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

Nov. 17 – Dec. 5 2014 at the Mira Costa Library

The week of November 17 was a short week at Mira Costa, since we were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, but we packed in a lot of activities on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Mr. Zeoli’s 9th grade English classes started a multi-day Mythology research project, which included lessons by me on good quality sources, the importance of citing sources and taking good notes to avoid plagiarism, using for recording sources and taking notes, and finding and crediting images in Google Presentations/Slides. Ms. Mullen’s 12th grade English students also visited to continue work on their research projects exploring mental and physical disability issues and used our library books, ebooks, and databases, and tracked their soures with EasyBib.

Games Week

We celebrated Games Week, and students played chess and some of our new great new board and card games:

Games Week
Students playing Yu-Gi-Oh Trading card game
Vaughn & Shane with chess table
Chess board makers Vaughan & Shane

Ask at the library any time if you would like to play one of the games.

After Thanksgiving

From December 1 – 5, after Thanksgiving Break, Mr. Zeoli’s classes continued their research and research lessons, and Ms. Vaughan’s 9th grade English students visited for the first three days of a multi-day research project on topics related to their reading of Of Mice and Men. During their visits, I provided lessons on finding and evaluating good sources; using books, ebooks, and databases; and using EasyBib to record and cite sources and take notes.

On Thursday and Friday, Mr. Davidson’s Period 0 and Period 2 Health Class students visited for a two-day lesson in Digital Citizenship. We talked about online safety; online etiquette, good manners, and cyberbullying; building a positive digital footprint; and respecting intellectual property. Here is a link to the lesson file with some of the videos we watched and discussed. Students also completed a short homework assignment including Googling themselves and checking Facebook settings. On the second day in the library, they completed this activity in which they:

  • thought about a topic they care about and that they might be able to share about online and build their digital footprint,
  • searched for blogs they could follow related to their topic of interest
  • found Creative Commons-licensed images related to their topic
  • searched Twitter for tweets related to their interest

After school on Wednesday, December 3, our Library Club participated in our monthly Google+ HOA (Hangout on Air) with other library club #SWVBC (Somewhat Virtual Book Club) partners in a discussion of Butter by Erin Jade Lange.  Our club members were pleased to be joined by some students from Ms. Wiseman’s English classes. I was very proud of our students’ insightful contributions to the discussion. We record each session and store it in the SWVBC YouTube channel, so anyone interested can watch later:

In addition, our Geeks met and prepared to Facilitate Mira Costa’s Hour of Code the week of December 8. Students will be visiting the library and other computer labs on campus during lunch to participate in activities to teach them about computer programming. And, the Library Club and Geeks agreed to join efforts to participate in Mira Costa’s Operation Happiness and provide gifts for a child in need during the holidays.

I also participated in meetings of the Education Council, School Site Council, and Curriculum Committee. And, on the evening of November 17, I was pleased to participate as one of the California School Library Association (CSLA) guest panelists on the monthly TL (Teacher Librarian) News Night. This live news program features a different state library association each month. As one of the CSLA representatives, I shared about the making of the new CSLA advocacy film, “Does Your School Have a Teacher Librarian?” Please watch it if you haven’t already:

Hour of Code Coming to MCHS

Hour of Code at Mira Costa

Did you know that computer coding is becoming one of the most in-demand skills in the workplace?And, even in careers you might not think of, coding comes in handy.

Next week (December 8-14, 2014) the Geeks and Girls Only Coding Clubs are teaming up to bring the “Hour of Code,” an international event, to Mira Costa. The idea is to give students of all ages an exposure to this increasingly important skill. To support the event, organizations such as Khan Academy, Codecademy, and more have created a large selection of self-paced online tutorials.

We are still in the midst of getting the effort set up, but you can check this webpage in progress that has links as well as (coming soon) a signup form. Right now, you can see an introductory video and several tutorial links here. During the week of December 8-14, students can come to the library or one of the campus computer labs during lunch, and, facilitated by our Geeks and Girls Only Code Club members, work on a tutorial. They can also complete tutorials at any other time at home or school. Students may also be able to earn extra credit from some of their teachers for participating.

And, here’s just a quick personal story —Back when I went to Library School to earn my MLS (Masters in Library Science), I found out I had to take a programming class. I was an English Major, and thought, “that’s not why I decided to go to Library School, to learn programming!” To my surprise, I enjoyed what I learned, and it has stood me in good stead throughout my careers in public libraries, technical writing, and as a teacher librarian. While I’m not a programmer, knowing a little about how it works has been helpful over and over again for me as a software user and blog and website creator. And, I have had fun going through some of the Hour of Code tutorials. I am working now to review and strengthen my HTML skills that help me tweak formatting and more in this blog. While current blogging and website software don’t require coding skills, they definitely come in handy.
So … do please invest an hour in a coding tutorial the week of December 8! Teachers and parents can participate also.