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!


  1. What a wonderful wonderful week! You are the greatest gift our children could ever have been blessed with. Best librarian ever!

  2. I love your Symbaloo and that Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing motto! I so needed to hear that!!!

    1. Nancy Jo, I had to print it out and put it right where I will see it each day! It is so easy to get bogged down by the "little things" and forget the "main thing!"
      Thanks for reading!