Librarians We Love: Anna Zbacnik

by Lara Neel, Trade Marketing Manager

Anna Zbacnik  is a librarian at Brimhall Elementary in Roseville, Minnesota.

The photo above is of Anna and and her kiddos at the Make Way for Duckling Statue in Boston. She noted that her kids’ faces are online, so she’s comfortable with us sharing them with you, too.

The Lerner who nominated her noted three major reasons to show Anna some love. She is committed to filling her shelves with diverse books that students can see themselves in. She buys with an eye to what kids will pick up, while keeping teacher’s needs in mind. Her mission is to teach kids critical thinking with books they’ll feel confident reading.

I reached out to her and she gave me the background on a podcasting project she did – with 3rd graders!

I am especially proud of the work that we did with 3rd graders teaching them how to podcast. I collaborated with my student teacher, Molly Hazelton and the third grade team to complete this project. Students researched people that changed history. Our research process focused on using a new type of resource (the online encyclopedia) as in second grade students had a lot of experience using books, ebooks, and databases (such as PebbleGo).

I first taught students what an encyclopedia was, and we did an encyclopedia scavenger hunt. Then students learned how to use the online Encyclopedia Britannica. Students practiced using the online encyclopedia with me to research Nelson Mandela. They also practiced looking up other history makers in the classroom.

The students then got to choose a history maker to research. In library they used the computers to research using the online encyclopedia. Their teacher and I were able to work with students to use the research skill they had practiced in class and in the media center.

For their final product, students wrote paragraphs in class with the support of their classroom teacher about their famous person.  In library and in class, students listened to podcasts and learned the communication skills needed to project their voice and to teach people about their topics.  Classes brainstormed what makes a good podcast and tried to incorporate an introduction and conclusion into their podcast research — creating a script that could be performed for their podcast. We then taught the students how to create podcasts made in Clips. Classes made titles to fit their class podcast. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot!

Thanks so much for sharing, Anna!

There’s a lot more to love, including a post about podcasting with the 3rd grade, on Anna’s blog, A to Z Library.

p.s. – Is there a librarian YOU love that we should know about? Fill out this form and we’ll follow up!

More posts by Lara.

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