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Showing posts from November, 2014

"I'm just browsing"

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Browsing in a library has some similarities to browsing in a shop. Sometimes our customers want help or advice and sometimes they don't. The trick is knowing when to approach the customer and then figuring out what you can offer to help them.

For the upper elementary students I encourage them to use a variety of strategies. The library catalogue is the usual first 'go to' and students know how to search by genre, theme, character or author as well as use filters to adjust the results to their interest or fountas and pinnell reading level. For students that already have 'something' in mind, this is most effective.


Now for my customers that won't let that favourite series go and are lost as to what to do next I direct them to my library websites 'What to Read' tab. Under the tab I have the links listed below.

Book Wizard  I really like the 'Find Similar Books' on Scholastics book wizard, it works for mainly American titles. The kids really like seein…

What Do Kids Want?

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Teachers know that the best way for our students to learn is to make it enjoyable. Sometimes, this is a challenge since not everyone likes the same thing. This video, What Kids Want Out of School?, of middle school students shows what our leaners would like. The answer to this is we attempt to make tasks inquiry based, meaning we allow students to make guided choices about what they want to learn. We also like to ensure our students have an authentic voice in the process.

This links to my former posting about reading contests. For the Golden Dragon Book Award I'm using Google Classroom to stay organized. To further motivate my students and encourage them to build a reading community I'm giving my students different options to share their opinions.

Currently, the students are expected to evaluate their books using criteria set by myself and I created a template for them to use and an example video (seen below). They need to discuss the genre, characters, author's style, conne…

Something Old, Something New

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Book Contests are not new on the library block. They are a great way to motivate kids to read books outside the genre comfort zone as well as incorporate authentic reviews that other kids will read. The students will be inquiring into what makes an award winning book.

Google classroom, well that's new and I'm going to attempt to keep the kids and myself organized using Google Classroom. This contest is spread across 2 grade levels and will have approximately 40 kids. Students are expected to complete a google form that is a brief review that will help me to track which titles are being read. The brief review includes title, genre, a scale rating and a couple of sentences to inspire others to read it, or not read it. Also included in the classroom are some videos about the contest, book trailers and the contenders. Eventually, mini assignments about character, theme, plot, connections and perspective will be posted.

Hopefully, this combination of old and new will inspire the stud…

Why Halloween is a Librarian's Dream Come True

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Halloween, a holiday filled with creative characters and storylines that will haunt readers of all ages. The books were flying of the shelves this week. Creepy character discussions were rich and diverse, topics included different characteristics of vampires, how witches can be good and evil and how to do skeletons talk.

Students love the suspense found in Halloween tales and there's many great books at appropriate levels to introduce the concept of the horror genre. It's also the time of year when I practice my oral story telling by sharing my personal ghost story, it is suitable only for upper elementary and leaves them guessing as to whether I'm telling them the truth. The wonder if they should be believers, which I think is a sign of a good ghost story!

Many sneer at this American tradition but I'm thankful to be back in a place where you're allowed to embrace this fun occasion. School spirits were high and the library was definitely a participant. Students found…