Ebooks: Good Books in the Hands of Students

book-imageThe other day a student came into the library looking for a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  I pulled a copy off the shelf, excited to get a needed book into the hands of a pupil. She looked at the tiny print and the yellowed pages, handed it back to me and said, “Can I get this as an eBook?”

Fortunately for us all, many works in the public domain (no longer under copyright law) are freely distributed online.   The student had her laptop with her, so I showed her how to find the book at Project Gutenberg, highlight the html text, copy and and save it into a document. The entire play was on her laptop in less than a minute. When she opened it on her laptop, her face lit up. She was happy to see that not only could she change the background color of the page, but she could also adjust the font size and text typography of the work, using the “highlight” and “comment” feature to make notes as she read the book. She also noted how to decrease the light on the computer screen to make it easier on her eyes. Best of all? The book was hers to keep for a lifetime: no need to return it to the library.

Project Gutenberg, which offers more than 50,000 free eBooks for download in Kindle, epub, pdf, or html format offers free eBooks that were previously published by bona fide publishers. Users can find books by Dickens, Dumas, Oscar Wilde, Thoreau, Ibsen, Kipling, Agatha Christie, the Brontë sisters, Sophocles, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (without illustrations, unfortunately), the Works of Edgar Allen Poe, the Complete Works of Shakespeare, and even the illustrated version of Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”. Another free resource, Bibliomaniahas thousands of eBooks, poems, articles, short stories and plays, all of which are absolutely free.  Tumble Book Library,  an interactive online resource that supports younger readers with access to picture books and chapter books, is another resource that enriches our book collection. Our school subscribes to Overdrive, which allows students to access books twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where they are in the world.

When downloading free ebooks, I suggest making a folder to keep your collection handy, easy-to find, and easy-to-manage. In addition, iPad/iPhone apps such as Kindle, Kobo, and iBooks allow some free ebooks to be read on hand-held devices.

Connecting our students to the wide array of online options is a way of preparing them for the world-wide trend of moving books from print to digital form. E-books don’t replace the traditional library collection of print books. Instead, they enrich the collection, adding a vibrant and dynamic way to encourage young readers to access books in an environment that they are comfortable navigating.

It behooves us all, especially those of us in love with the printed page of a hardbound book, to be open to new options. After all, our job isn’t to educate our students for our past, but to prepare them for their future. Like or not, digital books are not only the future; they are the present.

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ISG Students Make Connections: World Read-Aloud Day

Last week during library class, upper elementary students celebrated World Read-Aloud Day. Six different classes held teleconferences with students all over the world via Skype.

Students in Siberia read to us one of their favorite Ukrainian folktales, “The Old Man’s Mitten” while we read to them Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw ’s book “Same, Same But Different”.  ISG students played “Mystery Class” with a fourth-grade class in an unknown part of the world. After many failed attempts to guess where our mystery class might be located, even with their helpful clues, we finally guessed by entering the longitude/latitude coordinates via Google Maps.

The class was in Chennai, India! Students jumped up and down when they finally guessed correctly. As a student in India read to us a chapter from their class favorite book, “Wonder” , the  tens of thousands of miles that separated us  melted away and we were all together in one place, captivated by a story. In exchange,  one of our primary students read to them a section of Michael Morpurgo’s “War Horse”. You could have heard a bookmark drop as the two classes, thousands of miles away from each other, listened.

Then we moved on to Birminghan, UK, where we were surprised to find out that some of our very own DBGS students have hometowns not far away. Even closer to us, across The Kingdom near Jeddah, the energetic students in library class at The KAUST School informed us that they love reading some of the same books, and some of the same authors, as we do.

One of the most important parts of  World Read-Aloud Day is that it demonstrates, in practical, concrete ways, that out there in the big, vast world of schools and desks and books and learning, there are students everywhere who love to read. This love of reading connects us in tangible ways.  Thanks to LitWorld and World Read-Aloud Day , for setting up this forum for connecting our young readers to the world.

For more photos and details of the event, check out our LRC Library in Saudi Arabia: World Read-Aloud Day #WRAD16 padlet.

Happy Reading, everyone,  from the LRC library!

~ Katrina Lehman, Library Media Specialist~

Facebook Book Cover Photo Contest

2130 (1) copyThanks to everyone who participated and voted in our Facebook Book Cover Photo Contest!  DEMS and DBGS students in Grades 4/5 and Years 5/6 participated in a book scavenger hunt and were photographed with their books. Here are the winners!

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Funniest

Matthew, 4R (Mr. Rider) “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”

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Most Realistic

Thayviana  5D (Ms. Duncan) “Faith: Five Religions and What They Share”

 

 

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Best Cover Drawing

Faisal  4J (Ms. Johnson) “Boy 21”

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Best Non-Human Face

David Y5 (Ms. Liptrot) “Sloths”

 

 

 

 

Best Symmetry: a tie!

Y6RedMcMahon2.jpg

 

Best Symmetry #1 :

Yasmin, 6R (Mr. McMahon) “Shabanu”

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Best Symmetry #2:

Muhammad Ali, 5H (Ms. Haas)” Muhammad Ali: The King of the Ring”

 

 

 

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Honorable Mention

Ahmed and Ahmed, Year 6R (Mr. McMahon)  “Face Relations”

 

 

New eBooks: Recommended by GAFE Presenters

Remember thogoogleappslogose exciting titles that presenters recommended at ISG’s GAFE Google Summit? You know: the ones that challenge us to expand our vision and thinking to what could be? The LRC has purchased seven of them in ebook form. They make great winter break reading and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

Look below for an overview of each title recommended by GAFE Google presenters. You can also read about other inspiring  ebooks available from the LRC here and here.  To access the ebook library, go to this link, and enter your user name and password. Forgotten how to access ebooks? No problem. Further information on how to download an ebook is found here.

Happy Winter Reading!

Here is a list of the new ebooks and their summaries.

The Courage to Teach: Audio Version By Parker J. Palmer

{4AAB12E5-5341-40C4-8201-EE9065DB646C}Img400This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms, but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, in community with their students and their subject, weaving connections that help their students weave a world for themselves. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts—the place where intellect, emotion, spirit, and will converge in the human self—supported by the community that emerges among us when we choose to live authentic lives.

Growth Mindset Pocketbook by Barry Hymer

{14032CE9-E681-4F4A-91B2-3CAAC85F50DE}Img400People with fixed mindsets believe that fundamental qualities like intelligence are essentially stable; people with growth mindsets believe that such qualities can be developed and nurtured. As teachers, if we can foster growth mindsets in our students the results will be transformative. Barry Hymer and Mike Gershon begin by explaining how learners with growth mindsets are: more open to challenges and constructively critical feedback; resilient in the face of obstacles and initial failure; convinced that effort makes a difference; able to learn well with and from others; likely to rise to the top – and stay there.

{9D3B5379-B17B-45DB-98AB-F766C6FC70F4}Img400Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart

Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard’s Project Zero, that develops students’ thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study. Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is a varied collection of practices.

  • Helps direct student thinking and structure classroom discussion
  • Can be applied with students at all grade levels and in all content areas
  • Includes easy-to-implement classroom strategies

{4E6894C0-8BA2-4E43-8E3C-2887D91C26F1}Img400Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.

{6050A358-E681-437A-9B2C-4FB6D9552D88}Img100It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media.

 

{FE5AF618-CA71-4D58-9F2E-64C21A7DA5F5}Img400Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey—getting known.
Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.” It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery—let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive.

{D8AA66C1-D38B-4F22-B306-5CF34ADDC492}Img400Walk out Walk on: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now by Margaret J. Wheatley

At a time when most communities’ resources are stretched past the breaking point, how is it possible to deal with the enormous challenges that families, neighborhoods, cities, regions, and nations face today? This inspiring book takes readers to seven communities around the world where the people have walked out of limiting beliefs and practices that precluded solutions to major social problems, and walked on to discover bold new ways to meet their needs. This book is a true learning journey, filled with intimate stories and portraits of the people and places the authors came to know through years of working together to transform their communities. The journey begins in Mexico, then moves to Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Greece and the U.S. The authors’ lives and ways of thinking have been transformed by these experiences and relationships – an experience they hope to recreate for the reader through vivid prose and photos. The reader will experience first hand how a change of beliefs about people results in new capacities and the possibility of a more healthy future.

Forgotten how to access ebooks? No problem. All the information you need on how to download an ebook is found here.

 

18 Professional Development Ebooks from the LRC

Greetings, teachers. Looking for an inspiring book to read? Check out any of the following ebooks, 24/7, all year long from the LRC digital library. If you have trouble accessing your account, please contact Ms. Lehman at lehma.k.04[at]isg.edu.sa.

Happy Reading! 

bookmappinBook Mapping Lit Trips and Beyond by Terence W. Cavanaugh, Jerome Burg

In Bookmapping: Lit Trips and Beyond, Cavanaugh and Burg show you how this dynamic, interactive activity is a cross-curricular tool that helps students not only develop a better understanding of places, cultures, and the books they are reading, but also make connections among the subjects they learn in school.

Continue reading “18 Professional Development Ebooks from the LRC”

Ebooks Available for Checkout from the LRC

Facebook Cover Photo_Enjoy eBooks Did you know that the LRC offers free eBooks to students and teachers?  We have books in a variety of subjects including classic fiction,  current fiction, and popular nonfiction titles. The LRC Digital Library can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world by visiting the following link: http://dahs.lib.overdrive.com

How to check out an eBook from the DHS Digital Library

Go to the  Digital Library Website http://dahs.lib.overdrive.com/ Continue reading “Ebooks Available for Checkout from the LRC”

New Biographies in the LRC

New Biographies in LRC         If you’re interested in reading about fascinating people in fascinating times, come check out the new, never-been-opened biographies in the library. Read about celebrity Justin Bieber, environmentalist Rachel Carson, composer Leonard Bernstein, President Barack Obama, and female aviator Beryl Markham. Check out the memoirs that include the life story of a woman who hiked, solo, on a 1800 km journey, a man who made his living as an artist, modern-age golfing heroes, a modern archeologist, and a South African writer of the independence era. Check out biographies to read about real people, with real challenges, who influenced the world.

Libraries: Expanding Print Text to the Digital World

The other day a student came into the library looking for a copy of a literary classic. I pulled a copy off the shelf, excited to get a requested book into the hands of a young reader. I couldn’t help but notice, however, the tiny print and the yellowed, discolored pages. I thought to myself, “I’d rather read this book on a clean computer screen.”

A lightbulb switched on in my bibliophile brain.

projectgutenbergMany works in the public domain (no longer under copyright law) are freely distributed online. One site that has been invaluable for educators and students is Project Gutenberg, which offers more than 40,000 free ebooks for download in Kindle, epub, pdf, or html format.

The student happened to have her Macbook with her, so I showed her how search for the book at Project Gutenberg, highlight the html text, and copy it into a Word document to save on her computer. The entire book was on her laptop in less than a minute. When she opened the book on her laptop, her face lit up. She was happy to see that not only could she change the background color of the page, but she could also adjust the font size and text typography of the work, using the “highlight” and “comment” feature in Word to make notes as she read the book. She also noted how to decrease the light on the computer screen to make it easier on her eyes. Best of all? The book was hers to keep: no need to return it to the library.

Check out Project Gutenberg, which offers free, digital books that were previously published by bona fide publishers. Here you can find books by Dickens, Dumas, Oscar Wilde, Thoreau, Ibsen, Kipling, Agatha Christie, the Bronte sisters, Sophocles, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (without illustrations, unfortunately), the Works of Edgar Allen Poe, the Complete Works of Shakespeare, and even the illustrated version of Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”.

When downloading ebooks, I suggest making a folder to keep your collection handy, easy-to find, and easy-to-manage. In addition, iPad/iPhone apps such as Kindle, Kobo, and iBooks allow some free ebooks to be read on hand-held devices. Kindle offers access across platforms such as iPod, iTouch, iPad, iPhone, Macs, Blackberries and Androids.

In the end, the yellowed paperback was put back on the shelf. It felt strange to encourage a student not to read a print copy of a library book. But since part of the mission of our library is to “promote the life-long habit of reading”, I couldn’t help but think that connecting our students to the wide array of online options is a way of preparing them for the world-wide trend of moving books from print to digital form. E-books don’t replace the traditional library collection of print books. Instead, they enrich the collection, adding a vibrant and dynamic way to encourage young readers to access books in an environment that they are comfortable navigating.

It behooves us all, especially those of us in love with the printed page of a hardbound book, to be open to new options. After all, our job isn’t to educate our students for our past, but to prepare them for their future. Like or not, digital books are not only future; they are the present.