5 articles I loved this week. (Weekly Smart Picks #43)

We are just getting back from our trip to the American Librarian Association meeting in Chicago. Sure there was a blizzard, but we had a wonderful time meeting librarians from all over, and sharing our Beanstack service with them. Love this photo of Chelsea from Sacramento rocking our tote bag. :)

Enjoy this week's picks and have a wonderful weekend!

 

Image by Dan Santat

Image by Dan Santat

And the children's book awards go to....

This year's Caldecott, Newbery, and a slew other awards were announced from the ALA meeting. These honors are like the Oscars for kids' literature. The newly minted winners used to go on the Today Show, but have not for the past few years. Sigh. Check out all of the winners here, and add to your family's reading list for the weekend!


 

Photo Source: NPR (Invisibilia)

Photo Source: NPR (Invisibilia)

Expectations can have surprising effects on all of us.
My new favorite radio show is Invisibilia. I LOVE it. While all of the episodes are fascinating, I found this recent show about the power of expectations to be especially relevant as a parent. Bonus: one of their expert guests is Carol Dweck, the researcher who coined the phrase, "growth mindset."

 

 

Photo Source: Discover.com

Photo Source: Discover.com

To sign or not to sign with your baby?

We used a handful of signs with our kids when they were much younger, and found it to be a useful, fun tool to communicate with them. I remember people assuring me that signing with our littles would also spur their early brain development. That said, I found this article about the research behind the impact of signing on a child's development to be quite surprising.

 

 

Photo Source: KQED MindShift

Photo Source: KQED MindShift

Can improv open up the mind to learning? 
When I worked at Google, one of my favorite professional development classes was an improv class. It was fun, and gave me the all-important "yes, and..." phrase. I try to take this with me as a mom, and loved this look at the educational value of improv at the K-12 level as well.



Photo Source: Mashable

Photo Source: Mashable

Millions of the world's children still lack access to education.
This brief piece on Mashable highlights some of the most alarming statistics from last month's report, Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All, released by UNESCO and UNICEF. While the numbers of out-of-school children have dropped significantly since their last report, the numbers of kids who lack access to education remains incredibly high.


 

BONUS! The evolving role of children's librarians
I recently interviewed Amy Koester, one of the great minds behind a wonderful organization, Little eLit. We talked about the role of children's librarians in a digital age. Amy and her colleagues around the country (and Canada!) are adding the new dimension of being "media mentors," to their job descriptions. This blog post links to our full Experts on Air video and gives an overview of our conversation.