Library Links

"Content that might be of interest to Teacher-Librarians..."


Kindergarten Teaching Strategies: Classroom Management During Centers

Structures and instructions to make centers successful

(14 min)
Questions to Consider
  • How does kindergarten teacher Ryan Berger use lights and a song to transition between centers?
  • Notice how Mr. Berger repeats instructions prior to the transition
  • How is content addressed during transitions to make the most use of time?

Should I teach problem-, project-, or inquiry-based learning?

How will you know which one to do in your classroom?

"Lately, there have been a bunch of buzzwords floating around the education world that all seem to mean the same thing. You've probably heard them: problem-based learning, project-based learning and inquiry-based learning. Is there a difference? How will you know which one to do in your classroom?

All of these methods place an emphasis on teaching process, not just content. They require students to make discoveries for authentic audiences and purposes.

Here's a cheat sheet to understanding the subtle differences and deciding which one is right for you.


4th Grade: Poetry - iTunes U

A journey into the wondrous world of poetry

4th Grade Poetry.  by Boyne City Public Schools
This "course" contains PDFs, audio and video clips and links to iPad apps used to cover the material presented. To get full functionality you will need access to an iPad and the iTunesU app. (You can subscribe to this iTunesU course and receive updates as they are added.)

"Let's take a journey together into the wondrous world of poetry. Through apps, books, podcasts, and videos we will learn about great poets and how to write poetry. After we immerse ourselves in award-winning literature, we will become published authors with our own book of poetry."


Sesame Street Channel on Youtube

New and classic Sesame Street video clips

Looking for some good educational clips?

Welcome to Sesame Street's home on YouTube, where you can find the best new and classic Sesame Street video clips! Come watch Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and the rest of the fuzzy and feathered friends you remember from childhood.



iPad "pop up" fairytales

"3D" childrens' stories on the iPad

I was recently reminded of this app series by StoryToys. I've seen these books in action, and know how engaging they are for the younger set. Even 2 year olds have fun with the drag and drop activities and the intervening text pages give parents a chance to read the story with their kids.

Here are the features mentioned on the website:

  • Illustrated pages, with beautiful, colorful imagery
  • Interactive "3D pop-up" scenes with simple tasks and games
  • Narrated in multiple languages
  • Read to Me, Read it Myself, and Autoplay modes
  • Musical scores and humorous sound effects


Ready for the Arts Challenge?

Aboriginal Arts Challenge

"Are you an Aboriginal Canadian between the ages of 14-29? Showcase your talent and creativity, and have your work reviewed by the foremost Aboriginal artists! You could win cash prizes and even have your work exhibited in a gallery!

"Don't forget, the deadline for the Challenge is March 31, 2013.
Want to know more? Check out our Guidelines page.


Are Books Your Brand? LJ archived Webinar

How Libraries Can Stay Relevant to Readers.
(Available until May 15, 2013)
Note: the "media player" icon advances, replays or pauses the presentation - this is the blue "movie camera" icon at the bottom of the screen.

While intended for public librarians, there are some interesting points for school teacher-librarians

"The core mission of libraries – providing books for readers – is as relevant today as it was years ago. Formats might change, and library patrons might only visit the library virtually, but the library is still the place where readers go to find books.  Libraries should embrace this role in their communities – and become "Centers for Readers." But how?"

 Also discussed:
  • Shifts in how people are using the library
  • Examples of successful library programs and services for readers
  • Strategies and tools for engaging communities of readers

Community of Expertise in Educational Technology Webinars

Resources & skills for using technology in the classroom

The Community of Expertise in Educational Technology (CEET) offers more than 12 free and open online professional learning workshops (CEET Meets) this 2012/2013 school year using the LearnNowBC Moodle LMS platform.

These "Professional Learning Potlucks" focus on the resources and skills needed to use a variety of technologies in the classroom and online.
You can access ANY archived CEET Meet, even if you didn't register or participate. Login to LearnNowBC. (Account is free if you're a BC teacher) Simply register for ANY future CEET Meet and you'll have access to all of the archived ones as well.


25 mini-adventures in the library

Things to do at the library!

Got an hour to spend? Mamascout's blog has a super list of activities to do in a public library on a random weekend or summer afternoon. She has really embraced the idea of making the public library "her kid's" public library. Many of her ideas could be adapted for a class in a school library. Take a look. [Download the printable list here.]

"We spend many afternoons at our neighborhood library. At one point our time switched from going to find particular books, to just hanging out... for hours: reading, exploring, asking questions, sharing, talking...."

"I wanted to share a quick list of fun things you can do at the library other than just check out books. Any of these ideas would be a great boredom buster. Just tell your kid you have an adventure in mind and embrace the mission with verve. You will have a great time!"


Home Read-aloud poster

"Mom and Dad, why read-aloud? Here's why."

Usborne has created this punchy promotion poster for encouraging home reading and read-alouds for all ages.


ABCs of library - feeling creative?

Homemade Posters - "A is for Author"

Pamela Thompson has created an "ABCs of library" poster for her space. This could be a fun activity that kids could help with. You could even ask them to create their own version. Here are some links to get the juices flowing. (See below for Pamela's list.)

The ABCs of the Library
Authors, Books, Chill--axing!, Dystopias , Eye candy, Fiction, Graphic novels, Horror, Internet, Just right, Knowledge, Limitless, Magazines, Non-fiction, Open-for-lunch, People-place, Quite-friendly, Research, Sci-fi, Travel, Utterly-amazing, Vampires, ghosts, witches-oh-my!, Werewolves, X-citing-new-books!, Young-adult-novels , Zombies!

Alternatively, you could create "Dewey" posters.


IPad Tips & Tutorials | iPad Academy

Improve your iPad knowledge and skills.

Dr. Andrew J. Brovey, (Ed.D) an ADE educator, has put together this resource, filled with tutorials, tips, training and how-to articles on the iPad.

"You'll discover productive apps, practical applications and useful accessories. iPad Academy is for anyone who wants to improve their iPad knowledge and skills. As you learn, I hope you'll also find ways to share that knowledge and skill with others."


iPad Apps for Science

Unleash your inner Igor

Gabe Kraljevic from Manitoba Ed has put together this great iOS Apps Sampler for Science Education. Many are free and make a nice addition to a lesson either for introducing, researching or just general interest exploring.


Teacher-Librarians and Curriculum Redesign

The BC Ministry of Education is working on a redesign of curriculum in in the province. Much of the new language touches on areas that are "near and dear" to teacher-librarians. I've quoted below an excerpt that I think is particularly relevant.

Take a look at the links below for a quick overview of what has been discussed so far, and what is still to come. (The overview for parents is a quick read that gives the main points. The second doc focusses on what needs to be done in various subject areas.) Be a part of the conversation!

"Educators say the current curriculum has too many objectives to cover and with so many objectives it can in some ways restrict student learning. Moreover, its highly prescriptive nature puts it at odds with the vision of a more personalized learning experience set out in BC's Education Plan."  

"Similarly, it tends to focus on teaching children factual content rather than concepts and processes – emphasizing what they learn over how they learn, which is exactly the opposite of what modern education should strive to do. In today's technology-enabled world, students have virtually instant access to a limitless amount of information. The greater value of education for every student is not in learning the information but in learning the skills they need to successfully find, consume, think about and apply it in their lives."

Exploring Curriculum Design - Overview for parents

Exploring Curriculum Design - Transforming Curriculum and Assessment



Transitions to Digital Media - New roles for libraries

The school librarian is "a digital age lynchpin"

From "District Adminstration" magazine:

"Enlightened administrators realize that school librarians still play a pivotal role for students, guiding them through search processes and helping them find appropriate, reliable, vetted resources in print and digital format for research and other classroom projects."

Marcie Post, executive director of the International Reading Association (IRA), adds that the school librarian is "a digital age lynchpin," more important than ever to maintaining the integrity of information so integral to teaching and learning. Searching, researching, and accessing critical perspectives in all subject areas, as well as coaching and guiding students, is increasingly necessary, she adds.


The Nature of Learning - Practitioner Guide - OECD

Using Research to Inspire Practice: The Nature of Learning

"What do we know about how people learn? How do young people's motivations and emotions influence their learning? What does research show to be the benefits of group work, formative assessments, technology applications, or project-based learning and when are they most effective?  How is learning affected by family background? "

These are among the questions addressed for the OECD by leading researchers from North America and Europe. This PDF booklet summarises the findings as seven key principles.  

See also: "Networks of Inquiry and Innovation"


A New Literacy: Making Connections in Electronic Environments

Is electronic media changing writing?

"This introduction video is an overview of a discussion about communication through electronic media. It explores and discusses internet communication, text messaging, social networks, and other electronic media: some of their uses, some myths created around them, and some ideas about how they can be used. "

Animation by Michael McCarthy
Script and Narration by Frank Romanelli


Music Education Advocacy Articles

A collection of Music Ed support resources

A collection of articles and references that support the value of music education in schools, and in everyday life. You'll also find a youtube playlist of videos that support Music Ed in all its diversity. Encouraging and empowering.


Google Drive Tips For Teachers

Try these Google Drive Timesavers

Richard Byrne blogs about technology in the classroom. One of his recent posts highlights some handy tips when using Google Drive - editing docs without converting, creating PDFs and organizing your files.



Poetry and short story resources - EBSCO and more

Using EBSCO to support poetry and writing

Here are some magazines in EBSCO that offer poetry and short fiction (among other things). I've also pasted some additional URLs for other poetry sites.

Humpty Dumpty Magazine (Fiction, feature articles, poetry, etc.  aimed at younger elementary school children.)

Ladybug (Stories, poems, songs, etc. for children ages two to six; plus a parent's guide.)

Hopscotch (poetry, fiction, short articles aimed at girls)

Creative Kids (Articles, fiction, activities, poetry, & opinions for kids by kids ages 8-14.)

Spider (Short stories, poems, activities & games for children between the ages of 6 and 9)

Cicada (Teen Interest Poetry and fiction)

Poetry Magazine (more for adults)

Plays - "The Drama Magazine for Young People"

Web resources:


Young Poets


Creative Writing Teacher Resources

UK Poetry magazine archive