Sunday, March 20, 2016

A HodgePodge

This is how all of the student work from our Georgia Book Award Centers came out.  Again, some was digitally created, some was paper pencil, and some was crafted from their own imaginations.  Next year's goal:  Centers could be less teacher-directed, and more open-ended.


Reflection:  So, as you can see, I did put up all the hearts that students created for why they love the library.  Obviously, next year, I need to make better paper color choices, like yellow or light blue.  But, I also need to figure out what else I can do for that day or entire week.  Within my all-day, fixed, 6-day rotation, I did do lessons that involved Dr. Seuss' books, but for his actual birthday, it was back to regular library lessons.  I had read collaborative ideas from other media specialists within our county, and even created a page on our county's ItsLearning platform for sharing past ideas, but I didn't invest time (that I don't have!) in actually promoting anything at my own school.  I did not realize the disappointment until meeting with a small group of friends after school for Mexican, and one of the kindergarten teachers had said how much she wanted to have done some dress-up days (crazy socks, wacky clothes, etc.).  So, this is on my calendar for next year, and putting the week of days before Leadership Team before it's too late. 
(Our media paraprofessional and a parent coordinate our book fairs and other parents volunteer to assist.  The blue page is the book fair flyer that I found in my box, so I put it up.  I then created multiple days of morning news slides with colorful images and scripts to tell students about the upcoming book fair and to tell them that by buying books, they were giving our school library the ability to buy books!  I also did a count down of days left to purchase books.)  

 I had to share this image from my Battle of the Books after school clubs.  One of the students in this group of 3, was out sick, but the girls figured out how to FaceTime her, so she could be "at the meeting".  A transformative event!  I was so proud of them!!  

This was a lesson for kindergarteners on generatingkeywords/categorizing.  Students then had to think of and illustrate another image to go with each category.  We also looked at how to access and use the "Visual" search in Destiny.

 This was a lesson with third and fourth grade on how to search the Internet.  (Ya know, instead of typing or speaking your entire question to the Internet. Haha!)  Kids LOVED seeing how many hits/websites their search string pulled back, and they really loved when they were the ones to think of something that pulled down only a couple thousand results instead of millions of results.  (We had previously looked at evaluating online sources for reliability and trustworthiness.) 

Teaching actual library lessons has made me feel SO much better about my job!  I've started sharing different authors/illustrators with kindergarten and first graders.  This was an extension activity that kindergartners did after reading through several Lois Ehlert books.  They searched through the library for different birds.  It was FUN!  I even had one student say, "I LOVE this!"

As I was taking down Black History Month books and wondering "What will I put up next?!?" #frazzled, in walked Mrs. Matthews, a paraprofessional who works with our special needs students.  She asked if the special education department could put up a display of exceptional children books.  Perfection!  A true God-send!  I pulled some additional books after school to fill out the books she had found and added a fun quote.  :)

While visiting a sister school in our county for an elementary media specialist meeting, their teacher librarian shared some of the library Makerspace centers that she had purchased.  I loved seeing kids having time to create, build, and stretch their imaginations!  I will have to look at how to organize these in our library, to make them accessible.  Currently, almost all of our tables and chairs are in one corner of our library, so we would need to think about moving some furniture...

I also LOVED this idea for our very blah 
computer lab!  I had decorated the bulletin board in the computer lab last year, but I did not this year. #notenoughtime Our ITS, Angela Wilson, did say she has a vinyl cutting machine, so maybe she can make these for school...?  They are completely adorable, and would be a cute addition to our stark computer lab!

A big THANKS to Susan Grigsby, for always treating Media Specialists like professionals and for getting us together for media specialist county meetings.  Getting to visit other schools is a HUGE piece in collaborating on best practices and seeing how other schools are successful, and then building on those successes at your own school.  #thanksKellyMillElementary

Lastly, I've recently attended two trainings provided by Promethean through our county.  One was for ClassFlow Connect, which our school will start to have access to this year. The other was on the TIM (Technology Integration Matrix).  I won't go into the TIM right now.  I will suffice it to say, that it has really helped me think about my own teaching and integration of technology.  A real, shot in the arm, if you will.  And, even though some of it will be more work, it will be worthwhile work that will benefit our students in a truly authentic way!

 On an ending note, a while back, I attended a very cool Sunday School lesson about using your God-given creativity to create and to let those creations reach out into the world.  I guess as a librarian, my creations are my students.  I do hope that they all go out to create a more beautiful world!