A couple of years ago, I came across Mrs. ReaderPants' reading incentive idea: book bingo. I really liked her templates and easy to follow directions. I shared the idea with two Special Education teachers in my building that teach students with intellectual disabilities in a program called PALS (People Achieving Life Skills). The teachers really liked the idea because it encourages students to pick different types of books and provides a purpose for each visit.
This is our third year doing the book bingo program with our PALS students. Students in the two PALS classes come in each Friday with bingo cards in hand. We create stations in the library with books for each category and signs with clip art that matches the clip art on their bingo cards. Students select a book from a station to match the category on their bingo card. Students check out and we take down the stations, so we can do it again the following week. Fridays are my favorite day of the week and it's not because it's the end of the week. Our PALS program is awesome.
Each quarter we have an exciting reading celebration for our PALS students. Both classes come in for a story, spin the library wheel and win prizes for completing their book bingo card. It's a party for real. At the end of the celebration, students get a new bingo card with new categories. And the library fun begins anew.
This next idea came from a casual conversation my Special Education teacher had at a conference last year. She learned from a fellow Special Education teacher in another district about using Youtube to live stream assemblies and pep rallies into the classroom for students that are uncomfortable with the loud noises and large crowds. I followed these instructions to get started. Our school has a verified Youtube account which is the first step.
Last school year, we streamed a pep rally with a chromebook with a built in webcam and microphone. Unfortunately, the audio did not work that time, but we could at least watch the pep rally. I'm not sure what I did wrong that time. This school year we persevered and streamed our Veterans Day assembly using a different chromebook. It worked great! The event was streamed live and privately into the classroom.
Super thankful to work with the teachers in my school! I love being a part of a team that finds ways to make our library and school accessible to all of our students.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Sunday, October 11, 2015
I am a fan of Jennifer E. Smith's books. She writes young adult realistic fiction with romance, comedy and friendship.
I just finished reading What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott. It's a suspenseful thriller that will have you guessing until the very end. You will also probably rethink that next camping trip after reading this book.
I also read The Time Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antionette by Bianca Turetsky and illustrations by Sandra Suy. I enjoyed this fantasy, historical fiction novel. The combination of fashion and time travel through history made this story fun for me to read.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Candlewick Press, 2015, 387 pages
Reading this book took me back to middle school when I first discovered Jo March from Little Women and Anne of Anne of Green Gables.
In The Hired Girl, fourteen year old Joan Skraggs is an avid reader whose father does not value education or girls that like to read. Instead, Mr. Skraggs pulls Joan out of school to work full time as a housekeeper, maid, cook and chicken coop cleaner on the family farm. As a farewell gift, Joan's teacher Mrs. Chandler gives Joan a diary as a gift and encourages Joan to write. Joan's diary is what we read as we follow Joan's journey from the farm in Pennsylvania to her job earning six dollars a week as the hired girl cooking and cleaning for a family in Baltimore.
Joan is smart, funny, innocent and a total romantic. With each diary entry, I wanted to know what happened next. What mishap, tragedy or comedic event would Joan be involved in that would have me laughing or cringing. Highly recommend this title.
Monday, October 5, 2015
It's Monday and I've been reading Laura Amy Schlitz's book The Hired Girl.
I am currently listening to Cherie Priest's book I Am Princess X via Hoopla available through our local public library system.
I recently finished reading Sisters by Raina Telgemeier and listening to A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen.
I am a fan of Raina Telgemeier's books. Sisters is a funny story of how two very different sisters, Raina and Amara, love and support each other in the only way sisters can. I have a big sister and I could relate to this book. We drove each other nuts as kids but no one knows us better than each other. (Graphic novel & Nonfiction) This book is really popular in our school library, including Telgemeier's other titles, Smile and Drama.
We recently held a Scholastic Book Fair at our school. Students loved the book trailer for A Night Divided and many purchased it. Twelve year old Gerta's family is separated overnight by the rise of the Berlin Wall. Gerta's father and middle brother are stuck in West Berlin unable to return to her, her mother and older brother. As Gerta and her family try to survive in East Berlin under the watchful eye of soldiers with guns, she keeps watch for her father at the Wall. One day she actually does see her father standing on a platform on the western side of the Wall. And then she receives a mysterious drawing. Is her father trying to give her a message? Will she figure it out? Will this be the key to reuniting her family? (Historical fiction & mystery)