April 20 – May 8 at the Library

The last three weeks have flown by at the Mira Costa Library. Ms. Cabrera’s and Mr. Wheeler’s English students and Mr. Knutson’s U.S. History students spent several days in the library working on research projects which began with lessons on how to find and evaluate research sources and how to do citations. Mr. Carlson’s music students worked on their new blogs and we talked about writing good blog comments. And, Sra. Rossell and Sra. Hernandez’s Spanish 2 students worked on projects using VoiceThread to practice their new vocabulary related to travel. Working in teams of two, the students all chose a country for a hypothetical trip and shared something about the country, how they would get there, where they would stay, what they would eat, and sites they would visit. In the process, they also learned about a new tool for finding and sharing copyright-friendly images, voice recording, and creating avatars. Here is an example, sharing a trip to Cuba:

Here are three more great examples:


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Library Club Activities

The Library Club was also very busy. We sponsored a very successful YA (Young Adult) author panel on April 22. Read about it in this blog posting.

SWVBC Meeting  SWVBC Meeting

The club also participated in one of our “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” Google Hangouts on Air discussions on May 6. The topic this month was “bring your own graphic novel.” All the participants brought and shared a favorite graphic novel or other book. Mira Costa had excellent representation at this get together, both from our club members and from Ms. Wiseman and her English students.

The club has also been working with me on selecting some new books for the library based on the student survey we recently conducted. Our order has been placed, and we will be receiving approximately 80 new books based on student input!

Outside the Library

Outside Mira Costa, I had the honor of co-anchoring the TL News Night on April 20 and of co-presenting a session with Pam Oehlman for the CUE Beach Cities/Los Angeles Affiliates Workshop on May 2. The topic for Pam’s and my session was the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning. We shared ways to use some of the sites selected by the AASL Best Websites Committee to enhance student learning. Although the slides don’t really stand alone, I am sharing them here, and encourage you to contact me to fill you in with more information about them.

February 16 – April 18 at the Library

Speed Dating with Books
Speed Dating with Books

As you can see, I’ve gotten way behind here on my resolution to post highlights of library lessons and other activities every several weeks. Since this posting is catching up on nearly two months, please excuse the very brief summary.

As earlier in the year, the last two months were packed with classes visiting for help with research. These included Ms. Wiseman, Ms. Clarke, Ms. Cabrera, Mr. Brown, Mr. Zeoli, Ms. Brown, Mr. Wheeler, Ms. Chen, Ms. Sieker, and Ms. Owen’s English classes, and Mr. Uhalt, Mr. Marx, and Mr. Timberlake’s Social Studies classes. In addition Mr. Davidson’s Health class students came for lessons in Digital Citizenship, and I was delighted to work with Mr. Carlson’s Music students to get them started blogging.

An activity all the students enjoy is “speed dating with books.” In this activity, I set out books on different tables by genre. They get two minutes to choose one of the books and browse the offerings, then they spend two more minutes reading one of the books to decide whether to select it as their “date.” At the end of the round, they can check out a book or move on to another table for the next round. Ms. Brown’s English class students enjoyed “speed dating” with YA (young adult) books sorted by genre, while Ms. Clarke’s students selected from different categories of nonfiction.

On February 16, I was very pleased to join the TL News Night anchor team. I will be participating as one of the show co-moderators on the third Monday of each month. These shows are hosted live on Google Hangouts on Air and also recorded for later viewers. They always feature guests and news of interest to the school library world.

On March 9, I gave a short talk about the library program at the PTSA meeting. I showed the group the CSLA “Does Your School Have a Teacher Librarian?” film to provide some examples of what teacher librarians do. The film also includes scenes filmed at our library and interviews with some of our students and teachers. I also shared this slideshow, and described some examples of my information literacy, digital literacy, and digital citizenship instruction:

During the staff professional development day on May 6, I had the opportunity to talk to a joint meeting of the English and Social Studies teachers, and to share information with them about our research offerings, focusing primarily on our database subscriptions. With the addition of EBSCO Academic Search Premier and Academic eBook Collection, we now have access to 135,00 ebooks and 4,600 academic journal titles, giving our students a vast collection of high quality research materials.

The Library club participated in a Google Hangout on Air discussion of Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why on March 4 and hosted the discussion of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One on April 15. I was very proud of all the students for their excellent contributions to the discussion. Here’s the recording from the Ready Player One discussion:

We just learned that Steven Spielberg will be directing the film version of Ready Player One. The book should become even more popular as the film release approaches.

In mid-March, I attended and presented two sessions at the CUE (Computer Using Educators) Conference in Palm Springs. You can see my posting about that conference on my Jane Lofton’s Adventures in School Libraryland blog.

presenting at CUE

As Chair of MCHS’s Curriculum Committee, I have also been working with committee members and department chairs to get the course descriptions in our course description handbook updated and to create pathways files for each department to clarify course sequence requirements and options. You can see these under Academics on the Mira Costa website.

Finally, the Library Club has been busy going over the results of the student book survey and working with me to order new books based on student requests. They have also been working hard to prepare for our YA Author Panel on Wednesday, April 22. We hope that you can come!

YA Author Panel books
YA Author Panel books