August 20, 2014

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Connected Learning | Professional Shelf


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


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


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

Mysterious Patterns Cover Art

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

Tree Lady Cover Art

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


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.

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


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

carson weather

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


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

Poems to Launch the Imagination

words with wings

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.

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


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.

“Remember the Ladies” | Women Who Changed America

Founding Mothers

Are you ready for Women’s History Month? Share these handsomely illustrated and well-written, these captivating volumes to introduce individuals who stared down stereotypes, hurdled over social boundaries, and utilized their unique talents and abilities to follow their dreams.

Celebrations and Anniversaries | Nonfiction Notes, February, 2014

The Beatles

Topping the piles of books on our desks this month are volumes marking the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Fab Four on American soil, titles to feature in your Black History Month displays, and a few choice selections on animals (and their plumage).

Through a Child’s Eyes | A Conversation with Marilyn Nelson

How I Discovered Poetry

In unrhymed sonnets, the acclaimed poet Marilyn Nelson traces her early years from age four to 14, describing her family’s many moves, her growing self-awareness, and her awakening as a poet.

No More “Yucky Spinach” | The Nonfiction of Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

pinkney banner

“I am sick of nonfiction that is yucky spinach!” Andrea Davis Pinkney told her audience at the 2013 National Book Festival. Have no fear…she and Brian Pinkney serve up works as tasty as homemade pie.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum: Measurement

Math banner

Have you used a tape measure or a ruler lately? Figured out what coins to give a cashier? If you have, then you know how important measurement is in your daily life. This lesson plan provides a look at how children’s literature can support young children as they learn about standard measurement.

Searching for Sarah Rector | An Interview with Tonya Bolden

Searching for Sarah Rector

The Oklahoma-Texas oil boom of the early 1900s created fortunes for many landowners, including an 11-year-old girl named Sarah Rector. Her fascinating story is told here by Tonya Bolden.

History—and a Dash of Poetry | Nonfiction Notes, January 2014


Titles highlighted this month feature individuals, events, and policies germane to our nation’s history—and a dash of poetry.

PBS LearningMedia | Professional Shelf


Despite dismally small budgets, time constraints, and the demands of the Common Core State Standards, many librarians consider the support of digital learning a priority. PBS LearningMedia, a content-rich, free resource makes that challenge easier to meet.