2013 – 2014 Week 6

This has been a busy week of teaching, learning, and making connections!

My 2nd grade teachers are getting ready to start a letter writing lesson. They wanted to have pen pals for their students to write to, so I got them hooked up with friends at Doby’s Mill Elementary in SC and at Van Meter in Iowa. They will hopefully start writing letters next week. Our 2nd graders also started a Weather Podcast this week. They are coming to the library for the next 10 days to report the weather for each day. I am recording them using Garageband and uploading their podcast to Podomatic. Then, I post a link to our school’s Facebook page. Easy!

I have a 3rd grade teacher participating in Global Read Aloud. I found another 3rd grade teacher for her to connect with in Indiana. Our classes Skyped together on Wednesday. I also have a 4th grade teacher participating in Global Read Aloud. Love it!

Our 5th grade EAGLES students came in throughout the week to do some problem solving about a chemical spill. They used websites I gathered and print materials. Other 5th graders also came in this week to research Homesteaders, the railroad, and other topics from Westward Expansion.

The Technology Integration Specialist and I helped 2nd grade classes set up Edmodo pages with their classes.

I met with librarians in my district who are participating in Star Wars READS Day with me. Last year was the first year we celebrated and it was SO MUCH FUN! I know this year will be even better! Star Wars READS Day is Saturday, October 5 – you should totally hook up with a public library or a book store near you to celebrate!

Our school uses LifeSkills & Life Long Guidelines for our “character” education and for behavior purposes. The focus this week was Friendship, so I read a friendship story with my Kindergarten students. I read Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni. Before reading, we talked about what a good friend is/does; I showed them pictures of my friends; and we tried to figure out what might happen if Little Blue and Little Yellow gave each other a hug. Sometimes they knew that they would turn green; other times, they guessed things like “they will get stuck.” After reading, I had a bag with some blue paint and yellow paint. I had my paint “hug” to show them that yellow and blue really do make green. After checking out they went to an iPad (in pairs…our lesson was about friendship, after all! Friends share!) and colored Little Blue and Little Yellow (with a little green in the middle) using the Doodle Buddy app.

Finally, we had Parent/Teacher conferences last night (we will have them again next Thursday). We used that time to promote our Birthday Book Club. I have always had a Birthday Book Club. In the past, we’ve sent home a letter to students during the month of their birthday, explaining the program and inviting them to join (it is $15; they pick a book that is a donation to the library; their name goes on the inside cover; and they are the first to check it out). It seems like kids were always coming in and out for Birthday Books that way, which is good, but not an effective use of time. We’ve changed it this year so that everyone joins at the same time (that’s the idea, anyway). My assistant set up a table in our Commons Area last night and encouraged parents to sign up their child in the Birthday Book Club. She had a calendar where she wrote when the birthdays are. On that child’s birthday, they will pick a book – my assistant can have the book plates ready to roll and the student will actually feel like they are getting something special for their BIRTHDAY. In the past it was kind of like, they might get the book a week or so later or maybe even no where near the birthday (if a form got shoved to the bottom of the book bag, for example). Seems to have worked well last night. We will set up again next week. Ideally, we would have set up at our Registration Day during the Summer, but I didn’t get the idea until school started. Next year!

So, that was my very busy week at school! I am now headed to Austin for the School Library Journal Leadership Summit. Cannot wait to make new friends, network, and learn from the amazing smart folks that I will be surrounded by this weekend!

Enjoy YOUR weekend, readers!



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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