Teacher nerds, unite! The Cult of Pedagogy is a website created by Jennifer Gonzales, a former middle school language arts teacher, teacher educator, and writer. She describes it as an "online magazine for anyone who teaches anything." It is a well-organized site which offers a blog, resource lists, podcasts, and videos for all teachers. Her aim is to "create a place where the discussion of teaching (is) elevated to a kind of art form." Her advice is down-to-earth, practical, and pedagogically sound.
The Classroom Bookshelf is a blog created in 2010 by Professors Mary Ann Capiello, Grace Enriquez, Katie Cunningham, and Erika Thulin Dawes of Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is designed to help teachers use literature in a variety of ways in K-8 classrooms. Each Monday, they feature a recently published book for children or young adults. Each entry includes three sections: a review, teaching invitations, and further explorations. You can explore the blog by either browsing past entries or searching by keyword, curriculum topic, genre, or author. Find great new books and teaching ideas or build up text sets. Click here to go to the blog.
Joyce Sidman is a multi-award winning writer of poetry books for children (and adults!) of all ages. What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings is for students aged 12 and up. Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold is suitable for grades 2-6. She has many more books, all beautifully illustrated. View them on her website, where she also has free teaching resources and links to other useful poetry sites.
Melvis and Elvis is the new book of poetry by Dennis Lee, author of Alligator Pie and Jelly Belly, among many others. The poems celebrate friendship, books, stories, and language. It is irreverent, playful, and beautifully illustrated by Jeremy Tankard. Melvis and Elvis meet in a library and the poems develop from their experience.
"Open this book, And you will see/A secret path/Called Poetry./Follow the path,/And you will find/A home for your heart,/And a treat for your mind."
The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline is a wonderful exploration of the immigrant experience and the power of stories and language. A little girl visits her great-grandfather and discovers a cigar box filled with matchboxes, each of which holds an object. Together, the objects represent his journey from Italy and his early years in America, a diary-in-objects kept by the boy who couldn't read or write. Highly detailed, rich illustrations add layers of visual meaning and offer opportunities for discussion. Grade 3+.
The Moonshine Dragon, by Cornelia Funke, from Barrington Stoke in the UK, available through amazon.ca. This is a captivating story about the magic that comes from books. It was designed for reluctant readers; the publisher says it is dyslexia friendly. Grade 2-4.
View a book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-Hwyjf5wuY
Read an excerpt from the first chapter here: http://www.barringtonstoke.co.uk/books/the-moonshine-dragon/
The OK Book by Amy K Rosenthal has simple but clever illustrations and text that celebrate our real skills and talents and encourage us to try new things to discover our individual strengths.
Browse through it here: http://browseinside.harpercollins.ca/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061152559
Here are links to lesson ideas: