Archive for January, 2008

The Edge of the Forest

I recently found a great children’s literature website, The Edge of the Forest.  They offer interesting reviews on picture books, middle grade fiction, non fiction, young adult fiction, and graphic novels.  My favorite feature, however, is Kid Picks.  Each month, a group of kids is asked to report on what they are reading.  For January, the editors talked to 3rd and 4th graders.  Big surprise… the majority of them recommended Harry Potter!



Lazy Readers Book Club!

The same two teachers I mentioned in my last post pointed me to the Lazy Readers’ Book Club! I love the premise of this site (as stated on the home page):

As teachers, parents or whatever state we find ourselves in, we often cannot find time to read for fun, and I think it is important that our children see us reading for pleasure. Therefore, each month I provide book recommendations that are quick and easy to read for personal pleasure. I try not to include any books over 250 pages, and I always include books written for a variety of ages (don’t be shy about reading kids’ books, though; they are my favorites because they generally have shorter chapters, bigger print and colorful pictures).

This site is fantastic because you can find books for all ages, quick book reviews and ideas and links to Amazon to purchase the recommended books. Since there are only a few days of January left over, how about fitting Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs onto your read aloud list this week (this is book number 8 on Danny’s January lazy readers list).

Plus you can feel good about purchasing the books on Danny’s list since all of the proceeds from books purchased through the Amazon links on the site are donated to BookEnds–a non-profit literacy organization that aims to increase community literacy and access to books.

Off to be a lazy reader!


Mr. Lyons’ Kindergarten Class

During my week at the Florida Education Technology Conference, I met two very resource-savvy literacy/technology teachers. I was so excited to chat with them because they had a fantastic running list of literacy resources on the Internet. One of the resources they recommended to me was Mr. Lyons’ Kindergarten Class. I like this site because it is filled with downloadables like these word walls. Since February is coming up, why not print out Mr. Lyons’ February Word Wall for your students so that they can learn about Abraham Lincoln, groundhogs, pennies, quarters and more!

Thanks Mr Lyons.


Spelling City

While reading Larry Ferlazzo’s edublog this morning, I learned about Spelling City. The site states: is a website that helps students prepare for the weekly spelling test and it is surprisingly fun. In addition to helping kids test themselves, it has learning games that you can use with your own spelling list such as hangman and word scramble. These games can be printed out and done on paper or played online. For the younger kids, you can print out the list on writing paper for them to practice their spelling and forming the letters. Students like using the computer to learn with. And they particularly like hearing their spelling list said backwards! Teachers can put up their spelling list online which saves everyone a lot of time and encourages the kids to study. And don’t worry about the cost, there is none.

Tell parents about this site for sure! Playing the spelling review games brought back memories of late night spelling practice sessions with my mother as an elementary student. I am sure she would have asked me to use Spelling City if it had existed back then.

Happy S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G!


Florida adopts free open content reading platform–

The state of Florida officially adopted (a free open source literacy program) as a K1 supplementary intervention for its 2008 instructional materials adoption process! Learn more about it:

eSchool News: Florida adopts open-content reading platform

USA Today: Fla. approves free, online reading program

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators!

Yesterday while walking from my hotel to the Florida Education Technology Conference, I bumped into Kathy Schrock–creator of Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators! I’ve been a fan of her Guide for years, so as you can image I was super excited to meet her! Take a look at her recommended Literature and ELA resources! Through Kathy’s Guide, I found:

1) The Portland Public Schools Leveled Picture Books Database and The Beaverton School District Leveled Book Database

2) Professor Garfield’s Teachers’ Lounge reading fluency resources, tips and tricks

3) Read Print–a site filled with free copies of classic books for “students, teachers and the classic enthusiast”

Thanks Kathy!


K12 Open Ed: Another place to find links to free education resources

Check out K12 Open Ed–a site filled with links to sites on the Internet that provide open source and free educational content such as Textbook Revolution and OERCommons. -Anna

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