Build a Better World

The Collaborative Summer Reading Program this year is “Build a Better World.” What better way to celebrate than with some bookmarks ready to be printed and colored at library or classroom? With six pages containing four designs per page, this resource gives you 24 different designs. Check out a sampling of the bookmarks included through the images below: Build A Better World Bookmarks PDF Love the bookmarks? Please consider donating to support their creation and the creation of similar future resources at: Your support allows for the creation of these resources. Thank you! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Anchor Charts and Graphic Organizers

Anchor charts and graphic organizers are commonly used items in most classrooms. Anchor charts are great ways to make thinking visible to record strategies, processes, cues, guidelines, and other aspects of the learning process. Graphic organizers are visual displays to depict the relationships between facts, terms, or ideas within a learning task. I’ve used a variety of resources to create charts and organizers for the educators I worked with. Several teachers also wanted 1/4 sheets for students to receive and paste into their notebooks. Is this something you prefer? All of them I’ve created are welcome for download and use from the following folder: Anchor Charts and Graphic Organizers What have you used and/or what are in you search of? Your librarian, Katelyn

Library Trivia

Library trivia is something I began mid-year in the library unannounced as a passive activity for students. In the beginning it was a reward for students who read signage. After some time it became a popular activity, especially within 3rd-5th grade students. Every Monday a new question was posted. This question could be answered by using the signage and resources available within the library. All students who stopped by the library had the ability to try and answer the question until the end of the school day on Friday. The level of difficulty of the question varied in order to cater to all students (2nd -6th grade). There were pencils and scrap pieces of paper available for students to submit their: answer name grade level Every Friday after school (or Monday before school) I went through student responses. Every student who wrote a correct answer received a scented, scratch-and-sniff, bookmark. Among the correct answers one student was selected (randomly) to receive a free book. All prizes were delivered on Mondays to the student’s classrooms. The student who won the free book had their choice from at least three options (at least one of these was nonfiction). These books were purchased through Scholastic […]

Quality Resource: Core Knowledge

The last post focused on door displays with proverbs being one of the topics included. This was chosen thanks to Core Knowledge. Core Knowledge is an amazing foundation built on the idea that knowledge builds on knowledge. It was founded in 1986 by E.D. Hirsch and continues to work toward every child receiving a high quality education. Read Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch in order to gain the knowledge of where Core Knowledge (not to be confused with Common Core) is coming from and why it’s organized the way it is. The resources from Core Knowledge are completely free for download or you can order them if you would like printed copies. They have CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts) and HGCA (History, Geography, Civics, and the Arts). HGCA is for 3rd – 5th grades and is currently under development. CKLA is completed and available for preschool through 5th grades. Please visit the website if you’re unfamiliar with this foundation and check out what resources are helpful to you! Thanks for reading! Your librarian, Katelyn

Quality Resource: Lego Education

Lego Education is a great resource to satisfy your curricular needs. I have experience working with the Lego StoryStarter curriculum however based on how useful and well organized this kit was I would be inclined to think the others are the same. I would highly recommend to stick with their numbers of how many students per kit. I tried to stretch it and it did not work well. I stuck with smaller groups after that. I’m interested to try out the math curriculum they have available and pretty much anything else I can get supplies for. My favorite part about using legos is that is easily transfers learning to home. So many of my students love legos and love building. Doing activities in school allows them to replicate them at home with their own sets. I’m a proponent of anything that will get self-directed learning to occur with elementary through high school students. Check out Lego Education if you’re looking for new materials for your preschool through middle school students! Thanks for reading! Your librarian, Katelyn

Literacy and Legos: Changes and Future Plans

I’m always interested in trying new things while keeping what’s working. So is the case for Literacy and Legos. Year one and year two both taught me a lot about using the Lego StoryStarter curriculum. I’m very interested in continuing this at the next school I’m at. These lists are in no particular order. What works Groups of 2 or 3 students One StoryStarter kit per group Organizing the fairy tale expansion packs into the regular StoryStarter Kits. These provided much desired character traits. Having a fast warm-up activity to get student’s brains thinking before starting their main activity. The format of year one of working off of a book was a great way to focus on textual evidence and the structure of scenes. I would continue this as the basis for the beginning sessions. Blending students from different grade levels into the same group. Working with 3rd-5th grade students. Requiring a specific type of character, setting, or time period for an original story. This way two groups can focus their discussion and constructively assess one another’s stories. Eighteen students at a time. This allows for six groups of three, a manageable number for one person to be able to visit each of them […]

Literacy & Legos: Year 1

Using the Lego StoryStarter curriculum for an extracurricular program (those I wish was a part of the regular curriculum) has been one of the highlights of my past two years. This post will focus on the first year of this program, the next post will focus on the second year of the program, and the third will compare both while giving suggestions for the future. I was pleased to be invited to present to the school board about this program with several of the students who participated. For an overview and photos, check out our presentation below. It ended with several of the board members asking the students questions about what they had done and their thoughts about the program. If you’re interested in a slightly more detailed account, here you are: After applying for funding, ordering the Lego StoryStarter kits, ordering book sets (which later were put into the library collection), and figuring out a few logistics, teachers were asked to nominate students who they felt had the ability to work cooperatively and independently creativity leadership potential These nominations were able to be done in print or via email. After I had a list of students, permission slips were sent home as this […]