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“When I see you through my eyes, I think that we are different. When I see you through my heart, I know we are the same”. Doe Zantamanta It is so important to teach our students to see with their heart. Reading books with characters who have different abilities helps our students to do this. It helps them to build empathy and respect. It gives the chance to look beyond a person’s disability and see who they are inside. And it also allows children who have a disability to see themselves reflected in the book. This book list features 16 picture books with children who have different abilities. This includes children with autism and Down’s Syndrome and children who are in a wheelchair, are dyslexic or have a learning disability of some kind. 47 Strings: Tessa’s Special Code by Becky Carey A childrne’s picture book about the remarkable lessons
Besides reading Valentine’s Day books, February is one of the best months to read biographies and narrative nonfiction. Most of the books on this list focus on black history month and President’s Day. I also included a book that I just discovered called A Poem for Peter. It is about Ezra Jack Keats and how he was inspired to write the book The Snowy Day. I love this book so much, I just had to give it a special mention. Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek : a Tall, Thin Tale by Deborah Hopkinson In Knob Creek, Kentucky, in 1816, seven-year-old Abe Lincoln falls into a creek and is rescued by his best friend, Austin Gollaher. Abe’s Honest Words : the Life of Abraham Lincoln by Doreen Rapaport An illustrated biography of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States and the man responsible for seeing the country through
Tackling lesson plans for upper elementary students has been an ongoing challenge in my role as a librarian. The task of keeping them engaged has gotten increasingly difficult. The struggle becomes even more real after the holiday break as the 5th graders return feeling more like middle school students than elementary students. So, I’ve put together a list of ideas and activities for engaging upper elementary students to spice things up and keep the excitement alive for learning in the library. Let’s dive into some ideas that can help you transform your upper elementary students from “too cool for school” to “bring on the books!” This post is collaborative in a sense. You see, over in the Staying Cool in the Library private Facebook group were discussing this very topic. If you are not already a member, come join us! Through this discussion, I quickly realized that this issue
Everyone enjoys having a break from school, students and educators alike. And while taking that time off is essential and allows us time to re-charge, it can be difficult to get back on track after an extended break. I believe this can be especially tough in the library or other specials classes. Re-establishing library rules and procedures is always part of my after break plans. Below I am sharing some tips, tricks and ideas that I have found useful in helping to get my classes back on track after a holiday break. Re-teach rules and procedures This is a an absolute must in re-establishing routines, remind students of the library rules, expectations and procedures. Act like it’s the first day of school. What did you teach your classes as they came in the library for the first time? This is what you want to re-teach now. You will not
Winter is my favorite season. I enjoy cold weather and love when it snows (and not just because of snow days!) During the month of January my story times feature many winter and snowman books as well as penguins and Martin Luther King. Jr. biographies. Below is a list of some of my favorite January read alouds. A note: I read most of these stories with kindergarten and first graders. I teach my second graders about the Caldecott during January. If you would like to read about how I teach the Caldecott Medal, click here. All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle Lists everything that one needs to build the perfect snowman, from the very first snowflake that falls. Axle Annie by Robin Pulver The schools in Burskyville never close for snow because Axle Annie is always able to make it up the steepest hill in town,
I have always wanted to sit on the Caldecott selection committee. What could be better than having hundreds of wondrous, imaginative and awe-inspiring picture books delivered to your door? And you have to read every single one. Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? Realistically, I know this is a tough job and requires an extraordinary commitment. It’s not just sitting around drinking coffee and reading books all day. But still…it would be pretty cool. And when the day of the announcement comes around I anxiously await the news. Will my favorite be on the list? Will I be totally shocked by the winner? Members of the Caldecott committee have to narrow their choices down to 7 titles each. They spend hours debating about which book should receive the top honor. Every year I always come up with my own list of titles that I believe will be contenders. This year