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Star Wars Spelling Bee

Library workers dressed up in Star Wars themed costumes

In honor of Star Wars Reads Month in October, our library held programs related to the iconic movies. We capped it all off with a Star Wars Spelling Bee at the end of the month, at 4:30 p.m. on a Thursday.

We picked specific words related to the movies and provided example sentences related to the movies to provide context. The event ended with a costume contest.

Wonder Time

Wonder Time

Wonder Time is an engaging program that encourages curiosity and self-expression. Children discover that learning is fun!

Each Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m., kids have an opportunity to “wonder” about something. The program is geared toward (but not limited to) children ages 6 to 14.

Lights, Camera, and an Idea Worth Spreading

dmignardi's picture
Student presenting his Ted-ED Club presentation

Most of us are familiar with TED Talks, a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas through short, often powerful, talks. As librarians, we can use the format of a TED Talk to engage students and teachers with research and encourage them to spread their ideas.

We chose to incorporate TED-ED into our ninth-grade programming — with excellent results. In fact, we are now hoping to spread it to eighth and fifth grades as culminating projects during those capstone years in our district.

Making Trivia Masters: Using Trivia to Turn Students into Explorers

klewallen's picture
A woman looks for a book in the stacks.

A few months ago on Programming Librarian, I talked about asking a trivia question as part of your passive programming. Now, I've taken it a step further to create a Trivia Master Challenge that encourages students to search the library’s catalog, explore our nonfiction section, and learn how to search successfully within a book.

Passive Doesn't Mean Boring: 5 Passive Program Ideas for School Libraries

klewallen's picture
Girls making bookmarks

Passive programs can be a great way to regularly attract students into the library without having planned, specific events. Pick a corner of the library that can be designated for these drop-by activities, set out the supplies and some instructions, and let it go! Here are a few of my go-to passive programs.

Group of girls making bookmarks

Resources to Support OER Programming in Your Library

dmignardi's picture
students looking at computer

Last month, we talked about utilizing open educational resources (OER) in your school library programming, and we offered some simple suggestions for how to get started.

This month, we’re going to look at some resources you can utilize to find great openly licensed materials. We'll also share some programming ideas you can infuse with those resources. But first, we'll start by sharing our favorite OER resources.

Open Educational Resources in the Library

dmignardi's picture
Writing on paper between two laptops

Open educational resources (OER) are defined by OER Commons as “teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”

See What I'm Saying

Three children sitting down and looking at books

See What I’m Saying was a children’s program that promoted reading, writing and public speaking skills in students in kindergarten through grade 5.

The program took place on Saturday mornings over a nine-week period at our county’s Civic Center (since the library doesn’t allow food). At each session, kids were invited select a book, read the book, write a brief report about it, and share their report out loud to a group.

The Truth Is Out There: Fact-Checking Resources for Students

dmignardi's picture
Person holding magnifying glass and taking notes in a book

Do you ever feel like you have slipped into an episode of "The Twilight Zone" or "The X-Files" when you see some of the “facts” your students share? Do you wonder where they found these “facts,” or how to convince students that they might not be using the most reliable of resources?

LibraryGame

One finished game made by a student.

The Librarygame project teaches fifth graders the concepts of storytelling, technology and project management through the creation of video games. The program is a collaboration between Sacramento Public Library and local Title I schools, many of which lack the funds to hold this type of program without a partner.

Kindergarten and Media Literacy: Using PBS' 'Arthur' to Start the Conversation

dmignardi's picture
Kids watching a show on an iPad

Information literacy skills are a cornerstone to school library instruction. Teacher librarians have taught them for years. Why revisit them now? Before we get into how to use "Arthur" to teach media literacy, we thought it might be nice to give you a little background on why our passion for information literacy programming in school libraries was re-energized and renewed.

Five Alternatives to Book Talks

klewallen's picture
Kids participating in book speed dating

A great book talk can make anyone want to read any book, but sometimes you need an alternative. If you haven’t read your new books yet, you only have a couple copies of a book to lend, or — like me — you’re just not very comfortable with giving book talks, here are a few programs you can do with your classes to build excitement about reading.

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