Quality Resource: Cooperative Children’s Book Center

This week’s posts focused on book clubs, discussion guidelines, book awards, and book lists; therefore, the quality resource for this week is the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).   The Cooperative Children’s Book Center The CCBC is an excellent resource staffed by a small group of amazing librarians that are located in Madison, WI. It was established in 1963 and is funded by the University of Wisconsin – Madison – School of Education and by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction / Division for Libraries and Technology. It is also supported by the Friends of the CCBC. It is a non-circulating examination, study, and research library that includes current, retrospective, and historical books published for children and young adults. However, even if you can’t physically make it there you can visit their website which is home to a wide variety of resources. There are booklists, events, intellectual freedom resources, and CCBC Choices (their fabulous best-of-the-year lists). They’ve even included pages to reflect your specific needs as a K-12 teacher, librarian, childcare provider, preschool teacher, or University of Wisconsin student, faculty, instructor, teaching assistant (the university is reflected as this is where they are housed). You can help support the CCBC by joining the Friends of […]

Book Awards

Since the last post was about book clubs and book discussions, this one features some great awards to give you more resources in selecting and curating the books in your home, classroom, or library. These are also great lists to consider when gifting books to young readers!   State Awards  First of all, make sure to look into whether or not your state has a “student’s choice” book award. Minnesota has the Minnesota Youth Reading Association (MYRA) which is home to the Maud Hart Lovelace and Star of the North Awards. The Maud Hart Lovelace Award is separated into two divisions: Division 1 – For 3rd through 5th grade students Division 2 – For 6th through 8th grade students To vote for their favorite book students must read at least three of the twelve nominees within their division. One thing a few classroom teachers I worked with did was to choose three of the titles and use them as read alouds. This way all their students were able to vote. It’s easy to become a member of the Minnesota Youth Reading Association as it’s only $15/year. Being a member means you have access to more resources and can submit student votes. I […]

Book Clubs and Discussion Guidelines

Most educators and librarians are familiar with book clubs. They are an excellent way to get young people and adults discussing topics with one another and there are a variety of successful ways to go about implementing them. In general, I find using books that are nominated for different awards to be a great list to work from if you’re looking for quality books within different categories. Many students are only familiar with current publications and those used within curriculums. Therefore, it can be fun to create a book club based on all the winning or honor books within an award category. This gives students a focus yet introduces them to novels they are unfamiliar with. Look for an upcoming post for more information on book awards! Once you have the list of books and the participants comes the true work of the book club. I’ve found  the two most important aspects of the physical meeting of the book club to be: Sitting in a circle Using the book discussion guidelines provided by the CCBC Sitting in a circle, whether this is around a table or not, gives all participants the ability to be included and have a direct vantage point of […]

Quality Resource: NewseumED

At least twice a month I will be posting about quality resources that I have either used or am interesting in using in the future related to recent posts. This is the first and features resources from the Newseum! It correlates with my previous post on The Fledgling. If you are looking for ways to enhance your instruction in history, media literacy, and civics, check out NewseumED! There are FREE learning tools on media literacy and our First Amendment freedoms for students in grade three through adults. As soon as you complete your free registration, all materials are ready and waiting to assist your instruction within five categories: ED Tools This section allows you to search hundreds of standards-aligned lesson plans, artifacts, case studies and more that bring the Newseum’s content and collection to you. ED Classes & Training This section helps you find information about free standards-aligned workshops for students visiting the Newseum, plus virtual classes, professional development for teachers and adult team building programs. (most of this section requires you to be in or planning to visit Washington, D.C.) ED Collections This section allows you to explore important topics in-depth using primary sources, artifacts from the Newseum’s collection and interactive learning tools. ED Ideas […]

The Fledgling

One of my most rewarding projects of last year was being the editor of The Fledgling. A little background…I was able to spend a significant part of my summer of 2015 in Washington, D.C., thanks to my fiance’s internship there. One of the museums I was fortunate enough to visit was the Newseum (if you haven’t been, it’s amazing). An idea I had while at the museum was getting a student newspaper together at my school. A student newspaper would solve several issues I had noticed at my school. Students needed a creative outlet focused in the writing and visual arts. There were plenty of opportunities within physical education and music but a limited number of free opportunities focused in writing and illustrating. There was a general lack of interest in informational reading. Many students were checking out more fiction than information. Plus, many students weren’t thinking of newspapers or magazines as a good source of reading. We needed more fun. We needed something that everyone would enjoy and would be a uniting project of early childhood through sixth grade. A bit more background…I was working at Fairmont Elementary in Fairmont, MN. It’s a rural town of about 11,000 people with one public elementary. This […]

Citing Sources K-6

Though all of my documents are living documents (meaning they are edited and revisited as time moves forward) this one is finally ready to be shared! I’ve used aspects of the document with students I previously taught and filled in gaps to create a more well-rounded resource. I’m excited to bring it to you and hear your thoughts. Citing sources is something that has become more and more important as our society has become more inundated with information. The type of source used for a project can make or break its success. Therefore, students need to understand citation basics at an early age in order for the practice to become second nature. This resource assists educators and librarians in teaching students how to cite their sources. It is designed to be used in any state as it fulfills standards from the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (AASL) and Student Standards (ISTE). The goal of “Citing Sources for K-6” is to support educators and librarians in instructing students on citing their sources. You are also welcome to check out the Citing Sources learning guide to see how a group of 4th grade students were instructed on this topic. Without any further ado, check out: Citing Sources for K-6 (Citing Sources for […]

Star of the North Picture Book Award

There are two student choice book awards in Minnesota. They include the Maud Hart Lovelace and Star of the North Book Awards. These are organized by the Minnesota Youth Reading Awards – MYRA. While the Maud Hart Lovelace Award began in 1980 to award works of fiction, the Star of the North Book Award was first given in 2014 and is awarded to picture books. Thus far, the winners include: 2014 – The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon & Jake Parker 2015 – Moo! by David LaRochelle & Mike Wohnoutka 2016 – The Day the Crayon’s Quit by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers For the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a reader and serve on the committee that chose the ten nominees. In addition, I was able to integrate the 10 books nominated for the 2016 award into library lessons with kindergarten through second grade students. Anyone up to 8th grade is welcome to read and vote on this award and based on the unit’s success I would be doing this unit with all students next year if I was still working at the same school (the school was preschool – 6th grade). During the prior school year, I organized […]