Dec. 8 – 19 2014 at the Mira Costa Library

Before the New Year comes, I wanted to fill you in on library activities the last two school weeks of December.

Class Visits

As always, we were busy with class visits, including Ms. Vaughan, Ms. Cabrera, Sra. Rossell, Ms. Chen, Ms. Wachell, Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Reichardt, and Mr. Davidson. I worked with Ms. Vaughan’s Freshmen finishing their Of Mice and Men research project and with her Sophomores on a short lesson on how to incorporate quotations in essays. Here are the slides I shared as part of that lesson.

For Ms. Wachell’s Freshmen, I provided lessons on research skills, using our databases, EasyBib for notes and citations, evaluating sites, and finding and giving credit to images using Google Slides for their Mythology Research project. I taught Mr. Reichardt’s Ceramics classes a short lesson on finding good sources for their research in preparation for creating a sculpture on a social issue.

Mr. Davidson’s Period 5 class visited for a two-day digital citizenship lesson. You can see details about the lessons in my last post where I shared about his Period 0 and 2 classes.

Weeding the Reference Section

Weeding the Reference Section
Joan Kramer helps me weed the Reference Section

I was very fortunate and grateful to have Joan Kramer, a wonderful teacher librarian friend who is now retired, visit to help me plan and launch a major weeding project in our Reference Section. Every library needs to make a practice of discarding unused books to make room for new books and make the newer holdings more accessible. We made a lot of progress on the day of her visit, and you will see big changes in the New Year. Our remaining Reference books will be integrated into the main Nonfiction Section, and the “prime real estate” where the Reference Section has been will become a Fiction Section.  Please look for a complete write-up on this weeding project coming soon.

Empty Reference Shelves
Empty Reference Shelves

Hour of Code

Hour of Code at Mira Costa

During the week of December 8, we hosted sessions of Hour of Code during lunch each day in the library, facilitated by Geeks Club and Girls Only Coding Club members. Students were also able to participate in Mr. Braskin’s lab and the Math/Science Lab. Participants had a fun and rewarding experience getting quick introductions to computer programming, and they can also continue on their own at any time with the many fun options on the Hour of Code Site.

Other Activities

As Chair of our school Curriculum Committee, I led a meeting of the group on Monday, December 8. Our group is working on a goal, tasked to us by Ed Council, to better communicate to students and parents what the expectations are in Mira Costa courses, focusing on AP courses, electives, pathways and overall expectations in all classes. To facilitate our work and allow for as much virtual communication as possible, I set up a shared Google Drive and Google+ Community. We look forward to accomplishing our goal this Spring in time for the 2014-2015 registration period. I also represented the Curriculum Committee at the bi-monthly Ed Council meeting on December 16.

I also attended a meeting of the District Technology Committee on December 17. I am on the Professional Development sub-group of the Technology Committee, and contributing to the development of a three-year plan.

Happy New Year!

I wish all of you a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

Happy New Year

Oct. 6 -17 at the Mira Costa Library

Research & Other Library Lessons

While the library is busy with all sorts of activities – reading, studying, using the computers for writing essays, accessing information, and more – research is always a dominant theme. Now that the Freshman Orientations are behind us, the library is booked for lots of research projects. During the last two weeks, I prepared resources and taught short lessons on research skills and sources with Ms. Vaughan’s 9th grade English class, Ms. Sieker’s and Ms. Cook’s 12th grade English classes, Mr. Timberlake’s Model UN students, and Mr. Davidson’s Biology students. I also taught several of these classes about plagiarism avoidance and respect for copyright. Here is some of the material I have shared when doing lessons on plagiarism and respect for copyright:

Over the last year or so, Google has been making it much easier to give credit to sources used in Google Presentations/Slides and Google Docs. For several classes working on online presentations, I shared how students can find images using the Research Tool in Google Slides and why it is important to give credit. Here is a screencast I prepared a while back that includes information I shared live with students:

For a number of the classes visiting these last two weeks, I also helped students use, a great online tool for storing research sources, creating citations, taking notes, and evaluating sources. Mira Costa has a premium account for EasyBib, which gives us ad-free access, and adds the note taking and website evaluation tools. See this page on the library website for help with EasyBib.

Library Club All Our Yesterdays Discussion

Some Library Club members during our October 3 Hangout
Some Library Club members during our October 3 Hangout

The Mira Costa Library Club served as host for our monthly “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” Google+ hangout discussion of All Our Yesterdays on October 8. Author Cristin Terrill spent the entire hour with us, and was extremely generous in replying to all the students and librarians’ questions about the book, her writing craft, and her plans for future books. We also had four other schools attending. I was very proud of our students who served as the moderators of the discussion. Here’s the Google+ Hangout recording of the session:

We are looking forward to our next session with We Were Liars by E. Lockhart on November 5. Our Library Club also meets during lunch each Tuesday, and welcomes any new members.

I was also invited to participate in “Google Rocks! Hawaii,” a weekly Google+ Hangout for Hawaii educators led by Linda Lindsay, Teacher Librarian at Seabury Academy on the island of Maui, on October 14. The theme of the show that week was book clubs, and I shared about our “Somewhat Virtual Book Club.” Here’s a link to the recording.

The Geeks

Some of our Geek team

Our Geeks (formerly called the Geek Squad, now the Geeks) are ready to provide help to both students and staff with tech issues of any kind. Please take advantage of their services! You can get help during lunch Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, after school Monday through Thursday, or by appointment. Contact me or fill out this form to request an appointment. The Geeks also hold club meetings on Thursdays, and welcome any new members.

Are you challenged by a tech issue-


Señora Rossell’s class visited the library again to work on their blogging project. See my last posting to learn about this activity.

Planning Work

As your librarian, I also do a lot of planning with teachers to get ready for class visits and other projects. During the last two weeks, I prepared resources for Ms. Yoon’s Biology classes, and met with Ms. Clarke, Ms. Rossell, Ms. Chen, and Mr. Marx to learn about their classes needs for upcoming visits. I am also a member of a group of teachers led by William Brown planning an interdisciplinary project we will launch in the Spring on the theme of water and the current water drought in California. In addition, Mira Costa is forming a new Curriculum Committee. We had our first meeting last week, and I volunteered to serve as Chair of this group.