Tuesday, October 17, 2017


    My teachers can use Youtube in school and are not blocked. But when students do certain presentations and inquiry, they are at times required to added videos and clips. They are blocked from using YouTube. They can put the links in at home, but cannot view/ present when at school.

 So I am in search of something the students can use. Teacher Tube is one that can be used b7 students and teachers. There are many educational and helpful videos, audios, photo, and documents. There is also other content is available for the school scene. I will eventually put this link on my webpage and continue to search out good sites for students and staff to use.

What do you use for videos clips for your student presentations/ inquiry’s? 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Accelerated Reading at the Middle school

  We are doing Accelerated Reading again this year at my school. Last year we did not have a huge number of students that participated and read books.  So I am looking for suggestions on how to motivate the students to read and take tests.

 Each week I select three students to select from my box of goodies.   I will also give out cafeteria rewards to the two or three highest point scores each month. But I am looking for some good motivators / rewards to get more students reading and taking tests, Can anyone comment below and tell what kinds of prizes / recognition they give? Or special privileges?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Middle School Book Club

    I held  the first meeting for both 7th and 8th grade this past week. The students are really interested and ready to read. My 7th grades all boys. They selected to read Chains.  ( I love this book) So they are up and running. The 8th graders will be reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian( Alexie)

    Seventh graders will meeting after school. Eight grades during their lunch.

   We are required by administration to take attendance and minutes which we hand in.We set a date for the next meeting which was good. So now I can prepare a mini poster with dates on it to hang around the school. Last year I never thought to schedule the next meeting so I feel super organized.

  I will still announce each month when the book club is over morning announcements. Usually I start announcements about three days ahead of time.

   Does anyone else do Middle School book clubs? I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Using Non-Fiction Books/ articles with students

I am searching four ways to use and help teachers use non-fiction selections with students. Here are just two easy ideas.
1.       Teach students how to summarize, paraphrase and pull out main ideas. This shows students how to put ideas into their own words. Also this will reduce the amount of plagiarism. It will also determine if the student is understanding the material given. Start with a small amount of text.

2.       Give them choices- Use some different articles, books, selections on a unit of studies. Students choose what they want to read. Give them a variety of items on different levels-

This is where the library comes in- we can help getting together books on your topics.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Weekly Reading

Into The Wilderness by Sarah Donati  is a book I could't put down. A historical novel series  begins in the 1790's . Elizabeth Middletown, an educated spinster of 29, comes from England to join her Father in upstate NY. She wants to be a teacher  to the children living in the area. Her Father wants her to marry Dr. Richard Todd,

 Elizabeth has no intention of marrying anyone. But she is drawn to Nathaniel, a backwoodsman, son of Hawkeye ( Hero of the The Last of the Mochicans)

  Nathaniel's people want to buy back Hidden Wolf mountain  from her Father's property. Elizabeth will inherit  the mountain as part of her wedding gift.

 The novel is  full of action, adventure, romance, and family life in that time period. NOw I can wait to get the next in the series- there are 6 in all.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free resources of digital resources. There are more than a million images, recordings, and texts for use by students and teachers, or anyone who wants to investigate digital sources.   The SLL is designed for discovery, creativity and  sharing. There are more than one million images, recordings, and texts. Search results display pictures that you can click on.  you can add notes, tag questions , save and share.

The learning lab helps build critical skills by having students  select , organizing and create new resources.  Enter a subject that interest you  in the search bar. Keywords can be from broad to specific/ Search results in an image grid but can also be changed to a list view.
There are resources and learning lab collections tabs at the top.  resources can be individual or a group. A curated group of resources will be a collection or resources.

  There are icons to help you distinguish between images, video, audio, and text, There are also learning resources( lessons , games, interactive online exhibition websites.
  users can collect resources, save them to favorites and also share resources with co- workers and colleagues.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Personal Professional Growth

  At the  Summer Institute , we were given a continuum of school Librarian competencies, This rubric is for self growth to help up develop professionally. The competencies are from AASL and PSELS ( Professional Standards for Educational Leaders)

 Out of the 11 competencies I am going to work on  #1 first- which is Mission, Vision and Core Values. Being ion the middle school and the state of librarianship  with the strong digital aspect I will have to ponder before setting my mission and vision.  I have a small budget so that will be limiting as far as the digital/maker space aspect.

  Do you have mission or vision , or core values. I am struggling with this so if any one can comment please please do!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Setting Library Goals For a New Year

   It’s the first day of school   and time to set a few goals for the upcoming school year! After our Future Read Conference I have to decide what goals I want to pursue. I am thinking of two that are most important.
    One is continuing to build instructional partnerships with more teachers this year. Last year I had quite a few collaborative projects, and I am hoping this year to have those same teachers and then add several more that I did not get to work with last year.
  Another goal that I want to pursue is to become more proficient at a few key new technologies. The specific ones I have not decided on yet, but I am thinking of Symbaloo or Buncee . Those are a few of the ones Shannon McClintock Miller showed us at our conference.

   Do you have goals for the year? What are they? Share with us in the comment section please!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

New School Year!

 Tomorrow is our first day- conference day  with staff. It will be an interesting year. Our assistant superintendent retired the end of June and we have a new  young  assistant superintend  Our superintendent retired in the middle of the summer  so now we have an intern . So we will see how that goes.
  My principal is away til next week,so I guess our Assistant Principal will be in charge for tomorrow. I am hoping to get into the Library. I did go the other day and went through the mail and put as much as I could back in place from the cleaning over the summer.

  The first thing I will do is send emails regarding library orientation and possible  research help.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

September Bulletin Boards

  Yes I know many of  you are back in school already and probably have your "Welcome back" bulletin boards already up. We go back on 9/1 and the students come for the first day on te 5th.  My beginning slogan is " Port Where Raiders are Readers!" ( Our mascot is the raiders)
  Then  a little later in the month I will put up something like the following:

Fall in Love with Reading

Leaf though a Good Book

Fall in love with  your library

Rake in a good read

Welcome Back - The books missed you!

All of these can be done with a simple background,  a tree, and some leaves!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Project Based learning- Why should we use it?

   Project Based Learning is the way most of the world works now. If you think about your life at home, and your life at work , you can see that we go through a variety of tasks and projects throughout each day. Each task requires that you learn new things and acquire new skills as you complete tasks.

   In real life , we don't spend several hours listening as authorities  in their subject area speak on and on. We  start with what we know and then we ask questions  about what we need to complete the task,

  The research shows that PBL is more effective than  the traditional lesson plan model. In Japan, Finland, Sweden and Denmark use this plan and believe it is the best way to learn. ( They score the highest on math and science tests.)

 The PBL teaching and learning approach  takes more time to plan. It also requires collaboration with other teachers.  And  it requires students have a set of skills that work with the process.
   This year, I am going to emphasize the PBL to my staff and hope to work with them to incorporate PBL into their lessons and curriculum, so I will be writing more about this as I do more research on the system.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Project Based Learning

   Shannon talked about Project Based Learning and Project Parades. In Project Based Learning, students are engaged in their own learning. PBL helps the students focus, requires higher order thinking skills, ad encouraged  and encourages partner or group work.  There is a lot of discussion among student, teachers and administrators.

    PBL is learning in which the students produce something useful to share with others. In the process of  creating the project , the student leans the inquiry  ( Scientific ) method, howto gather information and facts, analyzing data, write and record the facts ( produce the project) and then finally present the project.

     PBL emphasizes  creativity,thinking skills, cooperation, collaboration, and communication.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Shannon McClintock Miller

   Shannon McClintock Miller  was an awesome presenter a our NYLA Institute. The theme was "Future Ready Librarians :You lead the way!"  She had so many fantastic new tech tools to use with students. I will try and highlight them as I go back over notes and play with them and see how they work.

  Shannon is ten"Future Ready Librarian  and Project Connect " Spokesperson. So her first part of her information was about the spokes on the wheel of a future ready schools  framework.( New York is a Future Ready school state)

   School Librarians lead, teach,  and support their school s and districts future in education of students.As librarians we an connect staff and students to the leading edge of digital learning,

 If you look at the list below, you can see the different spokes  . Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessments  is the spoke that Shannon spent the most time discussing the newest digital  resources,
( I could not seem to copy the graphic!)