Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An Indian Comic Heroine and Her Part in Spreading Diversity in Publishing

NOTE: This guest post was written by my colleague J.M.DeSantis, who has written and illustrated his comic, Chadhiyana.

True diversity in publishing is a rare thing, but there is one publisher that has been living that since its inception in 2013. That publisher is Rosarium Publishing, and I am happy to say that I have been a part of their movement to create diversity in publishing when they signed my comic, Chadhiyana, to be a part of their growing catalogue of books and comics.
Chadhiyana is a dark fantasy series about a female assassin’s struggle to overcome a dark past she is trying to run from. It takes place in a world based on medieval India and the Middle East, making Chadhiyana (the title character), essentially, an Indian heroine--a very underrepresented culture in comics and literature.
In the present series, In the Company of Shadows, the reader finds Chadhiyana as the first female member of a clandestine organization known as the TalIfatiir. They travel to a foreign land to destroy a demon whose darkness, and partly to that end, they capture a witch who is said to serve said demon. Though as they journey to their destination, the witch and her presence slowly becomes a catalyst for Chadhiyana questioning the quest and her place in the group.

Recently, in an effort to further their commitment to publishing diverse books and authors, and to create more demand for those books, Rosarium Publishing began running a crowdfunding campaign. Amongst those being funded is the first Chadhiyana trade (graphic novel; collecting issues 1 – 6; half of the Company of Shadows story).
To date, Rosarium Publishing’s books have received positive reviews and attention for their innovation. Three of their authors and four of their books are up for Glyph Awards this year. But even with all of this, they are still looking for support to reach a new level in their growth.
You can find the campaign HERE and browse the perks for your contribution. (Of course, I’d love if you’d all pre-order the first Chadhiyana volume for your high school library.  It will be in the $20 range--and it comes with a free mini-comic; due out Jan 2017) If you can't contribute, please help to spread the word on social media by sharing this post and tagging #Chadhiyana and #rosariumpub. The campaign ends on May 4th.
Thank you for any way you choose to join this movement for diversity in publishing and building Chadhiyana further.

About the author:
J.M. DeSantis is a writer and artist of fantasy, horror and humour. He has authored a number of short stories and artworks for various publishers. Chadhiyana is his first graphic novel. He is also the writer and artist for the humorous horror webcomic, Gentleman Cthulhu: Emeritus Moribus Monstrum He lives in his native NJ where he teaches studio art and graphic design. You can read more about his work on

Friday, April 22, 2016

When Your Colleagues Need Your Help

On April 20, 2016, the family home of Michele and Tony went up in flames, causing extensive damage.(They lost everything!) Our school community has rallied around them and we are doing everything in our power to help them rebuild. Michele is the supervisor of our Special Education Department, and has a heart of gold.Tony is a supervisor for the Physical Education Department, and is a caring teacher and coach. (This is the second time in Michele's life her house was burned down: when she was in college, her parents' home suffered the same fate.)

If you are able, please donate anything you can for these two wonderful educators. Sharing on Facebook and Twitter will also be greatly appreciated. The link is HERE or at the top right of this blog. THANK YOU!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Here's a Dozen Plagiarism Detectors to Check on Your Students

Dupli Checker- FREE

Grammarly- "Grammarly is an automated proofreader and plagiarism checker. It corrects up to 10 times as many mistakes as other word processors". $$

Noplag- FREE

Paper Rater- free and $$ accounts

The Plagiarism Checker- free and $$ accounts

Plagiarism FREE

Plagiarism Detector- paste the file or upload; FREE

Plagiarisma- FREE

Plagium- free and $$ accounts

Plagscan- FREE; upload or paste

Quetext- only copy and paste; no uploading of files

Viper Plagiarism Scanner- Windows only; requires download

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The KidLit Community Rallies Around One of its Own

John & Betsy's dog, Buddy, visiting John in the hospital
I have know Betsy Devany Macleod since high school. Warm, sensitive and creative, she writes books for children of all ages. Recently, her husband John was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and his health has begun to decline. The KidLit community has created an online auction to help defer some of the mounting medical bills for the family. There are loads of terrific items you can bid on, including staying at author Jane Yolen's Scottish home for a week, manuscript critiques by agents and well-know authors, a Skype visit with author Leslie Bulion, school/library writing workshop with Award Winning Author Linda Crotta Brennan, and a two-night stay at a Cape Cod cottage.

There is too much to list here, so go to The Kidlit Community Auction for John and Betsy MacLeod, and I'm sure my fellow bibliophiles, media specialists and school librarians will find something to bid on. By the way, Betsy's book Lucy's Lovey, will be out in print by September 2016, but you can bid on an archival print (signed by the illustrator) here.  The auction started on March 17th and ends at 10 PM on March 30th. The Facebook page for the auction is HERE.

Please share this information through social media. Thank you!

Monday, February 29, 2016

UPDATE: Kiddle is NOT by Google and it's NOT SAFE

Yup. I too make mistakes. When I read about Kiddle on a Facebook page for librarians, I looked it up, read a review by Tech Times, and concluded this was a safe search engine for kids. Well, I have deleted that post because not only is the site NOT by Google, it is NOT SAFE. Take this search, for example, about "cougars":

I do not recommend using Kiddle as a safe search engine. Instead, feel free to use the following safe search engines with young children. (I checked a few other sites such as Kidtopia, but ads for "cougars" appeared on the search results page.


Kid Click

KidsClick!- designed for kids by librarians

Safe Search for Kids

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Megalist of Templates: Everything You'll Need as an Educator

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love templates! They set the framework for your project and they take away a lot of the prep work. Save time. Use templates. Edit some or all of the template. Check out the section at the bottom on Social Media Fake Templates!

Award and Certificate Templates

123 Certificates- 3 easy steps

Brain Betty-includes a "make your own" template

Certificates 4 Teachers- from Teacher Planet

CertificateMaker-choose from a template and design online!

Certificates-from ABC Teach

Certificates and Memories- from the "Never Tardy" to "Good Behavior" certificates

Citizenship Award Certificates

Education World

Educational Award Certificates
- "Good Attitude", "Great Idea", "Student of the Month"

Fun Awards- unique names including "The Carpe Diem Award" for making the most of every day

Internet 4 Teachers

Jan Brett's Certificates & Awards
- for elementary teachers

Microsoft Templates

Most Improved Student Certificate

School Express Online Award Creator

Sports Certificate 

Student of the Month Certificates

Success Certificates- student awards, sports awards and more

Teachervision Awards and Certificates

Back to School Templates

Back to School Brochure Template- to give to parents

Back to School Theme Unit- various worksheets, postcards, desk tags and forms

Education World Back to School Templates

Free Back to School PowerPoint Templates- nice designs

Free Digital Back to School Templates- put students' pictures in these beautiful frames

How to Write a Back to School Letter to Parents- from Teach-nology

Microsoft- academic calendar, multiplication table, flash cards, periodic table, classroom expectations

School Calendar Templates

Teach-nology- class rules, seating arrangements, bulletin board characters, back to school helpers, name tags, classroom signs, teaching theme signs etc.

Welcome to Back to School Night Template- for younger kids

Blog Templates (WordPress and Blogger have their own themes)
50+ Best Free Responsive WordPress Themes 2016- from Colorlib

65 Best Free Blogger Templates 2016

Free Blogger Templates for Your Blog

Get Your Designer-Made Template

Gooyaabi Templates- free blogger templates

Teacher Blog Templates- $$$

WordPress Themes- from

Book Report Templates
ABC Teach

Book Report Forms- from the Busy Teacher's Cafe

Book Report Rubric

Book Report Sandwich Station- from Scholastic; ingredients represent parts of the book report

Book Review Sheet

Collection of Book Report Ideas- 109 on the list so far

A Dozen Book Report Templates

EdHelper- different types: biography book report, general book report, nonfiction book report

Free High School Book Report Template

Special Subject Book Report Forms- includes Holocaust, animal fiction, folklore

Bookmark Templates
123 Certificates- create your custom bookmark online from scratch; just input information

Activity Village- seasonal, animal, coloring, dinosaur, doodling bookmarks

Bookmark Design Templates- download in the following
formats (2.7", 2.8")

Bookmark Templates- Pinterest board has many creative ideas!

Eco-Friendly Bookmarks- the 2 files are for Adobe Illustrator®

Library Bookmark Template- for elementary students

Brochure Templates
Canva- create stunning brochures with this wonderful site

Free Tri-Fold Brochure Design- Adobe Photoshop
® download

Lady Printing Brochure Templates- download in the following formats: Brochure Templates- 8 tri-fold brochures

PSD Tri-Fold Mockup Template- you need to sign up (take the FREE account)

Calendar Templates
2016 Calendar Templates- 12 month, school year, photo and more choices

Calendar Labs

Make Your Own Photo Calendar

Printable Calendar Templates

Vertex42- loads of choices

WinCalendar- loads of Word and Excel calendar templates

Classroom Management Templates and Forms

Behavior Management Forms- from Teachervision

Bookmark Calendar-


Classroom Helpers- from ABC Teach

Classroom Forms- very extensive listing includes passes, lesson plan, parent-teacher conference forms, behavior management forms

Classroom Forms for 1st Grade- Mrs. Perkins' list includes ABC cut-out flash cards, calendars, 100s chart

Classroom Management Forms
- covers K-12

Classroom Organization
 -templates for kindergarten, including book basket labels, center rules, large center signs

Classroom Organizer Templates- miscellaneous items include monthly planning guide, syllabus

Classroom Seating Chart
- from

Class Set-up Tool
- interactive program allows you to design your classroom; from Scholastic

Education World
- parent-teacher communication

Keyboard Template
- great for tech teachers 

Microsoft Templates

Templates/Resources- covers elementary, middle and high school; nice size list

Google Slides, Docs, Sheets

50 Time-Saving Google Docs Templates-mainly  spreadsheets, also documents, business cards

Google Docs Template Gallery: Students and Teachers

Professional  Resume Templates for 
Google Docs- VisualCV Resume Builder

Slides Carnival- Google Slides templates; available in 8 different categories

Lesson Plan Templates
Elementary and Secondary Lesson Plan Template- from UCLA's Teacher Educator Program

K12 Reader Lesson Plan Templates- K-12 samples

Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan Template- from TeAchnology

Microsoft Lesson Plan Templates- a few to choose from

Teacher Planet Lesson Plan Templates- browse by subject or grade level

Monthly Newsletter Templates

15 Free Microsoft Word Newsletter Templates for Teachers and School- a few can be used for middle/high school; most for elementary

Document Templates- one out these three can be used for middle/high school (MS Word format)

Google Docs Template Gallery

Kindergarten Newsletters

Monthly News Templates- from Teacher Files

Newsletter Template Free- Pinterest board

Parent Newsletter Templates- from Education World; for elementary teachers

Newspaper Templates
Free Newspaper Pack for Word

Google Docs Template Gallery- sorted by highest rating

Newspaper Template- although it is only one page, it is one of the best templates you will find

Permission Slip Templates
35 Permission Slip Templates- covers field trips, consent forms

Extra-Curricular Activity Parent Permission Slip

Field Trip Permission Slip- for MS Word

Forms for the Classroom- many different choices

Record-Keeping Template- from Scholastic

PowerPoint Templates
Free Backgrounds for PowerPoint- themes

Graphicsland PowerPoint Templates

Teacher Templates for PowerPoint- Vicki Blackwell

Resume Templates

Teacher Resume- from Microsoft online; you need MS Word to use this template

Teacher Resume- from Monster Worldwide, Inc.

Teacher Resume Template

Teacher Resume Templates- Pinterest post; terrific ideas, some $$

Social Media Templates

Fake Facebook Page Templates
Facebook in the Cloud Project- sample from English teacher's project on the book "The Outsiders"

J.F.K. Facebook Template
- download the PowerPoint file and edit the information

Facebook Template Page- from TES Connect

Fakebook- from Class Tools

Fakebook Template for Google Slides- click "use this template" to edit the file

Fake Twitter Page Templates
Choose a Fake Twitter Template- everything is editable! Students will learn about a literary or historical figure while having fun!

Twister- easy for students to use; from Class Tools

Twitter Template- MS Word template looks the least like the real thing

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Time Again for the Google Science Fair!

Students between the ages of 13 and 18 years old from all over the world are eligible to enter this online competition, which is accepting projects until May 18, 2016. This year's  topic is "#howcanwe make things better with science?"  Teachers can obtain free posters here, and view the prizes. (grand prize is a $50,00 scholarship from Google) Below is a video of Olivia Hallisey, the 2015 grand prize winner, who explained her rapid test for ebola:

With sponsors National Geographic, Lego Education, Scientific American, Virgin Galactic and Google, the list of prizes is very impressive. For more information, students and teachers can go to the Google Science Fair. Good luck!!


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