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.