Tales of an Elementary Library Tech

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

In the Library … Week of 9/8

this week library

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.

lunch 51sjxsQEOvL it-looked-like-spilt-milk

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

ms stefun

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In the Library … Week of 8/25

this week library

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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,ย David Goes to School andย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you could join us!

ms stefun

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