Getting Ready for Teen TECH Week 2015

Spring is upon us in southern Louisiana, and the azaleas are blooming. All this means that it must be time for YALSA's annual event to celebrate technology in the library. By this time in the school year, I am swamped in the library, and I look for ways to simplify my life. I still wanted to celebrate Teen TECH Week, so I needed to plan it all out in just a couple of days because I ran out of time (usually I plan weeks in advance) and I needed it to be easy to administer without a lot of help. We always do a set of research riddles sent via email that students must answer daily to receive a small prize, I used old questions from Google-a-day for the riddles. I found these questions in a lesson plan format from Google with hints which I am giving to the students because I think that many of them could use guidance on good search techniques. I devised one activity for each day that I could design and implement quickly. Putting on weekly events like this always take a lot of time planning and a lot of time in the marketing to make sure students and staff know what is happening when. To advertise Teen TECH Week, I put the list of activities on a poster on the door and on a sign right outside the library, on the library website, on the daily email announcements sent to students and parents, in an email sent to all students and all staff and the school and library Facebook pages. Below you can find what we are doing to celebrate. On Wednesday, you will see that we are having a visitor. That activity I planned with my friend and author, Whitney Stewart, over a month ago. I know that she gets very busy, and I would never be able to ask for assistance at the last minute. I think that it is going to be a fun-filled week, and there will be students visiting the library during lunch who I don't usually see. 

Monday:                     Popcorn and a Movie
Kick off Teen Tech Week and visit the library during your lunch period to watch a movie and eat some popcorn. Showing will be the Oscar winning animated short, The Feast, as well as several other animated shorts nominated for this year's Academy Award.  

Tuesday:                     Marshmallow Engineering
Are you an engineer? You can be today. Visit the library at lunch to build a tower using marshmallows, toothpicks, and skewers. You will need to think like an architect with your design and solve any problems like a construction worker as you build your structure. 

Wednesday:               Practice Mindfulness for an Anti-Tech Day 
Let’s put away the technology for a day. Visit the library at lunch to meet Whitney Stewart who will be talking you through exercises in mindfulness. Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditation, but thousands of studies have documented the physical & mental health benefits of mindfulness. Learn how you can achieve a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits by practicing this form of meditation.
Here are some apps for your phone or tablet that can help you get started on mindfulness:
Stop, Breathe & Think
Smiling Mind
Take a Break
Shop Wild Mind 
Open here for an article about teens and mindfulness.

Thursday:                   Picture Yourself on the Cover
We provide the books; books with faces on the cover that is. You provide the body. We will take your picture with the book covers in place of your face.

Friday:                       Game of Phones
We will play a game with your phone or other device where you have photographs. We will ask for a specific kind of picture. If you can show that picture on your device, then you will win a prize. 

Daily:                          Research Riddles 4 TTW 2015
Check out the daily emails from Ms. Kahn
A research question will be sent out via email every day during TTW. You can play every day and win something every day. You will need to write your answer and source on the form available in the library. This will be your entry for the grand prize. At the end of TTW, one name will be pulled from the middle school jar and one  from the high school jar. Each grand prize winner will receive a $15.00 gift card to iTunes.  


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