Getting the new SC Association of School Librarian lists for book award nominees is always exciting. I immediately got ours ready with new stickers and ordered plenty of copies.
Another task that I began was contacting authors to arrange visits next year. So far I have 4 confirmed Skype visits and one in-person visit in the works. I'm very excited about connecting with these authors.
Believe it or not, I'm already working on summer reading plans. I hope to include several of these titles into our plans and will be promoting them throughout the summer and school year.
I would love to hear how you promote your state award lists.
A friend of mine works closely with the Read Up Greenville book event and he was kind enough to connect me with SC author, Corrie Wang. I ordered copies of her debut, The Takedown, for my book club members and arranged for her to visit us.
She was gracious enough to spend most of the day with us. First, she had lunch with our book club and chatted, then she talked with our Creative Writing classes, and at the end of the day, we had an assembly in the auditorium open to all classes. This was the first author visit in our school for many, many years. We were so excited to have her and the students loved her laid back personality. We are looking forward to reading her next novel.
I blogged earlier this year about the Forensics project that one of our teachers does with students. I love this idea. Here are a few pics of the students' working.
These went on display in the library when they were complete so students could vote for their favorite.
Next year I'm working with this teacher again using one of our newly released YABA nominated books for 2018-2019.
I ordered a class set of Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos. The Forensics class will be reading the book next year and Skyping with the author in November. I'm very excited to promote a great YABA book and work with this teacher again. This will be my first Skype with a nonfiction author so I'm looking forward to hearing about her research and writing process.
Since this is my first year here I wasn't sure what to expect for SC Association of School Librarian YABA (Young Adult Book Award) voting. Schools all over the state have their students vote for their favorite Picture book, Children's Book, Junior Book or Young Adult book. These books consistently stay checked out, especially after I booktalk them.
I connected with our county election board and they brought in voting machines for student voting and SC Voter Registration application for our older students. I didn't have as many voters as I would have liked so I'm going to try to do more promotion next year and possibly spread the voting out over a few days in the classrooms. There was a tie for the book with the most votes: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I look forward to finding out the state winner at conference next month.
I was very proud of the students that registered to vote or took home applications. I believe it is so important for our young people to be politically aware and involved. A big thanks to the Anderson County Elections Board for their help. Below are the signs I created for the table and shared with all of our Government teachers.
Let's face it, sometimes school isn't fun. I feel like that I have a little more flexibility than the classroom teachers so I try to be inspired by what's happening in the world. These are a few lessons I've taught recently that were inspired by sports events.
1. Super Bowl Media Literacy
I love the resources shared by Frank Baker on media literacy. Each year he shares links and lesson ideas for using Super Bowl commercials for media literacy and advertising analysis. Joyce Valenza also shared these great ideas. I put this handout on each table as the students came in for the lesson. First we talked about who watched and why, the number of Americans that watched (110 million), the top advertisers, cost of ads, and what types of ads they might see. Then we watched and analyzed several new and old commercials. We ended the lesson with cookies because you can't watch TV without a snack, right?
This is the Youtube playlist I made for the lesson.
This was one of the favorites.
2. Winter Olympics
I shared this article from the NY Times with lots of Olympic related articles and lesson ideas. Some of my Freshman Academy teachers were interested so I put together a lesson using the Olympics to practice writing. They shared the slides on Google Classroom and we guided the students through the different activities.
This was a fun way to practice writing and pull in current events.
3. March Book Madness
I'm planning to try the March Book Madness program this year. Luckily there are some hard working teachers that have been putting this together each year for a while so I decided to use their suggested titles instead of starting from scratch.
I'll be sharing this with the teachers in the hopes that they'll share the titles and allow students to vote for their favorites. I think some of my Freshman Academy teachers will bring their classes in to go through the trailers/booktalks with me for voting. As an incentive, I'm putting together a basketball-themed gift basket with the Blacktop series, sports drinks, and candy. For every vote, the student will be entered into the drawing and the winning student's teacher will also get a set of the Blacktop book series for their classroom library. I found these in paperback at Reading Warehouse for a good price.
Feel free to use the slides I put together. I'll be using Google Forms for voting.
<I would love to hear how you tie in sports or other news into your lessons to make them more engaging and fun.
I hope you saw the unveiling of the new President Obama and Michelle Obama portraits for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. I created these informational slides to post and then we set up the green screen to make our own version.
Here is our set up.
Here is an example from a student. This was a fun way to celebrate Black History Month and the first African-American painters for the National Portrait Gallery's presidential portrait.
For our final YAhooligans this year our teachers will be reading a recently published nonfiction title and using the Google Shortener Chrome Extension.
I used these AP Nonfiction recommendations from a Goodreads list to beef up some of our choices.
The tech component requires them to find a website related to the topic of their nonfiction book, use the Google Shortener Chrome extension to create a link, then share it on our Google Classroom. This will be a fun way to wrap up the year.
Do you do anything similar with your teachers? If so, I'm curious what books and tools you use or what you would recommend for next year.
For the YAhooligans teacher book session for the 3rd quarter, teachers could read either Turtles All the Way Down or one of the Morris Award Nominees.
The tech tool for this quarter is Kami Chrome extension for writing on PDFs. I found a template here that I used for a book review so that teachers could fill it in on Kami.
We recently changed our 1:1 device from IPads to Chromebooks. One of the most popular apps on the iPad was Notability. The closest equivalent on the Chromebook is Kami. Our district purchased the paid version. I thought this would be a good opportunity for the teachers to try it out.