(More!) Freebies for Your School Library on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Happy New Year, everyone! If two of your New Year’s resolutions for 2018 are to save money and to treat your students to brand new resources in your school library, you definitely found the right place to start!

I wrote a post a few months ago with links to over 40 free downloads from Teachers Pay Teachers that can be used in the school library, and so far, it’s been the most visited post on my blog. I have been digging up more awesome free Teachers Pay Teachers products lately, and since we’re now almost halfway through the school year, I figured you guys might be ready for another list of fabulous freebies!

I tend to get a little enthusiastic when I go on my free download sprees…I apologize in advance if I seem a bit giddy. (But…ALL THIS STUFF IS FREE! FREE! FREE! IT COSTS NO MONEY!)

Are you ready to shop til you drop? (Or, in this case, point and click a lot of times?)

Parts of a Book / Text Features

This awesome product by Wife Teacher Mommy will help you teach your students about text features! It includes a great Venn diagram that will help kids understand the similarities and differences between a table of contents and an index!

I downloaded this freebie by Anderson Academics for my students when we were reviewing using a glossary. It includes a nonfiction article about bats complete with a little cute mini glossary, so it gave my students good practice working with an informational text and referring to the glossary as needed. Love it!

Fiction/Nonfiction

Here is a cute freebie by inourlibrary that you can use to help your students understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction!

Reference Books

When it’s time to introduce different books in the reference section of your library, save time by using this already-made PowerPoint presentation by Jessi Olmsted!

And try this resource by Oak Roots and Arrows! It includes signs that explain each type of reference book!

Download this free worksheet by The Introvert Teacher to give your kids some practice with their dictionary skills!

And for more dictionary practice, how about a free dictionary packet by Struggling Learner Resources?!

Makerspace

Mrs. J in the Library has put together this fabulous product to help you get your students started using littleBits in your library makerspace!

Avoiding Plagiarism / Citing Sources

Here is a cool slide show game by Created for Learning to teach your students about plagiarism!

And this phenomenal guide to the MLA format by Presto Plans will help your students understand the right way to cite their sources!

Using a Card Catalog

Check out this product by The LibraryFox that will give your kids a chance to practice using their online card catalog!

And to give your students more practice with the card catalog, here’s a freebie by Library Princess!

Poetry

Whoa! This freebie by Page by Paige is bursting at the seams with poetry information and activities!

Get your school involved in Poem in Your Pocket Day with this free resource by More Than a Worksheet!

Library Decor

Is it time to add something new to those library walls? Just download, print, and hang these Dewey Decimal signs by Little Library of Learning!

Or this pack of reading-themed signs by Aylin Claahsen!

Or this cute library sign by Hello Literacy!

Or this library rules banner by Mister Librarian!

Or these signs by Staying Cool in the Library that encourage students to have a growth mindset!

Or this owl-themed reading sign by Kelly Benefield!

Or this “Reading is Thinking” banner by Sarah Barnett – Mrs. B First Grade!

Or these signs with inspirational quotes by ATBOT the Book Bug!

Or…all of them (because…they’re FREE!)

Extension Activities Designed for Specific Picture Books

If you read How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky with your students, download this free resource by The Library Patch!

This resource by Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning includes some terrific ideas and activities to go with Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems!

Every year, I read Read It, Don’t Eat It! by Ian Schoenherr with my first grade students, so I was thrilled to find this resource by The Librarian’s Literature Links that I can use with the kids this year!

This cute booklet by Staying Cool in the Library goes with the popular picture book Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman!

This sequencing activity by Little Miss Librarian is designed to be used with another great library read aloud: Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss!

This awesome freebie by Kathy Goosev Howell will knock your socks off! It has activities to go with not one, not two, not three, but SEVENTEEN picture books. Definitely something for everyone in this free product!

Seasonal/Holiday Activities

For Groundhog Day, your students can color these free bookmarks by Let’s Learn S’more!

Thanks to Sweetest Seconds in a Day, your students can practice their ABC order with this cute Valentine’s Day themed product!

And here are some fantastic Valentine’s Day themed bookmarks by Luv2Educate for your students to color!

This Valentine’s Day resource (by me!) will help your students practice differentiating between a fiction call number and a nonfiction call number!

Cover images by Krista Wallden and Kim’s Creations

For St. Patrick’s Day, More Than a Worksheet has a free research scavenger hunt for your students!

And ATBOT the Book Bug has some really fun St. Patrick’s Day bookmarks!

The unCommon Library has created a fun, free, fall-themed game for your library students to play – The Dewey Dash!

Little Library Learners’ pack of Thanksgiving-themed library resources is so cute! I didn’t discover this product until after Thanksgiving, but I will definitely have it on hand for next year!

Fun Stuff

It’s always great to have reading-themed coloring pages kicking around for those kids who finish their work quickly, and here’s a fantastic free set of coloring pages by Kathryn Garcia – Made for Learning.

And here are some superhero-themed bookmarks by A Sunny Day in First Grade for your students to decorate!

This product by Lake Loon Learning Resources consists of little signs that say things like, “Pick me! Pick me!” and “Read me. I’m great!” You can print them out and stick them next to books on your library shelf to get kids interested in them! Such a creative and fun idea!

And here we have a library-themed song by Debbie Clement – complete with the audio file and the lyrics! So cute!

Clip Art

I am so excited about this find! Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs has amazing free clip art sets to go with popular nursery rhymes, including a free Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe set, a free Hey Diddle Diddle set, and a free Baa Baa Black Sheep set.  I can’t believe how adorable (and free!) they are!

And I love this free book clip art by Molly Tillyer! And this one too!  Colorful, happy books that you can use in your colorful, happy library!

I hope your library bag o’ tricks is overflowing with new stuff! 🙂

And next time that bag needs a little more replenishing, don’t forget to visit my store, and the Teachers Pay Teachers stores of all the other teacher-authors featured today, to stock up!

**Thank you so much to the Teachers Pay Teachers teacher-authors who gave me permission to include their free resources in this post! For more freebies, check out my other post about Freebies for your School Library, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss the next one!**

Thankful for You!

Hi there! As we approach Thanksgiving (what?! just two more weeks?!?!), my list of things to be thankful for is even longer this year because I am so grateful for everyone who has visited my TpT store or my blog.

That includes you! 🙂

Blogging and TpTing are still new for me, but so far so great. I really enjoy writing these posts, creating teaching resources, and meeting new people along the way. It’s so surreal to check the stats and find out that people around the world have clicked over to check out this very blog!

Here’s an itty bitty token of my appreciation – a free teaching resource! I’m working on parts of a book with one of my library classes, so I made a Thanksgiving-themed printable worksheet about using an index.
Go ahead and grab a copy by clicking here!

Graphics by Mrs. Naufal’s Nook

I’m also sharing the gratitude love over at my Teachers Pay Teachers store by having a 15% off sale from now until November 12th. Feel free to check it out!

May God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving (and always)! 🙂

Boo! A Book Care Freebie for You!

Just a short post today to say “hi!” – and “BOO!” – and give away a free library printable!

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I could never have too many resources for teaching about proper library book care! In kindergarten and first grade, I pepper my year with lots of reminders about how to take care of a library book, so it’s great to have resources that will work at different times of the year. With Halloween right around the corner, I put this worksheet together for my first graders:

Clip art by Chadelel’s Design

Click here to download it!

For an easy peasy library lesson, you could just read a spooky story, remind your students not to scare their librarian with bad book care choices, and put them to work on the worksheet during book checkout time. 🙂

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Freebies for Your School Library on Teachers Pay Teachers!

My last post was about my #1 suggestion for the new school year, which is to join Teachers Pay Teachers. I talked about my decision to become a buyer (and soon afterward, a seller!) during the last year, and how thrilled I am to be able to get awesome resources for my students for cheap – or often, free!

No matter what you teach, there are most likely a ton of freebies available on Teachers Pay Teachers that will be useful to you. But I’m a library girl, so today I am going to bring you on a little shopping spree to get some cool FREE products that you can use if you are a school librarian (or a library/media specialist, library teacher, teacher-librarian, library superhero rock star diva, or whatever you call yourself these days.) 🙂

YOU DON’T NEED ANY MONEY FOR THIS SHOPPING SPREE! If you want to download any of this fabulous free-ness, you just need an account on Teachers Pay Teachers (and joining, is, of course, also free). I have organized this freebie-for-all into different library-related subjects to make your shopping trip free AND easy!

Let’s grab our imaginary reusable shopping bags and go! (Get ready for a LOT of exclamation points! But really, who isn’t excited about a freebie shopping spree?!?!?!)

Parts of a Book/Text Features

You can help your kids understand text features with this student activity book by KC Classroom Creations!

Here we have a free Bingo activity by The LibraryFox to review text features!

And here is everything you need for a text feature Scoot game by Live Laugh Teach First Grade!

Why not turn identifying text features into a scavenger hunt? Download iHeartLiteracy’s free product to get it started!

Here is a printable poster by Create-Abilities you can display or distribute to remind your kids about everything they have learned about text features!

Library Behavior & Etiquette

You can display these free signs by Leah the Librarian or these posters by Kathryn Garcia to remind your kids about how to behave in the library!

Ooh ooh! This one’s mine! 🙂 Print out these free worksheets (by me!) to reinforce your lessons on library behavior and etiquette at the beginning of the school year (or any time the kiddos need a refresher!).

Reference Materials

When your students are learning about reference materials, try this ABC Research resource by The Library Patch!

And Linda the Librarian’s Hunting for Information is another cute resource that your kids can use to practice using books from the reference section!

This Dictionary Scavenger Hunt, created by Rachel Lynette, is a great resource to download when your students are learning to use dictionaries!

Taking Care of Books

These spaceship-themed book care bookmarks created by The Library Patch will remind your library students about the rules of taking care of books!

And Staying Cool in the Library’s adorable book care product includes a coloring page and bookmarks to reinforce your lessons on book care! (I literally just used this product with my new kindergarteners earlier this week!) 🙂

Dewey Decimal System

These cute bookmarks by Staying Cool in the Library can help your students learn the categories of the Dewey Decimal System!

Using Call Numbers

This free resource by Summer Pittman gets students up and moving around the library by asking them to locate books with different call numbers!

Photo by Molly Coulter
Fiction vs. Nonfiction

Here is a free resource by Mrs. J in the Library that you can use to assess student knowledge of fiction vs. nonfiction (along with author/illustrator and basic parts of a book as well)!

Book Fair

Download, print, and display this free banner, designed by ATBOT the Book Bug, to advertise your Book Fair!

Support your colleagues who teach math by making your Book Fair into a math lesson! Try the Trapped Librarian’s Book Fair Math product!

Genres

This free product by Kathryn Garcia includes bookmarks, a coloring book, and other resources to help teach your students about genres of literature!

And please try my Genre Easter Egg Hunt as a fun activity to reinforce the characteristics of several genres!

So let’s say you want to plan a lesson to teach your first or second grade students about the graphic novel genre. Why, here is a lesson plan by Mrs. J in the library! Boom. Done.

When one of your lower elementary classes is working with the biography genre, download this free product by Elle Madison, which includes coloring pages with information about the lives of Michael Jordan and Dr. Seuss! Adorable!

Coding

Need some suggestions on how to introduce coding to your library students? Download this free resource by the Trapped Librarian that includes ideas for Hour of Code!

Bookmarks to Color

Here are some free Columbus Day-themed bookmarks by Lil Country Librarian that your students can color and decorate!

And some bookmarks especially for the 100th day of school by Library Learners!

This winter, you can make your kids laugh as they decorate these joke bookmarks created by LittleRed!

When it’s springtime, how about some Peeps bookmarks? Here are Elementary Library Mama’s Peeps bookmarks to color!

And…for any time of the year…some cute reading-themed bookmarks by Elementary Lesson Plans and animal bookmarks by Mrs. Molly’s Menagerie!

End of the School Year

Do you remember that process-and-a-half of getting all the books back to the library at the end of the school year? Here are some free award certificates by Elementary Library Mama that will be great incentives for your kids!

When book checkout is over for the year, but you need a few activities to get your littlest library students through the last class or two, try these activities (in this resource by…me!).

And if you are looking for a fun way to encourage your library students to keep reading over the summer, just download Summer Reading Bingo by Primary Playground!

Or help your students to try out different genres in the summer with this summer reading product by Kathryn Garcia!

Library Decor

Now, here we have a set of posters with quotations about reading, designed by Staying Cool in the Library, and some more reading-themed posters by My First Grade Gems!

And how about some Dewey Decimal System and Genre posters by Balke’s Resources?!

You can plan ahead for winter by downloading these free posters by ATBOT the Book Bug that will make your library look fantastic!

Clip Art

More of a DIY-er, are ya? If you want to make your own educational resources for your school library, TpT has you covered there too.

(Side note: If making your own resources is your thing, you may want to consider becoming a TpT seller too! If you open a seller account through this link, I will get a referral bonus…and it won’t take away from any of the profits you make! So far I have loved every minute of being a Teachers Pay Teachers seller.  Just an idea! On with the freebies!) 🙂

Here is some book clip art by Elementary Lesson Plans!

And here is a set of free clip art from DarraKadisha that includes books and other school supplies!

The next freebie is from Optimistic Kids and Families Art, and as the artist says in her description of the resource, they are, in fact, “free bees.” (Bee clip art, of course! And one of them is reading – perfect for library resources! A cute product and a cute pun.) 🙂

Here is some free clip art by Kari Bolt Clip Art that would be perfect for your library newsletters, signs, and other creations!

And let’s end with some adorable reading owl clip art by Clipartino!

And There is So Much More!

We could seriously chow down on this all-you-can-eat buffet of free stuff all day. My list is just a little sample of all the great resources that are available on Teachers Pay Teachers, but I hope our free spree today got you set up with a bunch of printables and other freebies that will help you throughout this new school year!

*A huge “thank you!” to the Teachers Pay Teachers teacher-authors who gave me permission to include their resources in this list!*

My #1 New School Year Tip: Join Teachers Pay Teachers!

I think most teachers would agree that the real “New Year” begins in August or September when the school year starts. New students and new policies and new schedules are bigger changes than what we see when the ball drops between December and January.

From planning to cleaning to decorating to organizing to copying, there is a ton of work to do as the school year starts, and I’m going to suggest that you add one more itty bitty thing to your list. But it’s a thing that will ultimately make some of the other things easier. AND make the rest of the school year easier.

JOIN TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS!

Really. Do it. Yesterday.

What It Is…and What Else It Is

Okay. So I had heard about Teachers Pay Teachers long before I actually tried it, and waiting so long to give it a go was a MISTAKE. Basically, before I registered for TpT, I used to spend a lot of time on Google trying to search for “free” lesson ideas and worksheets and coloring pages for my students. Sometimes, a search result would pop up that said it was on Teachers Pay Teachers and I’d be like, “Oh, that sounds great!” but then I’d be like, “Oh, it’s on Teachers Pay Teachers. And I don’t want to pay for anything right now. So, no thanks.” To be honest, something about the name Teachers PAY Teachers irked me a little at first and made me feel like everything was going to be really expensive.

As time went on, those Teachers Pay Teachers items showed up more and more. Meanwhile, I also found that more often than not, randomly searching the rest of internet brought me to a bunch of weird spammy sites. I eventually concluded that I WAS going to end up paying SOMEONE, and it was beginning to look like the money would be going to a tech-y dude who gets spyware off your computer. I figured I was better off giving money to some fellow teachers than having my computer infected with internet gunk.

So I joined the site and accepted that I would, in fact, be a teacher that was paying other teachers.

But in my first few minutes looking around the site, I found out something very important about Teachers Pay Teachers. Yes, it is a site where you can purchase fantastic resources created by other teachers. But IT IS ALSO a place where teachers GIVE AWAY FABULOUS FREE PRODUCTS.

Yay TpT! SO MUCH is Free!

There are FREE lesson plans, FREE coloring pages, FREE classroom posters, FREE fonts, FREE videos, FREE printable worksheets, and much more. Get this- every single person who sells on Teachers Pay Teachers MUST have at least one freebie (really – it is a requirement in order to be a seller!). So we are talking about THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of FREE products.

So I went on a free downloading spree. It was basically what I had been TRYING to do many times before during my Googling sprees, but SO much easier and more successful. I can’t even believe how many free worksheets and other resources I have found for free from the talented sellers on TpT.

And If It’s Not Free, It’s Probably Worth It!

If I have a very specific need and I can’t find something free, I can usually find something inexpensive and worth every penny. I really would rather not pay for resources, of course, but then I stopped and realized that I never hesitate to spend $5 here or there for office supplies, stickers, or prizes for school. So, why not pay a couple of bucks for something that is actually designed to help my students learn something? And it is fun to know that a purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers will help support a teacher.

So…Who’s Paying Whom?

Ultimately, I’m less than a year into using TpT, yet I have downloaded a ton of resources and spent a pretty tiny amount of money. For all these years, I stayed away from Teachers Pay Teachers, when all along I didn’t realize it was like a dollar store / FREE store for teaching resources. Almost every time I visit the site, I get paid in freebies, which leads me to wonder – are the sellers or buyers really winning out here? Or is it just a fantastic partnership for everybody involved?

Check It Out Today!

If you haven’t joined yet, go for it! Joining is free and as I mentioned, there is a ton of great stuff that is just waiting for you, no matter what subject you teach! I am so happy that I joined, and I loved TpT so much that I opened my own store there a few months after making my first purchase.

So…all that free stuff we were talking about? As soon as you sign up, feel free to start your own personal free download spree with some of my free products!

Enjoy!

Throw a Book Tasting Party in Your School Library!

I had seen them for years – those awesome blog posts and Google images showing adorable book tasting parties in school libraries and classrooms. A book tasting looked like a great activity, but I was afraid it would be a lot of prep for a short event.

Then, this past May, I finally got my act together and joined in the fun!

And…it WAS fun!

And really not that much work after all.  Here is what I did.

First Things First

First, I decided on the details of how I would run my book tasting, since there are lots of ideas floating out there. My school has preschool through eighth grade with only one class per grade level, so for my very first attempt at a book tasting, I just planned on one sitting for my fourth grade class and one sitting for my fifth grade class. I decided to put one book at each seat, give students a chance to browse through that book for a few minutes, and then have the students write briefly about the book on a record sheet. Then, they’d pass the book to the right and repeat.

For the inevitable “I already read that book!” comments, I would place a pile of books in the center of the table so the kids could swap them out as needed.

The Prep Process

So I wandered around my library looking for books that my fourth and fifth graders might like but that are usually overlooked. I made sure to get enough for each student in each class and a bunch of extras for the middle of the table.

Next, I made up the handouts I would use. I made a record sheet for students to fill out with info about each book (and printed them out on red paper to add a little more color to the tables).  I also typed out the directions for the activity so I could put a copy on each table as a reminder. (And…those handouts are available below for FREE! Just keep on reading!)

The weekend before my book tasting party, I hit up my local public library to get some CDs of easy listening / jazz music to play in the background during the event, and then it was time to go shopping! I purchased tablecloths, circle placemats, snazzy glasses, and battery operated candles at the dollar store, and I also picked up some lollipops to make the event a little more exciting for the kiddos. (I figured lollipops were a non-messy, allergy-friendly treat, and that if the kids had lollipops in their mouths, they might focus on reading instead of chatting!) 🙂

On the day of the party, the setup was pretty quick and easy since I had the help of a fabulous library volunteer. Each table got a tablecloth, a circular placemat in the middle, two battery operated candles, a fancy dollar store glass full of lollipops, a little cup with pencils in it, a stack of books, and a sheet with directions. Every place setting got a record sheet and one book.

The Big Par-tay!

At party time, it was so cool to watch the kids’ faces as they came in and saw how I had decorated the library. I had the kids sit on the rug first so I could explain everything before they got to the tables. I gave them procedures for what to do during “tasting time,” “rating time,” and “switching time.”  Once the kids knew the plan, I sent them to their seats and they began the browsing/writing/passing process, which went quite smoothly. The pile of books in the middle of the table was definitely helpful because it seemed like each table did tap into those at least once.

As for the lollipops…I had mixed feelings about them. I had made them the centerpiece of each table by placing a bunch of lollipops inside one of my fun dollar store glasses. All the kids seemed excited that they were there, and one class did pretty well with them, but they did cause a distraction for the other class. I haven’t decided whether I would use them again…and if so, I might ditch the centerpiece plan and just place one at each seat.

Ultimately, the book tasting party did what I had hoped it would…it added a new energy to library class for the day, and it gave kids a chance to try out books that they normally would not have tried.

And now that I have all the materials made up and the supplies purchased, I plan to throw a book tasting party at least once a year, and maybe involve some of my older and younger students too.

Thanks for the Inspiration!

I want to take a sec to thank other teacher bloggers who have shared their fabulous book tastings. I have read numerous posts about book tasting parties over the last few years, and these are the ones I consulted when putting together my book tasting party:

A Wrinkle in Tech; Expect the Miraculous: Barrow Media Center; Teaching with a Mountain View; Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching; The Book Bug; Miss Liberry Teacher; Where the Magic Happens Teaching; and Three Ring Library. Check out those posts for some more fun book tasting ideas.

And Now…a Freebie for You!

Ready to party it up at your first book tasting? Let me take one step out of the prep process for you. Click here to download the record sheet and directions sheet that I made for this event.

Have you held a book tasting in your classroom or library already? Share the details of your book tasting party in the comments below!

 

Let’s Do This!

I am SO EXCITED to get this blog going.  Starting a blog has been on my “someday when I have time” list for awhile now, and I finally decided that despite NOT having the time, I’m going to go for it.

My house is probably going to be a little more clutter-y (if that’s at all possible).  I might miss out on a few hours of sleep.  But I actually think the things that matter – my family and my students – can only benefit if I set some time aside to write.  My family will get a version of their wife/mom whose creative side gets a little more exercise – which I think will translate to a happier, more sane wife/mom.  And as for my students, taking the time to blog about school will force me to do more reflecting and thinking about what works best…and otherwise, that reflecting often gets bumped to that “someday when I have time” list.

Win-Win.  Win.  Win.

So hopefully this will be a win-win for my family and my students.  And a win for me too.  And last but DEFINITELY not least, I hope this is going to be a win for you.  I am looking forward to connecting with you and giving you ideas and inspiring you and reminding you that you’re not alone on this crazy journey of teaching/parenting/living.  We have unlimited potential when we collaborate and learn from one another and make the most of God’s gifts to us, so let’s work together to tap into that potential. And hopefully have some fun along the way too.

Here we go!

Oh, wait! Don’t go yet!

To thank you for visiting my new blog, here is a freebie for you! I have a little slideshow of inspirational Christian graphics as the screensaver for one of my computers in my library, and as I design new graphics for it, you are welcome to download them! Feel free to make your own screensaver slideshow, use it as the background for your desktop, or print it. Here’s the newest one:

Just right click to get the .jpeg, or, if you prefer, go ahead and download the .pdf version here.

Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you soon!