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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
What is a Mock Caldecott? One popular activity that many libraries do around this time of year is a mock Caldecott election. A mock Caldecott is simply where students read and vote on which book they think should receive the Caldecott Medal. There are many ways to do a mock Caldecott. I am going to explain two ways I have done i Holding a Mock Caldecott Election in your library Alternative Idea Digital Mock Caldecott Ideas If you are doing distance or hybrid learning, you may want to try and hold a digital Mock Caldecott. It is definitely more challenging if you are not able to physically be with your students, but it can still be done. The biggest challenge will be finding ways for your students to read the books you have chosen for the election. You can record yourself reading them and share with students that way.
What is the Caldecott Medal? The Caldecott is an award that is given to a “distinguished American picture book for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year.” It is given annually by the American Library Association as part of their Youth Media Awards. When teaching about the Caldecott Medal, you can always go to the ALA’s website you can read all the criteria and guidelines used for selecting the winner. Here they are in a nutshell: Introducing to Students to the Caldecott Medal – Day One Very important: The first thing you want to do is pull all of the Caldecott and Honor books in your library. You will need these books as you go through your lessons. And once you begin talking about them with students, they will all want to check them out. I begin by telling students
As we get ready to head back to school after a much-needed winter break, I wanted to share with you a way to celebrate the new year in the library – creating library New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions are not the same as the ones adults make (lose weight, get more sleep), or the ones students will make in their classes (study more, practice multiplication facts). These are more general and are intended to get students to start thinking more about their reading and to make their reading intentional. Students will think about what they read during the previous year and what they would like to read in the upcoming year. It gives students a chance to reflect on their reading and their reading choices. Since most librarians see students in multiple grades I created several different sets. For younger students, there is a one-page mini book. Students will
Are you wondering how to survive December in the school library? The weeks before Christmas break has always been a challenging one for me, as it is for most educators. But I think it can be especially tough on specials teachers. There are so many different activities going on from classroom parties, pajama day, assemblies, sing-alongs …The list goes on and on. And usually (at least in my school) specials time is never canceled. Teachers need this time to plan, prepare and go to the bathroom! Which I totally understand and agree with. But when you pick up a class right after their Christmas party I can pretty much guarantee that a quiet storytime is not going to happen! I’ll be honest, there are times when I give in to the temptation of showing a Christmas movie. I think everyone has at one time or another. And that’s fine