Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Library Discipline

This week is already flying by! I had my first "rough" experience in the library today. Tuesday is my difficult class and of course it is scheduled when I do not have a library aide. I had to raise my voice for the first time today. I also had to send out two disruptive students. I am looking for some ideas for that class to make the period go smoothly. Both are behavior problems throughout the school (not just the library.) When one is absent, the other is manageable and vice versa. It is frustrating having to send anyone out. I don't like to admit defeat, but I have tried a few things.
1. Having them be helpers...works sometimes only.
2. Seating them apart... they yell across the library :-(
3. Seating them outside on the bench for a time out (the door is open so they can be monitored)...they refuse to move and it becomes a battle for me
4. Asked for the teachers help (some teachers will keep difficult students or sit in with them or offer advice)...the teacher basically told me "try having them all day!"

Their disruptive behavior includes: putting others down, talking back, being loud in the library, rough housing, not following library rules, talking while I'm talking, etc.

I'll report back next week to see if their meeting with the counselor today made a difference.

Thing 23- Review 23 Things

I really enjoyed completing this workshop. I also showed the directors of technology in school district and I asked if they might be interested in starting it. I even mentioned that I would be willing to lead the program. We'll see how it turns out and I will post it we decide to use it in our district. If you haven't checked out 23 Things... search for it...there are now many groups offering. I went through Library2Play. But School Library Journal is also offering a course. I highly recommend it.

Thing 22- Ning

A ning is a social networking tool that allows you to collaborate with others. I checked out the Texas School Librarian's Ning. Which is sort of like a MySpace for Texas Librarians. I thought it was neat, to have online forum for Texas librarians. Also there are photos, videos and blogs. I think nings are interesting, although I really like the list-servs better. I subscribe to LM_NET currently and I really like it.

Wiki 101

Things I have learned about using a wiki in the library:

1. Only one students can edit the page at a time. (Maybe this sounds obvious, but I didn't realize.)
2. 30 minute schedules in the library are not really enough time to get much done on a wiki.
3. Kids love the idea of writing online!
4. I need to be very organized.
5. Maybe 5 students per library visit will be able to edit the page...one at a time.
6. It would save time to have a one user name for the session of 5 students, rather than one per child, since logging in and out is time consuming.
7. I want to do this again, but for book reviews.
8. I did a trial run with one class and now other students are interested in using the wiki.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've got a Wiki!

I decided to start a library wiki for my students to use when reviewing books. Our first discussion topic will be Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen. Here is the link to my wiki- NSJE Library. I plan to have the students start working on it on Monday 10/27/08.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Week 6 (10/13-10/17)

Let's see...what happened last week? It's all a blur...last week I worked a lot on order processing. Coming up with a good list of books to order is time consuming. I decided I wanted to focus on science, math and social studies as well as fiction for older students. I got about $500 of fiction for 3-5, $500 of Spanish nonfiction, $500 of Math, $500 of Science, $500 of History, $500 of Teacher Requests, $500 of Award Winning Titles and $500 of "fun stuff." I think I have a good variety that will support our curriculum.

Before becoming a librarian I didn't realize that Texas libraries have standards. This is kind of like the rating a school gets for test performance. Libraries can be unacceptable, acceptable, recognized, and exemplary. Our campus is currently at the following ratings in my opinion:
Standard 1-
Standard 2-
Standard 3-
Standard 4-
Standard 5-

(Status coming soon.)
I plan to present my findings to my campus principal so we can set goals to improve our rating. My campus is an exemplary campus for test scores, so I am pretty sure my principal will want our library to be exemplary as well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen

Please check out this teaser for Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen.

Suzy Red Conference

If you haven't heard of Suzy Red...you need to go check out her website...like RIGHT now! I went to her conference on Wednesday and it was absolutely wonderful. At her conference "Transformers" she discusses each of the Bluebonnet Award winning books for 08-09 and gives participants a manual with 10+ pages of activities for each book. In addition it comes with a site license for your school and a CD filled with "jeopardy" like games and interactive websites and much more. It was the best workshop I have been to in a while.
You can buy her book online at her website...or simply browse all the links for the Bluebonnet books by clicking on the Library link on her homepage.

On a side note, at the conference I ran into my junior high librarian. She said she recognized me when I volunteered to read for a reader's theater (those are included in the manual too!) It was really neat to have her recognize me. I told her I have always liked to read and she said, "Yeah I remembered that about you!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fun librarian t-shirts

I just love google! While I was checking my gmail account tonight I stumbled upon a link in gmail to librarian t-shirts at Cafe Press. I am including a couple of shirts I found funny. Well, I could only get one to link. Here is the direct link to see more shirts. Be forewarned som are "racy."

Fun stuff for the library.

I just saw the coolest idea from School Library Journal...Joyce Valenzia never fails to impress me. In her blog, The Neverending Search, she mentions that she found an idea from Lucy and Ethel's library schemes blog. The idea is simple, use Woordle to create Dewey signs in the library. Be sure to check out the 900s poster Joyce created.
What a fun idea! I also found this wiki with some great ideas for technology integration in the education field. I haven't gotten a chance to explore it thoroughly yet.

I also checked out Valenzia's wiki called bookleads. I am so impressed with the setup of the page. I really like Glogster. I have to try that out. Valenzia reviews Glogster and Sproutbuilder here.

It's dorky...I know

I was so excited this week...I got my new name tag that now says "Librarian." I can't help but be super happy about it.

Also, I had the sweetest thing happen yesterday. I went to my mailbox at work and I found a letter inside from a student. It said something along the lines of "Dear Mrs. Marquez, I came to the lidrery yesterday and my password wasn't working. You tried to help me, but coodn't. You said I needed a new passward. Can you please get me a new passward ASAP? I like to test a lot every day. Sincerely, ___________ rm. #, teacher's name"

It was so cute that this second grader wrote to me in form of a formal letter. I replied back in a formal letter and thanked her for her patience with the delay. She came over after school ended yesterday excited to get her reply letter. It was really nice.

Parent Time at the Library

I had my first "Parent Time at the Library" on Monday, Oct. 6th from 3:15-4:30. It was a great success. In fact we had more parents than seats and my library has about 50 seats! I had lines waiting for AR testing and lines waiting to check out. I think it went really well. At the end of the day though, we had 3 large book carts of books to shelve! Oh, my it was overwhelming. On the following day, we closed the library and worked on catching up on the shelving. I am so SOOOOOOOOO lucky to have a dedicated volunteer who comes daily for about an hour to help me shelve. Also I have a college student who will be coming all week for half a day each and every day to help us organize the shelves. She has already gone through the entire fiction collection and made sure they are in correct alphabetically order! In addition, and I feel like such a lucky lady, my principal saw the overwhelming amount of books we were shelving and got us some extra help. Everyday for 40 min we will have someone come in the morning to help us shelve.

Librarian Sink Hole

Did I mentioned I fell in a new librarian sink hole? Well, not literally of course but I was called by a vendor who will remain nameless to see if I would like to preview their new books. It was the first week of school. She said I could look over the boxes and if I liked what I saw I could get together the PO and send it to her at my convenience or I could return them at no charge. She described the books to me and they seemed to be interesting titles so I said yes. It was a hesitant yes, but I was busy so I went ahead and agreed. When the books arrived I opened the boxes and realized immediately...there is no way I can keep these! They were beautiful books with no barcodes, spine labels, ar tests, or anything. I knew after processing that large order that arrived to me with half of the stuff I wanted on them, there was no way I wanted to start from scratch and put on everything myself. So I called back, and it was difficult to convince the vendor I really was NOT interested. Finally I was able to ship them back and I think I probably won't get a call next year from them. That's okay with me, I have learned my lesson. No one warned me about that one so I am spreading the word to other new librarians so it doesn't happen to them. Don't get me wrong...the books were great...and if you have the time to process them all yourself it can be a great deal...but I don't live in a slow paced world.

Week 5 New Books on the Shelf

I am proud to announce that I finally got all $10,000 of new books out on the shelf yesterday! WoooHooo! It took me so long to process all of them because they needed to be color coded according to how our library is arranged. Each book has a color code indicating their AR reading level. In addition, I really wanted each book to have the quiz id number inside so students could easily find the coordinating AR test. I know that AR sells little labels with this information, but I was not the person who placed this huge order and I plan from this day forward to order everybook with an AR label attached! Who has time to be writing on each and every book?

Monday, October 6, 2008

AR Incentives

This year I am working hard to make our reading program, Accelerated Reader, more fun for our students. AR is pushed really hard at our school. Each six weeks the top 20 in each grade level are rewarded with a field trip. In the past, the students went to a pizza restaurant every six weeks. This year, I thought I would mix it up and change around the field trips. Here is my tentative plan:
1st 6 Weeks-Pizza Place
2nd 6 Weeks- Sue the T-Rex (We have a T-Rex skeleton on display at our local university. )

3rd 6 Weeks- Quinta Mazatlan (An urban forest and wildlife preserve)

4th 6 Weeks- Chuck E. Cheese (Brand new in our area)

5th 6Weeks- Mr. Gatti's Pizza- build your own pizza event

I will post more about our library incentives at a later date.

Collection Development

I am excited because I got my library budget. I love books and I love shopping so I thought this would be FUN. I went to my Collection Development class on Saturday...ALL day. It was a long class meeting. I don't feel like it made me all that more insightful. I do like the textbook however. I plan to study my collection bit before I place my order.
During a librarian's meeting a while back I got to visit the book mobile by Escue and Associates. It was fun scanning all the books I was interested in. It was even funnier when they sent me my wishlist and I saw that I had chosen about $10,000 worth of books! I already started comparing what I want with what we have and I am narrowing the list down. Also I uploaded our collection to Perma-Bound and it is neat to see the collection analysis they have online. I plan to print that out at school today and analyze it more thoroughly.
I know I want to focus on a couple of areas: 4th-5th grade novels (especially 5th) since there are not that many novels for this group and they are having to use 3rd grade novels to supplement. I also was to increase our number of books about the arts, because that is one of our smallest Dewey sections. The challenge I am having is whittling down the list but still focusing on my target areas and still getting a little something for everyone.
When I get it ready I will post how many books in each category I ended up purchasing.