Tag Archives: reading

About Me Text Features

I needed a lesson that could only last one class period with 3rd graders at the beginning of the year. I was covering a class for guidance, so I couldn’t make it a more involved project. In 2nd grade last year, we talked a lot about text features and I wanted to review it with them this year in 3rd grade. An About Me text feature portrait is what I came up with. I asked them for various text features like labels, a fact box, and a timeline, and then let them be creative with it. Here are some of the results:


This was my example for the students.

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And We’re Back!


Browsing sticks are ready for kids to come!

Today is our first day back to school with students and we are ready for some orientation and checkout!


Some of the books to read with various classes.

I love to read books to the kids, and always wish I had more opportunities, so I chose some for this year to read at orientation. I also like to use videos I filmed with our mascot to show the students the library procedures. Hopefully they can see what I mean and remember it a little better than if I were just telling them what to do! You can see examples of the videos I use here.

What do you do at your orientation to make it memorable? I would love to hear some ideas, please post in the comments!

Not a Stick

I read Not a Box and Not a Stick with my first graders, both books are by Antoinette Portis. Then, I had them use their imagination and they came up with some cute ideas! If you have not read the books, they are a bunny with a box or a pig with a stick using their imagination to make it into all kinds of different things. (This sheet is a free download from TpT if I remember correctly.)

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Visualization and….Monsters?

This week is End of Quarter testing and we try to get as many teachers their planning breaks as we can in spite of many of the specialists helping with testing. On Monday, I covered our Art special in a third grade classroom and wanted to still include a little art since they were missing it. I decided to read I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll and talk about how much fun picture books are even as you get older. We also talked about listening for details and visualizing in your head as you read. I had the students divide the front of their paper into 4 boxes. As we read, each monster is described. I advised them to jot notes of descriptions they heard (I didn’t show the pictures.) After each monster visit I paused for them to draw the monster they saw in their head. After all 4 of the monsters, the main one returns and they draw him on the back because he has the most description. I was not sure how much they would like this lesson, but they LOVED it! They could not wait to see the book’s illustrations at the end and the teacher even wanted to keep the papers to hang up in class.

Here is the book and some of their artwork:


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Twitter Rocks!

I love to use Twitter. I read it more than I tweet myself, but if you want to follow me I am @nclibrarygal. You can ask questions, find awesome resources, make connections, but the reason I love it most is sometimes you get to say something to someone you would never otherwise get to talk to. Bear with me and I will pick the Twitter theme back up in a few minutes.

This week I finally had time to read Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. If you have not read this book yet, READ IT! I loved it! It was a great adventure with lots of book titles and reading fun PLUS he makes libraries awesome! Ok – I am not making it sound as good as it was, but this would be a fantastic read aloud because there are boy and girl characters, so you could do a lot with it and everyone can relate. It is exciting and adventurous without violence. I envision point of view lessons, character traits lessons, predictions, and so much more. Here is the official description from Chris Grabenstein’s website:

Can twelve 12-year-olds escape from the most ridiculously brilliant library ever created?

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library plunks a dozen sixth-graders into the middle of a futuristic library for a night of nonstop fun and adventure.

In a nod to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this fast-paced new novel features an eccentric billionaire who welcomes a group of children into a fantasy setting full of weird, wondrous touches.

Kyle is a game fan—board games, word games, and especially video games! Kyle’s hero, the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello, is the genius behind the design of the town’s new public library, which contains not only books, but an IMAX theater, an electronic learning center, instructional holograms, interactive dioramas and electromagnetic hover ladders that float patrons up to the books they want.

Lucky Kyle wins a spot as one of the first twelve kids invited to a gala, overnight library lock-in filled with of fun and games. But the next morning, when the lock-in is supposed to be over, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the others must follow book-related clues and unravel all sorts of secret puzzles to find the hidden escape route if they want to win Mr. Lemoncello’s most fabulous prize ever.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is more than a rib-tickling novel full of humor and suspense. It’s a game in itself, in which readers can have fun solving clues and answering riddles while learning how to navigate the Dewey Decimal system. Eagle-eyed kids—not to mention their parents, teachers, and librarians—can also hunt for the names of authors and classic books sprinkled throughout the fast-moving story.

Rumor has it there is even one puzzle that is in the book but not in the story. Can you find and solve it?

So, how does this relate to Twitter you ask? Well, this morning I tweeted about the book and take a look who replied to me within 3 minutes?


Uh yes, that would be the author of this New York Times Bestselling book! Tweeted to me. Excuse me while I just geek out for a few minutes…

Never Too Old

ssspyI think we sometimes forget that the big kids (aka 5th graders) still like to be read to. I had a 5th grade class that I needed to cover this week and didn’t have much time to plan, but I knew they were getting ready to start talking about the Revolutionary War. I wanted to remind them that picture books are still awesome so I brought our The Scarlet Stocking Spy and read it to them. You could have heard a pin drop. We talked about language, inferences, the time period – there are so many conversations you can have with this book.

After we read it, I also may or may not have read 5th graders a Scaredy Squirrel book that made us all giggle and start the week off with a laugh.


Read Across America Day

Due to so many snow days lately, our Read Across America Day was postponed to last Friday. Staff and students dressed up as book characters and did lots of fun activities like green eggs and ham breakfasts and mystery readers. Though, we didn’t have as many readers as we had planned because of the rescheduling. Here are some of the pictures of the costumes. (I don’t usually show many students pictures because I want to be sure they have permission to be on the internet, here are a couple but mostly I just showed staff.)

Spiderman was teaching PE!

Spiderman was teaching PE!

My wonderful assistant as a modern day Snow White.

My wonderful assistant as a modern day Snow White.

Reading to the classes as a mystery reader! The older kids, even the boys, all came asking for The Rouch Face Girl after this.

Reading to the classes as a mystery reader! The older kids, even the boys, all came asking for The Rouch Face Girl after this.

Cat in the Hat

Cat in the Hat

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Third grade teachers as different Seuss characters.

Third grade teachers as different Seuss characters.

This is me! I usually don't do characters from movies too, but my girls have been checking out the Disney princess books like crazy. So, I went with the one that loves books - Belle!

This is me! I usually don’t do characters from movies too, but my girls have been checking out the Disney princess books like crazy. So, I went with the one that loves books – Belle!

Junie B. Jones

Junie B. Jones

Some of the K teachers were Pete the Cat and his many colored shoes.

Some of the K teachers were Pete the Cat and his many colored shoes.