Quality Resource: The Ways

The Ways are stories on culture and language from native communities around the central Great Lakes. There are twelve stories in total and they were created for 6th – 12th grade audiences (and of course, adults). For this reason, be sure to watch the film in it’s entirety before sharing with your students or children so you’re a bit more prepared for questions they may have (especially if your students or children are younger than 6th grade). There are great resources to accompany each video to assist in your learning. The Ways were created to: Expand and challenge knowledge and understanding of contemporary Native American culture and language. Explore the role of language and culture in Native identity and community empowerment. Provide resources to assist in meeting Wisconsin Act 31 requirements and Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Social Studies. Leverage digital media to support accessibility, engagement, and integration of learning resources in educational contexts. You can use them to fulfill a wide variety of learning objectives or simply to include something new based in culture and story. While I enjoy each and every one of these stories, three of my favorites include Waadookodaading, Hunting Deer, and Prayers in a Song. […]

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson is one of my personal heroes. During our time of climate change and the continued assaults happening to our environment, she’s an even more essential historical figure. On January 24, 2017, PBS aired Rachel Carson through the American Experience series. Whether you’re familiar with Carson and her work or not, this documentary will add to your knowledge base. She was a writer, biologist, naturalist, and advocate. She’s someone who stepped outside her comfort zone to speak out for wildlife and the environment. The program is almost 2 hours in length and would be fitting in a middle school or high school science class. It would also be great for an evening or weekend event family event that was for parents and children ages 12 and older. It’s always challenging catering to the interests and needs of our middle school and high school youth. This topic is one many of them are in support of and will get behind. Please email me and I’d be happy to send you the program materials and plan I would use for this type of event! In addition, Carson is one of the scientists featuring in the Scientist Learning Guide. Thanks for reading and […]

Countdown: The Sixties Trilogy

Having recently finished Countdown by Deborah Wiles, I wanted to share that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this documentary novel. It is the first of The Sixties Trilogy and is so fascinating because though the story is fictional, there are primary documents including photos, advertisements, song lyrics, and speeches interspersed throughout the book. I’m anxious to read Revolutionary (the second) next once my library hold arrives! I believe these novels would fit in well in any middle school or high school library collection. Additionally, these would be a great addition to a course on the 1960s. Have you created a course like this for middle or high school? Email me, I’m working on one! To the resources: Scholastic Book Discussion Guide – includes discussion questions, post-reading activities, an author interview, and websites for additional learning. Countdown PBA (performance-based assessment) – This PBA was created to give students a choice of activities to complete after reading Countdown. There are three different set-ups for this PBA. The first uses the tic-tac-to method of project choices (requires students to complete 3 activities), the second utilizes lists (requires students to complete 2 activities), and the third gives students a choice between all the […]

ReadyGen Support Materials

I was fortunate enough to be part of the team that assessed our options for new english language arts curriculums. ReadyGen, through Pearson, was the curriculum the team (and our administrators) decided to implement. This decision meant our classroom teachers were in for a leap from what they had become accustomed to. As with anything new, there was a great deal of work to be done within training and supporting our staff. While everyone is still working hard to make the necessary changes and find areas that need a few more resources, major strides have occurred. I wanted to share a few resources that support the learning of our 1st grade students: Arbor Day Cognate Memory Arbor Day Family Tree Bingo Please contact me if you’re interested in the creation of particular materials related to your curriculum(s) and/or grade levels. I enjoy creating fun, focused materials to support student learning. Your librarian, Katelyn

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 […]