Recently DonorsChoose.org had a special #FillEveryShelf day, where all projects for books were matched by donors. Our school was wonderfully blessed by several donors, who gave toward our project, “Wild About Wimpy Kid Books.” We have a complete set of these titles in the media center, but it is rare and very lucky for a student to find one waiting on the bookshelf to be checked out. When I found out about this special match, I knew that my children needed more Diary of a Wimpy Kid titles in our library media center. My students couldn’t wait to open the box to see what the donors had given. They were shocked to find an entire set of this entertaining series, plus an extra copy of the first book. During the box opening, the students had the opportunity to start reading one (or more) of the books and they helped me start the task of processing all of these books. Each child stamped a book to help get them shelf ready. We are so very thankful for our donors, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and DonorsChoose.org.
Our school has benefited greatly in the past from our partners at DonorsChoose.org and we greatly appreciate all they have done for us! Because of this site, our school news show has lighting and a professional background. The students’ science fair project boards at our school can have gorgeous letters cut out of vinyl with our Silhouette machine. The kindergarten library section has forward-facing shelves that make selecting books a breeze. A Lego Wall makes every child smile that comes into our media center through our front door. We have been truly blessed with these special touches, which make our media center unique, thanks to our DonorsChoose.org community!
This year was the first year that our KBS Knights have celebrated International Dot Day. Our students wore dots as a part of the fun, created dots in art class for a fantastic Dot Tree, and read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Many of our students enjoyed singing The Dot Song and a Skype visit with another class! Our computer lab teacher, Mrs. Donna Burris, showed the students how to create dots and fill them with color using Publisher!
Students created Dot Day bookmarks to share with our Skype friends. We hope they like them!
The students, who came to The Merry Media Center @KBS to Skype, made bookmarks for our new Skype friends. Our school connected with 15 other schools from a variety of states. I greatly appreciate the members of my PLN, who we connected with this year! Some of these friends included: Jennifer Reed, Matthew Winner, Andy Plemmons, Sarah Staudt, Kathy Schmidt, Kathryn Cole, Esther Uribe, Chad Lehmann, Donna MacDonald, Sarah Wendorf, Cristol Kapp, Jenny Lussier, Shawna Ford, and Meg Allison. Some of the great activities that we shared with our buddies were having an Elephant and Piggie Dance Party (with Mr. Winner), reading Press Here (until interrupted by a fire drill– with Donna MacDonald), creating a nifty collaborative dot (with Mr. Plemmons), Mystery Skype experiences (with Cristol Kapp, Kathy Schmidt, and Chad Lehmann), reading The Dot with many wonderful classes! We had so much fun!
Mrs. Johnnie Skelton’s art class created a Dot Tree as a part of the Dot Day celebration this year!
Some of the best resources that were mentioned during a Lexile training session that I attended:
Search for books on a particular Lexile level: http://www.lexile.com/fab/
Excellent games/center activities for reading sorted by grade level: http://fcrr.org/for-educators/sca.asp
Find skill or strategy lessons and novel studies sorted by Lexile: http://www.readworks.org/ Create a free account to access the most information at this site.
Scripts for Reader’s Theater: http://www.readinglady.com/index.php?module=documents&JAS_DocumentManager_op=viewDocument&JAS_Document_id=9&MMN_position=34:34
I hope that these resources will be helpful to you!
I’m so excited because one of my third grade classes has started blogging! We are going to talk about commenting on blogs as part of a lesson in The Merry Media Center. During the lesson, we will watch 2 videos by Mrs. Yollis about the best ways to comment on a blog post and how to post a comment to a blog. While we are practicing our blog comments, students will have the opportunity to post a comment to this blog.
I hope that my students will share
1. the title of the best book they have read this school year
2. how they feel about commenting on a blog.
I can’t wait to see the responses from my students!
At the beginning of this school year our school’s guidance counselor, Mrs. Ashley Allen, showed me a fantastic website for planning and scheduling events. The Sign-Up Genius website allows the user to set dates and times for events and then invite others to sign up for a time that works with their schedules. The site has really cute, customizable themes, which add a nice visual touch to the scheduling portion of the sign-up.
Using the Sign-Up Genius website has helped me to stay organized and has allowed my teachers to have equal access to lessons and story times in our media center space. The website sends an e-mail reminder to the organizer and the participants to keep everyone aware of the upcoming event. Most of my teachers like the sign-up website because they can access it from home or anywhere there is Internet access.
Try it. You might like this super scheduling tool, too!
“It’s easier to be brave if you think there are no consequences, know what I mean?”
– Frankie from The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill
This quote struck me as I finished reading, The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill. Sometimes I think that it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about what could happen in a certain situation. Being nervous or frightened about the outcome of a situation or possibility has kept me from moving forward in my past experiences. Frankie’s encouragement in this quote is something that I need to take to heart. When searching for ways to make our school’s media center better, I should put away any thoughts of failure and be brave.
The school year is off to a wonderful start! Here are a few items that I am working on during the month of September:
1. Make lists of titles that my students and teachers request that our library does not own or that we don’t have enough copies in circulation. I like to use Follett’s Titlewave and Bound to Stay Bound’s website to create lists for easy access and ordering.
2. Make a list of classes that I want to teach to each grade level. Make a plan to collaborate with each grade level to share the ideas that I have for lessons. Let teachers know that I am open to their lesson ideas as well.
3. Gather information and set an agenda for the Media Committee meeting.
4. Offer teacher training sessions on building class websites or other tech topics as requested. Set my calendar to remind teachers to update their websites on the 1st of each month.
5. Make plans for Dot Day for the week of September 15th.
6. Set up book fair dates and start thinking about decorating/themes for this event (our Book Fair is in October).
7. Work with the local public library to have a library card drive. It is Library Card Sign-Up Month!
8. Ask the public librarian if we can have an art display set up in their space. If this is possible, work with the art teacher to collect artwork for display.
9. Talk about taking care of books with Pre-K and Kindergarten students.
10. Rotate book displays as needed.
11. Hire media center helpers and Tiger TV news anchors.
12. Talk about books as often as possible! Get students excited about books and authors!