Saturday, October 19, 2013

Media Maker Club - First Meeting

During the Summer Library Check-out, a soon to be 5th grader dropped in to talk books with me (well, AND to check out books!) and shared with me that she consults a video book reviewer on YouTube when she is thinking about what to read next. My  question to her was "Why don't you do that for Curtis students?" Guess what- on the first day of school, Reagan handed me her very first video book review! And from this conversation, back in the summer, the Curtis Media Maker Club was born!

We had our first meeting this past Tuesday, with thirteen 5th & 6th graders in attendance. Just the day before, I had seen something I wanted to share with them. My Twitter friend Shannon Miller, who is a teacher-librarian (and more!) in Van Meter, Iowa, had presented a keynote along with one of her 4th grade students for the K12 Online Conference. The focus of the keynote was transform the way we do things by listening to our students.  You can see it here:

We just watched the beginning so that the students could understand that this was THEIR club and I wanted to know what THEY wanted to accomplish. They brainstormed ideas with other members of the MM Club, and then shared their ideas. I took notes! :)


Media Maker Club Notes
•Interview teachers & students about books
•Book trailers about new books
•Voice to be heard about my opinion about books
•Book trailers about favorite books, work in groups-Wonder
•Book trailers to encourage others to read books
•Get more people interested in books
•Expose students to creative way of thinking,
•Group, hands-on activities
•Recommend books to students
I liked what they were saying! The excitement was building and they kept sharing! It was decided that they would create book fair advertisement for their project of the day. Some wanted to do video and some wanted to do audio, so they split into groups and began scripting out what they would say & do. It was fun to watch the students take on the different roles. Some were comfortable in front of the camera and others were more comfortable behind the camera, but they all worked together and before the meeting was over, we had three videos and several announcements ready for morning announcements.
 You can check out our videos here:

The members of the Media Maker Club definitely let their voices be heard during our first meeting! I can't wait to see what creative ideas they come up with for our next meeting! We are hoping to connect with some of Mrs. Miller's students next week and begin collaborating on a project!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Keep the Main Thing the MAIN THING

This has been probably the best advice I have received during these first years of librarianship! Debbie, one of my more knowledgeable & experienced librarian friends reminded me of this again recently, during an especially crazy week, and I have now posted it in the library to help me stay focused on the main thing- students & staff at Curtis Elementary!


Yesterday, as I was wrapping up the day/week, and thinking of all the things I didn't accomplish, I thought about what I did accomplish- I worked with students and supported teachers. So, I was behind in all of the tedious little tasks, and there were books on the book carts, but I kept the main thing the MAIN THING.  
This week we:
focused on Texas Bluebonnet nominee books with 4th-6th graders and set a goal to read at least five of the nominees. The list of nominees for this year can be found here.
used the iPads & laptops with 6th grade to try out Geoguessr, a website where students look at a picture and tries to guess the location of the picture.  Since 6th grade studies World History, and will be learning about different parts of our world, I thought this would be very interesting to them.  They loved it, and would bring the iPads to me to show me how close their guesses were!  We were also able to mirror the iPads on the big screen, which was good practice for sharing future projects.
celebrated Jumpstart's Read for the Record by reading Loren Long's book, Otis, with over a million other children and adults all over the world.
Jumpstart's Read for the Record® - October 3, 2013
Jumpstart’s premiere national campaign, Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is one time of the year when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy and support Jumpstart in its efforts to promote early childhood education. On October 3, people across the country united to read the children’s book Otis by Loren Long in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.

All of first grade participated in this record breaking event, some reading with Ms. Fuller and some in the library, listening to the author read it to students all over the world.  After listening to the book, we talked about how Otis was a good friend in the book, and ways we can be good friends. Students then chose one way that they would try to be a good friend.

created student blogs with Kidblog with Mrs. Glover & Mrs. Wagner's 4th graders.  Students in 4th grade our participating in Genius Hour each week, and I thought Kidblog would be a great way for them to document all they are doing and learning. After talking with their ELA teacher, Mrs. Wagner, we set up blog account for each student.  Mrs. Wagner's class had seen it before, but this was the first experience for Mrs. Glover's homeroom. 

As we worked through the process of how to locate our class blogs on our library Symbaloo, (which sometimes is the lesson for the day ;) ) we first found our "4th Grade Resources" button on our main Symbaloo.


Then we located our individual class blog.  Students searched for their name, used their student ID to login and then began their first blog.  As mentioned before, the lesson was more on becoming familiar with the process, and future lessons will focus on content of blog posts, using mechanics when editing blog posts, etc.  I can't wait to read future posts!

One of the highlights of my week did not take place in the library. As I was delivering books to a classroom, I noticed this sign outside of Mrs. Palmatier's classroom door:

It of course made me stop and peek my head in to see what was going on.  Mrs. Palmatier shared with me that her students had written & "published" a piece of writing. They had also created an "Author's Bio" and were going to read these to their classmates.  The kiddos were very excited, so I asked if I could pop back in and listen to some of their stories.  When I came back they were all sitting in a circle on the floor, taking turns reading their stories.

 As each student finished, the class would clap and the child would beam with pride. One of the biggest smiles could be found on their teacher, Mrs. Palmatier's face! It was a joy to see all of this excitement and it made my day! Our goal now is to connect this young group of writers with a "real author" and let them see all that is possible through hard work and dedication! 

So even though there are books to shelve and repair, stacks of papers on my desk, and many more items on my to-do list, I am vowing to "Keep the main thing the MAIN THING!"

What is YOUR main thing? Do you, like me, get overwhelmed sometimes with all of the "little things" and lose focus of your "main thing?"

Happy Reading!