Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Letters to the President

I am celebrating President's Day this month by having my students write/draw letters to the President. Educator Drew Bennett is also writing his own letter to President Obama and he has some great insights about what the President should do about education in this country.

Here is a sample of what my students have been doing this week:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NY Times Article

Yesterday on the front page of the NYT there was an article about the "new" school librarians.

The article was a good promotion of what we do and why we are important in a school, BUT it portrayed the media specialist they interviewed, Stephanie Rosalia, as an exception rather than the rule of what a media specialist does in schools these days. As teacher ninja said in his post about it " there is no bad publicity" and I do agree about that, I just wish they had interviewed more than one school media specialist so the readers would see that "we" as a profession are a valuable asset to schools and that media specialists like Ms. Rosalia can be found in many schools these days.

What really got me through, was the comments about the article on NYT.com. One that had me thinking all day long was from poster suenoir who claimed to be a school board director. Her comments include ramblings about how schools should use the public libraries. Here is a quote from the end of her comment:

"If teachers used the public libraries, imagine what could be done with the space now occupied by the library. What if it were a music room? An engineering lab? Students have access to a librarian at public libraries, they do not have access to so many other resources. We need to rethink how money is spent in the schools."

I was so mad after I read that, I think I had STEAM coming out of my ears. YES the public libraries are great and we would LOVE to partner with them anytime, but, many students do not have access to public libraries and what I do is more than provide books, I TEACH, which public librarians do not do on a regular basis to whole classes (public librarians, please don't take offense to that, yes I know you teach people everyday, just not to 26 kids at a time, usually).

I guess what surprised me the most about many of the comments was that many people, educated people, do not know what we (media specialists) do everyday. I would love to invite suenoir, whoever she is, to hang out in a school media center one day and see what life is really like in there. Another comment said that the school library should be the heart of a school and I tend to agree. At my school we are in the center of the school and most days, I DO feel like we are the heart of the school.

I invite any of those NYT commenters to come spend a day with me and see that we DO make a difference in educating our children.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Inventory and Korman

Ok, these two things have nothing in common except for the fact that they both happened this week. I'll start with the FUN one..

Scholastic Book Fairs held an author event Monday night for media specialists and their guests with author Gordon Korman - it was FABULOUS - the people at Scholastic really out did themselves. They had it in a very nice place, provided us with food (including a really yummy brie with sun dried tomatoes which I couldn't stop eating!) and a chance to browse the latest book fair (mine will be here in two weeks) and then a presentation and book signing with Gordon. He was funny, just like his books and told us a fact I did not know - he published his first book (with Scholastic Canada) when he was 14 - WOW!!! The best was story he told was that he sent his manuscript (which was something he wrote for a school assignment ) to the address on the Scholastic book order form!

Here is a picture of Gordon and my friend Tina and I

The other event that happened this week was media center inventory - YUCK. It is something we have to do every year here in the media center, just wish the county would throw in a free visit to the Chiropractor with every inventory we do, it is HARD work! But I am happy to report that I only had to mark 36 items lost (which meant we couldn't find them) and we have over 18,000 items (this includes, books, videos, DVD's, tapes, cd's and things like big books, it does not include items in our teacher book room).

Tomorrow I get to dress up, yet again. This time I am the officiant in a kindergarten classes wedding of Q & U - who says being a librarian is BORING!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mo again

I am feeling like this blog is turning into the Mo Willems blog, BUT really, it isn't.. I am NOT a stalker - really!

But this week we are reading Mo - I am reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and then I am reading his newest book, Naked Mole Rat gets Dressed. The kids love these books and I love reading them (and I have the coolest voices for both books) but I also love how I can relate both of these books to non-fiction selections. I read both of Mo's books, then we talk about how they are fiction and how we knew (the pigeon talks, the naked mole rats wear clothes etc...) and then I introduce non-fiction books about birds (I don't have a book just about pigeons) and a book about naked mole rats - which is always a hit because these things are UGLY - and of course the boys think they are great!

To finish up the story time I am having the kindergartners draw a pigeon and the older kids (I do a lot of story times with 1st & 2nd grade) are designing clothes for Wilber, the naked mole rat, to wear. You can get the coloring pages for the naked mole rat and a how to draw a pigeon guide on Mo's website under grownup stuff.

Of course, I will take a few of my students creations and send them in to Mo - he loves fan mail you know!