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I will never forget how I felt when I began my first job and realized that I had no idea what to teach my students. The librarian who I replaced left me absolutely nothing to work with. Her office was completely empty, there were no sample lesson plans or curriculum maps, not even a few old worksheets. Virginia also does not have any kind of curriculum specifically for library skills. And I’ll be the first to admit that the library program I graduated from did a rather poor job of preparing me. So I spent that first year feeling completely lost and overwhelmed. It took me a few years but I finally came up with a plan. By that time I had studied the curriculum for all grade levels and subjects. I knew what was being taught in the classroom and what areas our students typically struggled with. I
In just a few short weeks most of us will be gearing up to head back to school. We all know how important it is to teach library rules and expectations during the first few weeks of school. One way I do this is with back to school read alouds. I try to choose read alouds that will naturally bring about a conversation about school and library behavior (including book care). I wanted to share with you a list of my favorite back to school read alouds including some tried and true favorites as well as a few newer titles. A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech Summary: When a principal loves his school so much that he wants the children to attend classes every day of the year, it’s up to his students to show him free time is a good thing, too. Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card
Can you believe it’s that time again? The back-to-school hustle is upon us, and if you’re anything like me, you’re feeling a whirlwind of emotions. There’s excitement bubbling up as we gear up for another school year, but there’s also a healthy dose of nerves mixed in there. It’s a rollercoaster ride of anticipation and anxiety, am I right? The neverending back to school checklist for school librarians can be overwhelming. But after years of experience, I have learned that it doesn’t have to be. As I sit down to think about all the things I need to check off my list before that first bell rings, it’s hard not to feel the pressure mounting. But then I remember that I have prepared a checklist that will guide me through all.the.things that must be done. So, stick with me as I lay out my ultimate back-to-school checklist for school
As we prepare to wrap up another school year we are faced with one of our biggest challenges: getting all those library books returned! I have tried many strategies over the years with varying results. In this post, I am going to share with you some different tricks and ideas that will (hopefully) help get those books turned in before the last day of school. Award Prizes Award some kind of class prize or award for the first class in each grade level that returns all their books. Suggestions: Get Teachers Involved A fun way to get library books returned is to give a prize not only to the classes that have returned all of their books but to the teacher as well. Offer to cover their recess or lunch duty, provide an extra planning time or a gift certificate to Starbucks or Target. You might be surprised how
The holiday season is upon us! Do you decorate your library or classroom for Christmas? I decorate for every season and Christmas is my favorite. I always put up a tree and string lights around the door. (Don’t tell the fire marshal!) A few years ago I started having the students make ornaments to put on the tree: Christmas ornament book recommendations! This is such a fun and engaging activity. You can use it with students in any grade level, the kids love to make them and they make your library look so festive! What could be better? Making the Christmas Ornament Book Recommendation This is a simple activity to prepare, which is always a bonus during this hectic and chaotic time. All you need are copies of the Christmas ornament book recommendation template, scissors, pencils, and crayons. If possible print them out on card stock or a thicker
March 2nd is the much-anticipated Read Across America Day! It also happens to be the birthday of Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. Now, I’ve got a little confession. I’m a total Dr. Seuss enthusiast. The crazy made-up words and wacky characters? Absolutely my jam! So, when I became a librarian, celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday became an annual thing for me and my students. Over the years, I’ve cooked up all sorts of fun. From poster contests and trivia games to roping in some awesome guest readers, I’ve done it all. Oh, I can’t forget about the spirit days. They’re a blast! I’m not keeping all these awesome ideas to myself. Nope! This blog post is a mix of my adventures and some genius suggestions from my Staying Cool in the Library Facebook group. If you’re not part of it yet, I would love for you to join me and