Media Matters

Back to School 2013 Edition

South Carolina Junior Book Award Titles

This year's list is an outstanding one! Students who read at least three of these books are eligible to vote for their favorite in the spring. We have multiple copies here in the media center for you and your students to check out. You can view the S.C. Junior Book Award list here: There is also an activity guide to accompany the books here:

One book on the list, How They Croaked, would make an excellent read aloud! It is a collection of brief, fascinating stories of the remarkable deaths (with gory details) of 19 world figures. Middle schoolers will LOVE it!

Hot (New) Stuff!

The following items were either donated or purchased for the media center over the summer. Check them out!

Lincoln (DVD and Educator's Guide)

Nightjohn (DVD) based on the novel by Gary Paulsen

The Hunger Games (CD audio book)

Anne Frank: A Legacy for Our Time (VHS)

War Horse (DVD)

William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet: Music Edition (DVD)

Chalk: Real Teaching Leaves a Mark (DVD)

Readings by Sharon Draper (DVD)

Incantation (CD audio book)

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson (book)

10 YouTube Channels That Will Make You Smarter

I saw this on the "Librarians on the Fly" blog and had to share! You can review the gallery here: Yes, you still have to unblock YouTube and deal with ads, but it's worth it!

Also worth sharing is the 10 most popular TED-Ed lessons so far:

I love the Insults by Shakespeare video by April Gudenrath!

Awesome Learning and Thinking iPad Apps

From the article "There is More to iPads in the Classroom than Apps," the iPad is shown as a LEARNING and THINKING tool. Here, you will find apps that support Bloom's Taxonomy, Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, 21st Century Skills & Literacies, and other amazing apps:

If you want to download the graphics, they're a little slow to open, but here's the link:

Book Trailers

My plan this year is to show a book trailer, spotlighting a book in the media center, on EBN each week. Even more exciting would be to have students create some themselves (as a collaborative project)! Instead of a traditional book report or writing activity, why not let them make a professional-looking video using iMovie on the iPads or Animoto on a desktop computer! They would love it, and it would "sell" many books! I'd love to help you and your students do this! If you'd like to see an example of one made with iMovie, click on this link:

Look how easy it is to make one!

The Theme Song For Your Life

I found this on Pinterest and thought it would be a great "All About Me" activity for those first days. Have students choose a song that "fits" them and find the lyrics. Then, they could put the lyrics in a word cloud (using Wordle, ABCYa, or Tagxedo) and share!

Other middle school "Back to School" ideas can be found on Middleweb:

Oh, What to Read?!

Reading interest inventories are useful tools in helping students find books that appeal to them. Students with similar interests may form groups to discuss a common book. Teachers can use them to design activities based on areas of high student interest. This site has an excellent one that you can print and use immediately!

Something your students could do this year!