Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays From the Organized Librarian

      I would like to wish you and your families  the best of Holidays as we wind down 2012!  Enjoy each other and renew yourselves for another round of education  and books in our buildings and libraries.
     I will return late next week after the bustle of the Holiday is over and hopefully will bring you ideas that you can use and share with  your co- workers.  I am almost done with the book and it will be an ebook. I am hoping to make it available soon., just seems I have been getting holiday things done and have not done all that I wanted this month.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Technology Tools- Wired Wednesday

        ReadWorks is another great site for librarians and teachers.  Your teachers will love love this site.   Read works  provides FREE lesson  plans  for educators in grades K-6.  Their goal is to help improve reading comprehension.  The site also gives state by state standards and aligns them with the Common Core- so they are keeping right up to date.
      Some inside items:
     Over 1,000 non-fiction reading passages with associated text-dependent question sets, leveled using the Lexile framework and  easy to use lesson plans that help you explicitly teach comprehension to K-6 students.
       There are Student Handouts, Graphic Organizers and Teacher Materials that can be easily downloaded and printed for your use. There is a Save  to my Binder where you can save lessons, and also a training center that  gives hints and tips on teaching lessons.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Information Expert

        As the information expert  and the  librarian in your school/ building, you have an obligation to your students and patrons.  The first thing that comes to mind is that students and patrons need  to be taught search strategies for collecting and evaluating  the information that they need.   The  Strategies for finding information using headings, types of scanning reading, using parts of the text and also additional items like labels, captions, charts,  and graphs  will always need to be taught.  Also strategies for deciding on what  and where to look can also be practiced and taught to  patrons.
    Evaluating information is another skill that can be modeled and then practiced  by students.   Evaluating is a skill that  when practiced comes over time and use .  A student/ patron questions the materiel being read and then decides if it is  needed for his work.

      The librarian / information expert also needs to organize the use of the computer and the web for  information seekers. The information expert can create a blog, a wiki, website or porta portal  to pull together resources to meet the need specific needs of their learning community.  This can be done as a general resource  site,  with link, tabs, or pages of specific  information curriculum needs.  This is why I have always made a Porta Portal to go along with my schools curriculum  with links  to sites needed by the students and teachers.

Friday, December 14, 2012

January Library Bulletin Boards

          I know, I know , you just want to get through to the Holidays. But I am thinking- what bulletin boards will I put up in January. I always try to think ahead and get ready for the next month.  So here are some ideas that I have used or thought of to use in January.
    Let's read til we get snowed under-  snowflakes with book titles in the center. Blue sky in background. Bottom can be a silhouette of the town or school building.

   Sink into winter reading-  student/ teacher in a cozy chair reading, book jackets surrounded the chair.

   Hibernate with a good book- bears reading ( in a cave or in the snow)

  "READBOX"-  a redbox( movie rental)  with titles around that align with popular movies

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tech Tools - Wired Wednesday- one day late

          I am a day late- We spent yesterday finishing our Christmas shopping and also doing some grocery shopping. We got home late - it was a tiring day!
           I found a great site that I have used in preparing my genre studies and  other lessons. . I have adapted some lessons from each one for the grades that I had taught the genres to. For the upper grades I like to highlight a different genre each month  with mini lessons and posters and displays.   I also encourage students to write down the genre on their  reading book list as they also have to do this for their teachers so why not keep track of ALL their reading.
          One of the best sites for almost any subject area and grade level is READWRITETHINK . This site is amazing when you take some time to look at all it has to offer.  There are classroom resources , lesson plans, interactive  tasks ,  activities based on the month, and printouts available. 
          There are professional development links to a great many tips and hints, and articles on teaching the different topics.  There are also  parent and after school resources.
    When you share this with your staff, they will treat like a rock start because they will LOVE it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Information Expert Part 2

          As the information expert in your school / library , you have the obligation  to provide the most up to date and accurate information for your patrons / students .  You will want a variety of search tools that can be used both in the physical building and also by electronic devices.
          Your online card catalog should be up to date and hopefully easy for your patrons/ students to use.  Provide classes of course for students and instruction for pantos in the use of this resource.  You might also put up posters or other printed / labeled material that will show patrons how to use and then find the books they need.
         Other search tools may also be reference books  and nonfiction books in your physical library. There are many times in your patrons/ students quest that looking in a book for an answer will be quick and easy.
          I am a firm believer that students should still learn about the Encyclopedias, Almanacs, and  Atlases and how to use them. Even adults will find that they can  look  up something quickly  in a print resource.
         On to the electronic resources- hopefully in your library you will have a bank of computers for patron/student use.  These computers provide a great equalizer for many who still do not have and cannot afford a computer with internet in the home.   These computers can provide online data bases and online encyclopedias for finding needed information.

         Another discussion for another day will be types of electronic sources  and other search tools you might to provide for your students/ patrons.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Author Studies- Library Sparks

        This is a good time of year- actually any time is a good time for an Author study!   When you work with  teachers when they are doing an author study  the students really get soaked in  the authors works and writing style.  
        Author studies are great for  librarians whether you collaborate with a classroom teacher or not.  Books of the author you are doing  fly off the shelves when you present the author and some of  their works. 
         Always provide some back round on your author besides reading  excerpts  / books of the author selected.   A great site for getting back ground and  lesson plans is TeachingBooks.Net.  If you are  able to use this resource you will find a great many ideas for your author study.   
        Another way to find great ideas is to look at the authors website if they have one. Prolific authors usually do and they most always  provide information on the author. Some have additional acclivities s that go along with the books that they have written.
         Make sure you take the time to discuss the authors life, and their works with students. Reading complete books, or excerpts of the authors work of course is crucial.  Make displays of the authors work. Have students do a poster , pod cast, blog, or wordle /tagxedo of the  one of the authors book is also a great idea to have students really get into the project.


    If you haven't seen it yet - the current issue ( Dec) of Library Sparks has my article  about Non-fiction books passes and how to use them to teach many library skills. I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Technology Tools- Wired Wednesday

        A new tool is  Tagxedo.  This is very similar to Wordle  , users produce word clouds on a specific subject.  However with  Tagxedo , word clouds are formed into a specific shape selected by the creator.  Words are sized according to the frequency of how often they are used.

     This tool is more fun and users can be more creative, but they also need to be more focused in their creation.  One can chose from standard fonts to use custom fonts. Also there is the capability to change fonts, themes, colors and shape.

     On  the site there are  many assists. One  is  101 ways to use Tagxedo which show many ways to use with with students.   Turning words into art work will appeal to many users.

     Look over the site and see how you might use it with  your students.  Although I have not used it yet I can see using  Tagxedo as a culminating project for research  and  a way to share author studies. another idea would be to have students pair up and do  Dewey clouds  for each of the categories,  and then display each one by each section of the library.


Monday, December 3, 2012

The Information Expert

     In your building there is at least one ( hopefully) information expert.  Yes it's you - the librarian. You have been trained to be an expert in the information field . You are the person who knows where to find information needed and how to find it as quickly as possible. 
     Searching for facts in print and non print resources  is a skill that also needs to be taught to both staff and  patrons /students to assist them in their quest to be 21st century learners and workers.  Students need to know this to become life long learners and  also to keep up with the most current information  .
     To be a good information expert , you will need the best information sources that you can afford .  A library with old outdated resources  is not the way to education today patrons. 
       Keeping up with the best resources is a full time job.  It is best to have several reliable reviewing sources   that are user friendly to help you with your task. My favorites are School Library Journal, Library Sparks,  Library Media Connection, Titlewave , Perma Bound, and Junior Literary Guild.  These are a combination of journals and jobbers but  they can help me keep up to date on the latest  and best books and resources ( print and electronic)