Introduce Yourself!

Every year I schedule my Scholastic Book Fair during Open House. The advantage is it draws a large crowd. The disadvantage is I’m not able to show parents what goes on in the Library.

I heard about this awesome idea at ISTE! It is a great way to communicate what is happening in your Library. Teachers could also use it to provide parents with something to do as they wait to speak with them.

Step 1: Write out a simple script of everything you want the audience to know. (Introduce yourself, include a fun fact, introduce your family, talk about your goals and what is happening in your library/classroom.

Step 2: Create a video. I added pictures and a video to iMovie. I love the Voiceover feature! It allowed me to read my script and describe what was happening in each picture.

Step 3: Upload your video to YouTube. Once your video is uploaded you can copy the link and create a QR code.

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Step 4: Create a cute poster to hang outside your door or near the cash register.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful new school year! Please share how you may use this for Open House! I can’t wait to see how it works!

~Blessings

The Go To Library Girl

TASL Road Trip Summer ’16

I had the privilege to lead my first ever PD session for TASL (Tennessee Association of School Librarians) this summer. The room was packed and the audience was wonderful. They actually made me feel at ease by asking questions and sharing ideas. I only hope I inspired this room full of Librarians to think outside the box and find ways to engage their students.

Here are a few things I went over:

Why School Library Centers?

  • Because anyone that walks through our doors will see students actively engaged in various learning activities.

Where do I begin?

  • Start Simple (I have 4 centers in my rotation)
    • I always have read to self, buddy reading or listening center
    • iPads
    • Makerspace (Legos, Art, etc…)
    • Word Work or Skill Center (Write the room, Book Reviews, Poetry, Research, etc.)
  • Management System (I group students into 4 groups. They will complete two centers each week to complete the full rotation)

How do I find the space?

  • Take a picture of your space. Print an 8 1/2 x 11 copy of your picture. Place the picture in a plastic sleeve. Grab an Expo marker and start planning.
  • Look at your tables, walls, ends of bookshelves, floor space

Be on the lookout for even more ideas at conferences, blogs, in classrooms, social media & my favorite GARAGE SALES!

 

 

I would love to hear your ideas so please share them here or tag me in a tweet @Amy_W00ds using the hashtag #librarycenterstransform or tag me on insta @thegotolibrarygirl and last but not least post on my FB page The Go to Library Girl!

 

 

*After I get all my thoughts together from the ISTE conference I will be sharing about the wonderful things I learned while in Denver!

 

 

 

Humans Aren’t Categories

Who would have thought my daughter would take my advice and start blogging. You would never know she just graduated high school. She is wise beyond her years and simply amazes me!

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As I was anxiously waiting to walk across the stage at my high school graduation, I got the privilege to listen to my best friend’s valedictorian speech. Megan talked about “The Importance of the Individual” and it got me thinking.

Throughout our high school careers, Megan and I had many conversations about individuality. Society has ripped every ounce of uniqueness within a person and has shoved them into a category. When we started to chit-chat about how tired we are of certain “categories” getting all the credit of our individuality, we realized that this judgment has taken place our entire lives.

I first noticed categorization when I was a little nugget in elementary school. I can’t remember many categories, but I do remember being in one. I was always seen as one of the “populars.” This category really didn’t bother me at the time because I didn’t know any better…

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Celebrating Earth Day

We have had so much fun this month learning about ways to protect our Earth & spread kindness in the process. Being a teacher and having three kids in various sports you tend to accumulate t-shirts. I had a huge stack of t-shirts that I no longer needed but couldn’t bare to get rid of. I headed to Pinterest searching for a solution. That’s when I came across the perfect idea.  No Sew T-Shirt Bags!!! I made one before hand and then left directions at our Makerspace center.  The students loved the idea and had so much fun making them. They also used the scrap material to create bracelets.  This has been one of the most popular Makerspace activities yet.

I didn’t have enough bags for every child to take one home so I tried to brainstorm a useful way we could use these bags while showing kindness. Our local ministry center hands out food quiet often during the summer months so we decided to fill the bags with food and donate them to the center.

 

 

 

I am pretty excited about our student led Book Swap! Students researched Earth Day projects at the research center. They were encouraged to take a project they were passionate about and implement it at our school. Students had to write a proposal to sell me on their project. There were a lot of great ideas and I was very proud of how much they learned in the process.  The project I choose was the Book Swap.  Our school has never done this before and it is the perfect example for “reusing”  items. I will share about our experience after our Book Swap on May 16th.  In the meantime you can download a book swap guide for free to get one started at your school.  Slide9

We still have several fun end of the year activities coming up and I can’t wait to share them with you! I would also love to hear what is happening at your school! Please feel free to share your ideas!

Talent Show Ready

This is the first year I have ever organized a Talent Show. It has been one of the most draining things I have ever done but also the most rewarding! My heart swelled with pride when the student that goes to speech rocked the stage with a hula hoop routine and the special ed student did an awesome job dancing like a robot. I was amazed to see a 2nd grader that barely speaks get up in front of a large crowd and sing.

A few weeks into the planning process my oldest daughter announces she is being recognized for being FCA Student Athlete of the Year the same night as the Talent Show.  My heart sunk! What do I do? The answer was simple…Family First.

I went into overdrive trying to make sure everything was well organized and planned perfectly so we would have a smooth sailing Talent Show. Ok so maybe I went overboard but this document was a life saver! I had it all filled out and clipped to clip boards for all the stage hands.

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During the planning process I had little post it notes and to do lists everywhere! I decided to combine them and create a checklist.

I created these cute little programs for our guests. When I finished I had each child check to make sure I spelled their name correctly and had 2 people proof read it. Then I printed them on astro bright paper. They turned out really cute.

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I was very proud of the way my certificates turned out. It took time and patience but I wanted each certificate to be individualized and special to each student. I created a generic one and printed on astro bright paper but couldn’t bear to give it out.  It wasn’t very special and I knew it would end up in the trash.  We laminated these bright colorful ones so I am hoping they think twice before throwing it away.

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This has to be one of my favorite posters I created. I got the idea from Pinterest. I knew it was a big thing at weddings but I thought why not a school event? I absolutely love the fact that FaceBook has added the hashtag feature! We used #mnetakesthestage. It was awesome seeing all the videos and pictures the parents posted that evening.

The best part was we raised over $1,000 for our Relay for Life team!

What are you doing outside of your “job description” to give students a chance to shine?

If you are planning a Talent Show then I wish you the best of luck. It is hard work but it is well worth it. Don’t sweat the small stuff and stay focused on the purpose!

Have a Blessed Weekend!

Mrs. Amy

The Go to Library Girl

 

 

Express Yourself!

Even though the month of April is a busy time of year ,I love it because there are so many ways to express yourself. A favorite in the library is “found poetry”. Before you recycle the books you have weeded from your library choose some to keep because there are SEVERAL very cute projects out there.  This activity could be set up in your makerspace area or your writing area.

Supply List

  • Old book pages
  • Markers (I use the Paper Mate Flair)
  • Scrap paper (for thinking)
  • Pencils

I talk to the students about free verse poetry and give them examples. For some reason this type of poetry is very hard for them to grasp. They think every poem has to rhyme. So depending on your audience you may want to show a few examples and then work together on one. The directions are simple.

Directions:

  1. Read the entire document and lightly circle any word you may use with a pencil
  2. Use a scrap piece of paper to write the words down and find a flow. (you can start at top, go to bottom and then back up top if needed. Just be sure to create a way for others to follow your expression.)
  3. Use any shape to outline the words in your expression.
  4. Get creative and draw an image that relates to your expression or doodle around the flow of the words.
  5. Most importantly HAVE FUN! BE CREATIVE! EXPRESS YOURSELF!

This is one I did as an example. I chose hearts because my Free Verse Poem reads: “They rekindled the glow a few moments ago.” (See I could’t help but rhyme LOL!)DSC_0159

I asked the Art Teacher to do one as example for those who are artistic minded. It reads:” Somebody opening a large passageway,I thought. He jokingly spoke, that man probably had plenty of long, rusty iron pipes the old geezer.”She then drew a door in the background representing a passageway! How cool is that! DSC_0161

I had some really great ones last year and I cannot wait to see what they come up with this year! This activity covers Poetry & Earth Day! You can also put them on black card stock (as shown) for the students to give to their mothers on Mother’s Day. You could also use this with an ELA lesson and have students circle adjectives that describe someone or something! There are sooooo many possibilities!

Just have fun with it!

Happy Poetry Month!

~Ms. Amy

Sometimes You Just Need a Catch Up Day

At the beginning of each month we have a “Catch Up Week”. My older students help clean out paper work, sharpen pencils, check the makerspace supplies, clean windows, check to be sure books are in the right book bin, help set up centers, dust & vacuum windowsills.

Library Helpers

My younger students enjoyed a few read alouds. I asked the students what they thought “Go Green” means. The most popular answers were “when the light turns green you can go” or “when the battery charger light turns green your battery is good to go”. LOL! I love my little ones!  I then read “Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green” and we talked about ways we could “Go Green”.  I also read a few poems from “The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders”. They loved it. Then I shared with them all the cool centers we were doing this month. They are so excited and cannot wait!

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The last 20 minutes of class the students checked out books and actually had time to sit anywhere they wanted to look at them. If I did this every week like I have in the past they would be fidgety and wandering around. Now it is like a treat. That’s why it is so important to spice things up and change things around from time to time.
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I ended my day filling out my lesson plans (that were due today!) I have always used small post it notes to write my plans on. That way if I need to continue to the next week I just move the post it. Today I FINALLY took the time to learn how to print on post it notes!  WHY HAVE I NEVER TRIED THIS BEFORE????? It was super easy and having my Spring Into Action Unit with all the activities in one spot made for stress free lesson planning! Be looking for our centers in action next week! DSC_0122