This blog offers support, information, and connections to nurture new and recent education graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education.
We welcome your participation on this blog and on the Lesley University New Teacher Community FACEBOOK page.
Our GREAT almost Spring Lesley New Teacher Community event!
Get Organized! Classroom and Professional Strategies to Manage Information Overload: A Hands-On Workshop"
us for a fun-filled, hands-on session of elegant technology strategies
that can organize your digital curriculum resources for your
students. Become acquainted with the online resources that can help
keep you informed about best practices and emerging trends in your
the explosion of digital resources that are now available to help
enrich your curriculum and your professional practice, curation – or
organization and management of digital content — is a challenge, but we
have a few GREAT solutions for you!!
Tools like Symbaloo, FlipBoard, ShareShare TV, Diigo and Pinterest work on Mac and PC computers as well as mobile devices.
Bring your laptop or mobile device and join our team as we conquer information overload!(We’ll have some available for you, too, to practice on!)
Who?Lesley University New Teacher Community!
What?Great facilitators who will be giving you lots of chances for hands on experiences
The Lesley NTC is getting ready for our March NTC Technology Event at University Hall in Cambridge. In preparation, feast your eyes on this set of wonderful resources!
Digital Learning Day: Resource Roundup
The third annual Digital Learning Day is on
February 5, 2014. The wonderful educators and researchers at Edutopia have compiled some useful resources to support digital learners all year
long. (Updated 1/2014)
Mobile Learning: Resource Roundup (2013)Edutopia’s
resource roundup includes links to blogs, articles and other resources
related to mobile technologies--from smartphones and tablets, to MP3
players and e-readers. VideoAmy's playlist on this topic, "Five-Minute Film Festival: Mobile Learning," provides additional insights into the challenges and the promise of using mobile devices for instructional purposes.
Technology in Schools: Defining the Terms, by Matt Levinson (2013)Principal
and blogger Levinson suggests that, if we're going to talk about
technology in schools, we should begin by coming to a general agreement
about what technology is.
Blended Learning Series, by Lisa Michelle Dabbs, Andrew Miller, and Heather Wolpert-Gawron (2012)
This three-part blog series covers tips and strategies for
incorporating blended learning -- a combination of both online and
face-to-face education -- in the classroom.
Salman Khan on Liberating the Classroom for Creativity (2011) The
founder of Khan Academy, a free educational video library that features
over two thousand titles and an interactive dashboard for formative
assessment, discusses how his videos can help create a "flipped
classroom" that allows blended learning -- online lectures can happen at
home and project-based learning can happen during school.
Challenging the Model of 1:1 with BYOD, by Amanda Paquette (2012)
Tech specialist Paquette describes how her school district is
blending the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and 1:1 classroom technology
models to meet students' needs.
Top Ten Tips for Teaching with New Media Guide (2011) Our
downloadable PDF classroom guide is full of succinct and practical ways
to prepare our students for 21st-century success. This guide will help
you deliver the relevant and meaningful education all students deserve.
Technology Tools Community DiscussionVisit
Edutopia's community discussion for information about technology tools,
resources, and recommendations (including the vast world of online
Made With Play: Game-Based Learning Resources (2013)Edutopia's
Made With Play series takes a look at game-like learning principles in
action and commercial games in real classrooms -- and offers tips and
tools for bringing them into your own practice.
Five-Minute Film Festival: Game-Based Learning, by Amy Erin Borovoy (2012)
The social Web is buzzing about the possibilities and potential
downsides of video games in education. VideoAmy has put together a
playlist of videos about games for learning.
The Digital Divide: Resource Roundup (Updated 2013)
The "digital divide" is still a critical issue in education. This
updated resource roundup includes resources and organizations to help
educators understand the changing landscape and find information about
supporting all learners to develop digital and media literacy.
The best gift you can give a child is time with them.
Read, hug, listen, talk....
From the International Reading Association Reading Today Online:
Diverse and Impressive Picture Books of 2013
December 11, 2013
diverse and artistically impressive picture books filled the shelves
of libraries and bookstores during 2013. Anyone wanting to add to their
collection of picture books will find it quite easy to find something
from the list. The problem might be deciding exactly how many books to
purchase. As part of the end of the year round-up of titles that caught
our eyes and delighted our imaginations, members of the Children’s
Literature and Reading Special Interest Group celebrate the approaching
holidays with our favorite picture books of the year. Since picture
books may be used at any grade level, we have not separated our
offerings by grade level.
Asim, Jabari. (2012). Fifty cents and a dream: Young Booker T. Washington. Illus. by Bryan Collier. New York NY: Little Brown Books for Young Readers.
in a free verse style, this beautifully illustrated biography tells
the life story of Booker T. Washington. Previous interpretations of
Washington’s life have often run contrary to the concepts of the fight
for freedom and true emancipation as seen in other versions and
approaches to civil rights. In this version of his life story, author
Jabari Asim presents the determination of a young man born into
slavery, but given his freedom by the end of the Civil War years.
hard work and with just a few pennies in his pocket, he walked 500
miles to begin the academic life he so earnestly sought when he
received admission into the Hampton Institute in Virginia. Working as a
janitor while he was at Hampton, Booker earned his degree and went on
to become a teacher, truly living the dream he had placed before
himself as a young boy. Detailed author notes at the end of the book
provide a timeline and further details of the life of this determined
Teachers will find an interesting interview with both author and illustrator at this popular children’s literature blog, Mr. Schu Reads.
—Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Becker, Aaron. (2013). Journey. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
magical story takes readers on a journey to far worlds through the
imagination of one youngster. Left to her own devices as her family
goes about their own pursuits and ignores her, a young girl picks up a
red marker from her bedroom floor and proceeds to draw her own
adventure, starting with a door in the wall. She leaves her room
quickly as the door opens into a luminous, lush, green-filled natural
world. By turns, she then draws a boat, a hot air balloon, and a flying
carpet that enable her to travel to all sorts of places.
travels enable her to make new friends and encounter enemies determined
to imprison a lovely lavender bird and the artist. After drawing her
own escape, she finally meets the bird's creator with whom she
apparently has quite a lot in common. The watercolor and pen and ink
illustrations are filled with imaginative details and prompt readers to
stretch their imaginations amid this marvelous wordless picture book. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Belloni, Giulia. (2013). Anything is possible. Illus. by Marco Trevisan. Translated by William Anselmi. Toronto, ON: Owlkids.
looking for ways to introduce the importance of math in early
childhood will want to take a close look at this book. Sheep is so
envious of the birds flying overhead that she gets the idea to build a
flying machine. Knowing that her “friend” Wolf is really good at
mathematics, she takes the idea to Wolf and asks him to help with the
project. Wolf isn’t so sure about this crazy idea, but he gets busy
with his ruler and protractor and starts to scribble mathematical
equations and formulas all over the place.
attempts, resignations, and failures, they are perplexed. Wings didn’t
work and neither did helium balloons. With sparse text, the
illustrations do a wonderful job at filling in the spaces for a young
reader’s observation to take flight. Working together and showing
determination and perseverance, the two unlikely friends discover a
solution that works. A short YouTube video book trailer will help introduce the book to young readers. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Brown, Peter. (2013). Mr. Tiger goes wild. New York, NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Tiger doesn’t do much roaring at the start of this picture book. In
fact, as expected by cultural mores, any wild inclinations seem to have
been buried deep within his striped body, and he has been thoroughly
civilized, strapped into a coat, shirt, tie, and even a top hat. But
he's bored with his lifestyle and longs to do something out of the
norm. His first departure from what everyone else is doing is fairly
simple, but as he continues to engage in increasingly daring acts, his
friends and neighbors suggest that he leave so that his actions don’t
offend their sensibilities. Although he does so, he misses the others'
companionship. When he returns to civilization, it's on his own terms.
Tiger returns, but remains true to himself despite the efforts of
others to enforce conformity. The accompanying illustrations, created
with India ink, watercolor, gouache, and pencil and then digitally
composed and colored, are filled with delights, including the opening
pages filled with a muted palette that is relieved only by Mr. Tiger’s
vibrant orange. As he frolics in the wilderness, the pages are covered
in greens and flashes of Mr. Tiger's shimmering orange coat. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Chin, Jason. (2013). Island: A story of the Galápagos. New York, NY: Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Group.
with a volcanic eruption over six million years ago, this narrative
nonfiction is beautifully designed beginning with end papers that are
entitled “Species of the Galápagos” and contain thumbnail sketches for
the very unusual plant and animal life that spawned on these unique
volcanic islands. In rather simple language with beautiful paintings,
the book is divided into five sections describing the evolution of the
island: Birth, Childhood, Adulthood, Old Age and an Epilogue.
the epilogue is dated 1835, the year that Charles Darwin visited the
islands and wrote about them for the world to know. The author has
included detailed notes at the end of this biogeography to add further
explanations for the appearance of the island and its strange
inhabitants. This book was named one of the Outstanding Science Trade
Books for 2013. Vist the author’s website with award news and more reviews or visit the publisher’s website for more enlargements of the interior art. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Cooper, Elisha. (2013). Train. New York, NY: Orchard Books/Scholastic, Inc.
beautiful language coupled with beautiful pictures make this book
about trains an invitation to climb aboard. Cooper has presented a look
at many different kinds of trains and travel. Starting with the
red-striped commuter train that leaves the city passing little towns as
they whiz past. Then a look at passenger trains and from Grand Central
Station, a freight train leaves filled with all kinds of cargo
traveling to distant places. An overnight train chugs its way across
the country and over the Rocky Mountains. Finally, a bullet-shaped
high-speed train takes its passengers on to the big cities of the west
Cooper repeats the phrase, “passengers on, passengers
off” throughout the various journeys in addition to bringing beautiful
vistas and also interior views of these different types of trains. Each
ride or train brings new experiences for young readers. Read more
about the creation of this book in an interview on the blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Daywalt, Drew. (2013). The day the crayons quit. Illus. by Oliver Jeffers. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
arrives at school one morning and reaches into his desk to pull out
his box of crayons. Much to his surprise, he finds a stack of letters
instead. The letters are from the crayons and they have decided to
quit! The letters are from each color of crayon in his box
specifically, with each stating its complaints. Red is tired, Peach is
embarrassed, Beige is tired of being boring, Black is misunderstood,
Yellow and Orange are spatting with each other, Pink feels undervalued,
and so the moans and groans from each color are represented.
wonderful pencil, paint, and crayon illustrations personify the
emotions and disgruntlement of each character so that readers will
understand their labor issues. Photographs of letters and coloring
pages add another dimension to this cleverly designed book. Duncan is
able to offer resolution to the crayon group so that everyone has a
satisfying ending. Teachers will appreciate some of the lesson ideas
for this book at the blog, The Classroom Bookshelf, or sharing the short slide show at the author’s website. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Floca, Brian. (2013). Locomotive. New York, NY: Atheneum Book for Young Readers.
end paper, title page, to page one and on to the last end paper, this
beautifully designed book is a train-lover’s delight from start to
finish. The front endpapers tell the story of the building of the
Transcontinental Railroad so that the story within the pages shares the
journey of an unnamed family traveling in 1869 from Omaha, Nebraska,
to San Francisco, California.
Told in poetic prose, readers
will truly be immersed in the trip with sounds, colors, and images of
train travel in those early days. The use of a wide variety, size and
style of fonts adds to the kinetic feel of the journey. Floca takes
reader/passengers from the engine to the caboose. The job of the
conductor, the engineer, the coal man, and the newspaper boy are
visible. Travel with the passengers as they get on and off at different
towns, stop for a bite of food, explore parts of the train and watch
the towns and parts of America fly by. Floca has identified the regions
where the train is traveling.
Peek through the train windows
as this nonfiction book takes young readers on an unforgettable train
ride. Detailed notes on the history of the locomotive add further
historical background on this visual narrative of early trains.
Teachers will find three short videos talking with the author about the book. Read an interesting interview from Publisher’s Weekly with authors Brian Floca and Elisha Cooper as they discuss their new books, both entitled, Train. A detailed CCSS guide can be found at Brian Floca’s website. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Fogliano, Julie. (2013). If you want to see a whale. Illus. by Erin E. Stead. New York, NY: Roaring Brook Press.
who has ever stared at clouds and imagined the possibilities in the
sky or looked at the horizon and hoped to see something interesting
approaching will be captivated by this picture book. Even while the
story's two characters, a boy and his dog, wait as patiently as
possible for a whale, there is much to distract them. While they’ve
been advised to ignore everything else while they are waiting for that
whale, they seem to be savoring the joys of the rest of the world
during their vigil.
With its repetitive reminder “if you want
to see a whale…” (unpaged), this title is a superb reminder that good
things come to those who wait. Both the text and the illustrations,
created with pencil and linoleum print techniques, are exemplary and
sure to engage readers. The last two pages featuring a
barnacle-encrusted whale swimming right under the boy's boat and then
just the tip of the whale emerging from the briny waters are worth the
wait. Readers may wonder if the whale was right there, beneath the
boy’s notice, all along. Young readers will want to check out the
animal-filled cloud shapes in the sky in one of the illustrations. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Global baby girls. (2013). Text by The Global Fund for Children. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
The Global Fund for Children has produced several wonderful books for young children including Global Babies in 2006 and American Babies
in 2010. This new addition to the series focuses on girls around the
world. Full color photographs with baby girls in their native clothing
present an emphasis on what girls can do. From countries as diverse as
Russia, New Zealand, Liberia, India, Peru, France, China, Guatemala,
Canada and the United States, the importance of young girls is visually
brought to our youngest readers through this beautifully presented
board book. Learn more about The Global Fund for Children and see some of the internal art for this book at their website.
—Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Guiberson, Brenda Z. (2013). Frog song. Illus. by Gennady Spirin. New York, NY: Henry Holt.
RIBBIT! Plonk! BRACK! Thrum-rum! Frogs have a song for trees, bogs,
burrows and logs.” These are some of the opening lines to Frog Song,
aptly named for the wonderful sounds and songs that emanate from this
book. Teachers looking for a mentor text to teach onomatopoeia, look no
further! Spirin’s beautiful double-page spread illustrations of frogs
in their natural habitats around the globe provide the artistic
backdrop for Guiberson’s poetic text about the music and sound of
From the strawberry poison dart frogs in Costa Rica to
the tarantula-eating narrow-mouthed toad of Oklahoma to the Surinam toad
with no tongue from Ecuador each worldly frog is more interesting than
the next. The author also sends out a strong environmental message at
the end when she writes that frogs are in trouble. Forests and plants
are drying up and disappearing so the habitats for the frogs are gone
and their songs will be silenced if we do not take care of the planet.
This book is a science treasure and the teaching guide that goes with
it will be ever so helpful to teachers. The author and illustrator have
worked together to create a beautiful resource guide with activities to accompany their book. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Hillenbrand, Will. (2013). Off we go: A Bear and Mole story. New York, NY: Holiday House.
along with Hillenbrand’s third adventure with good friends, Bear and
Mole. This time patient Bear is teaching Mole to ride a bike and they
begin by taking off the training wheels. Fastening on his safety
helmet, Mole is ready for takeoff. Bear pats his friend on the back for
good luck and Mole begins his wobbly first attempt that ends in a
crash landing with leaves flying and little critters fleeing. Mole is
crying and discouraged, but Bear is there to help him try again. The
second attempt is a success and Mole gains speed and confidence as he
zooms away, just in time for the Storymobile. This promises to be a
great read aloud and Hillenbrand has painted wonderful expressions on
the faces of characters and used language that will keep young
listeners engaged and laughing, though reminded of their first, or yet
to be, attempts at riding a bike alone.
Will Hillenbrand has created a 6-minute video
on the work behind this book that includes a short video of his son
learning to ride a bike. Young readers will get a look at the
behind-the-scenes work of an author/illustrator. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Hopkinson, Deborah. (2013). Knit your bit: A World War I story. Illus. by Steven Guarnaccia. New York, NY: Putnam Juvenile.
their father leaves for service overseas during WWI, Ellie does her
bit by joining her mother in knitting clothing for the service men. At
first her brother Mikey considers knitting to be beneath him, but he
changes his mind after his female classmates challenge him and his
friends to enter a knitting bee in Central Park. Although the boys'
work is nowhere near as professional as the girls' knitting, all of
them feel satisfied to have done their bit for the soldiers by
Mikey is especially moved by the attention of one
soldier who tells him how much comfort the warm woolen objects will
bring. The pen and ink and painted watercolor illustrations evoke a
sense of pride and allow the woolen stitches in the knitted bits to be
visible to readers. This title would be a perfect pairing with Lita
Judge's One Thousand Tracings (Disney-Hyperion, 2007) for a
text set illustrating how those on the home front brought comfort to
others on the battle lines and abroad. Back matter includes information
on the knitting bees and knitting clubs of the time as well as
suggesting websites that provide ways young knitters can get involved
even today. The endpapers containing photos of school children knitting
add authenticity to the story told here. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Idle, Molly Schaar. (2013). Flora and the flamingo. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.
in her pink bathing suit, bathing cap, and flippers, Flora happens
upon a beautiful and stately flamingo. In wordless text and
lift-the-flap illustrations, Flora attempts to mimic the graceful
movements of the flamingo, but as the lithe flamingo flexes in
directions the stout little Flora can’t manage, Flora burst into tears.
The flamingo patiently begins to teach Flora the dancelike movements
of the graceful bird. A double-page spread fold-out bursts from the
middle of the book as Flora and the flamingo enjoy the dance. Molly Idle
worked in animation at DreamWorks and this talent is brought to life
in this fanciful and beautiful wordless experience in print. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Kearney, Meg. (2013). Trouper. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. New York, NY: Scholastic.
picture book captures perfectly the universal desire for a home and
someone to love. Even stray dogs long for a forever home and some
comfort. Trouper is part of a large dog pack of various sizes and
breeds. As they search for a meal, they cause disorder, and they endure
cruelty from others. When a dogcatcher lures them into his truck, the
pack ends up at a shelter. All of them are adopted except three-legged
Trouper, whose lonely heart "was a cold, starless night" (unpaged) once
his friends have left. Luckily for him, though, a tender-hearted boy
adopts him and brings him home. The bond between the two is clear in the
The text is filled with beautiful
language that pays tribute to a brave dog and a boy who sees beneath an
imperfect surface into that dog's spirit, while the watercolor
illustrations capture perfectly the dog's anxiety, loneliness, and joy
at having found someone "who liked the way I lean on those I love"
(unpaged). Not only will this book inspire some to add a dog to their
family, but it may convert a few feline lovers into canine aficionados.
This is a wonderful book for sharing aloud and evoking a sense of
compassion in others. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Kelly, Susan and Deborah Lee Rose. (2013) Jimmy the joey: The true story of an amazing Koala rescue. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Kids.
is a koala joey that was rescued when his mother was killed trying to
cross a highway in Australia. Jimmy was found the next day and taken to
the Koala Hospital. The volunteers there kept him warm and named him
Jimmy. Only six months old, Jimmy is cared for like a human baby,
though he is a marsupial. A volunteer named Barb, took Jimmy home with
her to care for him. He slept in a laundry basket and cuddled with Barb
like a living teddy bear. Eventually, Jimmy started to munch on
eucalyptus leaves like all koalas do. By the time he was a year old,
Jimmy was placed in the hospital’s tree yard so he could be with other
koalas and where he learned to climb trees and develop a community with
the other koalas. As Jimmy grew bigger it was time to release him back
into his natural habitat in the forest.
The final pages of the
book include a map, additional information, websites and places to
visit to see koalas. Teachers will not want to miss the detailed teacher’s guide provided by the publisher with CCSS connections and also Jimmy’s own Facebook page! Visit the Koala Hospital page to see where Jimmy was given a second chance at life or the author’s page with early videos of Jimmy. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Lewis, J. Patrick, editor. (2012). National
Geographic book of animal poetry; with favorites from Robert Frost,
Jack Prelutsky, Emily Dickinson, and more: 200 poems with photographs
that squeak, soar and roar! Washington, D.C., National Geographic.
animal poems were selected by J. Patrick Lewis to accompany the
beautiful photography that only National Geographic can offer. The
range of wonderful poets included makes this an exceptional anthology,
but one especially helpful feature for teachers, in addition to the
guide mentioned below, are the resources included in the back of the
book. There are detailed indexes of poets, first lines, titles and
subject, but also resources for many different kinds of poetic forms
like portmanteaus, parodies, reversos, spoonerisms, lipograms, double
dactyls, palindromes and more. “Writing Poems about Animals” is a guide
for young writers to try their own hand at writing some animal poetry.
Teachers will enjoy this downloadable classroom guide to using this book. Listen to Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis read from this book at the Nat Geo Website.
—Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Mader, Roger. (2013). Lost cat. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.
lovers will be worried once they begin reading this picture book of a
lost cat named Slipper. Part of that anxiety relates to imagining all
the terrible things that might happen to her, and part of it relates to
how the story effectively evokes empathy for Slipper as she
characterizes each person according to his/her footwear. When Slipper’s
human companion, Mrs. Fluffy Slippers, moves in with her daughter,
somehow the cat is left behind in all the bustle of moving boxes and
furniture. Once the humans realize that Slipper isn't with them, they
return to Slipper’s house. But she has tried to follow them and is
nowhere to be found. After a series of encounters with Ms. Muddy Boots,
Mrs. Iron Shoes, Mr. Cowboy Boots, High Tops, Mr. Big Boots, and Miss
Shiny Shoes, the cat somehow finds her way home.
pastels, the illustrations capture Slipper's physical features and
personality in extraordinary fashion. Readers can see the affection she
has for the slippers around which she sleeps and the determination with
which she seeks out a new family. The artist is clearly familiar with
the habits of felines, having captured perfectly Slipper's trust in her
new family as she rolls onto her back and shows her belly and her
delight in the sensuous pleasure experience while rubbing against a
pair of fluffy slippers. Most of all, though, this picture book serves
as a reminder to keep animal companions such as dogs and cats in
carriers when moving from one place to another or when movers are
present. Although Slipper's story ends happily, not every story like
this does. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Nelson, Kadir. (2013). Nelson Mandela. New York, NY: Katherine Tegen Books/imprint of HarperCollins.
Nelson has once again created a children’s book masterpiece with his
free verse writing and exquisite oil on birch plywood illustrations
depicting the life of Nelson Mandela. Beginning with the full cover
portrait of Mandela on the front, the title appears on the back of the
Kadir Nelson begins the life story of Mandela, or
Rolihlahla, his Xhosa name, which means troublemaker. It was a
schoolteacher who gave him the name Nelson. As a bright child, he
listened to the stories of the village elders to learn of the history
and exploitation of his country by Europeans. At the age of nine, he
leaves his village to get an education and eventually becomes a lawyer.
While he is on his path to education he also experiences the injustices
of apartheid and gets a close look at what is happening in his cruelly
segregated country. His decision to get politically involved to end
apartheid eventually leads to his arrest and 30 years in prison. Upon
his release from prison all those years later, he again returns to the
political scene to become the President of South Africa and lead his
country into a state of equality.
Kadir Nelson’s poetic prose
does not go into all the difficulties Mandela encountered both
politically and within his own personal life, but writes of the more
philosophical journey of Mandela. Author notes at the end provide
further back matter into Mandela’s life and triumphs. Visit Kadir Nelson’s webpage for a closer look at many of the illustrations in his new book or listen to this book summary on YouTube.
—Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Sheth, Kashmira. (2013). Tiger in my soup. Illus. by Jeffery Ebbeler. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers.
readers will relate to this title in which a boy's older sister is too
preoccupied with her own reading to read aloud her sibling’s book. So
intent is she on her own pages that she doesn't even notice when a
tiger appears in his bowl of soup. When she finally agrees to read his
story aloud, the boy offers suggestions for how it should be read, and
she sounds so much like a tiger that he can’t differentiate between his
sister and the tiger. This amusing story is accompanied by acrylic
illustrations that blend effectively the story’s realistic and
fantastic elements. This is a delightful read aloud that pays tribute
to the power of a good imagination and the joy of a good story. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Rosenthal, Eileen. (2013). Bobo the sailor man! Illus. by Marc Rosenthal. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
In a continuation of the adventures of three friends, a boy, a toy, and a cat, that were first introduced in I MUST Have Bobo (Atheneum, 2011) and I'll Save You, Bobo
(Atheneum, 2012), Willy heads off for a busy day, making sure to bring
along his beloved stuffed monkey, Bobo. When they arrive at the river
and find a bucket, Willy decides that they can be sailors. But before
he knows it, the bucket in which Bobo is going to sail has been swept
into the current, sending Bobo far from shore. Although Willy can't use
the slippery rocks that cross the river to rescue his friend, Earl
rescues Bobo while Willy goes home to get a fishing pole.
pencil and digitally colored illustrations are appealing, allowing the
growing annoyance of the long-suffering and under-appreciated Earl to
be more visible with each passing page. When Willy fashions official
explorer hats for Bobo and him, it's pretty clear that Earl is fed up
with his treatment. After Willy falls asleep, he gets his revenge. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Roth, Susan L. (2013). Parrots over Puerto Rico. Illus. by Cindy Trumbore. New York, NY: Lee & Low.
1975, only 13 Puerto Rican parrots remained in the wild, a far cry
from the multitude of birds that once filled the skies of the island.
Through the efforts of determined individuals who didn't want them to
disappear, artificial nesting boxes were placed in the forests, and
some of the birds were captured and moved to an aviary. This inspiring
story tells the intertwined story of Puerto Rico and its beautiful
birds and how they came back from the brink of extinction, having
battled hurricanes, invasive species, and human encroachment. The text
is lively, engaging, and filled with appreciation for the birds and
their struggle against long odds while the paper and fabric collage
illustrations are almost as mesmerizing as the actual parrots must be.
What a terrific story of survival to add to the classroom shelves! —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman
Singer, Marilyn. (2013). Follow, follow: A book of reverso poems. Illus. by Josee Masse. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.
Following the popular Mirror, Mirror (Dutton, 2010),
Marilyn Singer has written a second book based on fairy tales using
the reverso format in which the poems are presented forward and
backward. For example, in this new edition from the tale of “The
Emperor’s New Clothes,” comes Singer’s “The Birthday Suit” (p. 5):
“Behold his glorious majesty:/me,/Who dares say he drained the
treasury/on/nothing?/Ha!/This emperor has/sublime taste in finery!/ Only
a fool could fail to see./ Now read the verso poem of the same tale:
“Only a fool could fail to see./Sublime taste in finery?/This emperor
has-/ha!/nothing/on!/Who dares say he drained the treasury?/Me./Behold
his glorious majesty!/ From “The Little Mermaid’s Choice” to “Your Wish
is my Command” to “The Silly Goose,” Singer has cleverly created poems
that beg to be read aloud with two voices, punctuation emphasis and
perhaps a theatric or two for a truly enjoyable poetry experience.
Visit Marilyn Singer’s website to learn more about her work. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Stinson, Kathy. (2013). The man with the violin. Illus. by Dusan Petricic. Postscript by Joshua Bell. Toronto: Annick Press.
everyone else in the subway station, Dylan and his mother were
bustling along. When Dylan heard the beautiful strains of music coming
from a street musician playing a violin, he wanted to stop and listen.
His mother did not want to listen though Dylan begged, but his mother
grabbed his hand and continued rushing him along with the crowds. But
the music stayed dancing in Dylan’s head. When he got home he turned on
the radio and listened to the droning of the announcer until the same
beautiful violin music that he had heard in the subway station flowed
out of the radio.
The radio announcer went on to tell his
broadcast audience that the famous violinist, Joshua Bell, had
conducted an experiment playing his famous and valuable Stradivarius
violin in a free concert in the subway station that day and yet only a
very few stopped to listen for even a minute. The musician noticed that
several children tried to get their parents to stop long enough to
hear the captivating violin, but parents were too busy.
a true story that Joshua Bell relates at the end of the book, teachers
can download two of the songs Joshua played that day in the
Washington, D.C. L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station when over a thousand
people did not take time to listen to one of the world’s greatest
violinists. Annick Press has created an excellent 5-minute book trailer with the author giving the back matter of this talented man. —Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Tuck, Pamela M. (2013). As fast as words could fly. Illus. by Eric Velasquez. New York, NY: Lee and Low Books.
on the life of the author’s father, Pamela Tuck relives a moment in
the civil rights movement of the 1960’s in Greenville, North Carolina.
Young Mason Steele is a good writer and when his activist father needs
help writing letters to civil rights leaders or people who have
discriminated against Negroes, he dictates letters that Mason puts into
words and letters. At one point the local civil rights organization
finds a way to get Mason a real typewriter to help with his father’s
One day, his father calls Mason and his two brothers
into the kitchen and tells them they will be going to the all-white
high school that is much closer than their segregated school. The boys
are very nervous about this new turn in their lives, especially when
the school bus drives right on by them the first two days of school.
When they finally get picked up they are made to sit in the back of the
bus. Though Mason excels at school especially in typing class, it is a
very strained and difficult school atmosphere for Mason and the other
black students. Mason is able to get a job in the library typing cards
for the school librarian that adds more experience to his typing
skills. When his typing teacher, Mrs. Roberts, announces a tournament
Mason is selected as the candidate to represent the school. At the
contest, he has to choose between an electric and a manual typewriter
for the tournament. He chooses the manual typewriter and when the
contest begins, his fingers fly across the keyboard to win the
tournament. No one cheers or applauds. No one congratulates Mason. He
received nothing. Later, when his principal, Mr. Bullock, asked him why
he chose the manual typewriter, Mason replied, “Cause it reminds me of
where I come from, sir.” (p. 31)
The book concludes with
detailed notes from the author about her father’s experience and
describes the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. Read more about the
background of this story at the publisher’s website.
—Karen Hildebrand, Ohio Library and Reading Consultant
Wiesner, David. (2013). Mr. Wuffles! New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin/Clarion Books.
like many felines, Mr. Wuffles is particularly choosy when it comes to
toys. Despite his human companion's efforts to interest him in a
series of toy mice, feathery creations, and a fish on a string, the
disdainful cat is completely disinterested. He becomes fascinated by a
shiny metal spacecraft filled with aliens. Filled with close-up
depictions of Mr. Wuffles keeping a watchful eye on the craft,
clutching it in his paws, rolling it along the floor, and blissfully
rubbing his chin against it, this picture book with its distinctive
watercolor and India ink illustrations is vintage David Wiesner.
to say, all Mr. Wuffles’ rough treatment damages the craft, and the
aliens set off on a dangerous mission right under the cat’s nose and
claws in search of materials with which to make repairs. They form an
alliance with several insects and eventually make their escape. Fans of
this talented visual storyteller will recognize many of his favorite
themes and images while being thoroughly entertained by his efforts.
This is another winner in a long line of exceptional picture books by a
master. —Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman These reviews are submitted by members of the International Reading Association's Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (CL/R SIG) and are published weekly on Reading Today Online.
Thinking about a potty with an i-pad built in? Oh my, oh my, oh my....
Here are some qualities that make for good playthings for children.
From the National Association for the Education of Young Children:
Eight Things to Know about Toys
Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:25 — firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Susan Friedman
Toys, toys, toys! There’s a lot of information in the news about toys. Conversations about princess toys, a potty chair that holds an i-pad (is that even a toy?) and lists of the best and worst toys.
NAEYC offers content that focuses on children’s learning and
development, and from that perspective we highlight a number of
resources as you sort through your thoughts about toys.
3. The type of toy matters.
Research shows that different toys impact children’s behavior in
different ways. Some toys have a powerful influence on children’s
thinking, interaction with peers, and creative expression. Others do
7. Simple toys and tools can support children's science explorations.
Young children don't need highly specialized or expensive equipment to
learn how to explore the natural world scientifically. They do need, as
Rachel Carson mused in The Sense of Wonder, “the companionship of at
least one adult who can share it.” Simple toys and tools with adult
support can engage children as they explore natural phenomena in ways
that will support their later science learning.
This is a terrific conference and a wonderful opportunity for new teachers. You'll meet with fellow educators and get tips on everything from classroom management, working with parents, assessing student progress, behavior, creating lesson plans, bully-proofing your classroom and so much more. It's highly recommended and you'll bring home ideas that you can put to use right away in your own classrooms and teaching environments. GO!!!!!!
Just For New Teachers Conference
Date: Friday, December 6, 2013 Time: 8 AM - 3 PM Location: Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel 181 Boston Post Road West Marlborough, MA 01752 Description: MTA's Just for New Teachers
Conference presents the perfect opportunity to meet with fellow
educators and get tips on everything from classroom management, working
with parents and assessing student progress to addressing bullying and
creating great lesson plans.
This one-day conference, brought to
you by MTA’s New Member Committee, will also offer workshops on
licensure, teaching English language learners and legal basics. Massachusetts Education Secretary Matt Malone will deliver the keynote address. Who Should Attend: The conference is open to MTA
members who are in their first four years of practice. NEA/MTA student
members entering the final year of an educator preparation program or
who have completed student teaching and any other students enrolled in
education degree programs are also invited.
register individuals or groups by calling 800.392.6175, ext. 8305.
District payment should be made by check or money order to the
Massachusetts Teachers Association. Cost: $60 for New Teachers and $30 for College Students REGISTRATION DETAILS Click here for online registration.
Districts may register individuals or groups by calling 800.392.6175,
ext. 8305. District payment should be made by check or money order to
the Massachusetts Teachers Association. NOTE: This conference is appropriate for use by
school districts and teachers as part of induction programs for all new
teachers (603 CMR 7.00). The MTA will provide all conference
participants with a record of attendance.
On Saturday, October 19th, the Lesley New Teacher Community presented:
EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT
STRATEGIES: PRACTICAL TIPS AND RESOURCES FROM
TEACHERS JUST LIKE YOU
How lucky we were to spend this glorious fall day together! The feedback was terrific...and we universally received
top marks from the 24 participants who handed back their forms. Thank you also to the Alumni Office for providing a delicious brunch for all of us.
Seeing and hearing the similarities and the differences from teachers who taught elementary, middle school and high school was fascinating.
What incredible work teachers do every day of
The enthusiastic participants left with ideas and strategies that made sense,
which was the goal.
Here are some of the insights:
What was one new idea or insight you found useful from today?
Modeling steps will be very helpful to me.
It pays to be organized.
Bathroom tags, name tags, seating issues---explicit structure helps students know what to do no matter what the grade or level.
Visiting other classrooms and collaborating with other new teachers is really helpful
Saying "thank you.," or "I noticed," and not "I like" or I love..." helps students work for themselves.
Slowing down and teaching modeling about what seems to be obvious, but maybe isn't to students no matter what the grade. They shouldn't have to guess what's in my mind or guess about what I think is success. It should be explicit.
Power of words cannot be underestimated. Being very mindful of my speech is a goal.
I need to remember: I need to thinking and try to do my best and then let it go and remember to stay happy outside of school, too.
Movement activities are terrific for transitions, especially number shake downs.
Explicit modeling of behavior helps all children be successful.
Colored behavior cards and "secret language" for the challenging child makes a difference.
It's worth it to play to your students strengths.
Breathe, do what you can. Set goals for carving out a personal life and work towards it.
Make time to meet with colleagues to share ideas.
Use of responsive classroom techniques really helps with developing community and presenting techniques for behavior management.
I appreciate the insight about the kids not needing to please me. The
language used should be to get them to do the best for themselves.
Visuals around the classroom helps students remember expectations and routines.