Your Vote Counts: OneVote 2012 is a student mock election held before the national presidential election. Launched by Channel One News, the program gives young people the opportunity to learn about the electoral process and the issues via interactive content as well as the chance to cast their votes for the next president of the United States from October 22–26. Prior to the election, Channel One News will offer news and other special segments to help teens make informed decisions. Team OneVote, a group of six teens, will act as on-air political commentators and contribute to OneVote on Channel One’s YouTube channel. The site features informative brief videos about issues such as energy, the Latino vote, healthcare, voter ID laws, education, and more. There’s even a lesson plan for teachers to use with their students. Educators are encouraged to get their classes involved. Just print out the ballots, tally them, and submit them to onevote.com by October 26. The results will be broadcast on November 1. And it’s interesting to note that since 1992, OneVote has accurately predicted the result of every presidential election.
The Latino Experience
Culturally relevant: Mamiverse Books, launched by Mamiverse.com, is a digital book resource for Latino parents who want to introduce their children to books that accurately reflect the U.S. Latino experience. The site offers book reviews, author interviews, and feature articles. The site also features recommended picture books and bilingual books as well as books for middle grades and young adults. In conjunction with the launch of this site and National Book Month, there’s also an online pledge, Mamiverse Reads, that commits Latino families to making reading and books a life-long priority. “Studies have shown that reading paves the way for future academic success,” notes Adriana Dominquez, former reviews editor for School Library Journal’s Criticas magazine and executive editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books. “It is essential that we provide families with quality resources that specifically address the needs of Latino parents who want direction on how to incorporate books and reading into their children’s lives.”
Borrow ebooks with your Nook: It’s just become easier for Nook users to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from their public and school library. Overdrive recently introduced a free OverDrive Media Console app for Nook. Just visit the Nook store and install the app. With the app, you can locate a library or school nearby and browse or search their ebook collection. Then simply enter a valid library card or school ID and check out and download the title for up to three weeks (or a time period allowed by the library). At the conclusion of the lending period, the title expires.
English proficiency: English language learners can test their proficiency in English with Oxford University Press’s “How Good Is Your English” free app that that can be downloaded from iTunes to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. First, users take a test to determine their reading level, and then they can try a sample chapter with synchronized audio from each of the 30 Oxford Bookworms apps. For those without an Apple device, an online version of the test is available. There’s also a video from Professor Richard Day, chair and co-founder of the Extensive Reading Foundation, in which he explains the benefits of reading in English. “Being able to know your reading level, and to choose stories at that level, is an important first step to enjoying reading in a foreign language, says Verissimo Toste, teacher and teacher trainer in Oxford University Press’s professional development department. “Reading will feel comfortable as students focus on the story and not the language. Comfort and enjoyment will lead students to read more, exposing them to more language, helping them to improve their English.”
Oxford Bookworms apps offer six levels of readers with stories that will appeal to a wide range of readers, such as Sherlock Holmes tales, Dracula, Alice in Wonderland, and more. The stories are written or adapted for language learners and include color illustrations and interactive quizzes.
Leveled readers: Capstone has launched Capstone Classroom, three leveled reading programs for early readers. “Engage Literacy” features leveled fiction and nonfiction books for K–3 readers that support literacy, language development skills, phonics, and phonemic awareness. “Wonder Reader” is a nonfiction levelled text program for beginning and transitional readers in the content areas of math, science, and social studies. The titles in the “Wonder Words” program feature nonfiction titles that present the first 100 sight words in math, science, and social studies themed titles.
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