Blogs: Educators

Attention, educators! Are you tired of using the same old books with your classes every year? Attend one of the library's summer educator workshops to learn about the latest and greatest books to use in the classroom. All workshops will be offered online this year.

 

Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum. We have separate workshops for kindergarten to fifth-grade educators and sixth- to 12th-grade educators.

  • Kindergarten to fifth-grade educators: This is a two-part webinar, with part one (covering language arts and social studies) on August 2 from 2-3:15 pm, and part two (covering science, math, health and the arts) on August 4 from 2-3:15 pm. A list of the featured books will be available, and certificates of attendance will be provided for educator clock hours. Register now
  • Sixth- to 12th-grade educators: Sign up now, and we’ll contact you to let you know when the online booklists are available.  

 

Novel-Ties (for fourth- to eighth-grade educators) self-paced online workshop: Hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. Register now, and we’ll contact you to let you know when the workshop is available.  

 

Talking Equity and Social Justice: Free Booktalks for Educators and Parents: Are you looking for some new books to share with youth on topics like diversity, equity and social responsibility? School Corps librarians will share quick booktalks for educators and parents on titles that address these topics. Online booklists will be provided, and certificates of attendance are available for educator clock hours. Register now

 

Contact School Corps with questions.

Two women and a young girl blow bubbles outside in a field

“I routinely prescribe nature to children and families.  Nature has the power to heal."  

-Dr. Nooshin Razani, pediatrician, presenter of the TED Talk "Presribing Nature for Health"

Research suggests that taking a walk, visiting a park, or getting out in nature can relieve stress, encourage social bonds, and support physical activity.  Less stress means less depression, anxiety, and isolation...not just for kids, but for adults, too!  

Portland Parks and Recreation offers plenty of opportunities for adventure!  Search for your next destination through the Find a Park feature, and be sure to check out their list of Inclusive Playgrounds, which is growing!  Gresham also offers an array of parks and trails to explore. Troutdale, with its proximity to the Sandy and Columbia rivers, offers plenty of fun options as well, and Fairview is home to many others, including our favorite, Salish Pond Wetlands Park.

Wait, there’s more! Metro Parks and Natural Areas offer 17,000 acres of outdoor exploration!  Try out the Interactive Park Finder, and while you’re there, check out their Parks and Nature News section for the latest on the ways our community enjoys nature.  

We love keeping up with Metro’s Our Big Backyard magazine and exploring back issues for beautiful photographs. The latest (Fall 2020) issue features two articles written by members of our community.  

While you're outside, you can take advantage of the learning opportunities it offers.  Portland Parks has created an at-home nature activities page, with links to videos and other activities that tap into kids’ sense of curiosity.  You can find a Flower Scavenger Hunt, a Birds of Portland guide, and a map of Tree Museums that are open for viewing right in your neighborhood.  

There’s so much to see and do out there, so take Dr. Razani’s prescription and get outside!   Even just a little bit can do wonders for your health - mental, physical, emotional, and overall!


This article was written for our Family Newsletter, brought to you by Home Learning Support and available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

three preschool age kids - two girls and one boy - sit on the carpet.  The boy has the facial characteristics of Downs Syndrome.  One girl has her hand raised.

Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. They notice differences in people, because there are differences.  

Visible differences, like how we look, skin color, how we dress, and how we get around.  

And less visible differences, like how we learn, how we interact with one another, and how we experience the world.

Responding to kids’ observations about people with disabilities and visible illnesses can be hard for parents and caregivers who are not sure how, or are afraid they will say something wrong.   

Let’s remember that some of us are different, and experience the world differently, than others. And that’s not a bad thing! In fact, it’s a beautiful thing. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s important!  

My kids' cousin has autism. I tell my kids about how his brain works differently and experiences the world differently than our brains do.  We read books with characters who have autism and talk about them together. Their cousin's mother, my sister-in-law, shared a post on Facebook written by staff at the EDAM Center for Special Education in the Philippines.  This part really stuck with me, and I hope it sticks with you, too.

For all the children who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of all people.

Recognize that the "playing field" is not always a level surface.

Children who learn differently are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not value enough. Yet they want what everyone else wants: To be accepted!!

At the library, we strive to celebrate differences and find common ground in kindness and acceptance.  We want to support you in being comfortable talking to your kids about differences from an early age, and to keep up the conversations as they get older. Below are some resources that may help.  

This post is part of our “Talking with kids” series, as featured in our monthly Family Newsletter.  Reach out to us at learning@multcolib.org if you need more support or have questions. We’re here for you!


 

Are you an artist in grades 6–12?   

Do you know an artist in grades 6-12?

Enter a design for the 2021 Multnomah County Library Teen Summer Reading Art Contest!

The theme this year is “Reading Colors Your World.” A panel of library staff and artists will select a winner from the entries.

● The winning design will appear on the cover of all teen gameboards. The winning artist will be awarded a $100 gift card to an art supply store.

● More entries will be selected to produce a “Reading Colors Your World” coloring book that will be given to Summer Reading participants.  Kids all over the county will be coloring your designs!

● The library will share the winner and all selected designs on social media. 

● Here are the favorite designs from 2020's contest, by Naima (left) and Willa (right):

black and white design showing a girl reading, and magically coming from the book there is a witch, princess, dragon, and objects like a sword, apple, ring, and cauldron
black and white design showing an open book, with dragons, snakes, and a turtle magically coming out of the pages

 

 

 

 

 


ART SPECIFICATIONS

 

The box on the flyer is proportional to the final maximum measurement, and you may use it to submit your artwork. You don’t have to use the entire box, but your artwork must fit inside of it. Final artwork will be printed at a maximum of 6” x 4” (measurements may change if art is scaled down).

1. Original artwork only

2. Content should be appropriate for youth all ages

3. Black & white image only

4. If hand drawn, use black ink, marker, pen or hard pencil

5. If digitally drawn, submit as black & white EPS or high resolution (300 dpi) PNG, JPG or TIF

SUBMISSION DETAILS

Please include your name, grade, school (if applicable) and a phone number or email address so we can reach you if you win.

Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

● Follow art specifications above.

● Show innovative interpretation of the theme, “Reading Colors Your World”. Be creative, try new things, find beauty in diversity.

● Show graphic design/artistic merit.

Entries must be received by Friday, March 5.  Submit your artwork electronically to summerreading@multcolib.org, bring it to your local library, or send a paper version to:

Summer Reading | Multnomah County Library | Isom Building | 205 NE Russell Street Portland, OR 97212

Summer Reading is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation

Attention educators! Did you miss our summer educator workshops this year? They are a great place to learn about the latest and greatest materials to use in the classroom. Don't worry; we now have booklists and videos available to share.

 

Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum.

For K-5th grade educators: Watch part 1 and part 2 of the Gotta Read This K-5 recorded webinar, and peruse the list of the books we shared.

For 6th-12th grade educators: This booklist is broken down by subject, so you can choose the topics most relevant for you.

 

Novel-Ties (for 4th -8th grade educators): Discover hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. 

Watch the Novel-Ties videos (and feel free to show them to students, too).

 

Talking Equity and Social Justice: School Corps Librarian Cathy Camper shares quick booktalks on titles that address these topics, in these two recorded webinars. The talks are followed by Q & A, sharing tips for how educators can incorporate these topics. A list of all the books and other resources mentioned in the talk can be found below the videos on YouTube.

Grades K-5

Grades 6-12

 

Contact School Corps with any questions!

photo of children at Wizard Camp library program
For the past several years, the Hollywood Teen Council has hosted a Hogwarts Camp for 1st-3rd graders during the winter break from school. As many camps and summer programs aren’t happening this summer, they want to share some ideas so that you can create your own wizard camp at home.
 
Usually the teen council would make the gathering of supplies a big part of the first day of camp, and you can pick and choose which supplies you will want to make. During camp, they would try to expose burgeoning witches and wizards to a variety of wizard school subjects such as Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, Charms and more. At home, with more time, there are many possibilities. You can also find ideas for games and activities as well as some magical treats to make. Imagination is the key ingredient for all of these. Here is a list of supplies and activities for your DIY Wizard's Camp.

Bored? Tired of being home? Try a scavenger hunt to explore the library website and catalog. Discover some new resouces and learn a bit about the library. How many languages does TumbleBooks offer books in? What app can you use to learn a language? When did your neighborhood library open? Try all or some of the questions. Click here for the questions and, when you're ready, here are answers and how to find them.

Multnomah County Library has created new Buckets of Books on science topics that align with the Next Generation Science Standards.

These tubs contain up to 30 books on a topic, plus a teacher's guide. To request a bucket, click on a Bucket of Books link below. Then click the Place Hold button and follow the instructions on the screen.

If the buckets are all checked out, you can click on a booklist link below and put books on hold individually. The booklists have similar titles to those in the bucket.

Living Things: Survival & Environment (kindergarten)   Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Growth and Adaptations (grade 1)   Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Light and Sound Waves (grade 1)   Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Earth’s Processes (grades 2-4)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Weather and Natural Disasters (grades 3-4) Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Energy (grade 4) Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Properties of Matter (grade 5)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Climate Change (grades 6-8)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

Pacific Northwest Ecology and Geology (grades 6-12)  Bucket of Books  |  Booklist

To find a complete list of all the library’s Buckets of Books, visit our Bucket of Books and Booklists website.

These books are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to enhancing our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.
 

Everyone knows I love a good tiger-striped coat (for evidence, note our two tabby cats and one brindle dog), and that I have a soft spot for rescued pets. My family’s first kitten sauntered up to our doorstep, climbed up the screen door, and meowed to high heaven during dinner hour. My siblings and I named her, in the straightforward style of children under five, Tiger.

The author of Maverick and Me chose a more unique name for her pet (I think you can guess what it is), the real-life rescue dog this book is based upon. The story begins on a cold and rainy afternoon, when a woman finds a sick and tiny puppy with a tiger-striped coat by the side of a road. She nurses him back to health, and gets him ready to find a home.

When a young girl named Scarlett meets Maverick at an adoption event, his life takes a turn for the better. Together, they come up with a fun way to tell all of her friends about other puppies that need homes. This heartfelt picture book introduces kids to the concept of pet adoption, and will spark conversations about helping pets in need.

April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. If you're thinking of adding a new furry (or feathered!) member to your family, our local shelters have some great pets to choose from. If you aren’t looking for a pet of your own, here are other ways you can help out pets in need:

  • Foster a dog or cat up for adoption at your local animal shelter

 

  • Donate supplies. Most shelters are always in need of blankets, toys, and dog/cat food. If you happen to buy some food that your pet doesn't like, why not donate it? The Multnomah County Shelter even has an Amazon wish list to make donations easier.
 
  • Share the idea of pet adoption with family and friends who are looking for a pet. There's nothing like love from a pet who's found its furrever home.
 

 

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a neurological difference often characterized by difficulties with reading, writing and spelling.  It may run in the families and can not be “cured.” Individuals with this condition must learn coping strategies.

Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. With the right instruction, almost all individuals with dyslexia can learn to read.  A multi-sensory, phonics based approach is often the best way to help kids learn to read. The Orton-Gillingham, Barton System and/or Lindamood-Bell programs are well known programs that work.

This great Ted-Ed talk provides an overview of dyslexia.

What should I look for?

Decoding Dyslexia offers these early signs of dyslexia:

  • Late speech (3 years or later)
  • Mixing up sounds in multi-syllable words (e.g. bisghetti, aminal, mazageen)
  • Inability to rhyme by age 4
  • Difficulty with substitutions, omissions and deletions
  • Unusual pencil grip
  • Difficulty remembering rote facts (months of the year, days of the week)
  • Confusion of left vs. right

Several organizations offer online self-assessment tools.  Take a look at the the Uncovering Dyslexia Topic Guide for suggested websites.

Dyslexia and low self-esteem

One of the biggest challenges of dyslexia is counteracting shame caused by teasing and misunderstanding.  Children are often teased because they can’t read as well as others.  Teachers may say things like “she’s a slow reader” in front of the child or parents.  Kids know what “slow” means and they often grow up believing they are “stupid” and/or “lazy.”

Headstrong Nation’s Learn the Facts wants you to know the facts, help your child recognize her/his strengths and weaknesses, learn how to talk about it with trusted friends and family and eventually, be comfortable sharing one’s real self with the world.

How the library can help

There are three valid types of reading: with your eyes (print & video), with your fingers (Braille) and with your ears (audiobooks).  For information about Braille books, contact the Talking Book and Braille Library at the Oregon State Library.  Multnomah County Library will help you find materials for reading with your eyes and ears.  

Audiobooks

Typically easier for someone with dyslexia, the library has thousands of audiobooks on CD and in downloadable formats for people who read with their ears.  Library information staff can help you find and use audiobooks.

DVD/Blu-ray

The library has thousands of DVDs, Blu-ray and downloadable films for people who read with eyes & ears.  Library information staff can help you find and use these media.

Reading list

The topic guide Uncovering Dyslexia is available on the website and My MCL.

Dyslexia Assessment in Multnomah County

Here are a few of the many assessment and intervention providers in the County.

The Blosser Center - Accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the Blosser Center provides assessment, tutoring and teacher training.

Language Skills Therapy - Provides assessment and tutoring

New Leaves Clinic - Provides assessment and treatment in Hillsboro, Oregon

PDX Reading Specialist, LLC​ - Provides assessment, tutoring, advocacy and professional development

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