It’s time to take a moment and let you know about some of the other things teacher librarians do with their days (and their days off)! In addition to teaching classes, collaborating with classroom teachers, and keeping track of resources, teacher librarians are also constantly involved in bigger-picture thinking for our students. Here are some of my recent activities that happened beyond the walls of my school.
Teacher librarians are advocates for their students! One of the things that has been unfolding in Vermont over the past few months is the State Board of Education’s overhaul of the 15-year-old “School Quality Standards”. The now renamed “Education Quality Standards” have a great deal to celebrate, as well as some noticeable holes. Where did School Library Programs go? And how did our Vermont School Library Association work with the Board to get them back? To get an overview of what’s already great about the standards, and our proposal to make them even better, see the video archive below. I participated in a live GoogleHangout via TL News Night with some remarkable colleagues. We appreciate the opportunity the TL News Night team gave to us to send our voices out into the world about this important topic. The segment gives a nice overview of the process, as well as our thinking in regards to what is best practice for our school communities.
No time to watch? This conversation led to an article in School Library Journal Online, which can be accessed here. To stay informed about the remainder of this process, visit the Vermont Agency of Education.
Teacher Librarians love to learn. I had the good fortune to be able to attend my first national American Association of School Librarians Conference recently in Hartford, Connecticut. It was amazing to be part of a “collective brain” for a few days. 65 Vermont School Librarians attended this conference, adding our collective wisdom to the 2,000 + other attendees! I feel blessed to have this opportunity to connect with others in my field and to bring back best practices for teaching and learning with my students and classroom colleagues. I returned to Vermont feeling connected and energized.
Teacher Librarians love to share! We like it even better when we have a specific goal in mind for sharing. Last week, while CSSU K-8 students had some well-earned vacation time, teachers were working together to plan units and lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Librarians and Technology Educators shared resources with our classroom teacher colleagues during breakout sessions during these planning times. My presentation, titled “Mentor Texts and Beyond”, focused on supporting the writing curriculum with both print and digital resources for grades K-2. It can be accessed through this LiveBinder.
Whew! This is just some of the “other stuff” Teacher Librarians do every day. It might be going on in the background, but this type of work is every bit as crucial to our school communities as our face-to-face time with students.
The Charlotte Central School is lucky to have a phenomenal PTO group. Our library is currently adding hundreds of new books to our collection with Scholastic dollars earned from the recent fair!
We are working on unpacking and processing the print titles we ordered and can’t wait to get them into eager readers’ hands! In addition, the book fair proceeds help to provide access to the digital resource BookFlix. This collection pairs fictional storybooks with nonfiction eBooks, and adds over 100 quality titles to our library that are accessible both in school and at home, 24-7. BookFlix helps support digital literacy skills of students in grades PreK-4. Click here to read more about this fabulous resource, and contact us here in the library for a username and password.
We would like to thank our PTO for the time, energy and effort they invest into the book fair each year. We appreciate all you do to help us help our students!
Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Books, Digital Literacy, eBooks, Kindergarten, Preschool, reading
Students make connections when they are provided opportunities to use skills in a variety of ways. I’d like to highlight some connections being made recently in our school library.
Mrs. Little’s 6th graders are participating in historical fiction book clubs. This is one of my favorite collaborations with Mrs. Little! The titles students are reading are set during the Revolutionary War, which is also their Social Studies focus at the moment. Students are able to integrate what they learn in the classroom into their reading experiences. It makes for quite lively discussions! In addition, they are practicing their literacy skills by reading complex text, discussing and questioning content, and yes…making connections!
Other examples are students’ “6-Second Book Bytes”, created to promote books and to get each other excited about our recent book fair. In these super-short book talks, students needed to pull out three or four subjects or key words related to one of their favorite books. They needed to think big in order to get small words that captured the content of their books. They used the Vine app to create their finished products. This experience gave students an opportunity to think about those all-important key words. These handy things are crucial in so many ways. They help us to be effective searchers of everything from the library catalog to Google. They provide us with a way to personalize the content we find or create (think Twitter hashtags for example). It was amazing to see students as content-creators, forging pathways for connections by promoting favorite books.
School library programs everywhere aim to provide all children with access to quality learning resources and provide them with the skills they need to navigate those resources. One of the ways we do this is by giving students a variety of experiences to interact with quality literature.
Yesterday, library classes participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a national campaign aimed at supporting literacy and early childhood education. We joined millions of other Americans in reading the book Otis by Loren Long. We read, listened, practiced our visual literacy and comprehension skills, and generally shared in a little Otis the Tractor love. Click here to learn more about this literacy campaign and it’s impacts on early childhood education. Here is Loren Long speaking about the campaign:
Here’s to putting our children first!
Explore. This is a word I use all the time. The library is truly a space for exploration of all kinds! Here are some of the things we’ve been exploring this past week.
Ms. Trageser and I are working together to integrate art and literacy with Kindergarteners. This week, they used their visual thinking strategies to investigate these two things:
Yes, that is indeed tree bark, along with the book “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson. Next week, these students will incorporate what they saw, thought and wondered about it into their artwork with Ms. Trageser.
Red Clover books are being enjoyed by many classes this week. We have been reading Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel, and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.
Students have also found loads of new books to enjoy. “Book huddles” are one of my favorite sights! Exploration, sharing, and conversation happen here!
This week adults also did some exploring of library resources. Librarians teach big people, too! Para Educators used iPads and QR codes to delve into digital resources available to our students and school community. Check out our “Digital Reference” page to do some exploring of your own!
Each year, K-8 students may participate in the Red Clover (K-4) or Dorothy Canfield Fisher (4-8) Kids’ Choice Programs. Both programs expose students to a wide variety of quality literature chosen by dedicated teams of teachers and librarians. Students are able to vote for their favorite titles by the end of the school year. In addition, students learn to try new things with a spirit of exploration!
K-4 students share the Red Clovers during library times. The books help me teach and reinforce key literacy skills. Sharing takes the form of readalouds, movement activities, even blogging! Click here to visit the Red Clover site to learn more about the program and see the books your children will be sharing this Fall.
4th-8th graders listen to and watch book talks for the DCF nominees. They may participate in discussion groups and keep us busy making sure multiple copies of the books get into their eager hands! Click here to visit the DCF site. Watch trailers for this year’s nominees! We encourage you to read along with your child. The most meaningful discussions happen with you!
Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Books, Booktalks, DCF, Kindergarten, Readalouds, reading, Red Clover
Wow! Our first day of school flew by in a flurry of activity. Our whole school assembly was treated to a readaloud by Mr. Marino and Ms. Boutaugh. This a CCS tradition that I just love.Their choice for this year was “Only One You” by Linda Kranz. This book encourages each and every one of us to find our own way in the world. It reminds us to be brave, to be creative, to just be who we are. What a wonderful message to hear on the first day of school. To read more about the power of picture books, no matter what your age, click here.
2nd, 3rd and 6th graders kept us on our toes with readalouds, exploration, and booktalks. We have delivered hundreds (yes, hundreds) of books to classroom teachers. We can’t wait till tomorrow! Here is a great picture of what I refer to as a “book huddle”. 6th graders couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new Dorothy Canfield Fisher books after watching booktrailers and listening to some readaloud hooks! Curious about these books yourself? Click here to visit my YouTube playlist.