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May 22, 2015

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Common Core

Talkin’ Trash | Spotlight on the Environment

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In schools across the country, we remind children and teens to “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but how these acts impact a community isn’t always visible. The consequences of avoiding that responsibility are, however.

Farm to Table: The Food We Eat, the World We Live In

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Serve these titles up as part of units on life science, health and nutrition, community workers, ecology, and the conservation of natural resources.

Beboppin’ with “Bird & Diz”

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With bursts of rhythm and flashes of color, Gary Golio and Ed Young’s stunning new picture book “Bird & Diz” captures the spirit and genius of bebop artists Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and their classic rendition of “Salt Peanuts.”

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Water: Earth’s Most Precious Resource

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Recently, factors such as drought, climate change, and increased demand have raised concerns about the availability of and access to safe drinking water across the globe. Prepare for World Water Day on March 22 with titles that incorporate science, geography and history, and environmental and social issues.

Timing Is Everything | Consider the Source

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Everyone who knows me knows I’m in the cheering section for the Common Core English Language Arts State Standards. But as an advocate for the standards, I have a concern and a question about the assessments.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Stuff of Stars | New Picture Book Biographies

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New picture book bios by Barb Rosenstock, G. Neri, Jen Bryant, and others, lead this fall’s star studded lists.

Support for Struggling Learners | Professional Shelf

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With solid advice and practical examples, two recent professional titles advocate student-centered approaches that support struggling learners as they gain confidence and increase proficiency.

Bibliophile’s Delight: Books that Celebrate Creative Writing, Book Lovers, and Libraries

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Introduce and nurture independent writing, generate enthusiasm for books and reading, and the support language arts curriculum standards with these new picture books.

‘Text Sets’ Slated to Help School Librarians Advance College Readiness

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With reading skills being tested as criteria of college readiness, school librarians are primed to support these skills by building text sets—or units of instruction—according to the nonprofit Student Achievement Partners.

Waiting for the Common Core to Go Away? Don’t Hold Your Breath | Consider the Source

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I often hear the hope, expressed as an expectation, that the Common Core State Standards are about to disappear. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in opposition states.

Down by the Sea | Factual & Fictional Selections for Young Readers

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Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, home to a vast array of plant and animal species, inherently mysterious and largely unexplored, the ocean makes a fascinating topic for motivating investigations and stimulating imaginations.

Win for New York Teachers Unions: New York Delays Common Core Weighing in on Teacher Evaluations

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On June 19, the New York State Assembly passed a bill that will allow teachers who have been low-ranked to have their evaluations recalculated without using Common Core test results for 2014-2015.

Show, Don’t Tell: A Common Core Tenet Applies to Our Roles

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Savvy librarians seize and incorporate the tenets of Common Core State Standards learning in their practices—doing so offers them an opportunity to demonstrate their role in student achievement.

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

History in Fiction: More than Just the Facts │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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Writing historical fiction calls for lots of research. Language, clothing, housing, technology are just the tip of the factual iceberg when it comes to building a story based on actual events. Use the following fictional titles, selected by Junior Library Guild editors, to support the Common Core while leading middle schoolers to the facts.

Juneteenth: The First Day of Freedom

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Angela Johnson and E. B. Lewis’s beautiful and evocative and ‘All Different Now’ (S&S, 2014) commemorates the first Juneteenth (June 19, 1865), when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the long-delayed news of emancipation.

What We Learned | Crafting Standards-Based Lessons

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Crafting standards-based lessons has taught our ‘Curriculum Connections’ columnists a thing or two. They share their insights in this article.