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March 28, 2015

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Screencasting Tools for Tech Support | Cool Tools

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These video and screencasting resources will help you create videos that provide technical assistance.

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

“Selma”: Accurate Enough? Questions about the film’s historical accuracy present a teachable moment.

Bobby Simmons, 17 Years Old, Marches for the Vote, 1965. Photo by  Matt Herron www.takestockphotos.com

Weighing in on the recent controversy over “Selma” and the ensuing Oscar fallout, author Elizabeth Partridge offers some ideas for engaging students in a discussion about historical accuracy, primary sources, and expert opinion.

Benny Andrews | His Life and Art

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In “Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews,” illustrated with the artist’s oil paintings and collage compositions, Kathleen Benson highlights the words Andrews chose to paint by, and to encourage those he taught.

“Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat” | Spotlight

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In “A Fine Dessert” Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall tell the story of how the creation of one dessert—blackberry fool—has changed over the centuries. It’s a perfect choice for a sharing with a class, or as a group-reading selection.

Water, Water, Everywhere… | Our Unsustainable Future

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Simply put, our current use of freshwater resources is unsustainable. Two new books explain why—and outline the dimensions of the crisis.

Reach for the Stars | Out-of-This-World Astronomy Titles

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Amid info and images streaming from the Mars rover Curiosity, updates about NASA’s evolving plans to capture and explore a near-Earth asteroid and headlines about privately owned companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, space and space exploration have become hot topics.

Changing the World | New Books about African American History

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Utilizing a variety of literary forms, writing techniques, and illustrative styles, four 2015 books convey information in a powerful and personal manner, making history accessible—and enticing—to young readers.

SLJ Reviews the Taz 4 3-D Printer | Test Drive

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Chad Sansing considers the Lulzbot device, resembling a “steampunk erector set,” and 3-D printing’s learning potential.

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

DIY Library Bulletin Boards: Tips, Resources, and Ideas

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Do-it-yourself maven Melissa Techman says that bulletin boards can be important communication opportunities in your library. The K–5 librarian offers tips to keep it cheap and chic, and guidance on how to align bulletin boards with inspiring and informative instructional activities.

Much More Than a List | Editorial

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SLJ’s year-end picks point to the power of curation.

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

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.

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.