Saturday, June 19, 2010

The End of the Year

This year's annual report will be almost entirely digital. Once again I have been inspired by Buffy Hamilton. Mine is not as fancy, but I think the opening movie is a perfect way to sum up our year.

I love the idea of the annual report. It allows me to look back and see all the learning that has taken place not only by the students and teachers, but myself! The library in my school has made such a transformation in the last two years and I feel honored to have been a part of it. The administration, teachers, parents and students have been so willing to allow change to happen!

This year will be my last year in the library. Due to the dramatic funding cuts in New Jersey my district will not have a full time librarian in each building. I am fortunate that I will be returning to the classroom. (2nd grade!) Although I am embracing this new opportunity, I will miss this position terribly! I have only been a librarian for two years, but it has been the most rewarding two years of my 16 year career.

This is the link to the report. As always, I welcome any feedback.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sandwich Board Research

Many classes have been collaborating with me in the area of Reading Workshop. Some classes come to the library once a week to have their reading workshop time in the library. The kids love the change of space and the teachers love the team teaching opportunity. Some classes focused on non fiction texts at the end of the year. After reading Collaboration and Comprehension by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels, I was so excited to try out some of their suggestions. Mrs. Demski was one of the teachers who shared her class with me for a non fiction unit. In the book, there are specific lessons about instructing children to code the text, take notes and write summaries from what they learned. We used these lessons over several weeks with much success. The kids were truly engaging with the text. They were writing notes in their own words unlike the straight copying we had observed in the past. We were so excited about their learning we wanted them to share it with other classes. In the book, it had mentioned the idea of a sandwich board to convey your message to others.

We thought it would be a great visual to go along with the oral information the children would provided the visiting classes. We had her class be creative with their art supplies and decorate the front with the factual information they learned. The back was to be an advertisement to encourage children in other classes to approach them. We decided to just invite the other 5th grade students due to limited time. Mrs. Demski's class was positioned around the library ready for the approaching students. It was amazing listening to the students explain their research and answer questions from the other classes. The visiting classes were impressed with the knowledge of their friends. Some even checked out books about topics that were discussed because they wanted to learn more! How exciting! This text is our teacher book club choice for next year, so stay tuned for more posts about this great book.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

End of the Year Survey Questions

I am knee deep in data right now compiling the library's end of the year report. As I am sharing some funny statements from the kids on Twitter, some of you have asked for the questions I asked them. I felt that the easiest way to share the tools was a quick blog post. I created a quick Google site to share the word document that I used for grades one and two. (I use some of the drawings to jazz up the report.) I included a link to my website that has the Zoomerang survey questions I use with grades third through fifth. I also have attached the results of the Zoomerang survey I gave to the teachers. These questions are specific to my school, but please feel free to use them as a springboard for your own survey questions. I will post the final report soon.