Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Just have not been feeling it, but this helps

Image
This has been a hard school year for me. Besides the day to day of my job as school librarian, I have been trying to empty my mother's house since June that she lived in for 62 years. This has taken a lot out of me emotionally, and the act of sale is mid-January, so there is not much time left to finish it all. Also, the little aches and pains of aging are starting to catch up with me. I really need the two weeks off from school that starts on Saturday. 
As I was cleaning around my desk and filing some papers away today, I found this letter in the way back of my file cabinet. I don't remember the student or the year that she wrote this to me, but, boy, it has it put a smile on my face. Sometimes I forget the little things that I do have a huge impact on the students that I see everyday. To me this just helps reinforce that librarians do make a difference. 



I am going to take some time for myself over the holidays and also time to have fun with family friends. When I return to…

Virtual Visit with Author, Ashley Elston

Image
It is always a great day when I have students visit with an author. I first met Ashley Elston at a state conference. Like me, she is from Louisiana. Her presentation to the roomful of librarians was hilarious, and I thought that my students would really enjoy talking to her. After the conference, we connected on Twitter, and I found out that she was happy to schedule a virtual visit with us. We agreed on a Monday in December during one of our regularly scheduled Bookmarked meetings. If I can schedule the author when the group is used to being in the library at that time, it is easier for the students to remember.



Ashley came to writing after she had her children. She explained that being a wedding photographer did not mesh well with being a mom with young children. She really did not know what she was getting into but just began writing. She has four published books, and a new one to be published in the fall of 2019. For this visit, we concentrated on talking about her two murder mys…

Geeking Out with Author, Claudia Gray

Image
Book 2 in the Constellation series

The young adult author Claudia Gray lives in the New Orleans area, and Patrick Taylor is located in the New Orleans area. Over the last few years, every time that I would see Claudia at a book event, I would ask if she would do a school visit. She always has said yes, but she is a busy writer and getting a time set on the calendar has been a challenge. On Tuesday, November 27th, the sophomores and juniors finally had a chance to meet her. I actually set up this event because I knew that the members of the high school book group, Bookmarked, would love her, but since this event was a long time in the making, I decided that every student in those two grades would benefit from hearing what she had to say. I was not wrong. The students were a great audience, and I think they all took a little something away with them at the end of the hour. 



Claudia came prepared to talk to aspiring writers, but when she realized that we were a STEM school, she switched …

Teen Read Week 2018 Brought a Crowd into the Library

Image
Why do I bother to celebrate Teen Read Week (TRW)? 

I have a steady stream of students in the library every day at all three lunches, and I do not need a special week of programming to encourage students to walk in the doors of the library. But TRW is an annual event, and I want my kids to have fond memories of all our TRW activities over the years that they attend this school. I like tradtions, and this tradition started when I came to the school, so it means a lot to me to keep it going. 

Over the years, my students and I have developed programming for TRW that is altered and edited every year but always has the same components. As such, planning is pretty simple. We look at the theme set by YALSA and adjust all our activities to fit that theme. 


These are the events that are always scheduled: showing of an episode from Twilight Zone with treats, a simple craft that can be completed in about 30 minutes (length of a lunch period), a literary guessing game with sweet treats as prizes s…

Library Filled with Activities for Teen Read Week 2018

Image
It’s Written in the Stars @ PFTSTA Library Teen Read Week October 9th -12th

1. Annual Library Book Mark Contest: Two winners, one from middle  school and one from high school, will receive a $20 gift card to Amazon,  and their bookmark reproduced to give away to the PFTSTA community.  You can visit the library for a hard copy or open herebit.ly/bookmarkcontest2018 to print out from the web. All bookmarks are due in the library by Wednesday, October 24th at 2:30PM. 
3. Now showing in your library: Visit the library at lunch on Tuesday to  watch "Third from the Sun" an episode of the television show The Twilight Zone.  A treat will be served.
2. Who is the star? Guessing Game: On Wednesday and Friday, visit the  library to get a clue about a starring character in a book or a starring  actor in a movie. If you guess the name of the character or actor correctly,  you will receive a small prize.
4. Get Crafty: Visit the library on Thursday to make a paper star to hang in a window.  All the in…

Daniel José Older Visits September 11th

Image
Happy Book Birthday to the Dactyl Hill Squad!The author of this book, Daniel José Older, spent the morning of his book's birthday to explain to the 6th and 7th graders why they should read about Magdalys and her friends. Many authors are genre-bending these days, and this book really pushes the envelope by mixing a story about the American Civil War period in New York with dinosaurs. These dinosaurs are not man-eaters. They have been harnessed by the people for transportation and to move goods and materials. This may seem far fetched, but it does work. Older weaves historical accuracies into his fictional story to make for a bit of fun along with some history.


The students were most interested in where he got his idea for the book and how long it took him to write it. It took three weeks! This first in the series takes place mostly in Brooklyn, but in book two, which comes out in spring of 2019, has the characters traveling to New Orleans. With the story moving to our backyard, I…

First Two Weeks of the 18-19 School Year

Image
School always starts so quickly, and even though the librarians in my district are suppose to have two weeks at the beginning of school to get the library ready, I usually jump in with both feet. The middle school teachers wanted orientation as quickly as possible. I obliged, but I was not very clever with my presentation this year. Laptops weren't out yet to the students so the teachers were clamoring for the iPad carts. That meant that I would not be able to do something interactive with technology. I just didn't have time to figure out a way to complete orientation a different way. I revisited my power point from last year, made some edits and went with it. I did find a Buzz Feed list of the 18 Magical Ways that Harry Potter Changed my Life. I used this as my jumping off point of why books are important and that everyone can find their Harry Potter even if that book series is not the one for you. I went through a handful of the 18 ways and asked the students to explain wha…

Preparing for the New School Year 2018-19

I have already sent this via email to all the teachers in my building, but I am also going to print it and put it in everyone's mailbox. I especially want the 15 new teachers to our school to know what I can for them and their students in our school library. I created this on Canva. Love that program so much and how it makes all my graphic designs look so awesome. Here's to the start of my 38th year of teaching, and my 29th year as a school librarian!

2018-19 List of PFTSTA Library Services by Ekahn6

Taking Students to #ALAAC18 was Amazing, BUT......

Image
I had been planning for the American Library Association's (ALA) annual conference in New Orleans for over a year. I was prepping the students in two of my book groups about what it would be like for them to spend a day with me at ALA, and if they wanted to attend, I made sure that they saved the date well in advance since many of them have camp, travel, or even work during the summer months. I was chair of the Young Adult Library Services Association's (YALSA) local area task force for this conference, so I had many duties throughout the week. I had not attended an ALA conference since Chicago in 2013, so I had booked myself solid from a pre-conference on Friday, June 22 until the afternoon of Monday, June 25. Then life happened.

I had to put my 91 year old mother in the hospital on the Tuesday before the conference. We did not think she was seriously ill, but she had been feeling poorly for weeks. She knew about the conference, and we planned ahead who would visit her and h…