Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the Classroom Round-Up

The round-up today is of resources for classroom teachers.

After such an historic event of the inauguration of the 44th president, some teachers might like to have President Obama's inauguration speech to listen to as a class or to replay. has a free download of the speech.

It's never too early to start preparing for Read Across America Day! Random House is offering a free activity guide.

Each month, the Calendar offers quick classroom activities, lesson plans, Web links, and texts pertaining to various reading–related and general interest events. Here is a sampling of the links for February:
February 2: Groundhog Day.
February 4: African American Read-In continues throughout the month.
February 9: Author Alice Walker was born on this day in 1944.
February 16: Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton was born in 1957.
February 27: Author John Steinbeck was born in 1902.

There also are links relating to other noted authors and events, and more. For further information, visit the website.

The Reading Zone announced the publication of Kelly Gallagher's newest book, Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It. You can read the book free of charge on the publisher's website. Also, Kelly Gallagher is doing a series of blog tours for the remainder of the week into Monday. Visit The Reading Zone for all of the details.

You know that kid who loves Harry Potter books and has read them all three times but now wants to read more book like it? Never fear, What Should I Read Next? is here! Just go to this website, type in the title of a book you love and it will come back with a list of suggestions similar to the title you submitted. Pretty cool, huh?

Reale books is a website where you can download free software to create children's books and share them around the world. Check out this video of how teachers have used Reale books with kids.

Karl Fisch, the Director of Technology for Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado writes on his blog The Fischbowl about some of the ninth graders at his school are currently involved in a project based on Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind. On Thursday, January 15th, the students discussed Chapter 4 (Design) of A Whole New Mind with Daniel Pink (see the wiki for the schedule of the discussions over the other chapters). This is a wonderful project and a great way to use technology to connect kids to the book's author and an authentic audience for discussing their reading. Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind, is a must read!

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has issued its 22nd annual call for grant proposals. These minigrants support creative programs that promote children's love of reading. Past grants have funded ongoing pen pal projects, multicultural portrait projects, a variety of art projects, bookmaking projects, puppet projects, and more. The deadline for submission of proposals for the $500 minigrant award is September 15, 2009. Proposals are read directly after the September deadline, and announcements will be mailed out in early November. For further information about both the minigrant program and the work of Ezra Jack Keats, visit the Foundation's website. There you can also download a minigrant application form.

The Graphic Classroom announces the FIND A HERO! writing contest. Students in grades 3-6 should write about a real hero, someone from their school or life, someone who is a true hero in their eyes. The first place winner will star in an upcoming DC SUPER HEROES book right along with Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman. Along with the student, his or her hero, the school and the principal will also be featured in the storyline. Contest runs through February 28. Entry forms are available here. Winning entries will be announced on March 15.

That's it for this time. Hope you find something interesting you can use in your classroom!

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