How do you get students excited about books and reading? Hmmm... Three things: Talk to them and ask them about their favorite book. Take a picture of them reading their favorite book. Help them record a book trailer about their favorite book for the morning news show on a digital device.
With Mass Communications as my base major, I've always know that visual elements enhance the story, the product, the book. Look at the vibrant colors on a book jacket. Notice the cool green screen backgrounds on the network news shows.
Most students -- not all, but most students -- like to have their pictures made holding or reading a book. The pictures are made into small labels and 5x7 table-toppers for Shelf Managers. I add in special effects (they like the cross process, comic and sketch) with Picassa. I save the photos to a slideshow on our Weebly website and let them loop on the display TV in the media center.
So, now... I'm finding myself doing more "technical writing." With all the new technology (Chromebooks, TouchCast...) I'm adding "How-To Videos" for checking out digital books and making video book trailers.
Yes. They like the still photos, but they are really liking the video stuff. I've just set up an iPad for students to record 60 second book trailers at the circ desk. They won't need the Green Screen (like we have near the teepee for the main announcements). This time, they're going to use the "whiteboard" within the app and fill out a Google form to help with their short script.
Stay tuned. This is going to be FUN! #bravesread #Touchcast #BookTrailers #Let'sRead!
Who would've thought that adding a simple green background to a wall would generate so much excitement? That green background is our "green screen" and our students use it every day to create short video news segments for our school's TouchCast Channel. Those segments become our "news" for the day. The green screen allows students to put themselves into a scene -- still photograph or video. The green is turned into a weather map, a picture, a lunch menu... It's nice when so many students sign up through our Goolge form for a turn to say "The Golden Rule" at the end of our TouchCast. What really makes this photo so cool? Two students (left) are recording the "Golden Rule" for tomorrow's show, while two more students (right) are searching for a graphic novel to check out. Without a flexible schedule in the media center, these students would have had to wait for a specific time to visit. You can't see it, but students were signing in digitally on iPads near the Circ Desk and a large group will appear momentarily to check out books in their Lexile range. #FlexibleSchedule @bravesread
Perma-bound books is another great vendor, who guarantees book bindings. I just received two replacement copies for two popular titles today: Tiger's curse and Warriors: outcast. Our students have missed the books on the shelves and will be excited when we announce their departure from "The Bindery" behind the circ desk. Thank you Perma-Bound Books! Of course, I still repair books that are not available in bindings that are guaranteed (see bottom photo). With new ChromeBooks coming tomorrow, it was just refreshing to receive these two brand new books from Perma-Bound Books! #bravesread
What happens when a book falls apart at the seams? That all depends, really. If the binding is guaranteed from a reputable vendor, then it gets replaced. Free! That's why I am particular about which company I use to purchase books for the media collection. I am a taxpayer, too, after all! Thanks to companies like Follett Library Resources (whose books are shown in the image here), I can get books replaced if bindings go bad. These books have been read MANY times by our students. These two books both have a unique bindery mark on back --- FollettBound Platinum. Thanks FLR for sending brand new replacement titles today for these popular titles with binding issues under the FollettBound Platinum label! #bravesread
Shelf Managers are a HUGE part of the media program at Heard County Middle School. Not only do they keep books in proper Dewey order on their shelves, they promote reading and literacy to their friends!
Here's how the Shelf Manager System works:
If you are a media specialist in Georgia with no assistant, you will want to pay attention to this part. Take photos --- lots of photos --- of students reading. The photos need to be good quality, cropped well, edited in Picassa or similar program, and filtered with a warm, comic book style. I take two poses for each Shelf Manager and Shelf Manager Team. The first pose is to advertise the book they like. They hold the closed book, cover toward camera, and smile. The second pose is to promote reading. They hold an open book, with the cover showing to the camera. They look down at the page and do not smile.
I edit both shots and create small labels, which are printed on the color printer. The labels are trimmed tightly and covered with clear book tape on both sides. It's a quick way to laminate!
I use the same photos and print them as 5x7s or 8x10s. These are placed throughout the media center -- on tables, shelves and the display case in the hall. They are true stars!
I file all Shelf Manager photos in the Shelf Manager folder on the desktop and use these photos in a slide show on the media center's web page and on the TV Info-Loop just behind the Circ Desk. See them at http://bravesread.net. Just watch the photo slides. I am very proud of them!
#bravesread, #ShelfManagers, @bravesread
This book fair really ROCKS!
Okay, sixth graders... You will be studying rocks (and minerals) soon. This is the first day I've had a chance to really look at the book fair cases and I'm finding some very cool books in there! Do you know there are at least three different book kits that contain rock samples? Yes! I know! Real rocks! Metamorphic, Sedimentary, Igneous... all there. I especially find the "Deadly Rocks" kit intriguing. Samples include Tektite, Pyrite, Obsidian, Coal, Limestone, Halite, Granite, Selenite, Chalcopyrite. (I'm gonna really have to look at that last one. Chal-copyrite?) Ha! Why are those rocks deadly? You'll just have to look at the stories in that kit! Then, there's a kit called "Rock Stars" with Gypsum, Pumice, Raw Ruby, Shale, Magnetite. Did you know that Calcite bends light rays and makes objects invisible?
Seventh and eighth graders wish they'd had these rock/mineral kits back when they were in Mrs. Noles' sixth grade science class.
All language arts classes have visited the fair and now individuals shop with teacher permission. The book fair continues through Friday morning. Rock/Mineral kits: something I'd want if I were a sixth grader -- or someone (like me) who likes to hunt and collect rocks!
Til next time...
Students Search for Books
I'm a library media specialist, former newspaper editor and freelancer, who uses technology every day to promote and deliver information about reading, literacy, judging resources, researching and writing.