Classroom Picks

Looking Back on the End of the School Year

Looking Back on the End of the School Year

One of my favorite things about working in a school is the school year cycle itself. I love the momentum and the sense of change. There’s a clear beginning (New school supplies! Bright ideas for lessons! Brand. New. Books!) and a clear end (Collecting all the books! End-of-year reports! Putting in final grades!). OK, the […]

Rereading Mysteries, Reveling in Childhood Nostalgia: Not Overrated

Rereading Mysteries, Reveling in Childhood Nostalgia: Not Overrated

When I started my “mystery mystery” project last year, I really enjoyed going through my collection and pulling mysteries to put into brown paper bags in order to entice students to read those books.  I grew nostalgic thinking of my own mystery-loving self as an elementary school kid. But as I wrapped up the books, […]

Is That a Poem in Your Pocket?

Is That a Poem in Your Pocket?

Cindy: Tomorrow, Thursday, April 27th is Poem in Your Pocket Day, and I hope you’ll celebrate. It’s the perfect chance to encourage sharing poetry; the link above lists many great ideas for classrooms and libraries. Last year, I shared a few display ideas. This year, a volunteer got creative with the big pocket I made and crafted a […]

OUT OF WONDER: Poems Celebrating Poets

OUT OF WONDER: Poems Celebrating Poets

Lynn: Regular readers know that we are seldom speechless—but that’s exactly what I was however when I finished Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (2017) by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth. My powers of speech have definitely returned, but the awe has remained. There is so much that I love about this book that […]

Encouraging Young Naturalists: THE SEARCH FOR OLINGUITO

Encouraging Young Naturalists: THE SEARCH FOR OLINGUITO

Lynn: Sometimes, the most surprising discoveries have been right under our noses for years! Being observant, curious and asking questions can lead to valuable new knowledge. This is an important lesson for young naturalists, who sometimes think all nature is known by science. Sandra Markle’s fascinating new book, The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species […]

Three Picture Books for the Birds

Three Picture Books for the Birds

Cindy: More snow. It’s for the birds, but at least it’s given me the opportunity to sneak in another snowy book as we look toward spring. Best in Snow (2017), by April Pulley Sayre, contains stunning photos of snowflakes and icicles. Various other forms of snow—from crusty to slushy—show the cycles of changing winter weather. Birds […]

When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When reading books is a vital part of your job, it’s easy to love what you do. Of course, I don’t get to read books at work (unless it’s out loud at story time), but I still consider it a perk. As someone who works in a school, I might not get to leave the building to […]

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth
By November 10, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

Here in Chicago, students and teachers are still recovering from the World Series—among other things. Although I loved watching the playoffs this year, historically, I’ve preferred to experience baseball in book form. Growing up, baseball was the family sport. Hence, I’ve read my way through literally hundreds of baseball games, from t-ball to coach pitch to high school […]

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes
By October 31, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Every year, I debate whether or not to dress up for Halloween in the library. Every school is different of course, but at the one where I currently work, most students celebrate Halloween, and dressing up is part of school culture. At a pre-K–8 school, there’s a wide difference between what each grade level does for Halloween. […]

The Important Thing about Library Orientation
By September 28, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

The Important Thing about Library Orientation

Is there any time more ripe with possibility and expectation than the beginning of a new school year? I’m brimming with ideas and excited to see students coming back. I must admit, however, that I’m less excited about library orientation: the same lesson over and over again, the listing of rules and expectations. If I […]