This is almost the end of my second year as the School Librarian of the LTC at Pine Glen and I am finally getting around to the task of creating shelf signs for the collection. What? You say. You had no shelf signs? I know, I know, but I think you’ll agree that these were worth waiting for.
Not only did I want to provide signage for the collection but I also wanted to make sure that the signs were useful and meaningful to the students, not just to me. That meant clear, simple, and visual signs. After lots of consideration, I decided to ask the Pine Glen PTO to help me purchase a lot of white cardboard magazine holders. I created signs that include the Dewey subject, the Dewey number and images to match. Then I printed them and attached them on the back side of the magazine holder. Fortunately for me, there is plenty of room on the shelves for these sign holders.
I’ve only just begun labeling the shelves but I already have seen how much easier it is for even the youngest students to find what they are looking for and that is my ultimate goal: developing independent users of the library space and collection.
Thank you Pine Glen PTO for once again supporting the Pine Glen LTC with the vision of creating a friendly and inviting space and turning your kids into enthusiastic and effective library users.
Mrs. D’Elia and I were thrilled to have five of our great fifth graders attend Edcamp Boston this year to share their experiences in 1:1 iPad classrooms. The event was attended by over 200 educators from across New England and New Jersey, and the students spoke before a group of 50 educators who asked them some very tough questions about how they handle working on the iPad and what they liked or didn’t like about it. It was an amazing experience, and they made us incredibly proud. Thank you so much to Ashlyn, Dilan, Judy, Kenan, and Sammy, as well as their parents, for joining us on Saturday!
See the Storify below to see pictures of the students in action and the reactions of all of the educators who saw them!
Over the last couple of weeks, the LTC has been working with first grade to create their very own comics! We were looking for just the right project to work on with Mrs. Hayes when she heard all about our new graphic novel collection. She knew that the graphic novels would fit in great with her ELA class’s learning about the parts of a story. So we came up with a plan to use the iPads to make some great comics.
We started off by doing some dramatic interpretations of Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems to demonstrate the use of dialogue and speech bubbles to tell a story. Then Mrs. D’Elia spent some more time over the next few days introducing students to the graphic novels in our collection and exploring graphic novels on the web site The Professor Garfield TOON Book Reader. We learned new storytelling features such as panels, speech bubbles, and facial expressions. After discussing the parts of a story, students started to develop their comic strips which would include characters, a setting, a problem, and a solution to the problem. At first we thought we would simplify things by making the comic strips limited to 4 panels, but the students had so much to write that we let them choose their number of panels.
After outlining their ideas and then creating rough drafts on paper, we got to create our pictures on the iPad. The art tool of choice at Pine Glen is Drawing Pad, an excellent Elementary-level art creation tool, and one of our Core iPad Apps. Our art teacher, Miss Fallon, was on hand to help the students realize their vision of what they wanted in their panels, making sure they had good details but still left room for the speech bubbles.
Once students created their panels, it was time to make them into comics! We used the Strip Designer app on the iPad to choose our page layouts and add speech bubbles and sound effects. You can see the completed comic book embedded below.
We love our little LTC (Library & Technology Center.) It has great books, a computer lab, a story throne, chromebooks, a handful of iPod Touches, a Wall of Awesome, a tower of cushions, and amazine volunteers. But the one thing we didn’t have was Graphic Novels. So we asked our super supportive PTO if they would fund a new collection.
And guess what? The PTO said yes!
Once they arrived (as you can see by the photos on the right) students have been exploring, reading, and enjoying the books in the new graphic novel collection.
But often I am asked many questions by parents and teachers about graphic novels. Here are the most frequent ones:
What are Graphic Novels?
Graphic novels are books written and illustrated in the style of a comic book that resembles a novel in length and narrative development.
Why Graphic Novels?
Graphic novels can dramatically help improve reading development for students struggling with language acquisition as the illustrations provide contextual clues. They are also a great way to reach reluctant readers!
But Do Graphic Novels Count as Real Reading?
The excellent graphic novels available today require readers to be actively engaged in the process of decoding and comprehending a range of literary devices which leads to the development of critical skills necessary to read more challenging works. Yes, they count as real reading.
So far, some of the students’ favorites are Lunch Lady, Babymouse, Amulet, Tintin, and Binky the Space Cat.
Thank you, PTO, once again for generously supporting the LTC and giving all the students of Pine Glen the opportunity to explore, read, and love graphic novels.
We were happy to have a chance to lead a conversation this weekend at iCon 2013, hosted by BPS at Marshall Simonds Middle School. Our discussion was focused around the problems that surface when implementing a 1:1 technology program and how we’ve handled them. Here are the slides we used to lead this conversation.