Sunday, January 27, 2008

Book Tools

Scholastic is the name in elementary and middle school books. (Kay pointed out that they don't usually do high school book fairs and that may be why.) In technology, it's probably the same way, but I'm here to tell you different. If you haven't been to the Scholastic website lately, let's take a tour of it together and point out some new greats and some old faves.

  • For all of you coaches out there, here's a fun place to get information, lesson plans, read articles, win a pitching machine, and more for each sport. It's the Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director and could become an invaluable tool for each coach out there.
  • The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is sure to be an inspiration to your students out there. The contest looks interesting, but it's the anthology that grabbed my attention. It's not an anthology of world famous artists but some of the best young artists and writers in our world today. I wonder if they are the same authors who peer tutor in the writing section?
  • Write It! is a great tool for high school writing teachers and students. Great information on the steps to writing, feedback from teen authors who have won national awards, a place to chat about your writing, and even a place where students can publish their work. Students can create their own portfolio for writing right here.
  • This past week at FETC I was introduced to a new tool called Teacher Book Wizard. Thanks to this little wizard, Joey and I are about to run to the book store and find the books on the list that are similar but a bit harder than his all time favorite book, "No David". Then again, I don't need an excuse to go to the book store. I need to manage one.
    With this tool I can create a booklist for my class on different genres or maybe a wish list of books that I want in my classroom library. The list will generate a unique url so I can post it on my web page, or I can print it out and send it home with my students. There'll be a green check mark next to AR or Reading Counts if there is a test that goes along with the book- which will prompt me as the teacher to see if my school has the test and if not campaign to get the test. You do need to register for the website to create and save lists - but don't worry - it's free. I really see value with this tool!
  • Of course Scholastic is carrying on the tradition of following the Presidential candidates. If you believe the statistics, the youngsters are great at predicting the future president! But there's more here than just election news. Check out the Scholastic News that includes KidTech (with a picture of Slash and Bill Gates on stage together), news about the unrest in Pakistan, and more. So for teachers who are a little nervous about using the news in the classroom - check out how these youngsters make the news relevant and entertaining for the students. From International to Political to Entertainment, there's news here for each subject to write across the curriculum.
  • Scholastic Connect is a great place for teachers and students. The discussion boards, teachers pay teachers, sweepstakes, and so much more are here to help teachers get connected with each other and with what's going on in today's classrooms.
These are all free services, and probably about 1% of all that's available at Scholastic. We need to thank Scholastic for providing these tools with us, and the best way to do that is to just start using them.

Gotta go. My booklist is printed and Joey and I are ready to hit the bookstore.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I liked teacher book wizard for the listing power, but I like it even more for leveling books that are in my library. I just type in the title in quick search and get the lexile level. You can also level by DRA, guided reading, and grade level. Great tool.