Felicity Williams. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, l997. 55 pp., sewn paper, $12.95.
Ages Babies and up.
Review by Jennifer Johnson.
As an educator, composer and poet, Felicity Williams is a natural interpreter of language for the very young. In Pocketful of Stars, she has created original verses for parents and care-givers. Her writing joins a rich literature of play rhymes for children. Although many of the well-known nursery rhymes and songs have direct connections to the pastoral, with actions referring to shoeing colts, to little cows in the field and to the riding of the hunt, Williams pulls this genre into the modern world with rhymes about the Car Washer, the Clothes Dryer and Power Pylons. The little pigs in this collection do not go to market but into outer space to walk "upon the moon" and sing "a lunar tune."
In her introduction, Williams touches upon the theories of language acquisition and physical development which are behind the fun of such nursery chants. Listening skills, mimicry and motor development are all mentioned. Williams also states that, because the rhymes are specfically for babies, "they contain a great deal of mimicry and repetition," two devices that are essential to the development of speech and other cognitive skills. One additional comment she might have noted is that the repetition is vital for adults wanting to learn and use the rhymes. One reason that the traditional chants are so resiliant is that they spring from childhood play and require very little effort to put them back into use. Memorizing poetry is an additional task for parents learning a wide variety of new skills. Williams' rhymes, such as Spaghetti (Here's a piece of spaghetti all slimy and thin, It twirls and it curls and it tickles your chin), are easily assimilated whereas others with extended refrains, such as The Popcorn Dance (in part, Do the popcorn polka, Do the popcorn jig-a-jig, Do the popcorn pirouette, Go dancing with a pig), are more difficult. Some of the latter will require the book in hand; however, enough are easily learned that they will quickly become rote.
A series of side panels in smaller print elaborate on the actions for each rhyme. Williams is expansive in these instructions, emphasizing for example, that the bouncing can be as "rough or smooth as you choose." In this way, she gives adults latitude in interpreting their own level of comfort with handling the baby and allows for the actions to become progressively stronger as the baby grows into toddlerhood. In one of her final statements, Williams, by directing her readers to "enjoy this book with your baby," returns to one of the main purposes of nursery chants, the wonderful fun of playing with the baby!
Michael Martchenko, a well-known illustrator for children, applies his characteristic style to these modern nursery games. Illustrators for this genre seem to choose either a soft, reverent interpretation of babyhood (Catherine Stock - Trot Trot to Boston) or a silly, exaggerated style (Alan Tiegreen - Pat-a-Cake and other Play Rhymes). Martchenko joins the latter with his cover illustration of a toothy tot exuberantly engineering a train full of toys. Other Martchenko characters include a dancing cob of corn, mice piloting a shoe boat and a child careening into a mud pile. The sense of fun and abandon are a good complement to Williams' lively poetry. Martchenko directs his illustrations to a wider audience than just parents of infants. By portraying some of the children engaging in older pastimes, Martchenko enhances William's stated intention of appealing to older siblings who can also join in the fun. In Pocketful of Stars, Williams and Martchenko have successfully collaborated to add another title to collections of play rhymes.
Jennifer Johnson works as a children's librarian in Ottawa.
Barbro Lindgren. Illustrated by Eva Eriksson.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood / Douglas & McIntyre, 1997. 32pp., hardcover, $15.95.
Grades preschool - 2 / Ages 4 - 7.
Review by Alison Mews.
After Lisa rushed home to her make-believe baby, a very old dog, Tessie, strolled by. She was so old that she was blind, but by smelling she could tell that Rosa was friendly. She sniffed until she got tired and had to leave. Rosa was bored. But not for long. As she lay down trying to sleep, a brown rocket leaped over her. It was Bomber. Even thought he was fast, Rosa wrestled him to the ground and sat on him. Even more exciting was a sudden stream of babies in strollers. The first baby that she licked howled. Luckily the next one wanted a kiss. Rosa licked and licked it until its owner ran off with it.
The internationally acclaimed author-illustrator team from Sweden have followed up Rosa, Perpetual Motion Machine with a new book about Rosa, an endearing but willful Bull Terrier. Rosa Moves to Town describes how, from a dog's viewpoint, Rosa and her aunt encounter the pros and cons of urban life. Rosa delights in tasting the tempting litter lying about the sidewalks and observing the (mostly) friendly dogs and babies parading by. At home, having too vigorously chewed on favourite dog toys, Rosa must be rushed to pet hospital to have toy parts removed from her stomach. As Rosa leaves the hospital, she again spies a sidewalk delight and is only just prevented from ingesting it by her watchful aunt.
While the story uses simple, understated language, it is the pictures that captivate. With a few effective strokes, Eriksson has created wonderfully expressive characters in pastels. Both Lindgren and Eriksson obviously understand the canine temperament and portray it with much humour and affection. Children will relate to the honesty of emotions that Rosa, as a dog, is free to convey. They will also appreciate, at a deeper level, the unconditional love displayed by the patient aunt for the recalcitrant child that is Rosa.
My only quibble with this engaging book is its anticlimactic ending. As previously mentioned, Rosa barely avoids another trip to the hospital when her aunt stops her from chewing on a discarded pacifier. Perhaps something may be lost in the translation, but, if the book's last sentence aims for humour, it misses the mark. Nonetheless, this book will be enjoyed by children and dog-lovers of all ages.
Alison Mews is Coordinator at the Centre for Instructional Services in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Margaret Carney. Illustrated by Janet Wilson.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1997. 32pp., hardcover, $16.95.
Grades preschool to 3 / Ages 3 - 8.
Review by Michele F. Kallio.
In what may be possibly the most beautiful children's picture book I have ever seen, Wilson's extraordinary illustrations present readers with the agreeable experience of viewing Carney's story as through a picture window. Readers will feel that they are so close to the story that all they need do is reach out the window.
Carney's story follows the experiences of a young boy as he visits his grandfather's sugar camp during school break. The story follows the maple syrup harvest from its beginning, the tapping of the trees, to its delicious conclusion, enjoying the completed product on fresh made pancakes. The book is sure to delight all readers, both those who have been lucky enough to have experienced a sugaring off, and those who have not.
A must for every library and every grandparent who has ever wanted to spend that "special time" with a grandchild. A perfect "read to me" story that will appeal to older readers as well.
Michele F. Kallio is a former teacher/librarian living in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick.
Jill Creighton. Illustrated by Kitty Macaulay.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1997. 32pp., paper, $5.95.
Grades K - 2 / Ages 4 - 7.
Review by Jennifer Johnson.
What is the great blue grump? He's not a bird, like the bald eagle. He's not a snake. He stands up straight like a grizzly bear but he can crawl if he wants. He never gets much sleep. That's why he's grumpy.
With The Great Blue Grump, Jill Creighton adds another successful picture book text to her growing list of titles. As with Maybe a Monster, and One Day There Was Nothing to Do, Creighton creates a blend of imagination and domestic stability. In Maybe, mother is a gentle mediator when a marauding baby crawls into the play area, while in One Day, she participates, wholeheartedly, in helping the day with nothing to do become a heyday. In this third picture book, a question and answer format is set and as the pattern of the dialogue proceeds, the characteristics of the Great Blue Grump emerge. We learn what he looks like, what sounds he can make, and what he likes and doesn't like to eat. After a considerable build-up, all with an overlay of smiles and a sense of fun, we meet him, and "he's the best dad in the world." One quibble is that the phrasing seems awkward when Creighton changes to negative answers such as a "he will never eat you for dinner like a tiger would." The bulk of the answers, which are simple, short and positive, work best with the younger children for whom the book is primarily intended.
Illustrations by Kitty Macaulay provide a wonderful, whimsical element to the text of the book. Macaulay's work first appeared in another Annick publication, I Feel Orange Today, written by Patricia Godwin. She displays a light hand, with a loose, free interpretation. In Orange, details abound and tiny vignettes of the fantastical join the pages. Birds in sleeping bags read by fire-fly light and a raft of ant babies in a nutshell stroller cross the page. Macaulay applies this same sense of fun to the illustrations for The Great Blue Grump. She accurately displays all of the creatures listed, from a ring-tailed lemur to a three-toed sloth, but interprets them with an overlay of comfort. Mother frilled lizard claps proudly for her dancing children, baby frog sports diapers and an eyelet cap, the grizzly bear wears in-line skates and elbow guards. As with Creighton, while Macaulay has great fun with the fantasy eiement, her illustrations are grounded in real life. Her children represent a racial mix and the budding bike rider has both training wheels and a safety helmet. Children will have fun anticipating the text and following the illustrations to their conclusion, but they will also enjoy rnany subsequent browsings, searching out their favourite scenes and characters on Macaulay's bright pages.
The Great Blue Grump is a wonderful addition to lap-side reading for preschoolers. The gentle mystery of identity will appeal to young reader/listeners and the detail and fun of Macaulay's illustrations will definitely extend the pleasure for repeated readings.
Jennifer Johnson works as a children's librarian in Ottawa, Ontario.
Cynthia Pratt Nicolson. Illustrated by Bill Slavin.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1997. 40pp., paper, $6.95.
Grades 2 - 6 / Ages 7 - 11.
Review by Jennifer Johnson.
You are an Earthling - you live on planet Earth. People have lived on Earth for thousands of years. Plants and animals have been here even longer. But where did Earth itself come from and when? All over the world people have made up stories to explain how Earth began.
Young Earthlings are invited to join Nicolson and Slavin on an adventure of discovery which blends text, illustration and creative activities. The Earth is the second collaboration between Nicolson and Slavin, their first being Earthdance published in 1994. With brevity and clarity, this successful partnership explores the concepts of space, the planets, the Earth's surface, weather and life on Earth. Nicolson begins her first chapter, "Earth our home in space," with an overview of creation myths from around the world. She then moves into the specifics of the scientific theory and proceeds to elaborate upon the names, positions and distinguishing features of the planets.
As Nicolson explores her materials, she invites young readers to "Try it!" by providing a series of hands on activities which illustrate her text. This pattern of concept/myth, science and activity is repeated throughout the book, placing the ideas about space within an historical, creative context and then translating these issues into the concrete. For the most part, the materials needed are readily available. A flashlight and plastic lid easily replicate the effects of a lunar eclipse. In my household, the demonstration was easily compared to an actual lunar eclipse, a happy coincidence. Experiments requiring kitchen products come with a reminder to seek adult supervision. One experiment, however, attempted by the reviewer with children 10 and over was not successful. Even using a variety of jar sizes and various adaptations of technique, the experiment to "create some currents" was not reproducible, an unfortunate occurrence in an otherwise consistently accessible presentation. While the book will probably be most useful to those with children under ten years of age who will not be self-conscious about the picture book format, the design of text and illustration, the print size, and the presence of many cultures make the book very attractive for libraries and schools serving an ESL population.
Bill Slavin, popular as a picture book illustrator, has also created a strong collection of illustrated non-fiction titles. He has interpreted many subjects from hockey (Hockey for Kids by B. McFarlane) to telephone technology (Phone Book by Elizabeth MacLeod). In The Earth, he illustrates both the technical and the mythical. His illustrations of the discovery activities are clear and emphasize the accessibility of the experiments.
The Earth is introduced by the publishers as one in a new series called Starting with Space. Additional titles, The Moon and The Sun, are also available.Recommended.
Jennifer Johnson works as a children's librarian in Ottawa, Ontario.
Sylvia Funston. Illustrated by Dusan Petricic.
Toronto, ON: Greey de Pencier Books, 1996. 64 pp., paper. $9.95.
Grades 2 - 8 / Ages 7 - 13.
Review by Brenda Partridge.
You are about to enter a world of fear and terror, a world of ghosts and goblins, of monsters, aliens and unbelievable powers. It's a world full of unexplainable things that make you shiver . . . things that aren't supposed to be. But who's to say what's supposed to be and what isn't? . . . In the spooky, scary world explored in the pages of this book, you'll come across many strange creatures and events. Some have been mysteries for ages, and continue to puzzle scientists because they don't fit current scientific theories. But scientists past and present (see page 62) keep searching for the truth, in the hopes of answering the question: "Are they real or are they figments of our imagination?"
Sylvia Funston, a multi-award-winning science author, in addition to writing Dinosaur Question and Answer Book, Kid's Horse Book, the Nature Book and co-authoring the Kid's Guide to the Brain, has been the editor-in-chief of Owl and Chickadee magazines. With such a background, not surprisingly her latest book contains material that has fascinated children for ages. The glossy front cover of this thin 8.5" x 11" paperback invites students to read at their own risk to determine the truth behind vampires, witches, UFO's, ghosts and more!
The book is divided into five main chapters - It's Fright Time, Terrors of the Night, Things that Go Bump, Out of This World and Larger than Life. Averaging about ten pages each, chapters contain an incredible amount of information in small print. However, to keep the edition from becoming too text intensive, several strategies, such as coloured boxes, bullets, short paragraphs and plentiful illustrations and photographs, have been incorporated.
The illustrations are crucial to such a book, for, without their effectiveness, the book's audience would be limited to children with a junior or intermediate division reading ability. Each two-page spread has watercolour illustrations, and often photos with easily recognized brightly coloured borders are interspersed to reinforce phenomena.
Focusing on the reasons some people become frightened, the text intersperses facts with fears and, most of the time, leaves readers to draw their own conclusions. Why do more girls than boys think that bogeymen live under beds? The bogeyman of the Algonkian native people eats people! Funston asks her readers to consider that bogeymen may be a way of dealing with the "ancient human memory of being hunted in the night".
Activities designed to encourage readers to challenge some of the scientific phenomena are interspersed throughout the chapters. For example, readers can make tracks to resemble those of Big Foot or test their ability to have ESP.
Recommended for home and school recreational reading, this reasonably priced book could also be used as a gift.
Brenda Partridge is a teacher-librarian at the Percy Centennial Library Information Centre in Warkworth, Ontario.
Elizabeth Macleod. Illustrated by Bill Slavin and Esperança Melo
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1996. 40 pp., paper, $6.95.
Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.
Review by Katherine Matthews.
Do you want to collect stamps? This book will show you how. Once you get started, you'll see why stamp collecting is the most popular hobby in the world. Become a stamp collector and you'll make new friends, explore Canada and travel the world without ever leaving home.
Stamps hold a fascination for people of all ages. Is there anyone who has not clipped a beautiful or interesting stamp from an envelope and tucked it away or put it up on the fridge? Kids Can Press has produced Get Started: Stamp Collecting for Canadian Kids, a slim, highly illustrated volume full of fascinating and interesting stamp facts.
The book's organization is logical with each theme being placed on a double page spread. Stamp Collecting introduces a number of stamp facts (including the smallest, the largest, and the rarest stamps), which serve to whet the potential collector's interest. The book proceeds with parts of stamps, tools to use to start collecting, suggestions for choosing what to collect and how to go about it. Bits of stamp history and information on how stamps are created are also included. Definitions of more specialised terms are provided both within the individual sections and the glossary, "More Stamp Talk".
Even though each section builds on prior information, readers need not read the book from beginning to end. Also, there are a few "tips" placed in corners, on yellow backgrounds -- a great idea -- but it's too bad they weren't used more liberally. While Stamp Collecting has an index and table of contents, it is just as easy to browse through the book.
Illustrations, by Bill Slavin and Esperança Melo, add even more interest to this already informative book. A minor quibble - the cover illustration features a collage of the Canadian comic book superhero stamps, and a quick glance (for example when scanning the shelves in the library, or at the local bookstore) might lead a potential reader to believe that the book is about comics rather than stamps.
An interesting and informative book!
Katherine Matthews is a teacher-librarian at the Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto.
Vancouver, BC: Polestar, 1997. 136 pp., paper, $9.95.
Grade 5 - 9 / Ages 11 - 14.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
Note: Book was reviewed from page proofs.
The light is just creeping in and Calvin realizes it is no longer completely dark. It's like watching a slow sunrise when the sky is thickly overcast. He cannot begin to fathom where he is or what has happened, and decides he must be dreaming. All he can see is this dense fog which swirls and moves around him. His body is weightless, floating as if in outer space. Time has ceased its perpetual movement. It is peaceful in a way, but for this aching silence, which makes him wonder if he might be the last person alive on earth. Where is everyone?
The book's unusual title is taken from a poem of gratitude, i thank you God for this amazing, by e.e. cummings, but Nicola "Nickie" Angel, 14, finds little to celebrate in her life in Weldon Sound, a Pacific coast logging community. Three months previously, her 16-year-old brother, Calvin, had been in a car accident which left him in a coma with no guarantee of recovery. Shortly before the accident, Calvin and his father had argued with their conflict being rooted in differing values regarding logging. Mr. Angel had worked his entire life for McDougal Brown, a multinational company which held logging rights to most of the Sound and which employed, directly or indirectly, the majority of the area's inhabitants; whereas Calvin, an emerging environmentalist, opposed the company's devastating clear-cutting practices in the temperate rain forest.
After the accident, Nickie's father became distant and angry, her mother retreated to her room, and only Nickie continued almost daily hospital visits to her comatose brother. Nickie finds herself having to take sides when the government grants McDougal Brown logging rights on Macquet Island despite unresolved native land claims. Appropriate to the YA genre, Nickie's dissent finds personal, as opposed to just altruistic, expression. Growing up, she and Calvin used to play on the island, and they identified with two giant Red Cedars, brother and sister trees. With Calvin's precarious health, Nickie believes she must protect "their" trees. A further complication involves Nickie's meeting and becoming attracted to newcomer, Jeff, about 15 and the son of a leader of an "outside" environmental group.
Maynard's writing, while offering lots of conflict plus good characterization, correctly avoids providing middle school readers with a "correct answer", simplistic solution to the story's complex environmental theme. A subplot involves Nickie's violin playing attempts to penetrate her brother's coma. At the end of many chapters, Maynard utilizes a reader engaging stylistic device wherein she incorporates the thoughts of the comatose Calvin.
A good companion read to William Bell's Speak to the Earth.
Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and adolescent literature courses at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
Edmonton, AB: Reidmore Books, 1996. 204 pp., hardcover, $35.00.
Grade 7 / Age 12.
Review by Marsha Kaiserman.
Viking sagas tell us that Scandinavian adventurers visited Iceland and Greenland before the end of the first millennium. Viking families from Norway and the colonies in Britain settled in Iceland in 870 CE. From the mountain tops of western Iceland, these colonists could dimly see another island to the west. Around 983 CE, Erik the Red led a group of settlers from Iceland to this island, which he named Greenland.
Canadians tend to forget that the northern circumpolar world is occupied by eight other countries: the United States, Russia, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Denmark? Yes, Denmark is still involved in the governing of Greenland and, as a result, is considered a circumpolar country.
Starting in Canada and ending in Alaska, Bob MacQuarrie takes readers on an eastward journey round the planet's northern rim. Each "stop" provides information about the country and its peoples' way of life and concludes with interesting tasks, such as gathering more information on the country or thinking about the differences between countries or the difficulties connected with living in the north. In addition, MacQuarrie provides chapters on climate, plants, animals, history, native peoples, links, and challenges.
While this informative and fascinating book was written as the new Grade 7 social studies textbook for the Northwest Territories, its pictures and thumbnail sketches of the countries make it a worthwhile purchase for schools in other provinces.
Marsha Kaiserman is Head of Conferences Cataloguing at Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) in Ottawa.
Seymour Mayne. Illustrated by Sharon Katz.
Ottawa, ON: Concertina, 1995. 32 pp., paper. $6.00.
Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 to adult.
Review by Brian Rountree.
Here is a collection of twenty short narratives and monologues by an award-winning poet and translator. They have appeared in other publications, including an earlier version of nine poems from this volume which appeared in April 1995 at http://www.digimark.net/iatech/books/intro.htm and is still available for viewing. There, this collection is described as "novel readings and interpretations of such classical biblical subjects as the stories of the Golden Calf, the Binding of Isaac, the Flood and the Garden of Eden."
More than just the biblical story is alluded to in these poems; there are suppositions about actions and results plus images to cause one to envision what might happen next. Readers do not need to know the whole biblical story although such a familiarity is an aid to understanding the basis of the poem.
Seymour Mayne, who teaches at the University of Ottawa, has been involved in the production of at least thirty titles since 1970. His works have been translated into a number of European languages including Spanish and Yiddish. Over the years, Mayne has won a number of literary awards and prizes for his work.
Brian Rountree is the teacher/librarian at Eastwood Elementary School, Thompson, Manitoba..
Review by L.D. Steele.
Reprinted from the EdRes mailing list.
This award-winning site is dedicated to providing biographies of mathematicians throughout the ages. As of late March 1997 the site contained 1162 biographies, as well as 626 "portraits" and over 28 MB of material.The biographies are indexed chronologically and by name. The MacTutor site also allows viewers to click on various locations of a map to find biographies by birthplace. The length of the biographies range from about four paragraphs to multiple pages. Other features of the site include a search engine, links to other math sites, a chronology, and Java enhanced information on famous curves (history, definition, discoverer, applications and references). The creators of the site have also compiled a list of historical topics such as "Pi through the ages", "Fermat's last theorem" and the "Mathematical discovery of planets".
This site is a very rich source of information for anyone interested in learning more about a particular mathematician. Each biography contains a bibliographical list of references used to compile the information contained in the biography and links to other web sites on the mathematician if they are available.One aspect of the site that I found very interesting would be of interest to Physicists, Astronomers and Mathematicians. Essays on these historical topics detail not only a listing of the dates behind significant discoveries but some of the politics and conflicts that can occur in scientific research. These essays are well written and contain links to all of the mathematicians mentioned for easy access to more detailed personal information. The MacTutor site has a minimum of graphics. Despite this fact, download times varied. Nevertheless, the site is very valuable for integrating history into Mathematics, Physics or General Science classrooms.
Review by L.D. Steele.
"No-nonsence, real-life advice from real people about how you can succeed."Funded by the GTE Foundation and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the "Straight Talk" web site is a continuation and expansion of a project started in 1993, the "Straight Talk About School" kit or STAS kit (cost $50). The purpose of the web site (and kit) is to help students get answers to their problems about life, school work and family. The site doesn't guarantee answers, but rather tries to help the students find the answers themselves. Each month, Straight Talk updates their site with a new "issue". The focus of April is in setting goals, or "Don't Dream It ... Do It!". In the upcoming months they will focus on job skills (May), gender issues (June), physical fitness (July), and time/stress management (August). The special features in April include personality and goal tests, speaking with and reading about "experts", talking about goals and reading other people's comments, and even a couple of computer programs to help students get organized. The "experts" and tests are accessible from the main page. The "Connections" subpage provides specifically chosen links to areas such as careers, college, financial aid and personal growth. There is also a "Talk" subpage set up like a guestbook with new topics each week, and a new contest every month - April's an internet scavenger hunt.
I found one of the more useful applications of the site in the "Experts" section. After reading a brief biography of an "expert," you can read through questions and responses that other people have asked the "expert." You can then ask a question of the "expert." The turnaround for responses varies depending on the "expert". Students can get advice and learn about other people's experiences in a very safe and non-threatening environment. There is no time limit beyond the end of the month, so students don't need to rush.The "Connections" links are deliberately kept to a small number in each section, and offer a good selection in each subject area. "Keeping Your Balance" ranged from amusing (The Shakespearean Insulter), to important with articles on how text anxiety can make people sick and the importance of sleep. Some of the other links in the "Financial Aid" and "College" areas were US heavy, but also offer items of interest to non-US citizens. The graphics are colourful, and despite being fairly numerous throughout the site, did not slow download. Navigation throughout the site is aided by links on the left side of the page and at the bottom. The site has been optimized for Netscape Navigator 3.0 or Microsoft Explorer. I visited the site with both Netscape 2.0 and 3.0. Using Netscape 3.0 offered slightly faster download times, slightly smaller graphics and a larger font for the text. Curious, I then viewed the site with LYNX (a text-based browser), and found it completely workable with text alternates in place of some of the graphics.
Review by James F. Davis.
Reprinted from the EdRes mailing list.
The web site, The pH Factor, is produced and affiliated with the Miami Museum of Science. The site is an educational resource directed at elementary and middle school teachers. The site won the "site of the month" award, awarded by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse.All aspects of the site can be accessed directly from the main page. The site uses "the Seven E's approach" as its teaching method. The seven "E's" being, excite, explore, explain, expand, exchange, and examine (all seven "E's" have their own web page). The other page linked from the main page is a Teacher's Guide, which offers some suggestions for classroom use of the web site and the rationale behind the choice of "the Seven E's" approach. The main page also includes a direct link to the Miami Museum of Science web page. The site contains multiple lesson plans and activities with lists of required materials, and alternative approaches to lessons, materials, and classroom management. In each of the site's subpages, there are multiple labs, lesson plans, and classroom management approaches and ideas. The web site also gives the viewer the opportunity to make comments via e-mail and the opportunity to contribute one's own ideas, on the "Exchange" page.
Directed towards elementary and middle school teachers, The pH Factor, is a good resource for "alternatives" to the standard curriculum - alternative approaches (ie. multiple lab activities), alternative use of materials (ie. gumdrops for molecule displays) and assessment tools (ie. performance-based, portfolio, or journal-based). Moreover, if for some reason, one was unable to carry out any of the activities in the classroom setting, the activities can be attempted interactively on the web site itself.The site also offers well prepared lesson plans and activities (found on each of the seven "E's" web pages). Included in all the activities are ideas for organization of the classroom itself, and for student responsibilities in the class. The site strives to expand and apply all the topics discussed and to connect ideas and other subject matter (ie. "powers of ten" and pH). Although an explanation of "the Seven E's" teaching method can be found in the "Teacher's Guide" page, this explanation could be better developed. Unless one understands what the ideas behind this particular teaching method are, navigating the site can be a little confusing. The Miami Museum of Science has created a web site that could possibly work as an entire unit of study in a science classroom. The variety of activities and assessment tools allow the unit to be done in many different ways along different timelines.
The Canadian Children's Book Centre
35 Spadina Rd.
The Contact Center Network is a nonprofit organization that maintains the most comprehensive directory of nonprofit resources on the Web, with searchable links to over 10,000 nonprofit Websites in 110 countries, as well as a fully interactive database of volunteer opportunities, events and nonprofit services.The Contact Center Network is launching a new initiative called Action Without Borders - a Global Week of Action and Community. Action Without Borders, planned for October 18-25, 1997, is something that has never been done before: a week of action consisting of thousands of simultaneous clean-ups, workshops, tree-plantings, peace and human rights rallies and any other project you or your organization want to initiate - each organized independently by one or several organizations, and all coordinated and publicized through the Web and other media. Taking part in Action Without Borders is easy. It can be as simple as doing what you do all year, but making a little more noise about it that week. Alternatively, you can use this opportunity to collaborate on a larger project with other groups in your area or around the world, and you can also work with us to help make AWB a success in your community. The initial response to this initiative has been wonderful: Yahoo, one of the most visited sites on the Web, has agreed to provide free banners on its site to help promote AWB, and grassroots organizations from around the world are eager to work together on this project. A partial of list of participants include: -American Citizens Abroad, Switzerland
To learn more about this initiative, and about how your organization can participate and benefit from it, please go to http://www.contact.org
From the NOVAE GROUP Teachers Networking for the Future
This site is produced by Houghton Mifflin Company and is geared towards teachers, students and parents. On this site one can find: Interactive games, professional development articles, online projects, and other educational materials for grades K-8. There are also bibliographies organized by themes and links to other Internet sites. Houghton Mifflin Education Place also has gathered resources that may be of particular interest to parents. This site also gives you the option to order education materials such as picture books or CD-ROM packages.There are links from the home page into the following centers: Math, Reading/Language Arts, Social Studies, and Technology. These links provide useful articles and activities to help and support the instruction of these specific subjects. The Technology Center provides resources to help take advantage of this teaching tool to enhance various subjects.
From the NBNSOFT Content Awards Ejournal
Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
The Manitoba Library Association
AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | BOOKSHELF | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | ORDER | HOME