Week by Week Series – Week 2

Well, we’ve finished the second week of library times, and the second full week of school. It was a good week for me. How was it for your?

With my kinder-second graders we continued working on book care and library rules. I read Mr. Wiggle’s Book to this age group. I like the rhyming format authors Paula Craig and Carol Thompson use as they teach about the proper care of books.

With the third -fifth graders my first unit i Digital Citizenship. I use the Common Sense Media curriculum. They have recently updated their curriculum for this age group so I will be taking a look at what they have changed. I had downloaded the curriculum previously so had been using what was on my desktop. For this first week I wanted to see what the kiddos remembered from last year so I gave them a pre-test. The pre-test was actually the post test from their lessons last year. I was surprised by the information some of the groups had forgotten, but I guess I shouldn’t have been. When information isn’t used, it is not as easily remembered. I think I need to try a little harder to get some of the teachers to work with me on these things throughout the year. For their story time this week I read a few pages from one of our library books to pique their interest and increase circulation for some of our titles.

MVCS LibraryThe fifth grade class comes weekly for a research project. The teacher plans these lessons most of the time, but we work together on the implementation. They are currently reading My Side of the Mountain. This past week she divided the students into teams. Each team was assigned a topic and was expected to become an expert on the topic. Topics included a variety of divisions of livings (things related to the story): mosses/liverworts, anthophyta, ferns, gynmosperm, arthropod, worm, fish, bird, reptile, mollusk, amphibian, mammal. The teacher copied appropriate pages from A Guide for Using My Side of the Mountain in the Classroom. The students first task was to read their handout and gather information on their topic from it. After they completed this task, they were to look in the computer catalog for the library and find books on their topic, get them off the shelf and then take notes from them. This was a good review for the students on using the computer catalog and finding books. When they had exhausted these resources, they could then use the Chromebooks and visit the web sites the teacher had approved and placed on her web site. The final part of the assignment is to give a 3-minutes presentation in class and be ready to answer questions from the class and teacher on their topic. They were to become experts on their topic.

I don’t think I mentioned it last week, but I have two periods a day where I monitor/proctor independent students in addition to anything else going on in the library at that time. These students need independent study for a variety of reasons but most are either taking online courses for credit recovery or online dual credit courses with the local college. Usually my only  task with these students is making sure they stay on task.

Because I have been in education for 35 years and was a classroom teacher before becoming a librarian, I occasionally have teachers come to me for classroom advice. Last week, one of our teachers came in — “I need a graphic organizer.” The problem was she didn’t have a well-defined idea of what she was expecting from her students. By asking a few questions and showing her some free ideas online, she was able to leave the library less than 10 minutes later saying, “I know what I want.” Part of what I love about my job is helping teachers teach, now if I could just convince more teachers that it is okay to ask for help….

Monthly WindowSince it was the end of the month, I needed to change out my window display. I have a window from the library into the school hallway. This window is opposite the entrance to the gym and right by the snack bar so whatever I have in the window gets a lot of views. I usually post birthdays of students and faculty in addition to special celebrations during the month. You can find links to a number of calendars here which will help you create your own “September is…. display.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to help those who find themselves running a library with little or no formal training as a librarian. One way I’d like to help those who find themselves in this situation is to post each Monday what tasks I was involved in and what I taught my students during the previous week. I’d love to have you share this blog with those who might need the information I share here.

Links to resources mentioned this week:

Online calendars
Digital Citizenship Lessons
Graphic Organizers

Amazon Affiliate Links – using them will not cost you more but will help support this blog

Mr. Wiggle’s Book
My Side of the Mountain
A Guide for Using My Side of the Mountain in the Classroom (Literature Units)

What do you do in the second week of school?