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Beals Library Annual Report: 2014-2015

2013-2015 Are Joslyn

Collection Development

* Add new and diverse collections of chapter books and non-fiction.

   - I purchased over 150 new chapter books (both hardcover and paperback) this year. I continue to focus on early chapter books, high-interest low-level books, and a diverse collection that will have options for all readers. 

   - I have also added an entire collection of president books which will be used annually for reports as well as biome books which were requested by staff.

   - I have also acquired over 20 picture books that staff frequently use in classroom lessons and emphasized many of the non-fiction math books I have purchased in previous years.

* Weed paperbacks and chapter books.

   - I have spent a significant amount of my weeding focused on chapter and paperback books this year so I to make room for new books. There are many books with duplicates that were either weeded or placed on reserve in classroom sets.

* I have also finished labeling newly created sections of the collection for student ease.

Circulation/Fines Strategies

* Send a notice after two weeks of missing books

   - Notices have been sent home within a month of a student missing a book for that duration. Parents were notified at each conference with due slips and some have been sent home more than once. 

* Allow all students to check out every visit

   - This year I have not been as restrictive with checkout. In only extreme circumstances have I limited a classes ability to check out. This usually results in a better return the following week and check out continues as normal.

   - I have extended check out an extra week for all students who have no missing books and no fines.

* Place no restrictions on student check out based on missing books up to 5

   - As stated above, only in certain circumstances have I limited a student's checkout.

OPS Action Plan

*Multimedia Creation (learner as producer in Technology)

  Sixth grade students created Powerpoint presentations on a subject of their choosing in order to persuade their audience. Students had 5 minutes to convince their classmates through research and presentation techniques that their viewpoint was the correct one. Students were to include a slide dedicated to counter-argument in order to demonstrate both sides of an argument (not just a strawman). 


* Database and Reference Resources (Technology)

  As noted in the 5 goals section, students from K-2 use PebbleGo extensively to research topics such as animals, biographies and US symbols. In each instance, we used several of the tools provided by PebbleGo such as worksheets and the speech tools in order for students to listen and read along. Grades 4-5 used Culturegrams and WorldBook for classroom research as well as research for library assignments. 

* Multiple Representations (Math)

  Students from grades 1-6 used Sumdog all year in order to practice rote mathematics skills. All problems were grade-appropriate and were represented in multiple forms such as tables, graphs, models, and standard problem formats. Many problems are related as story problems in order to provide more real-world context as well. Students answered over 250,000 problems this year.

Work Examples






Library Goals

* Create more cumulative projects for students to demonstrate understanding.

   - Students from k-6th have completed at least 2 cumulative projects this year. Kindergarten & first did a PebbleGo project where they learned about individual animals and their characteristics. Second grade also learned about life cycles in the spring and completed a food chain based around an animal they chose. Second grade created their genre poster again this year where they choose their favorite genre and create a poster demonstrating their knowledge. Third grade completed many more Common Sense Media lessons this year than previous years. They also created a solar system mnemonic device to help them remember the order of the planets. Fourth grade created their "You Wouldn't Want to Be" posters with some exceptional results this year. They also focused on some research skill using Culturegrams and WorldBook. Fifth grade tried their hand at creating a fakebook account for historical figures of their choosing. They also chose a Wonderopolis topic and researched it using the website as well library and outside resources. Sixth grade has spent a lot of time working on their senior project as well as learning how to create their own games through coding. The sixth grade also created persuasive PowerPoint presentations based on their own interests. We had varied results with some students creating innovative and informative powerpoints while others simply used the time to copy and paste images from the internet. 

* Work closely with staff to increase my personal knowledge of K-6 curriculum.

   - I have worked closely with most of the staff all year in learning what they want in terms of resources and what I can do to assist them. Teachers come to me on a daily basis and ask for technology and resource help. By doing this I have come to better understand their needs and how I can help in their lessons. I have also continued offering to purchase books for the library based on staff needs.

* Organize the library to be more easily navigated for students.

   - I have continued to add to new sections of the library and focus on chapter books for 3-6th grade readers. I have also continued to color code library books.

* Promote ongoing learning outside of school with internet programs.

   - Many students are now working on projects from home such as typing, sumdog, and coding outside of school. I've also added Duolingo to some students home-learning in an attempt to promote the importance of being bilingual. 

*  Create a more fair and equitable class management system.

  -  This year, I used ClassDojo to record student behaviors and track them each quarter. Students who ended the quarter with positive points received free time on the computers and those without had to work on other computer skills (typing mostly). As with any other system that rewards students, there were some students who didn't care about their points and other who were desperate to gain more by helping myself and others.  This system would be more effective if used school-wide and carried whole-school consequences and rewards.


* PebbleGo use

    - 2nd grade students researched a specific animal and used one of the printables from the website. Students chose an animal, found basic information such as height, weight, food, habitat and descriptions of an animal to fill in the sheet. We focused on using adjectives to answer the questions and talked about how their separate animals may live in the same habitat.

   - 2nd grade also used the biography section to learn about different historical figures and stating why they are important.

   - 4th grade also used PebbleGo to assist them in a classroom project. Students used their time in library to research their animals if there was not enough printed material. Students used the pictures and descriptions to create their own facsimiles. 

   - Kindergarten used PebbleGo to research animals that are born from eggs. Students were told to choose either a bird or reptile (also a platypus). They wrote down the name of their animal, drew in in an egg and used brackets to create a cracking egg.

  - 1st grade used PebbleGo to research US symbols ranging from Uncle Sam to the White House. They then drew themselves with the symbol after stating five facts about it.


   - 1-6th grade now have a Sumdog account that they can access from home as well as from school. Students have competed with classmates and students around the world in math competitions which allow them to unlock clothing for their avatars. To date, students have answered nearly 200,000 math questions.

*Typing Web

   - Students from 3-6th grade continue to practice typing using TypingWeb. Students practice at school as well as at home and those that continue to practice have shown significant improvement as now the majority type at least 20 wpm and several are over 40.

2013-2014 & 2014-2015 Book Comparison

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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).