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We are teaching in unprecedented times when it comes to technology and internet safety. Never before have we seen a generation using technology at such young ages. A few years ago I only taught internet safety lessons to my fifth graders. I was shocked to hear how many of them had Facebook accounts and used YouTube without supervision. Then it was Snapchat and my third graders getting into trouble for posting inappropriate photos on Instagram. Now I have kindergarten students with smartphones who text during recess. This made me realize just how important it is to teach ALL students! I’ve also realized the importance of teaching not only how to stay safe online but also how to be responsible digital citizens. I wanted to teach these skills in a meaningful way that my youngest students would understand. After doing some searching I put together a variety of resources that
March 2nd is Read Across America Day. In the past, most libraries and schools celebrated this day by reading Dr. Seuss books and organizing Seuss-themed activities. Over the past couple of years, the focus has shifted to emphasize multicultural and diverse literature. I am grateful for this change because it provides the perfect opportunity to share with students and parents a broader selection of children’s books and to create programs and activities that focus on acceptance, kindness, and cultural diversity. In this blog post, I want to share with you some different activities and ideas that you can use in your own schools and libraries that go along with this new focus. These are perfect for Read Across America Day or any time you want to have a reading celebration. 1. Author Studies Choose an author who writes more diverse books or who features multicultural characters. Create a bulletin
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
Get ready…Christmas will be here before you know it! And I can’t wait. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love decorating, listening to Christmas carols, watching Christmas movies and finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list.  What else do I love about the holiday? Watching the joy and excitement on my students’ faces as they count down the days to Santa’s arrival. However, as every educator knows this is one of the most exhausting times of the school year! Keeping our students engaged and focused can be a challenge in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  If you are already stressing about coming up with lesson plans for the month of December, you have come to the right place! I have 12 days of Christmas lesson plans and activities to help you get through those crazy weeks before holiday break. No matter what grade you teach you
As we head into the busy holiday season, finding time to write lessons plans can be difficult. Look below for some free Christmas lesson plans and activities that you can use with your students right now! Santa’s Stuck This is a free set of literacy activities to go along with the book Santa’s Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene and Henry Cole. Activities included: comprehension questions to use in literacy centers or small groups, writing/drawing activity and a one page mini book. Christmas Traditions – Truth or Fib Scoot Game Your students will love learning about different Christmas traditions with this free Scoot game. This is a set of 16 task cards. On each card is a Christmas or New Year tradition from around the world. The student needs to decide whether the tradition is true or if it is a fib. Can be used as a literacy center or