Quality Resource: BBC Learning English

The first thing I thought went I learned of the BBC’s Learning English site was…”Why didn’t I know about this earlier?” I spent two years teaching english as a foreign language in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps volunteer. This site would have come in handy many, many, many times. The site has been inspiring language learning since 1943! It currently includes six courses of varying levels. In addition, it features learning within nine topic areas if you’re looking for learning related to something specific like work, university, or the news. Furthermore, the site is available in seven languages if you’d like to navigate in a language other than English. Check it out: BBC Learning English Thanks for reading, happy learning, and share, share away! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: Newsela

If you’re looking for a way to bring current events and news to your students in a better format, Newsela is the site for you! Newsela is an education technology startup dedicated to transforming the way students access the world through words. Our team combines powerful technological know-how with real-world experience earned in the classroom, the newsroom, and the boardroom. We publish high-interest news and nonfiction articles daily at five levels of complexity for grades 2-12 using a proprietary, rapid text-leveling process. By combining relevant and interesting nonfiction content with standards-aligned assessments, Newsela gives educators the primary solution to dramatically improve students’ literacy skills for the 21st century. Creating a free account gives you access to stories while paying for a subscription provides you with even more resources. I’ve been happy with my free subscription and greatly appreciate the ability for all students to read about the same topic thanks to the varying reading levels, quiz availability, and option to translate many of the articles into Spanish. This has been a common go-to source for me as I frequently display news in the library for students to read while they’re waiting to checkout. Happy learning! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez  

Reading While White

Reading While White brings together allies for racial diversity and inclusion in books for children and teens online. Though I’m not currently a contributor to the site, I’m a regular follower and greatly appreciate the contributors for the sites existence. Their mission (as of this posting) is: We are White librarians organizing to confront racism in the field of children’s and young adult literature.  We are allies in the ongoing struggle for authenticity and visibility in books; for opportunities for people of color and First/Native Nations people in all aspects of the children’s and young adult book world; and for accountability among publishers, book creators, reviewers, librarians, teachers, and others.  We are learning, and hold ourselves responsible for understanding how our whiteness impacts our perspectives and our behavior. We know that we lack the expertise that non-white have on marginalized racial experiences.  We resolve to listen and learn from people of color and First/Native Nations people willing to speak about those experiences.  We resolve to examine our own White racial experiences without expecting people of color and First/Native Nations people to educate us. As White people, we have the responsibility to change the balance of White privilege. There are some […]

Statistics in the Elementary Grades

Looking for new ways to teach your elementary students, or children, about statistics? I’ve found the article Statistics in the Elementary Grades: Exploring Distributions of Data (August 2008) to be helpful. This article is from Teaching Children Mathematics, the official journal from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and was written by Christine A. Franklin and Denise S. Mewborn. This article focuses on concrete ways to teach about the distributions of data with elementary students. There are plenty of examples. Plus, contact information is listed in case you’re interested in getting in touch with the authors. Happy computing! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez  

Storytime Underground

Are you public librarian, early childhood educator, or parent of young children? If you answered yes, this post is for you! Storytime Underground is an amazing community of public librarians focused on the literacy of our youngest humans. The contributors provide more than resources. They also provide their perspectives into the highlights and challenges of their lives as public librarians. I was fortunate enough to get my MLIS (Masters of Arts in Library and Information Studies) with some of the people behind Storytime Underground. Just as they did then, they continue to amaze me with their work and passion for literacy. The mission of Storytime Underground is a great one, check out their website to learn more about tit and why storytime is much, much more than reading a book. Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Teachers Pay Teachers SALE!

In honor of new resources being added and even more coming soon, the Teachers Pay Teachers store for Circulating Knowledge is having a sale! Simply visit: Circulating Knowledge TPT  The sale is happening today, January 9th, through the 11th. There are a variety of resources available with many more planned to be added in the upcoming months. The latest resource I’m especially happy with is Cognate Memory. More and more schools are adopting the ReadyGen curriculum. There are plenty of great ideas in the scaffolded strategies book however too few teachers have the time and support to create the materials necessary to make these ideas come to fruition in their classrooms. The Cognate Memory resource includes 17 games that encompass the entire 1st grade ReadyGen curriculum. Not a first grade teacher? No worries. There’s a place for the game in any grade level above 1st grade as Spanish/English cognates are helpful for all of our students to learn. Plus, who doesn’t love a good game of memory? Anyhow, just for reading, you get one of the games for free! Below you’ll find a link to the cognate memory game for Unit 1 Module A. This module uses Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon […]

Miss Meg’s Storytime

Are you a children’s librarian, early childhood educator, parent of young children, or interested in becoming any of these? If you answered yes, this post is for you! Miss Meg offers a fresh perspective on library storytime and school-age programming through her website, missmegsstorytime.com. You’ll find a variety of topics complete with photos, booklists, and materials used. I first met Meg in Madison, WI, while we were both working toward our Master’s of Library and Information Studies. We soon became friends. Though we currently live on opposite sides of the U.S. of A., always fun to see what she’s up to through her website and social media. Check out missmegsstorytime.com to learn more and bring an idea into your community! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2016

On this first day of 2017, take a look back at what were the best websites for teaching and learning of 2016. Thanks to the AASL, American Association of School Librarians, there is a wonderful compilation available. All sites are compiled by topic and those topics include: media sharing digital storytelling managing and organizing social networking and communications curriculum collaboration content resources Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2016 Enjoy! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez