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Find more Book Links November 2014
Reading and STEM
From best-selling “best habits” books to websites suggesting “life hacks,” the messages that our lives can dramatically improve with just a few, everyday tweaks are ubiquitous. Sometimes the suggestions can feel like an offshoot of advertising, with micro solutions to problems that you never knew you had. (Need to slice a pile of cherry tomatoes at once? I just found a life-hack video that showed me how to do it safely and effectively with just two plates and a bread knife!)
So, it was a welcome relief that a 2013 blog entry entitled “Five Habits of Great Students: Lessons from a Top-Ranked STEM School” signaled a refreshing return to basics. Habit number one, according to the post’s authors, both teachers at High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey? Reading.
“For us, reading is the single most important factor leading to academic achievement,” the teachers wrote in their contribution to the Washington Post’s education-focused blog, The Answer Sheet. In the culture that this school has developed, the authors write, “teachers across the content areas model reading by sharing their own favorites and talking about books with students.”
It’s exciting, of course, to see independent reading and literacy skills so highly prioritized, particularly in a school best known for its STEM curriculum. It’s that same cross-curricular approach that’s at the core of Book Links’ mission: to support—and learn from—teachers and librarians who are trying to create a community of readers. Among the suggestions in this STEM-focused issue, you’ll find science titles for beginning readers, tips for incorporating poetry into science units, ideas for introducing basic math concepts with notable books for youth, and much more.
Both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards share the goal of preparing students for twenty-first century careers. In the STEM professions, it’s those with strong reading and writing skills who will be best able to communicate theories, write winning grants, analyze research, and synthesize and present research findings. Also essential is helping students find books that could open up new worlds of interest—and maybe even point them toward their professional paths. How is your school and library finding ways to create a culture of reading? As always, we love to hear from you.
Books and Authors
Talking with Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm,by Sunday Cummins
Talking with Nic Bishop, by Cyndi Giorgis
Get Charged Up!, by Angela Leeper
Math and the Common Core, by Eula Ewing Monroe
Scientists as Children, by Kristin Rydholm
Exploring Science with Poetry, by Sylvia M. Vardell
Reid-Aloud Alert, by Rob Reid
Weighing In, by Pat Scales
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