Thanksgiving Reading?

Back in the day when the best way to watch movies at home was to schlep to the video store, I worked in one of those now nearly extinct stores. The busiest days of the year for rentals were the day before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Apparently, turkey and a movie (as you fall asleep on the couch) was a special, annual treat.

Now, with so many ways to stream movies, TV and more entertainment whenever and wherever you want, I wonder if turkey then a watching a movie from your love seat is still part of many people’s plans. Might the ubiquitous RedBox machines see lines and shortages today?

While my family and I are planning on the special treat of going out to a movie tomorrow after dinner, I’m not looking forward to watching anything over the long weekend. Rather, I have some books ready to be read during these holidays I’m not grading or preparing for class.

If you’re like me, here’s some lists which may help guide your selections:

50 Super Smart Books for Everyone on Your List

We Read All 20 National Book Award Nominees for 2015 – Here’s What We Thought

Top 10 Books: The Girard Option of Interdisciplinary Influence

100 Novels All Kids Should Read Before Leaving High School

(Here’s the Top Ten from this list)

1 Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell (free eBook, Audiobook & study resources)

2 To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (free eBook)

3 Animal Farm, by George Orwell (free eBook)

4 Lord Of The Flies, by William Golding (Amazon)

5 Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck (Amazon)

6 The Harry Potter series, by J K Rowling (Amazon)

7 A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (free eBook)

8 The Catcher In The Rye, by J D Salinger (Amazon)

9 Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens (free eBook)

10 Pride And Prejudice, by Jane Austen (free eBook)

OR: The 100 Best Novels Written in English

Here are the Best Books from 2015 So Far (in August)

Black Girls Matter: A YA Reading List

All the Most Thrilling Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming this Fall

You Must Read These Five Books Which Will Totally Transform Your Classroom

And if you read any of these books, will you be able to talk about it with colleagues via an on-line book club?

Regardless of what you read, will you choose it by its cover? If so, here’s some fascinating research on that very topic.

Or maybe you’d like to read this short story composed entirely of 5,000 “tag lines” from movies.

Would this be fiction or non? If the former, reading it can actually transform the functioning of your brain.

Maybe you’d like to read not an ebook on your tablet, but an interactive, digital book. Here’s 10 of the best of this emerging genre.

Or perhaps you’ll tell stories at the dinner table. Research shows that it makes kids voracious readers!

And after dinner, maybe watch a TED Talk or two:

10 of Our Favorite Literary TED Talks from 2015

Finally, perhaps the weather will be nice and you’ll take a walk, bring your smart phone and stream free audio books or listen to any of these 25 Outstanding Podcasts for Readers

 

 

Headspace Free Trial & Videos

Recently I described how I used the Headspace app to help my students learn how to mindfully meditate at the start of each class period.

On my own, it took me a few more than ten days to complete the free trial of ten sessions.  Although I am now meditating using a different app with nature sounds, I can highly recommend the Headspace trial.

After signing up with an email address and password (or signing in with your facebook account), you can access the ten free sessions. Don’t worry, no credit card is required at this point.

The screen looks like this, via a web browser on a computer:

Aviary Photo_130699041909435563

Click on session one and a cute, 1 1/2 minute animate will begin.  If you want to jump right to the audio for the first session, close the video and proceed.

There is also a free iPad/iPhone app that you can download via the App Store.  Search under “Headspace.”  You won’t see it on the screen that comes so you need to change the search to “iPhone only” (upper left side).  You’ll then see the app and have the ability to download it.  After signing into it (with a username/password you’ve set up through the website), you can access the 10 free sessions.

Image of HeadSpace App

 

And here’s links to some YouTube videos featuring Andy and the Headspace content:

Andy TED Talk

What are the benefits of meditation?

The mind as a blue sky

Expectation in meditation

Final 2014 Lists

As promised, here’s a few more 2014 lists to ponder before moving boldly ahead into the rest of 2015:

Five Favorite Resources in 2014 – The first three on her list (Google Apps, Social Media, and Google Voice) are familiar.  She lists Padlet and Graphite as #4 and #5.  I’ve never heard about these tools and her descriptions make me want to check them out.

Reviewing My 2014 “Bold” Predictions for EdTech: Everybody and his brother can make a list of predictions, but how often does the prognosticator go back and honestly assess how well he or she did?  Kudos to this blogger for having the guts to do so.

Best and Worst Education News from 2014: A solid list with many links which was reblogged by the Washington Post

10 Most Popular Educational Tools from 2014: Again, many familiar faces on this list.  Yet, EDpuzzle (to add voice and questions to videos) as well as Easel.ly (to create charts and infographics) are two interesting sounding newcomers.

Year in Ideas 2014: An eight minute summary of the biggest ideas showcased via the increasingly ubiquitous TED Talks.