Tuesday, April 16, 2013

National Library Week – 2013

Celebrating @ the School District of Janesville’s Library Media Centers

National Library Week is this week, April 14 through April 20. The perfectly named theme this year is Communities matter @ your library. April is also School Library Month. 

The School District of Janesville’s Library Media Centers are busier than ever serving the students and teachers in their school communities. 

Students @ the Elementary School Communities 

All Elementary School Library Media Programs provide reading motivation programs. As an example, Jackson Elementary School Library Media Specialist just completed a reading motivation program @ her school.  The students at Jackson teamed up with the Snappy Reading Program.  Each grade level had a set goal to read in order to reach each base.  The Snappy Baseball Organization provides the prizes. (First-base club a pencil, Second-base club a ruler, Third-base club a ticket to a Snappers' game, and Home-base a half-price Snappers ticket to a game and a Happy Meal from MacDonald's). Jackson students also participated in a school-wide program last fall for a chance to make homemade ice cream. Karen Forst, the Library Media Specialist @ Jackson is a wiz at homemade ice cream.

Elementary students from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade are also involved with demonstrating their 21st Century Skills @ their LMCs by exploring deeper knowledge - conducting research projects and sharing their knowledge in creative ways with a variety of Web 2.0 tools. Since these projects are occurring @ every school Library Media Center we will highlight a few. 

Kelly Manogue, Innovative Learning Specialist at Harrison and Kennedy, collaborates with teachers on Problem-Based Learning units in every grade.  Grade 1 students @ Kennedy Elementary School conduct research on animals and use Voki, a free online creation tool, to show what they learned. Kennedy’s 4th grade students have been conducting a year-long Rock River Timeline research project. They will use Microsoft Photostory to demonstrate what they are learning near the end of the school year. 

@ Harrison Elementary School, the 4th grade students are conducting a research project following the Big 6 Research Process. Famous Wisconsinites is the theme. They plan to use Glogster, a free online poster to show off their knowledge. The 3rd grade students @ Harrison are planning a “secret” Mother’s Day Technology Project . Shhh … It’s a secret!   
@ Madison Elementary School first grade students, with the guidance of Brenda Nolte the Library Media Specialist and their teachers, created a “Little Bird Tales” book about themselves on the computer and then shared the books with the first grade classes at Washington Elementary School.  “Little Bird Tales” is a free website that allows students to draw and write an original story as well as record their own voice telling their story. The students had a great time creating their tale and even more fun “meeting” new friends by watching Washington student’s “Little Bird Tales” books.

Students @ the Edison Middle School Community 

The LMC is the center of literacy and technology achievement. During and after school, students enjoy the freedom to read and pursue their academic and personal passions. Alyssa Holbrook, the newly hired Library Media Specialist, is actively involved with the staff and students to create an inviting environment where students are excited about learning, reading, and computing. All students check out books for recreational reading weekly. All the students are also involved in research projects in their academic classes. The 7th grade students just started creating their e-Portfolio in Google Sites to share their best work with their teachers and parents in a paperless environment. The biggest hits this year have been the addition of more graphic novels and Playaways. The Playaways are audio books on MP3 players. The middle school students love this type of technology. They are increasing their listening and reading skills by listening to popular titles, just right for middle school age students, while they follow in the book.

Students @ the Franklin Middle School Community 

Each month throughout the school year, Brenda Nolte, the Library Media Specialist at Franklin offers students the opportunity to have lunch in the LMC while discussing the Book Club selection of the month. Students read the book on their own time and then join the lunch discussion with fellow students and staff members. This lunch discussion provides a relaxed atmosphere for students to share their love of reading and collaborate with others. Oftentimes, we stray from the discussion of the selected book and end up discussing other great books students have enjoyed.

Students @ the Craig High School Community 

At Craig, Library Media Specialist Renee Disch & Craig English Teacher Rachel Ekblad co-taught a 5 week long research project for Ms. Ekblad's 10th graders at Craig. Students delved into their chosen topics, learned how to use databases, cite their resources and paraphrase/quote information. After writing their paper, students gave thought-provoking speeches based on their research topics.

Students @ the Parker High School Community 

At Parker, the LMC has been collaborating often with Alana Rankin's classes to support literacy, research, and Latin and Greek root words.  When the students' achievement was measured, these classes outscored all other classes in the building on related tests.  In addition, the LMC has fostered a link between the students and other adult role models in the building.

“One of Alana's classes was featured in an application for the Follett Challenge, and this group of students and the Parker LMC placed in the top 20 in the nation!” Stacci Barganz, Innovation Learning Specialist.

Students @ every school in Janesville are learning how to be digital age citizens and how to prepare for college and the work force through the collaboration between the Library Media and Innovative Learning Specialists and the classroom teachers. Stop by the LMC’s this week. Participate in the learning. Celebrate! You will find the LMC’s are places where active learning occurs and children abound.

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