It’s been a busy week.Our deputy Superintendent called for a meeting with all Library Information and Technology Teachers (LITT) for Friday at 3:15 PM. He wanted to discuss our future and role with technology in the district. Some people complained about the timing. After all it was early release for elementary.
Too bad some chose to miss the optional meeting. The Dep. Superintendent delivered a presentation about the district.
First he shared this: Internet in Real Time. a new vision and the plan to go 1:1 for student devices Grades 4-12 by the fall of 2017.
The new brand for the district is “LIFT Evergreen: Linking Individuals’ Futures Today. It is evident that the district is putting much thought into how to be a 21st century district. Do you realize that 16% of the 21st century is in the books?
Our role is changing. It’s clear the district wants us to be coaches for technology in this new vision. They don’t want us troubleshooting but teaching. Of course, after reading this article by Fareed Zakaria, I hope the district will remember the importance of the arts and writing.
The Dep. Superintendent and other key stake holders actually listened to our concern about the laptops used in the library now not available because of state testing. It’s been frustrating to teach as I am in the middle of several projects and I am lucky if I have a couple laptops for grades 3-5 to teach. Hopefully this will change next year. How can we be the leaders in the school and not have the tools to use in class?
The meeting ended at 5PM or shall I say I left but some still lingered. I walked away celebrating that the next years of teaching will be exciting.
With school not in session, time is more relaxed. Thanks to Ruth Ayres for providing a space for us to celebrate our lives.
1. Christmas Eve with family. Listening to my oldest grandgirl discover the differences between the book Coraline and the movie, Coraline. I gave her the book for Christmas.
2. Quiet Christmas with just husband and pooches.
3. Time to read.
4. Being able to prepare soup and brownies to take to friends whose Christmas was shattered by the untimely death of their daughter.
5. The Poetry CYBILS finalists have been decided. I can’t wait until Wednesday, January 1, 2014 for them to be announced. The poetry nominees were abundant in goodness and quality this year.
First morning of winter break. Grand girl is still asleep as is my husband and the two dogs. Before I make the sugar cookie dough, time to celebrate the week.
1. Read Week. Third through fifth grade students choose tables and peruse the book boxes, find a couple of books, and read for library time. It’s a time to sample something they might not try. They have the option of taking it with them. One boy was disgruntled with the choices so I handed him Greg Pincus’ The 14 Fibs of Greg K. He loved it and took it with him.
2. Fifth grade Colonial Trades Project. Each fifth grade researches a Colonial trade. They write about the trade and create a model. The library becomes a museum of sorts to display them for other classes.
3. Meeting with a group of Russian and Ukrainian parents plus the ELL teacher. They are a group called Natural Leaders which is an outreach to engage parent involvement. They have chosen the library as a focus as many of the Russian language books are too difficult. They wrote a grant to the PTA for books and it was approved!
4. Speaking of grant approvals…I received a grant to beef up my series collection and a grant to bring author, Susan Blackaby to Silver Star for three days in February.
5. Christmas break is here. My tree is finally up. Yesterday, a first grader brought me a gift to “Mrs. Library.” I didn’t want open the package because I loved the label. Santa dropped off a gift card so I am going to purchase a couple books for the library.
1. The week did not start well. My friend and former colleague died of brain cancer. But the response from the online community of writers with poems made the list especially this ONE.
2. Preschool Read and Play continues to grow and we have consistency with families who attend. We now have bells and shakers for music. This week the local public librarian presented the program.
3. My friend, Barbara, came to spend the day with me. We student taught together. I had no license so she was my driver to school. She stepped in to read when I had to help a student.
4. Our School Showcase on Tuesday evening. We gave away over 500 pieces of pizza! Some many families came to hear the band, orchestra, choir, and to see what was happening in the classrooms.
5. The annual present exchange at my friend, Carol’s home. Carol is a retired teacher librarian. We have known each other for over 28 years. She gathers the people from all parts of her life for an evening. There’s food, drinks, and holiday adornments which we all must wear. This year we shared stories from Christmas past. My favorite was the woman who was raised in Hong Kong and what she would do in Christmas Day with her Catholic dad. How they would go to service, then out to the villages to see friends, and finally to a bakery. Her mother, a Buddhist, stayed home.
My friend, Carol.
More celebrations can be found at Ruth Ayres. What are you celebrating?
1.Co-teaching in a second grade class. Leading up to writing haiku by having students observe the out doors using their senses.
2.The beauty berry bush. Aren’t these berries gorgeous? We are so fortunate to have a lovely garden to greet all every morning at school.
3.Our monthly assembly to give out awards. We started this last year and it has helped to change the tone of the school. I give out the ‘Silver Star Bookworm Award’ to grades K-2 and the ‘Bibliomaniac Award to grades 3-5. They represent the best class for the month.
4.This kinder who wrote about being selected to get the award. I love the illustration of me.
5.Today, my friend Susan Blackaby read her new book, February Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise. It’s so much fun. And Susan is going to be our featured author for
school this year.
It’s been a lazy Saturday in Oregon. I am just now getting to writing this post. What I love about Saturdays is taking the time to reflect on the week.
1. Becoming word collectors like Max in Max’s Word by Kate Banks. These third graders are using dictionaries to find words.
2. Related to word collecting this from a fourth grader:
4th Grader: “MsMac, I didn’t know reindeer were real. (pointing to the reindeer picture in the book).”
Me: “Yes, they are. what did you think?”
4th Grader: “I thought it was just a Christmas thing.”
3. Second week of PreK Read and Play. Singing ‘The Bubble Song’ and having bubbles really helped. I even video taped for a baseline.
4. A very productive meeting with my principal regarding the new evaluation process. Feeling settled in what my focused evaluation will be this year.
5. Time with my friend Shirley. Until she retired, we co-directed the annual school plays. She retired about four years ago. Sadly, for the last two years she’s battled brain cancer. It’s not good. But I celebrate time to see her yesterday.
1. Growing professionally. This week I began meeting with PreK children and their families for story time. This has been a program in our building for the last ten years. The funding was cut last spring. I share the duties with the Family and Community Resource Room Facilitator. We had four families attend on Wednesday for a story and crafts/play time.
2. Shelving project. Our EVERBODY section is in need of an update. Since the school opened in 1972, the Everybody books have had a spine label of ‘E’ for Everybody and the first letter of the author’s last name. This is a shelving nightmare. I have a fabulous volunteer/former librarian colleague who comes in about once a week. So this is one of her projects.
3. Chance and Lisa. Every Tuesday, Chance and Lisa come to the school. Students come down for an opportunity to read to them. Everyone loves Chance, he’s so mellow and Lisa is so encouraging with the readers.
4. Reading during check out. Not everyone returns their library book on library day. So I have bins of books for students to pick out a book and read while others are selecting their new books. When they finish, they can read as well. Students can choose to read with someone or read to self.
5. This explanation from a first grader as to what ‘plan’ and ‘hatch’ mean: “You can hatch a plan in your brain (child is pointing to brain) like a bird hatches from an egg.”
Thank you Colby of Sharpread for writing a reflection post each week. I love this idea. In fact, I share 7 kicks with the kickers at 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast each Sunday. In a time where education is intense, full of demands, and at time exhausting, reflecting on the good is important.
We are Silver Star so here are five star things about the week beginning October 7, 2013.
1.A very successful first Family Library Night. Once a month the library is open to families at night. We offer pizza and water at a low cost and have an activity. This Tuesday we had over 25 families attend.
2. Kids in the library during recess. I love have students in the ‘family room of the school’ as I refer to the library.. These students were so engaged in some quiet games I couldn’t resist this pic.
3.Helping another fifth grader through her realization that she’s never finished a book and she’s reading basically at third grade. She’s smart, plays hockey, and I was able to provide her with some book choices at her level. She will get there! I know it.
4.Hosting Mortimer yesterday here at Check It Out and sharing a poem by Kelly Fineman.
5.Spending the day with other teacher librarian colleagues. Yesterday was teacher in-service day. What a joy to gather with job alike colleagues. Had a great conversations about vocabulary, give students time to read, and the changing nature of our jobs.