Tools for Reading and Literacy – April 2011

Literacy Reading News RoundupWelcome to the April edition of the Tools for Reading and Literacy. This is a monthly annex to the Literacy and Reading News Roundup, a collaborative effort with Jen Robinson (Jen Robinson’s Book Page), Carol Rasco (Rasco from RIF), and me. I couldn’t do this Tools Roundup without the significant contributions – and incredible research skills – of Susan Stephenson of The Book Chook blog!

In each issue you will find links to articles, websites, and online tools that facilitate the processes of reading and learning. Whether the information is recently published or a couple years old, it’s new to her and may be new to you. Enjoy!

Starting Off

My thanks to Zoe Toft (Playing by the Book) for alerting us to the Guardian’s new Children’s Books podcast series. With reviews, interviews, and authors reading their works, it will be a terrific go-to / on-the-go resource for expanding our interests (not to mention the TBR pile).

Speaking of podcasts … as part of Share a Story-Shape a Future 2011, I discovered that Barefoot Books has FREE podcasts, too! Barefoot Podcast Storytimes is available on their website or via a FREE subscription on iTunes. You’ll also find fun digital videos, too.

Even while she was preparing for her whirlwind trip to Bologna, Elizabeth Bird (aka Fuse 8) put together a jam-packed link fest for her readers. There is one resource in particular I want to point you to: Kelly Butchers’s The Lemme Library. Kelly has started a meme called Book Talk Tuesday. Kelly is “inviting teachers and librarians to link to a recent book talk or book review that can be used by others- to help purchase new books, learn about new books and to help give us book talk ideas.” I’m betting that parents can also benefit from those book talks, too!

Resources for Kids

In the 26 March 2011 edition of The Big Fresh (Choice Literacy), Brenda Powers points us to Reading in Action’s book review podcasts for kids. provides news (current events, arts, entertainment, arts, sports, politics) in a kid-friendly format. The front page looks like the newspaper front page, and there is plenty of white space, too. (via Kathleen Tilly @TeachKidsNews)

Palace of Stories offers more than 100 audio fairy tales for kids for children ages 4 to 12. There is a subscription service, but the site also has a free podcast story.

Resources for Parents

Learn Fractions – This site is packed with worksheets to help kids learn fractions. The pages are ad-heavy and the owner’s are pitching an eBook, but the worksheets themselves are available for free.

I am so glad that Alida Bunder came out of lurking mode to tell me about her Two2Read blog. This is a parent-focused effort that offers answers to many of our questions, like when should a child be taught to read? and Worksheets v. Play-based Curriculum.

Resources for Educators

Delightful Children’s Books is a great place to go if you’re looking for reviews for picture books built around a theme. For her Read Around the World project, Amy has already built lists for books with the themes of maps, the rainforest, South America and Children Around the World. Amy and her children are now exploring Africa through books.

Kidblog. org – During Share a Story ~ Shape a Future 2011, there were a number of times where blogs for students popped up … and not just on the homework day. Here is a link to a website that might be of interest to those still deciding (or convincing parents there are safe places on the web). (via The Big Fresh)

This one came in just under the wire, when Jayne Gammons introduced herself to the Kidlitosphere Yahoo! Group. Her new blog the ABCs of Reading “integrates the ARTS with BOOKS to teach COMPREHENSION strategies.” As you can quickly see in her reviews, she combines reading and activities, and she is inviting teachers to share ideas, too. This will also be helpful for offering parents concrete examples of what the “six comprehension strategies” look like in a classroom.

Unwrapping Literacy

I can always count on Susan to find the coolest videos. This one is for Library Ireland Week 2011. Yes, the books-as-dominoes were really cool, but so was the mix of other technologies and readers included.

This video brings us home to our National Library Week … Way back in the “double oughts” … 2008 to be exact. Did you know that public and academic librarians answer 7.2 million questions each week? I bet you’ve heard one of these … or some similar questions asked in bookstores. For more laughs, check out the Huffington Post’s #BookstorBingo collection. Enjoy.

Thanks for your continued interest in our literacy and reading news series!


7 responses to “Tools for Reading and Literacy – April 2011

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for mentioning my blog on your website! I am truly honored and hope that all of your readers will stop by- we have had some great posts! And- parents are welcome to post their thoughts on books. I review as a mom AND a librarian!

  2. So many great resources here! Thank you for all of the research you do on your readers behalf!

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