Students always get excited when they see the Scholastic cases arrive for a book fair. And, so do I! Four students and a couple of staff members helped me set up this time. I'm blessed to work with so many people who support all facets of the media program. Our students behave so well when they visit, too!
Without an assistant this year, I knew I would need to be extra organized to make things work. The Google Documents I share with teachers and staff have helped tremendously. Our language arts teachers bring all classes by scheduling with me on the Book Fair Schedule. I share a screen shot of that with teachers so everyone knows when students are shopping by class. During the "in-between" times, teachers may send a few students to check out, quiz or shop if they have money. And, when I have a few minutes, I email overdues, print posters, check student requests on the Wish List for the current book order in progress..., charge eReaders, or write a sentence or two at a time on a blog post (like this one).
Some of my co-workers and students helped set up and arrange tables and cases. A couple of staff members come in each day to help shelve books. As I told students during orientation, "You're all my assistants this year."
The book fair is important to students, staff and parents. Families can connect with us by shopping with their children (online or in here). "Choice" is important to teenage readers and this event includes highly recommended titles from several genres.
For information about our media programs, follow @bravesread on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Patrons who want to review a book (like Savannah M. did to receive a book fair discount), should stop by to retrieve their pass code for Surpass Safari.
It's been busy in the media center since the open house. So busy, in fact, that I've neglected to post updates as promised. We had a very successful book fair, raising more than $600 to be used to purchase reading incentives and books. I've had several colleagues call and email since the open house to ask questions about our eReading program. (I have to say again that our open house was a huge success! I wish we could have one every year!) I tuned in to a webinar on BYOD this week and listened to information on managing digital devices brought from home. One nearby school is purchasing more than 200 Nooks for students next year! That's exciting!
Ben Meyers (Follett representative) worked with our technologist Mike Robbins at open house to import student data into Follett Shelf. This means our students can now login and check out eBooks we've purchased through Follett on their electronic devices. If you have an iPad, there is already a Follett Shelf App! This morning, J.C. Barb, of Barnes and Noble, came by to "test drive" the Nook Color and Follett Shelf. We were able to check out an eBook and read it using the page turn icon at the top of the page. Pages can be turned by swiping a finger across the screen on an iPad, which makes everything so much easier.
For those with Kindle Fire and Nook Color devices, disable pop-ups and read without Flash for now. Turn pages by using a mobile stylus to select the page icon at the top of the eBook. I'm crossing my fingers that Follett will make a deal with Amazon and Nook to develop apps for those devices soon. In the meantime, try out the eBooks on your digital devices this summer! Use your lunchroom number as the user name. Your password is the same one you use to take an AR quiz.
We had such a wonderful day yesterday at open house! I met so many new friends, who I hope to see again at conferences, meetings or online. It was truly a learning experience for me and I hope it was for everyone who came to visit. Ben Meyers, our Follett representative, stayed for the entire day to answer questions about Follett programs and Follett Shelf. He and one of our system technology experts, Mike Robbins, worked together to set up the Follett Shelf for our students. What does this mean? It means our students can now check out digital electronic books through Follett Shelf. I will post the link for them today and get the word out next week! We have 22 eBooks in our collection and these can be viewed on iPads with the Follett Shelf App. Wow...
J.C. Barb, our Barnes and Noble representative from Newnan, also stayed all day to answer questions about electronic reading devices and to explain how schools can use B&N for Nook purchases. He's been such a great resource for us! He comes to the school if we have a problem with a device (which is rare) and he helped me record serial numbers for inventory. Wow... Congratulations to Dawn Lanca, from Pike County, who won the Barnes and Noble Gift Basket yesterday!
Courtney McGough brought bookmarks, pens, posters and stayed to answer questions about Galileo, which is the go-to resource for Georgians. If you haven't tried the resources in Galileo, it's time you did. Full text journal articles, primary source documents, current Georgia codes and laws, links to history, encyclopedias, biographies, reliable web sources, book recommendations and reviews... and so much more! Galileo is online and resources are always available to help students and parents with research and information. You won't need the password at school, but stop by the circulation desk to pick up the current password to keep by your computer or electronic device at home.
Sara and Julie, representatives at Surpass, sent items to give away for prizes and shared our award with the Surpass listserv. Surpass is such a great company with a 21st century product. Students can look up books in our collection any time from home and reserve a book (with an individual code). Safari shows book covers, reviews and allows instant/constant access to our resources. Another wow... Congratulations to our staff winners: Nikki Barnes, Jen Walston, Christy Hume, Stacey Walker for winning Surpass/Galileo/B&N prizes yesterday!
Lynn Flaum, our Scholastic representative, sent an autographed copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabretby Brian Selznick. We will announce a student winner on Monday's news show at 7:45. Thanks, Lynn!
Renaissance Learning Regional Account Reprsentative (South/East/Central Georgia) Ellen Gadberry shared resources about Renaissance Learning products (Accelerated Reader, Renaissance Place). Though she couldn't be here, she has offered to visit later for a F2F mini seminar on how to use Renaissance Place. If we can coordinate that, I'll let everyone know. This would be for anyone interested in how to correctly use RP products to track and increase reading comprehension.
Our superintendent, Jerry Prince, came to the event and learned how to play Words With Friends! So did Rep. Randy Nix, who sat down and played on Team Admin at the WWF Table. Students were excited to play our principal, Mike Roberts, who IMO should be the National "Principal of the Year!"
Donna Haralson, editor/reporter for The News and Banner, our local newspaper, covered the event and took photos. The N&B has always been a great supporter for all our schools and I will always miss "Mr. Mac" (McCutchen), a true Southern journalist.
Though Governor Deal and Dr. Barge weren't able to attend, we had several VIPs throughout the day. I learned so much from the professional educators who came to our humble event from so far away (Forsyth, Pike County, Auburn, Alabama, Cordele, Harris County... and locally, LaGrange, Coweta Coweta, Newnan, Carroll County...) Donita Hinckley, Instructional Coordinator from Thomasville, visited with us one day last week. So glad you could visit with us, Donna! I know some media specialists couldn't be here because they are without media clerks and couldn't leave their media centers. I missed you.
Sabrina Thompson, my daughter and LMS at Temple High School was a tremendous help! She helped with the WWF tournament, refreshment set-up and helped monitor students who came in and out to check out books, participate in the WWF Tournament and talk about our news show. (Thanks, Sabrina -- love you... proud of you!)
Janet Scott, my assistant/clerk, brought in tons of food and made punch. Our program would not be what it is without her. (Thanks, Janet!)
We have the BEST staff at HCMS! The beautiful flowers were arranged by Mrs. Betty Barber, a bus driver and assistant! Thanks Mrs. Betty!
For those who wonder what all the fuss was about, this link gives information about the Georgia Department of Education Exceptional/Exemplary Media Program, which is awarded each year to programs that meet/exceed the expectations on the program's award rubric.
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.