Tools for Reading and Literacy – October 2011

For a multitude of reasons, the Reading Tools Roundup has shifted to periodic publication rather than a monthly column. I will stick with this schedule for the foreseeable future.

Welcome to the October edition of the Tools for Reading and Literacy. This is a periodic annex to the Literacy and Reading News Roundup, a collaborative effort  with Jen Robinson (Jen Robinson’s Book Page), Carol Rasco (Rasco from RIF), and me. I couldn’t do this Tools Roundup without the significant contributions – and incredible research skills – of Susan Stephenson of The Book Chook blog!

In each issue you will find links to articles, websites, and online tools that facilitate the processes of reading and learning. Whether the information is recently published or a couple of years’ old, it’s new to me and may be new to you. Enjoy!

Starting off

In late August, the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) released its New Voices List (pdf). For those unfamiliar with the list, it comprises great middle grade and young adult début authors.

Book lists are always a great go-to resource, and as we close in on the last 60 days of the year – not to mention a couple of holidays – you’ll start to see them everywhere. Whether you want this year’s “best” or have a specific genre you love … there is a list that you’ll find valuable, not only in having tried-and-true recommendations, but as time savers in finding THE perfect gift.

Resources for Kids

Book Club It “Create your very own customized book club and invite friends or connect with friends online who have similar book interest. Manage your book club by creating meetings, polls, and deciding who can join your book club. Have control on the current and future books you read. Discuss your favorite books online or create book club meetings to discuss your book in person. Create custom topics and have unlimited discussions.” (via Susan Stephenson @BookChook)

Resources for Educators (that’s Parents, too!)

The Teaching Library offers a synopsis of a book and educational ways to bring the book to life. For example, I went to Michael Recycle and read through a series of discussion questions and watched a video related to the book’s theme. This would be useful for homeschooling families, parents, and librarians, too. (via Susan Stephenson @BookChook)

Marisa at recently reached out to me, and I am SO glad she did. I’ve been spending some time on her blog, and love her page Marisa’s Dream Library. “In Marisa’s Dream Library you will find a growing collection of the library that I would wish for every child to have access to in some capacity. This library can be a tool for teachers looking to develop their classroom libraries, for families looking to build a home library, or even for children to research what kinds of books they find interesting.”

What I particularly love is how each of her audiences (early elementary, late elementary, and middle school) are broken into three groups that help you find what YOUR audience likes: super series, amazing authors, great genres.

Unwrapping Literacy

This month I have two video series, both offering instruction on ways to read with children.

First up, the Literacy Clinic at Northern Illinois University (NIU) launched a Raising Readers video series to “promote parents reading at home.” Although the NIU press release focuses on “reading,” the series itself is much broader and covers all aspects of literacy. Among the first set of videos is information on helping kids with writing and comprehension tools / strategies. The Literacy Clinic has its own YouTube Channel, so do check out all of them, not just the one featured here.

Just this morning I discovered a series on Mr. McGlover’s YouTube channel. These are short (3 to 5 minute) videos that demonstrate reading with elementary text. Mr. McGlover does a lot with pointing. It is well-paced for new readers. These are not masterpieces, but they are cute stories and Mr. McGlover adds different voices and enthusiasm. [He also has a series of math videos!]

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