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.  


Friday, August 16, 2013

Jumping in Feet First

Back in June, I had the privilege of attending ISTE in San Antonio, Texas.  What a great experience!!!  I learned so much that I had to unplug for a little while to let all the ideas come together for this school year.

Summer break is over!  Time to dust off my librarian hat and get to work.  First day back I was making videos and presenting to staff.  Jumping in feet first is the best way, sometimes.  

Those of us that attended ISTE were asked to share what we learned with the rest of the school.  Social Studies teacher Tyler Abernathy shared tips for using twitter and blogging.  Please check out his blog post for more information about his presentation.

Here is the list of resources that I shared with my colleagues:

Professor Garfield's X-treme Comics- I attended a session by ISTE's Special Interest Group for Literacy (siglit) where I learned about X-treme Comics, a web based comic generator.  There is a a free and paid version.  Students enjoy reading graphic novels.  I recently read several graphic novels this summer as part of our #bookbootcamp. With this tool, I can see teachers engaging students into writing and creating their own comics.  

Infographics- Teacher librarian Linda Doughtery shared her resources during the Digital Age Media Center Playground hosted by ISTE's Special Interest Group for Media Specialists (sigms).  Linda's presentation and website include so much information and resources for creating infographics.  I
saw my buddy fellow SC media specialist Tamara Cox's infographics included in this resource.  I'm ready to learn how to teach students to create this beautiful visual stories.

Digital Storytelling- ISTE's Special Interest Group for Digital Storytelling (sigds) also had a playground where we were able to play with different apps for each step of the digital storytelling process.  While researching the online resources posted by sigds, I came across Kathy Schrock's page 'Digital Storytelling Meets Common Core.'  I love librarians.  Common Core is all we are talking about this school year, so this will help me out.

Book Trailers- My Language Arts teacher partner in crime mentioned at the end of last school year that she wants her students to create book trailers.  Media specialist Julie Hembree shared resources for creating book trailers with young readers.  I think this will help us at the middle level get started teaching our students how to create engaging book trailers.

Aurasma- Media specialist Elissa Malespina shared resources for using the augmented reality app Aurasma in the classroom.  After seeing examples of Aurasma in action, I'm excited to try this out this year.

Videolicious- Technology education teacher Rob Zdrojewski presented "Students as mobile news reporters using videolicious iOS app." Another tool for using our class set of ipod touches.

Curation Tools- Media specialists Joyce Valenza, Michelle Luhtala, & Shannon Miller presented "Your School Library: Mobile, Flipped & Curated.  I plan to try out some different curation tools this year and create more videos for my teachers and students. 


What technology tools or projects do you plan to pursue this school year?




Thursday, June 20, 2013

SC Midlands Summit 2013 and me

End of school in our district = SC Midlands Summit!  This annual conference was held last week on June 12-13 at Westwood High School in Blythewood, SC.  Check out the sessions and resources for this year's conference here.

I presented two different sessions.  Mrs. Brown and I presented together about the different projects we collaborated on this year in the media center.  Here is a link to our presentation titled "A Common Space."  Our collaborative journey started with our first literary cafe about The Outsiders which I first blogged about here.  The second presentation was about our school news show.  Here is a link to the the presentation titled "Broadcasting Live from Our School Studio."  

Presenting was definitely nerve wracking, but I was happy to meet other educators interested in learning from our experiences and being able to exchange ideas with them.  It was my first time ever presenting at a conference.  I will definitely do it again!!   

Monday, June 17, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 06/17/13


Last week I finished reading:

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer- I liked this title.  It was funny, had some romance and a little drama.  Here is Mrs. ReaderPants' review of this title.  I like how she breaks it down.








Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park-   I would recommend this book to a high school audience.  This is a love story, but it also deals with family relationships and friendship.  As I was trying to figure out the audience of this book, I became curious to find the publisher of this book (I already returned my copy to the library) when I came across author Jessica Park's article about self-publishing.  Her story of why she self-published is interesting and informative.





Endangered by Eliot Schrefer- While visiting her mother who runs a bonobo sanctuary in the Congo, fourteen year old Sophie becomes separated from her mother.  She must learn to survive during a revolution and in the company of bonobos.  Great story!







How the Leopard Got his Spots: The Graphic Novel by Sean Tulien, Rudyard Kipling and Pedro Rodriguez

Marcell the Shell with Shoes On: Things about Me by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp

I started reading:
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Here are some books I read during the last two weeks:

The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers  The format of this book is unique as the story is told through encyclopedia entries and lots of footnotes. 



Little White Duck: a childhood in China by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez


Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, & other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple



Mister Death's Blue Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn




Stolen by Lucy Christopher- This story drew me in right away.  Interesting story.  










Sunday, June 9, 2013

Getting the Word Out


As I thought about a title for this post, "Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie & Mick Jagger came to mind.   Being a kid in the 80's was the best!  I'm not dancing in the streets, but I am getting the word out in the streets about what is going on in our library.

My first line of communication is our school newsletter.  In our school newsletter, I share announcements about upcoming library events, research projects that involve the library, digital literacy articles from the internet and pictures of our students participating in library events & research.  Our school newsletter creator is awesome and always saves a spot for my library news.  I usually post the same information for the school newsletter to the announcement page on our school library website.  The school library website has been a great tool for sharing pictures, videos and library news.  I can easily update the home page with whatever information I want to feature at that time.

I send my principal and assistant principals quarterly reports sharing what we've been up to in the library.  I also send them an annual report.  I follow a basic format for all of my reports: program highlights, library statistics and information about collaborative projects.  If time permits, I include pictures and videos to help illustrate the data.  I also make the reports available on our school library website.  I share the link with parents in our school newsletter and the library website announcement page each time I add a new report.

In the past, I created a document with lots of information for my annual report.  This year I wanted to create an infographic after media specialist Fran Bullington shared how to do this on her blog Informania.  I tried Piktochart and it was pretty easy to figure out.  Thanks for sharing this great idea, Fran!!

Here is my annual report for 2012-2013 that I created using Piktochart:






































































I also help post information to our school Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts.  I like to post lots of "reading is important" type posts on these accounts, along with the usual school announcements.

I think sharing what we do in the library is important.  It does not take much time for me to put together a report because I keep track of everything on my calendars.  I pull library stats from the library circulation system.  I keep pictures filed by month.  I just have to make the commitment to sit down once a quarter for 30-45 minutes to put it all together and send it out to my various outlets.

Everyone in my school is supportive of our library program, but I still want to advocate for myself and what starts in the library.

How do you get the word out about what happens in your library?