Free Seeds for Teachers from the Wild Seed Project.
Use this form to order by Oct 27:
Free Seeds for Teachers from the Wild Seed Project.
Use this form to order by Oct 27:
In a recent news release, the Digital Public Library’s Banned Book Club announced it would expand access to everyone in the state of Illinois, thanks to the support of the University of Chicago Library.
“Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of Chicago Library to expand The Banned Book Club. We launched The Banned Book Club in July 2023 to ensure that every reader in communities where books have been banned can access ebook versions of banned titles for free via the Palace app. This new collaboration between DPLA and the University of Chicago Library will expand access to The Banned Book Club to all readers in Chicago and the state of Illinois and underscores our shared commitment to ensuring intellectual freedom for all. “
October 1 – 7 is Banned Books Week. To help spread awareness of frequently banned young adult books, I’ve created a LibraryThing book widget of titles. Feel free to copy the code below and add this widget to your own web pages.
Titles were gathered from the following sources (and a few other lists):
If you’d like to use this book display widget, just copy the code below and add it to your own web pages. Please be sure to give credit to the sources above or link back here for those sources.
Also, check out this link to a post about the DPLA Banned Books App. It provides free access to books that have been banned by your local libraries. (If your local libraries haven’t banned anything, you won’t see any books, lucky you!)
The links in the widget go back to LibraryThing. If you’re using the Chrome browser and have installed the Library Extension, you’ll get links back to your catalog. This works in GoodReads and Amazon too. This post has more info on adult book lists and that Chrome Extension: Powerful Book Lists & Handy Library Extension for Chrome
(Book links may include affiliate links)
Looking for some fun activities for your little ones as the end of summer looms? Check out these fun early literacy and activity calendars.
Day By Day NY – A calendar of fun activities for every day of the year. Read along and listen to 2 books from One More Story. Come back every day for 2 different books. Also includes songs to song, some fun activity ideas and more. From the New York State Library.
Early Literacy and Activity Calendars – Some daily fun for your little one! 2 downloadable calendars per month with lots of quick, fun activities for when your creative well has run dry. (from DemcoJ
I won’t attempt to list a zillion specific resources about AI, but simply point to some recent school library related AI sources that might help you find your way into this massive, and massively important, topic.
About 6 months ago, I pondered adding a new Cool Tools lesson on AI, but quickly became overwhelmed with material to review. And I remembered that I was retired and returned to travel planning instead! Though I think I may return to posting resources here on occasion. Wishing you all well in the new school year ahead.
If you live or work in an area where books have been banned in your local schools and/or public libraries, the Digital Public Library of America can help you access those banned books for free via their Palace ereader app. Details from a recent DPLA email below. Even if you don’t live in one of the targeted locations, you can download the app to see how it works and what titles are being banned.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched The Banned Book Club to ensure that all readers have access to the books they want to read. The Banned Book Club makes e-book versions of banned books available to readers in locations across the United States where titles have been banned. The e-books will be available to readers for free via the Palace e-reader app.
Utilizing GPS-based geo-targeting, DPLA has established virtual libraries in communities across the United States where books have been banned. When a reader is within a community served by a library that has been forced to ban a book, they can visit TheBannedBookClub.info to see the exact books have been banned in their area. Then, they can download that book for free on any handheld device via the free Palace e-reader app.
To access The Banned Book Club now, download the Palace app and choose “Banned Book Club” as your library, then follow the prompts to sign up for a free virtual library card. For more specific instructions, click here. For more information on The Banned Book Club, readers can visit TheBannedBookClub.info.
Yikes, it’s hot everywhere isn’t it! You might think it’s way too late to plant any veggies, but it’s the perfect time for you and your kids to plant some yummy fall veggies. (And there are some #CoolTools ideas at the end of this post.)
Margaret Roach has a wonderful list of what to plant in July & August on her A Way To Garden site. Margaret grows in the same growing zone as me, so I’ll be scouring her list for some new ideas. She also includes links to lists of what to plant in other growing zones as well. Don’t know your growing zone? Find out at this US growing zone map.
For more inspiration, every garden seed website will be highlighting seeds you can plant now for a bountiful fall crop. Two of my faves are Hudson Valley Seed Company and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Though there are tons more!
I’m planting carrots of all shapes and sizes, a rainbow of colorful beets, baby bok choy, and some beautiful big watermelon radishes that will last for months in the fridge crisper.
All those veggies can grow between midsummer and the last frost date in my area. Don’t know your last frost date? Check out this first & last frost calculator at Dave’s Garden by popping in your zip code.
And keep in mind that things like carrots and beets will keep nicely in the ground well after last frost dates.
Your local garden centers will still have seeds and may have seedlings to give you a jump start. Or check your local library to see if they have a seed library. It’s a great way to get a few seeds to try something new. I’m growing some little pumpkins from seeds that my library was giving out to families earlier in the spring.
A great way to introduce kids to gardening is to get some big pots that you can put on your porch, deck or patio so they can easily water and monitor their seeds and plants. Or give them a corner of your own big veggie bed. Even a small planter hanging on a railing can grow some lovely lettuce, parsley or basil.
So where’s the Cool Tools connection? Some ideas for your kids!
Most of all, just have some fun helping your kids growing a little bit of their own food. A tiny pot of parsley or a big pot of carrots. It all counts! Share your own ideas in the comments below. And happy growing!
Resources mentioned above:
Both New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library are making banned books available to readers across the country. This is in reaction to the huge upswing in book banning initiatives across the US.
NYPL is opening up a small collection of popular banned books to anyone via the easy to use NYPL SimplyE app. The collection also includes access to some 300,000 out of copyright and open source titles. This is available through the end of May. Details on downloading the app are on the NYPL Books for All page.
Brooklyn has an even better deal for teens & young adults aged 13 – 21. A free e-library card for the next year. This is such a great deal! Included access to their complete audio and e-books collection. Plus access to their magazine, newspaper and research databases. Simply send an email to BooksUnbanned@bklynlibrary.org or contact them via their teen-run Instagram account at @bklynfuture.
More info about the any un-banned books Initiatives in this Time-Out article.
Flourish, a terrific tool to “easily turn your data into stunning charts, maps and interactive stories”, is now integrated into Canva, a popular tool for creating graphics, presentation slides, and so much more.
Haven’t yet tried Flourish? Give it a whirl. Lots of templates for colorful, creative data visualizations and storytelling. Help students think about how data can be presented in multiple ways and how visualizing data can make presentation more compelling, powerful and persuasive. And learn how the same data can tell different stories depending on how it’s presented.
There’s even a fun quiz format. See their Harry Potter quiz embedded below. Free accounts are available, perfect for testing and for educational use.
Want to learn all the ins and outs of using Google Sites for a classroom website, lesson resource site and more? Tony Vincent, of Learning in Hand, is offering a 5 week Classy Sites online workshop starting February 23. You can follow along with the class over the 5 weeks or go at your own pace, the content will be there forever.
I took one of Tony’s workshops in 2017. It was a terrific workshop, so well organized and presented. Tony was very responsive to all students during the workshop and student interaction was so helpful too. And, 4 years later, the course content is still there for me to review any time I need a refresher. Register by February 8 and get a discount. (No, I’m not getting a commission on this. I just think Tony’s workshops are a terrific!)
Classy Sites: An Online Workshop with Tony Vincent Are you interested in making a wonderful website? If so, join me for an online learning experience! I am gathering a community of educators to explore creating websites with Google Sites. We’ll examine the possibilities and power of having a personalized website for your class, lesson, school, activity, or presentation.