Thursday, November 16, 2017

Reading for Pleasure ( article)

  Jeffrey Wihelm recently wrote an article abut reading for pleasure and its benefits.
The first question he brings up (which I think is key) is: promoting reading is a civil rights issue. He gives data that reading for pleasure helps youth in both social mobility and cognitive progress.
He encourages all staff regardless of subject area to promote reading for pleasure. In reading for pleasure the student is engaged and immersed in the book. 
The article also gives some examples of how to share and promote reading in a school setting.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


  Read.Gov is a website which is a Division of the Library of Congress's  The site encourages everyone (kids, Teens, & adults) to discover the world of books and reading.  You will see a variety of free reading resources to explore.  There are programs to be done on line, and classic books to read online. Author webcasts( where authors speak about their  books and their work as a writer .)

  Also helpful to both librarians and teachers are the book lists that are related to research and school topics. There are  online book exhibits( Books that Shaped America- which shows covers of the first edition and gives a synopsis of why the work is important) There is also  a list of some best American literature. This is a good resource for librarians, elementary teachers , ELA ,and English teachers.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Teacher Librarian Journal

   Last week I received my first issue of Teacher Librarian ,  the October issue. This is my first issue  in probably 10 years. It looks like a really good issue!
    Back in my Elementary days I got this  and loved it. Now it seems to have a more scholarly focus. Although I have not read any of the articles ( Had surgery  this week and did Nothing!) I feel it will be a good addition to my professional learning. Also there are many items in this issue that look like they will be helpful with advocacy  to the administration.
   Does anyone else get this?   I am also impressed with the persons on the advisory board. They are all leaders on school libraries. What other journals do you get that you find helpful? 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Library Webpage and your Calendar

   I wrote a while ago on what you should have on your library webpage.  At the middle school level, I am finding that I update my webpage probably at least once a week.
  Each time a class reserves the library or my time for inquiry, research, or project based learning, I put the scheduled classes on my library calendar (and in my plan book). Also each time there is a department meeting or a professional development day at the library I put that in also. The other thing I put on the library calendar art e book clubs, and any other special actives that are held in the library.

  The Calendar is  important to my page because   teachers and students can see  what is going on in the library, and if the library might be available to use.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Letters About Literature- writing contest for students

  Letters About Literature is writing contest for students in grades 4-12. In its 25th year , it is sponsored by the Library of Congress and Dollar General.

 This is a reflective  letter writing competition whereby students write to an author about their feelings about a book and how they feel the book has changed their view of themselves or their world.  The students will share specific details about the book and their reaction to it.

  More information about the contest can be found at There is a webinar for educators and details about the contest.  Check your state for deadline specifics.


Teachers lesson plan for writing letters:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    My teachers can use Youtube in school and are not blocked. But when students do certain presentations and inquiry, they are at times required to added videos and clips. They are blocked from using YouTube. They can put the links in at home, but cannot view/ present when at school.

 So I am in search of something the students can use. Teacher Tube is one that can be used b7 students and teachers. There are many educational and helpful videos, audios, photo, and documents. There is also other content is available for the school scene. I will eventually put this link on my webpage and continue to search out good sites for students and staff to use.

What do you use for videos clips for your student presentations/ inquiry’s? 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Accelerated Reading at the Middle school

  We are doing Accelerated Reading again this year at my school. Last year we did not have a huge number of students that participated and read books.  So I am looking for suggestions on how to motivate the students to read and take tests.

 Each week I select three students to select from my box of goodies.   I will also give out cafeteria rewards to the two or three highest point scores each month. But I am looking for some good motivators / rewards to get more students reading and taking tests, Can anyone comment below and tell what kinds of prizes / recognition they give? Or special privileges?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Middle School Book Club

    I held  the first meeting for both 7th and 8th grade this past week. The students are really interested and ready to read. My 7th grades all boys. They selected to read Chains.  ( I love this book) So they are up and running. The 8th graders will be reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian( Alexie)

    Seventh graders will meeting after school. Eight grades during their lunch.

   We are required by administration to take attendance and minutes which we hand in.We set a date for the next meeting which was good. So now I can prepare a mini poster with dates on it to hang around the school. Last year I never thought to schedule the next meeting so I feel super organized.

  I will still announce each month when the book club is over morning announcements. Usually I start announcements about three days ahead of time.

   Does anyone else do Middle School book clubs? I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Using Non-Fiction Books/ articles with students

I am searching four ways to use and help teachers use non-fiction selections with students. Here are just two easy ideas.
1.       Teach students how to summarize, paraphrase and pull out main ideas. This shows students how to put ideas into their own words. Also this will reduce the amount of plagiarism. It will also determine if the student is understanding the material given. Start with a small amount of text.

2.       Give them choices- Use some different articles, books, selections on a unit of studies. Students choose what they want to read. Give them a variety of items on different levels-

This is where the library comes in- we can help getting together books on your topics.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Weekly Reading

Into The Wilderness by Sarah Donati  is a book I could't put down. A historical novel series  begins in the 1790's . Elizabeth Middletown, an educated spinster of 29, comes from England to join her Father in upstate NY. She wants to be a teacher  to the children living in the area. Her Father wants her to marry Dr. Richard Todd,

 Elizabeth has no intention of marrying anyone. But she is drawn to Nathaniel, a backwoodsman, son of Hawkeye ( Hero of the The Last of the Mochicans)

  Nathaniel's people want to buy back Hidden Wolf mountain  from her Father's property. Elizabeth will inherit  the mountain as part of her wedding gift.

 The novel is  full of action, adventure, romance, and family life in that time period. NOw I can wait to get the next in the series- there are 6 in all.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free resources of digital resources. There are more than a million images, recordings, and texts for use by students and teachers, or anyone who wants to investigate digital sources.   The SLL is designed for discovery, creativity and  sharing. There are more than one million images, recordings, and texts. Search results display pictures that you can click on.  you can add notes, tag questions , save and share.

The learning lab helps build critical skills by having students  select , organizing and create new resources.  Enter a subject that interest you  in the search bar. Keywords can be from broad to specific/ Search results in an image grid but can also be changed to a list view.
There are resources and learning lab collections tabs at the top.  resources can be individual or a group. A curated group of resources will be a collection or resources.

  There are icons to help you distinguish between images, video, audio, and text, There are also learning resources( lessons , games, interactive online exhibition websites.
  users can collect resources, save them to favorites and also share resources with co- workers and colleagues.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Personal Professional Growth

  At the  Summer Institute , we were given a continuum of school Librarian competencies, This rubric is for self growth to help up develop professionally. The competencies are from AASL and PSELS ( Professional Standards for Educational Leaders)

 Out of the 11 competencies I am going to work on  #1 first- which is Mission, Vision and Core Values. Being ion the middle school and the state of librarianship  with the strong digital aspect I will have to ponder before setting my mission and vision.  I have a small budget so that will be limiting as far as the digital/maker space aspect.

  Do you have mission or vision , or core values. I am struggling with this so if any one can comment please please do!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Setting Library Goals For a New Year

   It’s the first day of school   and time to set a few goals for the upcoming school year! After our Future Read Conference I have to decide what goals I want to pursue. I am thinking of two that are most important.
    One is continuing to build instructional partnerships with more teachers this year. Last year I had quite a few collaborative projects, and I am hoping this year to have those same teachers and then add several more that I did not get to work with last year.
  Another goal that I want to pursue is to become more proficient at a few key new technologies. The specific ones I have not decided on yet, but I am thinking of Symbaloo or Buncee . Those are a few of the ones Shannon McClintock Miller showed us at our conference.

   Do you have goals for the year? What are they? Share with us in the comment section please!