Churchland Media Center has been making the shift towards a Learning Center since last year. My philosophy, instruction, and focus has been on integrating STEAM into the media center so students have opportunities to experience these different areas. Last year at the end of the year, I began a set of rotations that focused on STEAM activities. After watching the students’ excitement grow as they explored something different each week, I knew this had to become a full time thing this year! I see all students for 30 minutes each week. I’ve set up the stations in different areas of the media center so the students are spread out over the entire media center.
How do I manage it? Students check out as soon as they enter the media center. After they check out they grab their large popsicle stick (that they designed the second week of school) and choose one station to visit during their time in the media center. Each station has a different colored pocket on a bulletin board.
Students put their stick into the pocket of the station they want to visit. Each station can only have a predetermined number of students/sticks and they know this by a number written under the pocket. For example, Building and engineering can have 3 people/sticks, but Reading can have 8.
Once they’ve chosen their station, they get their Station card that looks like a BINGO card but doesn’t have letters on it and they walk to that station. As soon as they get there, they get a colored dot that matches the colored label and place it on the Station card. This lets me know they’ve been to a certain station already. They are not allowed to repeat a color until they have all the colors unless I approve it for a special reason such as they don’t finish what they are creating in Makerspace and need another week to finish. At that point, I write my initials on the 2nd dot to indicate I approved it. At the end of class, students turn in their popsicle stick and Station card into a mailbox so we’ll have them next week. The following week they will choose a different station to visit.
This method helps keep things organized without me have to formulate groups for 20 classes and tell them their station. It also gives them some ownership as to what they get to choose first and an opportunity to visit with their friends while they are engaged and learning. I believe we all like to be around people we like and connect with when we go to workshops so why not let the students do it as long as it’s not disruptive? Additionally, those students who do not return their books have to wait to choose their station until all students have checked out. I’m hoping this will encourage more of them to return their books on time.
As of now, they have eight stations that they can choose from:
Building Partnerships to Promote Student Learning in the Library
The two most anticipated days in the school year? The first day and the LAST day! As everyone is finishing up the debut of the 2016-2017 school year, I would like to remind you about some upcoming dates important to school libraries.
3 new library media coordinators to DCS:
Shannon Jarrett at Southmont Elementary
Mary Howell at South Davidson
Kristi Allred at North Davidson Middle
As the 2015-2016 school year is coming to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the library media staff for all of your hard work in DCS school libraries. Although it's been a learning curve for me, I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with you in this new capacity. If you have any suggestions or comments you would like to share about how we can improve next year, please complete this 2 question anonymous survey: click here.
I've collected pictures from school visits and programming throughout the year. For your viewing pleasure, here is the #DCSlibrarymedia Year in Review:
But what about weeding? Weeding is very important too. Especially when you have titles like these:
Library Girl, Jennifer Lagarde:
- Run a report through Destiny to filter the most dated materials.
- Dust off your reference collection. It's a library, not a museum. Do you really need a 20 year old set of encyclopedias?
- Discard books that are in disrepair or haven't been checked out in awhile.
- If the fiction books are older than the kids, they are likely not to use them.
We just finished up with our last Book Fair for the year. The theme of the Book Fair was Peace….Love….Books! For the last two Book Fairs, I have offered our students a chance to win Book Fair gift certificates by participating in a Book Fair Contest. For our October Book Fair, the students were asked to make a book character pumpkin.
For this last Book Fair, the contest involved students choosing their favorite book and creating a canvas of the book cover. Local artist, Dempsey Essick, visited Tyro Elementary on April 27th to judge the contest and selected two winners per grade level. (See attached pictures.) Winners received a $10.00 gift card to spend at the Book Fair. Each participant received a certificate signed by Dempsey Essick. I kept the canvas entries to decorate with in the Media Center. This contest was a success and got the students excited about reading books!!
I have attached a copy of the gift certificates that we gave to the winning students as well as the ribbon we placed on the winning canvases.
Many media coordinators are tasked with "morning news" programs. But this daily obligation doesn't have to be a bear! If you are looking to start a daily student news program or need tips on revamping an old one, read how Shanna Leonard, library media coordinator at Tyro Elementary, has structured her program to be student-centered and sustainable.
Morning News Team
Our Tyro Bear students deliver our Morning News every morning…...LIVE! The ideal plan is to air the morning news live through a video camera feed, however, currently our video feed is not working. Therefore, we air our Morning News over the intercom every morning.
This year we have 3 morning news teams due to the overwhelming response of students trying out as well as the overall talent of the students. We have 7 students on each morning news team with individualized jobs.
The morning news team jobs and descriptions are listed below:
- Anchor (the students that read the news each day) (must audition in front of a camera for this part) (3 anchors per news team)
- Prompter (the person that types up what the anchors read each day-must be able to type well) (must audition by showing your typing abilities)
- Camera person (runs the camera)
- Sound person (plans the music and makes sure it plays at appropriate times, confirms all microphones are on and ready)
- Director (gathers information such as the weather, announcements, and special features)
Things announced on morning news:
- Pledge of Allegiance
- School Motto
- character education word of the week
- lunch menu
- special announcements (Student Council Meetings, Book Fair dates, Can Food Drives, etc.)
- student birthdays
After the morning news airs, the prompter stays and types the news for the next day.
Five years ago, our wonderful School Counselor, Angie Lanning was in charge of the Morning News Team and created a parent letter, teacher recommendation letter, and student application which I have tweaked since and continue to use. Please see the link:
And thanks to Angie Lanning!!!
The news program is so popular that I have arranged for 3 "teams" that rotate out every 2 weeks. I keep a calendar outside of the media center to help keep everyone on track. There is an application process and students need parent permission. But the students take the responsibility very seriously and therefore are very engaged and well behaved. This system almost runs itself.
I love being in charge of the morning news team! The students enjoy hearing their peers share the announcements with the entire school and it is a great way to start our educational day!
A special thanks to Brene Duggins from East and Lorie Steed from Central for their dedication to this awesome new program celebrating young adult literature!
DCS Teen Lit Top 10
What is the DCS Teen Lit Top 10?
The DCS Teen Lit Top 10 list was created to give Davidson County high school students options to explore great award-winning young adult titles through a variety of activities at their home schools and online. These activities will lead up to a district-wide literary festival in the spring of 2017. This literary festival, DCS Lit Con, will allow YA enthusiasts from across Davidson County and beyond to join together to share their love of reading.
Why are we doing this?
Due to statewide and local interest in developing a high school version of Battle of the Books, Davidson County Schools librarians participated in discussions with stakeholders across the state to explore this opportunity. In the end, it was decided that a more flexible format would allow freedom for each school to tailor activities to meet the needs of its students, while also encouraging widespread participation and engagement among readers. We also hope to build meaningful relationships among our schools and with the public library system.
How was the Top 10 list created?
Davidson County high school librarians chose books from quality lists curated by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. Books cover a wide range of social issues and include both newer and older titles.
How do I sign up?
Rising 9th - 12th graders can sign up to participate at http://bit.ly/dcstlttjoin. Students can also join the Google Classroom with the code 244eyn, and sign up for text alerts by texting @dcstltt to the number 81010.
Where can I get the books?
All titles will be available at Davidson County Schools 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! Four titles are also available for free through SYNC, a summer audiobook program for teens (http://www.audiobooksync.com). See our Smore and Thinglink for complete information about where to get each book, as well as summaries of each title.
What does it mean to participate?
You can read as many or as few titles as you wish. Activities may vary from school to school, and participation in our online discussion group and other activities is encouraged but not required. We know high school students stay busy with challenging classes and extracurricular activities, so the DCS Teen Lit Top 10 is meant to be a flexible opportunity for readers to participate at the level they feel comfortable with.
What kinds of activities will take place?
In addition to participating in informal book discussions, students will have opportunities to vote for their favorites and enter competitions that illustrate their passion for the books they’ve read.
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 student patrons.
What else should I be aware of?
Each high school will receive posters and bookmarks featuring the DCS Teen Lit Top 10, so keep an eye out for these promotional materials! Students will also be informed of activities and opportunities through email, text messages, and Google Classroom, so please join so as not to miss these updates. This is very much a work in progress, so stay tuned for more information about book giveaways, DCS Lit Con, and more. And we’d love to hear your suggestions about how to make this a meaningful experience--please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Virtual Field Trip to the National Archives in London
After hearing about the National Archives in London Virtual Field Trip from the DCS Virtual Field Trips website, http://dcsvirtualfieldtrips.weebly.com/, we signed up to discuss the Titanic. Our fifth grade students have recently been working on a big Titanic unit during Reading and Social Studies.
Initially we signed up as one big lesson for all our 4th and 5th grade classes, however the National Archives preferred one class at a time with each student on an individual computer. So after rescheduling each individual class, with Rachel Hillman (firstname.lastname@example.org), we were good to go. In all, we scheduled 5 different Virtual Field Trips. The National Archives supplied lots of preparation materials and we used them all (see the sticky notes and chart paper pics below).
Yes, there were a few technical hiccups. Ideally, the Education Officer at the National Archives wanted each student at a computer with microphone headsets. So, we worked to set up and test our Dell Lab with microphone headsets. On the day of the first Virtual Field Trip, we assigned all students a computer. The students eagerly put on their microphone headsets to start the Virtual Field Trip and our troubles began!! Some of the students could hear, some could not, and some only heard loud echoing noises. I chatted to inform Rowena, our Education Officer for the Field Trip of our problems and asked if we could participate as a whole group activity. She kindly said yes. So we proceeded with the Virtual Field Trip as a group activity. Students sat around the SMARTBoard and participated. We were able to see and hear the Education Officer, however, she could not see or hear us. We asked and answered questions with her through the chat box.
Considering all of this……..the experience was wonderful! The teachers want me to reschedule this event next year. Please consider scheduling this Virtual Field Trip for your teachers and students! You won’t regret it. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com
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.