We made it to Friday!! The struggle is real between winter break and Spring Break, and we are alllll feeling it these last couple of weeks.
Highlights from this week included our second sixth grade trip to the public library to get library cards, hear about the library’s programs, and browse the shelves. (Sixth graders also like to play with the toys in the children’s area. I have to admit the mini puppet theater is hard to resist.) As a Friday treat, we were able to take a librarian field trip to one of our fellow AIMS schools for a thoughtful and interesting session on paraphrasing and plagiarism. It was a nice change of pace and fun to see our fellow librarians.
We also put out displays for Women’s History Month this week. On the first floor, we have books grouped by various themes (see signs below). On the second floor, we put out non-fiction books and also highlighted some of the research projects our juniors are doing related to women’s issues.
Ms. Etchison wrote a post about Black History Month that’s up at the YALSA Blog. Check it out!
I am in love with the concept of instabook pictures, and I wanted to create some for our library. Not having much in the way of photography skills myself, I enlisted our 7th and 8th grade photography elective to help us out. Thank you to their teacher, Ms. Josey, who enthusiastically jumped on board with the idea. Here are some of their creations!
We did it! We made it through the week!
This Thursday we hosted our third annual African American Read-In, and I am really proud of the work put in to make the day a success. Inspired by this tweet, we decided to make faces to put on windows around the library. The end result was awesome, and the hours of work put in by students and library staff was so worth it. A HUGE shout out to the students who came in during their lunch, their free periods, and after school to make this happen. Also, a thanks to my advisory and Ms. Josey’s advisory for braiding a whole lot of yarn.
The actual day of the read-in was great. We had over 125 students come through to enjoy books by African American authors, taking time to just relax and read. Thank you to those teachers who brought their classes in and to the students who came in during their free time to read with us.
In between making art and pulling books and setting up the event, we also prepared to give a presentation to the entire school faculty about our libraries. No biggie. Just 25 minutes to tell everyone we work with all they need to know about what we do here. It turned out great and I think everyone got to know the libraries at least a little better.
Now I’m off to enjoy this three day weekend!
Today we were joined by 16 intrepid readers, who finished nine or more books during the second quarter of school. They were treated to a pizza lunch with Capri Suns and chocolate chip cookies. Congrats to these readers, and everyone else who participated in the reading challenge. Can’t wait for next quarter!
The start of the school year brings creative, yet informative bulletin boards, plenty of plagiarism lessons, but most importantly new customers! In an effort to get our 6th graders off on the right foot loving the library, we hosted an introduction class with a scavenger hunt. After introducing ourselves and attempting to learn every student’s name, we got to work with the online catalog. Students got their first glimpse at Destiny Discover and the possibilities of requesting new books, putting books on hold, and renewing before the due date. New this year is our single sign on for ebooks through our Destiny catalog. Some students actually prefer using their iPads to read, so we had some takers. Then we went over the layout of the library as well as a few general housekeeping rules to remember. To bring back the excitement of the library, we talked about book club and our reading contests, then set them loose on a goosechase.
Literally – we used the app Goosechase, available for free through the Apple store.
Since some students didn’t have Apple IDs and others required parental permission to download, only 1 student per group downloaded the app. Our 5 groups of 3-4 students were each named after a genre, which later came into play for a mission. With Goosechase, teams can only submit photos or videos (something we set up ahead of time) to complete missions within a certain amount of time. Our missions included:
- Team selfie in front of your genre
- Picture of a book by an author whose last name starts with the letter M
- Video of a team member logging onto the computer (and logging off!)
- Snapshot of a book search in the catalog
- Picture of a graphic novel by a particular author
Our 6th graders zoomed through the stacks racing each other to finish. They learned how to use the catalog, where to find books, how to use the library computers, and how the library is organized. Once the scavenger hunt wrapped up, they used these skills to find a book to read and explore a little more. Based on the silliness and number of books checked out, we’d call it a success!
Back before winter break, we introduced the idea of Battle of the Books to our students to gauge interest and form teams. Since every grade level is allowed only 4 participants (and 1 alternate), we had to have a quiz-off to see who made the cut. Students read 2 of the books on the sanctioned Battle of the Books list and were tested to see who read more carefully and thoroughly. After a valiant effort by all, the final roster was determined.
With the teams settled, students got to work reading! 5th and 6th grade had the same list, and 7th and 8th grade had a different set of books to read. Leading up to the big day, we had a test run so students could get a feel for the types of questions and what it would feel like on competition day.
5th/6th grade books
- The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
- Everything for a Dog by Ann M. Martin
- Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
- Ms. Bixby’s Last day by John David Anderson
- The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
- Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
- Ungifted by Gordon Korman
- The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
- Wild Robot by Peter Brown
7th/8th grade books
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
- Bluefish by Pat Schmatz
- Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
- Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick by Jennifer Holm
- Ghost by Jason Reynolds
- House Arrest by K.A. Holt
- A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
- Peak by Roland Smith
- Ravens Gate by Anthony Horowitz
Last Monday we grabbed 2 mini buses full of students and headed to the Battle of the Books competition. Each grade level had 17 questions to answer on their whiteboards. Questions began with the phrase “In what book did ….” and students answered with book title and author. Teams received 5 points for the correct title and an additional 3 for the author’s name. Should the students disagree with the answer, they had 2 challenge opportunities. During challenges, the team members had a set amount of time to locate the answer to the question in the book of their choice. If they came up empty handed, there was no penalty. However, if they did find text supporting the question, any team on stage that used that book as an answer received points.
We are incredibly proud to announce that 5th grade tied for 1st place, 6th and 7th came in 4th place respectively, and after a nail-biter, 8th grade came in 2nd. Can’t wait for next year’s battle!