This week's Take5 focuses on what's happening in the classroom -- creating time, a Google tool to support English learners, mastering conversations. We also look at a game that would be fun to play in the library and a great site with lots of ways to explore science in the classroom.
This recent Mindshift Article is everything. Time is an Essential Teacher Resource So How Can Schools Be More Creative With It? To me, time is everything and there is simply never ever enough of it, especially in schools.
There are lots of neat tools and tricks available in Google. Jake Miller (@JakeMillerTech) shared this simple way to support English Learners with vocabulary: Translate in Google Sheets. This handy tool works for over 100 languages and could go great lengths to help a new language learner feel more comfortable in the classroom.
I recently ran across this 2015 Ted Talk by public radio journalist Celeste Headlee. As someone who interviews people for a living, she offers 10 basic rules for having better conversations. She explains that even if we just choose one rule and master it, we will get better at talking to people.
A post in the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group mentioned the game "Bring Your Own Book" and I had to explore further. Originally funded on Kickstarter and now available for retail through Gamewright ($12), this game shares similaries with Apples to Apples -- draw a card, skim through a book to find a phrase that satisfies the prompt, and win the round when the "judge" chooses your phrase as the most entertaining! And the game designer also offers a free print and play version that would be perfect for classroom or library use.
Do you know about the Exploratorium? Located in San Francisco, the Exploratorium is a self-described "learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception." It sounds like an awesome place to visit if you're closer to the Bay Area than I am, but in the mean time, my students and I will have to be satiated with the Exploratorium's Science Snacks -- quick, hands-on activities easy-to-find materials.
What have you discovered lately that can support your instructional castle? We'd love to hear from you!
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I recently attended the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) annual conference in Williamsburg, VA. I love attending professional conferences and VAASL is one of my favorites. I like to connect with other school librarians from around the state to talk and learn and share ideas. The biggest theme running through the conference was that truly, and perhaps more than ever, school libraries are important and valuable. They matter. What else matters in relation to libraries? That's where my five take-aways from the conference come into play.
Take5: Writing to Learn, the Science Fair, Midterm Election Learning, Student Mental Health, and Libraries as Life.
This week's Take5 touches on writing to learn and the power of science fairs. Plus, we highlight ways to bring the Midterm Elections to life for your students and outline the steps one state is using to teach kids about mental health (and remove the stigma surrounding it). And to finish: an eloquent story about libraries and how they represent the legacy so many of us work toward in life. So pour a cup of coffee or tea, put your feet up, and read Take5 for a little educator inspiration.
Longtime readers of BubbleUp Classroom may recall that my secret librarian admission is that I'm not a huge fan of book talking. In a quick conversation with a student, I may offer short book talks, describing a few titles at the shelf. However, book talking five books to a class of 30 students, leaves 25 of those students without one of those compelling reads. So, I'm constantly looking for other ways to share books with kids -- ways that get as many books as possible into their hands, giving them lots of choices. This posts offers a few strategies to work into your routine as you aim to connect readers with great books.
The beginning of the school year always has me excited for change. Classroom teachers may have the opportunity to transform their classroom space as they set up each year, but often, our libraries stay very much the same. This Take5 has some quick ideas on how to transform your library space without spending too much time or money. And, perhaps it will offer inspiration to some classroom teachers as well. How can you change up your space to keep student learning focused and your own teaching fresh and engaging?
You've heard me say it before. Being a librarian is the best job in the building. One reason why is that librarians are in a unique position to impact instruction because we are the only teachers in the building who have the opportunity to teach every student across every content area and every academic level. This means that at various points in the year we co-teach math. This can be challenging for librarians because we don't always think of the math team as natural library collaborators. However, at Kilmer our math department includes some of our most open and willing partners with whom we have worked on a number of fun instructional activities. Check out some of the ways we have supported our math curriculum.
This week our Take5 has a bit of a library focus (surprise: I'm a librarian!), but There are take-aways for classroom teachers as well. Strong school library Instagram accounts and great read-alouds, meaningful makerspaces, a fun inquiry activity, and creating a menu of lessons -- check it out and share what's been sparking your interest!
Strong, instructionally-focused school library programs are not shush-y places. They are loud, vibrant, and dynamic. Their librarians barely sit down during the course of a day -- juggling a whole range of classes, tasks, meetings, and responsibilities. And still, the perception persists that libraries are quiet and still. How do we break this stereotype? How do we provide evidence of the work we do each and every day? One answer is #LibraryHourbyHour.
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