Library Goddess – Week 8

Gosh! WordPress tells me I registered with them around this time 7 years ago. That’s crazy! I do remember one of my first presentations at a professional conference (with my Wonder Woman friend, Mary) was called something like, “Why blog, why podcast, why not?” So, I bet I registered with WordPress for that…7 years = a lot of blog posts (or not, given how there have been years where I MAYBE posted two times?!?!). Anyway, Happy Anniversary to me!

Here’s what happened this week in my library:

Kindergarten started learning about the 5 senses with their classroom teachers, so I did my favorite lesson for this time of year (featuring Skunkdog by Jenkins). You can read about it here. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I participated in Foundations of School Leadership. This program is through the SC Department of Education. We meet 4 times (2 days each time). We have one more meeting in February. I LOVE this program. There are classroom teachers, administrators, and other school leaders in the group. We cover all grade levels and represent schools from all over South Carolina. I am learning A LOT, and the format is kind of like a teacher “spa” day. You get to chat with like-minded people, have a long lunch, and have real conversations about things that are important to teachers, students and the school community. The leader of the group, Morgan Lee, is fantastic. He is engaging and has kept us laughing and thinking through the whole program. Good stuff! South Carolina teacher friends, if it sounds like something you would be interested in, please let me know!

While I was at Foundations of School Leadership, the rest of the Learning Commons Team were hard at work. My Technology Integration Specialist and I had met with our 5th grade team the week before to plan their annual inventor/invention project. The way the schedules worked out, they wanted to do research while I was out and wanted to start working on the presentation piece (using technology) when I got back (but, when our TIS would be out). Thank goodness we are truly a TEAM and could make it work! On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 5th grade classes came in and researched their inventors using non-fiction books from our library and articles that I had printed out from DISCUS. I also put links for them to use on our Symbaloo page. We had created a template for their notes that would later be their “script” for their presentation. On Thursday and Friday, classes came back to the library to create a Gami with the Tellagami app on the iPads. Their Gamis came out great and the app was super easy to use. The downside is the kids only had 30 seconds or a certain number of characters to use when presenting their information. I think that really is enough time to get the important stuff in. Their learning happened during the research, not just during the recording of the presentation, so they still accomplished what they set out to do. After everyone has finished their Gamis, I will put them all together into one presentation using iMovie.

The TIS also helped with the 5th grade Media Technology class this week by showing them how to use Big Huge Labs to create an actual “Digital Passport.” As you know, they finished the lessons on the Digital Passport website last week and to wrap up that activity, they created a passport that we printed out. On the passport is their picture and something they got out of the Digital Passport lessons.

Thursday was October 10, which is also Auggie (from Wonder) Pullman’s birthday! One of my 3rd grade classes is reading this book right now and so the teacher was willing to have a birthday party for Auggie with me in the library that day. I had read this blog post last year and LOVED it, so we pretty much followed her outline for the party. We wrote positive words about ourselves on a label and then used that label to tape down a sheet of paper on our backs. Students went around writing nice things about each other on the paper. We also had cookies, sang “Happy Birthday,” and listened to music from the book (I made a playlist on Spotify – it is called Wonder, if you are interested). I think everyone had a WONDERful time and I am so glad they are reading the book! If you have not read this book – please, please, please do!

Finally, we have been giving the TRAILS assessment this week to our 3rd and 5th graders. The Computer Lab teacher kindly agreed to do it during their Related Arts time in the Computer Lab. The test measures how much students know about locating information. The results will give me ideas on what they need more help with. It also acts as a pre-test…I can give the same test at the end of the year to measure growth. We have one more day of giving the test and then I will look at the results. I’m curious to see how they do – I am excited to have data like this to learn from and to use in planning lessons and collaborating with my teachers.

I think that’s it for this week!

How was YOUR week?



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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