Thursday, March 02, 2006

Carnivals and wikis and resources - Oh my!

Quite a few post-worthy items online today.

Too items of interest from Kids Lit:

1. If you recall, a few days ago, I wished you all happy Freedom to Read Week. Well, given the week, there has been some recent controversy regarding the book Three Wishes, by Deborah Ellis.

Kids Lit has some info HERE. The Ontario Library Association also has some info on their site HERE. Also noteworthy - the book has been nominated for a Silver Birch Award. I posted on these awards awhile back HERE.

2. Kids Lit also posted about a new online resource called TeacherLibrarianWiki. There isn't much on it yet, but it has definite potential based on the titles and pages that have been set up- so I will add it to our resource list. It is the initiative of THIS BLOGGER - whose site I may check in on again. In passing, you may remember a few posts back HERE where I announced our SFLOWiki. I got the idea from A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cosy. Her Wiki is HERE (if you are looking for insiration as to what to read...).

Also via looking into the teacherlibrarianwiki, I came across this blog which recommended a site where you can turn yourself into a Simpsons Character if you are short on stuff to do.

In other news Big A little a had a post regarding the 7th Harry Potter Book, as well as another post on lists based on 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.

Original Content also has a post today titled "Does America Get Nannies" commenting on a piece in the New Yorker on Mary Poppins from December.

On a personal note, I'm proud to report that I got around to submitting one of our blog posts to Chicken Spaghetti's Blog Carnival yesterday. Be sure to check out the carnival next week!

Finally, one piece of interest in the Calgary Herald today below which provides some links to literacy resources. It is provided below. I will be sure to check out the links I am unfamiliar with, and may have more to say on them tomorrow.



PUBLICATION: Calgary Herald
DATE: 2006.03.02
BYLINE: Ellen Percival

Reading as family helps children to excel

Once upon a time . . . four simple words that magically transport us to another world -- a world full of fantasy and mystery -- that's the power of reading. But there's more to reading than you might think.

Experts say reading to children more than once a day has a substantial positive impact on their future academic skills. In addition, research indicates children with early exposure to books and reading are better at performing mathematical tasks, have advanced vocabulary and language skills, as well as developed imagination and creativity.

ABC Canada stresses that parents can strongly influence their children's attitudes toward literacy and learning, and it's never too early to start. Here are some easy ways to encourage the love of reading and literacy at your home.

- It's never too early to read to your children.
- Make every day a learning day. Ask your kids to help you make a shopping list. Read recipes with them and cook up a storm. Help your kids make a calendar of their weekly activities
- Encourage your kids to write a letter to a friend.
- There's no place like home. Create a special cozy reading place for your children and their books -- their very own library!
- Every place is a learning place. For kids and families on the go, create a travel kit of books, newspapers, magazines, pencils, markers and paper for use in the car, bus or C-Train. Learn or make up songs and rhymes as you travel. Read maps and signs along the way. Send a postcard to friends and family back home.
- Keep teens reading. Give your teens books, newspaper articles and magazines about things that interest them -- music, TV, movies and computers. Talk with them about their interests.
- Stay involved. Go to meet-the-teacher nights at school. You, your child and the teacher are partners in your child's education.
- The family that reads together learns together. Studies show that children with good verbal skills do better at school. Write down your children's stories and talk to them about their ideas. Encourage and value your child's efforts.
- Do first by example. You are a role model for your kids and your excitement for learning is catching. Enrol in a course like music or crafts and encourage them to do the same.

For more information about issues, classes, activities and support for families, pick up Calgary's Child Magazine at over 600 locations, visit or call 241-6066.

Family Literacy Websites

- Canadian Parents Online. A resource for parents on a variety of parenting issues, including tips on encouraging children to read.

- Children's Storybooks Online. A collection of illustrated stories as well as colouring books, mazes, riddles and links to other online storybooks.

- Education Place. Resources for children, parents and teachers in topics such as math, reading, science and social studies, as well as fun games for the whole family.

- Family Literacy Educational Resources. An extensive listing of links to online books, as well as children and parent resources.

- FunBrain. A learning network for children, parents and teachers that includes interactive educational games for children, as well as tips and tools for teachers and parents.

- The National Center for Family Literacy. Listing of family literacy projects and initiatives as well as links to publications, facts and other related sites.

- Reading a-z. A variety of resources including downloadable books, flashcards and lesson plans to help children become fluent readers.

- Word Central. Children learn new vocabulary while visiting different rooms in the interactive school.

For more information on literacy issues, visit


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