Do you need some ideas about how to go "all out" for book fair? Then be sure to consult @dcsnc's own personal Pinterest board, Shanna Leonard, this spring or next fall when you are planning your event. Her ideas are simple to recreate and build tremendous enthusiasm for book fairs at Tyro Elementary. Thanks, Shanna, for sharing your ideas and pics! Do you have more ideas to share? Be sure to comment below or submit ideas and pics for a blog post.
We decorated the entrance of the Book Fair like a camp site with a tent, campfire, and picnic table. We had " I'm a Happy Camper" t-shirts made to wear during the Book Fair Preview Party and for our Parent Night.
During the Teacher Preview Party, teachers completed Wish Lists as we served Camping Snacks such as Fishing Supplies (gummi worms), Bear Claws (fudge rounds), Smore Trail Mix (mini marshmallows, Golden Grahams cereal, and mini chocolate chips), Bear Poop (Whoppers candy), and Spring Water (mini water bottles).
We hosted our First Annual Unusual Reading Spot Contest. The students were asked to take a picture of themselves reading in an unusual place with a matching book. Pictures were posted in the hallway and judged by local Photographer Mike Rowe and his wife Martha Rowe who is a retired teacher. One grade level winner was chosen and awarded $10.00 in Scholastic Bucks to spend at the Book Fair. We were amazed at the entries. Examples of the entries included: a student reading Cinderella at Cinderella's Castle, a student reading Charlotte's Web in a barn with a live pig, and a student reading Who Was Daniel Boone at Boone's Cave. The contest was a great way to get the students excited about the book fair.
All seven middle schools in @dcsnc came together today to compete in the annual Battle of the Books competition. Each school competed 6 times, going head to head with other teams answering questions from a list of 25 book titles, for a total of 21 rounds.
Never before has the competition been this fierce! Judges and scorekeepers checked and tabulated numbers numerous times before announcing this year's winners. Three teams tied for third place, each scoring a healthy 91 points: Ledford, Tyro and Brown Middle. Last year's winner, Oak Grove Middle, came in a close second with Central Middle School taking first place.
Coach Jennifer Jackson will accompany her team of Spartans to the Region 5 competition in Winston-Salem on April 4th where they will compete with teams from 15 other school districts. The winner from that competition will go on the the state level event.
All readers are leaders, but just like any sport, winning takes practice, dedication and perseverance. One CDMS student was so thrilled with the victory that he had to share his BOB story:
A very special thanks to Central Middle staff and Principal Sloan Denny for accommodating the competition today.
For a glimpse of today's events, please see the video below:
Although this is only her first year as library media coordinator at South Davidson, Mary Howell is a Wildcat through and through. As a graduate and veteran teacher of South, Mrs. Howell's passion for the school and community really shines through.
Lots of changes have been made since Mrs. Howell's move to the school library. One change is the new Makerspace where students can tinker and create. Just recently, 7th grade teacher, Kayla Craft, utilized the Makerspace as an extension of a poetry lesson.
Mrs. Craft shares a little about her project: "This was a brain child of Mrs. Morris and me. The students were really getting into poetry and I wanted to do a spoken word poem. Mrs. Morris helped me find Prince Ea and I found "Can We Autocorrect Humanity?" The kids loved it and I wanted them to create a response to the poem. I gave them the following instructions, "Create an appropriate response to the poem." The kids were confused at first, but they knew I had high expectations. The result is what you see!"
In February a group of students at NDMS had the opportunity to Skype with author Sundee Tucker Frazier from her home in Seattle, Washington. Mrs. Frazier was extremely friendly to the students, and they loved listening to her stories and asking her questions. She has written several children’s books, but her most well-known is The Other Half of My Heart, which has been on the middle school Battle of the Books list in years past. It was a great experience, and I would love to do it again!
How I found the author:
After hearing several presenters at NCSLMA talk about their positive experiences with Skype events, I wanted to give it a try. I searched the Microsoft Educator Community for authors who do Skype visits for schools. https://education.microsoft.com/skype-in-the-classroom/find-guest-speakers
I was hoping for someone whose book we already had in the media center and someone who would Skype for free or a minimal charge. When I found Sundee Frazier, I sent her a request through the Microsoft Educator Community. I knew we had several copies of her book because it had been on BOB, plus the book has a North Carolina connection - it was perfect! The book is a sweet story about identity and the bond between sisters. She emailed me back and we set up our day/time. She agreed to do a 30 minute Q&A chat for free!
How I picked the participating students:
I sent information to all of the ELA teachers and asked them to share with their students. I required that students read The Other Half of My Heart in advance (this was also a request from the author). I set up a waiting list. As soon as one student returned a copy of the book, I let the next student in line know that it was available. There were interested students who were not able to check out a copy in our time frame; however, I did tell them when they added their names to the waiting list that they could always buy their own copy of check one out from the public library.
How we prepared:
When students checked out their copy of the book, I asked them to think of some questions they had along the way. We met a couple of days before the Skype so that we could talk about the book and plan out which questions we wanted to ask. After our planning meeting I created an agenda for us to follow so that every student had the opportunity to ask at least one question. I did tell them to be active listeners - if their question was answered earlier in the conversation, they should ask another question so there was no repetition. They did a wonderful job coming up with questions in advance and on the spot.
I found that the Skype app on my Dell laptop did not work well with Zscaler. Using Skype online with Internet Explorer worked perfectly! Our ITF Jill Elberson did a couple of “test runs” with me to make sure I could connect to her and the sound/audio worked well. We did one of these test runs with our student group so they could see what it would look like to Skype with someone! Mrs. Frazier and I were not able to connect ahead of our scheduled Skype to do a test run, but that would have been a great idea.
What I will do differently next time:
Next time, I will meet with the students an additional time or two beforehand so we can spent more time chatting about the book. It would also have been helpful for the students to have visited Mrs. Frazier’s website in advance because some of their questions were answered there. I wish more interested students had been able to read the book before our deadline. Maybe next time I will try to tie an author Skype with a book that is available as a multi-user eBook or one that we have in our building as a class set (or that we could borrow from another school). Google Hangouts is another option for virtual guest speakers that I would like to try.
If you have used Skype in your media center to connect with authors or other experts, I would love to learn from your experiences!
Thanks to Marley Knapp, ITF, for all of this great information about BreakoutEDU!
BreakoutEDU is a game based concept where students solve a series of problems and puzzles to determine the clues which unlock the box containing the final piece of the puzzle. The problems and puzzles can take on any form from a mix of coded messages to curricular problems and activities. The clues come from answers to the problems and could be a numbered combination, a word, a series of directions, etc. and all of those clues unlock different types of locks. Students work together in small teams to complete the activities and solve the problems.
The Breakout games are great for blending 21st Century Skills with curricular lessons for students. Critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork, communication, creativity, organization and perseverance are proven factors in a better understanding and a greater retention of content. It’s a great way to explore and strengthen content knowledge with students.
BreakoutEDU is sweeping the nation AND Davidson County!
Davidson County elementary AIG Teachers have been planning and delivering some exciting things in the classroom. The AIG teachers have been working with the Elementary ITFs to set up and deliver lessons from BreakoutEDU that allow their students to study math and language arts as they "Break Out of the Box".
Some of the exciting games that have been delivered here in DCS so far are “The Bad Case of Stripes” with Christa Halsey’s 5th grade students using the Book by David Shannon and a variety of activities and puzzles about Context Clues to break out of the box and find out Ms. Halsey’s final clue. Nina Allen adjusted the “Breakout of the Meeting” Game with her students which was a great game for enhancing critical thinking skills perseverance and collaboration.
Christa Halsey, Angela Stanley and Dolly Fields all wrapped up the semester before the holidays with 4th and 5th grade students completing the “Reindeer Games” which was a fun exciting holiday game to build teamwork and organizational skills.
There are some fun breakout games being planned for the spring semester. Jessica Callaci is developing a game with activities and problems on decimals and fractions and Angela Stanley and Dolly Fields plan to have the students create games for each other’s class where the final clue in the box is necessary for the other class to finish their game. They will get together and complete the game via Google Hangout so they can collaborate with each other from across the county.
The Elementary ITFs have also been working with teachers on Digital Breakouts. BreakoutEDU also has a digital section where the games are all completed on a website page. This is a great way to get started with breakout games. Students can use the chromebooks and group up in pairs or teams of three and collaborate to complete the games and get an idea of how codes and puzzles render the combinations for the different locks. For more information on the BreakoutEDU idea visit their website http://breakoutedu.com/digital
How can I try it?
Reach out to your Instructional Technology Facilitator. Each ITF has been given a full BreakoutEDU kit and can assist you or your teachers to bring this new, engaging method of team building and problem solving to your school library or classroom.
The BreakoutEDU website has many pre-created game ideas that have been shared by teachers. They are searchable by grade level and content area and are designed to go with the locks and boxes in the Breakout Kit. Teachers can use the exact lesson shared, adjust it to meet their needs and lock types, or simply create a game with a series of activities/puzzles on their own. The Breakout website offers a kit for purchase with all of the boxes and locks necessary to complete the games, or teachers can obtain these materials from other sources to collect all the items needed. For more information on the BreakoutEDU idea visit their website http://breakoutedu.com
Shanna Leonard teamed up with ITF Libby Ferrell to create stations to celebrate Computer Science Education Week. If you missed #CSEd, you can recreate something similar any time of year. Here is the lesson plan:
First Grade/Second Grade Media Center Lesson Plan
Date: week of December 5-9
Definition of The Hour of Code: The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2016 Computer Science Education Week will be December 5-11, but you can host an Hour of Code all year round.
Video: What is coding? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKhVupvyhKk
Hour of Code Activity Stations
3 Ozobots (Libby will bring 2) TES has 1
Red, black, blue, green markers
Ozobot Code Reference Sheet
Osmo Coding Kit: TES has 1 (Libby will bring 1)
Green Screen Kit
1 copy of Green Screen App Activity Sheet for each student
Green Screen App Activity Sheet
iPads: 3-4 ipads (2 for Osmo), 1 (or 2) iPad(s) for Green Screen
Background photos for Green Screen on individual iPads
Divide class into 3 groups
Station 1: Ozobot
Ozobot Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xFjTXQ8uho
Ozobot is a tiny robot that we use lines, colors, and patterns to program or code. We are needing to practice drawing thick, connected lines, using different colors.
Task: Ozbot is new at Tyro Elementary School. Using the markers, make a map with three different places in the school. Draw thick lines and make sure they are connected.
Station 2: Osmo
Students will use coding pieces and Tangram/Number pieces to code using the Osmo app while working in small groups.
Station 3: Green Screen
Students will create a video, using the scenario: “Pretend you and your classmates created an app to help other students at your school learn. What is the app called? What does it do? How much does the app cost?”
Students will complete the Green Screen App Activity Sheet.
I can define coding and hour of code.
I can code using Ozobot and Osmo.
I can work with classmates to design an educational app.
North Carolina Information and Technology Essential Standards:
National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S)
Profile for Technology Literate Students PK-2
December 5-11 is Computer Science in Education Week. Over the past few years, schools across Davidson County have participated in various ways. But as school librarians, how can we make this apply to what we do? School librarians are uniquely positioned to reach every student in the school helping them access the information and technology they need to be globally competitive.
I've been asked how teaching coding fits in with teaching standards. The Information and Technology Standards from NCDPI (last updated in 2009) don't really apply, however if you check out the ISTE standards for students released just this year, teaching coding makes much more sense.
To download a printable, pdf copy of this poster, click here:
But if people are still asking you "why", share this awesome infographic from Kodable:
For resources on how to get started, click here for Hour of Code.
The Battle of the Books program at Davis-Townsend elementary is very popular, so much so that the number of interested students far exceeds the available slots on the team. In order to include a greater number of enthusiastic readers, Heitman has designed an auxiliary book club that meets during lunch.
32 students were too many for a successful book club, so Heitman rallied interested staff members to divvy up the students into smaller groups. Heitman, her assistant, an EC teacher and a Title 1 reading specialist all meet with their respective groups on Wednesdays. Students attend with their dog-eared book in one hand and their lunch in the other. The small groups give students ample opportunity to dig deep into the books and engage in meaningful discussions.
Heitman chose 5 titles from this year’s North Carolina Children’s Book Awards list. Each group reads and discusses the same book concurrently, and in the spring students will be able to vote for their favorite NCCBA title. Students can check out the books, but many parents opted to purchase a set for their child.
The students’ energy is contagious and it doesn’t go unnoticed that the focus of the book club is on reading for the fun of it. If you are thinking about starting a book club in your school library, Heitman’s model could be easily adapted for any age group or book list.
A special thanks to Rhonda Florence, media coordinator at Hasty Elementary, for this post on GAW.
November 13-19, 2017, has been designated Geography Awareness Week by The National Geographic Society. Interestingly, the dates overlap with American Education Week. The week is a prime opportunity to emphasize geography with our students and their families.
So, what is geography? NGS explains it this way: “Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. They also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time.”
Geography and science go hand in hand. The same is true for geography and history, geography and nutrition, geography and agriculture. What region is your favorite coffee from (Sumatra, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic?) There is a reason why you like it, and it has to do with the geography of the area. Why does North Carolina have a thriving fishing industry while Kansas does not? (simple geography!) Why does burley tobacco get raised in Kentucky where it is cut on the stalk, speared and hung in the barn, to be stripped and tied after it cures? And why does North Carolina has an entirely different process?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are important tools that can greatly improve geo-literacy. GIS brings to mind interconnectedness, and it can be used to solve many of the problems GeoWeek addresses. GIS Day is the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week. For more information, go to GISday.org.
For ideas for Geography Awareness Week, visit GeographyAwarenessWeek.org. Other ideas include:
The North Carolina Giant Traveling Map will be debuted at the Social Studies Conference in March. After that conference, guidelines for reserving and borrowing the map for your school/LEA will be discussed.
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.