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100 Best First Lines from Novels, 9-12
Teachers may have seen this list before, but there is a new twist because it is linked with WorldCat. You can read the famous first line, view the book jacket art, read reviews, follow the hyperlinks to related readings, add to your or social bookmark service, add your own review or comment, and find the closest library that has the book. Besides being an interesting activity for the teacher, think of the classroom applications.
Does this change the way students think about libraries and finding resources?
What does it say about information literacy?
Could this illustrate the new ways students seek information and resources?
WorldCat is also part of federated searching and is an option when searching Com Cat,

National Poetry Month, K-12
National Poetry Month brings together literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its important place in American culture.
Check out this year’s programs:
Poem In Your Pocket Day: Join thousands of individuals across the U.S. by carrying a poem in your pocket on April 30, 2009.
Poetry & the Creative Mind: Check out this celebration of American poetry.
Free Verse Photo Competition: Capture and share bits of verse for a chance to win prizes.
Poem-A-Day: Great poems from new books emailed each day of National Poetry Month. Sign up for a daily dose of new poems from new spring poetry titles.
Spring Book List: Check out the new books of poetry available each spring.
National Poetry Map: Find out what is happening in Iowa by visiting the redesigned and updated National Poetry Map.
National Poetry Month poster: To request copies of posters, use the online order form. To view images of all our posters, old and new, visit the National Poetry Month poster gallery.

Additional Resources from
Teacher Resources
Creative and inexpensive suggestions for making poetry a more important part of school life during April and throughout the year.
Teacher Librarian Resources
Low cost suggestions to develop greater visibility for poetry during April and throughout the year.
Poetry Read-A-Thon
Instructions for motivating students to enjoy poetry in the classroom are featured. The goal is to celebrate the reading of poems and writing about poems as well as to facilitate the development of student writing and comprehension skills. Students choose poems to read and then write prose “responses” to the poems they read. A response can be 75-100 words and students can respond to one or two of the following elements of the poem:
• images of the poem
• sounds of the poem
• subject(s) of the poem
• emotional effect(s) of the poem
• the poem’s meaning(s)
• questions about the poem
• questions the student would like to ask, if he/she could speak to the poet
30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month
Features a month’s worth of poetry activities that any community can take part in.
Subscribe to
Because poetry should be celebrated all year, offers several ways to keep you informed and connected to the poetry world. Subscribe to Newsletters, RSS Feeds, and more.

Math in Our Lives DVDs, PreK-5

This new series uses practical examples and models to provide students with a realistic context for mathematical concepts. Each DVD presents a specific math concept in ten minutes. Available for checkout.

  • Currency (#809206)
  • Geometric Forms (#809205)
  • Lines and Shapes (#809198)
  • Measuring Metric (#809204)
  • Measuring Standard (#809203)
  • Money (#809199)
  • More and Less (#809201)
  • Numbers (#809200)
  • Probability (#809202)

Math Snacks Learning Animations, 6-8
These short animations present a math concept. They can be placed on mobile devices such as iPods for homework. The accompanying print materials can assist students in applying their conceptual understanding to math problems.
Sample Math Snacks:
Bad Date
This animation visualizes the ratio of words spoken on a series of dates.
Proportions as multiplicative situations
Proportional relationships can be related to a common rate in direct variations

This animation shows how “Rulers” value proper units and proportional details.
Various techniques are helpful in solving proportion, including tables, graphs, measurement, and equations
Given an application problem, using the units can help to set up the correct proportion
When proportions are graphed on a coordinate plane, the graph is linear

Scale Ella
This animation has a crusading superhero clarifying and using scale factor.
Objects that are scale representations of each other have the same shape but not the same size, and the size difference is related to the scale factor

Atlantean Dodgeball
This animation shows how ratio errors confuse one of the coaches in an epic dodgeball tournament.
Ratios can represent part–whole or part–part relationships

Number Rights
This animation shows a passionate activist clarifying equality on a number line.
Equality and order on the number line
Number line properties

Pearl Driver
This animation features a mini-game to explain equality on number line.
Equality and order on the number line
Number line properties

Siftables, K-12
MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables -- cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?

EZ Math Trix, 3-8

These five DVDs teach mathematical concepts with card tricks, dominoes, calendars, etc. Available for checkout.

  • Addition and Subtraction (#809503)
  • Card Tricks (#809505)
  • Division (#809504)
  • Math and Number Fun (#809506)
  • Multiplication (#809502)

Lorax Project Student Earth Day, K-3
The first Lorax Project Student Earth Day Web site teaches young students about doing their part to protect the environment. This annual event encourages teachers and students to celebrate the Lorax's message and act on their own pledges to beautify and conserve their school environment and beyond. Teachers can find a free classroom toolkit, poster gallery, instructional resources, and educator idea exchange.

National Environmental Education Week: Go Green!, K-12
Teachers play a critical role in inspiring students to make a positive impact on the environment. National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) is the largest organized environmental education event in the United States. EE Week promotes understanding and protection of the natural world by engaging K-12 students and teachers in an inspired week of environmental learning and activities in advance of Earth Day on April 22.

By registering as an EE Week partner, teachers will have access to an extensive online curriculum library. They will also receive certificates of participation, a free copy of National Geographic Explorer magazine, and a monthly e-newsletter with classroom resources and opportunities for funding and professional development.

Science Daily News, K-12
Not just for science teachers! In addition to the Web site with videos, real-world applications, research, and classroom strategies, you can get the latest science news through a free e-mail newsletter and hourly RSS newsfeeds.

Free Weather Games, K-6
Elementary students can explore weather through a small collection of games and activities provided by BBC, including a weather-word hangman, a do-it-yourself weather map, and weather quiz.

Urbandale H.S. Physics and Chemistry Vodcasts, 9-12
Teacher Mark Hermon has created short demonstration and lecture videos that can be viewed online.

Free Online Telescope, K-12
The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables a computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe.

Users may choose from a growing number of guided tours of the sky by astronomers and educators from some of the most famous observatories and planetariums in the country. You can pause the tour, explore on your own (with multiple information sources for objects at your fingertips), and rejoin the tour where you left off.

View the sky from multiple wavelengths. See the x-ray view of the sky and zoom into bright radiation clouds, and then crossfade into the visible light view and discover the cloud remnants of a supernova explosion from a thousand years ago. Switch to the Hydrogen Alpha view to see the distribution and illumination of massive primordial hydrogen cloud structures lit up by the high energy radiation coming from nearby stars in the Milky Way. Seamlessly pan and zoom from aerial views of the moon and selected planets, as well as see their precise positions in the sky from any location on Earth and any time in the past or future.

New NOVA DVDs, 7-12

Ten new NOVA: Scientific Discovery videos are available for checkout.

  • Absolute Zero (#809450)
  • Fireworks! (#809445)
  • Four-winged dinosaur (#809449
  • Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension (#809452)
  • Ghost in Your Genes (#809448)
  • The Ghost Particle: Neutrinos-the Secret Ingredient to the Cosmos (#809444)
  • Infinite Secrets: the Genius of Archimedes (#809443)
  • Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives (#809451)
  • Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius (#809446)
  • Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun (#809447)

Green Careers DVDs, 3-12

Volumes 10-26 have been added to this series about global and personal ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Available for checkout.

SecretBuilders: Integrate Creativity with Historical Adventure, K-8
SecretBuilders is a virtual world with an emphasis on creativity and historical adventure. Students explore virtual lands, go on quests, play games, maintain a home, nurture a pet, and interact with their friends. Students learn through immersing themselves in the stories, themes, and concepts from the best in literature, arts, and humanities. They will interact with famous historical and fictional figures and be introduced to content and characters from world civilization and the great thoughts and ideas of human creativity including Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, Galileo and Socrates. Students actually create this site, not just consume it. They are directly involved in creating this world with their ideas, critiques, and contributions on almost every aspect of the site and many of their ideas will be implemented. Students publish their works such as writings, art, or videos. They can invite friends and family to view their works and comment.

Google Tip, K-12

When looking for global perspectives on a topic, you can limit a Google search by using "site:". As an example, if you wanted the British perspective on the G20, enter G20 site:UK in the search box.

Fight for Oil: 100 Years in the Middle East, 9-12

This series of three DVDs profiles the social and political impacts for the Middle East and the rest of the world. Available for checkout.
Part 1 (#073511)
This program describes the discovery of oil in Persia in 1908, the claims placed on Middle East territories and concludes with the British being sent home from Iran in the 1950s.

Part 2 (#073512)
This program explains the history of Middle East oil beginning in the early 1970s, the oil embargo and the resulting rise in import prices as foreign leaders attempt to negotiate. Tensions in the Middle East begin to heighten as conflicting groups become more violent. Assassinations, hostage situations and torture are tearing the region apart. American female soldiers fighting in the Gulf War sparks interests in women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

Part 3 (#073513)
This program explains the after-effects of the second gulf war. Iraq, which once played a major role in the Middle East oil trade, is struggling to gain stability. Exemplifying this is the city of Kirkuk, one of the two largest oil regions in the country, where oil brought destruction and discrimination against the Kurds. In Iran, controversy surrounds the Sunni and Shiite's and the struggle for everyday life. This episode also shows the disparity between north and south Tehran and the south's disappointment with failed promises by president Ahmadinijhad. In contrast lies Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where modernization is far beyond that of Iran and Iraq.

Treks in a Wild World, 6-12

This series of adventures features outdoor pursuits, while providing a panoramic view of some of the most remote places in the world. 10 DVDs. Available for checkout.

  • Biking the Kokopelli Trail and Canoeing the Rio Grande (#809398)
  • Climbing the Grand Tetons and Biking the Continental Divide (#809397)
  • Diving with the Manatees (Florida) and Hiking in Kings Canyon (#809399)
  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail and Canoeing the Okefenokee Swamp (#809400)
  • Hiking the Oklahoma Plains and Exploring Canyonlands (#809401)
  • Horse Packing in Yellowstone and Cattle Driving in Wyoming (#809406)
  • Ice Climbing Mount Rainier and Canyoneering in Apacheland (#809402)
  • Kayaking Prince William Sound and Arctic Hiking in Alaska (#809403)
  • Poling the Bonaventure River (Quebec) and Cycling the Viking Trail (#809404)
  • Whitewater Rafting the Gauley River and Bushwacking (#809405)

PBS Teachers Live, PreK-12
PBS Teachers Live Is a series of free monthly webinars designed to help preK–12 teachers learn new ways to integrate online instructional resources into the classroom and engage students in curriculum lessons. The series features leading education experts, authors, and PBS producers who will discuss timely and relevant curriculum-related topics and share their knowledge and ideas on using digital media to create rich learning experiences for students. The webinars will cover technology integration topics and a wide range of subjects, including science, math, reading/language arts, social studies, history, and art. Past topics include Changing Views of History, Changing Views of Race and Teaching and Learning with Digital Natives. Upcoming topics include Remixing Shakespeare for 21st Century Students, Using 21st Century Resources to Celebrate Earth Day, and Effective Integration of Math and Science.

TED Videos, K-12
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started as an annual conference with the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). More tan 200 of these talks are available online. Look at the math section on siftables--computerized hands-on learning "toys".

YouTubeEDU, K-12
Did you know there are separate channels on YouTube so that quality is controlled? Universities and colleges have a special channel with lectures, videos, demonstrations, etc. Watch a Stanford professor explain the theory of relativity or a Culinary Institute of America professor show how to pipe a cupcake. Pair this with Academic Earth described in the March World of Media.

Teaching 21st Century Concepts and Skills, K-12

Each Iowa student must graduate with the 21st century skills necessary for a productive and satisfying life in a global knowledge-based environment. Descriptions of the new global reality are plentiful, and the need for new, 21st century skills in an increasingly complex environment is well documented. In one form or another, authors cite (1) the globalization of economics; (2) the explosion of scientific and technological knowledge; (3) the increasingly international dimensions of the issues we face, (i.e. global warming and pandemic diseases); and (4) changing demographics as the major trends that have resulted in a future world much different from the one that many of us faced when we graduated from high school (Friedman, 2005 and Stewart, 2007). The trends are very clear that each Iowa student will need essential 21st century skills to lead satisfying lives in this current reality.

Listed below are professional books that provide an excellent research base and rationale for the importance of teaching 21st century concepts and skills. These are the five book titles that were shared with district leadership teams in Module six of the Iowa Core Curriculum training. All titles will be available for checkout through the Heartland library.

The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need--And What We Can Do About It by Tony Wagner Based on interviews with business leaders and observations of classes in public schools, Tony Wagner argues that there is a disconnect between what potential employers are looking for in young people today (critical thinking skills, creativity, and effective communication) and what our schools are providing (passive learning environments and lesson plans that focus on test preparation and reward memorization). He explains how every American can work to overhaul our education system, and shows examples of schools that teach all students new skills. Interviews with college graduates show how teachers, parents, and employers can motivate the net generation to excellence. Wagner will be presenting in Iowa in September.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the World by Daniel Pink (CD audiobook, #256001,or hardcover) The author claims the workplace is changing and power will shift to people who possess strong right brain qualities. He reveals the six essential aptitudes for professional success and personal fulfillment. A series of tools, tips, and hands-on exercises are included for each aptitude. Unabridged audiobook. 5 CDs.

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser The first generation of “Digital Natives” – children who were born into and raised in the digital world – are coming of age, and soon our world will be reshaped in their image. Our economy, our politics, our culture and even the shape of our family life will be forever transformed. But who are these Digital Natives?

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton Christensen, Michael Hern, and Curtis Johnson According to recent studies in neuroscience, the way we learn doesn't always match up with the way we are taught. If we hope to stay competitive-academically, economically, and technologically-we need to rethink our understanding of intelligence, reevaluate our educational system, and reinvigorate our commitment to learning. In other words, we need “disruptive innovation.”

Caught In the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism by Richard Longworth The Midwest has always been the heart of America - both its economic bellwether and the repository of its national identity. Now, in a new, globalized age, the Midwest is challenged as never before. With an influx of immigrant workers and an outpouring of manufacturing jobs, the region that defines the American self - the Lake Wobegon image of solid, hardworking farmers and factory hands - is changing at breakneck speed. As factory farms and global forces displace old ways of life, the United States is being transformed literally from the inside out.

Cell Phones in the Classroom, K-12

Here are some cell phone instructional sites that you may be interested in exploring.

Text message Google for quick results. Using text messaging with a cell phone, find weather, local events, glossary, sports, movies, stocks, postal codes, directions, maps, flights, area codes, ask a question to find an answer, translations, Web snippets, calculator conversion, currency conversions, and much more. Text message your search query to 466453 ('GOOGLE' on most devices) and the message will be texted back.

Simple Text Message Voting. Poll Everywhere is an audience response system. Unlike other voting or polling solutions, you don’t have to buy expensive proprietary hardware. Just sign up and create text message (SMS) polls in literally minutes.

Real time sharing of camera phones pictures, videos and conversations.

TalkShoe is a service that enables anyone to easily create, join, or listen to live interactive discussions, conversations, podcasts and audioblogs using cell phones.

Use a cell phone to post images, videos, audio or text to a blog or Web space.

Copy documents, whiteboards and handwritten notes with your camera phone or digital camera to store, fax, email or publish. Turn documents, notes and whiteboards into digital copies (PDFs), e-mail or fax qipit digital copies via email, your online Qipit account, or right from your phone. Store all of your paper documents and notes as digital documents for easy archiving and sharing. Tag your qipit documents for easy searching and sorting. Publish and share your documents on the web.

Write, read, and share books on your mobile phone through Wattpad.

Mobiode is a simple and flexible solution for mobile surveys and polls. Create surveys in your Web browser and participants to the survey respond using their mobile phones. All results are visible through a Web interface in real time or in Excel.

Use your cell phones to text information to the Web site for free. When you send a text message to Wiffiti, you text a place instead of a person. Can be used to brainstorm, send messages, etc.

Jott is a voice-to-text-enabled online service that lets you create memos, set reminders and send emails simply by dialing a toll-free number from your cell phone and reading out your message. Then go to your inbox and be amazed with the accuracy of the text transcribed for you by Jott.

The primary use of Evernote is to jot notes, clip Web content and capture pictures. It provides a variety of tools, from desktop clients for Windows and Mac to browser plugins to mobile and e-mail interfaces. Once on the server, the submitted content is indexed full-text and placed in your current folder, which you can further organize and tag as you like. Information can be placed via the web, cell phones, and clouds.

More information is at :Cell Phones in Learning

Emerging Technologies for K-12
The Horizon Report: 2009 K-12 Edition, released in March, identifies six emerging technologies that will have a huge impact on K-12 education within the next one to five years. Collaborative environments, online communication tools, mobile devices, cloud computing, "smart" objects, and the personal Web are the emerging technologies that a group of experts believes will have a profound impact on K-12 education within the next five years or sooner. The New Media Consortium (NMC), has come out with an annual report on emerging technologies in higher education for the last several years. These technologies are described below:

Collaborative Environments
Examples of the tools used to create these environments include Voicethread, which allows users to collect multiple voices and viewpoints in a single package, and Ning, which lets teachers set up workspaces that include Web feeds to pull in relevant resources, chat spaces (synchronous or asynchronous), forums, profiles, shared documents, calendars, music, and many other tools--all with a few clicks.

Online Communication Tools
According to the report, these tools make it easy for students to move past the classroom walls and connect with their peers around the world, as well as with experts in the fields they are studying. Access to these tools gives students an opportunity to experience learning in multiple ways, develop a public voice, and compare their own ideas with those of their peers.

Mobile Devices
Over the past few years, the report notes, smart phones and other mobile devices have become able to record audio and video, store more information, and access the Web--making mobiles function like laptops.

Cloud Computing
This is a term for networked computers that distribute processing power and applications among many machines. Applications such as Flickr, Google Docs, and YouTube use a cloud as their platform,

"Smart" Objects
A "smart" object, as defined by the report, is "any physical object that includes a unique identifier that can track information about the object." The object can connect the physical world with the world of information. Smart objects can be used to manage physical things digitally, track them throughout their lifespan, and annotate them with descriptions, opinions, instructions, warranties, tutorials, photographs, and so on.

Personal Web
This is a term to describe a collection of technologies "that confer the ability to recognize, configure, and manage online content, rather than just viewing it," the report says. Personal-web technologies give users the ability to sort, display, and even build upon web content according to their personal needs and interests.

International Journal of Learning and Media, K-12
MIT Press has released their inaugural issue of The International Journal of Learning and Media (IJLM). This free online journal was created to provide a forum for scholars, researchers, and practitioners to examine the changing relationships between learning and media across a wide range of forms and settings. The editorial focus is particularly on young people, and will include a focus on informal and everyday contexts as well as institutions such as schools.

Increase Web Site Readability, K-12
Readability is a simple tool that makes reading on the Web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what is being read. It strips out advertisements, images and other Web page extraneous information and leaves just the text of the article allowing students to focus on reading. It works well with most sites, but in some cases it is best to display the print version of a page (a print view option is available on most news and magazine web sites) before using the tool. To use Readability, first visit the Readability Web site, follow the simple instructions for configuring your Readability view, and then save the bookmarklet to your browser bookmarks. The next time you ask students to visit a long article that you would like them to read in text view, just click the bookmarklet and Readability will load the text only view.

Information from SpeakUp 2008, K-12
The annual SpeakUp survey from Project Tomorrow shows that students feel restricted in using technology when they enter schools and suggests that this signals weakness in U.S. global competition. Although the survey found agreement among parents, teachers and principals that implementing technology in schools is crucial to student success, students don’t seem to feel that their schools’ technology use is up to date. Here are some highlights from the survey from Tech Learning,

When asked about how schools could make it easier for students to work electronically, the most common response (one-third of the 3rd-12th grade students polled) was that schools should let students use their own devices and tools during the school day, including laptops, cell phones, MP3 players and the option to communicate with classmates via email or IM.

Students and parents expressed interest in the digital textbook, with 29% of middle and high school students currently using some kind of online textbook or curriculum as part of their regular schoolwork. Student suggestions on the best digital textbook include:

  • The ability to personalize their book with electronic highlights and notes (63%)
  • Quizzes and tests for self-evaluation (62%) or self-paced tutorials (46%)
  • Access links to real-time data such as NASA and Google Earth (52%)
  • Links to PowerPoint or class lectures that support textbook content (55%)
  • Games (57%) or animations and simulations (55%)
  • Links to videoconferences (30%) or podcasts from subject experts (34%)

Free ESL Videos, K-12
Learn English with free videos from YouTube, Google Video,, and other video hosting Web sites. Teachers can use the quiz builder to create quizzes to post to a Web site or blog.

Destination Fashion, 9-12

These new DVD series features the designs, innovations, and philosophies of people around the world who work in the fashion industry. Available for checkout.

  • Destination Fashion: Copenhagen (#809432)
  • Destination Fashion: India (#809431)
  • Destination Fashion: London (#809430)

Eat Healthy and Be Healthy, K-3

This series of 10 DVDs explains vitamins, minerals, and eating right. Available for checkout.
Fruit (#073479)

  • Meat and Beans (#073484)
  • Milk, Grains, Oils (#073480)
  • Minerals 1 (#073476)
  • Minerals 2 (#073477)
  • Minerals 3 (#073478)
  • Vegetables 1 (#073481)
  • Vegetables 2 (#073483)
  • Vitamins 1 (#073474)
  • Vitamins 2 (#073475)

Amazing Art Adventures, K-6

This series of 10 DVDs introduces a specific art concept that students then put into practice as they complete classroom activities. Each episode is divided into three parts: introducing students to artists, the process of creating, and an adventure at a museum. Available for checkout.

  • Balance (#809514)
  • Color (#809509)
  • Line (#809510)
  • Movement and Rhythm (#809516)
  • Proportion, Harmony, and Unity (#809517)
  • Shape and Form (#809508)
  • Space (#809511)
  • Texture (#809512)
  • Value (#809513)
  • Variety and Emphasis (#809515)

Music Factory: An Introduction to Music Concepts, K-6

This series of 10 DVDs teaches music through a conceptual approach and provides demonstrations of musical classroom activities. Available for checkout.

  • Accompaniment (#809527)
  • Chords (#809525)
  • Harmony (#809523)
  • Major and Minor (#809526)
  • Melody (#809522)
  • Rhythm Basics (#809519)
  • Rhythm Revisited (#809524)
  • Scales (#809521)
  • Tone (#809520)
  • What Is Music? (#809518)

Road to Success Career DVDs, 9-12

Ten DVDs introduce popular occupations and features people, who in following their hearts, have found lasting satisfaction in their work. Available for checkout.

  • Spotlight on Careers in Education (#809462)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Entrepreneurship (#809463)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Fitness and Sports (#809464)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Food (#809465)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Housing and Real Estate (#809466)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Medicine (#809467)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Science (#809468)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Technology (#809469)
  • Spotlight on Careers in the Arts (#809461)
  • Spotlight on Careers in Travel and Hospitality (#809470)