Saturday, November 30, 2013

Eddies '13: Nominations for the 10th Annual Edublog Awards

Taking a page from my blogging and librarian mentor, Cathy Nelson, here are my nominations for the 10th Annual Edublog Awards. (I did not nominate in every category as I did not have experience/knowledge of all of them.)  

Blogging has been a great tool for me during my graduate school career and I plan to continue as a school library media specialist.  I have learned so much from the many library/education/technology blogs out there and thank you to everyone that continues to share their ideas, inspirations, and knowledge with the world wide web!

For your consideration:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 20 - Goodbyes

Pictures from M. Dillard, C. Nelson, and my own photos.
Thursday was the final day of my Dorman internship and I left with mixed emotions.  Though I am thrilled to have completed one of the final components of my MLIS program and will graduate from USC's SLIS program December 6, I know that I will miss the fantastic DHS media center team - Melanie, Cathy, and Erika.  They welcomed me in, challenged me to try new things, and were always willing to answer my questions and listen to my ideas.  
Photos by E. Graham
Thank you to Dorman High School's students and teachers for all the great times!  I have truly been able to experience all aspects of a high school library program and would love to work at one in the future.  Love the spirit, the energy, the YA novels, the learning, the ideas, and the fun that comes with teenagers.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19 - Literary Research

Today I worked with Ms. Davis' 12th grade English classes (hard at work in the photos to the left and right). The students are writing an essay about symbolism in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". First I introduced appropriate database resources for their literary research and how to access them. Then I provided research and formatting advice. As Ms. Davis observed, these students are preparing for college and should be able to work independently.  Overall, most of the students did use Discus, Gale or Ebsco Host literature databases for their research. The essays are due tomorrow; as a fellow student, I wish them luck tonight!
I enjoyed reflecting with Melanie and Cathy about how they evaluate and design action plans for their program. Cathy also shared details about her American Association of School Librarians conference adventures last week. Check out her blog to learn more.

The best part of my day was talking and working with DHS students. I have come to know some of them and will miss their insights and great reading suggestions.  One of the student library helpers is reading #4 in Michael Grant's Gone series, Plague, and agreed with me that this series is addictive.  As I was leaving I got to meet Dorman principal, Ken Kiser, and he praised Melanie and Cathy for the great job they do.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 18 - Day of Reflection

Thursday was an unusually quiet day at DHS.  This provided a good opportunity to reflect on my goals and plans for my remaining week.  I met with a student teacher to share my New Teacher's Guide to the School Library presentation.  Another book order came in and, as usual, I loved looking through all the great new titles. I recognized quite a few books from my browsing at the Teen department at the Spartanburg Public Library. Even better, I was able to check out a copy of this hot title. Thank you Melanie! 

With Erika's help I put together a display of sports titles, both fiction and nonfiction.  At first I intended to only feature football books, but since basketball season is beginning we decided to feature all sports.  I will check on Tuesday to see if any titles are missing - meaning they are checked out!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 17 - Professional Development and iPads

It is hard to believe that I am in my last two weeks at Dorman.  This semester has gone so rapidly and I have truly enjoyed going "back" to high school and working with such a knowledgeable pair of media specialists. I'll save the rest of my reflections for next week's posts, but I already know that I will miss working with the DHS MC gang!

Today was a rewarding day for me as I had the opportunity to provide professional development for a group of student teachers.  As a fellow student, I could relate to their challenges and wishes for the future.  My presentation (see below for the Haiku Deck visual portion) focused on why new teachers should partner with their school librarian.  Aside from the fact, that librarians are a terrific bunch, we covered collaboration opportunities, research guidance, and identified beneficial resources for teachers (e.g., Discus, Streamline SC).  Next week I have an opportunity to present to a group of second year teachers and will customize to fit their needs.

Melanie and I got to experience iPads in action with an economics class.  The students used a web based credit card simulator to learn about interest and minimum payments.  Here's my advice: stay out of debt kids!
Good luck to Cathy as she ventures to cold Hartford, CT for the AAAL (American Association of School Librarians) conference.  A great opportunity to share best practices with school librarians from all over the country.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 16 - Research and BYOB Club

Opposing Viewpoints In ContextPoints of View Reference CenterThursday was one of the busiest days I have had at Dorman: completing ongoing projects, assisting three blocks of students working on argumentative essays, and the Lunchtime Book Club.  Melanie and I provided formatting, citation, and research assistance for Mr. Smutzer's senior English class.  Hanging indents and controversial topics anyone?  Once again, I was reminded how fortunate we in South Carolina are to have access to databases like Points of View and Opposing Viewpoints through Discus.  Now to convince students of the advantages of these databases...

The Lunchtime Book Club met for lunch and book discussions. 1st lunch: Legend, 2nd lunch: The Fault in Our Stars, 3rd lunch: Divergent.  I found a Faction Quiz on the Divergent Fans site as an activity for the book club.  No one claimed to be Divergent, but most identified with one faction or the other.  I love that several book club members are such big Divergent fans that they have already read the whole series!  Love that enthusiasm for reading.

Speaking of enthusiasm for reading, check out Cathy's blog post about her book matching for students project here.  Yet another great idea for creating a buzz about reading from my Dorman mentors! Once I have my own media center, I plan to emulate and shamelessly copy (with proper accreditation of course!) many of Melanie's and Cathy's library programs, clubs, and activities.  The Dorman Media Center always has something going on and students flock to be a part of it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 15 - Weeding, Romance and Research

As part of my internship requirements, I am weeding, evaluating and recommending new titles for a small section of the library collection. Melanie suggested Astronomy (520s).  I am going through the section, but do not want to leave the shelves bare!  Weeding is a challenge, but a necessary task for maintaining a relevant, appealing collection.  Subjects such as astronomy change rapidly and guidelines call for titles being no more than seven years old.  I have found some more recent materials that would make good additions to the collection, but many nonfiction reference materials are also available as eBooks or through electronic databases.

Today, I had the opportunity to observe both of my mentor librarians as they made presentations to classes.  Cathy did a booktalk featuring fve Romeo & Juliet themed novels and combined music, news clips, and images from popular culture to represent the theme of the books.  Melanie went over Google vs. Discus, easy tips for citations, and other great research guidelines.  Two great examples of librarians working in coordination with classroom teachers! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 14 - Happy Halloween

Today Erica put out new books for students and they browsed and selected as though they were at a retail book store.  Love those new books! 

I worked on plans for a professional development session with student teachers.  School libraries and librarians can be great allies and guides for new teachers and I want to share all of the benefits of teacher/librarian collaboration.  Here's a view of my Smore invitation:

Exciting technology news for Dorman: 15 iPads were donated to the school and the library will oversee the management of them.  Classes can check them out for instructional use and projects.  Melanie showed me how to control and manage apps and restrict unauthorized downloads. 1:1 programs are popping up all over our state and my home district will roll out iPads for 3rd-5th grade this month.  I welcome every opportunity I have to learn more about device management and how to best utilize iPads as part of student instruction and to allow students to create digital products.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 13 - Writing Lab, Contest, and Cool Tools

This was my final day to work with Mrs. Shepard and her 10th graders in the writing lab.  Most students had already completed their Destiny Quest book reviews and were working on the visual book report.  Cathy shared exemplary samples of visual book reports made using PosterMyWall, PowerPoint, and a book trailer made with Animoto.  If I do this project again, I would walk students through the entire process by making a class visual book report and then have them work individually. 

Photo credit: Cathy Nelson
Students have been entering the Allegiant contest and I can't wait to see who wins the honor of being the first student to check out Veronica Roth's Allegiant (#3 in the Divergent series).  I also can't wait to read it, though I may have to reread Divergent and Insurgent as I read them both over a year ago. 

Erika showed me some cool repair tools that I would love to have in my own library someday.  Gaylord book jacket covers on rolls I am looking at you! I also like the Helios 60 that repairs bindings giving new life to broken books. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 12 - Busy Day at The DHS Media Center

As expected, Thursday was jam packed with activity.  Melanie went over budgeting, requisitions, and purchase orders with me, but, as she advised me, each school will have its own unique requirements and steps for budgeting and spending.  Once I have my own library, I will need to make good friends with the school bookkeeper so they won't mind all the questions I will ask them!

Mrs. Shepard's class completed their Destiny Quest book reviews. I briefly went over copyright and citations and then the class  moved on to the next phase of the project: visual book reports.  Visual book reports are a mashup of text and images that represent the major themes, symbols, and or characters of the novel.  I think the students will enjoy the creative freedom of this project and I am excited to see their final products.  Cathy will work with us on the final day and provide needed guidance on the graphic design aspects of the visual book report.

Teen Read Week (TRW) festivities continued with library trivia and  special guests, Travis and Heather, from Spartanburg County Public Library's teen library staff.  Many students stopped by during lunch and won t-shirts and other cool swag for showing their SCPL cards.  See more TRW pictures and details on the Cavaliers Read! blog.

Events like Teen Read Week are a great way to create a "buzz" around your library program and to get students excited and inclined to think the school library is a hub of fun and activity.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 11 - Book Reviews and Teen Read Week

What an exciting day at DHS!  I put together a Halloween display with zombie, vampire and other spooky stories.
Then, I met Ms. Shepard's class in the writing lab to work on on adding book reviews to Destiny Quest.
One student helped us identify the word limit of a Destiny Quest review (1000 characters), but overall things went smoothly.  My  hope is that the students continue to use the social media components of Destiny Quest.  Add friends, add books to virtual book shelves, and share reviews. Reading 21st century style.

Teen Read Week festivities continued with students answering library trivia questions to win scratch off tickets.  Prizes included gift cards, bookmarks, and free books. The contests made for a lively lunch hour. The Dorman Cavalier stopped by for a visit too!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 10 - Halfway There
Tuesday began with an multistep student project.  Cathy is helping an art class create narration files to go along with a physical and web based display of student created artwork, a virtual art walk.  Using Audacity, students recorded narrations, exported the files, and created QR codes linked to the files.  There are more steps involved, but the process should be worthwhile once the art and audio are linked.

Melanie discussed my midpoint evaluation with me and we identified checkpoint items that I still need to complete.  For the professional development component I am planning to offer a Media Center 101 session to any student teachers at Dorman this semester.  Another idea is to offer training on using Destiny Quest.

Cathy and I met with Mrs. Shepard to finalize the plans for next week's curriculum unit.  I am excited about the project and hope the students enjoy creating digital book reviews and visual book reports.  I am also happy to have Cathy assisting with some of the more technical elements of the project!  She has done visual book reports project before and has some great tips in this blog post.  We will add in some information technology instruction related to citing images.

Melanie and Cathy attended EdTech this week and I look forward to hearing all about it.  As I am posting after the big crosstown rival game, I must acknowledge that the Dorman Cavaliers beat my home school district team, the Spartanburg High School Vikings,  42-35.  Hope I don't hear too much gloating on Tuesday!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 9 - PosterMyWall and Basketball fiction

Thursday was filled with lots of planning and working with students.  Cathy gave me more ideas for visual, creative student projects. PosterMyWall is a site that allows students to create collage posters that can be downloaded for free.  This can be used to combine text and images to represent a work of fiction.  This requires students to analyze and synthesize and work those higher order thinking skills.
Not your average book report!

In her capacity as a Tech Trainer for the district, Melanie is teaching a course on Google Docs.  The teaching role of the teacher librarian is not limited to instructing students.  TLs can and should be up to date on technology initiatives as we'll as curriculum content in order to provide professional development to school colleagues.

The Pinterest Nursery & Layette project continued and I enjoyed seeing the varied baby related gear the students pinned.  I helped a student find some basketball fiction - new category for me!  I made a note to read some YA sports fiction as well as to become more familiar with authors/titles popular with boys/young men.

Next week I take the PRAXIS II - Library Media Specialist area.  This is one of my last steps in becoming a certified School Library Media Specialist!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 8 - Pinterest and Planning

Today the focus was on a class project using Pinterest, planning for the Dystopian fiction unit, and completing a display.  As always, I came away with great, practical tips from Melanie and Cathy on school library program administration and management.

On Monday, Melanie and Erika has worked with a Child Development class as they began a Pinterest project.  The students had to set up Pinterest accounts using their student Gmails, follow their teacher, and then be invited to "pin" to shared Nursery and Layette boards.  This process came with some obstacles, but once accounts and passwords were created, things ran more smoothly.  This was a reminder to me to always plan ahead when using a Web 2.0 tool for student projects.

During 4th block I met with Ms. Shepard to plan activities and technology products related to the Dystopian fiction unit.While I had initially thought of student created book trailers, we decided that Destiny Quest book reviews would be a better fit for this class.  Students will also create a visual/text digital product to represent their understanding of the novels or a specific characters.  I am excited about working with this class and glad that I have read 3 of the 5 books that the various groups read.

I completed my display for the graphic novel section.  I made a poster for one of the columns and faced out titles across the top of the shelves.  It was gratifying to see some students stop and pick up a graphic novel or two. However, my sign making skills have a ways to go - I am trying to emulate Cathy's design whiz/font snob style and make some fresh, eye-catching signage.  I plan to add pictures of graphic novel covers around the poster to add more interest.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 7 - New Books and BYOB Book Club

Two exciting events occurred on Thursday and I was lucky enough to take part in both. 

DHS Media Center received a large order of new books and I got to help with processing.  Erika showed me how to use Tattle Tape, a tiny strip placed in each book for security purposes. ( Or loss prevention as I knew it in my retail days.)  We also stamped and put extra barcodes in each book. I love new books and getting to look through a large order of new books was a huge treat!

Lunchtime brought the much anticipated BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Book Club.  There were three sessions to match the three lunch periods.  Almost all the students that signed up showed up and several participants mentioned that the turn-out was much bigger than in previous years.  Students discussed books of their choice.  At the next meeting each lunch period will discuss one of three books: Legend, The Fault in Our Stars, or Divergent.  Luckily for me, I have read all three of the books.   I may have to read Divergent again as I read it when it first came out in the summer of 2011 and I want to be prepared when  Allegiant comes out. 
Plans are in the works to collaborate with teachers, create shelf graphics for the graphic novel section, and soak up as much as I can from the Dorman's Dynamic Duo (Melanie Dillard and Cathy Nelson)!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 6 - Research and Paperwork

Cathy let me know in advance that we would be working with an English class during 1st block.  The students are doing a poetry project and creating a poetry anthology.  On Monday Cathy presented information on useful literature databases so the class came into the media center ready to research.
One student was having trouble searching for poems so I suggested she search through some poetry anthologies as well as the collected works of individual poets.  A few other students used the 811s as well.  Sometimes a physical book is easier to search than the world wide web.  One student wrote an original poem to include in her anthology and she asked me to read it over and make editorial suggestions.  Her poem was very personal and well-written and I was once again amazed at the abilities and creativity of high school students.

I gathered some resources for a special education teacher doing a unit on personal finance with his students.  A good amount of the day was devoted to processing reports of outstanding library fines and overdue materials.  Melanie walked me through the steps to run overdue reports in Destiny.  With over 2,600 students, there are a good number of overdue notices.  This served as a good lesson for me in library management when working with a large student population.  Everything takes just a little bit longer!

Overall it was a productive day and I came away with several more projects to work on over the coming weeks.  Never a dull moment in the DHS Media Center.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Teacher's Day & Thank You

At my home school, we have a guest teacher from China.  A few weeks ago he sent all the staff an email thanking us for all we do and letting us know that in China September 10th is National Teacher's Day. According to Mr. Zhao, "Usually, all the teachers have just half of a day teaching, and half of the day off today. Students like to give small presents and flowers to their teachers to express their thanks and gratitude."

Though we don't celebrate this day in the United States, it did remind me that I wanted to thank certain teachers at Dorman High School.
Thank you to:

  • Mr. Smutzer, Mrs. Dillard, and Mrs. Pearson-Goode (Mrs. P-G) for allowing me to observe their classes.
  • Ms. Mullman and Ms. Shepard for inviting me to present Dystopian fiction booktalks.  
  • Mrs. Adkins and her class for the opportunity to share research resources.
I am only a few weeks into my internship and have had great opportunities already.  I look forward to many more collaborative projects and positive student and class interactions.

Day 5 - Student Interactions Aplenty

Day five was filled with lots of student interaction.  I helped two teacher cadets brainstorm on an interactive element to go with a literary unit.  The girls have written a story and are making it into a Big Book. Later this semester they will get to work with K-2nd grade students and actually use their story unit.  The students at Dorman have so many opportunities to explore their career interests - a big change from when I was in high school!

Every semester the library has a rotation of student helpers.  I got to help train some new helpers which helped me get a refresher course on all the sections.  DHS has such a big library (24,000 materials!) that I am still finding new sections after 3 weeks.

A government/econ class was making a group video project about college tuition and they recruited me to be interviewed.  I was impressed with their professionalism and got to express my humble opinion that, yes, college tuition is rising too rapidly.

During 4th block, Mrs. P-G's government class worked on a project about the Bill of Rights.  We suggested that the students use Discus and research databases instead of general internet search engines.

Next week is Banned Book week and the BYOB lunch club.  I look forward to more adventures with Melanie, Cathy, and all the DHS gang!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thursday - Discus, Google, & Legend

This was a busy day for me at Dorman.  During 1st block, Cathy and I went to Mrs. Adkins' STEM Humanities class for a library orientation (Cathy) and DISCUS/Research presentation (me).  I incorporated many of the ideas Cathy had discussed with me the week before and was grateful for the PowerPoint slides she shared with me.  The focus of the presentation was to introduce the students to the database resources available through the Dorman Media Center as well as Discus.  While I recommended not defaulting to Google automatically, I would like to develop a presentation related to using Google effectively.  Google is a great search engine when you know how to use it efficiently and I want to make sure students can do this. Next presentation idea! :0

To start off I had four students hold up signs (Google, Discus, Library, or Ask a Friend) and stand in a different corner of the room .  Then I asked the rest of the class to go stand next to the sign that best represented their own initial search strategy when conducting research.  Cathy blogged about the class visit and here are the collaged group shots she took of the class in action:

Before Presentation

Notice that Google and Discus changed in size in the After shot (except the one student who switched from Discus to Google - I must not have convinced him!).

After Presentation

During 2nd Block, Melanie and I went to Mrs. Shepard's class to present a Dystopian Fiction book talk.  This class had a slightly different selection of titles than Tuesday's class so I created a new Prezi with trailers and book descriptions.  Melanie came to my rescue when a question was raised about the Marie Lu's book, Legend.   While I did read (and loved!) Legend this summer, I had not prepared a book talk about it and drew a blank.  Melanie serves on the SCASL South Carolina Book Awards committee and reads everything.  She was able to provide the students with a brief plot description and, most importantly, spark their interest in the book.  I hope to become as well versed as Melanie is in young adult fiction, but will have to do a LOT of reading to catch up!

The remainder of the day was filled with readers advisory, students signing up for the BYOB Lunchtime Book Club, completing a resource list for Mrs. Campbell's SAT class, and ideas for future collaboration projects.  Once again, I left Dorman with my head buzzing with ideas and projects and excitement in knowing that this internship is preparing for my future position as a School Library Media Specialist.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dystopian Fiction Prezi

Tuesday was an exciting day at Dorman.  I presented a booktalk to Mrs. Shepard's class on Dystopian fiction (see Prezi above).  The students will group into mini book clubs based on the titles they select.  I may work with the class again to make their own book trailers.  Great collaboration opportunity to work with students in creating a digital product. 

Melanie showed me how to create a Resource List within Destiny.  We are making resource list for Mrs. Campbell's SAT class featuring high Lexile level titles, both fiction and nonfiction.
I worked on updating the library Home Page on Destiny by checking links and making sure all resources were current and linked correctly.

Thursday will be another busy day with another booktalk scheduled and a research presentation to a STEM Humanities class.  This is just the beginning of my internship, but I have already had so many opportunities to work with the teachers and faculty.

Guest post on Cavaliers Read! blog

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day Two - File Conversion, Pez, and Beowulf

You Tube logo
Day two at Dorman went by at a brisk pace as my day was filled with two more classroom observations, interacting with students, and planning with Mrs. Dillard and Mrs. Nelson.  In preparation for a booktalk next week, Melanie walked me though using converting YouTube videos to .wmv files so that they can be played in the classroom.  Cathy and I talked about the research process, finding good sources, and how to walk students through the steps.  She also gave me some pointers on doing an effective presentation.

Melanie helped me identify potential teacher collaboration partners and I look forward to exploring a variety of curriculum topics.   Speaking of varied curriculum, the classes I sat in on were Physics and a 12th grade English class.  Even though I must confess an ignorance when it comes to Physics, I was impressed with the teacher's enthusiasm for the material and her rapport with the students.  The classroom featured student projects - tombstones of famous scientists and blinged out periodic element blocks.  My favorite touch was the teacher's large collection of Pez dispensers lining the tops of shelves.  Very fun! 

As an English major, I did feel more at home in the senior English class.  They started the session with an SAT review question and discussed test taking strategies.  Next was silent reading time (which I was more than happy to participate in), followed by a discussion of Beowulf.  The teacher advised the kids to become "active readers" as a way to more fully engage with the text.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day One - Hit the Ground Running

Tuesday was Day One of my library internship at the Dorman Media Center.  Fitting the scale of Dorman itself, the media center is a large, open space with room for multiple classes, a large collection and a wide assortment of work rooms and offices and serves as a hub for school activities. I received a warm welcome from Mrs. Dillard, Mrs. Nelson, and Ms. Hammett and was provided with my own intern workspace and official notebook.

The media specialists encourage students to frequent the library before school, during lunch, and after school to check out, use the computers, and even just charge their devices.  
This year Dorman has a BYOD (bring your own device) policy and students can use their phones, iPods, laptops, and Kindles on their own time or, in class, with their teacher's approval.

I learned more about some of Dorman's academic iniatives and how block scheduling works.  Mrs. Nelson did a library orientation for a sophomore English class and I sat in on a U.S. government/economics class.

If Tuesday is any indication, I will have a busy semester as I was able to meet many teachers, staff, and students and already have projects, book clubs, and book trailers on my calendar and agenda.  In the afternoon I helped some students find books and was happy that I could provide some "high school" age recommendations.  I can't wait to see what Thursday brings!

BYOD Image retrieved from /
Dystopian Fiction Image retrieved from

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Books and More Books

Thanks to the almost daily rain, this has been a perfect summer for lounging inside reading.  No guilt at missing out on a beautiful sunny day.

Last night I finished Ruta Sepetys' second novel, Out of the Easy, a young adult mystery set in postwar New Orleans. Josie Moraine is the daughter of a local prostitute, but at 17 she is eager to attain a better life for herself.  Josie

Link to the author's website and video about Out of the Easy.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Time is Reading Time

This summer will be reading time for me - and my kids, if I have anything to say about it!  Yesterday I visited Barnes & Noble to browse the Teen section for good reads.  A new sub-category of teen fiction that I was unaware of: Teen Paranormal Romance.  Genres are very specific these days!

Here are a few titles that I have added to my "must read" list:

Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Crossed and Reached by Ally Condie (Matched series)
The Program by Suzanne Young
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

The Dead, The Enemy and The Fear by Charlie Higson looks like a good zombie series for my 14 year old son.

Currently I am finishing Matched.  I skimmed through the book earlier this year, but was informed by a young neighbor that I missed some of the essential plot points so I am trying again. 

Books finished in the past few weeks:

A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
Spring Break by Mary Kay Andrews
Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage
Almost Home by Joan Bauer (7Reads Middle School title)

So far I have been alternating adult fiction and non-fiction titles with young adult novels.  Back to reading!

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Beginnings and iPad Apps

The semester ended last week and the Todd school year is wrapping up as well.  This time of year is always filled with many school activities: concerts, awards programs, honors and recognitions, and, inevitably, many transitions.  My oldest son will leave his school of nine (!) years to go to high school.  Some longtime teachers are retiring and other teachers have accepted new positions.  I am seeking opportunities as well and am exploring all the options open and available.

Today I was asked to identify my favorite iPad apps and have been reflecting and identifying my top picks.  Here is a start to my Top iPad Apps; some are for students to create digital products while others are library/reading related. 

LibSciGal's Top iPad Apps

Animoto - brings out the moviemaker in everyone, add images, music, and text to quickly make a presentation
Prezi - dynamic alternative to PowerPoint
Pixlr - similar to Photoshop, only free
Quizlet - create quizzes, flash cards, and games
Follett Shelf - Digital Reader for eBooks tied to school library OPAC
Tales2Go - audio books for iPod and iPad
Accelerated Reader - students take AR quizzes on their devices

I would add, though it is not an app,  This site allows students to create a comic strip.  This applies across the curriculum and ties in with the popularity of graphic novels.

This year my work in the Todd library and my Pine Street internship helped me see the importance of promoting and participating in the South Carolina Book Award program.  In preparation for the 2013-14 school year and my Dorman internship, I have set a personal goal to read as many of the nominated titles as possible.  Adding even more incentive is the fact that the 7 Reads books for middle school students include many 2013-14 SC Junior Book Award nominees.

Read in the last week:

Wonder by R.J. Palcio
EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner
One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

Link to SCASL South Carolina Book Award website

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 20 - Wrap up and Goodbyes

Thursday was a day to wrap up projects, say goodbye to new friends, celebrate accomplishments, and to reflect on my internship experience. 
I created a graphic novel brochure using Microsoft Publisher.  Lee Anne had requested an informational brochure about using graphic novels in the classroom.  She wants to introduce this idea to teachers.  Publisher was a little challenging to work with, but I liked the results and will definitely use it again.  I also finalized recommendations for tall tales to add to the library collection.
Unbeknownst to me, Lee Anne was working on a top secret project for me.  She asked three 2nd grade classes to share their wisdom about librarians.  Students gave me words of advice on things to always do ("be quiet") and never do ("use a gun in the library").  Lee Anne packaged it all up as a book, The Librarian's Little Instruction Book.   I will treasure it and bring it with me when I have my own library.
Thank you to Lee Anne for taking the time to teach me, challenge me, and encourage me to be the best (future) librarian that I can be.  I have learned so much through working with you and I truly appreciate your guidance, instruction, and advice!
Thank you also to Veneal, Hayley, and all of the Pine Street faculty, staff, and students for helping me have such a GREAT internship experience.  You welcomed me with open arms and were always willing to let me take part and participate in the happenings at the Pine Media Center.  I know that I will benefit in the future from the time that I spent with you all.  Appreciate the wonderful and vital library program that you all enjoy each and every day - I know that I will emulate so much of what Lee Anne has done to make the Pine Media Center the leaning hub of the school.
Thank you again!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 19 - Jungle Book

As I arrived at Pine Street, there was a buzz of excitement in the air.  Balloons, painted cutouts of animals, and colorful tissue flowers lined the hallway and hung from the ceiling.  Day one of Jungle Book performances - two shows/day.  As the principal put it, "Welcome to Broadway!" There were over 300 students in the play and even a group of teachers playing monkeys.  Lee Anne did a great job as a dancing monkey in the opening scene - way to be versatile Lee Anne!  The play was wonderful and I enjoyed watching some of the students I have gotten to know as they sang, danced, and acted.  The performing arts are taken seriously at Pine and the whole school gets involved in some aspect of the production. 

As another example of the media center serving as a hub in the school, the library was the "holding space" for groups of kindergarteners as they put on their costumes and waited for their scenes. 

Lee Anne showed me how to create a Resource List in Destiny.  She likes to create Resource Lists of new books as they are processed.  Another use would be lists of titles on certain topics.  I pulled together some folktales and fairy tales for a 5th grade teacher.  She is planning to have her class compare and contrast different types of folklore.

The Lunchtime Book Club included 5 students this time and they were a lively bunch!  They were full of opinions on books and series that they liked.  One girl admitted that she was reading a certain book because her mother was making her.  She said she was not too into reading, but her mom still made her read each day.  Good mom!  When they heard I would be doing a booktalk with their class later on Wimpy Kid read-alikes, they wanted to check out the books right then.  Got to love kids getting enthusiastic for books.

At the end of the day, I did a booktalk with two different 4th grade classes.  I created a Prezi to go with my talk.

The best part was at the end when many of the kids checked out the books I had talked about.  I made sure to pull other titles that went with the theme and set them out for check out.

Lee Anne had the Tech Know Club join an Edmodo group and learn how to navigate and comment.
The big news of Tuesday related to our school district's technology initiative.  A perfect topic for the Tech Know Club!

All in all a great day at Pine.  It is hard to believe that I am wrapping up my internship on Thursday! 
One day more...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 18 - Book Clubs and Grant Writing

Thursday was a productive and fun day.  The morning began with the 2nd grade "Pirate" crew reporting for duty.  They continued working on their PowerPoint presentations.  Lee Anne advised the students to choose a design template before adding images and adjusting fonts.  I got to provide some hands-on technology instruction on importing images and saving files.  As I have confessed to Lee Anne, I am actually a novice PowerPoint user so at times I am learning alongside the 2nd graders.  You are never too old...

At the request of a 5th grade teacher Lee Anne prepared a presentation on library reference tools.  PASS testing on ELA includes a number of questions relating to research and appropriate sources. 

I had fun listening to Lee Anne's rendition of Hattie the Fox complete with different voices and speaking parts for the students.  In preparation for the grant deadline, I continued to research Kindles.  This involved pricing as well as administration and management details.
The Lunchtime Book Club finally took place and was enjoyed by all.  Four of Mrs. Judd's students joined me for lunch in the library conference room.  Michael, Seth, Kate, and Kamayah brought their favorite books and shared a little about them. Three of the students had purchased their books at the school book fair - way to go book fair!  Yet another way to get kids books they want to read.  I asked the kids about their favorite genres and types of books.  Mysteries and fantasies were high on their list.  And of course Ninja Weenies. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 17 - Librarian for a Day

Tuesday provided many opportunities for me to practice my librarian skills.  Lee Anne was out which meant I got to read lots of stories and work with students all day.  Luckily, Lee Anne provided plans and I have observed her at work for weeks!  I like to stick to her routine as much as possible as the students know what to expect, where to go, and what to do.  Mrs. Williams, Haley, and a great sub kept everything on an even keel, but the kids (and all of us) missed Lee Anne.

Kindergarten classes listened to several stories about spring and changing seasons.  I did find that I read a little too fast and decided to add some springtime songs and rhymes to the mix.  I am used to having to speed things up at my home school versus the longer library time at Pine Street. 

First grade classes are beginning an author study of Mem Fox and Lee Anne left several of her books to share with the students.  A 3rd grade class continued their research on South Carolina and managed to fill out almost half of their definitions.

Flexibility was called for as my booktalk and bookclub had to be rescheduled.  I look forward to "lunching" with my bookclub over the next two visits. Booktalk day will be Tuesday as that is when two 4th grade classes come and I am focusing it on older students.

All in all it was a good, if busy, day and I look forward to my remaining internship days!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 16 - Checklists and Order

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At this point in my internship, I am reviewing the SLIS requirements to ensure that I do everything on the checklist.  Dot those i's and cross those t's!  One item on the list is to review or assist with the Annual South Carolina Library Media Survey.  As this year's survey is not yet available, Lee Anne shared a previous year's survey with me.  I read it over in order to familiarize myself with the scope and the requirements. 

The 2nd grade reading group began working on PowerPoint presentations based on the research template that they completed a few weeks ago,  I love seeing students combining research and technology tools to create a product showcasing their work.  Lee Anne manages to incorporate technology and information literacy skills authentically as opposed to teaching skills in isolation,.

Speaking of tech tools, Lee Anne used a MimioPad tablet with a lesson on Scholastic's new ebook line, Storia.  MimioPad can turn any screen into an interactive board.  The students loved getting to try it out and caught on very quickly.

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A 3rd grade class continued their South Carolina A-Z research using Study SC.  Students also searched for biographies for upcoming class projects.  Part of the day I focused on shelving and got caught up in alphabetizing some of the picture books and the series fiction.  I also finished setting up a Women's History display and re-shelved the African American biographies that were displayed in February.  Straightening, alphabetizing, and displaying are constant duties in libraries, but, luckily, I love to bring a little order to the books!  My main goal is to be able to find the book again - a place for everything, and everything in its place.

One observation that occurred to me this week is the importance of good working relationships among library staff members.  Lee Anne, Veneal, and Haley operate as a close knit, yet respectful and productive team and I admire the rapport they have with each other.  I truly believe it is their teamwork that makes their library a success and a central hub of the school.  It has been a pleasure to observe and work with such a great group of women.