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The internet is a double-edged sword. It’s filled with useful information. We have knowledge and power at our fingertips, and there is a lot of good it can do for the world. But, the internet is also dangerous and scary. There are dark corners of the internet where harmful things lurk. How can we keep our students safe? If you ever use technology in your classroom, it’s imperative that you teach internet safety for kids. What does internet safety mean? Internet safety for kids can mean a wide variety of things, from protecting passwords to not having access to inappropriate content. Essentially, internet safety is about protecting the student (and also equipment) from potentially dangerous content. When teaching internet safety, especially to young students, it might feel a little awkward. How do I explain that the internet can be a dangerous place? However, with younger students, you don’t need
Hosting a family literacy night or reading night is a great opportunity to get parents involved in the school and grow students’ love of reading. Parents don’t often get a glimpse of what their child is working on and doing at school each day, but with literacy nights, you can bring the parent into the school and share literacy tips and research. Of course, a well-planned literacy night can take time and effort to put together. I want to pass along some planning tips, literacy night themes, and activities you can use as you plan. What is a Family Literacy Night? Also called family reading night, a literacy night is a chance to provide important information about a child’s literacy skills and share reading strategies with families. It’s also an opportunity to get families involved in the school and student learning. During the literacy night, you can focus on
When you think of reading, charts and graphs probably aren’t the first things to come to mind. But when reading nonfiction texts, these elements play a role in understanding the text. Many times I’ve asked students to read a caption or refer to information from a chart, only to get a blank stare back. This just tells me how important it is to directly teach text features in nonfiction. What are nonfiction text features? Text features are the elements of an informational text not found within the main body of the text. This includes elements that come before and after the text (such as the table of contents or glossary) and the elements surrounding the text (such as labels and graphs). To help students understand the importance of text features, I like to give them a few examples. In one example, I will have them read directions to another
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
Summarizing and paraphrasing can be difficult skills for students to master. Often they do not understand the differences between the two and when to use them. In the library, I review these skills when I do any type of research project. Teaching a skill in context is always more effective than teaching it in isolation.  The Difference Between Summarizing and Paraphrasing Summarizing is retelling the main idea in your own words. A summary should be short and to the point. Only the most important ideas should be included. Whereas paraphrasing is retelling the text in your own words. These two concepts are very similar which leads to the confusion many students have.  How I Teach My Students About Summarizing and Paraphrasing This is why I created my Summarizing and Paraphrasing Activity Pack. This activity pack is designed to engage your students in meaningful practice in key reading skills with
Students need to read and learn about many different types of informational texts, including biographies. A biography research project can combine many important skills besides just learning about the life of an important person, such as: note-taking summarizing and paraphrasing information evaluating information finding the best sources for information organizing information the importance of citing your sources  practice writing informational text Basics of a Biography Teach students the call number  When I teach about biographies in the library, I start by showing students the biography section and pointing out the call number for biographies. I always give my biographies the call number of 92; however, each library is different.  What’s the difference between a biography and an autobiography? I then like to discuss the difference between a biography and an autobiography. A biography usually provides facts about a person from their childhood through adulthood and is written by someone