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