Monday, June 5, 2017

May 2017 Highlights

May 2017 brought many different classes into the library!  Here are some highlights from the month.

Mrs. Leavoy's Weekly Library Visits
For the end of the year, Mrs. Leavoy and I decided to mix up our usual library routine by engaging in a long-term project.  To coincide with the live chicks coming to her classroom, Mrs. Leavoy suggested working on a puppet show of Chicken Little.  During the May library visits, we read a book version of Chicken Little in order to get an idea of the story.  We then read the play version and students expressed their wishes for which role they would like to play.  After roles were assigned, students then read through the scripts again.  While in technology class, Mrs. Leavoy's students are working on building a puppet theater for the production!  In library, they worked on the first step of creating their puppets.

Working on the Chicken Little puppets.

A cow serves as one of the narrators for the puppet show.

Walking Tour of Quebec
The French 8 students in Ms. Marshall's classes spent two days in the library using Aurasma to take a walking tour to points of interest in Quebec.  By pointing the iPad app loaded with Aurasma at a picture, this triggered the iPad to play a video about Quebec.  The students especially liked learning about the Ice Hotel, the Chocolate Museum, an amazing toy store, and of course--poutine!  This was a great way to become immersed in French-speaking culture, all while relaxing before the stressful French speaking exams.

Environmental Issues Research
Throughout the year, Mrs. Kleinschmidt's fifth grade students have become expert users of nonfiction books.  They visit the library every Monday morning, and nonfiction is always a popular choice!  However, the students needed some guidance when it came to using databases and websites for their environmental issues research project.  During the course of a few library visits, small groups were introduced to the library databases (namely World Book and Amazing Animals of the World) and approved websites for research.  We even discussed plagiarism and the importance of keeping track of all of your research sources.

Fifth graders used Symbaloo to access approved websites for research.

Career Research Project
Mrs. LoBianco's seventh grade FACS students are frequent library visitors, and the month of May was no exception.  Students participated in a mock job interview day in the library.  After the job interviews were over, the students then used the Career Cruising database in order to research a career of their choice.  The students learned the advantages of using library databases, as well as some helpful research tips.  The final project involved students choosing how they wanted to present their findings.  There were many creative finished projects.

New Books!
As part of the James Patterson Grant awarded to our school library, we had the opportunity to purchase some new titles to add to the library's collection.  The Goosebumps books are extremely popular, and many of these books are very worn out.  With the money left over from the grant, we purchased a brand new selection of Goosebumps books.  They have been flying off the shelves!

The new Goosebumps books purchased for our library.

Professional Development Opportunities
Outside of daily work at Pioneer, I have been taking advantage of professional development opportunities to learn some new ideas and skills.  It is important to do this in order to stay current on all of the great things that can be brought into school libraries.  The SSL 2017 Conference took place in May (more on that later).  Also in May, I took a PD course through the Erie Catt Teacher Center.  The course was hands-on and all about the 3D Doodler Pen.  This pen is much like a 3D printer, except it is hand-held.  It was interesting exploring the capabilities of this tool.  The pen may be added to our library's makerspace!

Using a pattern, I made glasses using the 3D Doodler pen.

Tried making finger puppets (more practice needed!).
The end of the year is in sight!  One more month until summer vacation.

Friday, June 2, 2017

April 2017 Highlights

April 2017 was a shortened month due to the spring recess, but we were still able to pack in many library visits from a variety of classes.  Here are some of the highlights from April:

Historical Fiction Introduction
Throughout the year, fifth grade students have enjoyed reading books from a number of different genres.  Mrs. Mangino, Mrs. Richards, and Mr. Kramer brought their students to the library for an introduction to the historical fiction genre.  We utilized a PowerPoint presentation and graphic organizer to discuss the elements of historical fiction.  After our discussion, we then read Wonder Horse by Emily Arnold McCully in order to further illustrate what historical fiction is.  Students enjoyed listening to the inspirational and entertaining story of Doc Key and his amazing horse, Jim.

Wonder Horse by Emily Arnold McCully

Scratch Jr. Career Project
Mrs. LoBianco's fifth grade FACS students spent the majority of April in the library working on a career exploration project.  After researching three careers of personal interest, students then demonstrated their learning and research by presenting information about their careers through the use of Scratch Jr.  Mr. Maeder, Pioneer's technology integrator, joined us in the library to explain how to use the Scratch Jr. computer coding program.  Students used their creativity to make stories about their careers.  This project required research skills, as well as the 21st-Century skills needed to be successful computer coders.

Eager students share their finished projects with Mrs. LoBianco.

Students used Scratch Jr. to code stories about their chosen careers.

Students reflected on their learning.

It's great to see that a student is consider a STEM career!

A student makes the connection that STEM careers can be helpful to others.

Mini Inquiry Project
The students in Ms. Schaper's ATT group conducted a mini inquiry project during April 2017.  Each student was given the opportunity to research a topic of personal interest.  The students picked a variety of topics, including countries, historical mobsters, video games, the Holocaust, and cryptozoology.  Students generated a number of questions they would like to answer about their topic, then used library resources in order to find the answers to those questions.  Students received guidance in choosing library resources appropriate for each topic.  The class has been working on video presentations to show what they learned throughout the project.

Mrs. Leavoy's Weekly Library Visits
Each Wednesday, Mrs. Leavoy's students came to the library for their weekly visit.  In honor of Earth Day, we read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.  Anything by Dr. Seuss is always well-received by the class!  Students then decorated and assembled their own Lorax.  Recycled items from our library's makerspace were used for the decorations.  Here are the finished products:

Even with the shortened month, April was an enjoyable time in the Pioneer Middle School Library!