Tuesday, December 21, 2010


During the summer I had followed Donalyn Miller's book-a-day challenge with much interest. Through Twitter I now discovered that she and other friends on Twitter (e.g. Paul W. Hankins and John Schu) are sharing their daily reads once again during this holiday - and I decided to join. Already equipped with a big bag of books checked out from the library, I started last Saturday and so far have been able to read one book every day. I however wonder whether I will keep up with this - maybe I should have selected some shorter books...? Anyway, I am excited about the idea and look forward to the experience. So far I have read Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur, The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin, Born to Fly by Michael Ferrari and Secrets of a Lab Rat by Trudi Trueit. My reviews are posted on Goodreads and Shelfari. Maybe you would like to join the fun? If you are on Twitter, just share what you read and add the hashtag #bookaday. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick Picks

During a recent visit to Discovery College, Hong Kong, Dianne McKenzie introduced me to the brilliant idea of "Quick Picks". She has boxes carrying the respective label on her shelves, in which she places recommended titles. This helps students who are in a hurry to find a good book. I really liked the idea because when upper elementary students visit the library with their teachers, we usually reserve most of our time for unit-of-inquiry-related tasks, often having little time left for book check out. Students often ask me for recommendations and I have started to set up baskets with recommended titles for particular genres. Last week I wanted to give it a special touch, also with the intend (I have to admit) to get some great titles that often seem to get overlooked, into the hands of our students. I packed the books into brown paper bags and closed them. The only information available for students were some keywords about the book, arranged in form of a Wordle. All bags were gone within moments and students have asked me to prepare more for the up-coming week. In order to be able to re-use the bags and labels, I plan on having a set of simple bags made out of beautiful Ghanaian fabric to which I will attach the laminated Wordle cards. I hope that this will also encourage our reluctant readers to get more excited about checking out books from the library.