Sunday, June 2, 2019

Teaching the Science of Light with Minecraft: Education Edition


This school year, I participated in several trainings to learn more about using Minecraft: Education Edition with students.  I didn't know much about Minecraft before this year.  However, as a media specialist, I try to learn everything I can about emerging technology to support the students and teachers at my school.  So I first signed up for an evening class offered by my district to learn more.  Then I was selected to spend two days in December at a Minecraft Adoption Program training.  After that, I was provided the opportunity to receive coaching on teaching our standards using Minecraft.  During the coaching process, I Skyped with a trainer who helped me select a standard and develop a lesson to teach that standard using Minecraft.  The Minecraft: Education Edition team visited my school to observe the actual lesson.  They recorded the lesson and interviewed the coach and I about our planning process.  Here is a link to the video, which shows my super smart first graders learning about artificial and natural light!

Teaching the Science of Light with Minecraft: Education Edition

2019 Georgia Children's Picturebook Award Winners

This year's Georgia Children's Picture Book Award winner is Not Quite Narwhal written and illustrated by Jessie Sima.  Not Quite Narwhal was also the winning book at my school.  My students loved Jessie Sima's debut picture book about a unicorn who thinks he is a narwhal.






The second place book in our voting was Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli.  This is a hilarious book for beginning readers about an owl who tears down his house looking for the cause of a squeaking noise.




And our third place book was Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero by Patricia McCormick.  This book is the true story of the only animal to ever hold an official rank in the United States military.

Dino-Mite Book Fair

We recently finished our spring book fair.  Scholastic's spring theme is Dino-Mite Book Fair: Stomp, Chomp, and Read!  The outside of the media center became a Jurassic jungle!


The inside of the media center was also decorated to correspond with the theme.  This Dino-Mite Book Fair vignette greeted students, staff, and parents when they entered the media center.



After we set up, I held a teacher preview.  I served a meat tray for the carnivores, a vegetable tray for the herbivores, chips (dinosaur scales), yogurt covered pretzels (dinosaur bones), and Little Debbie caramel chocolate brownies (dinosaur droppings).  Our Scholastic rep came to booktalk some of the titles and she did a drawing for some books.

During this fair, my younger readers loved Sparkly New Friends and The Very Impatient Caterpillar.  My older readers loved everything Dog Man, Because of the Rabbit, and Stolen Girl.

Although this was not our most successful book fair ever, we made enough money to purchase a new encoder for our morning news broadcast.  I'm already looking forward to the Arctic Adventure book fair in September!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Saving Time as a Media Specialist

I was recently honored to be a guest blogger for my friend and colleague Suzy Lolley's blog.  My post is all about time saving tricks for solo librarians.  Click here to read the post!


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Top Twenty-Five Books of 2017-2018

Here are the top twenty-five circulated titles during the 2017-2018 school year at my K-5 school.

25. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

24. Bad Kitty Vs. Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the Front Door by Nick Bruel

23. Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell

22. When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

21. Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen by Rachel Renee Russell

20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney

19. Happy Birthday Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

18. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

17. Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson

16. Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter by Rachel Renee Russell

15. Mayday by Karen Harrington

14. Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel

13. Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney

11. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney

9. Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz

8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

4.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney

2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Paws for Books Book Fair


We just completed our spring book fair.  Scholastic's spring theme is Paws For Books: Come, Sit, Read a Great Tale!  We transformed the outside of the media center into a pet park!  I also displayed pictures of our staff members' pets.


The inside of the media center was reminiscent of the inside of a pet shop.


After we set up, I held a teacher preview.  I served Beggin' Strips Bacon Dip, Nine Lives Tuna Salad, Kibbles and Bits (pepperoni and cheese cubes, Pupcorn, Pupcakes, and Toilet Water.  Teachers browsed the new titles and created their wish lists during the preview.


This fair, my students were most excited about The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt and Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey.  Overall, it was a dog-gone good book fair!