Monday, November 11, 2019

GaETC Goodies!

GaETC19 was, as always, a fun time of learning and mingling with my media specialist peeps.  There were some awesome presenters this year, and I left with tons of ideas to bring back to my school.

I was also honored to present two sessions at this year's conference.   The first session was one on MakerSpaces.  If you were unable to attend or want to just relive the moment (LOL), you can download the handout HERE.  You will find a link to the presentation (view only mode) on page 4 of this handout.

The second session was inspired by a blog post I wrote a few years ago about my favorite apps to use in the media center.  You can read that blog post HERE.  You can download the handout for this session HERE. Again, you will find a link to the presentation (view only mode) on page 2 of this handout.

If you attended either session, I would love for you to fill out the survey within the AttendeeHub app.  This will give the conference planners information about how the sessions went.  Thanks for leaving your feedback and thanks for attending one or both sessions.  I hope that I will see you next year at GaETC20!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

October is Cyber Safety Month

It's that time of year again-time to talk about Internet Safety. Really, this should be a topic to discuss all year long, but October is specially designated as Cyber Safety Month.  So my monthly lessons for 2nd-5th grade this month will cover this super important topic.  Here are some of the resources I use.

For these lessons, I use part of Common Sense Educations's free curriculum for educators.  

I also have a subscription to NearpodNearpod has partnered with Common Sense Media and offers a lite (read FREE) version of a Common Sense lesson for K-2 and 3-5.  You can find these resources and more on Nearpod HERE.

Common Sense Education also has free resources for Digital Citizenship week, coming up on October 14-18, 2019.  You can find those resources HERE.

Another great resource for Internet safety curriculum is Google's Be Internet Awesome.  Students can practice the skills they learn in these lessons with Google's Interland game.

For K and 1st, I recommend using  My Online Neighborhood, from Common Sense Education's YouTube channel.  You can find it HERE on YouTube.

For 2nd grade, I really like using this free video on BrainPop Jr.  You can find it HERE on BrainPop Jr.

For 3rd grade, I use Super Digital Citizen from Common Sense Education.  You can find it HERE on Common Sense Educations' YouTube channel.

With 4th and 5th, I use Being Safe on the Internet from  You can find it on the AMAZEorg YouTube Channel.

And this is a great video on cyberbullying from the Federal Trade Commission-yes, the Federal Trade Commission.  They actually have some fabulous Internet safety resources available.

The Federal Trade Commission runs a program called OnGuardOnline.  They offer FREE resources for parents and teachers.  I like to order copies of their NetCetra kits and give them out to parents during our Internet Safety night in September.

You can find more videos that I have used in the past on my blog by clicking HERE and HERE.


There are also some great Internet Safety games you can find online.  You can view some of the games I've used in the past by clicking HERE.  Please note, some of these games may no longer be active.

During this week in October, I put out these special Internet Safety bookmarks that I made a few years ago.  You can find the set of 32 bookmarks HERE in my TpT store. There are 16 bookmarks in color and 16 bookmarks in black and white for your students to color.

I also offer a free version, with 2 of the bookmarks in color and 2 in black and white for your students to color.  You can find this freebie HERE in my TpT store.

Whether you choose to celebrate Digital Citizenship week next week or to teach about digital citizenship at another time in the year, I hope you find some of these resources helpful.

Monday, September 30, 2019

First Checkout Friday

Our fall Book Fair was about a month ago and all of the new books we received are finally shelf ready, including three new copies of the latest Dog Man!

The problem is that there are 450 kids that all want to checkout those 3 copies.

So I decided to do a drawing for the chance to be the first to checkout one of the new Dog Man books.  I am calling it First Checkout Friday.

All week as classes visit the media center, students will be invited to fill out an entry form.
You can get a copy of the entry form HERE.  You will need to download it to save a copy.

I will draw the winner from all the entries on Thursday afternoon and the winner will be announced on Friday's morning announcements.

The classes that I told today were super excited and just about every student filled out a form. So there will be lots of entries for this First Checkout Friday.  I love how the excitement is building over getting to be the first to checkout the newest book of this favorite series!

Do you do anything special to get new, popular books out to your students?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Safe Viewing Options

If you've ever shown a YouTube video in your library, chances are you've had an experience or two with advertisements or "up next" videos that might not be appropriate for your viewing audience. To prevent that from occurring, you can use a website that takes out advertisements and other extras from YouTube.

Here are some of my favorite safe viewing website options.

ViewPure is free to use.  You can sign up for an account, but it is not necessary to use the site.

SafeShare allows you to create 20 safeshare links to YouTube videos.  You can get unlimited SafeShare links with a subscription.  For more info, click HERE.

SafeYouTube is completely free, but does have some limitations.  For more information, click HERE.

All three of these options allow you to copy the original YouTube link and paste it into the safe viewing website, which will then give you a safe viewing link that takes out all the unwanted stuff like ads and "up next" videos.

What are some of your favorite safe viewing video options?

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Power Up Your Reading Game

I am getting powered up for another school year and thought I'd share some of our new decor.

Here is a picture of the entrance of the Media Center.

This is the book return desk...

and the circulation desk...

...and bookmarks and shelf markers.

Many of the decorations are in my Gaming Themed LMC pack.

You can check out the pack HERE in my TpT store.

The clipart came from Pretygrafik on TpT. You can check out their store HERE.

There is one large bulletin board in the Media Center.  I broke it up into two sections this year.

The first section I used for our Media Center stats.

You can find the signs I used for this bulletin board in my Gaming Themed Stats mini bulletin board set. Click HERE to see it now.

The second section I used for our Stick Together poster from Demco.  The posters range in price from $29.99 to $59.99 and also come in sets for $99.99.  Check them out HERE.

For a video tour of our media center, checkout the highlight videos on my Instagram profile.

I also made some of the decorations using pixel art from Shutterstock.  You can download the pixel heart I used HERE.

I used our poster printer to print off large pixel hearts and then covered boxes in black paper to make the "3D" hearts.

For the "snowflakes" I printed the pixel hearts on cardstock, laminted them, and cut them out.

Next, I cut black paper into squares, then rolled the paper into cone shapes and taped the ends. Then I used hot glue to stick the cone shapes together in a circle.  Next, I glued the laminated pixel hearts to the front and back of the "snowflakes."  I used fishing line to hang them from the ceiling.  I love the finished look!

So how are you powering up your students this year?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Must Read Professional Development Books

I worked on my professional development book TBR pile this summer and have some awesome book recommendations for library media specialists to pass along.

Books I Read This Summer

Hacking School Libraries
by Kristina A, Holzweiss and Stony Evans
Purchase HERE

This was one of THE BEST books I've read for professional development for school librarians.  There were quite a few practical suggestions given that could be implemented right away.  Even as a veteran school librarian, I found some gems of ideas.  I highlighted a lot of sections and can't wait to start trying some of the ideas shared in this book this year.

As a side note, the companion Facebook group for this book is just as awesome.  Do yourself a favor and go join that group! Click HERE to go there now.

Leading from the Library
by Shannon McClintock Miller and William Bass
Purchase HERE

This book is full of great ideas and tips for becoming a leader from the library in your school and beyond.   Leadership ideas to implement at all levels are given-from building collaboration within your own building to collaborating with others across the globe.  If you're looking to be inspired to lead in your school and beyond, this book is for you!

by Jennifer Casa-Todd
Purchase HERE

I was not prepared to have my thoughts on social media tested the way this book tested me. Wow!  This book challenged my thoughts on social media, not only as an educator, but as a parent.  I took so many notes, highlighted and wrote noted ideas in the margin-my copy is totally marked up!  This book has inspired me to try some new things in my school, or to at least talk to my admin about trying some new things.  And I have also begun talking to my own children about how they currently use and how they could be using social media in a positive way to not only impact their lives, but others as well.  This book would be a great PD book study for a faculty at any level.  Start out with the young ones teaching them how to use social media in a positive way so that when they are released on their own to these websites they will know and understand not only how social media works, but how it can be used to make a difference in their lives and the world.  Such a great read!

Books I Read in the Past, And Continue to Recommend

Connected Librarians
by Nikki D Robertson
Purchase HERE

This book is great to pair with Social LEADia as it gives practical suggestions for using social media in the school library, but also for professional development.  If you are looking to grown your PLN, you can't get much better than the advice given in this book.  Think you can't use social media at the elementary level? Think again.  Find fantastic ideas for safely using social media at any level and learn how to connect to others on a global scale in Connected Librarians.

Copyright Clarity
by Renee Hobbs
Purchase HERE

As the name implies, this book gives you a clear idea of what fair use is and isn't.  Examples of  correct ways to use copyrighted items and incorrect ways are given throughout the book. It's a great book to keep on hand for those copyright dilemmas that always seem to pop up.

Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, P.E., and Other Special Areas
by Responsive Classroom
Purchase HERE

I loved this book so much that I volunteered to lead a PD book study for it this year. This book contains so many great examples of classroom management and strategies for special areas.  Even a seasoned pro will find something useful in this book.  Everything from what to do when students enter your space to when they exit is covered.  You'll want to keep this book close to refer to when you have those "tough" classes.

And of course, there are these that I read five or more years ago, but still recommend because there are so many great ideas about running and organizing a school library:

The Tibrarian Handbook
by Christine Varachi
Purchase HERE

This book was such a great resource for me when I first started as a media specialist.  I used it to create my scope and sequence for the year and have since used the same format when planning instruction each year.  

The Centered School Library 
by Cari White
(You can purchase an updated copy on TpT or if you already have the book, you can just purchase the updates to the book on TpT for a lower price)
Purchase HERE
Purchase Update HERE

If you are thinking about implementing library centers into your school library curriculum, this is the book for you!  With ready to use examples, this book gives you what you need to make library centers successful in your school library.

The Book Whisperer
by Donalyn Miller
Purchase HERE

I first read The Book Whisperer back in 2013 because I saw so many people sharing about it on my PLN.  After reading it, I knew what all the fuss was about.  Miller shares oodles of ideas for getting students excited about reading, ideas which can easily be used in the school library.  She emphasizes the importance of modeling being a reader-one reason I started my reading goal display that I have used for years now.  Reading interest inventories are given in the book, which could be used both in a classroom and in a school library.  One of the things I most admire about Miller  is that she is a huge advocate of student reading choice, which is so important in getting students to be life-long readers.

Books still on my TBR List:

The following books have been mentioned more than once in several of the librarian facebook groups I am in, so they are definitely on my radar.

The Ramped-Up Read Aloud
by Maria P. Walther
Purchase HERE

Reading Picture Books with Children
by Megan Dowd Lambert
Purchase HERE

by Kelly Gallagher
Purchase HERE

Game Changer!: Book Access for All Kids
by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp
Purchase HERE

Reading in the Wild
by Donalyn Miller
Purchase HERE

Disruptive Thinking
by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst
Purchase HERE

The Innovator's Mindset
by George Couros
Purchase HERE

Copyright for Schools
by Carol Simpson
Purchase HERE

What books do you recommend for PD?  Any I should add to my TBR list?