In case you missed it, here is a recap from DCS staff that attended NCSLMA in Winston:
Do you Google Hangout? If you don't, you can. GHO is one of the apps available to us through the DCS google accounts. It's a little tricky, but if you need help you can ask your ITF to help you get set up.
What is GHO? It's video conferencing. Skype is currently blocked, but GHO is a good alternative as long as the person on the other end is signed in to Google.
Why GHO? You can connect with other classrooms remotely across the district or the globe. You can take a virtual field trip, have an author visit, a special guest...the possibilities are endless!
Just last week, Media Specialists Stacy Morgan (Friedberg) and Amy Snyder (Welcome) collaborated together recently on a lesson. They worked with a third grade class at their respective school and read the book Lyle, Lyle Crocodile to them. Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Snyder brainstormed and posted questions about the book on a Kahoot! site. The two classes then met together via Google Hangout and worked in teams to answer the Kahoot questions. After each response the winning team would come up and explain to everyone where and how they came up with their correct answers. At the end of the session the third graders from Welcome shared crocodile facts with the Friedberg students that they found in several nonfiction texts. They also introduced themselves to everyone and hopefully made some new friends in the process. It was a great time of learning using technology and reading
So you've got the list, you've got the books. Now what?
Many of you are well seasoned at the Battle of the Books, but some of you are looking for a new edge? Well, there is one thing to decide before you start planning...
Are you in it to win it? Or do you just want to be Number 1 in fun? You can cherry pick your team and groom them for the trophy, or just take a mix of kids that just want to participate and hope they have fun reading the books.
Either way, you still need to pick a team, decide on some meeting times and get those kids reading. There will need to be some practicing for the competition and other logistics. It doesn't have to be a chore. It can be fun! But don't forget to consult the NCSLMA website and read the manual for official rules, etc: http://www.ncslma.org/competitions.
Jenny Umbarger, library media specialist from Rogers-Herr Middle School, had the state winning team last year. Jenny shared some of her secrets to a winning team: "Our success definitely stems from having super motivated students who really push/challenge each other. I always feel like I don't have much to do with our success, but we have tried to put several things in place to help prepare the students. We use Edmodo as a tool for announcements and some book discussion, but we also use Google Docs as a way for students to discuss the books virtually. A doc is created for each book and the students add in details about characters, setting, plot, theme, etc. as well as a list of details that might come up in competition questions. Students have to write 10 questions for each book they read and pass a comprehension quiz (downloaded from MyBOBTeam, which our district subscribes to for all the schools) for the book to "count" for them. We have deadlines set up throughout the year with the goal that a student must have at minimum 15 books read by the district competition in order for them to be eligible to be one of the 12 competing team members (I count everyone participating as part of the team so as not to discourage anyone from participating). We have an after school practice every week starting 2nd quarter (I hate to do after school, as I feel it eliminates some great candidates, but it is what it is) during which we give some time for reading, writing questions, practicing authors and titles, and mock battles. All students are expected to learn authors and titles very early on so that won't be an issue later. As the year progresses, more of our practice time consists of mock battles. We will also use the jeopardy games available through MyBOBTeam and sometimes I pull out the eggspert buzzers for variety. Sometimes the students have the chance to ask the questions...whoever gets it right gets to ask the next question. Of course we also try to make sure we have some bonding time so the students really get to know each other and feel a part of the team. This definitely helps with the motivation piece."
If you would like to learn more about Battle of the Books, the state committee will be presenting at the NCSLMA conference next week in Winston-Salem and will provide opportunities for attendees to share ideas.
Some other ideas:
Stacy Morgan is the library media coordinator at Friedberg Elementary School. Stacy collaborated with Marley Knapp, instructional technology facilitator, to create a data wall to provide evidence of media lessons aligned with the curriculum.
At our professional development session with staff from UNCG last year, we were encouraged to have an elevator speech about what it really means to be a librarian/media coordinator/library media specialist. Unfortunately, community members, staff, and other “stakeholders” don’t always know exactly what it is that we do. They are not always aware of the many hats that we wear and what a valuable part of instruction we can be. The media coordinator is, and should be, an integral part of curriculum design and instruction. The media coordinator is also an expert on books and other resources as well as a skilled user of technology. The question is though, how do we make sure that others see our value?
While working with our school’s ITF, Marley Knapp, she suggested an awesome way to advertise the wonderful things that are being done in the media center: a media data wall. I had heard this mentioned before at NCSLMA and NCTIES but had not looked into it a great deal until Marley volunteered to get me started. With Marley’s help, we created a “wall” for each grade level with the Information and Technology Essential Standards. The theme for the wall is monsters as it goes with the fall book fair, but we will probably change it up after the second quarter is finished. Using Comic Life, Marley pulled in spooky backgrounds for the standards to be featured on. I also tracked down the monster characters from the book fair. After the basics were gathered, I was ready to start featuring all of the learning that happens in the media center!
The plan is, each time I complete an activity in the media center, I complete a monster/card that notes the activity, a description, and how it meets a CC or NCES standard. Then, I run a string from that monster to its corresponding Information/Technology Essential Standard. These walls are a large, attractive feature in the media center that can easily be seen by parents, teachers, and other community members. It is an eye-catching way to show that media coordinators are experts at weaving information, technology, and the classroom curriculum into meaningful learning experiences for students.
As the year goes on, this wall will turn into a web of cool activities. It will also serve as a great artifact to share with others and keep in my own portfolio. My administrators and teachers have already been checking it out and I am excited to watch this process grow!
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