Library Links

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


Halloween book displays and respectful representation.

Trick or Treat!

As October 31st draws near, the conversation often turns to the question of appropriate costumes, which includes issues of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation. This is especially true of “Aboriginal costumes.”

As you select books for your Halloween display, you might want to consider if those books have respectful images of Indigenous people.

Typically, these costumes take elements from various Nations (i.e. Native designs or symbols, head dresses, medicine bags, etc.) and weave them together in a mishmash meant to be “Indian.” However, regalia has specific and often spiritual significance. Wearing it in a haphazard or inappropriate way trivializes its meaning. In addition, because Indigenous culture has a history of being eroded and repressed in mainstream society, treating identity as a “costume” is simply another form of that erosion. Just as wearing a grab-bag of liturgical vestments from a variety of religions would be seen as bad taste, so too is wearing an “Aboriginal” costume.

--  Food for thought as we get ready for the Trick-or-treaters.



National School Library Day Colloquium

See the info below for information on this event.
(Click on the image for an enlargement)


Core Compentencies in Children's Lit

Books to Support Core Competency Work

​Thanks to Joan Pearce and Carol Walters from SD71 / Comox Valley for generating this of titles that line up nicely with the core competencies.



Choice Chapter Book Read-Alouds for a New School Year

​Read to them - they'll love these titles​

​School Library Journal offers some compelling read-aloud novels to begin the school year. You'll find short annotations and grade level recommendations for each of these titles.


The Reading Rules We Would Never Follow as Adult Readers

et us choose the books we want to read

Great blog post on choice in reading:
The number one thing all the students I have polled through the years want the most when it comes to reading.  No matter how I phrase the question, this answer in all of its versions is always at the top.  Sometimes pleading, sometimes demanding, sometimes just stated as a matter of fact; please let us choose the books we want to read.



The 7 Elements of Art - ebook

​Get ​
creative in your classroom

 KQED Art School's e-book offers opportunities to get creative in your classroom and help students build digital art and media portfolios
​. This site is good for art teachers or senior art students wanting some pointers. 


YA titles for fans of "Peculiar Children"

​Printable PDF poster​

​Promote associated titles with this poster. You could even make your own!



Natural History and more with Google Arts & Culture

For the Culturally Curious

"Discover artworks, collections and stories from all around the world in a new way. Explore cultural treasures in extraordinary detail and easily share with your friends."



Mathigon Course Library

"mathematics is not a spectators sport"


Step by step lessons for high school and college topics:

​"​Mathematics is an essential part of our culture, just like Mozart and Shakespeare – it enables science and innovation, and describe​s​ profound truths about our universe.

Yet, the real power of mathematics is not what you lean, but how you learn: logical thinking, problem solving, reasoning and proof. It is often said that "mathematics is not a spectators sport" – you have t​o ​actively do mathematics to really understand what it is about.



Changing the Conversation About Librarians

Future Ready Teacher Librarians

Mark Ray is changing the conversation from "shh..." to "How can I help your with technology?" Mark has helped to overhaul libraries in Vancouver Public Schools in Washington state.

Mark Ray is Chief Digital Officer for Vancouver (Washington) Public Schools. Named a National School Boards Association "20 to Watch" in 2015, he has helped develop and lead 1:1 device programs, professional development, digital learning and redefining teacher librarian practices. For 20 years, we was a teacher librarian and instructional technology facilitator and was the 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year.

​See also Joyce Valenza's blogpost


TFO Vidéos dans l’App Store

​Some good videos for the FSL/FI classroom​

​TFO is offering an app that will allow selected content to be accessed by teachers and students. There is a great range of material available for students from K-12. (Not all TFO content is accessible via the app, but it is worth taking a look.)



Audiobooks: Is listening as good as reading?

Do you need the text in front of you?

Text or audio? This article explores some of the issues...
"In a 2012 New Yorker essay, author and journalist John Colapinto added to the debate, noting that the oral tradition may have developed along with human language. Humanity's long history of storytelling -- which predates written language by tens of thousands of years -- supports the argument that our brains originally adapted to absorb long, complex fictions not by eye, but by ear, he said. [...] University of Virginia psychology professor Dan Willingham said research that breaks down how people learn to process written language suggests that once people master reading, their comprehension is the same, whether they are absorbing printed or narrated texts. "




Support design based learning

"learnXdesign was founded by a consortium of science centers led by the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) to create and share resources to support design based learning in out of school settings. learnXdesign offers design based learning resources for the broader informal learning community, particularly the after-school community, and creates strategies for sustaining these programs that may be applicable to multiple settings, ranging from libraries to youth clubs."



6 Ways to Use Book Creator in Science Classrooms

Labs, adventures, scrapbooks and more.

Monica Burns is a fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom. In this column, she shares some ideas for using Book Creator in  science. She is a "Book Creator Ambassador" and travels to schools to lead workshops on technology integration across the content areas.

Visit her website at for creative education technology tips and technology lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards.



Best Books for Kids - Lots of Booklists

Stories that are bound to spark kids' imagination

"Sure, your kids love Harry Potter and Twilight -- but what else will keep young bookworms reading? Whether you're on the hunt for classic kids' books or best sellers, our "best books" lists are full of stories that are bound to spark kids' imagination and keep the pages turning."
Preschoolers (2-4)
Little Kids (5-7)
Big Kids (8-9)
Tweens (10-12)
Teens (13+)


​Digital Literacy Framework: Now Complete, from K to 12

Give students the skills they need for the digital age

"MediaSmarts is pleased to announce the final installment of Use, Understand & Create: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools. Since launching the K-8 component of the framework in 2015, we have now completed the final section for grades 9-12. Teachers across the country can use this cross-curricular resource, in both official languages, to give students  the skills they need for the digital age. The framework is directly informed by extensive, Canadian research.

"The framework includes over 50 lessons and interactive games, organized by grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 12, that are aligned with seven aspects of digital literacy:

    Finding and Verifying
    Ethics and Empathy
    Privacy and Security
    Digital Health
    Consumer Awareness
    Community Engagement
    Making and Remixing

"The seventh aspect, Making and Remixing, is new to the grade 9-12 component, and  encourages students across Canada to move from being media consumers to media producers, by creating and remixing their own work.


Min of Ed publishes changes to graduation requirements.

What This Means for Students

Students entering Grade 10 in the 2017/18 school year will be the first group where the new requirements apply entirely. Changes in curriculum, assessments and graduation requirements are being phased-in over the next few years.
The number of credits required to graduate remains the same.
New curriculum and provincial assessments are the key differences between the previous (2004) Graduation Program and the new 2017 Graduation Program. 
Curriculum being implemented with the 2017 Graduation Program has been redesigned. The new curriculum will help teachers create learning environments that are both engaging and personalized for students.


Comics in the Classroom

dd some 
 to your classroom

In recent years, graphic novels have expanded beyond superhero storylines, and offer many teaching opportunities for educators who want to take advantage of their broad appeal and themes. Read
​[the article]
, and watch the videos, to find out how to add some bam! to your classroom.



Entice your teen readers

"Stay away" from the books!!

Here's a great promotional idea from Amanda Arneill using Canva:

"I was fiddling around with some "warning signs" for books and then I was inspired to come up with a whole bunch that we could use to make a window display or put up around areas of our libraries. I have attached the four that I made for my small display and I would love it if you could send me the warnings that you would want to put up to entice teen readers to "stay away" from the books. I will put all of these into a warning sign series and send them out to everyone for you to use if you would like."  (see gdrive link above for some more samples)



Five Reflective End-of-Year Activities

How to wrap up the school year

Lily Jones: "The last days of the school year are ticking by. As more and more milestones get crossed off your list, you may be left wondering how to wrap up the school year. Last year I wrote about how teachers can reflect on their "shining moments" at the end of the school year. This year I've asked several teachers to share their favorite end-of-year activities in hopes that you'll find one that feels just right to use in your classroom."


Wonderful Wordless Picture Books

French or English? It doesn't matter
Link to titles

Here  is a list of some of the books Richmond has been using to support diverse learners. While the list was originally compiled for ELL learners (thank you Diane T), they are also a great fit for FI classrooms. The wordless nature of these books means that teachers can engage students at a range of language levels, from K up to 12.


"Book Page" Flowers

Text inspired Art

Use old books that are about to be discarded to bring some "Spring" to your library displays, or even add them to a book-themed gift basket for the bibliophile you know.


Canada's History - Aboriginal History

Intriguing and informative books on FNMI peoples and issues

A selection of  titles, many of which have been reviewed in Canada's History magazine.
"Among the Culture and Society titles, you'll find books on art and literature, the histories of particular peoples, and the challenges faced by Native peoples and cultures across the continent. Biographies tell of well-known historical figures such as Big Bear and Louis Riel, but also the stories of key personalities such as Frank Calder and the unique lives of people such as Marie Rose Delorme Smith. Other books examine how First Peoples have been impacted by and, sometimes, have in turn helped to shape political decisions, legal processes, and the education system."


Coding: Resources To Get You Started

Introduce the fundamentals of computational thinking

"Resources for learning about coding and how to teach it are plentiful, including a number that can be found the Internet. For a sampling of recently published books that teach the basics for K–Grade 12, see the recommended list of titles below. Some of the titles introduce the fundamentals of computational thinking that students will need to possess in order to code efficiently, while others teach a specific programming language."

(Read article for more info)


May 2016 Infotopia Newsletter

Links to explore

The Infotopia/Kidtopia May 2016 newsletter is now online as a PDF.  This month's articles include creative story writing programs for students; vocabulary practice for the SAT or ACT, as well as your own vocabulary words; links to May events;  free certificate and award maker programs; and arithmetic skill practice for grades K-4.

All newsletters:



More Thrifty School Library Design Tips

Great ideas to spruce up your space.

Considering a library remodel? Check out these creative, low-cost ideas from fellow librarians, some shared on Jennifer LaGarde and Mark Samberg‘s  #macgyverlibrarianship Twitter initiative. Learn more about the MacGyver Librarian Movement —and get crafty! 



New French titles from Strong Nations

The "From the Mountains to the Sea" series has been translated into French and will be available on May 11th 2016
These books have been written specifically to respond to the new B.C. Curriculum and cover most of the Aboriginal learning outcomes for both Science and Social Studies in their respective grade. (Each book is 10" X 14" -  and is bundled with supplementary resources.)
The order forms can be found on the website or by clicking here (FrenchEnglish)



Literature is back!

Using the Best Books for Teaching Readers and Writers Across Genres
"Organized by genre (picture books, traditional literature, modern fantasy, historical fiction, realistic fiction, poetry, and nonfiction), this book places quality children's literature at the heart of literacy teaching. The authors define each genre and its values for use with students; identify exemplary texts; and provide practical, engaging research-based lessons that teach specific literacy strategies and skills to both primary and intermediate grade students."

Check out their book Literature Is Back!

Listen to the authors, Carol Fuhler and Maria Walther, discuss the importance of using quality literature in the classroom in the following video clips.


Zine Making 101

Transform your classroom into a genuine publishing house

"If you're looking to liven up your students' writing, introduce them to zines and, in the process, transform your classroom into a genuine publishing house. It is very easy to publish zines in the classroom because, in their most basic form, they require only paper, scissors, and a photocopier. Since these materials are readily available in most schools, you may already have everything you need to start making zines today."



KéZaKo et Physique à main levée- vidéos sciences en ligne

Les réponses à vos questions de sciences
Deux séries qui tentent de répondre aux questions de science que tout le monde se pose. La série "Physique à main levée" est un recueil de plus de 300 expériences commentées et validées pour l'enseignement, les loisirs et l'amusement.  



Recognizing An Historic Injustice 1914-1920

Canada's First World War Internment Operation
"The objective of this publication is to raise critical awareness among secondary school students about the largely unknown story of Canada's first national internment operations between 1914 and 1920. During this period the federal government interned thousands people, ...  most [of whom] were civilians. While it is impossible to teach all stories and events in our nation's history, the omission until very recently of this incident, has left a gap in our understanding of Canada's history."

More resources are available at:

Bringing Metis Literature to Life

Métis history and culture
"The Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) has produced over 130 educational resources which preserve and promote Métis history and culture while supporting the work of Métis Elders, authors, historians, poets, performing artists, visual artists, cultural experts, and educators. These print, audio-visual, and multi-media resources contribute to the ongoing legacy of our rich heritage, vibrant traditions, and contemporary cultural expressions."


Using Aboriginal Poetry

Aboriginal Poetry Lesson - Gr7 (Ontario)
Students examine a poem written by an Aboriginal poet and prepare and deliver an oral presentation of the poem.

Some FNMI poets - list taken from
Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology
Some poems are accessible via this GoogleBook. Even though there are pages "missing", you can view a poem or two from each of the poets listed below.

Chief Dan George,  Rita Joe,  Peter Blue Cloud Arionwenrate,  Duke Redbird,  Beth Brant,  Marie Annharte Baker , Sarain Stump,  Wayne Keon,  Gordon Williams,  Jeannette C Armstrong,  Beth Cuthand,  Lenore KeeshigTobias,  Emma LaRocque,  Rasunah Marsden, Skyros Bruce Mahara Allbrett,  Lee Maracle , George Kenny,  Duncan Mercredi,  Daniel David Moses,  Joan Crate,  Louise Halfe,  Marilyn Dumont,  Armand Garnet Ruffo,  Joanne Arnott,  Connie Fife,  Joseph Dandurand,  Kateri AkiwenzieDamm,  Gregory Scofield,  Randy Lundy

The Elder project
Poems by Aboriginal students from School District #22, Vernon and "nkmaplqs i snmamayatn kl sqilxwtet" Cultural Immersion School, Okanagan Indian Band

From FNESC - Poetry Unit for Grade 12
(More to give your teachers some ideas)
This unit is meant to entice students into the experiences and experimentations of First Peoples poets, to discover the impulse of their own creative powers, and to have students compose their own poetry.

Aboriginal Literatures in Canada - A Teacher's Resource Guide

Tea and Bannock Stories
Tea and Bannock Stories is a grass-roots, multi-generational, multi-national gathering of poets and artists. A compilation of poems and images presented in a community event on Mother Earth Day, April 21, 2007.


The Teacher’s Toolkit - Aboriginal perspectives - Ontario

Bring Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom
"The Teacher's Toolkit is a new collection of electronic resources from the Ministry of Education to help elementary and secondary teachers bring Aboriginal perspectives into their classrooms. These resources were developed by educators from across Ontario who have expertise in bringing Aboriginal themes and perspectives into the classroom to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students."

En français:


Expressions: Canadian Aboriginal Artists.

An overview of the breadth and range of Aboriginal art
"The Canada Council for the Arts is pleased to present Expressions: Canadian Aboriginal Artists. This publication aims to honour the work of First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists in each region of the country. The success of these artists speaks to their creativity, innovation and strength as Aboriginal peoples: authors, musicians, filmmakers, dancers, actors and visual artists."



How to link to a YouTube video in full screen mode.

Get the "big screen" experience
Don't you hate the busy screen you see when you show a clip to your class? Wouldn't it be great to be able to get a link to just the video itself?  

There are two ways to do this.
1) Copy the URL of the video from your browser address bar, and replace watch?v=  with v/ . This will force the video to load in full browser page mode.
or 2) find the Youtube video you want to share, click on the "embed" tab to see the html code, copy the link from the https up to the ?rel= . (see below)
In both cases, the resulting link will load the video, completely filling your browser window without related videos or other distractions.Try it with a clip you want to share!


AMS Math Blog

Want to read more about math?
        This blog from the American Mathematical Society (AMS) exudes a love of math. Readers can view the archives by month, (back to April 2013), or browse by category: ie. Applied Math, Biomath, K-12 Math, History of Mathematics, and much more. (Entries often point to many interesting mathematical resources online.)


Scholastic Teacher Magazine website

Educational material for your class.
The Scholastic's  "Teacher" magazine for K-8 educators has a great website that offers many of the features of the print magazine. Readers can browse the site for teaching ideas, inspiring stories, and classroom motivation. There are also links to many other Resources & Tools such as lesson plans, videos, tools, etc. (Check out the archive as well.)



AASL Toolkits for TLs

AASL Toolkits
These toolkits are downloadable PDFs with links to documents,  strategies, practical tips and tools, posters, key messages, inspirational stories, and much more to help school librarians promote their programs and advocate for their work.

Educate future principals and teachers about the significant role that quality library programs can play in student learning.  

Learn how TLs transform teaching and learning through their library programs. 

Build or update plans for stakeholder support and true advocacy.

Implement AASL's learning standards (Standards for the 21st Century Learner) and program guidelines (Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs). 

Designed to assist the school librarian who has encountered an immediate threat to their position and/or program.  

Help school librarians build parent support for their programs.

Resources to support the school librarian's role in reading.


Inuit Culture, Living History - NFB/blog

The Unikkausivut collection and educator's guide
"The Unikkausivut collection and educator's guide (PDF) are intended not only to help non-Inuit students visualize themes of change and continuity in the Canadian Arctic, but also to help those who live in the North better understand the diversity in Inuit practices and narratives.

"This educational guide has been designed to introduce instructors to background information about Inuit life, both past and present. (It is available in English and in French. )


Get your reluctant readers engaged with fiction

"Sidestreets" Resource guide PDF
Are you looking for new ways to get your reluctant readers engaged with fiction? The "Sidestreets" Resource PDF guide offers a number of ways to engage with text. These work especially well with the many shorter hi-low titles that are on the market at the moment.

Take a look at this sample (#19):
"Try this activity to get students working with a form of writing many of them encounter every day — script-writing! Have students choose a scene from the novel and write it as a script for a movie, TV show or documentary. Encourage them to think about how some of their favourite books have been made into movies, like The Fault in Our Stars or the Hunger Games series."


Pairing Fiction and Nonfiction

For the Love of Reading
NoveList's "SchoolKidLit" blog is encouraging TLs to matchup FIC and Nonfic. Extending reading from one to the other is a great way to broaden students' reading experience. Create your own "pairing poster" using Canva, Word or PPT.

"A big part of what we do as librarians is foster a love of reading. This means, in part, finding the right book for each individual reader. While we know that there are students who want to read nonfiction, all too often these students are pointed to fiction selections for classroom units. By aligning fiction and nonfiction reading choices, you can help students (and teachers) find books that meet subject  requirements and engage both fiction and nonfiction readers."

Also - in NoveList (EBSCO) try this search:
"NF Fiction-Nonfiction AND ND Picture Book Extenders"
for great read-alouds and classroom activities.