Tales of an Elementary Library Tech

Read on to find out how I run the library at my K-8 school site….

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/13

IMWAYR

I’ve been checking out Jen’s blog for awhile and finally decided to join her for “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”. The basics of this is that you read and review books and link up with others and check out their blogs as well. If you want more info, check out Jen’s blog or Kellee’s blog as they are the ones took a younger approach on this. If you want to check out a more older approach, check out Sheila’s blog. For me, I will be reading two different books – one geared toward my lower readers (K-3), the other geared toward my upper readers (4-6). There are some “mature” books that are restricted to my 7th-8th graders, but my focus will be more on the “elementary” age.

Last Week:

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Exclamation Mark As I mentioned last week, I read the primary nominees for the California Young Reader Medal (CYRM) to my students before we vote. This was our first book and the kids enjoyed it! It’s a great one when you’re talking about punctuation and when you would use an exclamation mark, and its pretty fun to read too.

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Camp Can’t I chose this book because it is a series some of the girls enjoy in the 5th/6th grade classes, and this one featured the main character while attending a summer camp. I spend my summers working for the Boy Scouts of America at a local camp and thought I could connect in that way. Well, sure enough, several of Claudia’s tips were ones I could use as well. I mean, how many of you could use an extra toothbrush/paste while you are traveling anywhere? Or how many of you have listened to advice a friend gave and it turned out to be helpful in the end? And those are just two of the twenty tips Claudia shares while she’s trying to survive camp and be chosen as a junior counselor.

This week:

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City Dog, Country Frog Book #2 in the CYRM category.

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Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 A student recently checked out another book in The Royal Diaries series for a book report, and this one caught my eye, as I am a fan of the film.

What are you reading???

ms stefun

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? 10/6

IMWAYR

I’ve been checking out Jen’s blog for awhile and finally decided to join her for “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”. The basics of this is that you read and review books and link up with others and check out their blogs as well. If you want more info, check out Jen’s blog or Kellee’s blog as they are the ones took a younger approach on this. If you want to check out a more older approach, check out Sheila’s blog. For me, I will be reading two different books – one geared toward my lower readers (K-3), the other geared toward my upper readers (4-6). There are some “mature” books that are restricted to my 7th-8th graders, but my focus will be more on the “elementary” age.

Last week:

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Possum Magic My mom visited me last week. Because she has been living in Australia the last two years, I chose a book by an Australian author. When someone is invisible, what magic do you use to allow them to see themselves? That’s what Grandma Poss and Hush try to figure out in this story as they journey the country and try various food items.

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The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet This series has a decent checkout at my library. Not by any means as popular as Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Mr Putter & Tabby, but up there with Black Lagoon and Dr Seuss. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to visit a magical place they find hidden beneath their basement stairs?

This week:

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Exclamation Mark The past few years I’ve read the nominees in the primary category for CYRM (California Young Reader Medal) and then the students get to vote. Well, its that time again 🙂 I’ll be sure to do a blog post when all is said and done so you know how things went, especially since I have the older grades as well.

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Camp Can’t This is another series that has a steady stream, mostly with 5-6 grade classes. And since I spend my summers working at a summer camp, seems like the perfect book in the collection.

What are you reading?

ms stefun

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/29

IMWAYR

I’ve been checking out Jen’s blog for awhile and finally decided to join her for “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”. The basics of this is that you read and review books and link up with others and check out their blogs as well. If you want more info, check out Jen’s blog or Kellee’s blog as they are the ones took a younger approach on this. If you want to check out a more older approach, check out Sheila’s blog. For me, I will be reading two different books – one geared toward my lower readers (K-3), the other geared toward my upper readers (4-6). There are some “mature” books that are restricted to my 7th-8th graders, but my focus will be more on the “elementary” age.

Okay, so I’m a few weeks behind … but here I am catching up 🙂

Previous weeks …

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My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo This book I read because of National Hispanic Heritage Month starting mid-September. The colors are beautiful and with text in both Spanish and English makes it a great book for your kids that are learning English to still see the words in their native tongue as well.

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Bone, Vol 1: Out from Boneville One of the first graphic novels I’ve read. The characters seemed a bit strange at first, but I can see the appeal it would have to younger kids, especially those that love comics.

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The Giving Tree In honor of Banned Book Week, I chose two books that have both been on the banned book list. The first is a favorite of mine, The Giving Tree. While it is sad the tree is cut up and is only a stump at the end, the friendship both the tree and the boy give each other is priceless and why I think it should be available for all.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid This is another book that has been on the banned book list and one that is banned from some teachers in my school for their students to check out. I can see how this could be labeled as a graphic novel, but I would actually put it in the middle of a graphic novel and a “traditional” novel. Personally, I would tell a student one graphic/diary of a wimpy kid type book, one “traditional” if I limited their choices. For reluctant readers, books like this are a great seg-way into “traditional” novels from graphic ones.

This week …

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Possum Magic My mom is visiting from Australia, so I chose a book by an Australian author.

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The Secrets of Droon, Vol 1: The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet I had not heard of this series until I started at a K-8 school this school year, and this is one that has a decent stream, so I decided to check it out.

What are you reading this week???

ms stefun

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/15

IMWAYR

I’ve been checking out Jen’s blog for awhile and finally decided to join her for “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”. The basics of this is that you read and review books and link up with others and check out their blogs as well. If you want more info, check out Jen’s blog or Kellee’s blog as they are the ones took a younger approach on this. If you want to check out a more older approach, check out Sheila’s blog. For me, I will be reading two different books – one geared toward my lower readers (K-3), the other geared toward my upper readers (4-6). There are some “mature” books that are restricted to my 7th-8th graders, but my focus will be more on the “elementary” age.

Last week:

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Listen to My Trumpet: I’ve read other books in the Elephant & Piggie series and others by Mo Willems, and they never cease to delight me and my younger readers in the library. This particular one in the series brought an ending I wasn’t expecting and enjoyed. Even in a “children’s” book I still can’t predict the ending and I like that!

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The Secret Crush: This was suggested by an older reader. I generally prefer to start with the first book in the series, but it has been checked out. Totally one I can see the younger girls enjoying. It had some IM conversations mixed with the story. Similar in style to the Dork Diaries series as this character also keeps a diary.

This week:

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What are you reading this week?

ms stefun

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In the Library … Week of 9/8

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Kindergarten: There were two classes that got a different story, but with most classes we watched The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Charlie the Ranch Dog via Barnes & Noble Storytime. I don’t remember how I first found this site, and they don’t really add more stories, but there are some favorites there, including The Kissing Hand, Fancy Nancy, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

1st grade: We also watched The Very Hungry Caterpillar before looking for books.

2nd-6th grade: I showed students how to search for a book using our online catalog and copy info onto a CAT slip before they got to look for books. *I will update later with a copy of my CAT slip so you know what I’m talking about. The check-out system we use is Destiny Follett. Here’s some examples of our main search page and what a search will turn up.
search homepage example of search
What’s happening in your library this week?
ms stefun
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In the Library … Week of 9/1

this week library

This week was a bit different as CELDT testing was taking place in the library, so instead of coming in for the full 30 minutes, students instead came for about 15 minutes – just enough time to find a book and line back up to go back to class. Kindergarten/TK classes had a visitor (me!) for story-time. The books we read were: It Looked Like Spilt Milk, Whose Mouse Are You?, and Lunch.

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Next week I’ll share how check-in works in my library.

ms stefun

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/8

IMWAYR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been checking out Jen’s blog for awhile and finally decided to join her for “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”. The basics of this is that you read and review books and link up with others and check out their blogs as well. If you want more info, check out Jen’s blog or Kellee’s blog as they are the ones took a younger approach on this. If you want to check out a more older approach, check out Sheila’s blog.

Last week:

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I read this newer version, grabbed off the shelves by a 3rd or 4th grade boy. I wasn’t a fan of the original series and am still not a big fan of mysteries (Boxcar Children is about the only mystery series I would willingly read), however I did find this one easier than the original series. It is for a younger age group, and one I could see myself getting into more if I was back in elementary or middle school.

This week:

I work with lower and upper elementary, along with middle school students, so I decided to be adventurous and read two books each week – one picture book/beginning reader (E section of my library), one chapter book (F or NF section of my library).

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I had a  second grade class come in and this was one of the most requested series. I have read some his others, but this is one of his newer books in my school’s library.

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This one comes from a female in the 4th/5th combo class. It’s actually book 2 in the series, but book 1 is checked out from both my library and the public library.

What are you reading right now?

ms stefun

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/1/14

IMWAYR

I’ve been checking out Jen’s blog for awhile and finally decided to join her for “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”. The basics of this is that you read and review books and link up with others and check out their blogs as well. If you want more info, check out Jen’s blog or Kellee’s blog as they are the ones who started this all.

Last week:
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I asked my 4th-6th graders their favorite book, and one series that came up quite a bit was the Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renée Russell. Last week I read the first book in the series, Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life and I think this is a book/series that girls can totally relate to, especially if they are in a transition period, such as elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, or changing schools. I saw myself even now being able to see pieces of myself back during those times. It’s like Big Nate or Diary of a Wimpy Kid but with a girl’s point of view.

This week:
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I asked a 3rd/4th grader to pick me a favorite book of his and this is the one he pulled. Personally I wasn’t a fan of the originally series so I’m curious how this will turn out in my mind.

ms stefun

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In the Library … Week of 8/25

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First week of checkout!!!! Here’s how a typical visit will look from now on.

For all students (kinder included) I am using a shelf marker seating assignment. Remember those bears from last week? Well, I took a picture of each one and taped them to a table. I also put a smaller version onto library shelf markers….(Shelf makers are just card stock laminated to help them last a little longer.) When students come to the library, they line up outside the door and will choose a color (or the teacher or I will hand them one). Once they have a stick, they can come into the library and find their table. Whatever bear is on their marker will determine their table for that day.

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Kinder students are not checking out books so we just read instead… After reading, the students are called by name/color/table to turn in their stick to a basket and line up.

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For 1st – 6th grade, we went over a brief “how to look for a book using a shelf marker” discussion. Very basically, students put their shelf marker and pull out their book, leaving their marker on the shelf. After looking at the book and deciding no, they put the book back on the shelf where their marker is ‘marking its place’ with the spine showing and then they take their marker and look elsewhere. If they decide they liked the book, the marker comes off and they are done 🙂 But Ms Stefun, what if I decide I don’t like the book and my marker is off the shelf? Well, for most students, I am giving them a two-strike policy. The first time I will put their book on a cart and they can try again. The second time they come to me, they will have to keep the book or I will get to choose their book.

At our school, 1st grade checks out one book, 2nd-8th get the option to check out two. Most of the 2nd-5th grade classes are into AR so the teachers ask that one book be in the students range. My answer for the 2nd book is a “free” book. As long as both books are returned or renewed the following week, they can check out two more books. If one book is not returned or renewed, the student will get zero the next week. 7th and 8th graders visit on their own time with a pass. As long as no books are “overdue” and there are no fines on the account, they are free to checkout when a book is returned, even if another book is on the account. Once a book is “overdue”, they must return it to get a new book (their books have a one-week timeline).

Once a 1st-6th grader find their books, they sit back down at their table and quietly read their books. When we get to about the last 5 min of the visit, Ms Stefun will count down from 10 and ring her bell once. This signals that students are done looking at the shelves. If a student has one book, they are sent to the tables. If they have zero books, Ms Stefun or the teacher will then get to pick their book.

Once all students have at least one book and are at the tables, Ms Stefun will ring the bell 3 times. At this point, books are closed (quietly), sticks are on top, and students are quiet waiting for direction. The first table/color that does this is usually called first to checkout, the rest of the tables/colors being called out by the teacher/Ms Stefun. When students checkout, they line up by Ms Stefun’s desk, sticks in a basket, books turned to the back so the barcode is showing, and students tell Ms Stefun their name (first and last or just first). Ms Stefun will then scan their name on a barcode list she has (sorted by class) and then scan their books. Once books are scanned the student then lines up on a purple line (duct tape on the floor) and hugs their book waiting for the rest of the class to finish. Once the last table has been called up, the teacher is free to take the class at his/her discretion.

For 1st-6th grade students who did not return all their books, I have a box of books that are not part of inventory. Instead of looking for books on the shelves, they are given the option to read the books in this box or sit quietly at the table. After 3-4 weeks of not turning in a book, I may have the student call their parent/guardian and explain why they cannot checkout a book or use the school’s automated system (2 notices have already been sent home at this point – 1 per week). If a parent has a problem paying for a book, I will give them the option to replace the book with the same title (this way they can try a used bookstore/amazon which may have the book at a cheaper price) or I will talk to the principal to create a “work” program to have the student work off the book (whether in the library or elsewhere in the school).

Well, there’s my 1st week of checkout for you. Hope you enjoyed your visit and found a good book!

ms stefun

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In the Library … Week of 8/18

this week libraryI had read somewhere (and I wish I remember where so I could share it with you), but a librarian gave her students a stick that corresponded with a square on the reading carpet and the first few days of school I really liked the idea as my library arrangement wasn’t going to allow a spot for the kids to sit on the floor. My reading area has five groups of tables so this week I called the students in groups of five and gave them all a small TY bear

20140825_150407After a brief intro to myself including favorite books along various points in my life, we went into the weeks activity. For the kindergarten students, we read 2-3 books, one or two being from the first set below, David Goes to School and Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses were read to all classes, and if they got a 3rd one, it was If You Take a Mouse to School or “L” is for Library.

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For my 1st-3rd graders, we colored and talked about how to take care of books. The coloring sheet I used is this one: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Book-Care-Rules-Coloring-Page-and-Bookmarks-FREE-855552. In a few weeks, after CELDT testing, I’ll let the kids color a bookmark they can take with them as well.

For my 4th-6th graders, we talked briefly about fiction/nonfiction and what kind of books are in each section. I used this slideshow as a basis with talking to them (the library already had a similar picture on each section that I referenced as well): http://www.slideshare.net/sroyal/numbers-in-nonfiction

Oh, and let me share with you photos of my library, that way you have an idea of my space when I talk about stuff….

So I have two doors to enter the library. The main entrance brings you right in front of my desk. If you go to the right, you’ll see my picture book and fiction section. Behind my desk is the student computers. To the left of my desk is my seating area and nonfiction (if you go all the way to the left of the picture that shows my seating/nonfiction you’ll find my other door – that’s our “out” door when a class is visiting). Not shown here, but the wall behind me is actually all windows on the top half and the shelves below also have fiction books (I didn’t take a picture of it since its covered with computer boxes and school shirts).

picture book and fiction section

picture book and fiction section

right side of desk looking towards seating and nonfiction

right side of desk looking towards seating and nonfiction

left side of desk looking towards fiction/picture books

left side of desk looking towards fiction/picture books

seating and nonfiction

seating and nonfiction

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, welcome to my first week of classes 🙂 Glad you could join us!

ms stefun

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