A special thanks to ITF, Libby Ferrell, for sharing this awesome blog post about participating in career day at Southmont Elementary.
Last month I had the opportunity to participate in career day at Southwood Elementary. As I was preparing my presentation for students I had to consider the most important aspects of my job as a technology facilitator, and wanted students to think about why technology is so important in education (and all other facets of society) today. After discussing a typical day at work, I talked about the education I needed to get here and the mindset needed while continuously working with technology.
From the four classes I talked to, the majority of the students were confident technology users that probably understand Snapchat better than I do. They also showed interest in new technologies such as 3D printers and talked about future possibilities with these advanced technology tools. Before my presentation concluded, students watched the following video of a 12-year-old app developer from California. Students listened to his story and started to consider the possibility of creating their own apps.
Fortunately, Daniel Everhart was willing to help me work with the same classes during enrichment time in the media center the following day. Students worked with a partner to design and develop an original idea for an app. They created a paper slide that illustrated their app creation and as a class they created a paper slide video so that everyone could share their ideas. Students were so engaged when they started brainstorming and putting together the concept for their new and unique app.
Thanks to Kenny Foster at West for this great blog post!
Don’t ever let anyone convince you that the library/media center can’t benefit every class in the school! We have always tried to help our Advanced Theatre class. We have helped them with researching monologues and researching costume style from previous eras, but we really got a chance to work with them in a fun and meaningful way this semester!. Our new theatre teacher, Mrs. Quick, assigned each student a character. The students had to identify with the character, dress like the character, speak like the character, and take on the character’s persona for an entire school day. With the approval of administration and help from the faculty, each student was graded based on how he/she stayed in character throughout the day. How did the media center help? We decided that a little green screen fun was appropriate for the occasion. We did our homework by locating free (public domain) backgrounds that were specific to each character. In addition to being fun, it was a great way to remind everyone about copyright laws and the beauty of public domain and fair use. Below, you will see some of the final products from the project.
Thanks to Kathy Lankford, ETS and media assistant, at Stoner-Thomas for this blog post about the Stoner-Thomas school library makeover.
At Stoner-Thomas we always wanted a Media Center like our sister schools in Davidson County, but being a smaller school with not a lot of money to purchase books, we depended a lot on donations or discarded books from other schools or our community. Donations are terrific, but it needed more. Not a lot of time is put into the Media Center, because we do not have a Media Coordinator to do the daily duties of the Media Center, nor the volunteers needed to run it successfully. Teachers would take their class to the Media Center every week and just let students pick out books to look at, most of the time books were not put back into the correct order, not because teachers weren’t watching, but, because there was no organization to the Media Center.
But now, with the help of a few volunteers, we have a Media Center to be proud of! We recruited some students to help label books by category to match the totes they were placed in, we worked several days reorganizing the books, getting rid of old books, getting some book cases, getting our bulletin boards raised, and reorganize the teacher resource section. Our "new" media center has a Pirate theme and the students and staff love it!
Teachers have started to filter back into the Media Center with students to enjoy the new look and sections that have been created. Teachers love the category totes, because they are easily displayed for students to see. Having student helpers for the Media Center has given a few students time to enjoy the books, talk about their favorite book or to let us know what books they would like to see in the Media Center. We still need to expand our book collection, but for now, we love our new Media Center.
Earlier this year, Kate Lewis at Denton Elementary, did her own version of One Book One School. Several have asked about her program and would like to model it next year. Thanks, Kate, for sharing!
The seed was first planted when I attended a Scholastic Reading Summit last summer. I heard John Schumacher (Mr.Schu) present a wonderfully entertaining book talk, and he spoke at length about Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate. He also talked about books that had been used for the One School, One Book program.
I was intrigued, so I bought a copy of the book and visited this site: http://readtothem.org
I read everything on their site, searched the net for other schools and what they had done, and then I contacted them. It didn't take long to realize that there was no way we could afford to use their program and buy the books for every single kid at my school. So I compromised. I first met with my principal and flushed out the ideas running through my brain. Then I made a list of activities I could do with a book, and I looked at some of the popular ones other schools had tried.
Although Crenshaw is a chapter book, I thought that all grade levels could read it during their read aloud time. The chapters are very short, the themes are universal, and many of our students could identify with them: homelessness, hunger, family bonds, imaginary friends.
I knew I couldn't afford a copy for every single kid, so I got one for every classroom teacher, staff member, and administration. I tried to include everyone. Our books were all provided through a Donors Choose grant that I wrote just before school started. It was my first attempt at a Donors Choose Project, and luckily it was funded pretty quickly. Then I made a tentative reading timeline for the school to follow and introduced it at our first staff meeting. Here's what else I can remember that we did with the book:
I paired it with books that had similar themes and shared those lesson plans with teachers and suggested other titles that went along with Crenshaw
And I can't remember what else I did.......but I think I will do it again next year with a different book..... probably a picture book and pair it with an author visit, maybe with a heritage theme.
A school-wide reading incentive program would meet the accomplished and distinguished indicators on Standard 4, element C of the SLMC evaluation.
Thanks to Shannon Jarrett, veteran teacher and first year SLMC, for this blog post about her chapter of the Tar Heel Junior Historians. To learn more about the THJH program, visit http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/learning/tar-heel-junior-historian-association.
Southmont fourth grade historians have enjoyed becoming a part of history this year as we established Southmont’s first chapter of The Tarheel Junior Historian Association, The Laker Junior Historians. They were excited to become a part of a club that provided valuable resources to enhance their learning of NC history, such as membership cards, stickers, and magazines that highlighted historical events and people in our state. Students began the year by creating a timeline of important events in their own life history. They interviewed their parents to discover more about their early history. They also learned how to use reliable sources to research such topics as the Wright Brothers and their contribution to aviation, as well as NC state symbols. They published their learning on boards using the Board Builder feature on Discovery Education.
Recently, students attended a field trip to Raleigh where they toured the NC Museum of History. They were able to enjoy projects displayed by other Tarheel Junior Historians throughout the state. Fourth grader,Kendra discussed how much she enjoyed seeing “history come to life”, especially when seeing the model of the Wright Brothers plane at the museum.
Next year, I plan to use a scavenger hunt to locate artifacts and features of the museum that correlate with topics learned throughout the year. With a focus on family history, we will learn more about our ourselves and community through genealogy research.
Shelley Carlton, SLMC at Tyro Middle, was inspired by an article from Knowledge Quest to develop a survey for students to gather feedback to assist in strategic planning for next school year. Using data to assess the needs of the school community meets Standard 2 of the evaluation instrument:
"I have created a Student Survey using a Google form and am going to have a random sampling of students take it during their last class visit to the library in the upcoming weeks. (I have put a link on the Media page that is easily accessible.)
I am particularly interested in finding out if students have enough opportunities to visit the library and also in finding out if they are using some of the things we have available....makerspace activities, magazines, book mobile etc...so that was the focus. The survey is very much geared toward what we want to know about the TMS library from a student perspective. The results will automatically go into a response speadsheet and data can then be analyzed.
We are excited about using this tool as a means to make improvements to our library.
Below are links to an article on this topic and the survey. Thanks!"
Knowledge Quest: Survey the Students
Three library media coordinators completed the spring 2017 cohort of the Discovery Education DEN Ambassadors alongside a selection of teachers from across the district. They participated in a series of professional development sessions focused on digital learning strategies and content. Each attendee earned 4.5 hours of technology credits and enjoyed Times Square Pizza each meeting courtesy of Michael Capps from Discovery Education.
Brene Duggins - East Davidson High School
"One of the biggest things for me is all of the amazing resources I have been able to share with the EDHS staff. I have been able to share S.O.S. strategies with departments as they have come to the Media Center and mentioned projects or topics they are covering and also set up times for departments to learn more about some of the features available through Discovery Education. For example, in our Allied Health classes the teacher wanted to students to create a review and I mentioned doing a Gallery Walk with the student created review posters. History has used Paper Slides for students to create summaries of topics and then they mashed them together to create a review video. Science has set up a session to learn more about the Science Techbook and how to use it with our EDHS Science classes. It is great all the resources available at your fingertips through Discovery Education and it give me lots of ideas to share with the teachers as they are looking for activities to use in the classroom with their students!"
Danielle Treadway - Brier Creek Elementary
"I am an alum to the DE Ambassador program. Just like last year, this session did not disappoint. There is so much to the Discovery Education resource that I still learned new ways to use DE help my co-workers and students. I had the pleasure of attending these sessions with an awesome grade level team from my school. As a media coordinator, I strive to help the staff at my school learn about new resources that are available to them. Sometimes, though, there are not enough hours in the day. This year I hope that I have helped this third grade team become more aware of all that Discovery Ed has to offer. I have also shared what I have learned in other grade level PLC meetings which has helped in sharing this resource with whole school. As always, I still rely on Discovery Ed for my media lessons with my students. The Spotlight on Strategies tools are wonderful in enhancing my teaching and always adding the extra engaging piece for the students."
Kristi Allred - North Davidson Middle School
"I am so impressed with the resources we have at our fingertips with Discovery Education. I know that what we have learned is just the tip of the iceberg! I look forward to using these even more next year. I think the best thing about the SOS Strategies is how they are organized by skill on the website. My biggest transformation from this process has been that I have added so many resources to my personal toolbox so I can help teachers when they are brainstorming different lessons and activities with their students. I have shared information about the virtual field trips with specific teachers based on their curriculum. At least one teacher has incorporated them into a lesson! We even used the snowball fight SOS with our Battle of the Books team!"
For School Library Month, SLMC Kristi Allred chose a fairly new program to introduce to NDMS: "I encouraged our staff/students to do the Reading Without Walls challenge that Gene Luen Yang created. They are adding to a Padlet. It is mostly 6th graders from one ELA teacher contributing, but it is fun to see them reading outside of their comfort zone. I attached the flyer I made. Hopefully some more staff and students will join in."
The Reading without Walls program meets Standard 2, element A of the SLMC evaluation instrument:
The official timeline for the Reading without Walls program is the month of April, however you can promote a similar program anytime. If you would like to try Reading without Walls, comment below and mark your calendars for April 2018, and visit http://read.macmillan.com/mcpg/reading-without-walls/.
It’s that time of year again! Yes, it’s School Library Month, and what better time to announce our brand new DCS Teen Lit Top 10 list? But first, a bit of background...
What is the DCS Teen Lit Top 10?
The DCS Teen Lit Top 10 list, first implemented by high school librarians during the 2016-2017 school year, was created to give Davidson County high school students options to explore high quality young adult titles through a variety of activities at their home schools and online. While we’re still exploring ways to help readers from different schools interact and we had to cancel our planned DCS Lit Con due to scheduling conflicts, the first year of this initiative was still a success. Our students enjoyed having a curated list of books to read and discuss, and some of the titles from this year’s Teen Lit Top 10 were among the highest circulated books in our collections! This year’s favorites included Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Looking for Alaska by John Green, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, and Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman.
How is the DCS Teen Lit Top 10 Different from Battle of the Books?
The Battle of the Books is a great program, but a more flexible format works better for DCS high school students. Many high schoolers have jobs, take advanced classes, and participate in extracurricular activities, which makes finding time for pleasure reading a challenge. With the DCS Teen Lit Top 10, students simply read the books from the list that appeal to them, and share and discuss their favorites.
How was the Top 10 list created?
DCS high school librarians chose books based on a variety of criteria to create a list that we believe represents a wide range of reading tastes, diverse perspectives, social issues, and cultural significance. For inspiration, we looked to the Audiobook SYNC program as well as quality lists curated by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. For newer releases that haven’t had time yet to win an award, we chose titles that are “buzzworthy” in the YA genre and have a very high Goodreads average.
Where can I get the books?
All titles should be available at DCS high school libraries, as well as through the North Carolina Digital Library, which students can access with a public library card. This is a great time to sign up for a library card if you don’t have one! One title is also available for free through Audiobook SYNC, a summer audiobook program for teens. See our Smore (www.tinyurl.com/DCSTLT10-2017) for more complete information and detailed summaries of each book, and our Toolkit (http://tinyurl.com/DCSTLT10Toolkit2017) for a printable poster, bookmarks, and handouts for students to rate the books they read.
What does it mean to participate?
Students can read as many or as few titles as they wish, and activities will vary from school to school. This is meant to be a flexible opportunity for readers to participate at the level they feel comfortable with. We realize that not every book is for every reader, and that’s okay!
How can librarians help?
Middle school librarians can inform their current Battle of the Books teams of this opportunity, while high school librarians can spread the word to their feeder schools, teachers, and patrons.
We’re still figuring out the best way to give our students an opportunity to build a reading community that reaches across our schools. While we did have some participation in the Google Classroom we set up this year for this purpose, we’d love to hear your suggestions about how to invite further participation--please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Did you know there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (43 quintillion) ways to scramble a Rubik’s Cube? This best selling toy of all time was invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik. He wanted a working model to help explain three-dimensional geometry. It took him one month before he was able to solve the Cube for himself.
According to Brandon Lin, expert at Rubik's, you don't need to be a genius to solve these puzzles. The skills you do need are as follows:
First year ETS/media assistant at Tyro Elementary, Hawshen Flinchum, has started a Rubik's Cube Club. Currently, the club is offered for 4th and 5th grade students on Mondays and Fridays during their Recess time from 2:00-2:20.
Flinchum has created a Google Slide presentation as well as handouts with the algorithms for students to learn.
If you need a club idea, this has gotten the students excited!!!
Welcome to the official blog just for DCS library media programs. Enjoy new posts from one of our many contributors and follow along to see the amazing things happening in Davidson County school libraries.