Wednesday, January 16, 2019

January Reflection

Tonight, as I realize I am late with this post, I think that is alright. Here's why. Last week was the start of a huge wave of what will be a long, but productive, few weeks. I don't know for sure about other librarians and their programs, but mine goes in some pretty serious waves. Things are quiet for a few days and then KABOOM! Projects, often at the same time, take off. Books need to be read. The makerspace needs a change and that means training kids on new tasks. Life is good, but it is busy! the picture I will post shows a piece of this business.  :)

One pretty busy day!   :)

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Edublog's 2019 28 Day Blogging Challenge

     Today is January 3rd and I am going to try to take part in Edublog's 2019 28 Day Blogging Challenge. Of course, I have book reviews due, a makerspace to work on, and my regular library stuff to continue. Sound familiar? The life of a school librarian is indeed never dull. I did, however, finish Wonder Workshop's Introduction to Coding and Robotics with Dash yesterday. Hooray!!  I wish some of the other teachers at Colton-Pierrepont had done this course with me so we would have more of the Dash robots around for our students to use.  :) Ah, well, another time maybe!
     So, what am I musing about today? Library life is so busy, and yet, so rewarding. I love helping our teachers and students with research projects. I love the addition of makerspace elements to what we do. I love getting books into the hands of our kids (of all ages).  So, why are there things weighing heavily on my mind? Well, that is the life of a school library and librarian - there is always more to do, and of course, defend (always having to defend and stand up for the library program is SOOO essential and at the same time, very weary-ing).  Some of the people who have worked alongside me still do not understand how much has to be done behind the scenes to keep out PK-12 grade Library Media Center (that's what we at CPCS call it - I like library better, but that is a small issue, not worth worrying over now) going and growing. I am thinking it is a PR thing and maybe I need to work on that understanding. For now, that is all I will say about this particular muse. But, it is one of those "constants" that is draining, to say the least, but enough of my less-than-positive topic.
      The other topic with is muse-worthy is our makerspace. I want our kids to think, create,  and collaborate. I want them to be challenged to stretch their brains a bit. I want them happy and trying their best. But, I still am not thrilled with how to manage the daily use part of this and provide what is needed.  When it is project time or teachers bring classes into the library to work with a particular material or item, that is not a problem. Busy and crazy, but no problem. I love it! It is managing the ins and outs of the other time when I have set out materials and challenge cards for kids to come in and use on their own.  I am in the process of re-working how many times a child can appear in a month (which is about the amount of time I have a particular theme set up) and what times of day specific grades can send students.  Things got crazy before our break and we were seeing some students over and over (and over) again and some hardly at all.  Those that came over and over got bored with our challenges and wanted different things on which to work. I just don't have time to keep adding and subtracting items, especially when some kids still hadn't done the first group. Yikes! It makes for lots of thinking and continuous work on how to make this better for all.
     So, if you should be reading this (and, I never really know who does), and you have any helpful ideas or tips, please feel free to share them with me.  :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kids, Reading and Mr. Schu


I love my job.  I love kids and kids' books. Sometimes, though I run into a true conundrum that give me pause and, of course, food for thought. One that has been gnawing at me for a while is the labeling of kids by reading level. I want kids to read what they choose, what they love! And, I want to be useful, helpful and relevant to my teachers. Leveling books is okay but I just don't love labeling the kids. ☹️ So, for now increasing the number of books a child who has to read by level can check out will have to do. After listening to @MrSchuReads, I have been thinking about this issue again. There is no simple solution for school librarians. He did tell me when Fountas and Pinnell created their system, it was as a teacher tool. Kids weren't even supposed to know their level. Now the kids search the OPACs by their current level. Aiii, yiiii, yiiii!  I really wish lots of teachers could hear John Schu speak! He is so on the mark, enthusiastic and pretty darned amazing!
Why is he  so amazing? Well, he is a person after my own heart. First, he loves books and kids. Second, he believes in school libraries and their importance, that these libraries are often safe havens to many kids. John is the ambassador for school libraries for Scholastic. Third, he believes kids should be able to choose what they love to read, like Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer) does. Fourth, he believes in kindness, the ripple effect it has, AND how important that is. Fifth, he believes in the importance of empathy. Last, and not least, he loves some of my favorite books and authors: anything Kate Dicamillo, anything Amy Krouse Rosenthal, The One and Only Ivan and so many more!! If you are in education and @MrSchuReads comes to present near you, go listen to him. It will be worth it, without a doubt!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's Already November...

   The year is buzzing right along and everyone here right along with it. The library has been very busy with elementary students and book check out. Today, for a refreshing change, I got to work with the juniors on one of Common Sense's Digital Citizenship lessons. It was an authentic and timely lesson. But, the best piece was listening to our students discuss the topic on "internet privacy". Once questions were posed, the kids were off and running. Our students are pretty tech savvy, for sure, but I think most learned a few things. I know the Mrs. Henderson-Howie and I did.  I am thankful for periods like one and two today - good stuff!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"Quotes" for Teachers: Perseverance, Determination, Achievement and Succe...

"Quotes" for Teachers: Perseverance, Determination, Achievement and Succe...: Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work so most people don't recognize them. -Ann Landers

We are what we repeatedly do. Excel...

You don't do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time. ~Vince Lombardi

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. ~ Steve Jobs

Monday, June 29, 2015

Inforgraphics ~Why I Need to Get Better at This!

The Infographic

What a great way to express ideas and present information!



This is one of those tools I just plain need to get better at creating and using. I have seen so many great ones and thought, "I need to do that!" Below is one that Infographics Labs created to explain what one is (and, really, why to use it).





     It also makes good sense to know how to create a good one so that I can help our students do the same. 
Good idea!

     So, that is another goal - improve infographic skills. Start with an annual report for the past school year, 2014-2015. I am telling myself, "You can do it! You can do it!"  :) Let's see if I can.


     Although this has little to do with infographics, I have a link to some free classroom type clipart that I like.
    Classroom Clipart
     Another source for clipart that came from FreeTech4Teachers is:
a gallery of more than 31,000 clip art images that have been released into the public domain. All of the clip art in the Open Clip Art Library can be downloaded and reused for free.

Friday, November 14, 2014

An Epic Chart of 162 Young Adult Retellings

An Epic Chart of 162 Young Adult Retellings


This site has so many great facts about books and great book suggestions for YAs. I think it will keep us busy for a long while. If you want to find something read that is new, but old (or in this case, based on old) check out this :



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mindfulness ~ in Classrooms and Libraries; Resources to Help Bring Out the Best in Our Kids

     I have been reading about mindfulness in teaching and was happy to stumble on a link via Twitter to a blog post called "Mindfulness in the Library".
    It has good information and links to articles. I can't wait to finish and begin to practice some of the techniques. Kids, and everyone, are so busy today, so involved that sometimes all it takes it calming down and refocussing them to bring out the best.  :)
   Two books I am reading go along with the idea of mindfulness in the classroom/library.
They are below. I am enjoying them both although each comes from a different place - one is based on eastern philosophies and one has more western spirituality. Both want to help teachers and adults bring out the best in our children.