Quality Resource: National Council for the Social Studies

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) provides a great deal of resources including their online teacher’s library, position statements, professional development, and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for the Social Studies. One resource within the position statements is their piece on Media Literacy. Media literacy is greatly needed within our information overloaded society. I would highly recommend reading this short piece as the key questions included are useful to any educator and the concept is one of great importance. In addition, the NCSS publishes a list of notable trade books for young people. You must be a member for the current year’s list however all prior lists are accessible without a membership. This is a great list to consider when deciding what books to add to your home, classroom, or school library! Your librarian, Katelyn

Quality Resource: National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is the home of Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. Not only are subscriptions of these fun to give as gifts but these magazines are popular reading choices for elementary students (they even have a reduced rate for educators). I would highly recommend getting a subscription for your home, classroom, and/or library! More than the magazines though, the NWF provides some great lesson plans, activities, and printouts! I’m always a proponent of having materials ready for students who want to learn about things outside of school (or have a few extra minutes of free time). Therefore, there was always a stack of printouts near the circulation desk of something or another for students to bring home. This was never advertised but most students eventually found their way and took one if that week’s item interested them. Each week there was something new and I kept all the leftovers in a three ring binder behind the desk with a post-it of what week it was available. Examples of printouts from the NWF include Backyard Birds and Toasty Robin. I would always print front and back in order to cater to more students. As you will notice from these two […]

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 […]