Davidson County's only book store closed some years ago, and for many of our students the closest book store is many miles away in neighboring counties. For some, this is an experience that is just out of reach. The closest they get to perusing brand new books is the book fairs that come to our area elementary and middle schools.
Last spring, some of our high school media coordinators were wondering why there aren't book fairs for high schools. After some research, we unfortunately learned that for the major book fair companies, high school book fairs just aren't profitable. So as a team, we reached out to Bookmarks, a non-profit bookstore and literary foundation in Winston-Salem, to brainstorm a new concept to bring the book fair experience to those in grades 9-12. Thankfully, Jamie Southern and Ashley Bryan of Bookmarks were very receptive to the idea and were eager to help.
Well this fall, our idea came to fruition. Because this was a pilot program, we started small with 100 high-interest and award-winning young adult titles of various genres, as well as "bonus" literary themed gift items for sale. Students and staff were able to browse the merchandise and place orders for delivery after conclusion of the book fair. The inventory fit neatly in four boxes and was easily transported by car from school to school.
The Bookmarks Book Fair traveled to our 7 traditional high schools beginning the middle of October at West Davidson and concluded in early December at Ledford High School. Participating schools had the option of earning 20% profit or passing the savings on to students.
The Bookmarks Book Fair was well received by students and staff members alike. At the end of our "traveling book fair", Bookmarks generously donated all 100 titles to our high schools to share. Our high school media coordinators were overjoyed with their generosity. There was a learning curve and a few hiccups along the way, but our high school media coordinators are looking forward to future book fair opportunities.
HS library media coordinators, Brene Duggins (Oak Grove), Mary Howell (South), Kenny Foster (West), Amy Daugherty (East), and Lorie Steed (Central), are excited the book fair has arrived at West Davidson High School.
We are going to have our Free Little Library open for our students to use over the holidays. The students bring in books they have at home and have read, and leave them for someone else to read and enjoy. Then they choose books to take home to read themselves. Hopefully, this will help provide books for our students and encourage reading over the holidays. We will continue to offer books after the holidays, also.
To learn more about Little Free Libraries, click here: https://littlefreelibrary.org/.
Could you ever imagine a five year old being able to successfully code a computer program? That’s what’s happening this week at Reeds Elementary as we celebrate Computer Science Education Week (#csedweek)!!
Every student at our school, from kindergarten to fifth grade, is participating in the “Hour of Code”. Millions of schools, world-wide, are also participating in this global movement to get kids actively involved in computer science.
The organization responsible for organizing this inspiring event is Code.org., and they make planning so simple! Everything you need to plan your own school-wide event is located at: https://hourofcode.com/us/learn. Teachers are provided with step-by-step instructions, lesson ideas, and how-to videos, along with all the cool coding activities for students. Popular coding choices featured include: Minecraft, Star Wars, Disney’s Frozen, Angry Birds, and Plants vs. Zombies. Every student has LOVED learning to code and they don’t want the lesson to end! I’ve included the website on our “Reeds Favorite Links” page of our school’s website so they can go back later and try more coding on their own.
I highly recommend trying this out with your own students. It’s a guaranteed “crowd pleaser”!!
I know many media coordinators facilitate a daily or weekly news show at their schools, and have answered my many questions about it. Thank you for all of your advice as we started ours at NDMS! Here is how we decided to run our news program. It has been a lot of fun and a huge learning curve for me. I am constantly impressed by our students.
Our School Improvement Team requested a student news show after several years of not having one. We didn't have the technology to easily do a daily live show, so we decided to have a weekly pre-recorded show. Students applied in the spring of last year. We had so many strong applicants that I decided to have two crews or 7 or 8 students each. They come every other week Monday-Thursday during our daily Intervention time. Because each crew comes every other week, each student does have time in his/her class if needed to work on interventions or enrichment activities.
The students plan their segments, write scripts, conduct interviews, film, and help edit using iMovie. Each news crew has a Team Google Drive for their files. As the year has progressed, they have taken on more leadership and shown more creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving! Each show is approximately 5 minutes long and is shown in the classrooms on Fridays. I upload it into a shared Google Drive. The students announce upcoming events, interview staff and students, celebrate birthdays, tell jokes, do book reviews, surprising facts, etc. Now that the students (and I) have the hang of it, we have started to incorporate the green screen.
We use an iPad on a tripod to record and a Macbook to use iMovie. I used a Donors Choose project to get two iPad tripod stands and two lapel microphones, but they are relatively inexpensive. I am including some screenshots from the shows and would be glad to share the videos with anyone who is interested in seeing one. It's definitely not professional, but it is fun!
Kristi Allred, NBCT
North Davidson Middle School
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