Celebrating in the Library – December Edition

Here in the Flower Hill Media Center, my students enjoy celebrating in BIG and small ways!

We began December by decorating my “Reading is Snow Much Fun” bulletin board with handmade snowflakes.

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National Cookie Day – December 4th:

Although I didn’t have actual cookies for the students to eat (I did for the staff, however!), I did have a poster for them to sign with their favorite cookie flavor noted, as well as a variety of cookie recipes for them to try at home with their parents.

Dewey Decimal System Day – December 10th:

WP_20141208_15_09_58_ProDiane Creel, my predecessor here at Flower Hill, had left me her Melvil Dewey puppet, so I set up a learning center with him as the centerpiece so that I could remind my students how and why the Dewey Decimal Classification System was created.  I finished up the mini-lesson with  Melvil Dewey, the International Library Hip Hop Superstar’s Dewey Decimal Rap – a student favorite!

Celebrating the Hour of Code was the highlight of the month – my students absolutely loved learning the basics of computer programming during the week of December 15-19.  Kindergarten through grade 2 students worked together at the Promethean board; students in grade 4 worked individually in the computer lab, and students in grades 3 and 5 used their Chromebooks. Looking at these pictures you can see how engaged they all were – and how willing they were to help each other when someone got stuck.  My plan is to go “Beyond One Hour”  and continue with an in-school (and after-school, depending on popularity!) programming club to encourage my students to continue learning about programming – and perhaps inspire them to pursue a career in computer science!   Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

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Happy New Year!   I will end this post with a quote from Albert Einstein, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

Level up! Fighting the Zombie Librarian Apocalypse

In October, Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) held its annual conference.  As I always do, I left energized and full of new ideas to bring to my school library.  Although I am far from the level of school librarians like Matthew Winner and Jennifer LaGarde, I strive to be a mover and shaker in the field of school librarianship, and I continue to Level UP my library program.  I follow Jennifer LaGarde’s philosophy … I am NOT a Zombie Librarian – I am definitely fighting the Zombie Librarian Apocalypse in my school library media center!    Each year I challenge myself to submit a proposal to MASL, and again was chosen present this year.  You can see my Session 1 presentation on becoming a Common Sense Media certified educator here.

One of the exciting things I was asked by my administration to create was enrichment programs for our 2nd and 4th graders.  This fall I launched “Technology Rocks Information Literacy” to give my students more opportunities to do more in depth research and create projects using technology.  Students were invited based on their MAP-R scores,  and I have twelve 2nd graders and thirty-four 4th graders participating this session.    I meet with the 2nd graders twice a week for 30 minutes, and with each of the 4th grade groups once a week for 30 minutes.  I chose two MASL 2014-2015 Black-Eyed Susan books upon which to base the programs:    Lifetime cover final_0Lifetime by Lola Schaefer andlemoncellos-library-300h Escape from Mr.Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein.   I have asked the 2nd graders to research one of the animals in the book Lifetime, and create a Google presentation based on their research to be shared with their classmates and teachers.  After reading the book (and working through all the riddles within it), my 4th graders will be creating book trailers and a scavenger hunt for all the Flower Hill students.  We will be culminating our fall session with a Google Hangout session with the author (whom I was thrilled to meet in person at MASL conference after having emailed back and forth for some time)!Chris Grabenstein   MCPS launched Google Apps for Education this year, and rolled out Chromebooks to the 3rd and 5th graders; my goal is to prepare not only these 2nd and 4th grade students, but all of my students (and staff!), to the Google products and to build their computer navigation skills for the rigors of PARCC online testing.

In October, my PreKindergarten through 2nd grade students participated in Read for the Record (a partnership between Jumpstart and We Give Books), and we made good use of the activity guides for the book Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells.

Here at Flower Hill ES we also celebrated Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship Week , and continued conversations about staying safe on line.  CSM has created two great videos – one geared towards elementary students “Pause and Think Online” and another (with Flocabulary), for middle and high schoolers “Oversharing:  Think Before You Post”,

I  asked all my students and staff to sign the Digital Citizenship Pledge  and shared with them these THINK bookmarks  created by Technology Rocks seriously blogger Shannon Long.  Digital Citizenship Day Digital Citizenship Day2 It is amazing the engagement when you start talking about being safe online, posting on Facebook, Instagram, etc., and discussing the reasons for minimum ages on social media. Even the youngest of students emphatically shares their personal experiences with online games and social media!

Look for another post soon!  Happy November!