We love picture books and use them all the time in our classroom as mentor texts or to illustrate writer’s craft. We love books that highlight kindness and use them all year with our students. We’re always on the search for new books, but here are some of the best kindness books we’ve found and use all year.[Read more…] about Books About Kindness
You are a great teacher, but don’t have a classroom library? Of course you want your students to have a great selection of books for reading throughout the year, but most schools do not pay for classroom libraries. How on Earth are new teachers (and even the more experienced ones) expected to have a quality selection of classroom library books?
What are some ways to stretch your classroom library to get books into the hands of each and every one of your students?[Read more…] about Stretch Your Classroom Library
When you want to do research in your school library do you often find your school just can’t afford the resources (or even the librarian) you need? This is why so often we take our students online to do research. In doing this, we often teach students that libraries are not a valuable resource because nothing could be further than the truth. [Read more…] about Research Skills: The Library
Preparing for Remembrance Day commemorations is a great opportunity to talk not only about the sacrifices of the past but to talk about our contributions to peace. There are so many Remembrance Day activities out there, but most of them involve poppy crafts. One of the best ways to learn about the past is by reading Remembrance Day books. They are always a great way to introduce solemn topics while uplifting our students. Most of all, they are portable, easy to use and don’t require a lot of technology.[Read more…] about Books for Remembrance Day
Read aloud novels are a huge part of our daily literacy routine. We built in fifteen minutes each day where one of us reads from a novel to our students. It is important (even at the higher grades) to model fluency, self-monitoring and questioning techniques when reading aloud to students and we include these minutes in our weekly Language Arts minutes.
Another bonus to having a novel always as the ready is to use it after transitions like recess or lunch to calm students or to fill those minutes between transitions when you’re waiting for another teacher or moving to another location.
Each year we select a theme for choosing our read aloud novels and this year’s theme was protagonists that face their fears. Our goal was to show students that like real people, characters are not perfect and can be challenged to become stronger. [Read more…] about Novels to Teach Students to Face Their Fears
Having trouble getting students to want to try new books? Try having students do the recommending.
We’ve started using recommendations-super simple recommendations-to get students to convince other students to read.
It was so simple, we weren’t really expecting the effect to take off.
Step 1: A student reads a book.
Step 2: The student fills out a recommendation sticky note.
Step 3: The sticky note is placed on the cover of the book.
Step 4: Place the recommended book out for viewing. This could be on a shelf of recommended books or a basket of recommendations.
Step 5: Keep repeating the process as students start recommending more books.
We stepped this up a notch with our junior high students by encouraging them to post about their recommendation on social media by tagging our library Instagram account. The librarian then printed some of these pictures and added them to our recommendation display. They were quite excited to get the attention causing many more students to take part.
Here are our sticky note recommendations that you can use for free, too. We also have READO in our store in English and French. It is designed to get students reading a variety of genres and we use it as our home reading program.
What are some of the ways your encourage readers in your room or at the library? Leave us a comment below.