Many times, school librarians are on their own. Few schools have multiple librarians working together in a physical space where they can bounce ideas off one another. Between classes, shelving, processing, reference work and the many unforeseen situations that come with working with children, there is little time for changing up our curriculum.
But change is necessary. Each school is different, each school year is different and most of us want to change up our classes. This is why the creation of a virtual community is so important to the school librarian. We often look to ALSC and beyond to inform our curriculum.
April means poetry in many schools, including the one where I work, and in the past few years, other librarians and bloggers have truly informed my curriculum. Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes has written on this blog before about the Spine Poetry Project , and spine poetry quickly became part of my fourth grade curriculum that is here to stay. The students love it, and every year someone who didn’t think of themselves as a poet, quickly changes his/her view! Another online resource that informed my National Poetry Month is online magnetic poetry . In the past, I created hard copy “magnetic” poetry kits for my students by simply building packets with the different parts of speech, packaging them up in a ziploc and letting the students go. However, using the online version allowed my students to practice their touch-typing as well as skills they are learning in their technology classes. A final resource that my teachers appreciate is the 30 Poets/30 Days feature each April at Gregory K’s Gotta Book blog. Greg has a group of amazing poets present a previously unpublished poem on his blog each day in April. This has led to students being inspired to write poetry daily either individually or as a class.
I am grateful for such a great online community of librarians, educators, and bloggers. They certainly help me keep my curriculum rich, varied and interesting.