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The Dewey Decimal System – vital to keeping the library organized. However, it is not the most interesting topic to teach. Over the years I have tried countless ways of teaching my students how nonfiction books are organized in the library without putting them to sleep! Some of my ideas have been successful and others I would rather forget about. In my store, I have quite a few Dewey Decimal products from PowerPoint introductions, bingo games, worksheets, and my best-selling task card sets. But today I want to share with you some free ideas (minus a few supplies). They are activities that are sure to spice up your lessons on Dewey. I want to be totally honest and let you know that some of these are not my original ideas but ones I have picked up from Pinterest and social media at one time or another.  1. Word clouds Word
I have always enjoyed teaching author’s purpose to my students. It is so easy to incorporate in any of the lessons I teach across all grade levels. Several years ago I even used it as my professional goal. This is when I developed more in-depth lessons and activities for the subject. And for some reason, I usually teach author’s purpose in November. I”m not sure why maybe just because the PIE acronym that we all use fits so well with Thanksgiving! Read below to see some of the ways I teach my students the different reasons authors write. Digital Activities for Teaching Author’s Purpose These activities can be used with Google Slides. I like using these for two main reasons. One is their paperless. I’m really trying to cut back on the number of copies I do each week. And of course, my school encourages this as well. Second, the
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. One type of bullying is cyberbullying. With technology becoming more enmeshed in every aspect of our lives it is more important than ever to teach our students what cyberbullying is and what to do if you are a victim of a cyberbully or witness this type of behavior. In this post I want to share with you some cyberbullying resources that you can use to help teach about this difficult topic. Educational Videos Videos can be a very effective tool in introducing a topic to students in an engaging way. There are several cyberbullying videos that I have used before. I like them because they are the perfect way to begin a conversation and open up communication with students. My school subscribes to BrainPop and there are several different videos on there about digital safety. But if your school does not have BrainPop, there
How do you assess student learning in the library? It is challenging for a number of reasons, mostly due to time constraints. We have to teach a lesson or do story time, do book check-in and check-out and take care of a hundred other tasks, often with little or no assistance. And we have to do all this in around 40 minutes (give or take). This leaves little time for any kind of assessment. So when I heard about Plickers I was very excited. Plickers is a free online assessment tool that can easily be used in the school library. Even though it has been around for a while, I somehow just discovered it. It is easy to set-up and requires only one mobile device (for teacher use). And best of all – it’s free! You create the questions and the students respond by holding up their paper clicker
Choosing a book for independent reading is a challenge for many students. They struggle to find a book that they can read and also want to read. Classroom teachers go over this when they teach Reader’s Workshop and the Daily 5, but it is also something I teach in the library. I discuss this concept with all grades throughout the school year. However, at the beginning of second grade is when I introduce the concept of using the 5 Finger Rule and teach a more in-depth lesson about picking just right books.  First I begin by having a discussion with students about what the phrase “just right” means. I provide examples like picking out new clothes to wear. You do not want to pick a pair of pants that are too small and tight. You also don’t want to choose a pair that is falling off and so long you
Teacher-librarian collaboration can be difficult in the best of situations, but if you are on a fixed schedule this can be even more challenging. When I was working on my Master’s degree I took an entire class on collaboration one summer. When I went back to school I was so excited to implement what I learned. I scheduled a meeting with my principal to discuss strategies to increase collaboration with teachers. My principal’s solution? To make it mandatory that every teacher collaborated with me at least one time during the school year and to provide documentation to show what we did. Well, I’m sure you can imagine that went over like a lead balloon. One of the biggest issues was that I had no time to meet with teachers. Their planning time was during specials so it was hard to sit down and plan together. And I was not