Sep 14 – Oct 9 at the MCHS Library

The last four weeks have been jam packed with lessons and other activities at the Mira Costa Library! Here’s a brief summary.

Library Lessons and Projects

Students sharing their slides during Freshman orientations
Students sharing their slides during Freshman orientations

I continued and completed the Freshman Library orientations, teaching lessons for the 9th grade English classes I didn’t see during the first two weeks of teaching. See this posting for details about the contents of these lessons. From September 14 – October 9, Mr. Holland’s class completed their “Day 2” scavenger hunt, and Mr. Zeoli’s, Mr. Chow’s, Mr. Wheeler’s, and Ms. Jimenez’s classes all visited for Day 1 and Day 2 orientation lessons. All told, 29 9th grade English classes came for 2-day orientations during September and October.

In addition to the Freshman orientations, Ms. Clarke’s 10th grade English students came for a four day series of research sessions. Each student selected a Biblical painting, learned about the artist and style, and compared the work to the original Bible story. On each day, in collaboration with Ms. Clarke, I taught mini-lessons on research skills using databases, evaluating websites for quality, taking notes and crediting sources, and finding and crediting images in their presentations. We also helped the students take advantage of Google Classroom to access all the needed assignment information and submit their presentations.

On September 17, Mr. Knutson’s 11th grade Social Studies students visited to learn about taking advantage of our subscription databases for great research sources and our subscription for keeping track of sources, taking notes, and creating Works Cited.

On September 30, Ms. Hallgrimson’s 10th Grade Social Studies students visited and participated in a QR code scavenger hunt that helped them learn both about how QR codes work and how to work together to follow instructions and find information in the library. They all did a great job. You can see the Google Form we used for the activity here.

Spanish 2 Google Forms

On October 8 and 9, Sra. Rossell’s four Spanish 2 students came for a two-day visit to build vocabulary skills while working with Google Forms. I showed them how Google Forms can be used to create surveys and quizzes. After completing a sample survey created by Sra. Rossell and me, students worked in groups of four to create their own surveys, with each group assigned a different category of vocabulary. Next week, their class members will respond to all the surveys. Then, as a class they will use their Spanish vocabulary while viewing and discussing the results. The students really enjoyed working with their classmates and learning a new skill – creating Google Forms – which they can take advantage of for both academic and extra-curricular activities in the future. I look forward to sharing some of the surveys on this blog. Here’s the sample survey we used to get them started with the project:

And, here’s a link to just one example of the surveys the students created:

While I use Google Forms all the time and have helped other teachers use them to create quizzes and gather information, this was the first time I had the opportunity to help students create their own forms. Clearly, the students were engaged and learned some valuable tech skills while simultaneously building their Spanish vocabulary skills.

Along with these class lessons, a number of other classes visited the library to use the computers and get my help as they worked.

New Online Resources

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We have a brand new resource for streaming and downloadable video: Learn360 from InfoBase. Each of the teachers just got accounts to access the database and find videos, as well as timelines, maps, fact sheets, and more. Students will also have access to this resource when they do research. On September 30, I demoed this great new resource with our Social Studies teachers. I’ll be doing demos for other teachers and sharing more information very soon.

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We also just added access to the online version of the Los Angeles Times. This is part of the free Los Angeles Times in Education program.

Contact me or come by the library for information about how to log into these great resources.

Library Club

#SWVBC Discussion of I'll Give You the SunOur Library Club was pleased to serve as moderators for our monthly Somewhat Virtual Book Club (#SWVBC) discussion of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun on Wednesday, October 7. We had a great discussion with our club President, Danit Rich, as moderator. Our SWVBC network is growing this year! Eleven school library clubs have signed up to participate, and we were very pleased to have at total of seven able to attend this month. Participating schools on October 7 included Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, CA; the American School in Japan; New Canaan HS in New Canaan, CT; Dorman HS in Roebuck, SC; Decatur HS in Decatur, GA; Sunset HS in Beaverton, Oregon; and, of course, Mira Costa! Students and librarians alike gain so much from the interaction we have with schools from around the country – and, this year, international! – using the Google Hangouts on Air platform.

Visit from Rock Star Librarian Deborah Ford

Deborah Ford

On October 6, I was honored and delighted to have a visit from my friend and rock star librarian, Deborah Ford. Deborah is a former district librarian in San Diego County who now works as the School Library Outreach Librarian for Junior Library Guild (JLG), based in Ohio. JLG is a subscription service that allows libraries to receive an outstanding set of curated new books each month in genre categories of our choice. So many of the JLG books we receive each month at the Mira Costa Library end up winning national awards and being “must read” popular titles with our students.

Deborah helped me work on “weeding” our collection, i.e., discarding outdated titles to make new books more accessible to our students. Many thanks to Deborah for spending the day and sharing your expertise with our library!

Geeks Club and Maker Space Planning

Our Geeks Club is busy learning the ins and outs of running our 3D printers and making plans for maker activities for our student body. Stand by for information about an exciting after school maker event very soon. In the meantime, come by the library at lunch on Fridays to see our 3D printers in action and ask me if you would like to get involved or design objects to be printed.

Your Librarian on the Road …

School Library Journal Leadership Summit
At the School Library Journal Summit

During the last month, I was fortunate to participate in a couple of outstanding school library professional development events. July 25-27, I attended School Library Journal‘s annual invitational Leadership Summit, held this year in Seattle. I heard great speakers, got lots of inspiration, and networked with some amazing school librarians from across the United States. I will be sharing more on this summit as I process all the great ideas. Here are just two of my takeaways, one that will inspire how I think and plan, and one immediate practical project:

  • Keynote speaker Marnie Webb, CEO of Caravan Studios, which creates apps for social good, shared her organization’s technique of “extreme listening.”  We were all inspired by it to improve our listening skills as we develop programs and curriculum for our students in order to best address their needs. Here’s an excellent summary and video of the session by Kathy Ishizuka, Executive Editor of  School Library Journal.
  • Another speaker, Sabrina Urquart, is manager of the nonprofit Bezos Family Foundation‘s Students Rebuild project. I learned from her about various opportunities for our students to contribute to our communities and the world. Right now, Students Rebuild is challenging students to to help Syrian youth recover from crisis and grow into happy, healthy adults by creating and mailing pinwheels. For each pinwheel students send in, the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $2—up to $400,000—to IRC’s Healing Classrooms program to support Syrian youth. Our Geeks Club is going to initiate Mira Costa’s participation in this project by having pinwheel making part of our first marker event.
At CSLA’s Annual Southern Region Workshop

Jane Lofton presenting at CSLA Workshop

On October 3, I attended and presented at California School Library Association’s (CSLA’s) annual Southern Region workshop. My session was on “Blogging is for Everyone.” I shared about the value of blogging for students, teachers, and librarians. This school year, I am excited to be working with two English teachers – Mr. Brown and Ms. Cabrera – who are having their students blog. Here’s the link to my presentation slides:

Your Librarian Around the School

I was honored last week to be elected as co-chair of Mira Costa’s Education Council. This group of department chairs is led by Dr. Dale as a permanent co-chair and an elected faculty member as the other co-chair.

Join the #SWVBC!

Here’s a flyer I created to share information about the Somewhat Virtual Book Club. It came out a little too narrow embedded here. So, for ideal viewing, visit this link. Please join us for our discussion of I’ll Give You the Sun this Wednesday at 3PM.

Many thanks to my friend Michelle Luhtala for letting me adapt her flyer!

If you like this flyer, you might want to try out yourself. 🙂