Friday, November 30, 2012

Edublog nomination, Literary Cafe and "The Outsiders"

Edublog nominations were due last week and my friend & fellow SC library media specialist Tamara Cox nominated my little blog for 'Best New Blog.'  How cool is that?!?

I'm very, very flattered!!  I had to post a screenshot of her tweet just to make sure I was not making it up :)

Speaking of Mrs. Cox, she recently blogged about an activity in her library called a Literary Cafe.  After reading her post, I approached a seventh grade Language Arts teacher at my school to ask if she was interested in trying this activity out with her students.  Her class is reading "The Outsiders" and a literary cafe would be a great way to tie in videos & informational text with several of the topics addressed in the book.

Here are the stations and activities we came up with:

1. Crime- Our School Resource Officer (SRO) talked with our students about gangs, crime, and self defense.  Students wrote a reflection about what they learned.

2. Health- Students watched Brainpop videos about smoking and drinking.  Students took notes while they watched the videos.  After watching the videos, students created word clouds using the main ideas and facts about the health risks involved with smoking and drinking.

3. 1960s- Students watched video clips about life in the 1960s.  I found some great video clips on Discovery  Education about entertainment, sports, Science and government news during the 1960s.  While watching the videos, students took notes about important events and people from the 1960s.  Next, students went online to find images to create collages about the 1960s using PicMonkey.

4. High School Dropout rate- Students read articles from DISCUS and reviewed our districts' annual report card.  Students also reviewed the interactive dropout map on Boostup to learn the high school drop out rate for our state and nation.  After reviewing the website and articles, students created a graph to show the overall dropout rate of our country, state and school district.

5.  Family Court- Students read news articles and encyclopedia articles from DISCUS that shared information about juvenile court, child abuse and sibling guardians.  Students wrote a persuasive argument after reading the articles.

Students were engaged.  We were able to help students 1:1.  Students were reading, writing and creating visuals.  I look forward to trying this out with our sixth graders next.  Please feel free to share some ways you are tying fictional text and informational text in your libraries/classrooms.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Themed Book Trailers

Book talks, book trailers and book displays are rolled up into one with a theme.  I read this post by Mrs. ReaderPants that got me thinking about how I put together my book talks.  Today I came across this post on the same blog that inspired me to put together a themed book trailer.

We currently have up a book display of series similar to The Hunger Games.  We used this post found via Pinterest (of course) to help us put it together.  All I had to do next was find book cover images and write very, very brief snippets for each title.  Hopefully, after watching the themed book trailer on the morning show, students will come in to check out one or more of the titles featured instead of just one title.  I can save the full length book trailer for class visits or other activities.

I'm looking forward to creating more themed book trailers to help feature fiction and nonfiction titles in our collection.  Animoto definitely makes it easy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Smore library news...

The first quarter of the school year has flown by. As I thought about how to share with my administrators what we have been up to in the media center so far this school year, I remembered reading about Smore. Please check out these beautiful Smore pages created by fellow library media specialists: here, here and here.

The news letter below was quick and easy to create.  After sending a link to the newsletter to my administrators, they commented positively on what they read.  This is good stuff.