also view our Contributing Member Bios. )” Thanks Gregory K … Middle Grade Fabooness indeed!
Here’s a resource everyone can enjoy: a list of Printz read-alikes. This year, the Michael L. Printz Award, administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist, celebrated its tenth year. The Printz Medal is presented to a book that “exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.” I love read-alike lists and this is a great way to help kids with read-alikes for non-series books. (source: Booklist Online via American Libraries Direct)
Mary Burkey, a member of the Kidlitosphere Yahoo! Group, shared lots of great information about SYNC, “an online community that seeks to build the audience for audiobooks among readers 13 and up.” Beginning July 1 (and running through September 1), SYNC will give away 2 FREE downloads each week. They will pare a popular Young Adult with a Classic title that appears on Summer Reading lists. SYNC is hosted byAudiobook Community, a new social networking site for the discovery of audiobooks. Don’t you love that banner?
I thought I was doing Okay with accounts for LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Shelfari. Then Susan Stephenson (The Book Chook) sent me an article with Ten Websites for Book Lovers … and probably another ten recommendations in the comments! How can you not love that people love to talk about books? [How did I not know Amazon owned Shelfari?]
An inevitable, integral piece of 21st century literacies is the Worldwide Web. At iKeepSafe.org, you will find lots of information about keeping kids safe, and links to resources (like Comcast’s award-winning documentary on cyberbullying). There are resource centers for parents, kids, and educators. (via Seb Schmoller on Friendfeed)
Creative Literacy for Kids
BookAdventure has a kid-oriented book search tool that helps them narrow down potential books of interest by looking at grade, what level they like to read, and up to five genres. Thanks to School Library Journal for the link.
BookChooser on the Reading Matters website offers a similar function. I like how it lets you pick the elements using a scale. For example, if you want very low scary, medium funny and high animal interest, The Rescuers will be on your list. The presentation on this site is a little “cleaner,” so older kids might prefer this one to the brightly colored, fun-font BookAdventure.
Kidzui turns Firefox into a fun, kid-safe browser and online playground for kids 3-12. Over a million kids games, YouTube videos, and websites are approved by parents and teachers. KidZui also organizes content in a kid-friendly way. (via rockyourfirefox.com)
Moving Picture Books is a multi-layered website that helps kids with reading. You can read along, have the book read to you (with word highlights) and also answer “ponderables” about the story. Kids will find stories they recognize (Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed) and characters they love, including many of their Sesame Street friends. There is a free download available, but this is largely a subscription service. (via my brother)
WebRangers is the (US) National Park Service’s online Junior Ranger program for youth of all ages. Students can play more than 50 games and learn about our national parks, monuments and historic sites. They can also investigate the newest WebRangers Activity, Investigating Global Connections, and share park stories and pictures with other WebRangers around the world in My Community. Herea re the links: WebRangers in English and WebRangers en Espanol. (source: Delta Publishing Company/Raven Tree Press ELL Newsletter)
Literacy and Reading Tools for Parents
Little Learners -Vanessa Rough, the blogger behind Silly Eagle Books, started a new blog on a site called Georgia.com. Vanessa will continue to share craft and learning activities to do with kids, but unlike Silly Eagle, she’ll branch beyond pairing the theme to a book. From Vanessa: “my goal is that it be a resource for parents who want to encourage a life-long love of learning in their children.” If you are interested in having a project or activity featured, you can contact Vanessa.
Literacy and Reading Tools for Educators
When it comes to 21st century literacies and using technology in the classroom, there are few better than Franki Sibberson, who partners with Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading. She recently spoke about a tech learning event at a friend’s home, and not only described her experience, but also packed the post with lots of links. The list of 100 Best Teaching Tools (most of them free) on EduDemic is da bom! And I am oh-so-jealous that Franki is getting an iPad! I just love Mary Lee’s monthly mosaics … and this one has my favorite flower in it (daisy!). This month there’s a bonus … Mary Lee also has a mosaic of sky images.
I am still well behind the eight ball but hoping to get back to bigger blocks of time in the office next week. There is a lot of catching up to do, and I miss not hanging out in some of my favorite virtual spots.