Friday, April 20, 2012

Small Group, Big Thinkers

On Wednesday BRiMS met to discuss Loretta Ellsworth's book, In Search of Mockingbird. We only had a handful of students because of problems with transportation home after school. It didn't stop the students who did attend to offer their insights on Ellsworth's book. The students liked the book better than me. They loved Erin's attachment to one book. We went around the room discussing books that inspired us. The Harry Potter series was named more than once, so we had to stop and talk about Rowling and her series several times. Most of the students have read Harry Potter multiple times so they had lots to talk about. We also discussed our family's reaction if we just decided to hop on a bus and ride clear across the country by ourselves. When we discussed why the book was set in the 80's, the students thought it was a safer time, so it would be easier for a teenager to travel alone.

I am really enjoying running this group. I try to have questions ahead of time, but I find the digressions the most interesting. On May 16th we will discuss Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. The last day of school is May 24th, but since this group started so late in the year I felt we had to have a May meeting. Now I need to start thinking about the books that we will read next year. Do you have any ideas for a group of 6th-8th graders with strong reading skills but a variety of interests?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thank You Gifts Arrived Today

Yesterday, I received a thank you note from our good friend, author Jewell Parker Rhodes. The students in 7th grade read Ms. Rhodes book, Ninth Ward, collaborated with a 7th grade class from Iowa that read the book, and took a field trip to see the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. In February, Ms. Rhodes visited Patrick Taylor. During her visit, we showed her the videos that the students created that highlighted their field trip to the Ninth Ward. She explained that she was going to a conference in Oxford, England in March and would love to share the students' videos with the attendees. We sent her three of the videos which you can see here.   

Above is a picture of the gifts that she sent the students. The package included pens and bookmarks that sported the Union Jack and postcards from Oxford.
The seventh graders are holding up the postcards that they selected as their gift from Ms. Rhodes. Hiding on the left in the second row is English teacher Cheryl Bordelon and on the right in the second row is English teacher Lisa Valence. The kids were thrilled that their videos were shown across the globe. Too bad we couldn't have gone in person to share what we learned about the Ninth Ward. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Information Literacy - Are Librarians Teaching the Skills Students Need?

I took a survey with Easybib a few weeks ago about information literacy and what it means for the students at my school. Easybib is what the students at Patrick Taylor use to create citations for research papers. All the answers to the survey were compiled into this cool infographic that gives you a picture of how students are manipulating information and what librarians are trying to do to help them. 
Click here to read what Easybib has to say

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Feather in my Cap

Click here to open article with picture
I could not decide what to write next, and then I heard some news that I have to share. Last week I received word from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association, that I was selected to receive the Information Technology Pathfinder Award for 2012. In June I will receive the award at the AASL awards luncheon held during the annual ALA conference in Anaheim. I applied for this award at the beginning of the year. It was the most intense application that I have ever had to do. There were twelve sections, and each section required anywhere from 500 to 1000 words. I used our winter break to fine tune the application which was due February 1st. By mid-January, I had finished it and sent it off. I tried not to think about it. I really had no clue if what I do in my postage stamp-sized library in Jefferson, LA could compete at the national level. Now I know that I can compete. That is the cool thing about all the technology that I use and share with the students and teachers at Patrick Taylor, size and location does not matter. I love working at a school with technology in its name. I love having the opportunity to learn new things every day. I hope that I can keep doing what I do for many years to come.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April is National Poetry Month

It is April, so that means poetry month. I send out a poem daily in an email to all the students and teachers at PFTSTA. I also include a link to a poetry site on the homepage of the library OPAC. This year the link will be to Gregory K.'s GottaBook blog. He includes his own poems on the blog throughout the year, but during April, he asks 30 poets to contribute to his blog each day of the month. He calls it 30 Poets 30 Days. The poems are written by some of the biggest names in children's lit. Check it out.

This year we are going to play the hidden poetry game again. The students will send me poems which I will print out. Then Bookmarked will help cut, roll and tie up all the poetry. One day after school some of the students will help to hide poems all over school. Over the next week, as students find the poems, they bring them to the library. I give them a treat for finding the poem. Each poem is added to the bulletin board outside of the library.

We even add some poems like this: 

How are you going to celebrate Poetry Month with your students?
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