Saturday, September 5, 2015

Behavior Reports in the Library??!! they say, "Behavior Happens"!  After having several classes with my kinder and 1st grade students, I realized that I was going to have to come up with a way to encourage several students to make better choices.  I talked to the classroom and other specials teachers, and together we brainstormed different behaviors that were causing problems in all our classes.  
    Armed with that information, I decided to create this easy behavior form to document things that were happening that were distracting other students from learning.  We copied it on NCR paper so that the students could take the top copy home to their parents, and the teacher could keep the bottom portion for their files to go over during Parent Conferences. 
     At my school, library is a part of the Special's rotation along with PE, Art, Music, and Theater Arts.  Except our district has combined Music and Theater Arts and we call it "Performing Arts".  So this is what our form looks like.  Each of us will use this same form to that the students will be familiar with it.
I also went ahead and made a second version that does not combine Music and Theater Arts. 

*I updated this on 9/7/2015 to include just a Library version in case this is something you are using just in the library.
For each form, I included an editable version where you could type your own behaviors that you wanted to monitor.
If you'd like to use these in your class, you can get them here 

     I've used the form with one student already.  When he came to the library, I went over the form.  We checked "library" and then I asked "What kind of day would you like to have?"  He wanted to have a happy day, so we put a check mark by that face.  I then went over the bottom portion and said "These are the things that you need to focus on doing in order to have a great day."  As I taught the lesson for the day, I gave him one reminder and after that I simply put a tally mark next to each behavior that happened.  At the end of library, I showed him the form again and we counted the number of tally marks.  I asked him "Do you think this was a good day?" and he agreed it was not his best day. I had him look at the number of tally marks and set a goal for the next library visit.  (He had 8 tally marks, and set a goal of 6). I wrote that at the bottom of the page, gave him a high five for setting a good goal, and sent him on to class.
     I'm hoping that by making him aware of the frequency of the distractions, he will be able to control his behaviors over time.  I'm also going to talk to him on what he likes to do and use that as another way to encourage him to make good choices during the library lesson.  I'm crossing my fingers that the next time he comes we can lessen the number of tally marks to a manageable number.

Do you have any other ideas on managing behaviors in your library? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Digital Citizenship Update

     The beginning of the year is a great time to teach or review how to be safe at school.  When my students come back for their second trip to the library, I spend a few minutes talking to them about the types of emergency situations that may come up or that we practice at school so that we are prepared.  I talk about our procedures for a fire alarm, bad weather alarm, and a lockdown alarm.  They usually already know what to do from their classroom's point of view, but often when it happens in the library, they get flustered so I find it helps them if we talk about it early on so they know what to expect.  
     Then next thing I do is ask the kids "Is it important to be safe when we use technology as well?"  I let them share and then confirm that Digital safety is another priority we have at school.  
     I've taught Digital Citizenship for a few years now.  You can see my original post about that lesson here.   The more I taught it, the more I began to notice that some parts had too much information for the students to remember.  So this summer, I wanted to find a way to fix this so that it was easier for the students to remember.  After some suggestions from friends, I included 6 different body parts to help the kids visualize what to remember.  Here's what the updated poster looks like now:
Before I share this poster, I show them a series of fabulous videos from  They have a set of videos designated for K-3 (I use these with my kinder, 1st, and 2nd graders).  I usually start with Episode #1 which explains what the Internet is.  
Then we watch Episode #2, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Head. 
Then we watch Episode #4, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Heart, Your Feet, and Your Voice.

Then we watch Episode #3, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Eyes and Using Your Hands. also has a set of videos designated for 4-6 that I use with my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  With them, I usually start with Episode #6 and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Head.
Then we watch Episode #5, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Heart, Your Feet, and Your Voice.
Then we watch Episode #7 & #8, and after that video I put up the poster that talks about Using Your Eyes and Using Your Hands.
     I love these videos, and they really help explain everything I want to talk about with the kids regarding Digital Citizenship.  (Just so you know I am in NO WAY affiliated with!)  I just really love their videos and the kids really enjoy them as well!
     I went ahead and updated the bookmarks as well so that you can give them to your students as a reminder. 
If you would like to use these posters with your own class,
you can find them here at my TpT Store or at Teacher's Notebook.
If you have already purchased this, you can just re-download the file and you will have the updated posters as well.

I hope you find this useful!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Shelf Elf for Book Care

     I've posted a lot about teaching book care with the younger grades, and while I like to use the same poster board set to introduce the idea of book care ( you can read about that activity here), I wanted to use different books with each grade level. 
     This year for 2nd grade, I introduced them to the great book The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins.  
     In the book, the students meet Skoob, the Shelf Elf.  He explains that his job is to take care of the books on the library shelves, and to hopefully win the "Golden Shelf Elf Award" at the end of the year.  The book starts off by showing students how to use a shelf marker (we call them Book Buddies) and how to recognize books that have not been placed on the bookshelf correctly.  Then, with each new page, Skoob shows examples of things that COULD happen to a library book and then gives a rhyming reminder for the students. 
     I wanted to find a way for the students to review how to take care of their library books to go along with this book once they got back to their own classroom.  So I created this Book Care booklet.  I copied the front cover in color and laminated it.
     Then I copied the other 10 pages in black and white and cut them in half.  This gives you a total of 20 examples.  But I also made a blank example in case you have more than 20 students. 
     Library is part of the Special's rotation at my school, so I have a mix of classes instead of just one homeroom class.  I knew I would have to find a system that would allow me to easily hand out and collect their pages.  So I made a file folder for each teacher.  I attached the laminated front cover to the file folder with a binder clip and paper-clipped all the half pages. 
     After we read the book, I took the students on a quick tour of the library.  Then I told them that Skoob made a book for each of their classes to help them remember how to treat a library book.  Unfortunately, he ran out of time and wasn't able to illustrate it.  He was counting on their help.  I called each teacher's name, and those students came up one at a time.  I took the half pages from that teacher's folder and read the statement at the top.  They had to tell me if Stacks would be happy or sad. (This was a quick way to see if they knew how to keep their library books safe.)  If they were correct, I handed them the sheet and they went to draw their pictures.  Then I called the next teacher's name and those students came up.  I continued until I had called all the teachers. 
     When they were finished, they brought their pages back up to me and told me their teacher's name.  I added their illustrated page on top of the laminated cover using the binder clip.  Once I've met with all library groups, I will take all the illustrated pages and staple them into the front cover to create a book.  I will then deliver the books to the classes for their classroom library.   
     The kids had such a good time drawing the pictures, and they turned out sooo cute!  Here are a few examples!   This activity turned out even better that I had hoped for!

If you would like to try this with your students,
you can get it here at my TpT store or at Teacher's Notebook.

I hope your student enjoy it as much as mine did!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Beginning of Year Library Dragon Scavenger Hunt

I always like to do some sort of a "Scavenger Hunt" with the upper grades at the beginning of the year.  It helps the students reacquaint themselves with the library, but it also helps them notice changes that may have been made over the summer.  It's also a great stress-free and fun way for the new students to be shown around the library by the returning students.  

I had previously created a Scavenger Hunt that I have used for the last couple of years (you can read about that here).  This worked well, and the kids really enjoyed it, but I wanted to try something different this year.  I wanted to start the year off reading a book for every grade.  So I spent a few days going through books and talking with other librarians and we came up with a great list of books to use. 

The one I'm going to focus on for this year is The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy.

It's such a cute story about a new librarian, Miss Lotta Scales, who is hired for the Sunrise Elementary School.  She takes her job very seriously, which tends to cause some problems for the students and teachers. 

What I loved about this book was it mentions all kinds of places around the library that you can use to create a scavenger hunt.  
  • 398.2's and 500's
  • Biographies
  • Fiction
  • Easy (picture books)
  • Reading nook
  • Supply area

It also mentions many different behaviors that you could use for a review with the students at the beginning of the year.
  • protecting books from getting dirty and tearing
  • forgetting to bring library books back
  • using quiet voices in the library
I knew I wanted to have the students up and moving around the library, so I created a set of question cards with the Library Dragon theme that I could give groups of students on their first visit to the library.

If you are interested in doing this Scavenger Hunt with your students, 
you can find it at my TpT store or at Teacher's Notebook

There are 8 pages of questions cards total.  The last page has the same question, but two different versions of it.  One uses the term "Book Buddies" and the other uses the term "Shelf Markers".  

I printed them on white cardstock, laminated them, and then cut them apart.  I hole-punched each of the 16 cards in the top corner and put them on a ring.  I started each set of cards on a different question so that the groups wouldn't all be going to the same place at the same time.  After I finish reading the book, I'll hand out the cards to groups of 2-3 students and let them start.  After about 15 minutes, I'll have the students come join me back on the floor and I'll have them share their answers and ideas to make sure that we are all on the same page. 

Be on the lookout for some additional Scavenger Hunts connected to other books coming soon!  

Hope you find this helpful!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Super Secret Sale August 19th!

We just had our first day back to school, which means summer is officially over.  But, don't worry...I have something that will help you wake up early tomorrow with a smile on your face!  TpT loves teachers so much that they are going to hold ANOTHER sale...
a special One Day Bonus Sale!

You can get up to 28% off all my products during this sale just by using the promo code MORE15!  This is a great time to pick up products that you've had your eye on or maybe even put on your wish list!

Happy shopping,
and have a FANTASTIC start to the school year!


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bluebonnet Wall of Fame

     Each February in Texas, we celebrate the announcement of the book that won the Texas Bluebonnet Award.  But in the months prior to that is actually when the fun begins in my library!  
     At the beginning of the year, one of my favorite lessons to do with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders is to introduce this year's Bluebonnet books.  I start by showing them the 20 nominees, and then give them time to either watch book trailers or look through the books.  After about 30 minutes, I have them come back and we talk about the stories that they found the most interesting.  We discuss the different types of genres that are represented, and we look at the lengths of each book and predict how long it would take to finish.  As they leave, I show them our Bluebonnet Wall outside the library, where I have already hung copies of each of the book covers.
      I let them know that this is our Bluebonnet Wall.  As soon as they finish reading a book, they can go to our library's website and click on the link to take a quiz on that book.  (I used Google forms to create the quizzes, and then added the Flubaroo extension to grade the quizzes for me!) When I receive a notification email that a quiz has been taken, I will check their grade.  If they answered 8 out of 10 questions correctly, their name will go underneath the book cover. I told them that I would also put a notification card in their teacher's box letting them know how they did on the quiz.  They can put this card in their locker or take it home. (Green means they passed, and yellow means they need to try again.)
     Last year, I cut small rectangles in three colors (blue for 3rd grade, green for 4th grade, and orange for 5th grade) and taped them to the wall as students took a test.  This worked okay, but after awhile the rectangles began to curl as students walked by the wall.  I made a note to think of a better way to do this for next year. 
     Once they read 5 books, I took their picture and placed their certificate on the "Wall of Fame" which showed that they were eligible to vote for their favorite in January.
     It was really fun to see the name cards “growing” as more students began to read the books.  I heard a lot of cool conversations as students lined up to leave the library and looked at the wall.  One student said, “Wow!  14 people have read that book!  It must be a good one! I’m going to try to check it out next time!”  Another sweet student said,  “Aww..Mrs. Liptak…Noone has read that book! I’ll read it so it can have someone’s name underneath it too!”
      In the past, I was lucky to get around 15-20 students reading the Bluebonnet books.  This past year, when I did the Wall of Fame, my participation grew to 156 students and even some teachers as well!  
     Now that another year is about to begin, I've made new display posters of the 20 nominated Bluebonnet books.  This year, I decided to use alternating dark blue and light blue frames to make it look more like a "picture frame" wall. 
     To help prevent the problems with the student name cards curling on the wall, I decided to preprint cards on white cardstock and I will just tape the whole page underneath each poster.  As students pass a quiz on the book, I will write their names in with sharpie. If more than 14 students read that book, I can always tape another page underneath the first one.  
If you'd like to use these posters in your library or classroom,
you can get them here at my TpT store or at Teacher's Notebook.     

Just in case you are interested in doing this activity with your school or classroom, I've included all these items together. I will also be updating this file each year with the new Bluebonnet Nominees.  So, all you’ll have to do is check for the update! I also included an editable version so you can adapt this to your own state award books!  

What types of book displays are you doing in your library this year?  I'd love to hear your ideas!