Tag Archives: books

Sorted Book Shelfies

Book "Shelfie" from Joy Kirr's blog
Book “Shelfie” from Joy Kirr’s blog

I absolutely love this idea from Joy Kirr!  (Joy got the idea after seeing this.)  After I saw it, I couldn’t wait to include it in a Phun Phriday post! Instead of “selfies” (pictures of yourself), you are challenged to take “shelfies” (pictures of you with your book collection).  I think it’s great how Joy has made it into a contest with 3 different categories.  And, of course, the prize is a book!  I’m going to build on the idea a bit here, and tie it into another interesting book photo concept.  Artist Nina Katchadourian has a “Sorted Books” project, which is compiled of photographs of certain books together.  Each photograph conveys a certain message with the book titles.

One of my favorite "Sorted Books" photos by artist Nina Katchadourian
One of my favorite “Sorted Books” photos by artist Nina Katchadourian

So, I’m going to challenge my students to do a “Sorted Books Shelfie”.   Check out the example below!

Sorted Books Shelfie
Sorted Books Shelfie: Wayside School is Falling Down/The Sixty-Eight Rooms/Into the Blue/Rats

Engineering for Girls Resources

I’ve spent my time on more than a few posts bemoaning the low numbers of females in the math, science, and engineering sectors – including programming.  But I’ve been heartened, recently, by a few things that I’ve seen during my internet browsing.  These are some great products and websites that are designed to encourage girls to shed the only-males-can-think-logically stereotype that has lingered for far too long in our culture.

Rosie Revere

Rosie Revere, Engineer is a delightful children’s book by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts.  Rosie is a young maker in the making.  She tinkers and creates, but gets discouraged by everyone’s attitude toward her inventions.  Great-great Aunt Rose helps little Rosie get back on the path that leads to her dreams.  This book is not just for girls.  It encourages everyone to learn from your mistakes.  Here is a link to a page of curriculum suggestions.

Engineer Girl

Engineer Girl is a website that is graphically appealing without overdoing pink and swirly.  The site features interviews with female engineers, highlights careers in this field, and has a plethora of activities and links that are sure to satisfy the curiosity of any girl with even the slightest interest in S.T.E.M.

goldie blox

Goldie Blox is offering a new product for pre-sale (available in December) called “Goldie Blox and the Parade Float.”  The sequel to “Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine“, this $19.99 set also includes a storybook with construction pieces and design ideas.  Aimed toward 4-9 year olds, these toys are specifically designed by Stanford grad Debbie Sterling to “disrupt the pink aisle.”

Engineer Your Life

Engineer Your Life is a website designed for high school girls.  Like Engineer Girl, it offers biographies of female engineers and suggestions for how to get involved in a career in engineering.


Roominate has been featured on this blog before.  Be sure to check out this great building toy that includes electrical circuits!

Design Squad Nation

The PBS Design Squad Nation website is not aimed at girls, specifically.  But it should engage any young student in the excitement of building and design.  It has great resources for parents and educators, and is currently sponsoring a design challenge that must be submitted by Nov. 6, 2013. 

The more exposure our young people, especially the girls, get to S.T.E.M., the more children will learn about the potential they have for pursuing careers in these fields.  Not all of them will develop a passion for it, but certainly it will be more than the low numbers we currently see.

Books for Gifted Kids

I’m not really sure about the title for this post – because I certainly do not think these recommendations apply solely to children who have been identified as Gifted.  However, as a teacher of gifted kids, I know that parents often ask me for ideas on reading material.  After reading Wonder, and commenting about it on yesterday’s post, I thought I would share a few other resources for quality books to which you can direct parents.

NPR just posted a list on August 5th called, “The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf:  100 Must-Reads for Kids 9-14.” The list was created with input from the NPR audience, and includes most of the classics I read as a child.  There are a few new ones, including Wonder, on the list.

For the younger set, the great host of “Not Just Child’s Play” has a couple of posts with lists of book recommendations that you might want to view – “Stories About Real People” and “Books That Celebrate Differences.

Although it is certainly not comprehensive, I have a Pinterest Board of recommendations here.

One book that I would like to mention, in particular, is Heroes for My Daughter by Brad Meltzer.  I bought this book for my own daughter as a gift for her 5th grade graduation.  I took pictures of all of her elementary school teachers and made a collage that looked similar to the inside cover of the book.  Each teacher signed it.  I read a story from this book each night to my daughter before we move on to whatever current chapter book we are reading.  The biographies are short, and usually include a quote that we discuss.  The included heroes are a diverse group – from the Three Stooges to Julia Child, and we both are learning about history as well as admirable attributes that led to positive change in the world.  Meltzer has a similar book, Heroes for My Son, available, as well.

Google “books for gifted” and you will get a plethora of results.  I’ve tried to scale it down for you a bit here as it can be a bit overwhelming!  Hopefully, these links give you some good starting points.

from: http://www.amazon.com/Heroes-My-Son-Brad-Meltzer/dp/B007K4EZNW/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y
from: http://www.amazon.com/


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Oh wow.  I know that it is hard to find 15 minutes in your day to watch an animated film, but you truly must make the time for this one – especially if you are a lover of books.  This Oscar-nominated short is stunning in graphics and in its message.  My students will be having a discussion about the impact of Gutenberg next week, and I fully intend to incorporate this video into the lesson.  It is beautiful and inspiring.  Bravo to the animation shop, Moonbot Studios for this truly amazing video. (If the embedded video does not work, you can view it at http://vimeo.com/35404908.  You can also download the video FOR FREE from iTunes.  There is an accompanying app for $4.99, which I have not yet previewed.)


UPDATE 9/28/16:  Unfortunately, the film is no longer available for free 😦  You can download it from iTunes for $4.99.  It is a beautiful video, and I wish it could still be viewed by everyone…