The No No Never Never Box

 Let me introduce you to the NO, NO, NEVER NEVER! box, the easiest, most ridiculous, shouldn’t-work-but-does-every-time idea in the world. It’s easy to recreate: Fill your No, No, Never Never Box with a mix of things that are notoriously bad for books (scissors, juice) and things that fit how library books are used best (a […]

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Exploring Cozy Reading Spots

  What fits your brain and body best when you want to read? Do you like laying down or sitting up? Being squished or having space? A silent area or soft music playing? Every reader is different! Last week, first graders used the Noticing Tool to observe new things in the library. At the top […]

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How We Talk About Books

How do your readers talk about books? For years, I never bothered to teach students how to talk about books. I didn’t spend class time on it, but I sure would get frustrated when readers would say things like, “It was good.” I wanted them to dig deeper and share more, and was so frustrated that […]

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Behind the Shelves: Easy Library Changes

Hi Sarah, Can you tell me more about the nonfiction floor signs you posted the other day? I received this question on Instagram last week, and I’m happy to share a closer look at some of our recent library updates! There has been a definite theme for our recent library changes: EASY. As in, what […]

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The Noticing Tool, with Henry Cole’s I Took a Walk

This week, first graders broke out the Noticing Tool for the first time! Part of our Life Tools Toolkit, the Noticing Tool challenges students to look closely and carefully at the people and world around them. Readers told me that they use it often to stop and notice how friends are feeling on the playground, […]

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In Our Library, We Care

It’s week 4, and I’m already changing everything 😉 (Do your best to hide your shock!) We started out the year with our mantra, “In our library, we care about people.” The mantra was inspired by the book Unselfie, and hung on the wall to reinforce our library’s focus on social emotional learning and integration. This […]

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Coming Soon: Sunday STEM Shenanigans!

You know by now that I love weaving literacy and computer science together to create programming and experiences that are exciting, hands-on, and engaging for kids. So when Shenanigans Toys reached out to me about offering free high-quality storytimes with a science, technology, engineering, and mathematical twist, I was so thrilled! We’ll be working together […]

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Our Reading Rights: My Big Mistake and How I’m Fixing It

Last year, inspired by Pernille Ripp’s Reading Rights idea, I decided to bring a kind of Library Bill of Rights to my middle school readers. I loved the idea of creating a set of norms and holding both my readers and myself to them throughout the year, even when the schedule got busy and things […]

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Wreck the Library!

How can fourth graders help brand new kindergarteners learn to use the library? By channeling their empathy into writing and illustration skills! We used our Perspective Tool to think like kindergarteners this week. From there, we created a brand new book inspired by Mo Willems’ Pigeon series: Don’t Let the Pigeon Wreck the Library! Just wait […]

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Middle School Playlist

Let’s talk music. 🎶 Are you a fan of completely silent reading time, or do you play background noise in your space? As a reader and a teacher, complete silence stresses me out. If one shoe squeaks like a fart in the back of the room, all is lost. In my experience, playing some soft music […]

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