I am a big proponent of change in the library -- I think it's important to rearrange, freshen things up with paint, move shelves and books, add new programs and ideas, all with the best interests of your library community at heart, of course. I personally need this kind of change in order to keep my practice fresh and focused, especially as I've just wrapped up my 13th year in the same school. This past year, one change I made was moving the location of my desk. And it made all the difference.
One of the elective classes we offer at our school is called Strategies for Success. It's designed to help students with organizational and study skills. Carla, one of our Strategies teachers, asked my co-librarian and I to develop a lesson on note taking to teach different note taking techniques -- we ended up with an activity that could be applied across content areas or used independently by students who want to explore different ways to take notes.
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.
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.
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