Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you Stacy @ Library Gals for nominating me for the Liebster  Blog Award!!   Your information and questions are very interesting!!

My Eleven Facts
1.  I love being a librarian!
2.  I love reading both kids books , historical fiction, cookbooks, and biography!
3.  I have been a librarian for 32 years.( until my position was cut)
4.  Learning about the new technology is fun and challenging.
5.  My library blog keeps me current about library issues.
6.   I am always looking for new ways to stay organized and be more efficient.
7.  I  like updating lessons and finding new books to read and recommend to students and teachers.
8.   I like writing  , cooking, and sewing in my spare time!
9.   My Favorite  Picture Book is Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe/ Williams
10.  My Favorite Illustrator is Lindsay Barrett George
11.  My Favorite Ya author is Clara Gillow Clark! ( She is also a distant relative!)

Answers to the questions:
What is the best piece of advice given to you as a librarian?
 Learn how to ask for help!

What is a favorite lesson you have taught?
 I have a great lesson using Daniel Kirks,  The Library Mouse and having the students make a mini book after that story.

What is your favorite read aloud for primary and intermediate?
For primary grades it would be Book, Book, Book. by Deborah Bruss
For intermediate it would be  The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
These may not be the newest but I find that the students just love to listen to them!

What grade levels do you teach?
 In my last position I  taught classes to  grades 4-6 and pre-k.

What are 3 must have books for all libraries?
 The Chronicles of Narnia /Lewis
 Charlotte's Web/ White
The Little Engine that could/Piper
 Or  A good dictionary, an encyclopedia, and a book of quotes!

Have you ever been a classroom teacher?
 I taught in a Catholic school for two years and did a 4/5 and a 1/2.
What was your favorite book as a child?
  The Little  House by  Virginia Lee Burton

What is the one book you think everyone should read? 
  The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

What is your favorite thing about being a librarian?

 Three things: reading great books to kids, showing students how to find answers  to their questions, opening the boxes of new books and sharing them with the kids!

Have you ever had an author/ illustrator visit your school ? If yes, who?
Jan Cheripko, Clara Gillow Clark, Lindsay Barrett George, Vera Williams

How many computers do you have in your library?

My 11 questions.
 1. What advice would you give a new librarian?

2. Do you have a fixed or flex schedule?

3. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

4. What is your favorite lesson to teach?

5. Do you have a favorite author? If so how do you share that with students?

6. What are your greatest challenges about being a librarian?

7.  What is your favorite part of being a librarian?

8.  How do you add technology into your lessons?

9. Do you have any other technology ( besides computers) in your library?

10. What was your favorite book as a child?

11. What is your favorite genre?

My Nominees

1. A to Z Library

2. Kid tested , Librarian Approved

3.Library Media Specialist Help Desk

4. The Book Bug

5.The Busy Librarian

6.VanMeter Library Voice

7.The Mad River Librarian

8. The Librarians Quest

The rules for this award are as follows:

Thank the Liebster-winning blogger who nominated you and link back to
 their blog.
Post eleven facts about yourself.
Answer the eleven questions your nominator asked.
Create eleven questions for your nominees.
Nominate 5 to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserves to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
Display the Liebster Award logo.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Visual Literacy and Primary Resources

        As librarians and teachers , engage students with pure content and show them how to be more visually aware. You can do this by using primary resources to add to and support  text book resources. 

         Find in your data bases and other online sources  photography, letters,  documents and possible recordings  . Use these images to engage and inspire students to learn  more about the topic at hand.

        Have students make observations about the images , allow them to interpret what they see and also  have them draw conclusions about what is happening .( Critical thinking skills come alive!)  Use primary sources as writing prompts,0r research prompts.  Highlight  scientists, inventors,   and other famous persons. Each subject area has famous people: artists, mathematicians, and writers, use the primary sources to have students learn about them.
        Each subject area teacher ( not just history)  can find using primary sources  helpful in inspiring students to become visual learners,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Digital media makes a difference

  I am still on a roll and feeling very strongly about students learning and using the newest media and technology tools.  As librarians we can be key in helping teachers and students learn about using all these new tools /
    Teachers are beginning to use the new technology / digital too and finding that it does make a difference in student learning.  The new digital tools are not like the static printed textbook. The tools , databases, and other media are updated instantly, and most demand interaction by students and other users.
  There are links that allow the user to jump from page to page in different sequences, There are tools that provide audio, and video images , virtual reality , animation and games.
 Students can engage in computer games. student produced pod casts, posts, videos, and on line collaboration projects with others. While students are using the new tools, they are acquiring new information , analyzing the information , interacting with the facts and with others, and most importantly becoming life long learners.
  So lets help  bring our students into the 21st century with these tools. What are you doing with your teachers and students? As librarian , how are you helping your district  and your students?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Teachers and Librarains: Using Digital Tools / Media

     Both teachers and librarians should become comfortable using the new technology tools/ Why?? 
Students are more engaged and involved when using technology tools.

     How do you start?  Well I hope you are moving along in your goal for learning at least two tech tools this summer. ( Remember I said -don't stop at just two- when you have mastered two do two more!)

   Hopefully you will have the ability to display screen shots from your computer to a smart or white board in your classroom.  Start each new unit by displaying a variety of internet resources, databases and tools relative to that topic. Show the students how to determine if the information is accurate and reliable.

   Compare search and information from different search engines , websites, and library resources. Discuss differences information and layout and ease of use.

    By doing this you will show students up to date , accurate information . Having engaging tools, and instructing then using the tools will help them acquire the information and  inspire them to become lifelong learners.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Curriculum and Media Literacy Skills

     Insgtruction for Media Literacy skills should be embedded into each curriculum area and grade level. ideally teachers and librarians should decide what skills go with what grade level, and figure out what subject area to fit it in with.
     This would be a great beginning for collaborative prokects  which could also emcompass other speaial areat teachers ( ex. second grade deoes animals research both in class and at library and computer lab, student does a report , illustrates the animals habitat in art class, and does a voice thread about their animal)   You can see in this example where the librarian can fit in many media and literacy skills.)
     Growing research shows that media literacy instruction improves student reading, viewing and listening of print,  audio , and video texts. there is also more student analysis of information.  These skills transfer to tool for learning and gaining connections between the curriculum and experiences outside of school.
    Integration of media literacy can be accomplished by teachers ad librarian working creatively to produce lessons that engage and excite students about learning, By using the new media and its tools , students are also being shown the importance of live long learning.
  Some  more examples:
   ELA teachers can have student analyze a literary work and its movie /video version.

   Social studies teachers could have students develop  short media ( podcast, blog post, video) about a region, historical period, or event in history.
    Science teachers can have student explore scientists and inventors or current developments. They would produce a media project to showcase what they have learned.

     Math students could produce and analyze chart and graphs which rep[resent common data/

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Motivational Reading Programs- Middle and Secondary

   There is still the need at both the middle and secondary level to host reading motivation programs. They will probably look completely different than the ones you see at the elementary level . Promoting reading  for  students  is still a priority for any librarian  at the school and public level.

    One of the best ways for middle school promotions is the Battle of the Books. Students can choose groups to work with. After reading the required books students are tested / quizzed about details from the books. This can be done in several rounds in a Jeopardy style  program or can also be done on a monthly basis with written questions.  Scores are posted . A final round provides winners.

     This also provides the opportunity for teams to compete with other school winners . This really highlights reading as a collaborative and competitive "sport."

     Another   reading motivation challenge is a promotion by YA author Kay Cassidy:"The Great Scavenger Hunt"  Every month  she chooses  a lucky winner  to get a Barnes and Noble card . If the student wins then their library also wins a bundle of books .
    There is a list of books and the trivia challenge questions on the her site: www.kaycassidy.com/hunt


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Media Literacy Skills- A Collaborative Project !

      Internet access has accelerated both the amount of information and the types of web based / integrated tools that students  need  to showcase what information they have learned.  Students that are ready for college or career need to  be able to analyze and showcase what they have learned.
      Students ready for college or career training needed  the ability to critically analyze and evaluate the information acquired . They need to figure out if the information is what is needed, and how they can use it.
    Schools need to teach students how  to use the media as  tools  to help them in these tasks. Having Media Skills  provides students the ability to use the tools to advance their knowledge gand their critical  thinking skills.
   Ideally , library media specialists and teachers collaborating on lessons is the best way to provide students with Media literacy skills. The librarian provides the resources (print, electronic, databases) and helping students with web based interactive tools ( glogster, wallwisher, livebinder, ect)

    These tools and resource's are engaging and interactive. Add to that teachers  need to be encouraging students with content area information and engaging students in higher level thinking skills of content area.
With a collaborative aim and help with assessment , the librarian becomes a big player in the students learning how to use media and its tools effectively.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Library Scheduling( Flex or Fixed?)

    What does your schedule look like? I guess it all depends on whether you are in an elementary or middle/ high school. Many elementary library schedules are tied to teacher plans and that is why they are fixed.  You may also have a semifix4d schedule  if you are at the middle school level.

   What can you do about the fixed schedule ?  It may work out fine if you are in a small school.  And there are advantages to the fixed schedule. A fixed schedule provides the librarian with the fact that he/she will see each class for instruction and every one will have access to getting books and resources from the library.

     With the flex schedule, teachers are more able to collaborate with librarians at the time of need. Many librarians with a fixed schedule may not have any time in their day for collaborating with teachers on lessons.  So is there any way to get some of that time needed?

      Try to work with you administrator who does the scheduling. Think of other ways to accomplish the tasks that you need to have students do during the year.

      Book Check
         Can you allow book check out at the beginning and end of each day when there are no classes?
         Choose and hold: students can put a sticky note on the books that they want with name and teachers name, Then as time allows , library books are checked to the student's and delivered to their classroom , or arrange for a student  from each class to pick up.
     Self Check out: Teach students to check out their own books. It really is not difficult for most programs .Check you program to see if there is a self check mode.

     Instructional Time:
         If you have flexible scheduling , you work out with the teachers each week when they will be coming and what they will be doing. You may have a sign up sheet for teacher's who want to just bring students for check out.  If you have set times for book check out in a flex schedule be careful to not fill up your schedule so that collaboration time is lost, Here's a question : do they need check out time each and every week? Younger students maybe - older maybe every other week
       Another way to fit in many classes is A/B week. So half the classes meet on week A. The other half on week B. This leaves some times open so there  may be times for open library  for research or collaboration with teachers,

     A variation on this is to have say K-2-4  during the first semester  for instruction with  1-3-5 just coming for book check.  At the semester change then the 1-3-5 has instruction and the K-2-4 gets a 15 minute book check out time.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Motivaltional reading programs-Primary

   School   motivational reading programs are an important[ortant  part of ns role in te school today.  Motivational programs for the youngest readers and listeners can be run (PK-2) should be run for a short time span- amonth  to month iand a half would be the most .

    Specify that the student scan read or be read to. Give them ( students and parents)  an easy way to keep track  of books read. Have them write titles and fill in a 'reading ' sheet/ Have parents / older sibling/ guardian/ teacher sign or initial each title or spot. ( This keeps parents more involved and know what the child is doing.,
  Think of an easy way to recognize and celebrate your yonng readers. try to include as many students as you can.

  1.  Beary Fun Reading: Students read and keep track of books . Have a large Bear Paw Print with a spot for students  and parents signature. Students can write in title in each 'pad' of the bears  paw. Then they can color and you can display them around the library.  At the end of the celebration have a parade with students carrying their favorite stuffed bear or animals.  Have hot cocoa and cookies or ice cream and cookies for all who did at least  two or four bear paws.

2. Caldecott Challenge : for students for grades 2 and 3.  Students have about a month and a half to read/ listen to as many Caldecott's as they wish.  They write the titles of the Caldecott's and rate  them with a happy or sad face ( or stars).  If everyone in the class reads at least 12 , then the class gets a popcorn party. Top readers in each class get a decorated bag with small prizes ( books , pencils, stickers, bookmarks and erasers) If you are feeling rich, provide bigger prizes- books, gift certificates,  a cd player .