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We all know just how important it is to teach our students research skills. These include how to find information from print and digital sources, how to evaluate that information and how to use that information correctly. Over the next few weeks, I am going to write a series of blog posts providing ideas, advice, and resources that you can use to get your students ready to research, including your youngest. With kindergarten and first graders, I like to use the term research-readiness. I want to teach my students skills they will need that will help them to prepare to become researchers. This includes learning about the difference between fiction and nonfiction, understanding that nonfiction text teaches us information, understanding that text features help us to find information quickly, and how to begin to search for information on their own. These are things that can be taught throughout the
These Biography Research Reports can be used for any famous person including historical, current musicians or entertainers or sports stars. There are many different options in both the print and digital versions so you can easily customize the reports to fit the needs of your students. The reports can be used with any sources you have available: library books, encyclopedia articles, articles, online reference sources or internet sites.  Print Biography Research Reports There are over 20 pages included in the print reports. Each set comes in color and black and white, with writing lines and without writing lines.  Template/pages list: Students can write specific facts about their person on these pages. The personal information sheet will help guide their research by having them answer questions. They can record dates and events on the timeline page and use the summary page to bring all the facts together. On these pages,
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
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