Words Matter: 2017 Picture Book 10 for 10

Does it feel sometimes like we live in a world where words are shared without much thought to their consequence? Educators have the opportunity to teach students just how powerful their words can be. Now more than ever we want our children to know that words matter. Words can build up or tear down, and […]

Read More

The Summer of The Slow Season

I need to confess something: I have barely picked up a book all summer long. Instead I have filled my days with friends, sipping cool drinks and brushing mosquitos away as the smoke from the grill tumbles skyward behind me. I have flown across oceans, hiking up mountains to discover waves thrashing the bases of […]

Read More

Learn to Learn Computer Science Institute

Learning to learn. It’s a strange concept, isn’t it? It’s easy to think that learning is something we just do – no effort required. After all, babies are learning every second their eyes are open, learning to echo facial expressions or sounds before they even realize it. Three year olds learn about the world around them so […]

Read More

Digital Literacy and Fake News with Library 2.0

I’m excited to have collaborated with Kim Wilkens to present Foiling Fake News wth Fourth Graders at the Library 2.017 Worldwide Virtual Conference. The theme for the conference was Digital Literacy and Fake News, so our three-week unit with St. Anne’s-Belfield School fourth graders busting fake news online was be a perfect fit. We spoke with […]

Read More

The “Childhood Book”

The other day, a sixth grader approached me when I was standing at the circulation desk. “Have you read Mountain Dog?” He asked. Students approach me about books like this all the time. It’s my favorite part of the day. Sometimes it’s to talk about how much they loved a book – sometimes it’s to […]

Read More

Resources for Talking to your Child about Immigration and Refugees

  When I first started working with kids, I was under the naive assumption that parents and teachers had complete power over the opinions of the children that they work with. “My students will always be kind and patient and tolerant,” I thought, “because that is what I will teach them.” Cute, right? Enter: Reality. Children […]

Read More

Learning Village Library featured in School Library Journal

Over on School Library Journal today, STAB Computer Science Coordinator Kim Wilkens and I are talking about Foiling Fake News, a unit we developed for fourth graders to help them to put their digital literacy and computer science skills to the test. We had a blast while helping our fourth graders to sharpen their critical thinking […]

Read More

Resources for Talking to Your Child about 13 Reasons Why

Note: This post is intended to be a resource for parents, educators, and students, instead of a personal reflection. If you would like to hear my personal feelings about 13 Reasons Why or engage in a discussion about difficult topics in young adult literature, I invite you to contact me privately via email at fitzbetweentheshelves@gmail.com.  When […]

Read More

Visiting Author: Liz Starin

Liz Starin is both an author and an illustrator, and St. Anne’s-Belfield School students have had so much fun learning about her and sharing her work during an author visit thanks to the Virginia Festival of the Book. Students loved all of Liz’s books – but Splashdance, which Liz both wrote and illustrated, was so beloved […]

Read More