Monday, January 25, 2010

Library Day in the Life

Today I participated in round 4 of Library Day in the Life - started by Bobbi Newman. I created a slide show (below) to document the day and I also wrote a play by play below. It was kind of a strange day in my library today because it was science day at our school and the library was being used for some special science programs all day, but then again, that is what sums up a day in my library, no day is EVER the same, which, I think is what I LOVE about my job!

Day in the life of an elementary school media specialist: January 25, 2010

~ I start out my day checking my Twitter account online at home while I eat breakfast (key lime pie yogurt & juice, if you must know) Twitter is blocked at school, so I get my "fix" in before I go.

~ When I get to school I have to unlock 7 doors in my media center - but I guess I should be so blessed that I have such a LARGE library.

~ E-mail - especially on a Monday my in-box is usually pretty full. I first try and e-mail out my schedule for the day to the teachers at my school as a reminder if their class is scheduled to come in to the media center that day. Today I only had one scheduled class because of science day activities happening in the Media Center.

~ I get my son off to class (he is in 3rd grade) and run around to buy a milk from the cafeteria and a Sprite from the teachers lounge as part of my lesson this morning (more on that later).

~ my 5th grade news crew comes into the media center and we go into our tv studio to prepare for the morning broadcast. The broadcast is only 15 minutes long (at most) and only takes about 15 minutes to prepare, but the 5th graders who are involved love it. I had a new crew today, so the broadcast is a little shaky, but they did a great job for their first day.

~ After the news show, I finish getting set up for story time. I am doing a science story time with a non-fiction book Under The Snow by Melissa Stewart then I am making snow with the kids using instant snow from We take the science thing a little further by trying to guess which will make better snow, milk, soda or water (the water is the winner). This morning I am dong this with a third grade class. I usually do not do story times with third graders, but the teachers love when I do science and try and sign up with me, the kids love it too.

~ After the story time class leaves, my assistant and I finish setting up the media center for the special science programs planned for today.

~ As the science programs are going on the media center, I go into my office and try and get some things off my desk:

~ finish creating a web page for a 5th grade research project I am starting with two classes tomorrow on famous African Americans
~ I finish revising my evaluation goals that my Assistant Principal (AP) had given back to me last week with notes on what to fix.
~ Worked on my Media Plan goals for the next two years , this is another part of my evaluation that my AP had wanted me to finish.

~ I talked to the t-shirt company about customized t-shirts that we are having made for our Reader's Rally team. We finalized art and made a deadline for having the orders in (the design is SOO cool)

~ Ate lunch at the circulation desk (as usual) but because of the science programs, I actually got to eat in some peace instead of in between checking books in/out for students. (italian wedding soup & a diet coke)

~ unpacked new book order - YEAH, I love new books, but boo to the company because they forgot one of the books in the order. E-mail my rep to find out what happened.

~ Planned story time for next week, was going to do Mo Willems (love him!), but am going to do the new Coleen Salley book instead and since she was from New Orleans, we are going to talk about Mardi Gras and make Mardi Gras masks, found mask template, now just need to find paper. Maybe we can use the masks to cheer on the Saints (but my Principal is a HUGE Colts fan, might have to rethink this...)

~ Bus duty (my least favorite part of my day)

~ After school we had a Readers Rally meeting. Readers Rally is a competition that my county puts on each year. It is similar to a Battle of the Books competition. The county competition is open to fourth and fifth graders, but we just have fifth graders participate at our school. The competition is less than a month away, and the practice didn't go so well today, gotta get the kids motivated to READ READ READ the books these next three weeks!

~ I leave school to go to my other job - the Mom job, where I cart my three kids around to dance and sporting practice, make dinner, finish laundry and get ready to start it all over again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A tragedy this weekend

This is not a book or library related post, but one I felt I needed to share.

This past weekend, in my neighborhood in suburban Georgia, three teenage boys fell through the ice in our neighborhood pond (see news story here and here). One of the boys got out, the other two boys were under water for over 40 minutes before the fire department could rescue them and they died later at the hospital. These were friends and football teammates of my son, they were in the eighth grade.

One of the things I have noticed in the past few days that DOES relate to this blog, is the way social media, games and texting have helped these kids go through this tragedy. On Saturday night, when the media wanted some pictures of the kids, about 7 football players got on the boys MySpaces and found pictures to print to give to the media. It was a great way for the kids (and the parents that were there too) to talk about the boys and remember them. That night, the kids were all texting each other and we found out about a church service that was being held on Sunday morning for the boys. About 50 kids (mostly football teammates) showed up to grieve and pray together. Later that day, the boys texted and Facebooked and MySpaced about meeting up at the pond for a memorial to the boys – within 2 hours, well over a hundred people turned up, not only kids, but neighbors, teachers from the middle school and classmates. Late Sunday night, I heard my son playing his Xbox 360 live – I could hear him talking with some of his teammates/classmates on this game and they were remembering the boys and talking about them - a way for my son and his friends to grieve and heal that I never would have imagined. I have also been told that some kids have set up a memorial Facebook page for those that knew the boys to write messages and remembrances on. I am sure that not only will this help the boys friends grieve, but also their families as well.

This has been hard for everyone in our community and something that those of us that live in the neighborhood feel like it could have happened to any one of our kids. They were all curious about a frozen pond, this doesn’t happen in Georgia (I have NEVER seen this pond frozen in the four years we have lived there) and many of the kids (mine included) had tried to test out the ice on Friday (a snow day from school).

Please keep the families of these boys in your thoughts and prayers in the next few weeks.

Now back to our regular programming…

Thursday, January 7, 2010

JFK & Twitter ?

I am so glad the main stream media (and it is funny, I wonder if we are not far from "main stream media" having a totally different meaning soon, and I am saying this also as a person whose husband works for a main stream media outlet) has seen that Twitter is not just for the living anymore!

This story in the Boston Globe lets us know that the JFK Library in Boston has a new Twitter stream (is that the right terminology?) to replay scenes from JFK's bid for the presidency 50 years ago! I can't wait to sign up!

I had an interesting conversation with a teacher the other day about Twitter - so many people think that it is just another social site, just for "the young" and I was trying to convince them that my Twitter activity is mainly of a professional nature (although most of my tweets lately have been about how darn COLD I am) and how much useful information I have gotten via twitter (not to mention PRIZES, I have won 3 Twitter contests this year!). If non-believers of Twitter realize that historic things like this are being put on Twitter maybe people will see the value, and dare I say it.. maybe even SCHOOLS would see how useful this would be... of course in my district, I am not holding my breath for that one!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January Story Time

Who knew when I planned my story times for January that it would indeed be FREEZING here in "hot"lanta. I know most of the country is in an arctic freeze right now, but us southerners (even those of us who grew up in the North) just aren't prepared for this kind of weather!

Many of my teachers do an author study of Jan Brett in January (which means that our Jan Brett books are flying off the shelves) so I decided to help them kick off their unit by reading her book, The Three Snow Bears.

After we read the book, I show them a video of Jan teaching how to draw a baby bear that I downloaded off her FABULOUS website (go to the video tab and she has a TON of videos you can download).

Then to have them understand a little bit more about REAL polar bears, I show them this video from the National Geographic site. This site has some great, short videos about all kinds of animals, my only complaint, the ads before each video, but I guess they have to pay the bills somehow, just wish there was a way I could turn them off.

This story time will lead me into my next story time where I will make SNOW with the kids - although we actually might get some of the real stuff tomorrow - for once, I am hoping for NO snow day, we already have to make up 2 days for our flood days in September!

Happy New Year!!