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.