I have been blogging with my students and decided to introduce them to the idea of microblogging after seeing a few classroom Twitter walls on Pinterest. I made a Blurb wall on my library door using laminated sentence strips. I read somewhere (probably on Pinterest…I’m obsessed!) that you can use laminated paper with dry erase markers and decided to test it out – it works! The pink strips are mine and all of the others are by the kids. Kids can stop by any time and add a quick blurb, as well as add blurbs during center time. The neon colors are pretty in-your-face so the blurb wall has been catching everyone’s attention. Classes wait right outside the door before coming … Continued
At the end of my 3rd grade genre unit, students did some carousel brainstorming to come up with ways to describe each genre. Then, we took all the brainstormed words and made word clouds using ABCYA: The kids LOVED the word clouds. I printed them out and put them around my fiction collection. After the kids learned how to use ABCya, I was able to use it as a center activity.
This is Zoinks the Answer Alien: Every week, he asks my students a new trivia question. Students must use library resources to answer the question. I have links to library resources on my website and they can use the library catalog and books as well. Some of our online resources are Grolier, Kids InfoBits, Word Central, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Fact Monster. Once the kids find their answer, they write their name, class, answer, and source on a slip of paper and “feed” it to Zoinks. At the end of the week, I count up answers and choose winners out of a basket (1 winner for every 10 answers) The winners get to choose a book from my book prize box. … Continued
This center is Pinterest-inspired. If you aren’t using Pinterest, you’re missing out on some really amazing classroom and library ideas! Pinterest has a really amazing teaching community and it is such a great way for teachers to share ideas about what is going on in their classrooms. There’s a good deal of school library ideas too. I also find I can easily take “classroom” ideas and make them work in the library. Here is my Library Crossword Center: Set up: I don’t have any magnetic surfaces in my library so I bought an oil drip pan (pretty cheap for the size ~$10 at AutoZone). I cover the Blitz logo, which is raised, with a sign telling the topic of … Continued
This center was also inspired by The Centered School Library. Be sure to head over there for many excellent ideas!The Puzzle Center is by far my most popular center! Even more popular than any computer center I have. I had expected the kids to think it’s fun but perhaps not nearly as exciting as some of the other centers I have. That is not the case at all! I have a 5 kid limit due to the space around the table and everyone races to get to the puzzle center! This has been a really good community/collaborative center. The kids in each class work together on the puzzle but they are also working together with students at all grade levels to … Continued
This is a bulletin board I made using 5th grade work in the beginning of the year. To review parts of a book and fiction call numbers, students created their own book spines. They needed to make up a book title and design a book spine. They also included their call number. Some of their titles were very creative!
While studying genres with 3rd grade, I used genre passports as a reading incentive program. Kids were able to get a genre “passport” during library class. After we discussed each of 5 genres – fantasy, realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, and science fiction – students could read the genre and fill out their passport. On the passport, I asked students for the book title and genre clues – how did they know their book fit into this genre? I added a sticker to their passports as each genre was completed. A full passport equaled a prize from the prize box and their picture on the genre passport bulletin board outside the library. Genre Passport – Front Genre Passport – … Continued
Shelf Talkers is one of the first centers I started using regularly during library classes. I got this idea from The Centered School Library. I tell the kids these are little advertisements for books they have enjoyed and want to share with other readers. So far, students at all grade levels have done a great job creating shelf talkers for our library! In our library, we use 3″x5″ index cards, folded in half. After students complete their shelf talkers, I laminate them and tape them to the shelves in front of the book they advertise. I have definitely seen an increase in check-outs for the books that are “advertised”. Here are some shelf talkers you can see decorating the … Continued
Spine poetry is a fun project I did with 4th grade this year. I don’t love teaching poetry but this project really got the kids excited to create poems. Students worked in small groups to make poems out of book spines. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
I started regularly using centers in my library a few months ago after reading Cari Young’s website (now blog). I had used centers a few times during Thursday afternoons when the specialist teachers cover common planning time for classroom teachers. It hadn’t occurred to me to use them all the time but Cari showed it can be done! Why Centers? My library classes are on a fixed schedule where I see 2nd-4th grade classes once per week for 30 minutes and 5th grade every other week for 45 minutes. Classes are structured so I teach a lesson for about 15 minutes and students select and checkout books for the remaining 15 minutes. I was running into issues getting students to use … Continued
Welcome to my blog! I am a library teacher in a K-5 elementary school in MA. I love teaching library and information literacy skills and engaging students in reading and technology. I am always interested in learning what other library teachers do in their libraries so I thought I would share what goes on in mine. Thanks for stopping by!