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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Research Lessons

In the last month or so, I have taugth several research lessons to both upper and lower grades.  Thought I'd share them with you.

Last week I taught a simple lesson on reference books to first grade.  I covered atlas, dictionary, glossary and encyopedia.  I made a PowerPoint for this lesson.


You can download it here or by clicking on the picture above.

I have also been teaching a research lesson to third, fourth, and fifth grades.  In the lesson I cover what books to use in the Media Center for research (reference books and non-fiction books) as well as online reference sources to use including kid-friendly search engines, the online catalog, reference sites and fact sites.  I also cover how to decide if a website is good to use or not by evaluating it, and why it is important to evaluate a website.  I addressed animal research for third grade and biographies of civil war heroes for fourth grade.


You can download the third grade research PowerPoint here.  


You can download the fourth and fifth grades research PowerPoint here.

Note:  Several of the slides included in these PowerPoints included pictures from my Media Center.  Please feel free to insert pictures of your own Media Center if you end up using these lessons.


Here is a handout that I also gave out to the third, fourth, and fifth grade classes
 that included information and websites covered in the research lessons. 

Hope you can use some of these.  =)

This post helped me complete the Five Star Blogger challenge that Charity Preston began on the Organized Classroom Blog.  It was a great challenge that forced me to self-reflect on my blog.  As a result I am trying to do some spring cleaning on my blog like fixing spelling, grammar, typos and making sure links work.  Great idea.  Check it out and see if you can meet the challenge. 

5-Star Blogger



Monday, April 23, 2012

Helping Patrons Help Themselves

One of the goals I have as a Media Specialist is to teach my patrons how to locate the materials they need and want without assistance.  Of course, I am always willing to help, but if they can find it on their own, they won't have to wait for me to be free to assist them.

I am (hopefully) accomplishing this goal by interweaving my Genre of the Month lessons with lessons about call numbers, sections in the Media Center and using Destiny, our online catalog.

This month I taught a lesson about fantasy fiction to my second, third, fourth, and fifth grade classes and reviewed the different sections of the Media Center as well as how to locate a book using Destiny.  I made a PowerPoint to discuss these items and at the end of the lesson, I had students do an activity where they had to look at the call number of a book and tell what section of the Media Center they would go to find the book.  I emphasized the importance of using the provided search slips next to the computers to write down the title and call number of the book so that they wouldn't have to run back and forth from the computer to the shelves if they forgot what they were looking for.  I think it has worked because I am finding search slips all over the Media Center.  Apparently I needed to remind them to throw their search slips away once they locate a book, not leave them on the shelves.  LOL  At least they are using the slips.


If you're interested in the activity sheet, you can get a copy here.


You can also snag a copy of the search slips I use here.

Hope you can use these.  =)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Binge

I've always felt kind of tortured being surrounded by books all day and not having time to read any of them unless it was to read to a PreK, Kindergarten or first grade class.  But this week being testing week has affored me the opportunity to read during testing breaks and when I am through small group testing while I wait for the rest of the school to finish testing before I open the Media Center for check out.  I also have been reading at night since I don't have lessons to get ready because next week's are already finished!  It has been like a dream!  My husband just shakes his head.  He doesn't understand how I can read so many books in such a short period of time.  It might have something to do with how many words per minute I read...that's 802 for those of you who are curious.  By the way, you can find out how many words per minute you read by going here. Thanks to Fran Bullington on Informania for posting about this neat site. But really, I don't think I really read THAT many books this week, but here's the list of the books.  Read it and you can decide for yourself.

I started this marathon of reading with


So B. It, by Sarah Weeks.  It was so good I cried. 

Then I moved on to


True (...sort of) by Katherine Hannigan.  It was pretty good, too.

Then my husband suggested that I read


The Always War. 

I enjoyed it so I thought I'd read the other Haddix books that were in the Meia Center as well.


So next I read


Dexter the Tough,



Escape from Memory,


The Girl with 500 Middle Names,


The House on the Gulf,


Say What?,

and I have begun reading the Shadow Children series.  I have read


Among the Hidden


Among the Imposters


Among the Betrayed and



Among the Barons

Only 3 more books in the series and I will have finished them all!

So that's a total of 12 books in about a week.  Not bad. 
And I think my craving for books has been satified, for now. 
I've added a good reads widget to the left side of my blog
in case you want to keep up with my next book binge.  LOL

If you went on a book binge, what books would you read?



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nothin' Like New Books

Awwww, yeah!  We got in an order of new books last week.  Yippee! There is nothing like getting new books to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. And it makes me feel better about all the books I've weeded this year.

Here are some pics of what we got.



25 new Horrible Harry books


11 new easy and non-fiction books


13 new Ready, Freddy books

and


5 new Judy Moody books

$500 doesn't buy many library bound books, but every bit helps, especially when you've weeded as many books as I have this year (see my post about weeding).  I know the kids are loving the new books, and that is priceless.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weeding, Weeding, and Wedding Some More

Whew!  There's nothing like weeding books to wear a Media Specialist out, unless it's administering a state test all week.  Yes, this week is state testing in my county.  The mornings will be filled with testing, testing, testing.  So my afternoons will be left to open checkouts. I decided to use the time I would normally devote to planning lessons to cleaning up the shelves, but I couldn't wait so I started weeding last week.  It seems like weeding has been my theme this year.  I have weeded so many books that I am afraid we won't meet the minimum number of books per student required by the state if I keep going.  So, fingers crossed, I think I am done for a bit.

Here are some pictures of all the weeding I've done this year. 


I began the summer weeding any books that had hand written spine labels,
a sure sign that the book was waaaay past its prime.


I ended up with two tables full of books which I offered up for grabs to teachers.
Most of the books went unclaimed, but some found a new home in a classroom.



Here is a small stack of books that I weeded last week.  I've also weeded a few more smaller stacks throughout the year, but didn't think to take pictures of those stacks.

All told, I've weeded almost a thousand books this year.
Here are the official stats of how much I've weeded this year:


I've come across some real doozies during this whole process.  Here are some of my favorites.


Something about the title of this book makes me giggle.  I hear it THOSE people in Washington! *eye roll*


Um, yeah.  Who wears white gloves any more?  Too funny!


While I am sure there is some good information in this biography about Johnny Cash, I am sure that there is a much better, updated biography to replace this one.


Ditto for this biography about Dolly Parton.


Gotta love the hairdos in the book, though.


The pictures in these books from the '70s had me rolling.  



I am sure I had friends who wore these clothes when we were growing up, but they seem too funny now.


And here's a great one from Mr. Rogers.




Here's a great one for Earth Day.  Love those '90's white jeans!




Here's a whole set of some groovy books, at least they were groovy at one point in time.  The last book might raise some eyebrows today with the picture on the front.  Time to update the 700's.


Love that you can see what groceries looked like back in the '70s on the cover of this book.


What struck me looking through this book was how short the dresses were.  I am sure that I wore short dresses, too, but wow!


This book reminded me of School House Rock....


...complete with retro cartoons!  But I am not sure today's patrons would appreciate them as much as I do.


This book about obedience had me wondering if the author was comparing children to dogs. Hmmm.

There were a few more, but I think you get the jest of it.  I think I might have to submit some of these to Awful Library Books.  LOL

Maybe it's because Earth Day is quickly approaching or maybe it's just because I am a Book Bug, but I feel bad that most of these books won't ever be used again and have been looking into ways to reuse or repurpose these books.  Here are some ideas I've come across in other blogs as well as on Pinterest.

Saw this cute idea on Bookshelf  for a Book Nook made out of weeded library books.

Craftberry Bush has a cute idea for making a pumpkin from an old book.  I've also seen apple variations of this same concept.


Rock Star Diaries shows how to make a book tree from an old book.


I enjoying making my own greeting cards, and this idea from Sweetly Scrapped for making envelopes is genius!  Thank you notes for parent volunteers would look great in these.


You can find more ideas for reusing old books on this post on Cathy Nelson's Professional Thoughts.  The art that students at her school made from old books is amazing!  She mentions Dianne Cordell's Pinterest board.  I also saw that Fran Bullington has a similar Book/Craft Ideas Pinterest Board.  I started following these boards and hope to begin my own board of similar ideas soon.

So where do your weeded books end up?