During a normal year, packing up and getting the library ready for summer can be stressful and chaotic. And we all know, this 2020 is not a normal year. Instead of having a couple weeks to clean, round up overdue books, pack away materials and makerspace items and complete the thousands of other items on my checklist, I am limited to less than a day. I am not allowed to have anyone come in and help me. No assistant or bored students who are looking for something to do instead of watching yet another movie in their classroom. It is definitely overwhelming. And not knowing what the next school year will bring makes it worse. Everyone’s situation is different, so while I can’t give you specific advice about what you need to do, I hope I have some helpful tips you can use for ending the school year during
As the coronavirus continues to spread it seems like more and more schools are closing for an extended period of time. This is leading to schools frantically trying to come up with a plan to keep students learning and engaged during this time. When you go online to search for information or to find resources to use with your students it can be very overwhelming. There is so much information out there that it can be hard to know where to start looking. You go onto Facebook and there are hundreds of posts on the topic. And we all know that once you start down that rabbit hole you can be lost for hours. In this blog post I am sharing some different lesson ideas that you can possibly implement if you find yourself in this situation. On this page you can find links to various websites that you
One of my biggest struggles as a librarian has always been trying to create lesson plans that are engaging to my upper elementary students (keeping my 5th graders on task is no easy feat)! This becomes more of a problem after Christmas break. I have created a list of different ideas and activities that you can try to encourage learning and keep your students excited about reading and coming to the library. Some of the ideas are my own and others I gathered from my Staying Cool in the Library private Facebook group.  A book talk is a commercial for a book. It is one of the best tools I know of to engage your students in reading and to encourage them to check out books they would not normally choose on their own. A book talk does not have to be an elaborate presentation. Ideally, you should prepare
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
I have always loved book character costume day. In the past my school had this day on the Friday before Halloween. We were looking for a way for students to dress in costume while still focusing on education and not Halloween. A few times we also did it to celebrate Read Across America. These are my favorite ideas for character costumes for students! Most of the students really enjoy this day as well. But I quickly noticed that many students did not really understand what they were supposed to do. They did not understand that their costume had to also be the same as a character found in a book. And some parents did not take the time to discuss it with them either. The first year was a learning experience for me. I was constantly being asked by a student if there was a book with a vampire
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