Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Treat Tuesday: 2/26

For Treat Tuesday today we enjoyed popcorn with our books. We read Sleep Like a Tiger, One Cool Friend, Horton Hatches the Egg and The Dentist From the Black Lagoon. One Cool Friend and Sleep Like a Tiger are Caldecott Honor books so I'm counting them towards my total for the faculty reading challenge that started today. Horton was in honor of the Dr. Seuss activities going on in my son's class this week and The Dentist From the Black Lagoon was the library book he brought home this week. Sleep Like a Tiger is a great bedtime story and my son loved the surprise ending in One Cool Friend.

Celebrating Strong Female Characters

March is Women's History Month and I wanted to recognize the month in some way.

I saw this blog post about female characters in books and movies and thought I could adapt this to be similar to the Book Crush display we did for February. I made a simple background inspired by my favorite poster and we are taking pictures of students holding the books they love with strong female characters. My favorite is The Girl Who Owned a City by OT Nelson. I love the character Lisa and imagined myself as her when I read it as a middle schooler. My library helpers are already lining up to be the first to get their pictures made.

If you are looking for books with strong female characters, try this list of children's books and this list of YA books.

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/25/13

I'm working on reading all of the SC Junior Book award nominees right now. I finished Hidden, Notes From an Accidental Band Geek and The Underdogs this week and just started The Running Dream.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Treat Tuesday: Pigeons!

Today (and for the past several days) we have been reading the Pigeon books that we purchased through a class Scholastic order. The treat we enjoyed with these was tater tots. I'm not known for my culinary skills. My son thinks these books are hilarious!

Admin Survey About Libraries

There have been a few articles lately that have inspired me to want comprehensive feedback from administrators about their expectations for the library program. I read this article today about "What Teachers Want From Administrators" and this article about admin perceptions of librarians in SLJ.

I tweeted out the link to the first article and mentioned that I would love a version for what teachers and administrators want from us. Shortly after that tweet, my new co-conspirator Sue (@spkowalski) offered to help put something together and then Lisa offered to help as well (@noveltalk). Don't you love Twitter?!

Sue put together this Google form to gather thoughts from other librarians and then we'll put a survey together to share with administrators in our schools and on Twitter.

We would love to have your thoughts included. Please take a moment to let us know what you would like to ask administrators. Please also share with others on Twitter, Google +, your blog and anywhere else you would like.Thank you.

Faculty Reading Challenge

We have had a great time reading books together as a faculty this year. We read The Future of Us, Wonder, Divergent, Code Name Verity and This Dark Endeavor. Now I'm going to challenge the faculty to a reading competition.
I was inspired by The Hub's Reading Challenge.
Teachers are asked to read as many titles as they can from these lists with a goal of at least 25 books.

There are links to the lists on my library homepage.

We are using a Google doc to keep track of the books we read. There is one sheet on the doc for our classroom teachers and one for "everyone else" including our related arts teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators that are part of the book club. We are going to compete with each other a la summer throwdown (librarians vs. teachers). Luckily it worked out that there are 11 teachers on each team. I'm excluding myself and plan to challenge myself to read the most individually. I'm expecting a baby in May so my reading numbers will not be as high as in the past, but we'll see how much she sleeps.
I'm hoping that this challenge will encourage the teachers to read outside of their comfort zone, learn about the book award lists out there and have plenty of titles to recommend to students when we return in the Fall.
I'm going to be on the look out for prize ideas throughout the summer, but plan to create a gift bag of books and other treats that teachers will appreciate when school begins.
Even though I'm calling this the Summer Reading Challenge we are starting next week. I don't want them to see the goal of 25 and panic.

Do you have a summer reading program for faculty? If so, what do you do?

Do you have the luck of the Irish?

I pinned this site on Pinterest a while ago, but wasn't sure how I would use scratch off tickets. Then I saw a post on Facebook from Cathy Jo Nelson sharing how she will be using them to reward her highest readers. Monique, Kristen and I talked about how we could use these on our level and I wanted to share our ideas with you all so that you could give it a try.
We are going to display books with green covers in the library and use Monique's sign to advertise the event. We are all targeting different students with this event, but I have lots of overdue books so I'm stealing Monique's idea to target those students.

Homerooms with no overdue books or lost books that need to be paid for will qualify for scratch off tickets. If I have a lot of homerooms I may have to draw teachers names and then give a ticket to each student in the class. If I only have a few then I should have enough for all of the students in those classes. They will choose a ticket, scratch it off and be rewarded with scented bookmarks, green bead necklaces and books.

This should be a fun and inexpensive book promotion for March. Good luck!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Infographic Safari

Last week I had the pleasure of having my 7th grade social studies classes in for an infographic safari. A safari is full of exploration, discovery, and excitement so I thought that was a fitting name for this lesson.

To begin the lesson, I defined infographic and we looked at several examples together. After the quick introduction, students went to 8 different tables in groups of two or three. Each table held a different infographic that addressed some aspect of World War II or the Cold War.  I used our postermaker to enlarge and print each one. A few of the infographics I used can be found here, here, here and here.The students had to answer three questions about each infographic and two reflection questions about the benefits of displaying information this way. They spent about five minutes with each infographic.

Finally, students used passages from their class workbook to create their own infographic. I created a template using one I found on the New York Times Learning Network site as a guide. 

This is a great activity for any subject. You would just need to find or make infographics that address the topics you want to cover. It addresses the content standards as well as information literacy skills. Every student was engaged and enjoyed the movement and novelty of the different infographic stations. The teachers remarked on how well students behaved and how quickly they were able to locate information on the infographics.

If you have an infographic safari I would love to hear about it. Have you used infographics in a lesson? What kinds of activities have you tried? or want to try?

For a more in depth infographic creation lesson see my previous blog post.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading: SCJBA

I am excited about the titles on the South Carolina Junior Book Award list for 2013. I have read nine of the twenty titles already, but I like to read all of them. Today I brought home several titles so that I can get started. What should I read first?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

To Be a Boy, To Be a Reader

After reading Dr. Brozo's book, To Be a Boy, To Be a Reader, I was inspired. I used the ten archetypes that Dr. Brozo describes in his book to create a reading list for middle grade boys. Some of the titles came from the book, but most of them I added after thinking about each archetype. Thanks to Monique German, Kelly Knight and Tiffany Whitehead for giving me suggestions.
I plan to share these with my colleagues in our boy discussion group and tweak a little to post around the library for advertising. Feel free to use as you see fit. They can all be found on my Flickr stream.

For more resources about helping boys read, try this reading list from Guys Read.

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? Aristotle and Dante

Late last night I finished Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I added this to my "to read" pile after it won so many awards at ALA. It was a very introspective, tormented novel. It brings back memories of teen angst that we, thankfully, grow out of. I appreciated the positive relationships with most of the parents, most of the time. This is definitely a high school book, at least in my community. I did enjoy it and felt a real connection and empathy for Ari. I know students that would benefit from reading this one. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Treat Tuesday: Caldecott Edition

Today we enjoyed the Caldecott winner and a few honor books with a Rice Krispie Treat. Yum.

We read This Is Not My Hat and the companion, Where Is My Hat?. We read Extra Yarn and Green as well. Finally we read several books about community helpers, which is what they are learning about in kindergarten. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Feb 4th

This week I finished the professional books: Connecting Boys With Books I and II by Michael Sullivan, two fiction books: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel and Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz, and two nonfiction titles: The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne by Catherine Reef and Bomb by Steve Sheinkin. 

Sorry no pretty covers, but today was a busy day of presenting for our state association's regional training and now I'm joining the TL Virtual Cafe for the night.