Sunday, January 11, 2015

Is it Too Late to Talk about the New Year?


On January 1st I was scrolling through Facebook and read a post from a middle school librarian, I know, who said that she had already finished two books in 2015. Geez, I would love to say that in 2015 I will read at least one book a week if not more, but it will be a rare day indeed when I read multiple books in one day. It is now the 11th, and I have finished two books in print. I started another one today, and I am in the middle of an audio book which I should finish this week. I feel like the kids with the iPhone, iPad and computer so tempting that I am not spending as much time reading. If I am going to promote reading to my students, then I need to walk the walk myself. Anyway, one of my favorite tasks as librarian is to discuss books with kids. I am not calling it a resolution, but I will try to keep up my reading in 2015. I do hate the commute to work that began in August of 2013, but I do like the opportunity to listen to books that I don't have time to read. The audio books have given me a chance to finish series which is really a great way to keep up with my students. 

I read this article on The Digital Shift tying high school students' exposure to a school librarian to future college success. I sent the link out to all the teachers at my school, and I told them that one of my resolutions for 2015 was to plan at least one collaborative lesson with every high school content area teacher this semester. Patrick Taylor serves students in 6th - 12th grade, and I am always planning activities with the middle school English teachers, but the high school students are in need of library services too. I think one of the biggest road blocks for the high school teachers is lack of time. They all teach a 4 X 4 block schedule. When you try to get as much content in as possible in one semester, you don't want to give up time for the library, no matter how important you think it is. The middle school students all take English for 90 minutes a day for a full year. Already, I have plans with English II to help write a persuasive essay and the chemistry teacher for the students Independent Research Project. That will keep me on track.

For this school year I have already instituted some innovations last fall which I will carry through 2015. Middle school book group was a problem because I didn't have multiple copies of the books that we read each month. I wrote two Donor's Choose grants that were funded, and we now have enough copies of the 3 books that we will read in the first half of 2015. I started a reading challenge in the fall for which 47 students completed. Tomorrow wraps up the WINTER Reading Challenge. So far 40 students have completed the challenge, but I am hoping that more students will complete the form by noon tomorrow. I will come up with some type of spring challenge too, but I don't know exactly what it will look like. I am going to get input from some of my major readers in middle school to help me on that one. On the library Facebook page, I started a series called Caught Reading in the Library. I don't pose kids; I only take candid shots. It is wonderful to see so many kids curling up in the library with a book. If you want to see some of those pics, friend the library here

I am always looking for ways to make the library more interesting, innovative, and appealing to my students. That means that I need to keep my brain cells energized. Right now, I think that I will finish this blog post and curl up with the book that I was asked to review for School Library Journal by February 10th. 

Have a Happy New Year, and I hope that you will be able to fulfill all your new year's resolutions in 2015. 


2 comments:

  1. I read a lot, but SLJ has never asked me to review a book, so I guess professionally, you're ahead of the game! I'd like to do more collaborative classes as well, but it is hard for teachers to make the time. We'll see how the shift to more research influences that in the future!

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    1. You can apply to review for SLJ. I sought them out, not the other way around. Here is a link to a page explaining how to become a reviewer: http://www.slj.com/about-us/information-for-reviewers/.

      Yes, it is hard for teachers to make time, but it is so important. I keep communication lines open between myself and the teachers because when they complain that students didn't research appropriately or did not know how to follow MLA format, then I explain that I can help them with that. I know that what I do has not been perfected. I can always make improvements to help my teachers and my students.

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