So what is the buzz about the Google Integration? Well, DCS is linking our google accounts with Discovery Education accounts. This process is called SSO (or single sign on) or Google User Provisioning. Once everyone is moved over, students and teachers will be able to login at www.google.discoveryeducation.com. Sounds exhausting, right? Well this new process will be able to update students and teachers accounts automatically. But enough about the nuts and bolts...
But that's not all. Check out some of the other cool things Discovery Education has to offer...
Take a virtual field trip with Discovery Education on October 8th to Kilimanjaro. Join 10 students, 12 educators, and 4 scientists representing Nigeria, Oman, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States. This international team will attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world's Seven Summits, and the tallest mountain on the African continent. Register here: Kilimanjaro Expedition.
Grow your PLN by joining DE's newest group just for school library media.....wait for it....DENbrarians! Join the Facebook group, follow them on Pinterest, and learn how school library professionals are in a unique position as a DEN leader and learn about opportunities to grow professionally using Discovery Education.
Did you know that DCS has 20 DENstars? You can become a DENstar too! Learn more about that program here: http://www.discoveryeducation.com//what-we-offer/community/den-for-teachers/index.cfm
Have you thought about hosting a STEM camp at your school but don't know where to start? DE has all the materials and lesson plans ready to go for you to host your own, FREE STEM camp at your school. For more information, contact Shayla Rexrode at mailto:Shayla_Rexrode@discovery.com.
How about PD in your PJ's? Attend DE Fall Virtcon 2015 from the comfort of you own couch. This year's event will focus entirely on Kathy Schrock's 13 Literacites for the Digital Age. Want to get a group together? Learn how to host a viewing party here.
Next month, the district is offering PD for all middle school teachers of science, social studies and math and all 5th grade science teachers for Techbook. Classroom teachers will need to sign up on the StaffDev link on the DCS webiste: http://www.davidson.k12.nc.us/departments/technology/mediatech/staffdev/
Would you like to become a DENbrarian Ambassador? Join our cohort beginning January 2016. Stay tuned for more details!
Shanna Leonard, Media Coordinator from Tyro Elementary, has done a fantastic job with book displays in her library. The theme for her library is "Camp Tyro" complete with campsite and tent. Shanna has some great ideas for creating book displays.
Hello Media Friends! On Tuesday, September 8th, Sedley visited our Media Center at Tyro Elementary. However, I missed visiting with her due to proctoring the BOG for 3rd grade. She later emailed me this NEAT flipagram and posted it on the DCS Facebook page. After thanking Sedley for the flipagram, she recommended that I post a blog entry on book displays. I eagerly agreed and was thankful for a blog idea.
See the flipagram link below. And thanks again Sedley!!! http://flipagram.com/f/bsp1V9B3j3
One of the many hats that we wear as a School Librarian is to get students EXCITED about reading and to promote the LOVE of reading. I have found that book displays have sparked the interest of reading with our students. I enjoy creating book displays based on Holidays, themes, authors, and genres.
Mo Willems Author Book Display
I love using chalkboards as book display titles. You can find these neat chalkboards at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Walmart. Big chunky letters also make catchy and fun display titles. Mercer Mayer Author Book Display
Initially, I thought all book displays had to be on tables, but as you see…… book displays can be placed anywhere……. on tables, book shelves, rolling carts, floor, etc. Genre Book Display
Sports Theme Book Display
Our Fifth grade teaching team informed me that they were planning a Newbery Award project where students would be reading Newbery Award books. So I am preparing a Newbery Award book display to promote this project. Other book displays that I have arranged include:
Displaying books in an appealing arrangement is motivating and informative for students!
A big thank you to Brene Duggins from East Davidson High School for submitting this week's blog post. Just in time for Banned Books Week next week!
Do you think about what you read? Do you ever think about the fact that you have the freedom to choose what you read? Did you know that every year hundreds of books in public school libraries are challenged? That book...yeah, the one you have in your hand right now, could be on a challenged or banned book list somewhere in the country. In 2014, 311 challenges were reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom, those are just the ones that were reported. In the 9 years I have been in Media, I have only seen one challenge result in a title being banned district-wide. This happened while I was teaching in Johnston County, NC. The book was titled “How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent” by Julia Alverez. It was an eye opening experience to be able to talk to the Media Coordinator that went through that process. Remember this could happen to any of us at any time. There is information about the Challenge process in our DCS Media Manual.
So….what does this have to do with us? What does this have to do with our students? Everything!
Remember Banned Book Week this isn’t just about young adult books it is about the freedom to read all books! In the past, while I was at the Elementary level, we celebrated Banned Book Week. Did you know that there are tons of children’s books on the challenged lists. A version of Red Riding Hood was challenged because the cover of the book displayed a bottle of wine in Red Riding Hood’s basket. Even Where’s Waldo has been challenged in the past, I know that many of us enjoyed looking for that character in a red and white striped shirt. A great place to start to see what books have been challenged over the years is the ALA Banned Books webpage http://www.ala.org/bbooks/ This site has the most challenged books for the previous year and the reasons why they were challenged. It also includes if that challenge was upheld by the library of district. There are lots of great resources on this page.
This year at East Davidson High School, we are celebrating Banned Books week September 27th-October 3rd with book displays, photo opportunities and Censorship Presentations.
All of the 1st semester English classes will be visiting the Media Center to discuss Censorship and how it relates to Books in the Library. During this presentation, we will be sharing with them many well known and loved titles and will give them the opportunity to guess why these books were challenged. When I have shared a similar presentation in the past students are shocked to learn that many of their favorites growing up are on the list like: Where’s Waldo, James and the Giant Peach, Goosebumps, Alice in Wonderland, and more. We also discuss books that come up in many English classes like: The Diary of Anne Frank, Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird and Fahrenheit 451.
Our displays went up last week, so that students had time to be curious. Our bulletin board is a display of a book that is chained shut with the caption “Unlock Your Mind.” Many students have already started asking “What does this mean?” “Why is there a chain around the book?” It is a great conversation starter for not only students but the teachers. These conversations have lead us to talk about our entry table, which is currently covered with books that are wrapped in brown paper and have the words “banned” written in red letters. There are also paper flames spread around the table. We have had a number of students come in and say “this is like Fahrenheit 451!” A few teachers have asked what titles are under the paper? and if they can get a list of the titles that are frequently challenged.
One my favorite pieces is the “Caught Reading Banned Books” photo opportunity. This is where we have a backdrop set up that looks like a police line up. Students can select a book from our Banned Book Titles display and have their picture taken with a booking board that reads “Caught Reading Banned Books.” These pictures will be printed and displayed in the Media Center.
I love that this particular literary week happens at the beginning of the year, because we can use the shock factor to get the students’ and teachers’ attention and get them thinking about the fact that they do have a right to choose what they read and that along with that right, people have the right to challenge books that they feel are inappropriate.
Lorie Steed is the media coordinator at Central Davidson High School. Not only does Lorie love literature and libraries, she is also an accomplished writer and poet in her own right. Lorie coordinates the high school library PLC and also helped to organize the #EdCampDCS last spring.
One of my big goals this year is to impact student learning through teacher collaboration. Of course, that’s always been an important goal for all of us, but it’s very easy to get caught up in administrative tasks that pull our focus from teaching. It’s also a challenge to find time to collaborate--we’re all extremely busy, especially the first few days of the school year. However, I wanted to share some quick and easy ways I found to connect with teachers during the first few days of school in order to build successful collaborative relationships.
My first collaboration was with Lisa Pritchard, our Marketing and Entrepreneurship teacher, and took place over a couple of five-minute conversations. It all started with an article I came across this summer in my Pocket feed, about a new type of umbrella that opens and closes “inside out” to make it easier and less messy to use. “I need to share this with Lisa when school starts back,” I thought to myself, tucking it in the back of my mind. As Lisa passed through the library on one of the teacher workdays, I told her about the article, thinking it would be good to share with her Entrepreneurship class. She was excited and asked me to pass the article on, so I Googled “new kind of umbrella” to find the link and send it to her. During this process, I discovered yet another “new type of umbrella,” one that pushes rain away from the user by using an “invisible force field of air.” I sent both links to Lisa, suggesting it might be interesting to compare the two, and by the next day, she had created a short Google Slides presentation to use as an introduction to Entrepreneurship the first day of school. I planned to visit her class during the lesson, but the day got away from me--my loss! She said the activity was a success, especially because it took a concept students were familiar with--the umbrella--to help them understand how entrepreneurship works.
I had another opportunity to visit Lisa’s class though, and this also came about through that initial five-minute conversation, when she told me that the big project for her Entrepreneurship class involves students coming up with a new product or service and creating a business plan. She said they often had trouble coming up with an idea. “I’d love to help with that,” I told her. As a creative writer, I’ve had my own struggles generating ideas, and I thought some of the strategies I learned to help myself could help her students as well. So I visited Lisa’s class later that same week, teaching a lesson to help her students come up with a product that matters to them. We started off watching a short video clip from the popular show Shark Tank (a video I remembered from my Facebook feed a while back) to illustrate the idea that the best products are about people and their passions. I then had students freewrite or cluster for five minutes about things they had strong emotions about, whether negative or positive. I encouraged them to not censor themselves and told them the activity would not be collected--it was just a starting point for them to find out what matters to them, what drives them. After a brief discussion, I encouraged students to stop by the library if they needed to further brainstorm ideas. Already one student has taken me up on the offer, and as a result, now has a project idea she is truly excited about.
My experience with Lisa’s Entrepreneurship class proves that collaboration doesn’t have to mean setting aside an hour or even a half hour for a formal meeting. I’ve created a Google form to record my attempts at collaboration so far this year, and most of them have started with an idea or resource that made me think of a certain teacher or department, me sharing that idea through email or a quick conversation, and follow-up. To illustrate, here is what I have documented so far.
As you can see, I still have conversations I need to follow up on, but the Google form is a record of what I’ve done and what I still need to do, as well as a tool that helps me see what departments I still need to reach out to. I’ve also used an asterisk to note which conversations were initiated by me (the ones with no asterisk were initiated by the teacher). As I continue to share my desire to collaborate with teachers, more are coming to me, and I’m excited about that. I plan to share this form with my teachers soon, so they have an easy way to request my services as a co-teacher in their classrooms.
In closing, I encourage you to find your own way of starting these small conversations with teachers. Stop them in the teacher workroom, or have lunch with them one day. Ask them to share their pacing guides with you. Let them know you are interested in helping their students learn. Examine how your own unique knowledge and skill set might apply to a lesson they’re teaching. And that article you clicked on while browsing Facebook or your Pocket feed? Who knows--maybe it will help you build your next collaborative relationship.
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.