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August 30, 2014

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Summer Badges and More from the Smithsonian

Summer badges and more from the Smithsonian

Looking for a way to engage kids in meaningful inquiry around their own interests and passions this summer? The Smithsonian Quests Digital Badging program can motivate kids to explore and learn wherever they are this summer, while earning recognition for their achievements.

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.

What’s On Your Summer Reading List? | Authors and Illustrators Respond

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Find out what your favorite authors and illustrators are reading this summer.

‘Revolution’ | A Conversation with Deborah Wiles

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“I love asking ‘what if?’ with my characters, setting them up to make choices, putting them in situations that will break their hearts, asking more of them than they seem to be able to handle, and seeing what they do….”

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.

Remembering D-Day

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Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied troops launched an audacious assault on a 50-mile expanse of heavily defended coastline in Normandy, France. These resources on the historic event incorporate dynamic writing, stunning visuals, and plentiful primary source materials.

Summer Reading To “(Re)Invigorate” Your Teaching | Professional Shelf

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“There’s power in firsthand advice from people in the field who have been recognized for their excellence and expertise” and educators looking to reinvigorate their teaching need look no further than these two books for tips and suggestions on how to do so.

South Carolina and Oklahoma Ditch Common Core

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South Carolina recently joined Indiana and Oklahoma as one of the three states that adopted Common Core State Standards—only to repeal them.

How Wordless Picture Books Empower Children | SLJ Day of Dialog 2014

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Wordless picture books allow children to project their own imaginations upon a story and “own it,” as author/illustrator Bob Staake, along with Aaron Becker, Raul Colón, and Molly Idle discussed during a lively panel at School Library Journal’s 2014 Day of Dialog.

James Herriot’s ‘All Creatures Great and Small’: Complimentary Common Core Aligned Teacher’s Edition | Sponsored Content

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Since All Creatures Great & Small was first published 25 years ago, readers have been delighted with the storytelling genius of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian whose fascinating vignettes brim with the wonder of life, animal and human. And now there are free Common Core correlations available for use in your classrooms.

Be a Player! Ten Tips for Building Your Library’s Toy Collection

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Early childhood specialist at the Brooklyn Public Library Rachel G. Payne provides a top ten list for librarians looking to develop their toy collection.

New York High School Goes Entirely Digital

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This year, New York’s Archbishop Stepinac High School saw its entire textbook collection transition to a digital library.

Classics are Cool, But… | Summer Reading for Grades 9-12

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Entice your students with a summer reading list of high-interest titles that are both literary and potential crowd pleasers. Evangelicals, mermaids, bullies, man-eating insects, robots, and cheerleaders abound in this selection that’s guaranteed to garner their attention.

Creep around Graveyards, Search for Spies | Summer Reading for Grades 4-8

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Summer is a time for exploration and discovery, for ruminating on history and losing oneself in adventures. This list of titles will travel well, whether it’s to a sunny spot in the backyard, to the beach, or to a destination miles away.

Invitations to Imagination | Summer Reading for K-3

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Summer ushers in a time of unstructured play, when children can explore their surroundings and connect to the outside world through their imaginations. Here is a selection of books that provide launch points for children to do just that.

The Bug Rescuer | A Conversation with Sarah Albee

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What did mosquitoes have to do with the Louisiana Purchase? Lice with the Irish potato famine? And what mysterious disease plagued the Philistines? As she promises in her introduction, Sarah Albee answers all these questions in glorious and “disgusting” detail in ‘Bugged.’

Traveling the World Through Picture Books

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Whether describing a Brazilian boy whose dreams shine as bright as the stars, a youngster’s first rollicking ride on a matatu in Kenya, or a Jamaican girl’s satisfaction at mastering a difficult task, the titles offer glimpses at particular places and lifestyles while touching upon themes that will resonate with children everywhere.