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Summer reading: who doesn't love it?

We love summer reading. That wonderful feeling that comes with kicking back with a book we've been yearning to read all year. Thick books like Wolf Hall, by Hillary Mantel that transport you back to 16th century England. True stories like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. These are just of two books stacked up near my imaginary hammock.

Idea generators

Greetings friends and colleagues,

I'll bet that some of your web searches focus ideas that will help you figure out how to navigate the digital world and provide great media experiences for the children in your life.

Here are a few of my favorite go-to sites that I can count on for interesting and thoughtful ideas. All of them are free.

Introduction

Greetings Friends and Colleagues,

Please allow me to introduce myself as a new blogger on one of my favorite websites, Reading Rockets.

Meet our new edtech blogger, Dr. Julie Wood

Musings on a digital world

I'm seriously considering getting my first-ever tablet soon. Not only would I be able to travel without the heft of enough books to keep me going for a week or so, a laptop wouldn't be needed for email and I could even read my favorite newspapers.

As an adult, however, I know how easy it is to be seduced to follow a link that takes me way off whatever topic I started with; what about children who are just beginning to develop skills to stay on task?

More school library dreaming

I'm lucky enough to be involved with our school's library renovation project. I wrote about our first meeting here. Yesterday we met with the architects and we had a chance to see their first drafts.

How e-book reading changes reading behavior

I feel like I barely go through a week without reading about a school or district adopting e-readers for classrooms. Even at home, e-readers are becoming commonplace. Families are spending more time reading books with e-readers, even with their very young children.

Infographics for young kids

There seems to be an explosion of infographics these days! If you're not familiar with that term, an infographic is a visual representation of information or data. A lot of information can be displayed visually, both quickly and clearly (at least most times). As someone who has always been drawn to the visual display of information, I love a well done infographic. And I think they have potential value for the elementary classroom too, although most are designed for older students.

Free online children's books

I recently came across a very long (600+!) list of free children's books online, compiled by Gizmo's Freeware. I'm frequently asked about resources like this, so I decided to take a closer look at a few of the offerings.

Keep them learning until the end of the year

I'm puzzled by conversations and blog posts that start with phrases about how little time is left in the school year. Comments like "there's just six weeks left," "just 43 more days," and posts about the slide into summer. Late spring and warmer weather means more sports, more time outside, more yawning from sleepy kids, standardized tests, and more planning for end of the year activities like school carnivals and fun fairs….but even with all that, there is still LOTS of instructional time left this year. Teachers need to teach until the end.

Pages

"The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't." — Mark Twain