"A Swisstastic Journey of Me and My Students"

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Why Libraries MATTER!!

Image result for LIBRARIES MATTER
A.J. Juliani, a well respected educator, that I follow closely, just posted this article on why LIBRARIES matter.  I loved it and had to share it on my blog.  He stated exactly what I feel and touched on some of the things I struggle with in my position.  

OVERALL, the main point is LIBRARIES matter.  There is a strong correlation in our NATION'S literacy rates and the number of schools with CERTIFIED librarians on staff.  

This validates why I do what I do.  LOVE how libraries CAN take kids AWAY from their problems and noise of their lives for a little while.  THEY GET TO BE KIDS!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Media Center Makeover!!!

Image result for makerspaces

Sorry for the late update on how my Media Center is being made into a new space.  It has been a work in progress.....


 I am trying to make my blog a bit more modern feeling this year.   As my Media Center is drastically changing with the movement of Makerspace I feel I need to revise my mission a bit.  As I was exploring other blogs and websites I came across this mission statement from Colleen Graves, Librarian/Maker at Ryan Library.  Her mission statement was exactly what I have been wanting and striving for.  Here it is:

The main goal of my library makerspace is to support and promote literacy. Those literacies include traditional literacies like reading, writing, and research. But also include supporting students in digital literacy, coding literacy, and invention literacy.  However, our main goal is still to get kids to love books and reading. I see the makerspace as an extension of that.

I love this quote about libraries and Makerspaces:

Making is crucial for happiness, health, and mind expansion. By providing maker spaces, librarians can empower people and communities. By helping patrons dig in and get immersed, by providing projects as well as books, librarians boost moods as well as minds. As Willa Cather wrote, “That is happiness, to be absorbed in something complete and great.”  (Carrie Barron, MD and Alton Barron, MD are co-authors of The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness with Your Own Two Hands).  

We are a work in progress.  My Media Center underwent some major changes this summer.  Some of which I knew were happening and some of which I didn't.  When my principal called me a week and a half before school started and said "the shelves didn't get ordered" I freaked out.  I immediately went in and this is what I saw:Now don't get me wrong the Maker tables are great but I lost lots of shelves because of them.  I had a new wall that I still am not sure what the purpose is, and I have lost lots of shelving space due to a much larger air conditioner and heater unit.  I immediately went into survival mode.  What would I need to do in the next five days to make this place ready for kids? 

Didn't know I was getting this maker tables...sort of like them...but stressing because I lost some shelving space.
Can this be ready in a week?

My sink used to be here!

More wall space gone due to larger air conditioner unit.

Selfie with Mrs. Sulfsted (our principal) and myself in our new space.  I am trying to contain my stress!

 We gathered up some old shelving to get us by until the new shelving comes in, which will hopefully be by December.  Here is what things look like as of now.  People say it looks great but it isn't as "welcoming" as I would like with the concrete floors, old shelving, and exposed pipes on the walls.  I know in the end it will be wonderful but it sure has been a challenging start.  

"Our Everybody section"

This is our "comfy" working area.

Our carpet/meeting area

The view from our check-out area

Our Green Screen area (ignore the boxes of nonfiction books hid behind the screen due to not enough shelving....hopefully these will be out soon)

I have created a contest with my 6th graders, since this is their last year in our building, to design a sign for our Makerspace area.  It will be fun to see what they come up with.  

Makerspace items (thanks to my PTA) are ordered!  I am excited and nervous.  I will have lots to learn as my role is changing so much.  I am learning how to code, invent, engineer, create, and the list goes on and on daily with my students.  I never took 3D printing or coding courses in college but here I am learning how to do these things.  I love it but don't get me wrong it scares me to death.  Stayed tuned for our work this year.  My goal is to balance my time between literacy and Makerspace activities while connecting the two anytime that I can.  

Global Read Aloud...our second year rocking this great adventure!

Image result for pumpkins


It's October.....

and with that brings many exciting things in the Summit Media Center.

First and Second Graders are participating in the GRA...

Better known as Global Read Aloud

This is what our FIRST GRADE journey looks like so far:

STEP 1:  1st graders viewed Google Maps to see how many schools/people are participating in the Global Read Aloud.  We then talked about how 900,000 people are participating in this amazing experience.  We brainstormed what the word GLOBAL means....

STEP 2:  We viewed a photo of Lauren Castillo, this year's GRA author/illustrator.  
Image result for lauren castillo image

Step 3:   We then read the book Nana in the City and brainstormed answers to the question "If I had a cape to make me brave, I could face _________________" and we posted our responses to a padlet.  This padlet was shared with a school in Burlington, MA.  

Made with Padlet

Second Grade 
Our second graders are also partipicating in Global Read Aloud.  We got a later start than our first grade friends but we have jumped in with both feet.  

Step 1:  We discussed the notion of what GRA involves, very similar to the discussion that 1st grade had last week.

Step 2:  I shared the background of why Lauren wrote this book, which I gained from her blog.

Step 3:  I showed the video of the sneaky raccoon on her blog.  IF YOU USE THIS WITH KIDDOS MUTE THE VOLUME AS THERE ARE A FEW CHOICE WORDS AT THE END OF THE VIDEO.  The kids thought this video was so funny.

Step 4:  We looked at the cover of the book and brainstormed who we thought the troublemaker was going to be.  

Step 5:  We read the book The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo.  

 Step 6:  We collaborated with Wilson Elementary, another school in our district, by playing a Kahoot.  It took me and the other Media Specialist, Mrs. Garber, some time to get the kinks worked out but we hung in there and figured it out.  We realized that only one of us could start the Kahoot game.  We used Google Hangouts for our students to view each other and then Mrs. Garber shared her screen with us so we could all see the same questions.  The students loved this!!!

The next book was The Reader.  Students were read this book aloud then they shared their thoughts on a Padlet about their favorite reading spot and favorite book.  
Image result for the reader book

Be sure to pause when reading the book on the suitcase page and have kids brainstorm items that might be in the suitcase.

Our Padlet

Made with Padlet
Made with Padlet