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.”

Celebrating in the Library – November Edition

Happy holidays!  The winter months are full of many different holidays – Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, to name a few.  Did you know that December 4th was National Cookie Day?  Or that December 10th was Dewey Decimal System Day?   My students do!  We celebrate lots of things here in the library.

In November, we not only celebrated Veterans Day, a very important holiday in honor of our armed service members, but also Picture Book Month, World Kindness Day, International Games Day, and Thanksgiving.   Throughout the month, in addition to reading a variety of them in media lessons, all students were encouraged to check out both non-fiction and fiction picture books in honor of the celebration. Students also added their favorite picture book titles to my interactive bulletin board.picture book month If you would like to read more, please visit Picture Book Month.

International Games Day, sponsored by the American Library Association, celebrated its 7th year of gaming in libraries.  I registered for the event early, and was able to request donated games from a variety of the ALA partners — my students and I were thrilled to receive all of these games just in time for our gaming week celebration!

WP_20141111_002Flower Hill ES media center, along with over 2000 libraries around the world, enjoyed games of all sorts.   Playing games with others is not only enjoyable, but also helps builds community, strengthen critical thinking skills, and teaches sharing, collaboration, and good sportsmanship.  The picture below is of the interactive bulletin board I created, asking the students to sign their names under the pictures of the games they most like to play (Minecraft was the clear winner!)

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During media time, we incorporated the playing of many games into our lessons – board games, building games, online games (click to visit my Brainteasers & Logic Games website) –  even simple Tic-Tac-Toe on a piece of recycled poster paper was a favorite!  Click for  and website, which includes lots of great information in support of gaming for education.

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For World Kindness Day, I asked my students to do something kind for someone else … and left blank note cards for them to complete and deliver to friends, family, and staff members.  Hopefully, there were many recipients of one of these notes!  More information and resources about teaching kindness can be found in my Choose Kindness Scoop.it.

thankful bulletin boardLastly, in celebration of Thanksgiving, I asked staff and students to share what they are thankful for on my bulletin board. I created  Tagxedo word cloud poster with lots of words related to being thankful.   Many students were thankful for their friends, family, their teachers, and Minecraft!  Staff were thankful for their own families, their students, and for working here at Flower Hill Elementary School!

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Our media center was the recipient of a $500.00 grant from the wonderful literacy organization FirstBook, and our students received a book for their home libraries in time for winter break.  FirstBook also donated approximately 150 books to our school library, including books from kid author favorites Mo Willems and Rick Riordan. WP_20141106_006 WP_20141106_14_39_39_Pro

Thank you FirstBook for your outstanding work to give all children – especially those in financial need – access to books! To support the organization,and to say thank you for supporting our students here at Flower Hill ES, my daughter and I participated in  FirstBook – Montgomery County Run to Read on November 8th. WP_20141108_002  For more information about FirstBook, please visit their website.

Thanks for reading, a watch for my next post very soon!