Skip to main content

Edison 2014-2015 Annual Report: Home

Collection Development

Students are always asking me if we have such and such book. If we don't, I ask them to write it down and I will order it. Same for the teachers, only they get top priority because they include their literature in the curriculum. They reach more students with a book than one student reading it for pleasure.

I have worked on ordering new title for the Story Collection because kids keep requesting scary stories. I have found a few, but the library's standard of 'scary' is not quite the same as what they see on tv. They want murder, gore and guts. That is not appropriate for an elementary library.

I received may, many free, new books from a lady who works for Boys Town and donated them to the library. They were not the best, but I kept most. I ended up weeding many duplicates. Some were new and never checked out.

I have used a second grade reading site to order new easy chapter books this year.  One day I put them all up on the bookcases, and only let the first and second graders check out form there. These are "good fit" books for them. This gives them an idea of appropriate chapter books for their grade level. Frequently, the younger grades want to check out the "big kids" books even though they cannot read them. Some will try to show me that they can, but they may be able to read the words and not  be able to comprehend any of it. 

 

Circulation/Fine Strategies

I am proud to say that circulation has gone up over 15% during the last two years. I think that is a big jump. We have increased our population. I am trying to get the older kids to take a bigger interest in reading. Frequently, I think they look at checkout as chat time. I am sad to see that there is a large drop in circulation for fifth and sixth graders.

I am noticing that this age group has more distractions than the younger kids. They become more social and it is not cool to be a nerd who likes to read. They spend a lot of time online playing games. Sixth graders seem to want to check out only one book. Sixth graders only check out every other week and I think they lose interest. All kids no matter what age love to listen to a good story; they rush to check out books that were read aloud to them. It's very hard to complete projects and still interest them in good reads. Time is a problem when you only get to see these kiddies once a week. I feel these students get cheated!

I have been working hard on communication with students and teachers to get books back this year. Every student know exactly what they have out every week. I call parents quarterly about long overdue books. I try to teach the students to be responsible Edison Eagles.  When they tell me that their mom did not put their book in their backpack, I tell them that their mom did NOT check out the book--they did! I tell them that if one of my kids lost their library book, I would make them earn the money to pay for it instead of just handing out the money. These are real life situations that students need to learn. Nobody pays my bills for me.

I show my enthusiasm for reading by sharing my excitement when boxes of new books come in. "It's like Christmastime in the library every time I get to open a box of new books." It's contagious.

 

Library Goals

My five personal goals for this year were:

  1. Better communication with students about what books they had out. I have been printing up more overdue notices so that kids have a copy in their hands. I am a very 'green' person, so I do not like doing this, (because it uses so much paper)but I felt it was necessary for some students. They forget. Like me--'out of sight-out of mind'.  I do not do it for everyone, some kids forget--especially on Mondays.
  2. Smile. Even when you don't feel like it. The kids deserve it. Smile. Even when you don't feel like it on the inside. Smile. The feeling will move from your face to your heart. With practice you will be happy. I want the kids to see a happy, friendly face in the library--not a crabby, old lady. It made me sad when a traveling teacher said that our school is very organized and the children are well-behaved, but the atmosphere is not a happy one.  I make a conscious effort to say hello to everyone in the morning. Some teachers do not. I think it is part of being a professional that you greet your colleagues whether you like them on a personal basis or not. Same for students.
  3. I helped students prepare for the NESA tests by playing a student-made educational game with them. My goal was to make it fun, since so many of them are burnt out on testing.They chose two testing vocabulary words to illustrate using Power Point slides. They could include sound, cool transitions, animation, and a title.They presented their slides to their classmates and others had to guess the answers. Much better than if I had made up the examples myself. And the students used technology and had a good time learning about how to represent words graphically.
  4. I decided this year to let second graders use the laptops. In the past, I did not let them since I had such a hard time getting students to learn their login and passwords. They did a great job using the card catalog to find books. They did not log in so they did not have to try and remember their six digit students id number. They will have to learn their numbers next year, but they got experience with how to use the laptops this year. It was a good idea.
  5. I worked hard this year on giving explicit instructions and expectations for checking out, coming into the library, and lining up at the end. I made pictures to illustrate the proper way and the wrong way. I wanted students to be lined up and quiet when teachers came to pick them up. Professional courtesy to return students the way they came to you.

Resources

Having a laptop cart in the library has enabled me to include technology in more lessons. Students have used Culturegrams, World Book online and Pebble Go for their research projects. I take the kindergartners and first graders to the computer lab. We have used Google Earth. 

I would like to use more LIVE resources next year. I want to invite Bob Gibson (baseball great) to come and speak during Black History Month and Bea Karp (holocaust survivor) to come and speak to the students next year. Both are elderly so I can't wait.

I hope Sherwood continues with the sponsorship of the author visits because that is the highlight of my year! The kids look forward to seeing a real live person who is making money writing their own stories! It makes a big impact on them.

Another activity that we did for the first time this year was to Skype with an author. We have two students who are related to Golden Sower author, Chris Grabenstein. We read his books then scheduled a Skype visit in February. It was really fun to see him in his New York City apartment. To look out the window and see skyscrapers was new to our students. We only got a half hour of his time, so we did this activity with a smaller group of students--only two classes in the library and not the gym.

Instructional Best Practices

The 3 strategies you picked from the Academic Achievement Plan spiral bound book.

Technology Integration

  1. I have integrated technology into many lessons. For example, before our author visit with Dean Jacobs, the students learned about him by answering several trivia questions from his website. After his visit, they wrote reviews and shared their thoughts via Think, Ink, Pair and Share. It was interesting to listen to their comments.

Mathematics

      2.  I tried to incorporate math and science into a lesson with first graders and ACP kids. I collected honey locust seeds pods and had the students pick one. They measured it, drew it, and predicted how many seeds were inside. They predicted who would have the most seeds based on the longest seed pod. We graphed the statistics on the board. I also bought an amaryllis bulb and planted it in a pot before Christmas. The students were fascinated by watching it's fast rate of growth! We measured it and predicted how many blossoms it would have. The best part was that I took the plant home for our two-week break and brought it back in January and the plant bloomed again! It was beautiful. The students were excited to come to library and see the changes in the plant. An added bonus was supplied by a hard-working squirrel--an acorn was buried in the dirt in the pot and an oak tree sprouted from the pot too! It was a cool surprise.

Learning Climate

      3.  I stand at the door every morning and say hello to the new kids by name and introduce myself. Many are new ESL students. I want them to feel welcome at our school. The next few days when I see them we play a game--"What's my name?" and we both try to remember each other's names. They smile. I smile. And we remember each other's names. It makes them feel special that someone has noticed them--in a positive, non-embarrassing way.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).