‘Tis the Season for Summer Readin’


Summer is one of Kellie and my favorite times of the year. Students and staff members ask us for reading recommendations for the upcoming break. Whether you’re looking for a reading contest or some recommended summer reads, we have ideas that can be used for a variety of readers and/or age groups.  Continue reading


Free Database Trials: Try-It Illinois 2015

Usually, Kellie and I use the blog forum to share new ideas about technology integration, reading promotions, and research tips. Yet, sometimes information from last year is so good that it is worth re-posting with updated information.

We know that teachers are looking for ways to include more reading activities into their curriculum. What better way to look for articles than to use the state database trial that’s going on now? Continue reading

Reach Out and Read Book Drive

logo1Take a moment to think back to your childhood. What is your earliest memory of reading or being read to by someone? That moment in time was when you started to develop language skills that would serve as the foundation for your learning.

Early literacy is so important for developing those critical early reading skills. In support of early literacy community efforts, Donna Corcoran, Nicki Sutherland, Andrew Van Herik, Marcia Zboril, and I have collaborated with the Lake County Health Department’s Reach Out and Read program. We have conducted book drives and have donated 11,087 new or gently used books for Lake County children ages 6 months to 5 years old!!!  Impressive work. And we’re not done yet!  Continue reading

Announcing the 2016 Abe Award nominees

AbeThe Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) released on Monday, March 2 the list of 20 books nominated for the 2016 Abraham Lincoln Award. The complete list, available on this LibGuide, includes titles and authors you might already know: FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell, author of 2015 nominee Eleanor & Park; Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline; and The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Twisted and SpeakContinue reading

A picture is worth a thousand words

man in water

“How do you make sense of what you see when you look at an image, especially if that image comes with no caption, headline, links or other clues about its origins? What can constructing meaning from an image teach you?” – New York Times 

I’ve always loved the New York Times “What’s Going On In This Picture” feature. Each week, they choose a picture and ask students to answer three simple questions: What’s going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can you find? Students are allowed the opportunity to form their own interpretations and share ideas. They are encouraged to post their findings and cite evidence to prove their argument. Throughout this process, students are engaged, developing critical thinking skills and constructing knowledge. Continue reading