Showing posts from September, 2014

Dissecting a Bibliography

Last week, I described how we began the research process with 6th graders by learning how to create a bibliography. I was happy with that lesson, but I felt concerned that the students did not really understand the elements that went into making each citation. I taught them how to create a citation using Easybib. This meant that they did not have to find the author, title, publisher, etc. because it was done automatically for them. I had an idea to go one step further with bibliographies to make sure that the students understood the process that we had done the week before. 
I took resources that the students had used to create their own bibliography with four citations and created a sample with eight citations. The teachers posted the document in Word on their online agendas so the students could each open a document that they could edit. The first thing I did was talk about MLA format and how the beginning of the paper should be formatted. We edited the heading, and the students in…

Student's Senior Project Showcases her Love of Reading and Writing

I am so proud of the president of Bookmarked. She has really shown her passion for books, writing and authors. Her senior project is centered on authors and what made them the writer that they are today. Her mentor currently moderates a weekly radio show on our local NPR station that is about all things literary in and around New Orleans. Destiny's first project during her mentorship was to interview local author John Ed Bradley who recently had his first young adult novel published. You can read the interview here on Destiny's blog.  Be sure to check back again if you want to read more from this talented young writer to be. 

Beginning the Research Process with Sixth Grade

The middle school English language arts' teachers and I have been really working on developing our method for teaching the research process over the last few years. When the sixth graders arrive at Patrick Taylor, we know that they have not had a lot of experience writing research papers. They may have written a report in fifth grade but not much more, and I am hoping with the Common Core standards that this will change over time. For now, the students need to be taken step by step through the process with the teachers and myself holding their hands. 

As I reflected over the steps that we took last year to teach the process, I decided to change my tack and begin with the bibliography. Our school pays for each student to have an Easybib account. We thought that by starting with the bibliography, we would be breaking down the process to the smallest bits and make it easier for the students to handle. The 6th graders had read Flush by Carl Hiasson, and the teachers have a grant for …

Capturing Students in the Process of Reading

I blogged the other day about my Caught Reading campaign on Facebook. I have been catching so many kids reading that I wanted to post more of the pics here. My library's motto is All Readers Welcome, and you can see by all these pictures that the motto certainly fits. The pictures also illustrate that reading can be a very social activity in the library. All of these photos were taken during the students' lunch period. 

Decorating the Library Continues

Two weeks ago,  I shared the story of how we transformed a wall in the library with decals. When I purchased the dots, I also purchased an Einstein quotation to put on the wall. I was hesitant to begin that project because though the letters were removable, you did not have the option to reapply them if you made an error in placement. When I finally opened the package, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the process was and how professional the finished product looked. Like the dots, I purchased the quote decals from Demco

President of Boomarked is Selected to Blog for YALSA

I am very proud that this year's president of Bookmarked (the high school book group), Destiny Burnett, is both a big reader and big writer. This summer she applied to be a guest teen blogger on the YALSA blog, The Hub, during Teen Read Week in October. We knew a while ago that she was selected as one of the bloggers, but just a few days ago ALA made it official. Open here to read all about it. I also want to share Destiny's book review blog. She doesn't post on a regular basis, but I find her book reviews extremely well thought out and insightful.

Caught Reading Campaign on Facebook

I am creative, but I often get some of my best ideas for the library from others in the field. When I "borrow" an idea from another librarian, I usually adapt, modify or change it to fit my school population. Librarians are so good at sharing, and I know others don't mind if I take their idea and run with it. I am happy to share. If I wasn't into sharing, then I wouldn't use this blog to spread the word about some of my most successful and least successful activities, too. I feel honored to have someone else adapt, modify or change something that I have done to fit their needs in their library. So I have been quite full of myself with my new campaign this year because I figured it out all on my own. I did not see someone else's version before I created my own. 

This is a campaign to help spread the love of reading in my school. I am using Facebook to broadcast the fact that students at Patrick Taylor do read and seem to love it. I am calling this campaign, &…

It is the Little Things ...

I have said it before in this space, and I will say it again. It really is the little things that make life sweet. In August of 2013, we opened the doors to our new school building which included a brand new library. The library wasn't quite ready when school opened, and I was okay with that because I thought it would be finished in a few weeks or a month or two. Little did I know that I would spend a year with a storage room full of boxes that could not be emptied. I had a great storage space and really, the only storage space in the whole library except for my office. Every time a new punch list was created, I added the need for shelving to it. All the other storage closets in the building got shelving. I kept waiting. 

On Friday, about six workers trooped through the library with wood in tow. Beautiful wood that was trimmed out that was going to be installed in my storage closet. Finally! One of the great things about emptying boxes of stuff that you haven't seen in almost…

Putting a Little Color on the Walls of the New Library

I am not sure if the year old school and school library count as new anymore, but the teachers were not allowed to put any holes in the wall or hang any posters or art last school year. The school had a year warranty with the construction company, and the principal did not want to void that warranty by any damage caused by one of us. Actually, I did not mind the restriction because I was busy enough trying to organize the new library and figure out how I was going to make it work for my program. 

The other day as I was looking at photos to use on the library website, I realized that the wall I see from the circulation desk was immense and void of anything. I knew that I needed to figure out how to dress it up. I was making a DEMCO order, and as I perused the online catalog, I found some wall decals that I thought would suit my purpose very well. 

I ordered two packages of the decals, and  I would be receiving 36 different circles in various colors and sizes. When the order arrived, I …