Reading Passports: Where Can Reading Take You?
We all know that students need to read EVERY. DAY. But, I am sure that all of you have seen THOSE kids. You know the ones. The ones that drive you crazy. They are simply pretending to read OR picking up a different book each and every day. Seriously! Every. Day. It makes me shake my head when there are just so many great books out there.

It is this very reason why I build in an independent reading program around my library theme each year. Each of the teachers in grades three, four, and five participate in the program in their classrooms. I love it because it unifies ALL students. teachers, and classrooms with the library. Each year the program revolves around students reading, receiving stickers, and earning prizes from the library. You can read more about this free program on a throwback blog post {Just click HERE}. I wish that I could encourage teachers and librarians everywhere to give it a try. It is truly one of the BEST things that I do in my program.

This year, I created Reading Passports that my students are using to track the number of books that they have read. I was so thrilled with the way that they turned out that I couldn't resist sharing them with you.
I printed each cover on a blue sheet of card stock. I thought that it gave the passports a more realistic appearance. Each page in the Reading Passport represents one place that reading can take you. My students are completing one page at a time regardless of the genre of their books. However, if you wished, these passports could easily be adapted to work as genre passports where each page could represent a different genre.
My students earn a sticker for each book that they read. Then, they place the sticker in one of the empty squares of the chart. When they read six books and receive six stickers, they get their passport stamped! I also have a collection of prizes that students earn with each stamp. Too fun!! My kids have loved these passports. They especially enjoy watching their progress as they complete their pages.

If you love these as much as I do, you are welcome to a FREE download that you can use with your own students. A click HERE, or on the pictures above, will bring you to Google Drive where you can download your own copy for free!!

I always tell kids that if they don't like reading, they haven't met the right book yet! Encourage your kids to get serious about their reading with these fun Reading Passports.

Be A Library Detective

Years ago, as a brand new librarian, I attended a librarian round table discussion. Each librarian was asked to share something that they had found success with in their own library. A very experienced librarian, who retired that very year, shared that she had her students earn library licenses. I fell in LOVE with the idea!! My second graders have completed a "Library Detective" unit each and every year since.

I always begin with an introductory PowerPoint Lesson that initiates a discussion about detectives, libraries, and licenses. "What do detectives do? What clues could we follow here in the library to locate resources? How do grown-ups get licenses?" After the discussion, I show them an example of the library detective license that they will be earning. They always get super excited to think that they will have their own picture on their very own license. I show them how I will add a barcode to the back of their licenses, and then they can use them to checkout books. They think that it's like magic!!

We talk about how, in the real world, people need to learn skills, practice them, and then take a test. If they pass their tests, then they will earn their license. That is exactly what we are going to do!! Then, we get right to work. I believe in the power of discovery, so I send students off to investigate and to complete "Rookie Cases."
I gave each of the kiddos a magnifying lens that I borrowed from my Science teachers and a clipboard. They were so cute as they set about their Rookie Cases. Here they are investigating the "upstairs" of a call number to see if they can find any patterns in the different sections of the library.

Throughout the unit, my second graders investigate both the upstairs and downstairs of call number, the alphabetical order of the fiction sections, and the Dewey Decimal system in the nonfiction section. By the time that the kiddos take their tests, they are well-versed in library organization. They pass those tests with flying colors!!

If you are interested in having your own library media center invaded with library detectives, head on over to my TpT Store. If you download the FREE preview of the product, you will have ALL of my unit notes, examples, and explanations. Yup. For FREE. You could easily adapt the concept for your own library. Give it a go!! Your kids will love you for it.

Happy Hunting Friends!!

Reading Takes You Places

A brand new year equals a brand new theme!! Drum roll please {Dum Duh Dum} ....  Reading Takes You Places. The library walls are peppered with geography themed decor with a splash of Dr. Seuss in our Easy Fiction Section. Ready for a tour by pictures?? They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, here we go!!


 And a few up close and personal views of a few of the wall displays.
  Like the banner above?? Just click on the picture to download a FREE PDF of the colorful title!!
 This has to be one of my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. I couldn't resist adding it to my theme this year. If you would like to recreate the quote above, just click on the picture to download the outlines of the letters. Enjoy!!!


I am so excited with my new theme this year, and I can't wait to implement the zillion ideas that I have. I am truly hoping to show students that Reading WILL Take You Places!!

Happy Reading!

Spring Into Some Great Resources

AAAHHH ... I have been blinded by the light! What is that shining orb in our upstate New York sky? It is so bright, and it feels so warm. Could it be .... the sun?? Why, yes. Yes, it is!! Hurry. Hurry. Grab your flip flops. Grab your sunglasses. You are long overdue for some Vitamin D.

Okay, perhaps I am being a little bit dramatic. But, it has been a LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG winter here. Our first snow day was granted in early November, and the snow is just finally beginning to melt. A few weeks ago, a small town just ten miles from my home went on record as having the snowiest winter in the ENTIRE United States. So, bear with me, as I celebrate the sunshine and 60 something degree temperatures. {Insert Happy Dance here.}

Last night, as my windows were open, I heard the peepers for the first time in twelve long months. It was glorious! It put me in the mood to share some of my Spring critters' clickable bibliographies.

If you are doing research with little ones, then you REALLY want to make sure that you have the best resources available. Let your virtual librarian help you out with this! Click on the pictures below to download a couple of FREE bibliographies. You will be taken to Google Drive where you will click on the "Download" arrow and then save the PDF file to your own computer.

Each bibliography is an interactive PDF. After you download the file, once opened, you can click on the snapshots of books, websites, and videos. Each snapshot will quickly and easily take you to the website or video shown. These resources can easily be used on your Smartboard, ipad or tablet, desktop or laptops. So many uses!!

Happy researching!


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