Easiest Listen to Reading Station EVER

I stumbled upon the easiest listening to reading station ever! In our district we are only given 1 iPad for the classroom… (SAY WHAT?!?!) So you have to come up with some pretty creative ideas on how to use that iPad. I used it for a listen to reading station during literacy centers.



I use this app. This app (shown above) is all those old school readers we used to use for small group. You know the ones that came with the journey’s basil back when we could still use teacher editions?!

It’s great for DIFFERENTIATION!! (You know that big word that Principals like to hear!) All the books are leveled and you can tell the kids which book group they can listen to! It high lights the words and reads the books to them.


I attached a headphone splitter (shown above) and let the kids work in their guided reading groups to listen to a book then answer these FREE worksheets to prove they listened! (And help with comprehension, or another skill that we’ve talked about in class.) These are also DIFFERENTIATED!

Here are the instructions I used, not the cutest, but it gets the job done. I attached it to the table that my iPad and splitter sits at.

Guys, this is seriously the easiest listening to reading station. The students click on an app, listen to a story and work together (or separately depending on your group) to do a worksheet, that you can use as documentation. You can see what the kids are getting (or not getting).


Book Character Pumpkins!


If you are looking for a fun Fall activity for your library, look no further!

My library is covered in book character pumpkins!! (What’s that, you say?) Well, what a great question!

I sent home flyers to parents inviting them to work with their students, at home, to paint their favorite book character on a pumpkin! This activity is great, because it gets parents and students working together and discussing books! *Another great thing about it, is that it’s entirely done at home! So you don’t have to mess with it except displaying them!*


I’m taking it a step further and next week I am going to have the lower grades come and practice “voting”. The favorite pumpkin will get a PRIZE!


This is an easy, fun and engaging activity that parents and students ADORE! Please use this and take my examples! Let me know how it works for your school!

Library Procedures Lesson

Hey, if you’re anything like me, you need these kids to get those library procedures ASAP, because I ain’t yo mama, and I don’t want to clean up after you.

So, I’ve created a fun, easy and quick lesson to get your kids to understand how to act in the library. Feel free to use this!

First, I show them this Pikochart.

Our school has carts that have the genre/dewey decimal on the side, so that students can check in their books and place them in a nice, neat order.

Then, once I’ve gone over the procedures of the library, I show a fun video!

I pause in between the questions to make it more interactive. The kids can see how important it is to behave in the library.

Then, if time allows, I play this fun song!

We talk about our voice levels in the library.


This may seem PreK-ish, but let me tell you, the songs are really fun for 5th grade, too! It really helps the kids see the expectations and the WHY of the library!

Check out more on my Pinterest: JaclynBing

Pokemon is all the rage.

Since Pokemon is EVERYWHERE right now. I’m going to use it to my advantage.

Here are some displays (and display ideas) for my library that I’ll be building this year.


Book display ideas:

I was thinking of putting pictures of the recognizable pokemon like; Squirtle, Charmander, Pikachu, Duduo, etc. And having books under them that are nonfiction, but the same types of animals. For example:

A table that says “Love Pokemon? Then you’ll love these books!”

Then pictures of pokemon like:

Under this picture, I would put books on squirrels, turtles, and tortoises
Under this, I would put books on emus and ostriches.


Do you get the picture? This could be a great way to get students who are not interested in reading, really interested in reading. I’m not sure how long Pokemon Go is going to last, but let’s use it academically!

What are your thoughts? What’s something you’ve done?


Don’t let the pigeon do an Author Study!

I just recently did a Mo Willems Author Study at one of my schools. It went great! Who doesn’t love Mo Willems??

For this the teachers read the book and then had students fill out this worksheet. You can find it here, and her blog is awesome and full of great resources.


For the Pigeon needs a bath I utilized TGIF’s blog and TPT store. You can view her stuff here and here.



For Leonardo the Terrible Monster, I couldn’t find anything that I thought was challenging enough. So I had the kids fill out this worksheet. Then we got to create our own monster and did a double bubble comparing the two monsters.

We did a ton more, but I can’t post everythinggggggg. Let me know what Author Studies you’ve done!



Creating a Library for Practically Nuffin’


One of the most exciting things for me (because I’m a huge book nerd) was creating a differentiated library system in my class that kids could use! This could also be used at home with your own kids, with modifications. By now you should know how stingy I am, so don’t expect to spend a lot with these helpful tips.



Before spending a CENT on books (that honestly are going to get torn up in a year by natural usage) ask people! Post on your facebook, twitter, nextdoor, etc, that you’re a teacher and need books. People feel sorry for teachers, they’ll give you everything they have if they could. Or if you’re a parent, just say I’m in need of children’s books. When I was a first year teacher I posted that EVERYWHERE and I got at least 30 FREE books just from that.

Another group to listen to is retiring teachers, when teachers leave they don’t want to keep anything! Ask retiring teachers, teachers who are becoming principals or counselors what they are doing with their books or collections. Chances are they didn’t even think about it and will give those books away! I got a bunch of hand-me downs this way.


2. Half Priced Books Warehouse

Look in your area for the nearest Half Priced Books Warehouse. On Saturday’s they will open their warehouse (as the rooster crows) and give you two boxes that you can fill with all the books your heart desires! I got like 200 books from this! The boxes are BIG. THESE ARE TOTALLY FREE! Now make sure to monitor what you get… I once got a book with naked pictures in it. Phew, good thing I checked!


3. Your school’s Librarian

As I’m working on my internship to becoming a Librarian I see how important this person is! Like seriously they have to know EVERYTHING and be nice all at the same time, it’s exhausting. So, one thing to know is that the library is constantly updating and getting new books or content or getting rid of “ugly” books. Talking to your Librarian to see if they are deleting or getting rid of any books is a great way to start. They might not be the prettiest things, but that means that kids love them and have checked them out!


4. Library Summer Sales

Public libraries have to do the same thing, update their content, filter the old books or ugly books, etc. When they do this, the “friends of the library” or whatever group organizes this will sell the books they are getting rid of to try to make more money for library activities. The books are so cheap, like 50 cents, or 25 cents cheap! I even bought some books just for me to read.

Half Price Books - Lincoln Square

5. Half Price Books

Half Price Books gives 10% off for teachers (if you show your badge), I would go into the clearance children’s book section and find all the 50 cent books! I would get a bunch of those that’s books for only 45 cents a piece! GENIUS.


6. Thrift Stores, Goodwill, DAV, Salvation Army ETC

I found a ton of leveled readers at a thrift store once, I have no clue why they were there. (Must have been an out of print collection) The whole collection, about 80 small books which is 20 different levels, was only $2. YUP only $2!


7. Scholastic Reading Club

These are those little magazine like things we got when we were little. With the books all over it and you would circle the ones you wanted? Yeah those still exist and it’s awesome for teachers! They will have sales where the books are like $1 a piece or a set of books for $30, but you get like 40 books or something. Also, when your students order, your classroom gets points that you can use on MORE books for your library!


8. Online Resources

If you don’t have a ton of books, but still want your kiddos reading, there are a ton of websites that have free ebooks!
We Give Books (you have to have a log in, but it’s totally free)
Storyline Online (which are videos of famous actors reading to your child)
Project Gutenburg (which downloads free books to your computer)
International Children’s Library (free fun books)

And way more, there’s also a ton of apps available!
Apple’s iBook has a bunch of free books loaded.
HMH houghton mifflin has all their leveled readers on an app.
Starfall, duh!


9. How to make it a Differentiation

If you’re looking for books for you home, look away! I used old shoe boxes (which I covered in cute paper of course) and put a number on each box. 1 was for my lowest group (non readers- DRA2/3) and it went all the way to 8 (DRA 28+). Each group was differentiated by DRA level (Fountas and Pinnell can be done as well). I found the levels by using a few leveling apps, Scholastic has a very good one. I told each reading group what their number was and that they could only get their book from that number. I coordinated the numbers with colors and put the corresponding sticker color on the book. It was so easy for organizing and it looks great on observations. 😉

There are WAY more opportunities and humble yourself, set aside your pride and talk to your fellow coworkers, friends, etc. Make sure you are open to help and receptive!



*All pictures found on flickr.com labeled for reuse.