Thursday, December 29, 2016

December January Bulletin Board


                   I hope you can see this as the light makes a glare , but this is my Dec/ Jan bulletin board.
It has a blue background with gold letters " Lets read til we get snowed under" Every time it snows I will add a few flakes or many depending on the amount of snow. Every week I will have the 8th grade announcers announce  "If you notice something about the bulletin board by the library , stop in to tell us." Students with the right response will pick from the prize box.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Weekly Reading

I was so happy to get Dicey's Song  ( Voigt) !  It lead me into Dicey's and the children's life with their grandmother.  I was wondering how it turned out after reading Homecoming which I really loved!  After many rough patches, life at Grandmas' was getting to a relatively calm  place. The children were settling in and they were finally having a normal life like children are supposed to have . The town was accepting . Grandma was letting them into her life.  But there are still sad and disruptive spots but  this tells so well
about the lives of the children that they are real , and you  find yourself caring deeply about what happens next.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly Reading

   In the first book, FableHaven ( Mull) Kendra and Seth have to go to stay with their Grandparents during a long vacation that is being taken by their parents. Their Grandfather has a hidden refuge called Fablehaven. This refuge is full of magic,  fantastic plants, faeries and strange creatures. Kendra and Seth think they are safe, but really they are not. Of course  they don't follow Grandfathers rules, and bad things start to happen. Powerful forces are unleashed , They have to figure out  a way to save themselves . I'm not finished yet , but I think this series will be liked by a lot of students who are onto fantasy and fantastic adventures.  I got the first three  so if they go out a bit I will order more in the series.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Digital De-Cluttering

  I spent  time eliminating and compressing physical files from my file cabinets. But now I want to do something about my computer files and desktop. So I will look at the documents and important items that I have in my work computer and zip drives. If I can't find files I need quickly that I know  it is time to organized and eliminate. So I am slowly ( 10 to 15 minutes a day) de- cluttering and organizing  my computer and zip files so I can find things when I need them.

On my hard drive at work each teacher has a U drive,where all of our files live. Since the beginning of the year I have been slowly looking at files and eliminating duplicates. I have also created folders and put items into files that go together.  I look at each time to determine if I need it ( almost like the physical de-cluttering) I deleted what I could . What I thought I should save but might not need immediately  I sent to ma zip drive.   At a later date I will print out what is on that zip drive so I know what is on it and do not have to open it to determine what is on it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Advocating for Libraries

   How can we be sure that our library funding and programs will be continued? How can we be sure that administration and board will not eliminate a position  or or assign a fixed schedule? ( Believe me , it has happened!)

  We must advocate for out libraries for our students to ensure that what have presently continues and grows. So first of all we need to build relationships with both staff,   and administration, then also the community. How can we help teachers in their goals of instructing students  and leading them to learning? Get out and talk, ask questions, help develop lessons and learning activities.

     Most importantly we need to advocate and show how libraries and librarians benefit students. Can they access the newest literature and information sources? Can the librarian collaborate with teachers to bring information literacy into research projects?  Can librarians assist students in finding sources and information they need/  So we need to be thinking of ways we can serve students and teachers  to enhance student learning. Keep this in mind when you determine your most important tasks.

 Please comment below what you do best to advocate and work toward serving students and staff.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekly Reading

Product Details

I just finished Homecoming (Voigt) and it was excellent! What a difference when you have several days off  like the Thanksgiving break.   I wondered how it would turn out and I was very satisfied at the ending  with the Grandma. The little family of 4 went  through a lot together and not  a thing was easy, butt they stuck together !  How they traveled  was truly amazing and most of the time they were very  resourceful. I am hoping that there is another book to say  what happens next  but I will have to check that out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Physical de-cluttering ( Part 2)

    Another thing that is easily de-clutter is your file cabinet. Why should you do this? Well for starters if you had any excess files in your office , they need a place to go. Secondly, if your cabinets are overstuffed, you will not be able to access what you need to get out without getting frustrated.
    First thing to look for is duplicate files, either files with the exact same name  or files that look similar with slightly different  topics on their tab.  Take them out and go through them.If you have  duplicates  , put one of the contents in recycling.
    The second thing is to grab a handful of files ( maybe 5 or 6 at a time) and ask yourself the same questions as you did  for getting your files into the cabinets ( see blog post from Nov   ) If you spend 10 to 15 minutes a day on  this you can have your file cabinets  in order and with room for new files. 
    I find the end of the day is a great time to do this because by that time I am winding down, and it gets something done without being a major  brain drain.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

December Bulletin Boards for Libraies

  December is almost around the corner so it is time to start thinking of new bulletin boards. I like to plan ahead so I start now to figure out what I will put up.  I usually keep my bulletin boards from year to year, So many times I can just pull on out  and put it up. I do not put the same one up each year- I alternate.

  December Bulletin Boards Slogans

 Seasons Readings - Put a wreath in the middle with students favorites all around. I use scanned covers.

 LOL- Place large letters in the center, Place names or covers of books jokes and riddles.

 Mittens-  make large mittens out of construction paper, Have students write their favorite books on the mitten. Slogan: Keep Warm With Great Books

 Battle of the Books: Place  photos of teams on the board with Team names and date of competition.

Books Are Gifts You Give Yourselves.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

De-cluttering your physical office

  Okay , lets say you piles of files in your office. Are they all in your file cabinets or are they in  boxes on the floor or under the work table.( That's where mine were!)Decide to de- clutter  your  office - your brain and eyes will thank you!

  Grab a  bunch of files . Take 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Look at each file to determine: How important is the material? Will you need it this year or maybe next year? Is it an activity or program that you do on an every other year basis? Do you not want to do that activity/lesson ever again?

  If the answer is  that you'll use the information / papers this year , then keep the contents of the file. Make sure it is properly marked , place the file in alphabetic in the correct file cabinet.( See The Organized Librarian handbook for my other ideas on filing)

  If the file is not needed this year   but maybe next year then take one or two copies of what is in the file for ones that are lessons) and put the rest in recycling or use as scrap paper ( print out needed emails ,or cut up to use for notes)

  And if you have file that you do not need and will never use again, or are duplicates of what you have in your drawer then  put the materials in recycling!!  There -in 10 to 15 minutes you have organized more files and have gotten rid of items you do not need!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekly Reading

  This week I am reading Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children ( Riggs)  I am about halfway through and can see why it was a NYT best seller. It is peculiar ( especially the characters and the setting) .As I read  I want to find out what will happen next and what  the conclusion will be.
 I 'll want to see the movie  and even read  the next two.  We just got them in the library  and I am hoping the students will pick them up after they've seen the movie ad read the first book.

Product Details

Friday, November 11, 2016

Photos of signs

 This is one section of signs.  The ones in white I redid in red and they stand out much better and actually go with the rest of the signs.
This is the rest of the non-fiction section. I really like these signs!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Library Signs

   Recently I purchased new Dewey Decimal signs for the middle school library.( from Demco) They are wordle( word cloud) designs so look modern .The signs are  much more sophisticated than the one ones that had been hanging there for many years according to my library assistant,  
     I needed a few more and did try to do a wordle  but they came out way to busy and hard to read. So I just made a simple black text on white for the ones I needed. But now I am thinking of doing them over on read paper to make them pop against the wood and the other signs,  Demco's are black  and since our colors are red and black I think it would be great!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Accelerated Reading at the Middle School

  My Assistant Principal at the middle school ia former ELA Teacher . He is a proponent of The Accelerated Reading program and has gotten a plan for each student!  So now we are working on a program on how we will carry out and promote  it to the students and teachers.

   I surveyed the ELA teachers  to see  how they would like it used. I was surprised by the answers. The seventh  grade team wanted to use it as a reading motivation and did  not want it tied to grades.  ( like a reading reward program similar to my fall into reading challenge that I am currently doing)  The  8th grade team thought they might like it tied to the grades  but then changed their mind.

 So I think we are going to go with the reading motivation theme and it will be run though then library which  is logical and also helpful because then I will not have to do anymore challenges , just help keep track of the students who are doing the most AR!

  What do you do at your school ( especially Middle School) for accelerated Reading? Leave your ideas and comments below please!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Weekly Reading

    Every week , I pick at least one book to read from my middle school collection.Sometimes it's a brand new book, other times it's just one that catches my eye and I think looks good. I want to be able to recommend books to the students and also know whats in my collection.

   I am reading Phillipa Gregory's Changeling. Actually I had read it before , but now I am reading to determine if we should get the then next one in this series- I am thinking I already read the next one because I have read all of her books as they are interesting and a great read.

 Short summary: Luca ( age 17)  is recruited to record the end of times across
Europe. Isolde ( also 17)is trapped in a nunnery, following her dead fathers wishes.  Luca is sent to the nunnery to investigate some strange occurrence.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

November Bulletin Board Ideas

           November  Bulletin Board Ideas:

   Elect to read!
   Children's Book Week,
   Don't be a turkey, Read!
   Be Thankful for great books.
   What are you Thankful for?
   Gobble up these  great books - turkey with book covers of book chosen by you or students
   Pick a winner- football theme

Monday, October 24, 2016

Photos of my desk

On the right- my daily planner book, my librarian notebook and manuals for my library circ programs. My basket is used to put important files and papers.That is my "To Do File"

Right hand side- my weekly files with projects I am working on, also meeting files, budget files, and  files used daily or weekly!

The whole thing - How I leave it almost every night!

Monday, October 17, 2016

For Librarians- my office desk

    On my desk there is are two file sorters because I do not have a file cabinet on my desk. These are  items use on a daily and weekly basis. Every thing else is in my file cabinet or will be in my file cabinet when I get my filing supplies.

    In the front of one file sorter I have my to do file.In that there are items that I need to work on . I also have a to file folder, and also a to read file which is full of items to read.
   Then I have several folders of  things I am working on . I really like to focus on one project at a time- I feel that is the best way to get tasks accomplished.  But there are a few things ( like my monthly report and my monthly newsletter that I work on a little at a time , staring in the middle of the month).

 So for right now  I have a book club folder- my first meeting was last week and I have two more this week. After that I will move that folder until I need it.  It  have a folder  with my budget work in it - because that is something that I will use until my money is spent.

 In another stack sorter, I have my plan book, my " important papers" note book and also printed manuals about my circ system and other items that I refer to on a daily basis.

  This keeps my desk clean and organized.  I know where everything is and I can pullout what I need when need itl

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Teaching with Primary Sources: Historical Photographs

 Teaching with photographs( primary sources) motivates and encourages students to ask good questions and will eventually lead to higher order thinking.  Primary Source photographs inspire students to think about the past an relate it to their life today.

  As educators we need to determine questions about each photograph.  Students will need to study and investigate the photograph to locate information and  think of an answer to a question.
 This  will bring an emphasis on inquiry learning with encourages  learns to observe, analyze,  and form their own ideas on the primary source, This also helps them build knowledge.

More information will follow  about the Library Of Congress website - check this out for Primary Sources useful for American History.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reading Posters from the library!

   I will be working with my art teacher to produce reading posters. The poster will be a montage of students reading in different locations ( maybe even at their homes with their pets or siblings??) I would like to make a couple for each floor and perhaps even doubles of some of the photos.

  The art teacher is going to mount them on poster board. We will come up with a catchy slogan- perhaps more than one. 

  I am hoping to show how many students like reading and do read.  I am open to students reading newspapers, comics,  or magazines. I will also catch students reading text books, signs, and posters.  This will be a great way to showcase reading at the middle School or on any level/.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Library Calendar of classes and activiites.

 I just finished this posting my library calendar on the school library's website.   It was there before  but not up to date or very visible to the staff. What I did was place the link to the calendar in the middle of the main page. 

 On the calendar, I have posted the classes that will be in the library for that week. This way  teacher can look at the calendar and see if the library is open for students to  come and  check out books or be sent to do computer work or research.   Also teachers can look at it and plan  when to bring students or have students work on projects.

  Many times during the course of the week, I am into classrooms and or in the lab helping students do research  so this is also helpful to know if I am there or not. My assistant is not always there , so I may find a way to indicate that information.

   I then sent a mass email to staff and told them about where the link was to the calendar. I am hoping this will also serve as a reminder  that they can reserve the library and it resources for their classwork.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Reading & Writing Partnership- Librarians and teachers

     School Librarians  make good partners with ELA and reading teachers. Librarians provide oral and silent reading  depending on the grade  level. We  as Librarians provide quality books to help improve reading scores.

   In the context of reading , students often are asked to describe , synthesize, analyze, and critique their  understanding of what they have read. So when librarians provide books, model and share our love of reading, we can motivate and encourage  more student reading.

   Discussions, book clubs, reviews, casual conversation,   and book challenges are all part of the job. We need to read and know the quality books in our collection in order to motivate our students. So big surprise we need to read!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bulletin Boards for October

  These are just a few ideas for October:

 Fall in love with reading!  leaves falling down to the ground from a bare tree- could put titles of books on the leaves

Scare up some good books- ghosts with titles on it

Pick of the patch- lots of pumpkins!

Reading is a Scream - put up covers of
scary or horror  books all around the letters!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

One Goal for the school year

One of the goals of the school library media specialist  is to promote  reading and also work with staff  to help improve reading scores.  This is one of my goals this year. When students become better readers they do better in school.

  So here is a few ideas that I will use to work on this goal.  Student made reading posters, books displays, author posters,   book discussion groups,  library recess groups, use of the AR program, and reading motivation programs.  I am also hoping to work more closely with reading and ELA teachers,

  A few more ideas  to get students more involved in good books are: shelf talkers, student book reviews on our website and reading workshops.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Library or Classroom Project- Did you Know?

      An interesting and little different author/ reading project is an Author Poster, which could be do as a small group or individual  project  .  Students choose a favorite author to research . They will find interesting biographical information  about the author. "Did you know?" can be the heading and the information can be listed in bullets or around  appropriate images or clip art or the authors photo. This poster will also have a list of titles  written by the author. 
       This will provide students with good suggestions for excellent  reads. The posters can be displayed in the library, in the hallways and in classrooms. After having several done, the posters can be swapped out for different ones  to provide variety, interest and surprise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Library Databases & Passwords

   Last week got away from me and I did not post- guess it was the first week of school thing.  Anyway I am planning a type of book mark or "cheat sheet"  for use by my staff and students.  This will provide  the log in and passwords  to our school databases. ( could also be adapted for the public library  if they have passwords)

   Students will be shown the  log in and passwords when I instruct them on the databases. I will have the 'bookmarks' available  for anyone who wants them during a research project for their use and to keep. We will also have copies at the circ desk in the library, by the computer bank in the library, and also in the computer lab.   Another larger copy can be taped to the laptop carts that are used by the students in their classrooms.
  I am also planning to give the teachers laminated  one for their personal use. This will help keep students and staff   to have easy access ( and a reminder) to the effectiveness of the databases.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Series list for students!

   The students in my middle school love to read series books. We always are stopping to check what order the titles  should be read. So I am hoping this year to a make " Series" books which will be kept at the  circulation desk.

  In it  will  be Authors name, series name, title of books and the order in which they should be read.
In the future as we purchase new titles and series , we will put numbers on the spine and also try to shelves them in number order.

 Then student can check the  lists and the shelves easily to get the book in the series they want.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New School Year Coming Up!

   I'm very excited about this new school year- I will actually be able to be a real librarian at the Middle school.  I will be collaborating with teachers to instruct  and assist students in their  need for informational resources. I want also to encourage  reading for pleasure and recreation.

    I am working on a newsletter to promote the library media centers services to both small and large groups. Also in the newsletter there will be a resource  link column  that will highlight an few interesting  and useful websites  for teachers to use for  subject resources and to use with students to  provide more engaging lessons.

  In the newsletter I will have a listing of some of the newest   titles added to the library's collection. The newsletters will hopefully be  issued monthly to advertises the library and my willingness to collaborate!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Comic creator- on readwritethink

  Comic creator is  on the www.readwritethink site. This is a very easy generator which would work for early elementary students  and those beginning to create comic strips in the classroom. The student type in title of cartoon and subtitle and the authors names.

   Then the student chooses number of panels- this one goes up to 6  with lower options.( 1 to 6) After that creation is just a few clicks away.  the Student can add a caption under each panel,  and characters.  There are speaking balloons in which they can add dialogue.  Props and background can also be added. When the student is finished , they can also be edited or printed.  The only drawback is that the comic can not be saved. But this would still be a good site if you are trying to  begin creating comic strips in your classroom.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What students can do on blogs

 What is the right age to begin blogging? For starters we could ask older  students( 4th and 5th graders) to do some critical thinking and writing  by asking students to find interesting and relevant   to our subjects  websites . We can show them how to write about what is useful about the sites.  They could also write their reactions to what they are reading or doing in the classroom.

  The other thing we can do is to bring primary sources( authors, scientists, politicians) into he blog and have students  ask questions and then reflect on the answers given.

  Middle school students can be asked to become experts about topics they care about. They can  research, share this on class  blogs and take questions from classmates. High school student s can use blogs for extend study or reflection on a topic. They can reflect  and build on previous ideas and knowledge. They can give feedback into class mates, advance new ideas and analyze the topic or subject at hand.

 These are broad ideas on beginning blogging with students  , I would love any ideas about what you do with your students.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Online Newsletters?? Who does them?

   I am hoping to do an online newsletter this year for my staff.  What I want to do is to advertise my services to the teachers , promote the library resources - both new and old, and also include  important links and websites that  would help the staff in their educational goals.

So the question is  : Do you do an online newsletter? What program do you use?  Do you use a program or just  put the information in an email. How do you know if the newsletter is being read? How long do you make it( Pages?)How often do you do one?  What do you include  ?   I am hoping someone can give me some clues where to start!  Thanks in advance for any comments  or replies!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Using Comic Strip Makers in your classroom

  We know how so many students, especially struggling and reluctant readers like graphic novels.  That is why  many students like creating comic strips on the computer . So it is a good  idea to look for a way to incorporate building comic strips  in your classroom using your subject area as the basis. 

  In building  comic strips , students need to  plan a story line or list events in order. Students can express themselves  and gain and build knowledge.   There are many free comic strip makers which I will explore for another post.

  The words and pictures in a comic strip work together  to have the student obtain information about the context of the comic strip.  Comics are very motivating . Most students will like to read their own and others . This will lead to more reading and learning. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016 was designed by K-8 educators  who are from all over the world. The site can be used by teachers in schools, parents / guardians to help  their children, and homeschooling households to assist in their children's education.

  There is a free version and a paid version. According to the site it is very affordable  and in place in over half of the K- 8 schools in America.

  When you look at the icons  on the home page, you will see a variety of subjects- Math, science, Social Studies , writing workshop, test prep- to name a few.  There are worksheets to print out. They also offer student  incentives/ motivators  .

  To get started , register your students. The program keeps track of what has been accomplished / lessons finished. This looks like it would be very helpful to the classroom and subject area teachers.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Photos on the web

   Why should we consider posting  student images/ photos to the web? This fits in nicely with my current obsession for blogging with students!
    We can capture daily events or highlights of the day  and then easily share these with parents, the school at large, and even the community.   Many special events could also easily be highlighted. This provides good PR for our schools! Let the parents and community know the good about the school . So think about field trips, special speakers, visitors, special projects  and so much more  that is part of our daily classroom routines and activities.

   This would also provide a good way of sharing the teaching and learning experience. It is a good way to showcase students work . Students could post also post comments or annotations on the photos or images which would contribute to increased thinking and writing skills.

  I am going to do some more reading on  posting students photos/ images on blogs and wiki's. Does anyone already do this? Can you  please leave your comments,  and suggestions below ?  I am also looking for a photo program where by I can do this with the student blog I am hoping to start!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Student Blogging !

  Posting to a blog can take many forms. Students can write personal reactions to the subject/ topic covered in class. They can post links that are applicable to the topic/ assignment covered.

  Depending on the topic or subject area, they can also  write reflectively on the what is being read. A blog  could also  be used as a journal or a place to publish creative writing.

  As teachers we  would be looking for the readers response . It will be a way for us and the students to test ideas and thoughts . Writers ( students) can response and give feedback. Teachers and staff can also do the same.

   The vision for blogging us having students read,  and respond to what interests them . They can ask questions of peers and teachers. While doing this reading , writing, and questioning they build their reading , writing and analyzing skills.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


   I just discovered this site and what I really want to know is why did I not ever find this before now???

   Flipquizme.  is a free site where you develop your own Jeopardy style review of your topic and use it with your students! Of course there is an upgrade  which you pay for and then can  copy and paste  other games that  other teachers have made.

  Flipquizme is a site where you custom tailor  your own review game for use with your students.   I tried using a similar jeopardy  game for review this year with my students. I wish I would have had this  - it should be really fun!  Even thought I did  not use this site - most of the kids did like my version , but this would be even better!

  There is a built in timer for each answer. You plug in how many teams you have , so it keeps track of that also. You can also deduct points for wrong answers.

  If you look at the Demo, you can get a good idea of how it works. You can revel the answer which is fun and a good reinforcement!  Aware the points and go on to the next question!  There is a tutorial from 2014 on Y Tube- but I think  will be very easy to use!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Still More Benefits of Blogging!

    Sorry  to say( not really) but the more I keep reading  and thinking about  the benefits of blogging  with students. I can't wait to do this and encourage my teachers to do also with their classes!  Yes I know  we need more laptops!!!

   Using blogs with students  will cause development of expertise in one subject area. Maybe not all students but a majority will  .  When reading and writing is focused on one topic increased learning , and skills will be  seen( according to reports I've read- which I  would assume would be the case.This will create for the students and the class a vast database of learning that is built on.

  Blogging will expose new literacy's  that students will need to function in the every expanding information based society on the internet.   New information grows rapidly every  month. Students will learn a way to process , analyze and interpret their findings .

  More and more careers will require research, organization  and syntheses  of ideas . This will help many students obtain and advance in   their career choice.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

More Benefits of Blogging in Schools

  The more I read about blogging with students, the more I see  how many benefits there are.  I know that all students are different but it seems  totally worth it to explore  blogging  within you class and subject.

  Blogging expands the walls of the classroom. Blogging helps students connect with each other outside of t he class  by  allowing them to  share comments and questions . The possibility also exists of connecting with others that are not in the physical class.   Students can connect with other students who have the same grade and subject,  or experts/ authors  to discuss results, thoughts. experiments, ect.

    Blogging with students has the active/ reflective learning archived. The blog keeps a history of the work that is done in an organized  and shareable space which can show growth  and development in writing and  thinking skills.

  Thirdly, the blog is tool that supports different learning styles. Students who are shy or self conscious  in class may feel blogging is a safer way to share.  All students have a voice and ideas that they can share thru writing, video clips, art, ect. Students then feel a sense of ownership which can lead to greater participation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


  This site( coffee cups and lesson plans)  is written by a 6th grade teacher. She has tons of terrific ideas which I think could be adapted either up or down a grade or two. I am planning on sharing this site with  my middle school teachers  just because her ideas seem to make learning interesting and fun . If the students are more engaged then they will become more interested and also learn more!

  She has a page of dedicated  to reading and writing topics. This has lots of ideas fir writing  activities. She also suggests books to use for writing prompts. Many of the activities  are for low cost ( teachers pay teachers ) or  Free!  Free is always good.

  There is also a math page  which also has many ideas  for activities ad lessons that will help students learn and remember Math skills.

   There is a Freebies page that lists recent freebies. Also  there is a clip art page  that highlights quality clip-art( mostly free).
Al long the way ( int the reading and writing section there are a few science and social studies activities that give teachers ideas to help them create  and expand their lessons.

All around , check this out  to see the ideas  and activities  on this site. I think you will find something or an idea to use!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Benefits of Blogging By Students

     The classroom walls expand by student blogging.They can connect with other students in their school and collaborate and communicate with them.  They can share ideas, insights, and questions about the book or topic at hand.  As they acquire skills they can also share  perhaps podcasts ( audio & video)  or photos!  They can also share links  they might find that are related  to the book or subject at hand.  They will be constructing and expanding their knowledge.

  By blogging , the comments , questions, review, and sharing is archived. As educators we will be able to  see the history of the student  thinking and wiring  and thus see the progression/ growth of this  work as it develops.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Blogs for School Book Clubs

  I am going to create a blog for our school book clubs . I think I am deciding on  having two blogs (but am not sure yet) , one for 7th grade and one for 8th grade. 

 What I want students to be able to do is to leave comments on the books  they are reading within in the  group.  This will also allow between meetings   a way for students to bounce around question and ideas   about the story. Perhaps at the end , also creating a readers guide for the book When they are finished  we might even be able ( big wish) to get the author ot comment to questions! 

 Students may also bounce around ideas for titles  for the next month . They can suggest titles and we can vote on it when the  book is finished. 

 Use of the blog for the book group will allow for a constructivist   tool for he student  to  build their interest and ideas. Hopefully  this will encourage more independent reading by the students in the group. I am hoping to have it open to all students in the school and this will perhaps more students to joining the book groups! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blogging for School Students- First Steps

  Before your class (or group) starts blogging, it would be a good idea to send a letter hoe to parents and guardians  discussing how the group will work.

   Include in this also a permission letter with terms and condition that both student and parent will sign and return.  This will lay out students behavior  on the blog,  and what is expected of the student. This can also include consequences for students who do not follow the guidelines. 

  We want students  to become users of blogs by sharing ideas, analyzing the work/ book given  and participating/ collaborating with their classmagtes. This may lead to more global interaction thru the internet.

Monday, June 27, 2016

First Week of Summer Vacation!

    We are off to a good start of summer vacation! I have lots of plans- let's see  how many I get done.  
     One plan is to read , read, read!  Right now I am on the 5th Poldark book- I am really enjoying the series.  I did watch the  one or two episodes of the PBS series. But I am thinking I would rather  read them  then watch them.  You may see a review - not sure yet. 
    I will eventually dive into some Ya's since I am already building my book list for next year. I am looking for good reads for 7th and 8th graders- so if you have any favorites please leave a message in the comment section!  
   One of my other plans is to get out my cookbook collection- and plan out some good recipes!   ( and then actually make then!)  One of my  favorites is the Pioneer Women. I just love love her. Her recipes are for real people using regular ingredients.
    It rained here this afternoon , so we sat  inside at the edge of the garage and read for about an hour. It was nice!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Middle School Blogs! Middle School Book Club!

   I am  hoping to promote  that student in our 7&8  grades  will be blogging next year.  I am hoping to work with the ElA teachers  or maybe start a lunch time book club for students.  Each group - a 7th and an 8th would have a blog attached to our library website.  Then they will read the book and then discuss . The students will be volunteers!  
    I will write an intro to the book( or maybe have the students do a book review.)Then students can present their ideas about the book in the blog during the month- So I am thinking that  maybe a monthly meeting would work.   I will think about it over the summer. 
    But if you have any ideas , please comment below!  I am looking for some input

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Next Year! New challenges!

      Next year I am told  that I will not be doing all day 7th grade all day. So I will be a 'real " librarian.  So my first challenge will be  getting teachers to collaborate  with me  during the following year.  I know several of the teachers will be glad to work with me. 
      For instance , the music teacher always does several projects requiring  research  on famous   musicians.  I am trying to also remember  if there was another project that he did.  We already  have a whole packet worked up for this project.

       Both of  The 7th  grade science teachers also  do at least one project on endangered species that require  the students to do research on an animal.  So I am quite sure that they will also work with me,

      The one 8th grade social studies class does  a  project on Immigration and also I think another on Washington DC before their trip in the spring.  

   So I will springboard off of these and work on getting other  teachers to work with me on different projects.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

It's June! End of year!

     I'm getting ready for the end of school! It's been a long  and interesting year!  7th grade has been a challenge to say the least! I think having the centers was a good idea and I will prepare some  more for next year to have set up for when students visit.   As far as I know, I will not be having 7th grade classes but will be working more closely with the teachers doing student based projects!!  So excited about that!!

      Over the summer I will be checking out some ideas  to get the teachers prepared to collaborate with me when they are doing their projects. This is really the way to run a library and have the students really learn how to use the resources that they need to use.

      I will write more about this over the summer . But I am looking for ideas on how to get teachers to collaborate so please  join in the conversation  of your ideas and suggestions, and what you do if you are in a situation where you have a flexible schedule  for student teacher collaboration.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

   Some ideas for you for your June Bulletin Boards::  It's the end of the year so get ready for lots to do!

  Summer Read- Feature covers of student favorites . Use names and say" Jeanne recommends"

  Get Carried away with Books- Balloons or hot air balloons. If you want - add titles to balloons.

   Hot Days- Cool Books- summer scene-  reading on the beach

  Photos of students  reading their favorite books in their favorite places.

  Dive Deep  Into Reading- under the ocean, fish, sharks, water plants.

Special Days:
Fathers Day
Flag Day

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Elementary Librarian- lesson plan resource

  Even though I teach 7th grade Inofrmation Literacy skills, I find that /  is very useful in many cases and also adaptable. Although I am not a subscriber to the entire service, I most likely would be if I were at the elementary level where I had to  plan weekly lessons for   5 or 6 grades.  I did sign  up for their monthly emails , and they come with links to  lessons and the resources needed to go with them.  

  I have used some of the lessons without adapting and some I have changed  just slightly.  The extra resources are printables and also some have power points.     Having just discovered this  I find it very helpful when doing my planning of lessons and it gives me great ideas for things I could include in my lesson rotation.

Thursday, May 5, 2016 _Parent site for NSTeens    is the 'parent ' site from the one that I talked about last week. This has lots of  links , ideas, videos, etc for parents and educators   to help  children and students learn more about the safe use of the internet.
  NetSmartz is an interactive and educational program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited children.  It consists of age appropriate resources  for students 5 to 17 to be used by parents, and educators.  There are  many resources here  which include videos, games, lesson plans, activity cards, and presentations.
     The programs are  both educational and entertaining. My students love the NS teens and go back  to replay the games and look at the comics.  If you poke around you will find something you can use with your own children or students.

   Did anyone  find anything similar?  I am constantly on the look out for more sites like this that have excellent content for use with the students.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Recent lessons- April

    During Information Literacy we have been stepping back and doing some literacy type of activities.  Students  listened to the book , The Witches ( Dahl) and  demonstrated their comprehension by  drawing/ writing  about the different components of the story( plot, characters, story arc,)  Students enjoyed this activity and it gave them  a little bit of break from the other activities we had been doing previously.

   Some of the classes  were listening. reading 12 Angry Men (Rose  ) and were  rewriting different scenes  into a play.   We also  wrote some poems for poetry month which most of the students enjoyed.

  This was a little break from the research and information skills that we had been doing .

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Great Website for digital media- Middle & High School

     I am using Nsteens  in my Information Literacy classes . Actually what I did was put up several links to some of the items on this site on my Google classroom for the students to do - some as part of a class activity when we were in the computer lab, and some to do when they were done with their assigned work.

    Anyway , the students  seem to think that this is a very cool site .  They enjoy and go back to several of the games.   The purpose of NS Teens  is to make students aware of the issues  about using different internet sources , internet safety, & social media.   The programs are designed to think about what are posting and doing online.  Hopefully they will stop and think about  what they are doing  online and if it inappropriate.

   Along the top of them main page you will see the different items available!
 First there are videos related to  digital citizenship. Here is a quick listing of just a few: Friend or Fake, Gaming, Cyberbullying, & Post to be Private.

   Another Tab is Games, which my students thoroughly enjoyed.  Website Warrior and Password Plunder were on my google classroom and many students return to Website Warrior  again and again.

  The Quizzes  tab has 4 quizzes- the first was completed by my students but  some of the wording was confusing to them.  There were two comic strips , my students viewed one.  The remaining tab is biographies on all the characters throughout the different  programs.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

May Bulletin Boards!

May bulletin Board for Libraries

  It  is  getting towards the end of April , so I am thinking of what to do about those bulletin boards.
Here are some ideas of what I have used in the past.

Sneaking around with a good book- copies of sneakers , students will write  on a blank sneaker their favorite spring books.  They can color them and then we will put   them on the board.

"When we read we Grow.'May flowers-  Blue Back ground.
  Battle of the Books - groups. scores , announcements.

"We're wild about Books!"- Jungle theme ( animals , trees) around slogan, maybe even titles on tree leaves, or book jackets if you have more room.

"Read, Return, Repeat"  Make slogan like the Recycle, Reduce, Reuse  Make  green arrows- put book jackets around that.

"Don't be angry -Read a Good Book"   Angry birds and book jackets or titles

Sunday, March 20, 2016

April Bulletin Board Ideas

     It 's time again to start thinking about April!  I know March seems like it just started but with vacation , I like to always think ahead!

      I've got a poem in my pocket!-- pockets with poems typed stuck in- these can be changed  weekly. Or let  students put in their  favorite poems.

     Get Graphic@ the Library!  Scan covers of some of your Graphic Novels and put on a colorful Bulletin Board.

      Get Hooked on  Books!- Fishing line with book titles or covers along the line.
( Fishing for a good Book)

     Spring into Reading with Great Books

      Sports Stories

      It's Raining Books- Put an umbrella in the corner of the bulletin board. Then place large blue and grey raindrops with book titles on them.( Again let students put up their favorites.

     April showers bring great books! ( Similar to above idea)

National Humor Month
School Library Month

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Common Sense Media

 I have found this program open to school educators of technology and information literacy. I am planning to use some of the components  to  ensure that my 7th graders  learn  the ins and outs of the right way to use the newest technology. I think they will like what is coming up this week. We are finishing our black history project and will go  on to digital and traditional  media as an introduction to the Common Sense Media  components that I will be using

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Projects/ Activities for February ( Middle school Information Literacy Classes)

    In 7th grade , we are doing some Black American History Month projects.  I have a pathfinder set up for students to read about some famous Black Americans- this gives them a link to the people  and leads them to to get quick answers.

     Also there is a research aspect which delves into one person. Students are looking up why the person was famous and other interesting facts.   With these facts , they will be making a wordle poster  for another grade!

     On our Activity table, there are hearts to write their favorite books on, a movie survey, and a fiction find game.  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Middle School Library Centers- another idea

 I recently came across another idea that I want to try with my 7th grade middle school classes.  I will do a Research Question of the week  which I will put at the"Game Center"  I am not sure if I will offer a prize or not - still debating on it.

  What I  will do is post the question and then have students find the answer and also write down the source of the answer . I will give guidelines as to what sources they may use- NOT goggle- they always want to use that!

  I will gear the  questions to the Month- I just looked up what January is noted for( days, weeks)  This is what I found: Martin Luther King, Science Fiction day, Trivia Day, Hat day, Popcorn day, Hobby month, Hot tea  month, Oatmeal month,  Sunday Supper Month, Soup Month.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

January Bulletin Boards

 What bulletin boards will I put up in January? I always try to think ahead and get ready for the next month.  I didn't this time. 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