Sunday, September 17, 2017

Need a Tech Tool for Formative Assessment?

I write regularly here on this blog, but several times a year I write a post for the Whooo's Reading Blog. Every post on their blog consists of lists of apps or websites that teachers can use to assist in their teaching or aid in student learning. They have a section just for librarians, but this time around you will find my post in the edtech section. If you use other tools that could be used for assessment, please list them in the comment section below. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dealing with Stresses in the School Library that are out of your Control

Middle School Lunch 
Running the library last year was extremely stressful for me. There were a number of factors that made it so. None of those factors were in my control, though how I handled the stress certainly was. I was dreading getting ready for the new school year a few weeks ago because I considered that little had changed for this year. I have to give a big shout out to my principal because she has figured out a way to make my job in the library a bit easier this year. I want to let you know that the year has gotten off to a very good start. 

The first problem that made teaching extremely difficult in the library occurred right at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, and it had to do with the furniture. We moved into the new building in August of 2013. We had only about 400 students then, and there were many empty classrooms. The library had been outfitted with only four rectangular tables which was certainly not enough when a class of 32 students arrived in the library for a lesson. Since there were so many empty classrooms, I just took tables and chairs from one of those rooms. Then in 2016, we opened with 580 students and every classroom was in use. The tables and chairs in the library needed to be in a classroom. Now what was I going to do. I tried to have the students bring in a chair from the classroom when they came to the library, but there was a concern that the floors would get scratched. That was not going to work. I borrowed a couple of folding tables from my mother, but she only had two. Then around the middle of November I found eight tables stored under the steps in the PE pod. We do not have a gym, so the PE teachers are using three classrooms. One of the PE teachers said that she only needed the tables when she was teaching health for one quarter otherwise I could use them in the library. She also had stacks of chairs. She was moved to a classroom for health, and I got to keep the tables for the rest of the year. Then we started school this year with 680 students and no tables and chairs in sight. Then my prinicipal came to me last week to say that the furniture vendor would be visiting school, and I should make a plan as to what I wanted for the library. It took 12 months, but the district finally heeded my prinicpal's request for money to buy more furniture for the school. Currently, I have tables and chairs only because teachers are moving tables from classroom to classroom as needed depending on the sizes of their classes. I am excited about what I have ordered. It will look different from the rest of the school. The tables are on wheels and nest together allowing for lots of flexibility. 

High School Lunch

Another issue that was not an everyday problem was the scheduling of students taking online classes in the library. We run on a 4 X 4 block system and have four academic periods a day each semester. I had students scheduled in the library for three periods. During the other period, I ate lunch for half the time and had middle school in the library during their lunch the other half. When I scheduled classes in the library for lessons there was plenty of room for the online students and the class that was not the stress. The online students would talk and make so much noise that I had to constantly stop my teaching and ask them to be quiet. I heard that this year because the class sizes were growing that there would be many more students taking online courses. I was dreading what would happen. Then I found out that at 3rd and 4th period there were so many students that a teacher is scheduled to sit with them in a classroom. Actually, at 4th period, students with transportation are allowed to leave school. My schedule has 6 students at 1st period and 5 at 2nd. I can deal with that. If the students are noisy when I have classes, I have space to separate them. 

Then there was my job as AP coordinator for the school. I have been handling all the AP tests for about six years. At first, it was easy because the school was small, and I had time to complete all the duties required for the job and be an effective librarian. Last year, there were 50 more students taking tests than the year before. AP tests are given in May, and I also am the coordinator for senior awards night and graduation as well as the resident speech editor for students speaking at graduation which also happens in mid-May. April and May were so hectic that I totally neglected the library. Library circulation was down for 2016-2017, and I attribute it to the fact that I had to keep closing the library at lunch so I could deal with AP. At the end of the summer, I emailed my principal explaining in a very nice way that I had too many responsibilities in May and that I couldn't be AP coordinator any longer. She understood, but she did not have a ready replacement. Then on the first day of school, the district assigned a dean of discipline to our school. A week ago, my principal told me that the new dean would take over AP. Unfortunately, he has never done it before and knows little about the program. I will serve as his guide this year, but he will be doing the brunt of the work. That is a huge load off of my plate. 

Why did I tell you all about this? Because we all have to deal with issues beyond our control. I have been a school librarian a very long time and have been asked to shoulder burdens or take on tasks to which I would like to say no. I just can't. Being a team player is paramount to getting along with your administration and your teachers. I have always had good relationships with my principals. I don't always agree with their decisions, but I always abide by them. My principal realized that some things needed to change in the library, and she made that happen for me. I had to wait longer than I wanted to, but it did happen. I appreciate so much that she had my back, and so I will always have hers. 

Watch how you treat those around you. It is often best to just grin and bear it. Usually, if you wait long enough, whatever the issue it will turn around in your favor. I really love my job. There are great kids at my school, and I enjoy the teachers with whom I work. My principal and assistant principal are easy to work for because both of them are extremely kind. After 33 years working in public schools, I can say that I have good and bad years, but the good definitely wins out. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What a New Librarian Needs to Know Part 2

As I reflected on my last post, I realized that I had more to say about being a new school librarian. First, I want to talk about technology. I remember many years ago (in the 90's) one of my colleagues in my district told me that she did not need to learn how to use technology in her library. The building that she was in was built around the early 1900's, and she had only one electrical outlet in her library. At that time, my library was computerized. I still had the old card catalog card system, but circulation was all done by computer. I thought she was crazy because technology was changing my world. If I wanted to prepare students for the next step after they left me, I had to embrace the technology.

If you are a techno-phobe, I don't think that you can be a good school librarian. You don't have to know all the answers, and you don't have to know everything there is to know about computers and programs. You do have to be a risk taker and willing to try technology. We are preparing our students for a future that we cannot imagine. It is important to model for our students and teach them that you don't have to know everything about the capability of any device to use it. You can have students use Animoto to make videos or Swift Playgrounds to code robots even if you don't know how to use those programs. Let's show our students that we are life long learners. 

As librarians we have always been curators of information. I spend a lot of time curating the resources that my students need for particular assignments by creating digital tools for them. This is very similar to the old days when a librarian would pull books off the shelf and find magazine articles about a particular subject only now it is in a digital format. When the alumni come back to visit me after their first year of college, almost all of them want to explain how much they are using the databases at their university for research papers. Most tell me that they spend little time in the college library, but they make use of its many, many resources. If we don't give our middle and high students many opportunities to access digital databases and other electronic resources, they will be at a real disadvantage in their later education.

As the only librarian in my school, I am the only teacher in the school who serves every single student in an academic capacity. Of course we have others on staff who work with all students including the administration, counselor, and PE teachers, but  I am the only one who assists directly with the curriculum being taught in the classroom. As such, I believe that I have a responsibility to set up parameters for the whole school in regards to research, note taking, creating citations, and following MLA guidelines. When students visit the library for lessons on information literacy, I expect the teachers to listen too because both of us need to have the same expectations of the students. The same holds true in an elementary school only the librarian will focus on the beginning steps of information literacy. This is one of the aspects that I like best about being a librarian because I get to build on the skills that I begin with the 6th graders until they reach 12th grade, and I am making sure that they are ready for college. 

One of the very reasons that I created this blog back in 2009 was for advocacy. What happens in the library is usually the process not the product. Unless we blow our own horns, no one will know what we are doing for the students in our schools. You have got to let all your stakeholders know about the exciting things happening in your library on a daily basis and that includes parents, teachers, and administrators, and depending on where you are that could be community members also. My principal knows about my blog, but I don't think that she reads it very often. So when I say something that I think she needs to hear, I send her the link to the post. We have daily announcements that are read to the students and emailed to parents, and I try to post something from the library every day. I always write an article for the school's monthly newsletter. I also have a Facebook and Instagram account for the library and post there regularly. I know that parents and the community see those posts. Then I have a twitter account for me, but I use it professionally to share what is happening in my library. You need to find your comfort zone in spreading the word about what you do, but consider it a critical part of your job. 

Lastly, I want to talk about leadership. When I said earlier that you need to set the tone for teaching research skills at your school, you must do so with confidence. If your teachers are going to listen to you, they will need to view you as a teacher leader. Some of you will take on this leadership role with ease, others will shy away from it. You are teaching every student in your school. You have expertise because of this--make sure your faculty sees this expertise. Don't worry about assuming this role on day one, that is not possible. You have to grow into, but you need to see that you can grow into it.

Just remember to breathe and take one day at a time. I will never be able to finish everything that I want to do in my library, my school, for my patrons, and for myself professionally. Realize that is normal, and that if doesn't get done now, it will at a later date. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What a New School Librarian Needs to Know

This was taken in the 1990's in my first library job at Lusher Elementary
If you are embarking on your first job as a school librarian, I can give you some tips based on my over 25 years in the biz having served students in grades kindergarten through 12th. This year I have had several newbies approach me for assistance. I love serving as a mentor, but just like you as a newbie, I have lots to do to prepare for a new school year. So first piece of advice, a librarian's job never ends. That means you should not sweat, just breathe, and try to take one day at a time. There is always something to be done in a library. I mean that literally. This will be my twelfth year at Patrick Taylor, but that doesn't mean that I get to sit back and let the library carry on as it did last year. I have new ideas, new projects, new students, new teachers, and every year I want to see improvement in my library program. 

This was taken in 2009 with Mai Vu who was salutatorian of the first graduating class 
Second bit of advice--Take the time to get to know your collection. When I moved from the elementary setting to middle and high, I had lots of books to read. I had taken adolescent lit in grad school, but I was way behind in my reading to keep up with the kids. If your collection is heavy in electronic resources and less in print, you still need to get to know the collection. I believe it takes about three years to settle in. For you, it will be a journey to get to know the expectations of your administration, the needs of your teachers as you strive to support the curriculum, and the interests of the students who you will serve. I believe that every school library collection will look different depending on the patron. So you can look at my collection, and I can make suggestions to you, but only you will know exactly what you need to buy to work best at your school. 

Thirdly, find teachers who are excited to work with you. Being a librarian is all about collaboration. I cannot do my job effectively if I work in isolation. When I collaborate with teachers, I want to plan lessons to teach skills that the students will be using immediately in the classroom. Anyway, co-teaching is a whole lot of fun, and it helps to have another adult in the room, and I wrote a blog post about the second person in the room here. There will always be some teachers who will not find your services useful. Don't worry about them, and spend your time planning and co-teaching with those who want to use the library. Their students will truly benefit from your input. 

In my current library circa 2016

This last one is truly important: Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. I believe in life long learning, It is what makes my job interesting. I know that even with my many years of experience and Master's degree plus 30 hours that I have more to learn to be the best librarian that I can be. In August of 1991 I took my first library position after teaching in a classroom for 10 years. This was also before the Internet and social media. I had/still have two friends working as librarians whom I consider mentors. Whenever I was in doubt of what to do next, I would call on them for advice. Their experience helped me tremendously. I also had some awesome teachers in graduate school who gave very sage advice. You are so lucky now to have librarians across the globe who can be there to offer you suggestions and ideas. Twitter is invaluable to me. Try the hashtag #tlchat or #libchat. Follow me @Taylorlibrarian. I began to use Facebook personally, but over the years, I have been blown away by the librarian groups where you can post a problem or question and get so many wonderful ideas from thousands of librarians to help you solve that problem. My favorite librarian groups are Future Ready Librarians and The School Librarian Workshop, but there are many more Facebook groups for school librarians or the ALA Think Tank for all librarians. Then there are the blogs like this one. There are many, many amazing librarians out there who share all their wisdom in a blog. There are none that I follow regularly, but there are many that I read on and off over the school year. Try Librarian Lisa's list of 50 best librarian blogs. Or this list of 50 of the best school librarian blogs from Teacher Certification Degrees.

Good luck in the new year! Remember I can't tell you everything you need to know to be a librarian. That is what getting your degree is all about. I can be of assistance when you have a particular issue, lesson, or problem. If you have a great suggestion for new librarians, please add it to the comments below. I would be interested to hear what I might have missed.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Getting Ready for 2017-2018

I am to report back to school on August 7th. It has been a great summer of travel, visiting with friends and family, reading, and getting projects completed around the house. Yet, all good things must come to an end, but on the other hand, I really do love my job especially working with so many wonderful pre-teens and teens. Being in the library is the best place to be in any school. There is always something happening and no day is like the previous one.

This will be my twelfth year at Patrick Taylor. Over these years I have developed an incredibly strong program to service the students and teachers through the library. As new teachers arrive I have to get them on board with the school's expectations for conducting research and writing papers and how I can help support the curriculum in their classroom. With the addition of eight new teachers this year, I began thinking of how I will make sure they know what I can do for them and their students.

I did some research and found this from the Mighty Little Librarian, and I used it as my inspiration. On Facebook, I found a librarian (Karen Hoppis at Coal Ridge Middle School in Colorado) who created a menu for her services, but I just saved her work as a photo and cannot find the link to share with you. That helped me too. Then I went to Canva to look for a menu template. I chose one and created what you see below. I did it in black and white so I can print it, but I plan to share with my teachers in electronic format, too.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Lucky me! Moderating a Panel of YA Authors

The authors were anxiously waiting for me to get my question out

While on vacation in early June, I got an email from Octavia Books, a local independent bookstore in New Orleans, asking me if I would be interested in moderating a panel of YA authors. As soon as I heard who they were, I sent back a resounding yes. I had read books by all four authors and was certainly anxious to meet them. The panel was set for July 11th which meant that I had about a month to read the four books that they would be touting at the event.  

Being prepared is really important to me. The publishers sent me three of the books in a timely fashion, and by the time I got home from my trip, there were two books waiting for me. I got to reading.

I began with Sarah Mlynowski's book, I See London I See France. She writes middle grade too, but this is the first YA book that she has done in awhile. It is the story of two nineteen year old girls, and their adventures as they backpack across Europe during the summer between their first and second year of college. It is a funny, true to life tale about friendship with all of its highs and most importantly lows. 

Then I read Adele Griffin's Be True to Me. While reading it, I knew it was set some time in the 70's, but not the exact year. When I contacted Adele about the year, she let me know that it was the Bicentennial year of 1976. In 1976 I was the exact age of one of the main characters. That made reading the book more fun for me with all the music, clothing, and political references of the time. It is summer on Fire Island in the small community of Sunken Haven. The story is told from the points of view of two 17 year old girls Jean and Fritz. The competition that has been building for years between the girls really heats up with the arrival of a new boy that summer who both want as their boyfriend. He chooses only one of them. The ending came as quite a shock to me. 

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson was a mash up of sci fi and historical fiction. That was a nice surprise and maybe a way to get teens to read historical fiction (most of my students shy away from it). There are three stories set during the years 2065 to 1037 to 1920. They are connected, but you have to make it to the end to find out exactly how. This was a quick read but so rewarding. 

Jodi Lynn Anderson
Those were the books that the publishers sent me. I kept waiting for Morgan Matson's book to arrive, but it never came. I knew that I had to read it before the event. It took me a day or two to realize that I should check the public library. How silly of me, a librarian who didn't think to check the library for a copy. The Unexpected Everything was published in 2016, so it was available in several local branches of my library. When I got it, I balked because it was 517 pages long. I had less than a week to read it. It was an engrossing story, and I was able to finish it the night before the event. Andie has her summer mapped out as she plans to attend a prestigious program at a college out of town. That is until her congressman father lands in a scandal that directly impacts her plans. She recovers quickly by finding a job at home as a dog walker, meeting a new guy, and getting to spend quality time with her three best friends. Will this idyllic summer last? You know that it never does. 

Morgan Matson
At 6PM on July 11th, the four authors and I sat down to chat. When planning out my strategy, I took the advice of a former student who did a similar gig in 2014 and created a series of questions that were general enough rather than specific to a book so that all four authors could address every question. I began by asking them to describe their book in 45 seconds or less. Then we talked about romance because each of the books had an element of romance. I have high school students who want as little romance as possible in their favorite genres of sci fi or fantasy. Sarah said that her publishers are always asking for more. It seems in the publishers' eyes that teens want to read about romance. 

Time is an essential part of these books, and I asked the authors to address how it affected their writing. Morgan said that she liked using the time period of the summer because it gives her a beginning and ending story arc that works nicely for her. Sarah explained that she had never done a summer story before but loved writing this one. In Adele's book, the 1970's are an essential part of the story. Teens had no easy communication with each other, no social media, and they really didn't own a lot of stuff. One of the characters went off to Europe for the whole summer with one small suitcase. 

Sarah Mlynowski
In preparing for the books, Sarah pulled out her pictures that she took when she backpacked through Europe with her friends. She was even able to travel to the some of the cities where her characters visit. She did not have the time to travel to every city because she has young kids at home. She explained that European travel has changed a lot since she was a young adult. Now you can make plans, look at maps, and keep in touch with one device that fits into your pocket. Adele used Pinterest to get the feel of the time period for her book. She even created images to use in the book, but those did not make it to the final copy that was published. 

Reading and books figure prominently in all four of these novels. I asked the authors if they thought that they needed to promote reading. Jodi said that as a writer, reading has always been important to her and so she incorporated that into her story because of her love of reading. In her book, it is the letters written by her protagonists that move the story along. Sarah had books for her characters to read while traveling, and they read books set in the cities in which they visited. In Morgan's book, one of the main characters is a fantasy writer, so she wrote a book within a book so that the reader got a taste of his writing. 

It was a fun event. Two of my students from PFTSTA were there and so were two of my librarian friends. I would do it again in a heartbeat as long as I had the time to get the books read in time. It was a Hot Summer Night in New Orleans---and I got to spend it with some authors who rock! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Creating a Library Annual Report to Share with Stakeholders

School has been out for a month. I have wanted to create an infographic as a snapshot of the library for 2016-17. After a week long vacation and taking some time off to read and read some more and visit with friends, I sat at the computer yesterday to make the infographic you will find at the end of this post. I used Canva to create it. I only wanted a snapshot that touches a bit on what happened in the library this year because if I tried to cover everything, the reader would lose interest fast. If you want to know more about the PFTSTA Library then you would need to read posts from this blog or follow the library accounts on Facebook, or Instagram.

I took information from the report that I had to submit to the district on circulation and number of books. I looked at the stats for our databases and subscriptions and included those. At the end of the year, I sent out a form for students and teachers to give me some feedback about the library. It was mostly very positive. The quotes at the end of the infographic came from that Google Form that I sent out. I also got some nice stats on how the patrons read from the survey. Though those stats didn't fit into the infographic. I thought that I would share them here. I think that the graphics are self-explanatory.

Click the above image to enlarge it

Click the above image to enlarge it

Click the above image to enlarge it
When I asked what books that students had read recently and loved, I got some interesting answers. Many of the students listed books that they were required to read for English class: The Lord of the FliesThe Round HouseFahrenheit 451, and The Wednesday Wars. There were the big name authors like Rick Riordan, James Patterson, and J. K. Rowling. There were also titles that were only mentioned by one student: Heartless by Marissa Meyer (a favorite of mine), Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz (another favorite of mine). Sci fi and fantasy have been the genres of choice at PFTSTA and continue to be popular among those taking the survey. Most responders still like to read print. When asked what they liked about the book selection at PFTSTA, they said overwhelmingly that the diverse and large collection is so vast that everyone can find something to read. In reality our collection is not that large with only 8000 volumes with just over half of those being fiction, but the library was created in 2006 to fit the needs and interests of the students. So what is on the shelves are books students want to read. 

I did not question the students on the makerspace materials in the library. We do have many types of games, robots, and STEM materials with which the students can experiment. I did not mention much about it in the annual report, but we definitely have a busy makerspace. You can read about it and see a video here.

State of the Library 2016-17 Infographic

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Seventh Graders Create an Amazing Product for the Ninth Ward Unit

Book Buddies: 7th graders work with the 1st graders at King Charter School
We had a new to us middle school ELA teacher at our school this year. She has around 12 years under her belt with gifted 6th graders in New Jersey. PFTSTA was so lucky to get her. Every time that we talked about lessons and activities, I was amazed at her ability to think everything through ahead of time. She is very detailed oriented, and it showed in her lessons. She took our 7th grade Ninth Ward unit and turned it on its ear. Her students were required to create a product using Google Slides that would showcase all that they had learned about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina including the rebuilding efforts. They were required to conduct an interview with a family member who was effected by the hurricane and we took them on a field trip to view the rebuilding efforts with our own eyes and complete some service learning when we visited an elementary school in the Ninth Ward. Some of the products were truly outstanding. I am sharing several of them with you here. You may not want to look at all 30 something slides for each presentation. I suggest some slides that you might find interesting and enlightening. One student didn't interview a family member, but instead reached out to one of the television meteorologists for her interview. Now that was some awesome creativity. 

Go to slide 10 to read about Emily's interview with the meterologist
Go to slide 27 to read about Jazzy's reflection of visiting 1st graders at King Charter School
Go to slide 50 to read Faith's newspaper article that she wrote about her experiences with this project

Go to slide 10 to read Gabby's interview with her Mom about losing everything in the storm

Go to slide 36 to read Madison's reflection on the project and her acknowledgements on slide 39

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Filling in the Gaps from April to June

Outgoing NHS officers from the class of 2017 (that is me in the middle)
NHS Induction March 16, 2017
I usually try to avoid writing blog posts where I explain why I haven't been writing blog posts. I believe that you should just get one written rather than waste time explaining why there hasn't been one in awhile. I created this blog in 2009. It was a way to document what I do in the library and share what I have learned. When I started, I had no idea where the blog would take me. Eventually, I decided that I would post weekly making it a goal to write 50 posts a year. I have not always met that goal and some years I have surpassed it. There are lessons that I am thankful that I wrote about because I needed the information to replicate them in subsequent years. There are posts that have been shared and shared again with librarians across the country. You can see below my all time stats for this blog since it began. 

Click the picture above to read the all time stats for this blog since 2009
Anyway, I try to take some time every weekend to reflect on the past week in the library and write a blog post. Since March, I have felt that I have been on a treadmill that wouldn't stop. I needed my weekends to regroup and prepare for the next week. This meant keeping my off time, off, rather than writing about the library. Now that school is out for the summer, I  can stop and breathe. Boy, does that feel good. Breathe. And, I can get back to this blog. 

Before I write specific posts about library activities over the last three months, I thought that I would just list here what I have been doing during that time. I sort of want to see how come I was too busy to document events. In March, we had a week off of school for Mardi Gras (I went away), I had one author visit, I attended the Louisiana Library Association annual conference where I presented twice and had several mandatory meetings because I am on the LASL board, we celebrated Teen Tech Week, I coordinated the NHS annual induction ceremony, and I helped with the 7th grade field trip to the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Of course, there were classes to teach, books to check out, and many visitors during the three scheduled lunches at school. In April, we had another 6 days off of school,  I began the long road of Advanced Placement exams. I am the school's AP coordinator. This year we administered 50% more tests than we did last year. It was brutal. Especially, because the Louisiana standardized tests are now all administered online, and the school began testing April 18th and didn't finish until the AP late testing that was scheduled May 19th. Testing mode took over the whole school, and it was not pretty. Once May hit, I had another author visit, I had an online meeting for the Louisiana Teen Reader's choice committee, I administered eight days of AP testing (teachers help to proctor), I coordinated senior award night and graduation (there were some mistakes this year because my stress level was so high), I mentored three student speeches for graduation, I completed library inventory, and closed out the library for the year. 

It was exhausting. Yet, I do have a lot to share. I will add blog posts over the course of the next few weeks describing some of the highs and lows (not many of those) in the library. I have been trying to reflect on how to prevent this same crazy schedule from occurring next year, but I am not sure if that is possible. The timing of most of the events is set in stone. Our school keeps growing, but there is still only one of  me. I have created a very popular library which keeps me on my toes even when there are no special events happening. 

Here's to summer:
Looking forward to a lot of time for this!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Teen Tech Week 2017

I always schedule a week's worth of activities for YALSA's Teen Tech Week (TTW). This year TTW was scheduled at the same time as the Louisiana Library Association annual conference. That meant I had to move TTW to the next week. I had work to do to prepare for conference, so I did not have time to plan TTW. Of course, that is no excuse, but I felt slammed. I like to have the students help me plan, but the school schedule seemed to be changing daily, and I did not see my book groups every week like usual. Then I returned from conference exhausted, and I ended up with the flu and missed two days of work. I finally was able to find three days in a row in March when I could offer activities in the library at lunch. 

Day 1:
We always have a day of movies for TTW. Since it falls after the Academy Awards, we usually schedule a showing of the animated shorts that were nominated for an Oscar. This year, it was much more difficult to find the movies except Piper. I did find some Pixar shorts that I thought the students would like. They were all a hit. 

Day 2:
I saw a post on Facebook about this company called Stick Together that makes giant posters for students to sticker by numbers. It is the same concept as the paint by numbers kits from years ago, but there is no mess of paint. The students use stickers. It was addicting, and the students completed the piece in about a week.

Day 3:
A couple of months ago members of National Honor Society and I took the Marshmallow Challenge to 4th graders at a nearby elementary school. I thought this activity would be ideal for TTW. Since I was running this activity at three different lunches, I had each team use their own iPad for their 18 minutes of work. That way the teams did not have to start at the same time. I bought individual prizes and had winning teams for middle school, 8th grade, and high school. Those are our three different lunches. The kids had such a blast that many returned the next week to see if they could improve the height of their free standing structure. 

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