Monthly Archives: April 2015

National Library Week Post #4: Eager Kindergarten Readers

Friday was the last day we celebrated National Library Week at our school.  I had just finished read a new book to our collection, This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne to Mrs. N’s Kindergarten class.  I chose this title because it’s a book about a book and I thought that was appropriate for NLW!

Creating Readers

Mrs. N’s class has been so amazing this year.  At the beginning of the school year, she had just one student who came to school already reading.  But at the end of this year, she has every single student reading and taking Accelerated Reader quizzes.  She tells me that the students want to read books all day long and take AR quizzes!  They are very excited readers now.

Kicking Back in the Library

After reading the book to the class, they began choosing their books. Mrs. N called me over and said I should take a photo of this.  I grabbed my camera and came around the corner to see these students!  It makes all the paperwork worthwhile…

Kindergarten reading!

Kindergartener reading!


Student laying on floor reading a book

Kicking back in the library!

Student reading her book

Student who can’t wait to start reading her book!

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National Library Week Post #3 Poetry Month

In our continuing celebration of National Library I worked with another 3rd grade class having them write poems.  In one of my graduate classes this spring at Florida State University (online), we wrote a “Character Poem” about a character in a children’s fiction book.

Character Poem

Using a template from an article by Bleeker (see link below), the students filled in the blanks using text and ideas from a book.  I chose picture books with a strong main character and had the group read it.  Some of the titles we used: Where the Wild Things Are, Elmer, The Monkey and the Crocodile, Harry the Dirty Dog, The Extraordinary Egg, and The Paperbag Princess.  I grouped the students in small groups of 3 or 4.

Students reading picture books for character poem activity

Students reading picture books for character poem activity


Students looking through picture book for inspiration

Students looking through picture book for inspiration

Students using Character Poem template to write poetry.

Students using Character Poem template to write poetry.

I found the template online:

Character Poem based on Max from Where the Wild Things Are

I think this character poem would be useful for classroom teachers as an alternative to more traditional types of book reports!

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National Library Week Celebration Post #2

NLW Bookmark Contest

Every year we have a bookmark contest to create great bookmarks to distribute during National Library Week.  I choose any where from 12 to 18 designs and have them run off on card stock.  When the classes visit during NLW the students receive a bookmark.

2015 ALA Theme: Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library

We ask the students to design with the American Library Association’s theme of the year in mind.  The 2015 ALA theme is “Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library.”

Student Art Work

I like providing an opportunity for students who have artistic talent to express themselves and be recognized.  There are all different types of learners and learning style and this type of activity appeals to those visual thinkers.  All of the winning designs are on display in the library media center.

Here are a few of the winning designs:

IMG_6739 v2 IMG_6740 v2 IMG_6741 v2 IMG_6742 2 IMG_6746 2


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National Library Week and National Poetry Month

I know that the official National Library Week was last week, but at our school we were giving the state assessment tests so we postpone NLW every year.  This year I decided that some of the grade levels would participate in poetry activities that relate to books.  I have wanted to do spine poetry ever since I saw Andy Plemmon’s blog posts about it last year (  I finally took the plunge!

Spine Poetry

I chose fourth grade as my guinea pigs and so far (only one class) it was very successful. I introduced the topic of poetry and asked the students what they knew about poetry.  I read two poems, one from Jeff Foxworthy’s Dirt on My Shirt and one from A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms and then explained the form of spine poetry.  I had prepared one in advance and read it to the class.

Modeling Title Selection

I took one of Andy’s suggestions and had each group work in only one picture book section (which gave them 3 shelves of books to work with).  I modeled the thought process and chose several titles and played around with it.  I limited the students to a maximum of 5 books (too much reshelving otherwise) and had them work in groups of 2 or 3.

Our First Spine Poems by Fourth Grade Students

Here are the most successful ones from our very first attempt.

Spine poem by 4th grade Students

Spine poem by 4th grade Students


Spine poem by 4th grade students


Spine poem by 4th grade students

I took video of the students reading their poems on my iPhone and iPad but of course the video plays upside down and after too many minutes of trying to figure out how to rotate it I gave up (got it rotated once, but only 45 degrees-which is more annoying than upside down).  I will rerecord the students and post later.  It’s so much better when they read the poems aloud.

More Poetry Forms to Follow!

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