Saturday, November 21, 2015

Making the Library and School Events Accessible to Everyone in Our School

A couple of years ago, I came across Mrs. ReaderPants' reading incentive idea: book bingo.   I really liked her templates and easy to follow directions.  I shared the idea with two Special Education teachers in my building that teach students with intellectual disabilities in a program called PALS (People Achieving Life Skills).  The teachers really liked the idea because it encourages students to pick different types of books and provides a purpose for each visit.

This is our third year doing the book bingo program with our PALS students.  Students in the two PALS classes come in each Friday with bingo cards in hand.  We create stations in the library with books for each category and signs with clip art that matches the clip art on their bingo cards. Students select a book from a station to match the category on their bingo card.  Students check out and we take down the stations, so we can do it again the following week.  Fridays are my favorite day of the week and it's not because it's the end of the week.  Our PALS program is awesome.

Each quarter we have an exciting reading celebration for our PALS students. Both classes come in for a story, spin the library wheel and win prizes for completing their book bingo card.  It's a party for real. At the end of the celebration, students get a new bingo card with new categories.  And the library fun begins anew.

This next idea came from a casual conversation my Special Education teacher had at a conference last year.  She learned from a fellow Special Education teacher in another district about using Youtube to live stream assemblies and pep rallies into the classroom for students that are uncomfortable with the loud noises and large crowds.  I followed these instructions to get started. Our school has a verified Youtube account which is the first step.

Last school year, we streamed a pep rally with a chromebook with a built in webcam and microphone. Unfortunately, the audio did not work that time, but we could at least watch the pep rally.  I'm not sure what I did wrong that time. This school year we persevered and streamed our Veterans Day assembly using a different chromebook.  It worked great!  The event was streamed live and privately into the classroom.

Super thankful to work with the teachers in my school! I love being a part of a team that finds ways to make our library and school accessible to all of our students.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10/12/15

I am currently reading Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith. 

I am a fan of Jennifer E. Smith's books. She writes young adult realistic fiction with romance, comedy and friendship. 

I just finished reading What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott. It's a suspenseful thriller that will have you guessing until the very end. You will also probably rethink that next camping trip after reading this book. 

I also read The Time Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antionette by Bianca Turetsky and illustrations by Sandra Suy. I enjoyed this fantasy, historical fiction novel.  The combination of fashion and time travel through history made this story fun for me to read. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz 
Candlewick Press, 2015, 387 pages

Reading this book took me back to middle school when I first discovered Jo March from Little Women and Anne of Anne of Green Gables

In The Hired Girl, fourteen year old Joan Skraggs is an avid reader whose father does not value education or girls that like to read.  Instead, Mr. Skraggs pulls Joan out of school to work full time as a housekeeper, maid, cook and chicken coop cleaner on the family farm.  As a farewell gift, Joan's teacher Mrs. Chandler gives Joan a diary as a gift and encourages Joan to write. Joan's diary is what we read as we follow Joan's journey from the farm in Pennsylvania to her job earning six dollars a week as the hired girl cooking and cleaning for a family in Baltimore.

Joan is smart, funny, innocent and a total romantic. With each diary entry, I wanted to know what happened next. What mishap, tragedy or comedic event would Joan be involved in that would have me laughing or cringing. Highly recommend this title. 


Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10/5/15

It's Monday and I've been reading Laura Amy Schlitz's book The Hired Girl

I am currently listening to Cherie Priest's book I Am Princess X via Hoopla available through our local public library system. 

I recently finished reading Sisters by Raina Telgemeier and listening to A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen. 

I am a fan of Raina Telgemeier's books. Sisters is a funny story of how two very different sisters, Raina and Amara, love and support each other in the only way sisters can. I have a big sister and I could relate to this book. We drove each other nuts as kids but no one knows us better than each other. (Graphic novel & Nonfiction) This book is really popular in our school library, including Telgemeier's other titles, Smile and Drama

We recently held a Scholastic Book Fair at our school. Students loved the book trailer for A Night Divided and many purchased it. Twelve year old Gerta's family is separated overnight by the rise of the Berlin Wall. Gerta's father and middle brother are stuck in West Berlin unable to return to her, her mother and older brother. As Gerta and her family try to survive in East Berlin under the watchful eye of soldiers with guns, she keeps watch for her father at the Wall. One day she actually does see her father standing on a platform on the western side of the Wall. And then she receives a mysterious drawing. Is her father trying to give her a message? Will she figure it out? Will this be the key to reuniting her family? (Historical fiction & mystery) 

My tbr shelf #reading #nerdybookclub

via Instagram

Monday, October 14, 2013

Videolicious, Library Orientations and Reading

Welcome to the BMS Library!  I mentioned the Videolicious app in an earlier post.  I decided to go ahead and learn how to use it by creating a video tour of our library for our library orientations.  It was pretty easy to use.  The free account allows you to use 10 images and/or video clips to create a one minute long video.  You are able to narrate and add music.  I like short videos because it forces me to be think about what I really want to show my audience and what are the most important things I want to mention.  This is definitely an important skill to teach students when creating video projects.

Library orientations in August went well.  This year I focused on giving students enough time to browse, check out and get acquainted with the space.  Everyone was happy and I saw a few fist pumps when they found a book they wanted to read.  Students asked for mysteries, thrillers, and action books (to name a few).  Many of them eagerly checked out from our new graphic novel section.

This summer I read so much for our SC Junior Book Award committee and #bookbootcamp that I was ready to promote some books.  I am reaping all the benefits of reading middle grade books, because I am getting better at promoting books.  I hope you will join us on October 28th for our Romance #bookbootcamp at 8pm on Twitter!

Hope your school year has been off to a great start!