Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Episode #8: Non-Fiction Books and Literacy Learning

Featuring Host, Mark Gura’s Interview with Young Person’s Author, Vicki Cobb

Click arrow above to listen to the podcast (please be patient, the audio play may take a few seconds to start) - The interview starts at 9:50

This episode features a unique look at non-fiction books for kids from the viewpoint of Vicki Cobb, author of many popular science books that are used widely in classrooms. Vicki offers her fascinating and insightful perspective that reflects her own long term experience writing non-fiction books. She also shares about her recent efforts to transform author school visits using online video conferencing technology.

 Vicki’s  Links

Vicki’s website:

 Ink Think Tank:

Wikis that showcase Vicki’s  work with schools

Articles recommend by Vicki
Authors on Call: Videoconferencing in Class

Good Writing Is Memorable: Scientific Proof

Vicki’s instructional videos  are available at:

Host Mark Gura’s links: + +


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Podcast Episode #7: Robotics and Literacy Learning - STEM and English Language Arts Connected

Featuring Host, Mark Gura’s Interview with Leisha Hoot of LEGO Education

Click arrow above to listen to the podcast -  
The interview starts at 7:28

This episode features a spirited discussion about how LEGO’s WeDo Robotics materials are used effectively to foster Literacy learning in classrooms and beyond.  An overview of easy robotics, appropriate for young students is followed by discussions of how teachers can practically use this approach for a variety of powerful literacy strategies.

Important Links

LEGO Education / WeDo

Leisha's Links
WeDo Common Core and NGSS Correlations – on this page under the Resources tab:

Tufts Activities: and search for WeDo.  One of my favorites is “A Chair for Mr. Bear”

Articles discussed in the podcast:

(Washington Post) The Answer Sheet / How to Integrate Literacy with STEM
(Charlotte Observer) Fourth-graders turn Legos into robots 
YouTube videos of WeDO Robotics:

(This one’s a very good)  Overview Video of WeDo robotics

Another Worthwhile Overview

The videos below clearly demonstrate the connection between Robotics (and communications technologies) and Speaking and Listening, key literacy skills.

WeDo Curriculum Links

Click on book cover for information on Getting Started with LEGO Robotics.

Anyone who works with kids can do LEGO Robotics, a rich and highly motivating platform for important STEM Learning! (surprisingly affordable, too) This books explains it all!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Special Episode: Professor Garfield, a Rich Source of Powerful, FREE Instructional Resources - OR - How to “Garfieldize” Your Classroom!

Click the arrow above to listen to this Special Episode 
(player may take several seconds to begin)
Direct link:

This episode features an interview with Madelyn Ferris, who, on behalf of the Professor Garfield Foundation, introduces us to the wonderful Professor Garfield online resource for teachers  and learners. Madelyn gave host, Mark Gura,  a great interview and a tour of Professor Garfield’s online world.

Links for Professor Garfield
Please check back for more episodes soon, including Episode 6, which will feature an in-depth interview with popular young peoples’ author, Andrea Davis Pinkney. Ms. Pinkney is the author Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra , Bird in a Box, Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, and many other really good books kids will love.
Watch for the upcoming ISTE Literacy and Technology book (title not yet set). This book picks up where (the of now out of print) Making Literacy Magic Happen left off…to be released in the not too distant future…