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Our Favorite Beverly Cleary Books
For generations, readers of all ages have connected with the realistic characters and settings Beverly Cleary created in her books. Before becoming a published author, Cleary worked as a librarian. She knew firsthand the importance of young readers having access to books that were reflective of their worlds.
Celebrations Around the World
In May, when students in the United States will likely be celebrating the end of another school year, many of whom might engage with graduation celebrations, I thought it would also be nice to look at various types of celebrations around the world for all kinds of reasons and during all kinds of seasons.
Earth Day Read-Alouds
Each April, Earth Day sneaks up on me. Even though it’s not until April 22, somehow with the confluence of testing and spring break and being close to the end of the school year, I forget about it and then try to scramble to find a good picture book to read aloud for #ClassroomBookADay on, or on the school day nearest to, that date.
Let's Celebrate National Crayon Day with Special Activities, Books, a Choice Board and Collections by Destiny
It's so much fun celebrating special events throughout the year with our students in the library, classrooms and even while learning at home. There are many events coming up over the next few months and one that we are most excited about is National Crayon Day!
Make Your Read-Alouds a Feast for the Senses
Memories can often be evoked with a first sniff or taste on the tongue or picture of a certain food. When I think about memories that bring me the most comfort, I realize many involve food because memories around meals or cooking often involve family or friends and those shared moments or experiences we have had together.
5 Ideas to Boost Independent Reading
Encouraging independent reading with middle and high school students is an important goal of English teachers.
The joy, the fun of a new book, of curling up to read and get lost in a story. All parts of a language arts class start with reading. As teachers implement whole class novels, literature circles and paired passages, they also encourage independent reading.
Guided Reading Tools and Management at a Distance
Guided reading can be a real challenge in a virtual setting. We all know how crucial it is to provide differentiated instruction to our students, regardless of the environment in which we’re teaching. Many schools have faced the obstacles of remote or distance learning with their classes, and as we get more settled online, we begin to wonder what strategies and tools are available for us to provide differentiated instruction. Below are some of the common tools and strategies I’ve shared with educators this year.
Reading Aloud with Wordless Picture Books
One of the benefits of daily picture book read-alouds with #ClassroomBookADay is an increased appreciation for art as well as deepening visual literacy skills. And there might be no better way to enhance these skills than sharing and discussing a wordless picture book. Yet, when I first wanted to share a wordless picture book as a read-aloud, I wasn’t sure how best to manage it in a way that would help students really see the book and understand the depth of thinking that can be found in a wordless picture book. Along with my book recommendations, I’m sharing some of the tips I’ve discovered and things I’ve learned along the way in how best to present wordless picture books as a read-aloud.
Choice Boards: A Great Choice Anywhere Learning Is Happening
My favorite activity to do with students in the library is taking them through STEAM stations that are tied to the content they’re learning in class. When offered a choice of hands-on activities, students are engaged and find learning so much fun. Plus, it’s an amazing way for them to show what they know. As we’ve adjusted how we teach, it’s been a challenge to figure out how I can still do these great activities with students in a safe way and to make sure that students learning both in person and at home still have lots of great options that can be done with a variety of materials.
Build a Love of Reading in Distance Learning
The pandemic has forced us to change the way we live, work, function and teach. Student learning has been affected by these changes, too, because as a result of our crisis and triage approach to teaching, there has been a significant decrease in the amount of time students spend reading.
Rethinking How We Define Family
After the focus on holidays in December in the United States, and knowing that is a time often spent with family (though that may not be possible for many people this year during this global pandemic), my thoughts turn to picture books that show all types of family connections.
Avoiding a Rocky Start with Social and Emotional Learning
Whether you are teaching virtually, on-site or using a hybrid model, building a layer of social and emotional learning (SEL) into your classroom this year is crucial. SEL stitches threads of self-awareness and mindfulness into the daily interactions with your students and their caregivers. And those connections hold the most promise for a successful school year. Consider SEL as a primary goal for you and your students.