5 articles I loved this week (Weekly Smart Picks #39)

Welcome to December. How did we get here so quickly? I'm super excited for this month because we have two Experts on Air sessions. First up is Aaron Becker, creator of Journey (Caldecott Honor 2014) and Quest. You'll be able to join us live and ask questions. To get us started, I asked Aaron to answer two parent-related questions, and here are his thoughtful, inspiring responses. Be sure to RSVP for the event, too.

And to help your child start to read his/her own holiday cards with this week's recommendations, focused on sight words, from Jason at Born Reading. Enjoy a wonderful weekend!


Photo Source: MindShift KQED

Photo Source: MindShift KQED

Don't "leave the heart behind" just as children learn to tie their shoes!

This week, the New America Foundation put out a report entitled "Skills for Success" in grades K-8. This post delves into the importance of one key finding: "public schools are currently held accountable for students' scores in math and reading proficiency alone, evidence shows that a wide range of non-academic skills play a big role in determining success later in life."  

Beginning reader books that are (gasp!) easy...

Our curator, kidlit expert Betsy Bird, has a fabulous blog. This week, she wrote about helping families find easy readers that are EASY. I love the post because it provides some great recommendations and also explains why these books are often hard to find on library shelves. 



{VIDEO} Connected babies and substitutes for old-fashioned monitoring?
Recently, I have read about several companies looking to help parents monitor their babies' vitals throughout the day and night. This article looks at some of the more popular new devices and offers an interesting perspective on what it will take for these tools to really help families.


8 fundamental internet lessons to teach our kids
I enjoyed how the author of this list pulled together real examples from parents around the web. Our kids are so connected at an early age, and I find it helpful to have lists like these to keep in mind as my own kids grow up and are increasingly independent digital citizens. 


Source: SmartGirls YouTube site

Source: SmartGirls YouTube site

12 Awesome YouTube channels for kids

I am on a list-sharing kick this week! If you're in the market for kid-friendly YouTube channels, you'll certainly find some here. While they're kid-friendly, they're not whitelisted, or separated from other YouTube channels, so kids may still see videos from other channels promoted. Read: remain tuned in to what your child is watching!


BONUS: Announcing Beanstack + Sacramento Public Library! 
We're incredibly excited about our new service, Beanstack. Check out this article from School Library Journal that explores our inaugural partnership with Sacramento Public Library. Woo hoo!