Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Website Review: Stuff You Should Know

STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW is a website featuring informational audio and video programs on a wide variety of topics.
From the makers of the popular HOW STUFF WORKS website, this website contains content on topics such as animals, anthropology, art, economics, history, and more. While most of the episodes are audio, video segments are also included at the website.
Each episode can be downloaded and users can subscribe on iTunes and Google Play.
Librarians will want to mine the website for videos that connect with specific curriculum areas. Keep in mind that the podcasts begin with a sponsor announcements. In addition, many of them are more than 30 minutes in length.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, March 20, 2017

Technology Review: Tumble

TUMBLE is a science podcast for kids and families.
Each podcast tells the story of a scientific discoveries and scientists. A science journalist and a classroom teacher ask questions, share mysteries, and help listeners learn key science concepts.
The website’s blog contains interesting information and news stories related to science topics.
The podcast is available through iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Or, listeners can enjoy the podcasts on the website.
Librarians will find that this educational podcast contains episodes that can easily be aligned with the science curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Friday, March 17, 2017

Website Review: The Boat

THE BOAT tells the compelling interactive story of a boat of refugees.
In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled Vietnam by boat. Produced by SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) Television in Australia, this interactive narrative tells the story of one family trying to survive in a small boat. Using a graphic novel style approach, readers scroll through a series of six chapters as they follow Mai on a sea voyage across dangerous waters.
Librarians will find this interactive experience to be an effective way to jumpstart conversations about both history and immigration issues.
To read this story, go to

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Technology Review: Lytten

LYTTEN is a search tool that allows users to search within audio programs.
Whether looking for information within a historical broadcast to exploring current events topics, Lytten provides an easy way to find relevant information within an audio program. For instance, a search for “honeybees” brings up podcasts focusing on the disappearance of bees. Users can then listen to the entire audio program or jump to a particular section discussing honeybees.
Librarians will find this tool useful in developing curriculum materials. This website allows the user to quickly locate audio clips related to key concepts. Use to search podcasts across the curriculum. In particular, share this tool with at-risk and special needs students who use their auditory senses for learning.
To explore this website, go to

Monday, March 13, 2017

Website Review: Rebuilding Haiti

REBUILDING HAITI is an interactive experience exploring the process of earthquake recovery.
This fascinating nonlinear experience asks users to make choices and learn more about the process of rebuilding Haiti after its devastating earthquake.
Divided into six sections, this informative website would be useful for informational reading activities across the curriculum. Woven into the narrative are photographs and sidebars containing additional information. Along the way, users must make decisions that have consequences.
Librarians will find this resource to provide a good starting point for discussions about the impact of natural disasters and the implications for planning.
To visit the website, go to

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Book Review: A Bike Like Sergio's

A BIKE LIKE SERGIO’S by Maribeth Boelts provides a lesson in doing the right thing.
Ruben wants a bike like his friend, so when he finds $100 he makes plans to buy a bike. However when he sees the woman who lost the money, he decides to do the right thing and return the cash.
Librarians will find this colorfully illustrated picture book provides endless opportunities to discuss the concept of “finders keepers” with young children.
To learn more about the author, go to
Published by Candlewick on October 4, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Technology Review: Listenwise

LISTENWISE is an educational website focusing on listening comprehension through audio programs.
The website is organized into three sections: Social Studies, Science, and English Language Arts (ELA). Users can search for lessons in their area of interest. Results can be narrows by subject, language challenge, grade level, and type.
A current events section is particularly useful. New news items are added every day. Each entry contains a title, short description, question, and audio. Tags are provided to assist users in locating related topics.
A blog contains up-to-date information about resources and how they might be used in teaching and learning. A research section provides information about listening comprehension.
Librarians will find endless curriculum applications of this website. Mine each section for programs that connect to local standards. Although a premium service is offered, many high-quality resources are available for free.
To visit the website, go to