Top Knowledge Quest Blog Posts of 2021

Can you dedicate 10 minutes out of your busy day to learn and grow as a professional? If so, I encourage you to get in the habit of reading the Knowledge Quest blog. Here, you’ll find ideas, resources and opportunities from other school librarians. The Knowledge Quest bloggers write about relevant topics to inspire you to take action. 

Take a look at the most popular Knowledge Quest posts of 2021. Find a topic that speaks to you. Connect with contributors by asking questions and sharing relevant information in the comment section in each post. Include your social media information and follow others to grow your professional learning community.

1. The 5 E’s of Inquiry-Based Learning. Wondering how to teach STEM in the school library? Read “The 5 E’s of Inquiry-Based Learning” and explore the 5E Instructional Model. Sam Northern explains each step of the process by summarizing main ideas and illustrating examples. How do your inquiry lessons compare with the 5E Instructional Model? Reflect in the comment section located at the bottom of Northern’s post.

2. “Ancora Imparo.” In 2017, Susan D. Ballard and Blanche Woolls wrote “Ancora Imparo” to inspire us to keep learning. Our school communities rely on us to stay ahead of trends and provide resources. One way we can do this is to engage with the many opportunities provided by the AASL. After reading the post, consider how AASL helps you grow as a school librarian. Share your experiences in the comment section at the end of their post.

3. 8 Games to Play Virtually with Elementary Students. How do you keep learners engaged with your lessons? Try playing a game. In “8 Games to Play Virtually with Elementary Students,” Kelly Hincks shares fun activities learners will love. Hinks describes games that you can play in any setting. What game captures your attention? I love the 60-second sketch activity where learners draw about a topic and share their thinking. This is a great way to assess learning and discover who needs support.

4. 5 Kinds of Nonfiction. Did you know that young learners and educators tend to appreciate different kinds of nonfiction? Tom Bober discovered this at the 2019 AASL National Conference while covering author Melissa Stewart’s session, which he details in “5 Kinds of Nonfiction.” Because of this, school librarians and educators need to provide a variety of nonfiction to attract all readers. After reading the post, spend some time with your nonfiction books. Do you have a varied collection? Reflect on your findings and identify areas that need attention.

5. Embed Codes and Library Websites. Want to learn how to make your library website more dynamic? Discover how to embed online resources by reading “Embed Codes and Library Websites.” Here, Becca Munson defines embed codes and illustrates how to copy code on your site. Munson encourages readers to contact her if you need help.

6. 7 School Library Changes I Hope Remain Post Pandemic. How has the pandemic changed your library routines? Hannah Byrd Little noticed some positive developments in her library. Read her post “7 School Library Changes I Hope Remain Post Pandemic” to see what she discovered. Are you embracing something new and letting go of old routines? Please share your experiences in the comment box below Little’s post.

7. Thematic Teaching with Kindergarten in the Library. The one thing I know to be true is that kindergarten teachers have a great sense of humor. I think it might be a survival strategy.  In “Thematic Teaching with Kindergarten in the Library,” Colleen R. Lee shares how she runs a class with young learners. You’ll get a kick out of reading her post, and learn some valuable tips along the way.

8. See One, Do One, Teach One. How do you encourage learners to become independent in the library? Ashley Cooksey describes how she guides learners in “See One, Do One, Teach One.” Using a model implemented by medical personnel, Cooksey first shows learners what she wants them to do. Then, learners practice the lesson with guidance. Finally, learners teach others their new skills. Cooksey shares an example for you to follow. Click here to check it out!

9. Dear School Leaders: 5 Things You Need to Know About Your School Librarian. Do you feel supported by your colleagues, administrators and stakeholders? If not, read “Dear School Leaders: 5 Things You Need to Know About Your School Librarian.” Here you’ll find information to share with stakeholders. Amanda Jones includes a link to her free webinar about advocacy. Jones teamed up with librarians Courtney Pentland and K. C. Boyd to help viewers advocate for their school libraries.

10. How to transform your library space on a budget. Are you ready to make changes in your library? Read “How to transform your library space on a budget” for inspiration. Diana Rendina shares ideas to get you started. It’s interesting to note that this post is six years old and is still attracting visitors! It’s a hot topic. If you made changes in your library that can help our readers, please share in the comment section in Rendina’s post.

11. Why Do You Need a Collection Development Plan? Did you know that a collection plan can help you advocate for money and prepare you for book challenges? Sedley Abercrombie shares links to important resources in “Why Do You Need a Collection Development Plan.” Read how her suggestions can help you grow a relevant collection for your learning community.

12. How to Weed by the Numbers and Clean Up Your Collection. Start the new year by cleaning out those book shelves! Read how Diana Rendina uses weeding information to advocate for updated resources in her Knowledge Quest post. Discover how Rendina uses circulation numbers to make quick weeding decisions. Try her suggestions to make room for new books learners will love.

13. Free Online Books for Elementary Students. Remote learning compelled school librarians to look for free online books. Daniella Smith curated free online resources to share with the Knowledge Quest community. Read “Free Online Books for Elementary Students” and share the links with educators and parents. The comment section includes more resources. Join the conversation by adding your favorite online books.

14. Book Challenges Coming to a School Near You? If you haven’t faced a book challenge yet, you will. Prepare yourself by reading “Book Challenges Coming to a School Near You?” by Steve Tetreault. In the post, Tetreault shares important points and resources to consider when facing books challenges. I started implementing some of his tips to push back on book removals here in Florida. Thank you, Steve!

15. So Long Google Tour Builder, Hello Google Earth. Do you explore the world with learners? If so, read Becca Munson’s post about Google Earth. Munson shares two examples of how to use Google Earth with learners. You’ll also find additional mapping tools in Munson’s post.

16. 6 Goals for the Library This Year. What goals did you set for the 2021-2022 school year? One of Kelly Hincks’s goals is to “find the fun” in her job. She lists more intentions in “6 Goals for the Library This Year.” Read how Hincks plans to collaborate with colleagues and complete a diversity audit. She also shares ideas about reading promotions and collecting data for library reports.

17. True Crime Books for Teens. In “True Crime Books for Teens,” Brandi Hartsell shares how she promotes this genre. Take a look at her display and the books she recommends to generate ideas for your library. What true crime novels are your learners reading? Please add the titles in the comment section of Hartsell’s post.

18. One School + One Book = A Love of Reading. Are you wondering how to start a One School, One Book program? Sam Northern has two ideas for you. In “One School + One Book = A Love of Reading,” Northern names two book titles with activities. Find ideas to involve the community and make a difference.

19. 12 (Mostly Cheap) Teacher Tricks That Work in an Elementary Library. Magic wands, mystery boxes, and chimes make work easier for author Kelly Hincks. In “12 (Mostly Cheap) Teacher Tricks That Work in an Elementary Library,” Hincks shares fun ideas that are easy to implement. This post received lots of engagement in the comment section. Consider how you can add value to the conversation.

20. Creative Book Displays to Get Students Reading (Part 1). When you visit a book store or library, where do you start looking? I find myself hanging out at the book displays. Here I find staff recommendations and thematic books. Book displays are a great way to feature titles that might get lost on the shelves. Read how Rachel Grover promotes books in “Creative Book Displays to Get Students Reading (Part 1).” Grover will inspire you to arrange books in a creative way. Please share a favorite book display in the comment section of her post.

Take a look at today’s most popular posts on Knowledge Quest. You’ll find the trending topics on the right-hand side of the website. Happy learning!


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:

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Professional Development

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