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December 18, 2014

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SLJ’s Top 10 Cool Tools 2014

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SLJ “Cool Tools” columnist Richard Byrne taps the best productivity apps and websites of the year.

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

Riffs on Classic Tales | New Fiction for Young Adults

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A number of young adult authors continue to adapt, interpret, and honor classic novels and short stories in tales that have proven to be fascinating companion titles to explore in classrooms or as independent reading choices.

Feed the Need | Facts for Fact Hounds

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Driven by natural inquisitiveness and personal interests, many children find the volumes in series such as ‘Guinness World Records’ and ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ irresistible. Here are a few other titles that will feed the informational needs of fact hounds.

Teaching “Black Lives Matter” | SLJ Talks to Educator, Author Renée Watson

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In the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict a New York police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, educator Renée Watson offers advice on how teachers and students can broach recent events.

What the New Research Tells Us About Adolescence and Learning | Professional Shelf

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Does cramming for exams work? Are there benefits to testing? What type of projects encourage deeper understanding? New research in brain and cognitive science offers insights into adolescent behavior and learning with significant implications for both students and teachers.

Best Adult Books 4 Teens | Curriculum Tie-In Edition

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From the ‘Best Adult Books 4 Teens’ blog comes a list of high-interest fiction and nonfiction titles that make important contributions to conversations and topics covered in the high school curriculum.

‘Street Dreams’ Come True at a Bronx School Library

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Tracey Wong brought a garden, nutritional literacy, dozens of computers, and more to her elementary school library at P. S. 54 in the Bronx.

Project ReimaginED: Online Coffee Klatch for Educators

Project ReimaginED: Online Coffee Klatch for Educators

Educators encourage their students to head online for digital resources that enhance their classroom learning. Now it’s time for them to do the same.

Back to the Future | Consider the Source

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New discoveries, new tools, and new perspectives constantly yield a new past—history is alive, coming into view right now. We must make sure that students see history as an adventure, a detective story, unfolding in front of us and not as a set of unyielding key points to be rehearsed and memorized for tests.

Teaching STEAM with Lois Ehlert: Preschool isn’t too early to introduce STEM + art

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The books of Lois Ehlert, with their vivid-hued collages, are a staple of the storytime shelf—and a great start for teaching STEAM concepts to toddlers and preschoolers. Which of your favorite titles would fit into a preschool science program? Share them here.

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

In the Line of Fire: Perspectives on War

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Although they focus on different historical events, represent various viewpoints, and employ an assortment of formats, three new titles offer riveting perspectives of war and its devastating effects.

Robin LaFevers’s “Medieval Obsession”

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SLJ spoke with Robin LaFevers, who concludes her thrilling “His Fair Assassins” trilogy set in 15th-century Brittany with the exciting ‘Mortal Heart.’

A Trio of Trailblazing Performers

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Three new picture books about three African American women born in the early 20th century resound with compelling storytelling, expressive artwork, and a sonorous message about overcoming obstacles and following one’s dreams.

Old Friends, Fresh Stories: New Middle Grade Fantasy

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Fantasy writing for children has a long and storied history, populated with all manner of heroic quests, forgotten prophecies, and strange magic. Despite its near-century of popularity, there is no sign of flagging enthusiasm for this much-beloved genre.

Views On An “Embattled” Profession | Professional Shelf

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As journalist Dana Goldstein eloquently documents in ‘The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession,’ the state of our current public school system is rooted in a complicated story.

Hank and John Green Join PBS to Expand “Crash Course” Video Series

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The partnership will make the Greens brothers’ witty, educational YouTube series available through the PBS Digital Studios YouTube channel and PBS LearningMedia.

In Search of Stellar Nonfiction | Consider the Source

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Under the Common Core State Standards students need quality nonfiction to support class assignments and they need to know how to read it. So where is it?

The Skyping Renaissance

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For educators using the popular videoconferencing platform, it’s a whole new world.

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

Rev Up for National Novel Writing Month 2014

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National Novel Writing Month, during November, can be life-changing for young people. Find out how librarians are supporting students aiming to churn out 50,000 words within 30 days.

When Racing to the Top Slows Us Down | On Common Core

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In many states where the CCSS have been adopted and RttT funds accepted, educators are feeling beleagured.

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