Thursday, October 26, 2017

Genre Update 2017

I'm feeling very good about the progress we've made in genrefying the fiction section. All books (that are not checked out) have genre stickers on them and the books are organized in genre sections.

I used the color tinted label protectors from Demco.

We also scanned in sublocation so we can track down books easily if it is something I don't know off the top of my head. The genres we used are: Adventure, Classics, Fantasy, Graphic Novel/Manga, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Horror, Mystery, Sports and Science Fiction/Dystopian.
To add sublocation in Destiny, create the sublocations by clicking on edit copy, Other beside sublocation and enter the genre label.
Then to scan them in you go to Catalog, Edit Copies, Individual Update, choose sublocation in the drop down then the appropriate genre, and scan away. This process was the fast part.

I created a Buzzfeed style genre quiz so that students could narrow down their favorites if they don't already know. It is embedded below or you can go to the link here. I used to do a similar paper version at the middle school inspired by Mrs. Reader Pants. I shared this with our English teachers and a few came in with their classes so they could take it and get a quick tour of the new arrangement.

Response to genre organization has been very positive so far, especially for those that struggle to choose a book. In addition to the quiz I created a genre passport. I'm hoping some of the teachers will be open to using this to encourage students to explore many genres and broaden their reading choices. Feel free to use. It folds up like a little book with one cut above the cover art and a bit of tape.

My next steps are to follow all our series on, label the series number onto the spines, and order any missing titles in a series. I also plan to use the data from sublocation reports to do some ordering in weak areas and promotion for ignored and overloooked genres.

I'm happy to answer any genres questions. You can leave a comment or tweet to me @coxtl.

Formal Vs Informal Writing

At a teacher's request, I put together a lesson on the differences between formal and informal writing. This is a quick lesson (30 minutes) to help students remember to be more formal in their assignments for school.
I got the majority of this lesson from the Read Write Think website.

We started with a quick discussion of formal and informal. I used Ryan Gosling photos because I'll take any excuse to look at him. They definitely got the point that both outfits were fine, but had to be worn in the appropriate place. Then we rated sentences on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most formal. I pulled up the responses on Google Forms with the bar graphs to make sure everyone was similar in their rating and we talked about what made those examples either formal or informal. As a class we listed qualities and characteristics of both. Watched the quick Youtube video and then tried our own. The handout that I used is in the lesson linked above.
Students had to change informal to formal and vice versa. My favorite was this example.
"Man, I'm starving! I'm gonna get something to eat and then call you back." became...

This was a quick, but hopefully, effective lesson. 

Teen Read Week 2017

To celebrate Teen Read Week, I held a few competitions in the library. The first was the Book Face competition. Here are a few favorites.

We also had a Book Spine poetry competition. The public library had there's as well so I tweeted all of the student entries so that they could entered into a prize drawing for the public library. Here are a few favorites.

The public library sent in copies of their library card application and I shared those with our English teachers so that students would get their card. I made this promotional video to go along with it. Thanks to Tiffany Whitehead for the idea

What did you do for TRW 17?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Digital Citizenship Week 2017

Digital Citizenship Week is Oct 16-20th this year.  I started my preparation when I received an email from Common Sense Media with this link to their resources.
I clicked on their Quick Start Activities and looked in 9-12 for ideas. I downloaded a copy of their Digital Dilemmas, which are fictitious scenarios based on real situations with corresponding questions for discussion. This reminded me of another strategy that I recently saw on Cult of Pedagogy: Chat Stations.  You've probably already done something similar, but I love the way she explains this and it made it easy to share with my faculty. I also wanted to have some sort of accountability to keep them on topic so I created a Peer Evaluation using Google Forms, similar to this one shared on Alice Keeler's blog. I created this form asking students to evaluate their partner/group members on listening, quality of participation and frequency of participation. Once I had this put together I shared with the faculty and invited classes in for the lesson and shared if teachers wanted to use the materials in class.
I had the opportunity to do a test run on this part of the lesson a few days ago when a class needed to be covered for a teacher in a meeting.
I printed the Digital Dilemmas and spread them around the library. Students traveled in pairs and had 5 minutes at each station. I retyped the questions onto a handout so that students could turn in their thoughts to the teacher since she wasn't present for the lesson. It went well and their discussions were thoughtful and mature.

Thanks to Frank Baker (@fbaker, Media Literacy extraordinaire) I saw this article, Making Media Literacy Great Again, and loved the idea shared by the professor to show news memes and have students decide if it was BS or not. I couldn't find any suitable for high school and wanted to get non-political stories if at all possible, so I made my own using the Mematic app. Of course, I can't have students yell out BS so I changed it to Poop or Truth. I am going to share an image of the poop emoji and a "truth" emoji and ask students to save in camera roll on their iPads so that they can vote using their iPad screens.

You can get a copy of the Slides here. Make sure to look in notes for links to articles and whether the meme is Poop or Truth.

To wrap up the lesson, each student will log into our school account on Checkology and begin the lessons on Filtering News and Information. You can get your own free account this year by visiting their site: I have 7 classes coming in this week for this lesson. Follow our Twitter feed for pictures. I hope you can use these ideas. Tweet to me @coxtl if you have any questions or issues with links.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Banned Books Week(ish) Results

Last month I shared my plans for Banned Books Week. After the first lesson and a hiccup sharing the hyperdoc, I changed the lesson so that all the information and links were on the station signs. Here is that document. Once that was straightened out the lesson went very well. I just taught the lesson this week so the celebration continued into three weeks of school and I was able to see lots of classes.
 Here are few pics of the green screen station, one of the favorites.

Students were asked to list risks and rewards of reading controversial books. Their answers, for the most part, were very thoughtful.
Here are the Founding Father tweets they created in Slides.
I hope that they left with a better appreciation for why librarians fight against censorship.

Loo Reviews 2017

A few years ago, Gwyneth Jones shared the amazing idea for Loo Reviews. I posted them at my previous school and wanted to bring it back this year.

I made these for faculty bathrooms. I also shared the wonderful infographic created by Todd Nesloney and Jennifer LaGarde along with Currently Reading signs for classroom and office doors.

This is the link to  the loo reviews I created and it is embedded below. Do you do loo reviews? I would love to see your signs.