Skip to Main Content

Beals Library Annual Report: 2016-2017

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

   - Except for a few students who's total losses accumulated to over $35, all student have been able to check out at each visit. Due to some students never returning books or frequently losing them, they were given more restrictive permissions.

   - 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)

  Fourth graders created a Sway presentation that included information on animals from two different habitats. They then created a mock-up of characteristics and behaviors a combination of those two animals would have. They voted on and then created four clay models of their favorite animals. Those clay models were scanned and 3D printed for the school to see. 

  Fifth grade students created several Sway presentations based on various made-up scenarios. These presentations required both imagination and research in order to convince their classmates that they had the best food product available for a target audience.

* 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 4-6 used World Book Students, Culturegrams, and safe-searching on Google in order to research information for various Sway presentations.

* Multiple Representations (Math)

  Students from grades 1-6 used Prodigy Math in order to practice math skills for the NESA. I have sinced move from Sumdog to Prodigy because of the more accurate tailoring I can deliver in terms of content. Prodigy actually offers NESA-like questions to students rather than simple flash-card based problems. 

 4-6th grade students were also tasked with creating programs in Scratch which required extensive basic math and problem-solving focus in order to complete. 

Personal Triumphs - Bragging Time

* Common Sense Certified for the School

* Completed (nearly) the OPS ITL cohort

* Over 100 followers on our school's facebook page


Work Examples



2nd Grade




Library Goals

* Implement my rules and expectations with new students.

    - We have had a difficult year with the older students in particular with behavioral issues. I chalk most of this up to there being a lack of 'whole-building' policy and protocol on what we do with students who are having problems. At Joslyn, we went: safe-seat, think sheet, buddy room, PAC room, and then the office. At Beals, there are no steps between safe-seat and the office. Rather, I have to separate students, write up referrals and then request someone to remove them from the room if they refuse to follow directions.

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

   - My time spent in the ITL cohort this year has really enlightened me as to how I can find a more suitable role in collaborating with staff. I'm also looking forward to co-teaching lessons next year.

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

   - Students are now acclimated to the organization I implemented last year. I had fewer questions about the location of materials and more students who were willing to show others where to find books.

* Promote ongoing learning outside of school with internet programs.

   - Many students are now working on projects from home such as typing, Prodigy Math, Scratch, Tynker, and 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.

  -  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 third grade. In the third and fourth quarters, the fourth and fifth graders piloted ClassCraft. While it was not the exact solution I've been looking for, students were more engaged.


* 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.

2014-2015 & 2015-2016 Book Comparison

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


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).