Knowledge is the ultimate weapon.
Kim Butler is a Teacher Librarian at Birch Elementary is Boulder Valley School District. She is a recognized Highly Effective School Librarian in the state of Colorado. 
Every school librarian is a super librarian. The amount of things we have to know, keep track of, and share grows each day. This is a blog about being a school librarian in a 21st century world.

Welcome Innedco Attendees!

posted Jun 11, 2018, 6:25 PM by Kim Butler   [ updated Jun 11, 2018, 7:02 PM ]

Please answer this quick question at https://www.sli.do/ to get us started.
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Happy Summer!

posted Jun 9, 2018, 2:14 PM by Kim Butler

Happy supper to everyone! I have been renovating my website and pulling all of my resources together this week! I decided this is the best place to put my regular family updates as well as any additional tidbits I come across. 

Today I want to share this article my lovely Author Friend Tabz pointed out to me. The article talks about how Fred Rogers thoughtfully chose all of his words in order to be clear and also to apply to all children who might be watching. Reading the steps listed was a revelation for me, because I also consider these things when speaking to the students. They actually broke it down to a few steps I'd like to share here.
“State the idea you wish to express as clearly as possible, and in terms preschoolers can understand.” Example: It is dangerous to play in the street. ​​​​​​
“Rephrase in a positive manner,” as in It is good to play where it is safe.
“Rephrase the idea, bearing in mind that preschoolers cannot yet make subtle distinctions and need to be redirected to authorities they trust.” As in, “Ask your parents where it is safe to play.”
“Rephrase your idea to eliminate all elements that could be considered prescriptive, directive, or instructive.” In the example, that’d mean getting rid of “ask”: Your parents will tell you where it is safe to play.
“Rephrase any element that suggests certainty.” That’d be “will”: Your parents can tell you where it is safe to play.
“Rephrase your idea to eliminate any element that may not apply to all children.” Not all children know their parents, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play.
“Add a simple motivational idea that gives preschoolers a reason to follow your advice.” Perhaps: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is good to listen to them.
“Rephrase your new statement, repeating the first step.” “Good” represents a value judgment, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them.
“Rephrase your idea a final time, relating it to some phase of development a preschooler can understand.” Maybe: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them, and listening is an important part of growing.

Most educators are aware of the need to rephrase things positively, but often the other steps are often easy to neglect. I also would like to point out that most teachers don't work of a pre-written script, so we're doing this on the fly, so we may not get it perfect all the time. But no one can quite compare to Mr. Rogers, can they?

3/2/18

posted Jun 9, 2018, 12:40 PM by Kim Butler   [ updated Jun 9, 2018, 12:41 PM ]


Now that book fair is over (and thank you everyone for such an amazing turnout to the fair!), we are back to working hard on exploration in the library!


We have been spending time exploring various maker tools, learning things about coding, building, structures, and generally exploring a variety of things in the library.

K-2 - these students have been rotating to different stations in the library and doing some hands-on work with robots, building materials, computing, coding, and reading.

3-5 these students do the same activities as the younger students, with the change of a design and research challenge (called Extraordinaires) instead of additional practice on the computer.

Here’s a quick look of what they use as a guide:

We were extremely lucky because we had some high schoolers come and visit us on Wednesday. Two classes had the opportunity to work with these older students and get some specific guidance on the maker tools.


11/27/17

posted Jun 9, 2018, 12:36 PM by Kim Butler

We’re reading our final book for the CCBA awards, The Princess and the Pony. This is a charming story about a small princess with big dreams of becoming a warrior.


After the story each grade continued their work on technology.

Kindergarten - We’re working on using a full size computer, including identifying the parts and learning mouse skills such as double click, drag and drop, and select, and now we’ve begun typing!

1st grade - We’re learning how to sign into Wixie.com! This is a web based program that requires the students to log in with their BVSD email address. We are now starting to learn how to use the program, including doing assigned work in subjects like math.

2nd grade - We’re working on health topics in Brainpop.

3rd grade - We’re learning the art of searching while doing the scavenger hunt in the library. In pairs, we focus on keywords and using the library lookup to find what we need from the results of a search. We then have to successfully find the book in the library.

4th grade - We have been extending our science work from the classroom research on energy sources, and are working on videos for this!

5th grade - We’re continuing our work on Digital Citizenship and will soon be communicating with the students at Ryan Elementary!

I have also been working with 3rd graders on their science videos on change of state.


11/17/17

posted Jun 9, 2018, 12:34 PM by Kim Butler

This week we read Strictly No Elephants and discussed the author's message, which was about including others, regardless of differences.




After the story each grade continued their work on technology.

Kindergarten - We’re working on using a full size computer, including identifying the parts and learning mouse skills such as double click, drag and drop, and select.

1st grade - We’re learning how to sign into Wixie.com! This is a web based program that requires the students to log in with their BVSD email address.

2nd grade - We’re reviewing how to sign into things with our BVSD email and working on health topics in Brainpop.

3rd grade - We’re learning the art of searching while doing the scavenger hunt in the library. In pairs, we focus on keywords and using the library lookup to find what we need from the results of a search. We then have to successfully find the book in the library.

4th grade - We have been extending our science work from the classroom research on energy sources, and are working on videos for this!

5th grade - We’re continuing our work on Digital Citizenship and will soon be communicating with the students at Ryan Elementary!

I have also been working with 3rd graders on their science videos on change of state.

11/3/17

posted Jun 9, 2018, 12:32 PM by Kim Butler

On Tuesday this week we ran breakouts for all of the 3rd graders in the library! The students worked in teams to solve puzzles and unlock the locks to get into a box (with prizes!). Everyone had a great time and learned a lot!

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In our regular classes this week we read They All Saw a Cat


We discussed perspectives and how relationships between different characters can alter how they see one another. After the story each grade continued their work on technology.

Kindergarten - We’re working on using a full size computer, including identifying the parts and learning mouse skills such as double click, drag and drop, and select.

1st grade - We’re learning how to sign into Wixie.com! This is a web based program that requires the students to log in with their BVSD email address.

2nd grade - We’re reviewing how to sign into things with our BVSD email and working on health topics in Brainpop.

3rd grade - We’re learning the art of searching while doing the scavenger hunt in the library. In pairs, we focus on keywords and using the library lookup to find what we need from the results of a search. We then have to successfully find the book in the library.

4th grade - We’re also working on the scavenger hunt, but this time as an individual assessment.

5th grade - We’re continuing our work on Digital Citizenship and will soon be communicating with the students at Ryan Elementary!

10/12/17

posted Jun 9, 2018, 12:31 PM by Kim Butler

This week we read Caldecott winning book Du Iz Tak

With this story students hear a story read in a fictional language, we then use the pictures and information we know about language to try and understand what is happening. We also have an opportunity to reflect on cycles and how events repeat over time.



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9/29/17

posted Jun 9, 2018, 12:30 PM by Kim Butler

This week we wrapped up our units on library rules, procedures and community. The first graders practiced finding a “right fit book” by using the 3 finger rule and the kindergarteners worked together to rescue our books from the box where the Book Bandits locked them (we did a breakout as the conclusion to our book care unit).



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9/22/17

posted Jun 9, 2018, 12:29 PM by Kim Butler

This week we read Penguin Problems and discussed the main character (a penguin). We observed how pessimistic the penguin is and how we could try and include some optimism in our days when we are feeling grouchy like the penguin.

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