Thursday, December 19, 2013

Using Primary Sources in Primary Grades...Crazy? Or Awesome?

This is more of a try it out and see...when I was at ISLMA's conference, I saw a great lesson using primary sources!

I'm going to try it out with 2nd grade. I am going to use the Primary Source Analysis Tool (find it here: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/guides.html) and have students look at pictures. Since it is January, I was thinking about using a picture of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Office. I will make copies (and laminate if possible!) and then introduce one piece of the Analysis Tool each week. So each week the center will be Observe, Reflect, Question, and Investigate.


Week of January 6:
They will simply observe the photo. They will use these questions to help them guide their observations:
  • What do you notice first?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
  • What do you notice that you can’t explain?
  • What do you notice now that you didn’t earlier?

Week of January 13:
They will reflect. They will look at the picture, and read over their observations. Then they will use these questions to help them guide their reflections:

  • Where do you think this came from?
  • Why do you think somebody made this? 
  • What do you think was happening when this was made? 
  • Who do you think was the audience for this item? 
  • What tool was used to create this?
  • Why do you think this item is important? 
  • If someone made this today, what would be different?
  • What can you learn from examining this?

We will also watch this video: MLK - The King and His Dream

Week of January 20:
They will question. They will look at the picture, and read over their observations and reflections. Then they will use these questions to help them guide their questioning.
What do you wonder about...
  • who?
  • what?
  • when?
  • where?
  • why?
  • how?

Week of January 27:
They can think about further investigations. They will use their notes and the photo, then use the following questions to guide further investigations. 
  • What more do you want to know?
  • How can you find out?
I made a quick PPT to show the students the guiding questions and to help me remember the questions. 

As I think this over, I may have to do this as a whole group lesson to model how to observe, reflect, question, and further investigate. OR I may have them do the observe and reflect in small groups, but do the question and further investigation with me. 
This may be really hard, but I think I'm going to try it out with one 2nd grade and one 1st grade class. Then after the "pilot" I will try it out in February with a new topic with all the 2nd graders. Then another topic for all the 1st graders in March. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Scholastic Book Fair is Here!

And is it over yet? =)

We're in the thick of our book fair, and I thought I'd reflect on some of the things I do and some of the things that might make it easier!

We run the book fair for 3 days, and I am incredibly lucky that I get a substitute for 5 days, 1 day to set up, 3 days of actual fair, and 1 day to take down. This year, the week before the book fair, I canceled centers (oh no!) and had a little different set up. For the kindergartners, I told the kids that I had a special surprise that we had to get ready for and that we needed to check out in 15 minutes so we would have time for the special surprise. For 1st - 2nd, they know the fair is coming (the signs went up about a month ago), and we went over that we needed to check out in 15 minutes so we have time to ask questions about the fair and watch the book fair video!

We talk about what a book fair is. We talk about how a book fair is different than a library - in a library, we borrow the books, in the book fair, we buy the books. This inevitably leads to...what would we need to bring to the book fair if we want a book? These conversations really help when kids show up with no money (or 9 pennies and they think it's 9 dollars...oh poor thing...). I am debating having a money lesson before the next book fair, but hate to invest that much time in a 2/3 day event...and it takes away from the research and technology lessons I want to focus on...so we'll just help them count...and buy a coin counter!

The students are super excited, and because they have seen the video, have the fliers, know what's coming, know that it is a BOOK STORE and not the library, they bring money and we make a ton of money for the school!

More to come. And no, we do not have any more Lego Chima books or Bendy pencils. =)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why Call Numbers Are Important!

Last month, we focused on what call numbers are, and starting every class with a variation on call numbers. 

For Kindergarten, we talk about what to do if a book is lost. 
On the SMARTboard, I have the "To Do" list:

To Do                                     10/22/13
1. A book is lost. How do I know where to put it back correctly? 
2. November Calendar
3. Halloween Center
4. Go to Centers.

We read each sentence in the list and I explain and we practice if needed. 
For #1, I have them talk at their table for one minute. 
Then I ask them to share their ideas. 
I'm looking for them to tell me to look at the call number
Then I write the word call number on the board. 
I then have 3 books to "put away" together. 

I write the call number under the word call number and then write down section and letter shelf in 2 different colors. 

For example: 
E
LEI

Then I ask them what section does this book go in, Easy Fiction, Fiction, or Non-fiction. I ask one student to answer and then ask them how they knew that. We go over that the first row tells us the section  so E for Easy fiction. I write out easy fiction and underline the E. 

Then I ask what letter shelf does this go on. I ask one student to answer and circle the letter. If they give the wrong answer, I cross out that letter and ask them if they need help, then I choose another student. We then discuss how they knew the answer and then I let the student that answered find the letter shelf and put it away. 

I also use this time to remind the students which direction to put the book on the shelf - spine out, with the call number right side up (since we can't do headstands to see the call numbers! They get a good giggle thinking of Ms. D doing a head stand!).

For #2, we are making a November calendar. I hold up the calendar just to jog their memory. I may also go over how to do it together again if the class needs it. 
For #3, we have a Happy Halloween Center - they remember this! This will change to Happy Holidays soon, same idea just now we play the Winter Holiday games. 
For #4, I go over each center and whether it is With a Buddy or By Yourself and we get started!
This is also where I reviewed the Brainpop Jr. Movie of the Week Center and we practiced together if needed. 

In 1st and 2nd, we review how to put books away and why we have call numbers.  

We are learning more about the call numbers in 2nd grade because we are learning the Online Library Catalog system and without a basic understanding of call numbers, it is almost impossible to find the books. 

So, we talked about it, and I video taped it! I then used Magisto to make the clips into one video (it does it for you!). Please enjoy my students and their amazing explanations! 

Video: "Why Are Call Numbers Important According to 2nd Graders!"

Video: "Why Call Numbers?" (I was also having fun playing around with Magisto...=) 

November is for Nonfiction!

Watch our Centers in Action! If only my one friend had not crawled under my desk...otherwise this would be a wonderful video! But, it does show the reality of the library! 

In November, I start introducing what nonfiction is for Kindergarten. I review what nonfiction is and start or review various informational text features in K, 1st, and 2nd.

For Kindergarten, we started with watching the Brainpop Jr. Video: Reading Nonfiction. Then we will look at the word non-fiction and talk about what fiction means. I ask the students to talk about it at their table, we review each week, we add new ideas, and we practice looking at nonfiction, looking at the call numbers and the informational text features, videos to come! 

I have anchor charts for the following pages: 

Title Page:


Copyright Page:

Also, I have anchor charts for the following Informational Text Features:
Index
Glossary
Table of Contents
Caption
(Follow! Pics to come! =)

For Kindergarten, I am going to introduce all of the above. 

For 1st grade, I am also going to add: Illustration, Heading, Label, and Bold-faced word because it is now on the Performance Task for 1st grade. I will need to make new anchor charts for those 4. ( Follow!  Pics to come! =)

For 2nd grade, we are going to go over all of these. ( Follow!  Videos to come! =)

We will go over 2 at a time, then they will practice looking for the information text features and the pages in their reading area books. This will also change the Reading Area books, I will take out all the Easy Fiction books from 2 of the 3 bins, and put in Nonfiction books in the 2 bins, so there are still some story books they can read on their own or with their reading buddies. 

I always love this part of the year, the students LOVE nonfiction and some kids are so tired of stories and are so motivated by the idea of learning something from their books!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October New Centers - Brainpop Jr. Movie of the Week, Happy Halloween, Explore SOAR!

So starting in October, I start adding new centers. 

I added 2 centers overall and 1 center to 1st and 2nd. 

I added a Brainpop Jr Movie of the Week Center and a Happy Halloween Center.
Brainpop Jr. Movie of the Week - http://www.brainpopjr.com/
This one is super simple. I have the students sit in front of the SMARTboard and play the Movie of the Week (free every week!). I assign one student to be the teacher and they choose the students one at a time to take a turn for the game. I also have 2 tables come to the front to practice in front of the class so that they all see the expectations, etc. As the year goes on, we'll start learning how to go by ourselves, but this is a good introduction and gets them excited about it! 

Happy Halloween Center!
On abcya.com they are allowed to play any of the Halloween games. We go to abcya.com on the SMARTboard and go over what each game is/how to play. Then we discuss and they promise to only play Halloween games and not Christmas or other games. 


For Kindergarten - 
There are 2 games: Make a Pumpkin and Carve a Pumpkin.
  
For 1st -
There are 3 games: Halloween Word Search, Make a Pumpkin, and Carve a Pumpkin.

For 2nd - 
There are 6 games: Ghost Typing (super fun!), Halloween Word Search, Make a Pumpkin, Carve a Pumpkin, Pumpkin Matching, and Trick or Treat.


For 1st and 2nd, I added an Explore SOAR center, which is a center for our students to start exploring (looking/playing with) our online library card catalog. They go with a buddy and practice going to the website and getting to the catalog itself. I ask them to think about it and ask questions via a post-it. Then they put their post it on their class' poster. 

Watch my students talk it out! Video: "SOAR Wonderings!"
More to come on that!

I had also promised an assessment, but got lost in the beginning of the year madness!

For my Kindergartners, I have been using these 2 assessments: Quarter 1 Kindergarten Tech and Library Assessment (or on Dropbox - Quarter 1 Kindergarten Assessment Tech and Library Skills)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Open House or Parent Nights Coming Up?



Open House and Parent Nights can be scary, overwhelming, or boring, depending on how your school does it. In all these situations, I have used a variety of tactics to advocate for the library, share our resources, and meet the parents!


At one school, Open House was also book fair time, which meant it was overwhelming AND scary as I was meeting parents for the first time, AND was trying to sell books! For this situation, I smiled A LOT, helped parents and students choose books and pay as quickly as possible. Really, it was just a blur!


At one school, at Open House, one grade did a scavenger hunt, and had to get signatures from myself and the library aide, this was ideal to share information with parents as they were coming anyways! For this situation, I handed out cyber safety booklets in English and Spanish and freebie erasers that a random company sent us. Unfortunately, the Cyber Safety booklets were from a government organization, who does not give them out any more! I do post Brainpop and NetSmartz links on my website for parents.


At one school, one year we had a new technology teacher, and it was only my second year, so I made a PPT (run on a loop) of each of us, plus the aide, our roles, what the students will learn in library and technology (with pictures of students) and some stats about the library (how many books are checked out each year, etc). Please take a look at: Open House PPT. Want to change it to work for your situation?? Buy it on TPT!


At one school, Open House was a short presentation by the administration, and then the parents when to their child's classroom and had a long presentation about the expectations of the teacher and our program! This was boring, as I usually got very few parents! Surprisingly, in this situation, I made bookmarks with the library website as a QR code, with info about what students will learn, and handed them out as the parents left (this was by far one of the most popular things I have done...all of my bookmarks were gone!). Please see an example at: QR Code Bookmark PDF or Download it at: QR Code Bookmark Publisher File to Edit (this is a publisher file, so if you do not have Publisher, it will not open). Also, I used: http://www.unitaglive.com/qrcode to make the QR code (Free! Let's you change colors! Yay! =)

Rules. Makes Me the Librarian from the Black Lagoon.

So, after telling kids to walk until I'm blue in the face, I decided I needed a new tactic. Now, when the kids come in, EVERY period, EVERY time, we talk about the rules. I will stop when I do not have to give out strikes (there are a couple classes that already have it down! Yay!)


For days we are doing centers - we talk about the 3 center rules:

1. Walk.
2. Whisper.
3. See 3 before me.


I have the students read each rule. Then we talk about the rule and role play/practice the rule. Examples below:

1. Walk (have a student volunteer to read it).
 
Then ask the students, who would like to show us how to walk to the easy fiction area (2 birds with one stone! How to walk! AND where is easy fiction!). Watch the student walk to the easy fiction shelves. Praise highly. Have them walk back to their seat again.

Discuss that they are not running, skipping, or jumping, but walking to their destination and back.

2. Whisper. (have a student volunteer to read it).

Then tell the students we are going to practice. Ask them to whisper their favorite (teacher, color, food, sport, etc) to someone at their table. Set the timer for 1 minute to give them time. Redirect as needed.

3. See 3 before me. (have a student volunteer to read it).

Explain that when they have a question, they need to ask a friend first. Tell them that they are now experts and can help each other.


Discuss consequences - 3 strikes and you're out! If I catch you not following the rules, I will give you a strike (verbal). If you get 3 strikes, you lose the center. You may try again for the next center (because I do not want them to sit out for the entire time, I want them to learn the other skills and to get a second chance).


When I taught the older grades (3 - 5), I used a Powerpoint to teach the roles of myself and the aide, and to teach the rules (below). If you would like the PPT, please purchase it on TPT!














Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kindergarten Centers in Real Time!

This week is a professional development week at school, so I am putting the finishing touches on center activities, and needing a lot more laminate...(check out my centers on the right...except my color printer conked out and I wanted to make a new Center sign for computers, so for a place holder my Work with Ms. D----- sign is up, it's just to help me place things for now! Something to look forward to!).

Stay tuned for next week's post about 1st - 2nd Grade Centers in Real Time! (If you are starting from scratch, all 3 grades would be the same!)

Now without further ado...Kindergarten Centers in Real Time!





Kindergarten: What the first day will REALLY look like!

Example: 50 minute period: 8:45- 9:35 am

8:45 am - 8:50 am - Seat the students, tell them a number and have them sit at that table. Play the Brainpop Jr.’s Library video or ABCs in the Library for them to watch while you make a seating chart (sorry, both need sign ins, if you do not subscribe - try Where the Wild Things Are or choose a free read aloud from StorylineOnline). If none of these work, do the ABC book activity and have the students talk to each other quietly while you make the seating chart OR have them do a reaction sheet (bonus - you can see how well they write and can read their names on the sheets if they can write on their own!). 

8:55 - 9:15 Read the ABC book (see mine!), with activities embedded inside - jumping/poll taking, etc. For example - after telling them my favorite food, have students get up and stand in one area if they like pizza, another if they like tacos, and another if they like pasta (noodles), etc. Make sure movement is included, or else students will get bored and act out. Practice whispering. For example, after telling them my favorite color, have them tell someone at their table in a whisper what their favorite color is. 

9:15 - 9:20 Take attendance. 

9:20 - 9:25 Explain what a library is and that they will get to check out their own book in October! Ask students about what they know about libraries, discuss library cards and their questions, etc.

9:25 - 9:30 Set routine for lining up – I have the students push in their chairs into a puzzle (so all the seats fit together) and have the students stand behind their chair quietly to show me they are ready to line up (and when they are noisy, have them go back to their tables). Set the timer to have students push in their chairs and show they are ready by being quiet and standing behind their chairs.

9:30 - 9:35 Line up again.

What to do Week 1 - 4 in Kindergarten if you see them 3 times a week. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments! 

PREP all supplies: (You don't want to be trying to find pencils for 28 kindergarteners when they are staring at you (and crying, picking their nose, poking the person beside them, tipping their chairs, hiding in a corner...I could go on...what I'm saying is, have the supplies ready =)

What you see - 
Crayon Drawer (still in progress!)
Cups for colored pencils - labeled with the color that belongs in it
Construction paper
Sharp and Dull Pencil baskets
Blue cups - pencils
Red cups - colored pencils
Baskets of new crayons!
Marker pack
Glue
Scissors


Kindergarten
Week 1
Day 1
Seat students
Make seating chart
Introduce self
Take attendance
Set routine for lining up – I have the students push in their chairs into a puzzle (so all the seats fit together) and have the students stand behind their chair quietly to show me they are ready to line up.
Choose tables to line up. Stand in front of them to monitor.
PREP for DAY 3 - Download the abcya.com slips, print on colored paper (best case - colored card stock), cut out, laminate, cut out again. Also decide on a bin or something to collect all the papers in at the end.
Day 2
Seat students
Explain that in the library we will have centers!
Explain that we are going to learn a new center – Checking Out!
Explain checkout and the difference between a book store and a library – one you buy from and one you borrow from.
Role play
Set routine for lining up – I have the students push in their chairs into a puzzle (so all the seats fit together) and have the students stand behind their chair quietly to show me they are ready to line up.
Choose tables to line up. Stand in front of them to monitor. 
PREP for DAY 3 - Download library jobs (or the PDF, a little cheaper, but cannot change) to use on the SMARTboard and make sure to update it so it works for you! 
Day 3
Seat students
Explain that we are going to learn a new center – Computers!
Explain how to go to abcya.com and play Keyboard Zoo.
Show on SMARTboard twice.
Have students do the steps on the SMARTboard.
Have the students go in partners to the computers – show them the red abcya.com slips and ask what they think the number stands for (the computer number) and to type the letters after the number. Show the students where to put the papers (the bin or whatever you chose) when the timer goes off. 
Tell them to ask 3 friends first before asking you for help.
Tell the students that when the timer goes off (play sound), to go back to their seats.
Put the timer on and let them play for up to 15 minutes.
Help students to get on the website and remind them to ask 3 friends for help first.
Come back to seats.
Use library jobs (or the PDF, a little cheaper, but cannot change) to clean up – have one student push in chairs at computers, one collect the red papers and put them away, and one click all the red Xs so the computer is back to the desktop (show this on the SMARTboard before having a student do it). I just cross out the jobs we are not using for the day (so no librarians, organizing bins, etc.). 
Have other students at their seats work together to push in their chairs (I have them make a puzzle and this takes some time the first few weeks). Set timer for one minute.
Once timer goes off, have all students stand behind their chairs and choose tables to line up.
Line up.
Kindergarten
Week 2
Day 1
Seat students
Review checkout center.
Role play by tables.
Talk about what to do if books fall down – Pick Them Up! Look at the call number and put them back or put them on the shelf if you’re not sure or don’t have enough time.
Talk about damaged books – show examples.
Set routine for lining up – I have the students push in their chairs into a puzzle (so all the seats fit together) and have the students stand behind their chair quietly to show me they are ready to line up.
Choose tables to line up. Stand in front of them to monitor.
Day 2
Seat students.
Review Computer Center.
Review abcya.com
Have the students go in partners to the computers – remind: the red abcya.com slips and ask what they think the number stands for (the computer number) and to type the letters after the number.
Tell the students that when the timer goes off (play sound), to go back to their seats.
Put the timer on and let them play for up to 15 minutes.
Come back to seats.
Use library jobs to clean up – have one student push in chairs at computers, one collect the red papers and put them away, and one click all the red Xs so the computer is back to the desktop.
Have other students at their seats work together to push in their chairs (I have them make a puzzle and this takes some time the first few weeks). Set timer for one minute.
Once timer goes off, have all students stand behind their chairs and choose tables to line up.
Line up.
PREP - Put books of choice in your reading area. For the very first time, I usually choose a variety of Easy Fiction books (picture books), things they recognize and may already know the story of, books with simple words that they know, or great pictures to "read the pictures". I try to have about 60 - 80 books for great variety.
Day 3
Seat students.
Explain that we are going to learn a new center – the reading area!
Go to the reading area. Have students sit in a pattern - boy/girl, etc.
Show how to read with a partner – sit with one student.
Put the book in between you both.
Read together.
Practice reading the pictures and looking for sight words.



Practice looking for title pages together. 



Show READING not racing! Show yourself just flipping all the pages, and show yourself reading the book, looking at pictures, talking to your partner about the book, etc.
Practice choosing a new book – We finished the book, now we will get a new one. Where are they? How do we choose? Take turns!
Have students line up in a boys line and a girls line.
Give each student a partner.
Have them partner read together.
Put the timer on and let them read for up to 7 minutes (many cannot read, so they will get distracted quickly!)
Come back to seats.
Use library jobs to clean up – have a group of students (I use 6 because I have 3 bins and then 2 kids can fix a bin each) fix the bins – reorganize the bins so all the books are not in one bin, the books are facing up and out, etc.
Have other students at their seats work together to push in their chairs (I have them make a puzzle and this takes some time the first few weeks). Set timer for one minute.
Once timer goes off, have all students stand behind their chairs and choose tables to line up.
Kindergarten
Week 3
Day 1
Tell them that we will have 2 centers today:
Reading area and Computers
Review what to do at each center.
Go over Center Rules: (I made a quick poster, check it out on the right)
1. Walk.
2. Whisper.
3. Ask 3 friends before me.
Role play these rules.
Have a student walk to the reading area (pick a student who NEVER walks, and praise them HIGHLY when they walk appropriately).
Have students whisper their favorite color to someone at their table (redirect as needed).
Pretend you have a problem, ask 3 students in a whisper for help.
(Btw, this sign is part of Library Centers!) 
Discuss why/why not you/they need to follow the rules. Discuss consequences – if teacher gives you a strike, you get 3 chances, or 3 strikes, if you get 3 strikes, you lose the center (enforce this immediately, this is where you will set boundaries). I walk to students and tell them clearly – Strike 1, not walking, etc. (Usually all the students around them will straighten out really fast)
Day 2
Tell them that we will have 2 centers today:
Computers and “Checkout” (just for practice!)
Go over Center Rules:
1. Walk.
2. Whisper.
3. Ask 3 friends before me.
Role play these rules.
Have a student walk to the reading area (pick a student who NEVER walks, and praise them HIGHLY when they walk appropriately).
Have students whisper their favorite color to someone at their table (redirect as needed).
Pretend you have a problem, ask 3 students in a whisper for help.
Discuss why/why not you need to follow the rules. Discuss consequences – if teacher gives you a strike, you get 3 chances, or 3 strikes, if you get 3 strikes, you lose the center (enforce this immediately, this is where you will set boundaries). I walk to students and tell them clearly – Strike 1, not walking, etc. Usually all the students around them will straighten out really fast J
Work with the Checkout center to go over :
What to do if books fall down – Pick Them Up! Look at the call number and put them back or put them on the shelf if you’re not sure or don’t have enough time.
Damaged books – show examples.
Display books (books can be checked out!)
Day 3
Same as Day 1

Week 4
Day 1
Same as Week 3 Day 2
Day 2
Same as Week 3 Day 1
Day 3
Same as Week 3 Day 2

Stay tuned for next week's post about 1st - 2nd Grade Centers in Real Time! Stay tuned for Week 5 – 9! Including an assessment at Week 8! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Centers Themselves

I have centers that I use in Kindergarten - 2nd grade.  I have the signs here: Center Signs.
There are 3 basic centers:

Checkout/Table work - this varies, if I am checking out the students, then they are doing a coloring activity - draw what Curious George is playing on the computer, what is Arthur reading I have some coloring sheets/etc already made: Coloring Sheets. These do include licensed and other copyrighted materials, please do not sell them to others.)

When they are not checking out - they are working with me (learning how to find a book, discussing a book together, etc), or they are working with something on the SMART board (for example - Brainpop Jr has some great matching games, and I have made some SMARTboard games as well). I also want them to be introduced to a variety of literature, and to save my voice, I use Tumblebooks (and sometimes Youtube or Discovery streaming) for read alouds. This also frees me up to facilitate and guide students in the other centers when needed. 

Computers - Teach the students how to use abcya.com (it's simple enough for any kid to type into), and have them do various games (Keyboard Challenge, Type Rockets Jr, ABC matching or puzzles, etc). Have slips that have a number and the website, the number is the computer number, the website is typed in the address bar and off they go. Show this on the SMARTboard/projector, practice it together, have students come up one by one and show you how to do it...etc. Once they learn abcya.com, you can gradually build to other websites and other games or activities. I often now can use our school website because they have the ground work as to how to use a computer and go to a website. 


Reading Area: Either read to self or read to a buddy (establish the expectations and practice them together so the kids see it, ASSUME NOTHING!). Students look at books, look for letters they know or sight words, and read what you can...make up/tell a partner the story. In the 1st and 2nd quarters we will focus on parts of the book - title page, copyright page, call number. In the 2nd and 3rd quarters we will focus on nonfiction and looked for: table of contents, glossary, index, captions, title page, copyright page, if that is too difficult, look for maps, photographs vs drawings, etc). Also, look at call numbers and decide which section they are (E = Easy fiction, Numbers = Nonfiction, F = Fiction, etc). 


Practice going to each center the first week, show what it looks like, etc, use a timer to help with a signal.

Then rotate centers in 8 - 10 minute increments. It's a lot of work to implement to start, but I think the kids benefit from having a variety of learning experiences, plus they learn to be a little more independent.

Plan to start the period with 5 - 10 minutes to remind students the centers. Go to the centers for most of the time, but leave about 5 - 7 minutes to clean up each center (assign students to help so they feel like their part of the classroom) and line up so they are ready for their teacher.

Try it out with just 2 centers. Practice. Practice. Oh and practice again =)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Library Centers from the Beginning!

I've had a variety of people ask me about my library centers, and I thought I would blog about every step, so that others can implement in their classrooms.

Today, I set up the tables - label the tables in some way. I have them labeled 1 - 8 using these labels. I also added these to give them some color. These are what I think of as my "throw away" labels. For some reason, the beginning of the year labels never last very long. You may notice that they even say "Please do not peel labels". This seems to help, but they never last long. So I make "temporary" ones for the students to learn the table numbers. For the beginning of the year, I will be teaching the students their table numbers, how to go to and from the centers, and what I expect in each center.

My 1st and 2nd graders had centers last year, so I will only be really teaching it from scratch to the Kindergartners. I will have 6 classes of Kinders, about 165 total! Total chaos? NO, time to train!

For Kindergarten, I will most likely be seeing them 3 times a week for 50 minutes each. Last year, every K class came in on Tuesday and Friday. Then they had their 3rd time on one of the other days, let's call that the "Random" day. On their Random day, they had a reading buddy. On Tuesday, they checked out, which means that one of their centers was Checkout. On Friday, they had centers, but NOT the checkout center (obviously...this was also to help the parents know that all library books were due on Tuesdays (we had some twins, etc that were in 2 different classes, this helped everyone remember a little bit easier).

Let's start from the very beginning (...that's a very good place to start...=)

Until this year, the first day of library class (for all K - 2 classes), I introduce myself and read my favorite story (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus).

This year, I am trying some new things. First off, I am most likely only seeing K - 2 this year. I will most likely be setting up Reading Buddies for our 3rd - 5th graders, but that's another post.

For the Ks, who have not met me, I will be reading my ABC book:


It says:
P
Ms. ---- loves pizza!
Especially cheese!
(picture of cheese pizza)

It's an ABC book about me! Things like:
A - Ms. loves Authors!
J - Ms. loves Jumping!

As we go through, I ask the students, do you like xyz, and usually, YES, we do. We get up and jump at the Jumping page. We see if we recognize any of the books or authors in the book, etc. It lets them get to know me, and know that I am just like them. =)

Ks are a little confusing since they come in 3 times a week. It would look something like this:

Kindergarten Center Weekly Schedule 

For the 1st - 2nd graders, I will be introducing myself, and going over the checkout procedures. We will start checking out the 2nd week. We'll spend the first day practicing and remembering the procedures.

Monday, July 1, 2013

#ALA 2013 Friday June 28, 2013

On Friday, I went to 2 pre-conference sessions.
One was titled: COMMON sCOREs: Instructional Partnerships that Deliver Success.
It cost $79 - $224 depending on if you were a student - a non-member.
The description was: What is the core of 21st-century school librarianship? How does OUR core relate to the Common Core State Standards and other state standards? What are the skills, dispositions, responsibilities, and self-assessments we can apply to co-achieve uncommon success? This preconference will provide strategies for demonstrating the school librarian’s central role in the academic program through practicing instructional partnerships to ensure success for K-12 students, teachers, administrators, librarians, and for the school librarian profession, too.





This by far was the best session of the conference! They started their session on a good note with their "logo" being this Wordle (right).






They had a lot of real world examples, including ready to go lesson plans and collaboration ideas for a variety of elementary school research projects. They explained their ideas and who they were, they had us brainstorm what was important to share and how to share it to be an instructional leader, along with how to think of the stakeholders (students, educators, administrators) and include points for all. We discussed and shared our skills, responsibilities, and dispositions and they gave us ideas how to best highlight all of the above, or how to hone skills, etc, that we may be lacking. It was interactive and engaging!


For example, they had this glog (left, which is a screenshot, as I paid for the session, and assume they don't want it to be shared for free). It included live links to how they actually did each step, along with sharing the wiki that had the documents, presentations, etc. Awesome! I have a ton of ideas to share with my grade level teams, especially my 1st and 2nd grade teams. I also have a whole slew of ideas of how to turn this research project into centers that my students can use to learn the skill, even if we don't have the time or opportunity to fully collaborate. Hopefully, the teachers will be on board and willing to do some collaboration, but time may be our enemy, and we will do our best within our restrictions!









In the afternoon I went to a pre-conference session titled; Real World, Real Tools.
It cost $79 - $224 depending on if you were a student - a non-member.
The description was: Real World, Real Tools will help participants design ways to move their programs, facilities and pedagogy forward, making the best of, and expanding on, their real world situations by focusing on maximizing the impact of any school's most valuable resource, a trained librarian working in close collaboration with the overall instructional program.

This session was a little depressing and condescending. "They don't care." "They are not listening." "You need to show it in their language." <--- All direct quotes. The "they" that was referred to was the administration (principals, district officials, etc). Instead of giving actual ideas, they gave lots of anecdotal examples, which can be helpful, but all depends on your situation. Any suggestions from the audience were welcomed and then pooh-poohed in relation to the "real world." We also were asked for our ideas and to participate, but quickly realized we weren't really "encouraged." I enjoyed speaking with the other attendees, and while the presenters seemed knowledgeable, they needed a little more polish. This may also be because the morning presenters really made it look good... =) Btw, tried to find the website they gave us, and can't find it again...also didn't work at first in the session itself...will search some more to try and give some visuals (not helping their case...).

#ALA2013

4 days at ALA. First of all, McCormick Place is Way. Too. Big. After 4 days in the convention center for 3 - 8 hours each, my feet are tired! Add to that carrying all the swag, and my body needs a massage!

I started on Friday with 2 pre-conference sessions. 
Saturday I went to see the exhibits, poster session, and one session.
Sunday I went for one session (and spent some time in the exhibits).
Monday I went in for a committee meeting (but couldn't find my committee...), went to the exhibits, and then went to a last session. 

I feel like my head is exploding and would love to go to Dumbledore's office and use his Pensieve... I have SO many ideas and hope I can get them all down and spread them out to help my staff in the coming school year!

So I will use this blog as a Pensieve! More info to come about all I learned!