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Indian Hill School Library Annual Report: 2014-2015

Photo Gallary


              Not pictured: Judy Robins.

We couldn't get it done without          TEAM WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Examples of "Caged Bird" bookmarks.


   Proudly carrying their library book bags.




                                      Fun during Dr. Seuss /Read Across America Week!!!!!!!                                             




                                                   Find the just the right book!

Collection Development

Focus on Fiction and Story Collection (short stories)

I plan to accomplish this goal in this way:

1.  I will collect lists of books requested by students to encourage their investment in our library and in reading.  (Did in October 2014, will continue to ask throughout year).

2. I will grow my early chapter series section.  (Am in the process of creating three levels of early chapter books for Grades 1 through grade 3. As of November 1 am at about 50% finished.) As of May we have moved every "I Can Read" into the E section, with color dots to show the level of the book.

3. I will grow my intermediate chapter section.  (In the process of this goal.  Have received my first order of books.  Will continue throughout the year).  I purchased 212 new chapter books this year.  I chose some new fantasy, more comic books for our early fiction readers, and an increased number of some of our favorites.



4. I will weed low circulation and damaged fiction books.  Less than 3 check outs in the past 2 years will be our criteria for weeding.  This is a goal that I really have not worked on too much.  Rather, I have focused on creating a section for Easy nonfiction.  This need became apparent as we worked with large groups of primary students in our library.  We seemed to be chasing them out of the nonfiction section because there was just too much and too many books that did not work for them.  So, as a team, decided the priority was to create a nonfiction section for our primary students.  It is not our intention to keep the intermediate students out of this section, rather create a section where all the books will work for our youngest patrons.  We are adding ES (easy science) to the 500's we put in this section, and a ENF (easy nonfiction) to all other nonfiction categories put in this section.  We have also simplified the dewey numbers to make it easier for our shelvers, and to keep all librarians calm about how the library is organized:)  We are in the process of creating new signs to make it easier to find the different sections.



1. We will teach K through grade 4 how to use PebbleGo and partner with any teachers doing research in the areas of animals and biographies. We taught use of PebbleGo to grades K through 4.  For grades K through 2 we supported teachers by showing how PebbleGo is an online source for informational text.  We incorporated text feature lessons, comparing print informational text with online informational text. We incorporated grade level vocabulary such as table of contents, glossary, and index into the lessons. For   grade 3 we integrated lessons of note taking with using PebbleGo, using the sections used in PebbleGo to create our outline.  We did a study on Martin Luther King, Jr.  For grade 4 we demonstrated the use of PebbleGo but did not do any projects using this database. 

2. We will teach grades 4 through 6 how to navigate and use World Book Kids.  Grades 4 and 5 learned how to navigate World Book Kids.  They used articles from World Book Student to practice note taking.  We worked to break the note taking down into bite sized pieces. We taught a basic outline, using bullets instead of numbers, and we created an outline for the students to follow to keep them from becoming too overwhelmed.  We discussed topics and sub topics.  Even with the supports in place, this lesson was challenging for the students.  Figuring out what is important, what are the smaller ideas within an idea worth writing down is a difficult concept.  However, this lesson helped the students visualize the process of reading informational text.  In retrospect, we focused more on the note taking than on navigating World Book Kids. We did not use World Book Kids with the 6th graders.


3. We will teach grades 5 and 6 how to navigate CultureGrams and provide support to teachers wanting to use this resource.  We did not get to CultureGrams with Grade 5!  The note taking lessons with World Book Kids took up more time than intended and we just did not get to this.  Grade 6 was taught, and we collaborated with the 6th grade teachers on a country research project.  We taught database navigation, how to cite their work and techniques for taking notes. 

4. We will introduce World Book Students to our 6th grade students to prepare them for 7th grade.  As mentioned in goal number 3, we taught navigation and usage of World Book Students by incorporating lessons into a 6th grade research project.  In addition to using World Book Student, we taught the 6th graders how to copy and paste the citations for the articles used.

5. We will teach grades 4 through 6 to use LS2 when searching for books to read.  We reviewed/taught usage fo LS2.  On check out days students were instructed to find up to three new books in the catalog.  Each student had paper to record book titles and call numbers so that even if the book was not on the shelf it could be looked for on a subsequent visit.

6. We will teach 3rd graders how to search for books using LS2Kids. We taught the 3rd graders how to use LS2Kids and what to do with the information. Like grades 4, 5, and 6, the 3rd graders were taught to record titles and call numbers.  We kept the paperwork for future library visits.

7. We will use the database Teaching Books for planning lessons around certain books.  This resource was our go to site when planning lessons for the Golden Sower books.  We definitely used this site. 

8. We will provide support to staff on how to access our databases.  We did provide support, but this is probably an area of weakness, as far as teaching this on a larger scale.  We were very visible for teachers who were looking for ideas, however, and made many visits to classrooms.  We also provided database lists with passwords and user names multiple times throughout the year.

9. We will use TrueFlix for teaching online text features.  We did not use TrueFlix from the library, but I know classroom teachers use this resource and love it.

Circulation/Fines Strategies

Circulation Strategies:

To increase circulation we are:

1. Ordering book bags for grades K-3 to encourage books to be checked out and taken home.  Thanks to our very supportive principal, this was done and bags have already been ordered for school year 2015-2016.  The students are very proud of their books bags.

2. We will have grades K-2 check out three books every week.  We started out with two books but increased to three books for grades one and two.  For kindergarten we stayed with checking out two books per week.  I think that was a good number for organization sake.

3. We will have grade 3 students check out 4 books every week.  We started out the year with third grade students checking out  three books every week.  This provided these students with the opportunity to learn the catalog and to celebrate books.  However, for second semester we switched to checking out five books every other week.  We found that we did not have enough time to teach the other information skills if we checked out every week. 

4. We will have grades 4, 5, and 6 check out 5 books every other week during library, with access to additional check outs at the end of  each day.  We followed this procedure and it worked well.  With grades four and five we used check out days for Golden Sower discussions with our Golden Sower group.  We taught information skills lessons on the non check out days.  For grade 6 we taught lessons every week, just making sure that on check out day our lesson was very short and had a longer "independent" or "small group" time so that students could take turns checking out.  As a group, sixth grade continues to be a challenge for us, to keep motivated and really enjoying the opportunities the library provides. As we look at the circulation numbers for this year and compare them to last year, we feel good about our successes.


Fines Strategies:

1. We will remind students of fines on check out days.  Through questioning, we will find out if paying back fine is possible.  If the family is in a position of not being able to pay back fines incentives will be offered and/or fines will be waved.  We followed this procedure, (reminding each check out day),  but we did not follow through with having students work in the library to work out fines.  This is an area we can explore more.  We have found the challenge to be that we have classes in the library until the day is almost done, and students are not available in the morning.  I have waived a lot of fines. 

2. We will work to have all fines either paid, partially paid and then the rest waved, or totally waved if payment is beyond the power of the family before sixth grade students leave our school.  I worked really hard on this goal.  I think I spoke with students who had outstanding fines or missing books every check out day and especially the last week of school.  I even offered half off incentives.  A few students followed through, but many did not.  This is an area of frustration; teaching accountability.  Not so much so that I get more fines paid or more books returned, although that would really be nice!  More, so that students realize that we have to demonstrate responsibility and understand the importance of that.  I am not sure what to do about this.

3. We will not withhold check outs due to fines.  If the fines are habitual and large we may choose to ask student to keep library books in school, or just take one home at a time.  We pretty much followed this policy, however, for the younger students we probably need to do more follow up throughout the year.  Parents need to know when those fines are growing.

4. We will let parents know of missing books at conferences.  We did this as we were able.  Since we are not in the conference we do not control the importance placed on this concern.

5. We will ask translators to help follow up by calling as time permits.  We did request this and the assistance was great. 


Author Visits

Jennifer Nielsen visited with grades 4, 5 and 6 on Wednesday, November 12.  She discussed the concept of creativity and how it can be learned.  The students loved her!  Following the presentations she stayed for an additional two hours signing autographs for students from these same grades.  Our principal had purchased the book, The False Prince for all 4th, 5th and 6th graders.  Most of the classroom teachers read the book during their read aloud time.  In the library we supported their effort by teaching vocabulary words, character development, and setting.


Book Fair:  We held two book fairs this year.  At our February book fair all students who attended their conference with their parents received a 20% discount at the fair.  This proved to be a great incentive for students to come, especially since this was the first time our school tried student lead conference.

Team teaching:  Mary Ruf and I team taught our double classes.  This worked out well, and was a great way for us to evaluate lessons.


Library Goals

Add your 5 personal goals for you/your library this year.

1. I will try really really hard to learn all students' first names so that I can address them in the hallway. This is a constant challenge!  However, I say every name I know while passing out breakfast bags in the morning.  That way I am practicing outside of the library setting!  

2. I will grow my "reusable" lesson plan resources by at least 10 lessons. I have many lesson plans that I can use again.  Especially usable are the lessons I created on note taking.  While I will definitely tweak what I did this year, I have a good foundation.  Also, the lessons I taught on Office 365 will be used again.  

3. I will continue to grow the Indian Hill Golden Sower Club.  YES!  This is a success!  We had 75 members this year.  Last year our membership was closer to 40:)

4. I will instill leisure reading by incorporating at least five minutes of silent reading after check out with every grade starting with grade two. This did not always work, but whenever possible we provided some reading time on check out days.

5. I will be supportive of my mentee by responding to her questions promptly and sending her lesson plan ideas. I need to improve in this area.  I really enjoyed assisting my mentee and whenever possible I passed along lesson plans, ideas, and advise.  Not being in her building made it more difficult for me.  Also, I feel there is still so much I need to learn that I did not always feel "experienced" enough.  And finally, there are things a first year librarian can use help with that would take someone being there, like helping her order books, weeding, and student management.  I found those parts hard to support.

6. I will learn Safari Montage and provide staff support for this function.I did not accomplish this at all.  I ended up working on my skills with Office 365 instead.  I taught all 6th grade classes how to access Office 365 and how to use the online documents and the online PowerPoint.  I did not work with Safari Montage nor provide staff support.

Instructional Best Practices

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

I chose the following strategies to work on:

#3: Procedures and Routines/Learning climate.  We followed very specific procedures when coming into the library. We wasted little time in getting into place.  I believe our climate was inviting and educationally stimulating. We no longer have the students lining up for check out.  In the beginning of the year I used my mini ipad to check out, but I did stop that after first semester because I had too many books that would not read the scanner.  I did like this procedure, so hopefully I can figure out how to improve this situation.

#4: Literacy strategies across content areas. Six-Step Vocabulary Process:  We are all about words!  To prepare for our author visit with Jennifer Nielsen, we explored lots of vocabulary words used in her book, The False Prince.  The words were introduced with a slide show, and followed up with matching games.  We worked really hard to build background knowledge on not only the words, but also the setting and plot, to help our 4th, 5th and 6th graders enjoy her book, whether or not their classroom teacher chose to read it to them.  

Think alouds:   We used think alouds daily as we modeled how to read words in a book, how to read pictures in a book, how to read for important details in informational text.  As we taught note taking to our 4th and 5th grade students we "thought aloud" with them what was going on in our minds as we chose what was important to write down.  When we taught behavior, we used think alouds as we helped students visualize what it looks like to sit in our own space, to sound out words, to think about what the author might mean.  I cannot think of even one lesson where we did not use the strategy of think aloud.

Think/Ink/Pair/Share:  We used this strategy often as it fit well within the physical setting of our library.  Table partners would start the discussion and then we would draw names to share whole group.  We also used the Kagan strategy, Fan-N-Pick to create discussion groups.  For the younger students we used a lot of partner sharing.  We strived to have some type of small group discussion with every lesson, and we often used the name pull strategy to keep everyone involved, which worked because they never know when their name would be selected.  Another favorite strategy which fits into this category was to have a partner share what their partner said when they were pair sharing, rather than what the person called on said.  In this way we worked on listening skills and ensured that the partners each had an opportunity to be listened to.

#9: Assessments: Descriptive Feedback. We incorporate a lot of descriptive feedback in our discussions about books, topics, and the way we think.  We find this a little challenging in the library because our time is so short.  However, we strive to be specific and visual with our descriptions.  Perhaps the most successful use of descriptive feedback was our use of Office 365 with our 6th graders.  We were able to comment on their PowerPoints and their citation documents when they shared them with us.  This gave us the tools needed to comment in a more timely manner.  Otherwise, our descriptive feedback happens as we are walking around helping students during their independent work.  We also use descriptive feedback when teaching behavior and procedure.  This tends to look like us commenting on someone, or a table of students who are doing their jobs in a correct manner. 


Learning Statement Examples

We posted learning statements each week for the different lessons to help students visualize their learning and to help them understand, on a very basic level, what they should know and what they will do by the time the lesson is over. 


Grades K, 1, 2, 3 using inference skills to make predictions with this Golden Sower nominee.


 Grades K, 1, 2, 3 learn about this author and illustrator and how their creativity works together to create the story.  Interview of the author and illustrator found on


Simple Daily Plan for a check out day.


Sixth grade research project in collaboration with social studies and writing teachers.

A focus on imagery as we collaborate with the Omaha Public Library to celebrate Children's Day, with a focus on multiculturalism. Our students studied the poem, Caged Bird, and created bookmarks that demonstrated their knowledge of the poem's meaning and the images that were brought to mind. Students were also challenged to memorize and recite the poem, which 6 students chose to do.

The 3rd grade's Common Sense Media lesson.

Another poetry lesson, in collaboration with the music teachers program songs about peace.

We used this learning statement to teach text features on both print and online informational text.






Online Education

Grade 6:  Common Sense Media Lesson: Digital Media 101:    We learned the difference between traditional media  (not interactive) and digital media (interactive).  We explored the many ways we use digital media.  We discussed our own use of media, and described it by creating a simile; My media life is like a _________________________ because_________.  I anonymously shared the similes.

Grade 6 also learned how to use Office 365 online documents and online Powerpoints.  This lesson was taught in conjunction with the research project.  They first created a document to list all of their resources.  Then they created a country Powerpoint.  

Grade 5:  Common Sense Media Lesson: Rings of Responsibility. We discussed responsibilities we have to our selves, to our friends and family, and to our larger communities.  We then connected these concepts to online rings of responsibility.  

We also focused on learning about our online databases, especially World Book Student , used for our note taking lessons, and the library catalog.

Grade 4: Common Sense Media Lesson Strong Passwords.  The link to the PowerPoint lesson is:

Grade 3: Leaving a digital footprint.  The learning statement is listed above.

Grade 2: We discussed copyright and creative ownership.

Kindergarten and Grade 1: We discussed staying safe online.


Golden Sower club

We used our author visit, and her book, The False Prince, to kick off our Golden Sower Club.  All students in grades 4, 5 and 6 received a copy of The False Prince.  I had given all of these teachers a copy for their classroom and encouraged them to use the book for a classroom read. This was all done prior to Jennifer Nielsen's visit.  Then following,  fourth and fifth graders were invited to join the Golden Sower Club if they committed to reading three additional books.  Sixth graders were chosen by their teachers.  For sixth grade, the teachers selected students who are on or close to grade level reading.  All grades strove to read one book per month.  For grades four and five we met one to two times a month on check out days.  The first time we met we had discussion questions that would not ruin an unread storyline, since we were  at different points in the book.  At the second meeting we mostly talked about how we liked the book, and then we received the next book.  Grade 6 met once a month during their lunch time.  The students picked up their lunches and we ate together in the library.  These meetings were very quick, so we kept our discussions light, mostly celebrating the book.  

This club has grown every year.  This year 75 students attended our celebration on Wednesday, April 29.  We played a trivia game, each table was a team, we had raffle prizes, and we celebrated being readers.

Perhaps the most important part of this program is why we do it.  We are working to create a culture where it is "cool" to read.  While I am sure a small percentage of the students who belong do not fully read the books, most do.  And, for those who do not, they still want to be seen as readers, and so will hopefully continue to work to accomplish that goal.



   Three Table won prizes for Trivia Contest                                                                15 Table Teams filled the library!


                                                            Two of the three winning teams!!

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 (531-299-9822).

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 (531-299-9822).