Many Ways of Reading

“What counts as reading? What are the different ways reading can look and feel? How do readers find more space and time for reading? What are the benefits of reading in different ways and at different times?”

Great post on audiobooks, listening, and reading over at The Nerdy Book Club.

Mock Newbery Kick-off Meeting

The first ever BNS Mock Newbery Club met during lunch on Thursday! The Newbery Medal honors the “most distinguished” children’s book published that year, and the BNS students will pick which book they deserves the medal the most. These books are brand new, borrowed from the Brooklyn Public Library through an innovative pilot program between public and school libraries in New York City. Students have over thirty titles to choose from! The Club meets every Thursday and students will meet and recommend different books to each other as well as evaluate the books based on the criteria used by the Newbery Committee.

file9671307538042Today we got started by making bookmarks to remind us of the Newbery criteria while we are reading. We reviewed: Characters, Plot, Setting, Theme and Style. An interesting discussion followed debating whether a character had to be a person. We’re excited to see how that applies to our books!

Any BNS or BCS student may borrow the Newbery books, but in order to vote in the end ofJanuary the student must read at least three books and attend at least four of our lunch-time meetings. Reading with a grown-up counts, so we encourage all the students to give it a try!

6th Grade Book Club: R.J. Palacio’s “Wonder,” Cookies, More “Wonder”

UnknownThe sixth grade book club got underway today with our first ever book meeting. We’d all read about half of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder and met to talk about it over lunch and chocolate chip cookies  in the library.

This story of August, a disfigured boy leaving the safety of a home schooling environment to attend “real” middle school gave us lots to think and talk about. Should someone in that position go to school? What does school offer? Friends, connections, real teachers. What are the fears? Bullying. And what happens? You’ll have to read the book with us to find out!

The story also made us think about what makes a person lucky, what makes August lucky, and what makes each one of us lucky in our own lives.

Fun fact: Although the story is set in a fictionalized Hudson Heights, a Brooklyn-like community in northern Manhattan, R.J. Palacio lives in Brooklyn and is widely believed to have modeled the neighborhood of Wonder on Park Slope, with Beecher Prep a thinly veiled reincarnation of Berkeley-Carroll.

We’re going to stick with this story and meet again to talk about the conclusion on Friday Dec. 6th.

Did you know… only 1 out of 7 engineers in the U.S. is female?*

men_women_symbolsWe typically won’t blog about commercial products, but this amazing ad for a set of interactive books and games aimed at getting more girls into the field of engineering had us hooked. GoldieBlox CEO Debbie Sterling, a graduate of Stanford with an engineering degree, was bothered by how few women were in her engineering program. Determined to shift the balance, she set out to create a line of books and games to “disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.”

Set to a Beastie Boys song, the commercial challenges gender stereotypes and sparks the imagination. Check it out!

GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg, & Beastie Boys Princess Machine

*Source: US Department of Commerce, Economics and Administration Report “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation“, 2011

NPR’s Series on “Raising Digital Natives”


Raising Digital Natives: Technology And Our Kids

If you missed this compelling series of discussions broadcast on NPR, click here to listen to what’s being talked about regarding technology and our kids. From infants through teens, these podcasts address some of the issues we face in raising digital natives.

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