Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cute K Comment

One of my Kindergarten students said today, "Media is the best! There are books and we do music, art, and crafts. It's everything in one!" I love being reminded of why I chose this job!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Classes Current Projects

Here is what my classes are currently working on:

Kindergarten is hearing stories about families and are practicing cutting by creating unique faces using pictures cut out of magazines. Scissors & Kindergartener always make for an exciting activity!

First Grade & Third Grade are both studing quilt so I have read The Kindness Quilt & The Name Quilt. The First Graders are making kindness quilt squares in Pixie. The Third Graders are using Pixie to create a name quilt square with their name & then writing personal narrative stories about themselves. The students are having a great time expressing their creativity through their quilt squares. My dilema is that it would be cool to print them in color but I worry about using too much color ink.

Second Grade is studying owls so the students are using to find owl facts. We are discussed plagarism & practiced writing the facts in our own words. The students are recording the facts in Word. They have learned to place the web site & the word document side by side--they think it is very cool! Finally the students will be making owl puppets to display a fact of their choosing.

Fourth Grade is studying animal habitats. I am having the students use to research a mammal of their choice--I asked that they choose a mammal they knew nothing about & was not a pet or farm animal-- a few weren't happy about this but I was trying to make sure that they were doing research not just pulling facts out of their own brains. We discussed plagarism also.

Fifth Grade is exploring our unique Earth. Using the site they calculated their weight & age on the planets---great fun for everyone! They are gathering additional facts about the planet they choose.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

1st Quarter

Wow, where did first quarter go!
I'm working on increasing the integration of the grade level themes into my Library Media lessons. I have asked the grade level team leaders to send me the themes their team will be working on in the 2nd quarter. I have received 1 set of themes so far--disappointing but my classroom teachers are so very busy. I will just have to keep trying. Lack of time is a huge issue for everyone. There never seems to be enough time and there is always more to do!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cyber Safety

Time has just gotten away from me. Here are some of the good sites for parents and students on cyber safety.

Safety for Kids on the Internet--Child and Teen safety on the Information Highway
Get Wise on the Net (Online Safety)--Listed are a few simple steps for keeping kids safe online
C.L.I.C.K.S--Community Leadership In Cyber Knowledge and Safety
NetSmartz--Games and activities on Cyber Safety (partnership with C.L.I.C.K.S.)
WiredKids--Games and activities on Cyber Safety
Internet Keep Safe--Lessons on keeping kids safe online

If you have access to Tumble Books there are two cyber safety stories located there. The names of the stories are: Little Red in Cyber Space and Surfing

On the technology pretest that I gave my 4th and 5th Graders, many of them missed the question about web browsers. I went searching online, and found a great video clip. Click here to see it. But since it was posted on youtube, it wouldn't play at school. So I learned how to save a youtube video. Click here to see the directions I followed. It was A LOT easier than I tought it would be.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book Fair

Well, I have survived another book fair! The generosity of our school community is truly incredible! Although the book fair can be disruptive we managed to find a nice balance between shopping & learning. My students in grades 2-5 continued to conduct searches using eLibrary. What was different this year was that I added the task of searching for the book they looked up on the shelf. Adding that piece to the assignment really helped the students connect what was on the computer with where the book was located in the Library Media Center. It really gave meaning to the call number.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's October already?

Where has the beginning of the school year gone? It's hard to believe that I'm already having the book fair next week! That means soon I'll have to start thinking about my reading incentive program. I've found some great computer and Internet safety sites which I will be posting tomorrow. A few of the sites are on my school computer.

But as I was searching the Internet, I found a great page with a song by Jackie Mims Hopkins. She is the author of The Shelf Elf books. The song is all about using a shelf marker that is sung to the tune of the Hokey Pokey.

Get your singing voices ready, click here for the link.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Year

Hi All,

My year is off to a great start.

Here is what my students are working on:

Kindergarten: Students are practing locating and choosing story books from the Everybody section of the Library Media Center.

First Grade: We are creating group graphs in Microsoft Excel.

Second Grade: Students are writing their autobiographies.

Third Grade: Students practicing being authors & illustrators by writing & illustrating their own books.

Fourth Grade: Students are listening to and writing tall tales.

Fifth Grade: Students are creating chronologies of their life.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zoo Postcard--Final Product

Here an example of the final product of my zoo postcards. It was a great activity and the kids loved it. I put all three first grade slide shows into one and the teachers are showing it at their end of the year activites with parents. I learned an important lesson. When I copied the slide to put them into one, the background color didn't get copied. So I had to put the background color back in all the slides.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making a graph with Excel

Today we made a graph using information that my 2nd graders researched and made into a chart. It was easy to get the graph made, but getting the title and axis labels was much harder in Microsoft 2007. Before I taught the kids, I had to figure it out myself. Once I learned the new way to do it and modeled for the kids, they were pretty successful. I had to work through some steps with individual groups. But overall, it was a good lesson.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Zoo Postcards-update

When I did my zoo postcard activity today, I learned that I needed to stress something important in my directions. I needed to stress that they need to write their own sentences. I thought that I had made that very clear, but a group came up to me with the whole book copied on their paper. They couldn't understand why I didn't accept their sentences. I had to tread carfully as not to hurt their feelings.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Zoo Postcards

My 1st graders are going to the zoo this week. I had the teachers break them into partners, with each pair having a high reader. I gave them each an easy text book about zoo animals. They read the book together and then each wrote a sentence about something they learned. Next week we will type a postcard, on a template that I modified from another Library Media Specialist, to their teacher. After they have typed their sentences, they will import a picture of their animal on their postcard. Once we get finished I'll post an example.


Mo Willems Illustrations

Yesterday I began a new project with my 5th graders. I read Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems and we discussed how the illustrations were made. Then I asked them to choose a setting at school they would like to photograph for their background--yes, someone wanted the bathroom--yes, my answer was no. I grouped students by the proximity of the locations they chose, gave them a digital camera & set them loose--pretty scary! The only guidance I gave was that they could not photograph people in their setting and that they had to be quiet and respectful as they walked through school. I left my para behind and sought out the different groups--because the students didn't know they would be grouped by location & I didn't allow for locations to be exactly duplicated the groups were not made up of best friends but just classmates. Everyone returned without insident--Yeah!!

Next week they will drop the photos into Pixie2 and cartoon figures on top--I will let you know how it goes over the next few weeks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Short Video

I just watched this thought provoking video for the creativity class I am taking called "A Vision of K-12 Students' Today"


Where did this week go?
My fifth graders amazed me this week. They are creating a slide in PowerPoint to be included in their end of the year PowerPoint show. The students have used tools and effects in PowerPoint that I haven't even discovered. It has truely been a situation of the students teaching the teacher--really cool!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monster Picture

Here is one of my students' monster picture with his sentence written. As they typed I did have them edit their sentences with the correct spelling.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Field Trip!!

I took my reading incentive winners on our bowling and lunch field trip today. I couldn't have asked for a better behaved bunch! We even got complimented on their behavior at CiCi's. It was a wonderful day. And I even taught my 5th graders when I got back. They started a quick research project. They worked very hard and got a lot done. I had to split them up because 15 computers and 27 students. The numbers don't work.


Thursday, May 6, 2010


Today, my 3rd grade class was a blast! I had given them the task of deciding what topic they would like to research & write questions about the topic. They loved that they could choose their own topic, group to work with, generate questions, & decide how to display their information. Stepping back & letting students direct their learning is new for me--I am learning about it in the creativity class I am taking. The class was loud but it was productive and happy communication!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Saving Issues

Patience, was the theme of my 1st grade class today when it came to saving our work. Trying to get 20 students to save to the same place was rather interesting. It was lucky that the class that came to me after 1st grade was on a field trip because it took me 20 minutes to find all of the documents! I was exhausted after this. They all wanted to prove that they knew what to do.


Tech Troubles

Wow, what a tech crazy day! The network worked sporatically today which makes having K & 2nd grade students use the computer to complete their assignments a major challenge! We all had to dig deep to find extra patience. In the midst of the computer troubles the copy machines decided to jam. I seriously thought my arm was going to get stuck in the machine as I was trying to remove the stuck torn paper with the needle nose plyers! Well as Scarlett said "Tomorrow is another day".


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Create Your Own Monster

I read Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems aloud to my 1st graders. Then they had to go to PIXIE/Paint and create their own monster. After they complete their monster, the 1st graders will type a sentence describing the monster. Before they go to the computer and type, we will discuss what describing words are. I'll post an example when the typing is finished.


Book Ads

My 2nd graders begin creating book ads this week. I read one of my favorites: The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens & Susan Stevens Crummel. The students then choose a book they had read and enjoyed from the library shelves. I took their picture holding the book. Finally, they opened the template in PowerPoint & wrote the books title & author. Next week the students will write why someone should read their book & insert their photo. I'll post an example soon. ---Mindy


Hi Everyone,
We have created this blog for a class we are taking through
I am Mindy and I am a Library Media Specialist in Southern Maryland.
I am Stacey and I'm also a Library Media Specialist in Southern Maryland.
We plan to post Library Media lesson ideas.