Thursday, November 2, 2017

Monarch 2018 Nominee: Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Barnett, Mac, and Jon Klassen. Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. Somerville, Candlewick Press, 2014.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole is one of the nominees for the Monarch Award this year. Somehow, I had NEVER read this book!

I decided to read it to my 2nd group students, and had a great time learning the story with the kids. I also want to encourage them to read for pleasure, so the first time, we simply read the story and talked about it.

The next library class, I asked students to retell the story, we watched a video of a child reading the story, and then I had students write how they felt / what they thought when they heard the story. Were there any connections to their own life? Had they ever dug a hole before?

I really wasn't sure what to expect, and wanted to give students time to absorb and reflect on the story. They gave me all kinds of connections and we put up their writing around the library!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monarch 2018 Nominee: I'm Trying to Love Spiders

Barton, Bethany. I'm Trying to Love Spiders: (it Isn't Easy). New York, Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), 2015.

I'm Trying to Love Spiders is one of the nominees for the Monarch Award this year.

To continue our learning about the Monarch Awards, I read it to my 2nd group students, and had a great time learning the story with the kids. I also want to encourage them to read for pleasure, so the first time, we simply read the story and talked about it.

The next library class, I asked students to retell the story, and explained that we were going to research different types of spiders. I had pulled about 15 books on spiders and put 2 or 3 at each table. After reading and explaining each part of the report form, I gave each student a report form and let them look through the books and find facts. Of course, one book was probably not enough to find all the facts they needed! So the following week, we discussed sources.

On the board, I had the following questions:
What is a source?
Is the iPad a source?

We discussed each and then we searched in our  subscribed databases, GoGrolier and DK Find Out to try and find the missing facts. We also then discussed that sometimes I can't find it in the source, and I need to go find others. The discussion and subsequent research was so interesting!

I am thinking about reading Give Bees a Chance, also by Bethany Barton, along with Thank You Bees to start some November Thankful activities! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Welcome back 2017-2018!

It has been an exciting summer and I have started at my new school! I am now the school librarian at The Avery Coonley School, an independent, private, gifted school in the suburbs of Chicago. I have been busy introducing myself and learning about the school, students, staff, and curriculum, along with the parents and the things that make ACS special!

To share about myself and have a quick display, I am having my students make this: I show them my ABC book and we learn about some of my favorites, including how much I love hugs! I now get hugs every time I walk down the hall, how can you beat that?

To get my Kinders started in checking out, we are exploring and practicing.

Starting in October, we will checkout, and I will send home a bookmark for the kids to color and help remind themselves and their families to be kind to their library book.

Want the printable?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What a Busy Year in the Library!

If you haven't already, be sure to advocate for your library and library program! A quick and fun way to advocate is using an infographic! I used to make an infographic. Go to, click on Create a design. Then scroll down to Blogging and eBooks. Click Infographic. Change/add how you like! Check mine out: What a Busy Year in the Library! You can also click use as template and change my library's info to yours! Be sure to send it to your principal and parent leaders to remind them all the wonderful things you do!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Using Primary Sources: On the right track... NYT is doing something similar to build Visual Thinking Skills!

Have you seen the New York Times new feature? It's called  What’s Going On in This Picture? 

It has people look at a photo, guess what's going on, and comment. Then NYT posts what it really is and they all discuss how the lack of captions or background knowledge hurts our overall understanding of the picture. They call it Visual Thinking Strategies, or VTS

It looks something like this:

Funnily enough, on May 7th, my Google Classroom Assignment was: What Happened to Tara? 

The students are shown a picture of my daughter and are given a list of questions to help them Observe, Reflect, and Question. This is to help them think critically about what they see and what the picture may be. These questions are from the Library of Congress Primary Sources Analysis Tool. If you have not used this tool with students, I highly recommend you try it. I actually learned about it 3 years ago, but still go to it as a great way to break down being thoughtful and giving students a framework to break down details and look at sources (visual and otherwise) through different lenses. I also think the inclusion of my daughter gave them the motivation to look closely. 

Then I am planning on sharing an old advertisement I found on the LOC Primary Sources site, to connect to their current curriculum unit on advertising! Can't wait to see what they come up with! 

What happened to Tara?

Think about the following (Observe, Reflect, and Question):
Where does your eye go first?
What are the key details?
What do you notice first?
Find something small but interesting. 
What do you notice that you didn’t expect? 
What do you notice that you can’t explain? 
What do you notice that you didn’t earlier?

Why do you think she is dressed like this?
What do you think was happening when she got ready?
What would you do differently? 

What do you wonder about... who? • what? • when? • where? • why? • how?

Be creative! I can't wait to read more!

They were given a choice:
Look at the picture. Write your own story, Powtoon, or Slides eBook - what happened to Tara? 

Then I listed out the Observe, Reflect, and Question prompts, and gave them time to work on it. I now have some of their work! 

These are students who made Slides:


This great story beginning...garlic bread trees?? This kid may know me...

And finally, maybe this student knows me too well? =)

The Powtoons are taking a bit longer, but I'll post them if they finish soon! 

Next week: Book Fair! Ahhhhh!!!

Then I am planning on sharing an old advertisement I found on the LOC Primary Sources site, to connect to their current curriculum unit on advertising! Can't wait to see what they come up with! Don't forget, try it out with primary grades too!

Source: Ramsey & Brother. [Advertisement. 18]. 1800. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed May 17, 2017.)

Thanks for reading!
Want more info on the Primary Sources? Let me know in the comments! 

I would love to hear how it's going and would love to hear your wonderful ideas also! 

Keep reading!

Mrs. Thakkar

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Bee" Smart about Call Numbers

Happy Spring!

Help students break down call numbers in the library and celebrate spring! 

Using this worksheet, students will write down the call number, write what section the book belongs in, and what letter or number shelf to look for to find the book. 

Try it out on TPT! 

If you would like one made personalized for your school library, please email me at:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Read Across America Week - Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

It's Read Across America Week and on Thursday is Dr. Seuss' birthday! We are celebrating with books, decorations, and clothes!

I had to get in on the action! I wore it for the first 10 minutes of each period and then put it on the SMARTboard! Form and function!

My SMARTboard is Seuss-ified! The display books are all the Dr. Seuss books we have available, it is slowly emptying! 

We had 2 activities that connected to Library Skills:

Help students recognize and read a call number with this activity: 

This is a quick activity I made to help us learn a little bit more about Dr. Seuss and practice finding informational text features - headings, captions, illustrations, and photographs (and bonus: interesting facts). Try it out!

I also made a Reading Response sheet for a read aloud of And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss.  Have students share their creativity, and write and illustrate their own creative writing! Add your own street, for a personalized touch!

Then, I couldn't help it, I used my Silhouette Cameo 
to make a onesie for my daughter and a tank top for me! 

Can't wait for Thursday to wear our adorable outfits!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Techie Thursdays: Learn the Keyboard!

My students always have a hard time learning where the keys are on the keyboard. This week, our 1st graders are practicing their letters by finding their name on the keyboard! I am calling it color your letters and made this:

There are also directions and reminders to play Keyboard Zoo at home, to give students more practice with typing. The next step would be to use a typng program - one I like is Enjoy!