Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First Full Week of School, Done


PFTSTA Library is often filled with readers at lunch
It never ceases to amaze me. One minute I am enjoying summer break, and the next thing you know I am immersed in a new school year. I realize now that there was more that I could have done over the summer to prepare for the new year. I had only a handful of books ready to order, so I have been frantically preparing a book order. As I began orientation, I noticed updates that needed to happen on the library website. Most of those are now complete, but I haven't visited every page and know that there are more to do. Students are clamoring to know when the clubs that I sponsor will begin. I made signs on Friday advertising the high school book group and the new this year 8th grade book group. In the past, the 8th grade was with the middle school students, and then last year, I added them to the high school group. We made changes to the school lunch schedule this year, so 8th grade will have their very own group. On Monday, I met with the high school students.I have a large number of freshman in the group, and I am hoping some of the upper class-men will rejoin. I have been trying to poll the returning 7th graders to see who wants to remain in the middle school group. The group is capped at 30, and I have to see how many spots we have for the new 6th graders. There are all the calendar dates that need to be added to the library Google calendar. I am still negotiating a couple of author skype dates that I am trying to schedule. Actually, it is good that I didn't firm up those dates before school started because of the changes in our daily schedule that I didn't know about.

Bookmarked for 2016-17
The 6th and 7th graders flock to the library before school and during lunch. At lunch, our makerspace materials are out for use. Students asked for them before school, but I don't think that 20 minutes is enough time to begin any projects and get the materials put away before 1st period. Last year, the library got funding from a grant for the school to build a mini-makerspace. I have more money to spend for this year. The students love the two Sphero robots, and I am going to add the new SPRK+ from Sphero and a couple of Ozobots. The Little Bits are also highly popular. I am going to see about adding more kits to what we already have. One of the gadgets that has been used by all ages from 6th to 12th grade is our 3D pen. We purchased three of them. Unfortunately, two of the pens got clogged and are impossible for me to fix. I know that the kids loved using them, but they are just too fragile. For the price, it is just not feasible for me to keep replacing them.

6th grader makes her first creation with a 3D pen
Orientation for 6th and 7th students is complete as well as for new 8th and 9th graders. We only have eight new 10th and 11th graders, and two of those are students who left and are returning to our school. Soon I will be starting lessons on our new tool for creating citations, Noodle Tools. I haven't spent much time learning the ins and outs of Noodle Tools, so I was thrilled when I got notice of the webinars that they will offer. I will attend one on Friday for newbies. I hope to be more confident after the webinar, and I can begin creating the instructional videos explaining how to use the tool.

Building with the Legos
For some reason, it seems that a big part of my job is putting out fires. Actually, I love problem solving, but when there is a class in the library, or several kids are asking for help at one time, or the phone starts to ring it can be hard to get any one task completed. I don't think that I would have it any other way.

Orientation for 7th graders



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