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It’s likely you’ve found yourself wondering at some point how you can motivate students. Maybe you want to encourage positive behaviors or help struggling students meet a goal.  In these cases, offering extrinsic motivation may help! One way is to brainstorm library reward ideas. Before I share my different library reward ideas, I was to make it clear that rewarding students isn’t the only way to motivate them. I also advise against simply throwing around awards, especially for expected behavior. When Should I Use Library Rewards? Library rewards can be used in various instances, but here are two I use most often in my library. First, there are class incentives. I may have a particular group that struggles to stay on task or clean up the library. If they meet the set goal, the whole class earns a reward. I also incentive individual students. This works well for students
As a librarian, you might find yourself sitting in PD sessions on classroom management or reading books thinking, “This doesn’t apply to me!” As a librarian, we interact with students in a unique way, and the same classroom management techniques that work for classroom teachers might not work for us. However, I’ve compiled tips on classroom management for librarians that I’ve seen success with. You’ll find that you can use these strategies whether you see students multiple times a week or even sparingly. You can also use them no matter the size of your library, or your access to resources! 1. Mystery Student This is one of my favorite techniques because you don’t need an involved system or even an explanation. For example, you might say, “I have a mystery student. Do you know who it is? This person is quietly reading their book.” When you say this, you’ll
Whether you are planning ahead for a vacation, or want to be prepared for those inevitable sick days, having a library substitute binder is a game-changer. Instead of hours spent preparing for a day out of the library or a frantic call to school trying to organize things for a day off, you have a ready-to-go sub binder. What is a library substitute binder? Think of this binder as the holder of all your library secrets (or just the really important stuff). It’s the one-stop-shop for your essential class information. It allows anyone to pop into your place, and pick up where you left off – with ease. If you’ve ever had to cover a class, you know how challenging it can be when there is no information present. Sometimes you’re lucky to get a class roster! It’s confusing. Suddenly, you’re depending on the students to know what they
It’s library check-out time, and you’re wishing you had six more arms and three sets of eyes. Between checking out books, figuring out overdue books, and managing other students in the library – it can feel like a full-time job for at least three people. And yet, it’s just you.  I wanted to share some library activities that can help check-out time run smoothly. These activities are meant to keep other students busy and on task, while you man the check-out counter. I’ll also give some library activities for students with overdue books, who are unable to check out a new book. #1 Keep a Box of Weeded Out Books When you go through and weed out old books, instead of tossing them or leaving them in the hallway, keep them in a box. During check-out time, allow students to search through the box and find a book they
Have you ever tried a Virtual Author Visit? Author visits can be so rewarding for students and schools.  I still remember the author’s visit from when I was in elementary school! It’s best to have the classroom teacher as well as yourself read the author’s books to the students before the visit. You can do something similar to One School, One Book (or maybe 2 books to make it more appropriate for the age groups.). Schools gain a community feeling around an author that is visiting. Finding an Author Finding an author to do a virtual visit is much easier than finding one who can travel to your school. Below are some websites I found that should help you get started. These include individual author websites and publisher websites. However, doing a Google search for author visits will be the easiest way to find an author.  Scholastic  Penguin Young
It’s important to create a positive experience for students in the library. Students form opinions about libraries at a very early age. I’m sure that many of us remember a lot about our elementary library. I know I can remember the way it looked, where each section of the library was, and how the librarian and librarian assistant treated us. My librarian always made sure that we had a positive checkout experience, and I like to do the same for my students. We want to make sure that the experience inside of the library is a positive one in order to foster an interest and love of reading. One way to do this is to make sure that there isn’t too much chaos during checkout time.  There are great ways to really build incredible bonds with your students during checkouts. This is where students can have conversations with you