So I am taking a Screen Casting course through our district this summer and the assignment was to create a screen cast to use in your classroom. The most useful screen cast I could think of was a how-to video of how to use Destiny, our library catalog. So click here to view my video!
So exciting! This summer has been the best yet in the library! I have opened the library every other Wednesday this summer from 10am-noon. I have invited teachers to come and do story times, put out lots of fun maker and STEM stations on the tables and also allowed students to come and check out books. The first two sessions we have had this summer have been amazing. We have had so many families come both times! So many students have gotten some reading enrichment and gotten to check out books to take home with them and keep reading over the summer. I am so pleased with how its working out.
We still have two sessions left if you want to come and join us! Wednesday July 12 and Wednesday July 26 the Sugar Creek Library will be open from 10-12 for any and all students who want to come and visit! I hope to see you there!
So, its been about a year since the last time I wrote a blog. Way too long! I want to start blogging again and build this into a more visible option, or I at least want to keep a better record for myself about how the library is growing and changing each year. Therefore I want to give some end of year statistics about how the library did this year so I can compare them in future years.
This year I was on a partial flex/partial fixed schedule. Four grades had fixed library class, where two grades came in once a week with their teachers for checkout only. Therefore I had 30 class visits per week.
Total number of books in the collection: 12,693
Average Copyright Year: 2005
Total circulation: 27,503 items
Books added to the collection: 1,128
Books weeded from the collection: 530
Amount spent on books this year: $7,680 (we got a special $5,680 from the district this year)
Number of books per student: 15.7
Overall, I think our numbers are decent. I really want to work on weeding this summer to get that copyright year up, and next year I have some plans in the works to try to that circulation number even higher!
So, its summer time and I have spent a lot of my summer working, relaxing playing with my two children, and not updating the blog. But there have been a lot of things going on in the library. I taught summer school during the month of June. South Carolina decided that for its Lunch and Learn program they wanted all students to have access to the library, which meant they had to hire the librarian to run it. :) I had an awesome summer in the library during the month of June.
There are some exciting changes to the look of the library and the lay out but I want to save talking about those until after I have time to go in and take pictures. But I did want to talk about Pathfinders, or Research Guides, or whatever you want to call them. For me, Pathfinders are annotated bibliographies of online resources on a certain topic. They are to help students and teachers find useful information on a given topic quickly. I have made some in the past for other jobs but no teachers have taken me up on the offer to make them here at Sugar Creek, so I have spent some time this summer making some sample ones so teachers can see what I can do and hopefully request others that I can make for them.
I started with 3rd-5th grade social studies because I figured that starting with older students would be more useful, and those students are the ones more often asked to do online research. And I did some research and made two Pathfinders, One for the 5th grade's first social studies unit of the year, Reconstruction (Which you can find here), and a second pathfinder on Native Americans and South Carolina Native Americans for the 4th and 3rd graders (which you can find here). Because I made these based off of the social studies state standards and not a specific teacher request I tried to make them general. But hopefully they were serve their purpose as inspiration. Hopefully I will know within a few weeks or months!
Summer Reading is so important, for everyone! Here at Sugar Creek we promote it in a couple of ways. First we have our Summer Reading Bingo, just for students at Sugar Creek. Complete five reading activities in a row over the summer and when you come back in August turn your Bingo card into me (Mrs. Bridges) for a surprise treat! Click here to access another copy of the Bingo card if you lost yours.
Also so many different organizations have summer reading programs and many of them offer FREE PRIZES for reading. The York County public library (the closes branch is in Baxter) has a great sports themed summer reading programs with cool events this summer too! Click here to go to their website and learn more.
Other groups like Barnes and Nobles, Books-A-Million, TD Bank, Scholastic, also have summer reading programs with FREE PRIZES for participating and reading. I found a really cool article that links to many of these options, Click here to find out more.
Finally, you should read over the summer just because its fun, and you can travel to so many awesome places through reading! The Sugar Creek Library will be open this summer to come get books, and I promise to post more about that next week.
Happy Summer Reading!
Tomorrow we are hosting Joe Ryan, the Education Coordinator with Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, South Carolina Office of the Attorney General right here in the Media Center. This is a Parents Only Event and it starts at 6:30 pm. He is coming to talk about various digital citizenship topics that affect children here at Sugar Creek such as Sharing Personal Information, Social Media, Online Predators, and Cyber-bullying.
Mrs. Layne, Ms. McNinch and myself will be here to also answer questions about how we teach digital citizen ship here at Sugar Creek. Please come and join us!
Today is a teacher work day so I had a couple minutes without children in the library so I wanted to share some of the cool displays that I have going on in the library right now.
The first is my extinction display. Every year I look for books that have never been checked out and I put them on display. I warn the children that "These books are in danger of extinction! If they don't get checked out, they may have to leave the library!" And it motivates them to at least give them a look. Some are good books that just have been hidden on a shelf. Others are good but have unattractive covers (and probably need a book talk to convince someone to check them out), and others may have finished serving their usefulness. My school and therefore my library is fairly new, only eight years old so I don't have any old old relics in here, but I love doing this display at the end of each year to give these lonely books some time to shine. When checkout closes for the school year I will look and evaluate each of these book to determine if they are worth shelf spaces in the library. Many stay because they serve a purpose in the collection. But every year I toss some.
The second pictures is the bulletin board I made for School Library Month. It goes with ALA "Libraries Transform" Theme. So I got a bunch of the cool saying they have come up with about how library are important and paired them with pictures I have taken of students over the course of this year. The kids have loved both the pictures (so see themselves and their friends) and the statements because they think many of them are either true or funny.
The third picture is of the front of the circulation desk. At the beginning of the year that front was bare except for the "Mrs. Bridges Reads...." sign. As I have read children's and middle grade books this year I have take a picture of the cover and added it to my display. At the end of library class students sit in two lines right in front of the circulation desk so as they are sitting in line waiting on their teacher this display has been a great conversation starter. As they ask, "Did you really read that book?" or "Did you like that one?" Its been great to tell them about some of these books and say Yes, we have most of them in the library. At the end of this year I will take all of the pictures down and start again next school year. I am excited about all of the conversations that will bring!
Overall these are 3 simple displays, highlighting three different aspects of library management: collection development, readers advisory, and advocacy. I'm happy that the students like the displays as much as I do and that they are simple to make and maintain.
Ollie's Odyssey is the last of the review books I was given to review for Library Media Connection. Interestingly (or at least interestingly to me) I was originally given only the first few chapters of the ARC and it was called Ozzie's Odyssey. When I read the first few chapters I was confused and not very impressed. So I called my contact and asked about it because my review was not going to be very favorable. He got back to me and gave me a new ARC that they had just recieved and sent it to me to review. The newer more edited version was much better. I'm honestly still not a huge fan, but it was much better then just the first few chapters I read.
Joyce, William. Ollie's Odyssey. 2016. 176pp. $17,99 hc. Atheneum (Simon & Schuster). 9781441473577.
Ollie's Odyssey is a creative fantasy story about Ollie, a stuffed toy and Billy his owner. Billy has made Ollie is favorite which is the highest honor in the toy world, but also put Ollie in danger from Zozo, the clown king and his army of creeps. When Ollie is kidnapped by the creeps and taken to Zozo in the old Carnival Place, Billy goes on an adventure to rescue his favorite toy. The story has a good pace and interesting characters that bring emotion and depth to the story. However, I was sometimes frustrated by the changing of the 'rules' of this fantasy story. For example, the toys can talk to each other when people are not around, but Billy (a person) can talk to all of the toys, why? Why can Zozo not move at the beginning of the story but by the end he can? These small inconsistencies along with others broke the magic of what is otherwise a good story. Mostly for that reason I would only partially recommend this book and not whole heatedly. Grades 2-6. ADDITIONAL SELECTION. Michelle Bridges, Sugar Creek Elementary School. Fort Mill, South Carolina.
All the way back in November I wrote a grant for Donor's Choose. If you have not heard of it, its a wonderful website where teachers can write grants and individual donors can fund grants by donating small amounts of money. Those small amounts add up until the grant is fully funded and then the teacher gets the supplies (or field trip, or special visitor) that they need. So I wrote a grant for storage for stations and some new stations for the library centers. Well it was finally funded in March and the materials all arrived just a few short weeks later. This week was the first week that I actually got to put out some of the materials we received.
Some of the things included in the grant were storage containers (essential for library centers but not that exciting). But what was exciting was two of the new creative building kits I got. We got a marble run set (where students can create marble runs and use gravity to make the marble go down) and we got a magnatiles set (magnetic colorful translucent shapes that students can build with). They have been a huge hit this week! I thought that some of the older grades might think these creative building kits were "too young" but if you see in the pictures featured on today's post. These are all 5th graders (many of them GT 5th graders) have a blast with these two activities.
Seeing things like this in the library is why I LOVE my job, and why I am so thrilled about how the library centers have worked out this year. Honestly I think it is the single best change I have made to the library is the library centers. The centers show me how much students can truly be learning through what looks like "play" and how even in elementary school we are making their academic careers so "rigorous" sometimes they just need to step back and learn through play. I am so happy I can provide that creative and engaging learning play space in the library.
I love Sara Pennypacker! Before coming to work at Sugar Creek I had never heard of her and oh, my life was not complete. I read Clementine last year for the first time, and last year my 3rd graders got to Skype with her. I thought it was pretty cool. So I got send an advanced readers copy of her newest book, Waylon! One Awesome Thing. I was so excited to read and review it! Of course it was great. I think all of her stuff in great. So see my review below:
Pennypacker, Sara. Waylon! One Awesome Thing. 2016. 208pp. $15.99 hc. Disney Book Group. 9781484701522.
Honestly, whenever Sara Pennypacker writes a new book you should start looking for room in your budget to buy it, because you know its going to be good, and Waylon! One Awesome Thing is no exception. The story features Waylon, a previously introduced (in the Clementine Series) very science-y smart kid who is now running into lots of problems his super smart brain can't solve. His sister is becoming a moody teenager and pulling away from the family, the 4th grade boys are being divided into teams by their "leader" the super-cool Arlo, and all of a sudden a known trouble-maker from last year, Baxter returns to their class. Waylon feels like his world is exploding until "One Awesome Thing" happens that helps Waylon see solutions instead of problems. Sara Pennypacker's style of creating true-to-life characters that readers instantly bond with will make readers fall in love with Waylon. Fans of the Clementine series will love this book, Pennypacker is trying to make it a little more mature then the Clementine series (after all the characters are in 4th grade now) so I believe that students who feel that they are too old for Clementine will like Waylon, as his problems are slightly more complex and mature. Overall this is a great book for any middle-grade collection. Grades 3-6. Highly Recommended. Michelle Bridges, Media Specialist, Sugar Creek Elementary School, Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Mrs. Bridges is the chief library ninja and Media Specialist at Sugar Creek Elementary School