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 http://ift.tt/1M7lzbb

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!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week and Intellectual Freedom

We are celebrating Banned Books Week (September 22-28) at our school.  We put together a display and will advertise on the news show.  I am sending out information this week to our teachers, too.  We will spread the word to students while they check out and everyone will know why we celebrate our right to read!  I found the book lists of challenged books and free promotional items here on the ALA website.  I am also curating links related to Intellectual Freedom (IF) here on Scoop.it as the IF chairperson for SCASL.

Sign in our display case with more titles that have been challenged .
Our Banned Books Display with an awesome poster created by our media assistant.

Close up of our books from our library that were listed in ALA's challenge lists.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Digital Citizenship, Digital Footprint & Digital Literacy

This year in the media center we are teaching a class called Digital Media to a small group of seventh graders.  We are teaching them how to make videos and take photos.  The products these students create will be featured on the morning news show, our school's social media outlets and our school yearbook.

We spent the first day getting to know each other and the second day talking about what we wanted to do in the class.  On Friday, we had our first digital literacy lesson.  We talked about what it means to be a digital citizen and our digital footprint.  I hope to create a Google Site that features the products our Digital Media students create.  The first project will be a video about their lives.  Students can share video clips and/or images of things or people meaningful to them.  I want them to think about what message they are sharing online about themselves before we get started.

I used a lesson found on Common Sense Media called Trillion Dollar Footprint to lead our discussion.  If you create a free account, you will be able to access all of the materials.  To help introduce the lesson, I entered my name in the Google search engine and we discussed the search results.  Everything that came up was related to school libraries, reading and technology.  They did not see pictures or posts about my family and friends.  I explained to them that this was intentional.  I respect my kids, friends, family and myself to be selective about how much I share about our personal lives online.

My plan is to embed lessons like this throughout our time together in class to help them understand how the media they create and share ties in with being a good digital citizen.  I recently read this article via Scoop.it, "No Longer a Luxury: Digital Literacy Can't Wait" by Troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner.  Definitely a good read.  I am sharing it with teachers at my school because we are all teachers of digital literacy.