Fiction or Nonfiction Station

I made a new station called fiction or nonfiction. The students sort through covers and put them in a fiction or nonfiction pile. Some students fly through this, but I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of second graders who took the sorting very seriously.

The last picture is of an older class. They took a stack of difficult alphabetizing cards and turned it into a go fish game.


Library Stations

This is my 3rd year in an elementary library. Last year, I started experimenting with stations trying to get a feel for the ebb and flow of what would work, movement, and implementation.

This year, I’ve focused on organizational issues. Do I just have random stations around the room? How do the kids know which ones are good for their grade levels? It was really important to me that most of the stations were academic in nature, but I did see value in having some that were there just for fun. And I felt like I had to start before I got a full handle on things while beginning of the year excitement was high. There have been times I thought my head would explode.

by pixaibay licensed under CC BY 2.0
by pixaibay licensed under CC BY 2.0

Luckily, it didn’t.

I divided the stations I had into three age levels – K – 1st, 2nd -3rd, and 4th & 5th. I may eventually move to each grade level, but for sanity’s sake, I’m grouping.

The next area that I struggled with was major categories for stations (Zones). The categories I’ve come up with for now (this a process in flux after all) are:

  1. Puzzles & Games
  2. Pleasure Reading
  3. Listening
  4. Library Helpers
  5. Library Skills
  6. Social Studies
  7. ELA/Research
  8. Science
  9. Math
  10. Nonfiction
  11. Technology (right now, this is just computers, but I didn’t want to limit myself when I found something new)

Obviously a few of these could be combined, and I’ve got a couple that are not used at all grade levels. But I wanted to have at least 8 for k-3 and 9 for 4-5, as well as somewhere to send someone who was having difficulty working on a team. Here’s a link to a table I’ve made to help me keep me organized. (I’ll put links on here to as many ideas as I can.) The stations listed are ones that I’ve already come up with and are either out or close to being reading to go out.  I’ve got boxes in the library where I sort ideas/samples by area and level to visit again in a spare moment. Some current areas have a slim selection of items, so I’ll work on those next.

Next week, I’ll take pictures of the stations themselves. I got some this week of students working.

Addition: My friend Wendy asked a question about how we actually do the stations. I made a sign for each zone. Items in the zone are labeled with the grade levels. I color coded as much as possible.

  • K-1 – Pink
  • 2-3 – Orange
  • 4-5 – Purple

Since this was an afterthought, I made labels for the grade-levels in the colors and just taped them on many items.

There are 8 tables in K-3 and 9 tables in 4-5. Each table has color coded card on it letting the kids know where they will go that day. After we’ve rotated through once, my plans are to let 2-5 start choosing. I’ve got a chart/grid that I’m working on so students can keep track of where they’ve been to keep the same station from being monopolized.

What do you do with Kinders in the library?

I was reminded yesterday about how many times the question of kinders has come up in meetings. The time with them can seem like the never-ending story in the library. I’d love for us to share what we do in our libraries to meet their needs.

I subscribe to a preschool newsletter from Karen Cox that has a ton of great ideas. I’m sure there are others out there. What newsletters do you get? Hap Palmer has a You.Tube station.

I’ve also got some library workshops running:

  • Reading Buddies (stuffed animals)
  • Listening stations – started with book fair monies
  • Board book basket
  • Pop up book basket
  • ABC and matching games
  • Large floor puzzles
  • little chair area (I got these at the 5 and below store)
  • story sequencing
  • nature station


Attendance Sheets for specialists

When I first became an ES librarian on a fixed schedule, I looked and looked for an attendance sheet template suitable for seeing a class once a week. I didn’t find one, so I resorted to creating my own. Here’s the link to the template you can download and modify. I see 6 classes a day, so that’s how it’s set up. I also color code my days so if something gets misplaced, it’s easily returned to the right day.

First Twitter Chat

We had our first #fctlchat tonight. Thanks to everyone who participated and contributed to the great discussion we had on lesson planning. Crystal will post a lesson plan template she uses later. You can see part of the chat in the twitter feed to the right. Lisa will post a full transcript later.

Our next chat is 9/17! We look forward to seeing you then!

Haiku CMS

For this week, I did my lesson plans on Haiku and published them to use with my classes. I’m working on a video to walk through the steps I took. So many possibilities here for not only sharing with the students but also with the teachers! I’ll post the video when I get it finished. Hope everyone had a fabulous day 1 with the students!