Students need access to resources throughout the day
The library media center houses resources for students and staff. These resources should be available for patrons to research or check out at any time throughout the day. The media center houses books on shelves and digital books to download and read online. Our media center includes two green screens, computers, iPads, a Smart Board with data projector and conference area.
A flexible schedule is the best – and most important – aspect of our media program. Because of this flexibility, students are able to come early, throughout the day, during lunch and late afternoon to select resources to read and check out. They bring Chromebooks to repair. They check out a loaner Chromebook if they forget to bring their unit. They manage shelves as Shelf Managers. They create digital projects or record segments for the news show. They study. Often, students produce segments to promote new books, sports, club events, weather, Boxtops promo or how-to download an eBook. Students may also use Chromebooks or any computer to create grids in @flipgrid.
Media collections should be managed by highly qualified professionals with a library media degree. Why? Because we know the rules and laws about publishing, patron privacy, citing resources, and organizing books so students may FIND them easily -- without cumbersome labels that might confuse some of them. We know there are different types of licensing for digital books so we purchase those that will not disappear after a limited number of checkouts. We purchase digital books (as many as we can find, anyway) that have "Instant Access" for multiple downloads that can be kept on devices and used for as long as patrons want to use them. We know how to skillfully communicate with all patrons. We know how to promote reading and how to promote the media program. We know how to collaborate with teachers and administrators. We know what to do to help struggling readers or those with higher Lexile scores, find books on their reading levels. We know to weed outdated titles and watch for guaranteed bindings that fall apart and request for free new ones from publishers. We find useful websites, apps and other resources for staff and students and share tips on how to use them. We maintain inventories for books (media center) and equipment (entire school). We troubleshoot Chromebook and computer issues and write technical notes, box those packages, and send them for repairs. We seek out grants to fund more books, devices or programs for all patrons. We keep books in order and show patrons how to use the Call Number to find titles using the digital card catalog. They will need this skill to find items in high school, tech school and college libraries. We greet patrons with kindness and offer them a safe place to find the joy of reading without being graded or judged.
Just my thoughts @bravesread. Til next time... #readforjoy!
Students love badges, too!
Professionals love to earn badges. Think @Flipgrid, @EdPuzzle, @Google, @DiscoverEd (and so many more). Students need encouragement. They need kind words. They need recognition. Badges. Printed colorful badges that showcase their names and talents... Why haven't I thought of this before?
As a former newspaper editor, I wrote articles and designed pages that recognized accomplishments and news events. I manipulated fonts, graphics and words. I really love fonts, graphics and design!
So, this year, my brain finally pushed this idea to the forefront and I began creating simple badges for the Shelf Managers, which just said Shelf Star. The students liked that. Other badges were also simple: #FixedIt (for fixing something), #NewBooks (for helping process new books), #BookCart (for helping empty a full cart of books and putting them on the correct shelf), #BookTalker (for recording a book trailer on our Flip Grid).
For #digitallearningday and #readacrossamerica, I created "Secret Badges" after Charlie (Shelf Manager, Media Committee member) suggested it. What a great idea, Charlie! The Shelf Managers designed some of them. To thank them, I created updated shelf labels with their name and a graphic of an animal reading a book. These are very small and go on the shelves they really want to showcase. I've got to make more of these!
The Secret Badge Event continues through next week. They are in plain sight. Really. When found, the student signs the back of it, spins for a prize and I hide the badge again. There is a Secret Badge hidden in the Symbaloo @bravesread. There will be a good prize for this one! Students may earn @flipgrid badges when their project is approved for #flipgrid #newbooks #favbooks. I'm about to create a badge for #boxtops and offer prize spins for that, too.
Badges provide an opportunity for me to recognize students and to tell them how much I appreciate them for using and learning about the resources in the media collection. I make the badges quickly in Word and print to the color printer. And now, these students know how to create a graphic in Word, too. I'll share steps, in a later post, about how to make badges with a program already on most computers.
Til next time...
If the light had not gone out suddenly in the old illuminated globe last week, I would not have searched for information on its company's founder: George F. Cram. I don't usually Google stuff just because the bulb goes out, but this globe -- this globe -- has never had a blown bulb. And, this globe was purchased around 2002, when this school opened new doors to educate students in 6th-8th grades. I think that's kind of impressive. As with everything that is added to the collection, this item has a barcode. This globe is a George F. Cram globe. Yes, it's outdated now, but it's still beautiful so the bulb was replaced and it glows again. I use it in my office. Students may look up 3D images of countries and interactive globes on the Internet, but there's just something about looking at a real globe -- especially one that illuminates information. The Cram company built fancy furniture, office globes and globes with little lights that could show things like types of fish in the oceans. This globe isn't fancy at all, but it does have the small light.
According to information in Galileo, the company had been making maps and globes for the nation's schools for more than 140 years. In 2012, the company closed and all products were discontinued.
So, that's why I haven't been able to find an updated Cram globe.
George Franklin Cram, a Civil War veteran, started the company in 1867 in Illinois. Sgt. Cram was with Sherman's army as it marched across Georgia in 1864 and into the Carolinas in 1865. According to Wikipedia, After the war ended, Cram joined his uncle Rufus Blanchard's Evanston map business in 1867. (Rufus Blanchard was wounded at Gettysburg.)Two years later, he became sole proprietor of the firm and renamed it the George F. Cram Co. which became a leading map firm and first American firm to publish a world atlas.
A student has requested a globe that shows the constellations. Though not a Cram globe, it has been ordered and will become part of the resources in the media center. And, a barcode will record the info.
Recently, I have added badges to the Shelf Manager program at Heard County Middle School. These badges are nothing fancy, but the hashtag and bright colors do stand out nicely on top of the shelves.
Students have earned several badges so far:
There will be more.
Diligent Shelf Managers have been given sticker badges for their ID cards: #shelfmanager.
The #shelfstar badges are given to students who manage four or more shelves each week. The #BookCart badges are given to students who skillfully take books off the book cart and place them above the proper shelves. The #FixedIt (one of the toughest badges to earn) is awarded to students who find errors on their shelves. For example, I move books each year to expand them throughout the shelves. I re-label the shelves. If a new book comes in that goes past the label (or if I just didn't include it), then the label needs to be fixed. Students caught two errors like that and both earned the #FixedIt badge.
For the #ChristmasTree, a student un-boxed and put up the Christmas tree for the media center. This badge is so nice that another student said he wished he could get one. (He will. He helped get the lights to work.)
The badges began because a teacher asked if I could mark the ID for students who are Shelf Managers. Adults love badges, so I thought students would love them, too. And, they do!
For more information about the Shelf Manager Program at HCMS, follow me @bravesread.
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...
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.