Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I've been thinking a lot recently about the library program's focus.  When I was in library school I learned about what the program "should" focus on.  When I was hired to run my first library and library program I quickly realized that those "shoulds" didn't necessarily apply to my library.  I agonized over focus for the first few months until I settled into a rhythm of programming that felt right.  Then I worried because I wasn't so stressed about the program that I would dream libraries every night.  Was I now being remiss in my attitude about the library program?  I clearly wasn't ready to tackle writing a curriculum for the library (my end-of-the-year goal).  The winter holiday break gave me some time to explore the professional blogs I respect most and catch up on my professional journals.  I came across a slideshare of Tiffany Whitehead's that spoke about balance and really made sense to me.  This is the balance that I will meditate on during the first part of 2014.  I'll let you know what comes of those meditations.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December Display Case

This one was a big hit although it did fall down once and had to be rebuilt.  Then there was the reshelving of all these books but it really was worth it in the end.

November Display Case

Global Read Aloud

Back in October I began a Global Read Aloud (GRA) project with all six of our second grade classes.  The project involves reading a selected book (Marty McGuire by Kate Messner) and making global connections with other classes reading the same book.  We have had moderate success connecting with other classes but have been limited by our early morning start.  At 8:30 in the morning most of our connections are either still sleeping (Australia) or simply not available for face-to-face connections.  So, we have connected using our own Kid Blog, sending and receiving photos, comments, and questions.  We've also experimented with online tools like Padlet, Screen Chomp, and Blendspace.  This week we are taking a break from reading Marty McGuire to perform a reader's theater of the play in the book, The Frog Prince.  I can say with confidence that the students have enjoyed the experience and that they look forward to reading more Marty McGuire stories on their own.  I had to order several copies of Ms. Messner's Marty McGuire series per student demand and that in itself indicates success for this project!

Professionally, I was able to connect with other teachers in the GRA project through Twitter and Edmodo. Using these tools was exciting and a good deal easier than I'd thought it would be.  As a bonus, I was able to get the district to unblock Twitter in the library so now I can begin exploring ways to use it with the students. I even managed to collaborate with one of our own second grade teachers who used the Kid Blog as part of her writing centers.  This experience has caused me to explore many other global connections through education projects that I'll be sharing with our wonderful teachers and administration.  Thank you Global Read Aloud and we'll definitely see you next year!

Union East Kid Blog