April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for May 2010

The Librarian’s Internet–No More Boring Boards

Dress up your library with eye-catching bulletin boards

By Gail Junion-Metz, 04/01/2002

Having trouble coming up with new and creative ideas for decorating your library and bulletin boards? Teachers and homeschoolers share the challenge of devising innovative ways to display student work, graphically introduce a curriculum unit, or commemorate a holiday or other special event. And then there are white boards, chalk boards, and posters to decorate. These Web sites can help, with display ideas, tips, and […]

Librarian Brings Kindles into the Classroom

Kathy Parker isn’t shy about embracing new technology. With 33 years’ experience as a school librarian for Seneca (IL) Grade School, she’s on Twitter (@MariansLibrary) and reads on a Kindle—an activity she now shares with many of her seventh and eighth graders who use the Amazon ereading devices in a language arts program that Parker helped launch last year.

“Basically, I was fascinated with the Kindles themselves,” says Parker, who approached her principal in 2009 about purchasing the devices for school. […]

Natural-Born Scientists: Children’s curiosity about the world begins at birth | First Steps

After seven months of inescapable rain here in Oregon, the warm sun has emerged and blossoms have burst forth. Nature’s reawakening leaves us wondering how the dogwoods and magnolias can triumph over the soggy soil. The physical world is a source of curiosity for many, and making sense of it is a lifelong challenge.

Children are born curious. Some more than others, but all are inclined to poke, prod, inspect, and inquire. Most ask tons of questions, beginning with the universal […]

The Pokemon Generation | The Gaming Life

Building lesson plans around a gaming environment creates effective learning

Gotta Catch ‘Em All is the slogan for Pokémon, the most popular video game franchise of the last 20 years. In the Pokémon game series, players act as “trainers” who go on journeys to collect fictional creatures called Pokémon. As they catch Pokémon, they are mentored by wise scientists and must pay attention to all the bits of information that are presented along the way and use these facts to draw […]

Power to the People: Rita Williams-Garcia’s latest novel, ‘One Crazy Summer,’ is full of heartbreak and hope | Under Cover

It’s 1968, and 11-year-old Delphine and her sisters are flying to Oakland to visit their mother, Cecile, who abandoned them seven years ago. They soon discover that she’s involved with the Black Panthers and couldn’t care less about her own daughters. Since you and your mom were such supportive parents, did it surprise you when a character like Cecile popped onto the page?

First of all, I have to disabuse you of a few notions. My mother is actually more Cecile […]

Up, Up, and Away: How a group of researchers is reinventing school libraries

These days it seems like school librarians are under attack, if not already an endangered species. After eight years of the No Child Left Behind Act—which, paradoxically, chipped away at many library positions—recent state and local budget shortfalls have led to rounds and rounds of layoffs for school librarians.

Some days you just wonder: Isn’t there any good news?

As a matter of fact, there is. While things are tough in the trenches, there’s more library research being conducted in this country […]

The Unhappy Place: What libraries can do to welcome kids who struggle with print

Libraries terrified me as a child. They were places with too many rules, with an organization system that made no sense, with intimidating counters and information stored in a form I couldn’t access.

But I loved books. Despite having what would now be called a severe reading and writing disability, as well as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, I devoured everything from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to a picture book that explained how electricity was created at Niagara Falls. I loved […]

How I Corrupted America’s Youth

Getting angry letters is no laughing matter—and the same goes for censorship

Recently, I received a message from a father in South Carolina…

“Hello Dan:

I double dog dare you to read this entire email and not dismiss it as some fringe, conservative wacko diatribe.

My son is seven years old and brought your book (Mr. Granite Is from Another Planet) up to me and said, “Dad, this book has bad words in it.”

When I read it I was shocked at the level of […]

As Easy as Pi: Picture books are perfect for teaching math

By Marilyn Burns — School Library Journal, 05/01/2010

Illustration by Joyce Hesselberth.

Searching for something to get kids excited about math? Scrambling for a great resource to share with your colleagues or use in the library?

Consider picture books.

What I’ve learned over the years is that illustrated books can help dispel the myth that math is dull, unimaginative, and inaccessible. They can spark children’s mathematical imaginations in ways that […]