Top 20 Knowledge Quest Posts of 2020

Decorative banner stating the purpose of the blog; listing the top 20 most viewed KQ blog posts of 2020.

School librarians stay informed about their profession by subscribing to the Knowledge Quest blog. The content covers topics about collaboration, teaching and learning, professional development, library management, advocacy and technology.

Knowledge Quest bloggers shared resources to support school librarians during a pandemic. Below are the top viewed posts of 2020. You’ll find lots of ideas to put into practice this new year.

#1 “The 5 E’s of Inquiry-Based Learning” by Sam Northern

Before developing your next STEM lesson, read this post by Sam Northern. Here, you’ll learn how the 5E Inquiry-Based Instructional Model engages learners in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) lessons. STEM careers are growing, and school librarians can prepare learners for these jobs by following the 5E Inquiry-Based Instructional Model. Northern synthesizes the model with visual graphics and suggested activities.

#2 “Distance Read-Alouds” by Sam Northern

When schools shut down in 2020, educators scrambled to publish online lessons. This created a big conversation about copyright and fair use. Sam Northern reminds readers to familiarize themselves with fair use before reading a book online. He shares important information to reference before copying or sharing educational material.

#3 “Leading Digital Escape Rooms Online during COVID-19” by Amanda Jones

Are you ready for some fun? Read how Amanda Jones developed online escape room adventures for learners. She explains how she generated interest and changed Zoom settings for a better experience. Jones shares a curated list of free digital escape rooms, webinars, and how-to guides for you to investigate. Check them out and try one today!

#4 “‘Ancora Imparo'” by Susan D. Ballard and Blanche Woolls

School librarians are a curious bunch. Learning opportunities intrigue us, and that’s why the Italian phrase “Ancora Imparo” rings true to our profession. Susan D. Ballard and Blanche Woolls describe the importance of staying connected and informed in this post. AASL and its chapters offer many professional development opportunities and resources. What learning experiences helped you grow as an essential educator? Please share in the “Ancora Imparo” post comment box.

#5 “The School Library Is Still Open! Ten Ways to Change Our Physical Spaces into Virtual Libraries” by Angie Miller

How do school libraries stay relevant when school buildings are forced to close? Angie Miller offers ten suggestions to stay visible and make library resources available for learning communities. Her helpful tips cover everything from advocating for your work, staying connected with classroom learning, and keeping paraprofessionals involved with managing the library.

#6 “Snapshot of School Librarian Roles during School Closures” by the AASL

AASL surveyed members when schools shut down in March. AASL wanted to know how school librarians were connecting with their learning communities. Two additional snapshot surveys followed the first discovery. Read all three snapshots to learn how the pandemic shifted the roles of school librarians across the country.

#7 “Pandemic Preparedness for School Libraries” by Leanne Ellis

How are you doing with supporting your learning community during a pandemic? If you need advice about teaching online, connecting with learners or helping classroom educators, take a look at the ideas in “Pandemic Preparedness for School Libraries.” The helpful suggestions are organized by the different roles of the school librarian.

#8 “5 Kinds of Nonfiction” by Tom Bober

Are you sorry you missed Melissa Stewart’s nonfiction session at the 2019 AASL National Conference? Well, don’t worry. Tom Bober’s got you covered. He describes the different types of nonfiction and why it’s important to know what young learners enjoy. You’ll want to read Stewart’s suggestions for balancing your nonfiction collection to engage all readers.

#9 “See One, Do One, Teach One” by Ashley Cooksey

Here’s a lesson idea to encourage learners to become independent library users. In “See One, Do One, Teach One”, Ashley Cooksey describes a picture book lesson plan that inspires learners to use the library independently. In her post, you’ll find Cooksey’s Library Success Story Certificate that motivates learners to develop their library skills.

#10 “Remote Learning Lessons PreK to 4th Grade” by Kelly Hincks

Are you looking for library lessons for young learners? Take a look at the lesson plans Kelly Hincks shares in her post “Remote Learning Lessons PreK to 4th Grade.” Be sure to read the comments at the end of the blog post for links to her online Scratch lessons.

#11 “12 (mostly cheap) Teacher Tricks That Work in an Elementary Library” by Kelly Hincks

Here’s another popular post by school librarian Kelly Hincks. Take a look at how Hincks makes book checkout and learning activities manageable and fun.

#12 “Librarian on a Cart: Bringing the Library to the Classroom” by Kelly Hincks

If you are looking for creative ways to deliver books to learners, there are two posts by Kelly Hincks that you should read. Start by reading her popular post “Librarian on a Cart: Bringing the Library to the Classroom.” In this post, Hincks shares her plans for distributing books when her physical library space was closed. Next, read her follow-up post “The Original Plan vs. What It Really Looks Like.” Here, she reflects on what worked, what didn’t, and the changes she made.

#13 “12 More (mostly cheap) Teacher Tricks that Work in an Elementary Library” by Kelly Hincks

Here are more tips from Kelly Hincks that you don’t want to miss. Each idea includes a short description with a picture. What idea will you try in your library?

#14 “How to Transform Your Library Space on a Budget” by Diana Rendina

Diana Rendina wrote this post in 2015, and school librarians are still loving her ideas! See if you can incorporate some of her suggestions in your library space.

#15 “Free Online Books for Elementary Students” by Daniella Smith

Are you looking for free online reading resources that respect the rights of authors and illustrators? You’ll find some great links in Daniella Smith’s post. Be sure to read the comments to find more resources.

#16 “8 Games to Play Virtually with Elementary Students” by Kelly Hincks

Are you looking for ways to engage learners with online lessons? Try some of the games described by Kelly Hincks. Consider how you can incorporate her suggestions in your next lesson.

#17 “Getting to Know Your School Librarian from a Safe Distance” by Courtney Pentland

How do you connect with classroom educators? School librarian Courtney Pentland distributes a menu of her library services. Her easy-to-read menu states her mission, contact information, and descriptions of services. Everything about the menu lets classroom educators know that Pentland is available to support teaching and learning. Look at her examples and create a menu for your learning community.

#18 “How to Weed by the Numbers and Clean Up Your Collection” by Diana Rendina 

Weeding is a popular topic for school librarians. If you are not sure how to start weeding your collection, take a look at Diana Rendina’s post about using data to drive decisions. You may also want to join the conversation in the comment section.

#19 “Journey with Jones: Leading Virtual Field Trips during COVID-19” by Amanda Jones

How do you travel when the world is shut down? Read “Journey with Jones” and discover how to facilitate a successful online adventure for your learning community. Perhaps learners can follow Jones’s example and create a field trip for classmates to enjoy.

#20 “Amazing (and Free) Resources from the Library of Congress” by Margaret Sullivan

The Library of Congress offers a tremendous amount of free resources for classrooms. Margaret Sullivan helps school librarians jump into the website by highlighting 3 favorite sections. The Chronicling America page features newspapers printed 100 years ago. It’s fascinating to read old articles from different parts of the country.

Did you try any of the ideas presented in the most viewed blog posts of 2020?  Please share how things went in the comment box below!


Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher:

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