It was a year in which new roles, new ways, masks & sanitizers became the normal. It was the year in which I focused on ways to serve & support my students both in-person & remotely. Terms that reigned were: Zoom Meeting, Book Holds, Virtual Lessons or In-person Lessons, Technology distribution & support, Bitmoji classrooms, QR Classroom posters...
Diana & I had many presentations, implementation of new programs & eLearning adventures. Diana started a new library position. I continued my professional journey at PGE.
1-We both got received grants and assisted in writing other grants. I received 2. One was to "Facelift" the KellerISD Traveling Museum and the other was to add "Cubes" to the maker space experience. We, both, assisted with the writing of a grant for $10,000 of new books for our new book bus. YES! Keller ISD will have a new permanent Book Bus to use year around to promote lifelong learning & reading.
2-Many presentations have engaged us. We always believe we are better when we share. We have presented at EdCamps, TCEA, Keller University, Service Center & staff PD. The presentations included Seesaw, Google Classroom, books & tech, STEAM Backpacks.(Click on the "Presentations Tab" to see our uploaded presentations.) Diana presented many more presentations. Her focus on many of those are around creating Librarians as school leaders.
3-Of course, we expanded our digital/virtual libraries present. In fact, this inspired our TCEA proposal for 2021. We as a KellerISD Librarian group have and continues to expand our digital/virtual presence. We are using podcasts, Storytimes, morning announcements, curriculum digital collections, PD, Book Clubs, & YouTube Live.
4-Here is my "End of Year" Infographic:
Diana is starting a new adventure! She is challenging herself by changing schools, grade levels, starting on her PHD and being KISD's Library Lead.
As for me, I am enjoying growing where I am at. Diana & I are still presenting at variety of conferences.
This school year, we are still focusing on reading initiatives & STEAM activities. I will be adding a before school STEAM Challenge once a week. We will fully roll out the STEAM Backpack circulation. In addition, we will be looking into continuing & add several new items to focus on creating a buzz about reading.
Here is our Reading Initiative items:
*New this school year
Events: Dr. Seuss Week; Book Fairs; March Book Madness; Book Character Parade
*Book Trailers: (play as class enter library for their lesson)
Staff Emoji Poster: Elementary picture book/novel
Summer Reading Book Bags
*Bins in Everybody Section: Library
*30 second teacher challenge: Book Talk
Battle of the Books
*Some hall lockers: Book Spines
*Free Book Table: Library
*Principal’s/Staff’s recommendation shelf: Library
*Book Drawing: for a free book (Free Book Friday)
Destiny book Reviews
Incognito Readers Club
Books and technology are both important in a Library. Finding the balance is always hard. The Library is a place of "AWE" & "WONDER"! We are always trying to create a space our students can explore, discover & find something to engage their mind.
Early this year, I had the opportunity of begin interviewed by Dr. Daniella Smith from UNT. We had the opportunity to talk about one of my greatest passions in the library, Design Thinking. I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Smith, first as a student while I was working on my master's degree and library certification at UNT and then last year, I was able to collaborate with her on a STEM project with our 4th graders and in the fall, I will be once again working under her as I begin my journey as at Ph.D. candidate in Information Science. Here is the link to the Knowledge Quest Article.
Just a little of this and that...here is a follow up (reflection) on some of our different projects/programs.
1-Incognito Readers Club: "Shh! It's a secret club!" It is so easy to run. The Club started in October and teachers already had students in mind. They mentioned how it was so meaningful to a student they invited last year.
2-Tech Ninja Club: We are really liking the transformation! We now only are meeting once a month after-school but have added one before school meeting every week. The before school meeting spotlights a Tech Tip.
3-Design Thinking: We are doing the Food Truck Challenge with our 3rd graders. The 4th graders will be doing an authentic problem. They will be looking at the PBIS rewards and then recommend new rewards. We added a new one for 1st graders. They designed a monster character for a puppet author.
4-Google Expedition: We had a chance last year to be a part of the AR pioneer program. I purchased a set of 7 devices and accessories. I figure that 3 students can share a device and experience AR.
5-STEM BOXES TO GO: This program is on it's 3rd year. They are still are flying off the shelves. We are planning on changing and adding some more to challenges.
6-Social Media Intern Program: This program is small but is important. We train just a few students to tweet out using our official school twitter account. #kidstweet It is great seeing what the students want to share.
7-Girls Can Code: Wow! Girls come one day a week before school to Code. We spotlight a Code activity but the girls are given freedom to choose what coding they want to do.
8-Flexible Schedule: Truly from Monday-Thursday my library is a mix scheduled...but on Friday-I am flexible schedule. So far this year, Fridays have had Coding, Google Expeditions, BreakOut EDU, iCentre Reward, Pilgrim Lady presenter and Workshops on Chromebooks, Seesaw & Book Talk Choice Board.
Fall might be in the air, but Diana & I just finished up our Summer Reading "Beat the Heat" program. (Check out our June 2018 Blog post below) We hosted our celebrations on both of our campuses this past week. I had 65 students come to PGE's party with 2 coming back from the Intermediate School to join with us to celebrate our summer reading.
At PGE, the students had fun with character BINGO games, prizes/rewards and watching book trailers. When asked if they enjoyed having a bag of books to read for the summer ...the resounding answer was "YES!".
I am happy to report almost 100% of my bags & library books were returned from the summer reading program. It confirmed that it is okay to let the books go...they don't need to collect dust on the library shelves...get them into the hands of your students for the summer. Our library shelves don't need them! Let us build the culture of reader.
One part of the program I need to evaluate is the digital sharing part. The students liked the book bags but only 1 posted to the Seesaw site(it was optional). I will need to rethink how to maybe get more wanting to share what your are reading or see if that is a needed part to include.
I agree with Suzanne that these books do not need to be left on the shelves to collect dust over the summer. Most of my book have been returned as well. The students checked out 465 books and 462 have come back already. Even though students moved away, they returned their books. Best part was that I had the emails of parents of all participants. This made it easy to get a hold of those who forgot their books or moved. I did my informal survey during the celebration, and most students had read from some to all of the books in their bags, and they all said they would like to participate in the program next year. This program had the highest participation of any of our summer reading programs over the past 5 years. Thanks to Suzanne, I borrowed her character bingo cards, and the winners took turns running the BB8 Sphero's around the Colby Speedway. I was also grateful for the support of the staff who came and helped with the after school celebration. We even had the assistant principal play some dance impromptu music over the intercom and the kids broke out their best dance moves with the principal.
What would I do different next year? I would try and include more students in the celebration. I know BES had a lot of summer readers who read books from other places, and it would have been fun to include those readers too.
Diana Colby @DianaColby Mother of eight. Library/Media Technology Specialist, one busy momma. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you will live forever." Gandhi