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Beals Library Annual Report: 2015-2016

2013-2015 Are Joslyn

Collection Development

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

      - I have a significantly different make-up at this school than at Joslyn. I started buying Spanish books but realized that by the time students are reading chapter books, they prefer English. I have since, bought over 20 new Spanish picture books and plan to expand even more next year.

   - I have also acquired over 30 picture books that staff frequently use in classroom lessons. I find that once students read a mentor text in class, they will want to check it out for themselves. I also added a lot of space and animal books that teachers will use for projects.

   - A large portion of my purchases this year were replacing destroyed or old copies of previous books. I also spent a lot of my budget buying books that were popular among students at my previous school. Just as before, I also let students help me choose books that they wanted. "Bribing" students by purchasing books they want seemed to act as a good icebreaker.

   - Many of my other purchases went towards buying standard books that are always popular among staff and students. We expanded our graphic novel and beginning reader sections by as much as 5-6 fold.

* Weed paperbacks and chapter books.

   - We got rid of over 40 boxes of books this past summer, significantly changing the dynamic of the library and its organization.

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.

Personal Triumphs - Bragging Time

* Common Sense Certified

* Graphite Certified and joined the Graphite Premium Pilot

* Accepted into Technology Leadership Cohort

* Donor's Choose was fully funded


Work Examples

Matthew Holm Visit


2nd Grade


Library Goals

* Implement my rules and expectations with new students.

    - This is was particularly difficult transition this year for myself and students. I clearly have much higher expectations than they were accustomed to and this resulted in a lot of confrontational situations; this is particularly true with the sixth grade. I believe the fact that I had very few methods of discipline available to me led to a lack of student work this year. We were also significantly undercut with access to technology. For the month of October and then from January through March we did not have any computer time. That is four months less than my students at Joslyn. 

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

   - I have worked very hard this year in establishing myself as a "go to" person for staff when it comes to resources and help with technology. Having already been an MIE has helped and I've worked closely the other school MIE in answering staff questions. Teachers now come to me on a weekly 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.

   - We completely demolished the library's collection this past summer. I removed and replaced all shelf labels, purchased over a hundred book holders, a half dozen table-top shelves, and started labeling all books for genre, graphic novels, Spanish, beginner books, and young adult. Students did not recognize the library at first which was satisfying. They are now able to identify and find books in the correct areas.

* Promote ongoing learning outside of school with internet programs.

   - Many students are now working on projects from home such as typing, sumdog, and coding. Parents have even emailed me asking for their student's login credentials so they can help them.

*  Create a more fair and equitable class management system.

  -  Again, 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. I found this system was effective for students up to about fourth grade. Older students simply need a different program or reward structure. I may end up using Classcraft with older students next year.


* 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 used World Book Online in order to supplement their book research when doing their "You Wouldn't Want to Be" posters. 

   - 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 three 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. Lack of computer access hampered significant growth this year but many students at least have correct form when typing.

Circulation Explained

As we can see in wonderful detail, circulation was up 20% this year compared to last year. I owe this to an influx in books that students help choose. This may also account for the drop in renewals, as students were interested in new titles (particularly a lot of new graphic novels.) A decent portion of new books also made it into the top 50 circulated titles in the library, while others continue to be standard books such as Diary of Wimpy Kid and popular graphic novels that were already in the library.  At least in terms of circulation, I consider this year to be a high mark that may be difficult to replicate in terms of percentage gain. 

Work Examples Continued

4th Grade

5th Grade - Spam

6th Grade - Nearpod

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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).