Inspired by Michelle McGarry

whole_school_library_handbookAfter reading an article today in The Whole School Library Handbook I went searching for Michelle McGarry’s project: The School Library link newsletters. They sounded exactly like something I have been thinking of adding to my new school webpage as I work on updates this summer.

Along the way I discovered a few other things that made me feel like I was reading the blog of a kindred spirit.

1. Michelle operates a school reading challenge in her library program for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. The reading team at my school is exploring a variety of reading challenges to move our teachers away from setting reading goals using AR points. Reading about the reading challenge led me to her Book Tracker Google Form. I’m totally flat out stealing this idea. Currently, my students who read a book on our Virginia Readers’ Choice Nominee list just need to tell one of our library staff a little about the book and then they get to sign our posters. Sign four posters (and read four books) and then I take pictures to put on our Wall of Fame. This works really well for us, but I like the idea of integrating a little writing.

tsll_sample2. Here’s an example of Michelle’s The School Library Link. I can’t wait to read more of these and share them as a resource with my school community.

3. Michelle uses Book Boxes. I’ve blogged before about my unending enthusiasm for Book Boxes (that post is formatted a bit oddly from the transition to WordPress). I love them. Can’t say enough about them. You should use them!

4. Michelle advocates for free voluntary reading and loves reading middle grade fiction. I usually have to work to remember to read middle grade (I navigate to YA a bit more), but reading for pleasure and making personal choices is very important to me. I’m constantly trying to get out from under the stress of running a best practices library in an AR environment.

reading_picture_books5. Michelle teaches with Visible Thinking Routines. I love Visible Thinking Routines!! After reading Making Thinking Visible I’m always trying to find ways to add routines into my lessons. I can’t wait to read this book that Michelle recommends on her blog for reading picture books with a Whole Book Approach and thinking routines.

Finally, to Michelle, who I have gushed about but don’t know–thank you! I love meeting new people through their amazing work! I’m so glad I got to learn from you this week!

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