Thursday, September 24, 2015

Another Year

I'm well into my second year as a media specialist!  These first two months have held many long-hour days, some tears, and plenty of hard work!  I've adjusted to the 35 minutes it takes me each week to type in all of my plans, AASL and Common Core ELA standards to our media center planner on ItsLearning.  I've changed out lots of ink cartridges, printed loads of posters for teachers, and set up some resource lists in the media catalog.  I've already accomplished some teacher trainings on using the media catalog and new resources that are available this year.  Like last year, I've helped one of our gifted teachers, Mrs. Wing, with the daily morning news production, and started our second year of Battle of the Books with the help of Miss Grimes and Mrs. Tate.

The kids, all 1,000+ of them, and our teachers, are what make work worthwhile.  :)  I'm still in a fixed, all day teaching schedule, completing six to seven, back-to-back, 45-minute lessons a day.  That rigorous schedule has helped me help the school counselor to teach the 1st - 5th grade career lessons, but the best parts of my days are working with the students, and/or finding some time to help students get a book they love and want to read.

I'm on my way to accomplishing some of my personal S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Literacy Committee approved LOTS of new titles, so that we can update our aging collection with a focus on fiction and everybody books.  We are also getting some high-interest interactive eBooks and some more single-use/check out and download titles.  Hopefully this will help me build student-interest in eBooks too.  They are SO handy to have on your device, and no worrying about overdue books, losing, or damaging them.  (My new Book Hospital bin stays full with tattered, well-loved books!)

I made an easy display with the information that our local public library sent on students that participated in their summer reading program.  I've also coordinated with that same library to have them attend an evening, school PTA art event so that they can help more local citizens get a library card.  (I need to sign up for my honorary card to their library since I don't live in the county where I work.  That way I can explore their resources, see how they work with our collection, and encourage students to utilize their eBooks in conjunction with ours.)

I read aloud "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds to my second graders, and most students "made their mark" using Paint software. When the computer lab was unavailable, other students used crayons to mix colors to make their dot.  One student even figured out and crafted a 3D dot from paper stuffed with tissue that she taped together!  Other students worked together to combine their dots to make bigger dots.  LOVE it!  Hope to do even bigger and better things next year for "Dot Day"!

I put up a simple "Fall in Love With Reading" display to showcase some fall, apple, and leaf books, both fiction and nonfiction.  

I shared loads of pictures and information about our media center renovation with a Dekalb County Media Specialist who is looking for ideas for his media center renovation.  

Most recently, I saw this idea on Pinterest, and made some easy labels for the return cart by the check-in computer.  Kids seem to be picking up on utilizing it rather easily.  Plus, it helps me get the books shelved a bit faster, especially on the nonfiction side.  It's a small, "something new", but one that I'm going to give a solid try, because as one student told me today, "I like that!  It's so organized now!"  The sign on the bottom left is for 000, 100, 200, and 300 books, since those don't get checked out as much as the other nonfiction texts.  Then I grouped 400 and 500 together due to all of those animal books, and placed 600, 700, 800, and 900 on the same shelf, because while loads of 600s and 700s are checked out, not tons of 800s or 900s are.  :)  

Lastly, I've been asked by our county board media specialist, Susan Grigsby, to be the System Media Committee representative for my region of the county.  I shall see what all that entails at my meeting in October, AFTER I savor our first fall break in my 14 years of teaching!  SUPER EXCITED!!!  Time to relax, catch up on blog post/reading, search for new ideas, and visit family and friends.  :)  

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