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April 15, 2014

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Reach Out and Connect: Using Flat Connections for Collaboration | Tech Tidbits

Flat Connections

Teacher librarian Krista Brakhage shares her thoughts on why Flat Connections can offer a fresh perspective in participatory global collaboration and provide a rich authentic educational experience for students.

‘More Truth-y than Truthful’: Stephen Colbert Rips Into Common Core—and Melinda Gates Tweets Back

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On April 8, Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert ripped into the Common Core State Standards. Melinda Gates, one of Common Core’s biggest proponents, tweeted back her response.

Connected Learning | Professional Shelf

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A collection of 18 inspiring, real-life stories gleaned from the National Writing Project’s “Digital Is” website highlights the work of teachers actively shaping classroom instruction to meet the needs of diverse student populations amid the challenges of new standards and high-stakes testing.

Silly Chickens and Red Lollipops | Rukhsana Khan, An Author to Study

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Rukhsana Khan is on a mission to write stories that children can identify with, while, at the same time, show Western readers that Muslim families are pretty much the same as theirs.

Beyond the Computer: A Writer Reflects On Information Literacy

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Author Deborah Hopkinson reflects on the skills today’s students will need in the years to come as they respond to complex global issues.

Fractals, Dinosaurs, and Medical Mysteries | Nonfiction Notes, April 2014

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It’s Spring publishing season and we’ve highlighted a few of the exciting new titles that are being offered this season, ranging from a lucid explanation of a math concept for young readers to a collection of oral histories of individuals who went into hiding in the Netherlands during World War II. You’ll also find mysteries—medical and mythological, and a few art books.

Trees! Environmental Lynchpins, Habitat Providers, Dream Inspirers

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This group of imaginative titles will be the source of numerous classroom projects, ranging from fact-based research papers about the highlighted species and role of trees in the environment to creative writing and art activities.

Lincoln: A Multifaceted Man | Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum

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The number and variety of books published about Abraham Lincoln provide teachers with an opportunity to explore the structural devices used in texts as they consider the man and his legacy from a range of perspectives.

Free Smithsonian Online Education Conference On April 9

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The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access is hosting a free online education conference on April 9 focusing on the “Citizen Science: A Watershed Study” program, in which Washington, D.C., high school students explored the Anacostia Watershed.

Open Call for 2014 James Moffett Award Applications

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Do you have a collaborative classroom project in mind for the coming school year? Put pen to paper and submit your application for the 2014 James Moffett Award; it could result in $1,000 in funding to support your program.

The Right To Know | Consider the Source

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Instead of squabbling over elements of Common Core we need to look at what the standards offer: a ladder. We must break through the blur of the immediate…to what [young people] need to know, to the skills and tools that will allow them to know, and the assurance that they have a right to know.

Marvelous Math Books for PreK and Up

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School Library Journal “First Steps” columnist Lisa G. Kropp suggests a wealth of whimsical math-focused titles, featuring everything from robots to toucans to poems by Edgar Allan Poe.

Leaving China | James McMullan’s Peripatetic Childhood

Leaving China

“What the taste of the Madeleine was for Proust the color purple was for me, a dreamlike atmosphere of late afternoon light that encased so many of the scenes that still reverberated in my mind.” James McMullan on his art for ‘Leaving China.’

Earthquakes and Eruptions | A Standards-Based Lesson

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Join these educators as they brainstorm the curricular possibilities and connections between earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate tectonics in a standards-based lesson.

Storm Watch | Books About Weather

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From heat waves to hurricanes, recent events have ignited curiosity about our ever-changing weather. Share these titles with students to fuel their interest in a timely topic and support curriculum standards in earth systems science.

Nonfiction Notes | March 2014

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This month’s selection of new nonfiction titles includes a little bit of everything: biography, memoir, science, and history—cultural and political.

Picture Books About Women Who Made a Difference │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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In honor of Women’s History Month, use the following booktalks and tools to share these new picture books about independent women who broke records, fought segregation, and inspired others to follow their dreams.

Poems to Launch the Imagination

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Prepare for National Poetry Month in April with new poetry titles by some favorite authors. Whether inspecting fireflies or taking flights of fancy, the selections in these books will spark young readers’ imaginations and inspire contemplation.

What’s Not to ‘Like’? Rethinking Restrictive Social Media Policies

What’s Not to ‘Like’? Rethinking Restrictive Social Media Policies

Most schools have highly regulated Internet policies that don’t address the productive use of social media by students. It’s time to revisit those policies.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Daniel J. Siegel’s “Inside-Out” Guide to the Teenage Brain | Professional Shelf

Brainstorm

What if instead of viewing the teen years as a period in life that must be survived, we learn to embrace the potentially positive power of these formative years? In ‘Brainstorm,’ David J. Siegel, a neuropsychiatrist, offers a look at adolescent development and behavior informed by recent findings on how the brain works.