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 by Lola Schaefer and 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)! 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. 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!