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Working SmarterLeslie SchoenherrLeslie Schoenherr
Editor of
Working SMARTER
 
TUMBLE BOOKS FOR MS, HS
SCHOLASTIC READING VIDEOS
MAKE THE LIBRARY THE PLACE TO BE!
STAY POSITIVE!
BULLIES RESOURCE
BOOKLISTS ON AMAZON
BOOK SWAP THAT RUNS ITSELF
GET RID OF WIRE SPAGHETTI
NON-FICTION WALL OF FAME
NEW ARRIVALS
STAFF READING REC.
WORKING SMARTER WITH A SMARTBOARD
GOOGLE CALENDAR
GET FREE FURNITURE

 

TUMBLE BOOKS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL

Look up tumble books and show your foreign langage department. There are books read aloud in different languages and vocabulary games.  TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love.  http://www.tumblebooks.com/

Submitted by: Laurie Belanger, Freetown & Lakeville Middle School

SCHOLASTIC READING VIDEOS

Brighten up your webpage with videos that promote reading!

Submitted by: Gerri Fegan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover

MAKE THE LIBRARY THE PLACE TO BE!

This summer the PTO bought our library 4 comfy chairs, a cute rug and checker/chess table. The library is now the hottest place to be before school, during study halls, and after school. Kids are playing checker and chess games while arguing strategy in whispers, reading magazines in comfy chairs, and sometimes even checking out a book! Most importantly, they know the library is somewhere they're always welcome.

Submitted by: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School

STAY POSITIVE!

Remain positive and informed even in the face of layoffs and district/program upheavals. Your attitude and knowledge can make a difference!

Submitted by: Laura Harrington, North Andover High

BULLIES RESOURCE

A resource for dealing with bullies in the elementary school is Gwendolyn Claire vs. the Foxfield 4 by Virginia Pulitzer

Submitted by: Virginia Pulitzer, author This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

BOOKLISTS ON AMAZON

Create your booklists on Amazon as a wishlist and share!

Submitted by: Chris Steinhauser, A.W. Coolidge Middle School, Reading

A BOOK SWAP THAT PRACTICALLY RUNS ITSELF

The PTO runs several book fairs at our school as school fundraisers. A month or so after the book fair, and especially a week to ten days before the spring and summer vacation we hold a book exchange in the library. Students complete and return a parent/guardian permission slip, stating that they may participate in the book swap. They may bring in up to ten books that they have finished reading. Books must be grade appropriate and in very good condition. We do not accept encyclopedias or text books. For each book they bring in, students receive a ticket. (We use a generic roll of tickets.) The rate is one book = one ticket, whether or not the book is soft or hard cover. Students may redeem their tickets at the book swap tables in the back of the library.

The date that books may be brought to the library is set before the actual exchange begins, so that the exchange opens with lots of books on the tables. We also "salt" the tables with newer softcovers from various sources.

The students love the idea of redeeming the tickets. They stream in and out of the library, stopping by the circulation desk to drop off their tickets. At no cost to themselves they can choose fresh reading material to enjoy. Books purchased earlier at one of the book fairs often turn up at the book swap weeks or months later. And children frequently share tickets with classmates.

Books left over at the end of the swap are donated to classrooms or packaged up as starter items for the next book fair.

We usually run our 4th and 5th grade and our 6th and 7th grade book swaps at different times because the reading preferences are so different. We are casual about everything: If a child loses a ticket, we give him another one. We do not attempt to write on tickets or ask the kids to put their names on the tickets.

The students enjoy this opportunity. And we are happy to that hundreds of books get into different hands.

Submitted by: Cathy Rosenstock, Whitcomb School, Marlborough

GET RID OF WIRE SPAGHETTI

Wires beforeI have two large, 6 foot cube tables that we have our computers on. We have eight computers on one table and seven on the other. You can imagine the spaghetti we had underneath the tables with three cords for each computer and the ethernet cables. So I bought a 24 outlet powerstrip from Markertek.com that I mounted (well, not me, but the custodian) underneath the table. I numbered each computer, labeled each cord in a specific color with the number of the computer it Wires afterbelongs to (all computer power cords  in one color, all monitor cords in another color, etc.) and wound them up and cinched them with a twist-tie. This ended the spaghetti under the tables!!

Submitted by: Sharon Hamer, Belmonte Middle School, Saugus

NON-FICTION WALL OF FAME

Explanation of idea:  Our principal wanted all teachers to create an ongoing lesson or activity specifically addressing one of the areas on the MCAS where our students were struggling.  I chose "nonfiction," which is a broad category, but I thought I'd use my role to promote recreational reading in this specific genre.  I dedicated part of a wall in the Library to be the "Non-Fiction Hall of Fame" and put up a banner designating it as such. Then I created a very simple form (attached) for students in grades 3 through 5 to fill out in response to a non-fiction book of their choice that they read.  When they return the book and the completed form, I take their picture (with the book), affix it to the form, and hang it on the wall. As new ones come in, I take the old ones down & send home.  The students enjoy looking at the photos of their classmates and are motivated to participate
themselves.

Submitted by: Leigh Barnes, Allendale and Capeless Schools, Pittsfield

NEW “ARRIVALS”new arrivals

Visitors to our high school library do a double-take upon seeing a crib with a sign, “New Arrivals.” Few can resist taking a peek, only to see some of the newly-accessioned books arranged on book holders. I saw this idea in a Texas middle school library. When I got home, I haunted yard sales until I found just the right bassinet.

Submitted by: Ann Perham, Needham High School

STAFF READING RECOMMENDATIONS 

Each year at the opening day meeting, the library staff passes out a survey to staff, asking them for book recommendations. “What did you read this summer?” is now routine and teachers/secretaries/teaching assistants come to the first meeting prepared with their book titles. We use these recommendations for displays, tagging the book with a pennant, “Recommended by [name]” It’s a great way to promote reading and to generate some meaningful conversations about books.

Submitted by: Ann Perham, Needham High School

WORKING SMARTER WITH A SMARTBOARD

Our school is gearing up for a NEASC visit.    It is all about 21st Century Learning and wanting to get more use out of technology and our computers, I have ordered a Smart Board for our library.   My idea for our high school library is to have a smart board installed in the library...a really big one.   The unit will be situated in the "computer" area of my library and there will be a dedicated teacher computer available to interface with the smart board.    Since I generally have a generous amount of teacher/classes use in the library, I am sure that this will be well received this fall by our teachers.   And, because of retirements, we have a new crop of young, technology-savvy teachers who will find this library service a real draw.   I plan to use it for introduction to the library and research this year.   I have the endorsement of our technology department on this for my ideas and also for having this technology available for other uses.   Our library is used for faculty meetings, night school classes, professional development, school committee, and a myriad of other groups...certainly this Smart Board will be a definitive step in providing even more 21st century learning in our library.

Submitted by: Sandra McDonald Mott, Martha's Vineyard Regional High School,  Oak Bluffs

GOOGLE CALENDAR

Do you want your colleagues to be able to see your library schedule so they can figure out when time is available to sign up? I certainly did. With the help of many MSLA members, I made a free Google calendar that I can share with the faculty. It shows which periods the library is available and which ones are already signed up. (I can accommodate only one class at a time for work and projects).

All you need is a Google account, which is free. Simply choose the calendar option and use the fill-in-the-blank choices to customize the calendar for your purposes. I was able to customize the sign-up times to represent our bell schedule. The calendar is viewable for anyone who has been invited to share it, but I am the only one who can write in the calendar. This is so I can consult with teachers about the work they want to do in the library. The calendar can also be embedded on your web page.

Submitted by: Sharon Hamer, Belmonte Middle School, Saugus

GET FREE FURNITURE

I am revitalizing a middle school library that had been closed for at least 10 years until I arrived in Sept. of 2009. I got it in working condition in about three weeks, but there was a large, central space that had nothing in it. I decided a comfy furniture “lounge” would be perfect for that area, so I set about finding some armchairs and couches. We got four pleather armchairs and hassocks at Christmas Tree Shop but still had a lot of space to fill.

Since we are in Saugus, I set about going to all the major furniture stores along Rt. 1. In January I entered the school in a monthly lottery at Bob’s Discount Furniture. Lo and behold, a few weeks later a man from Bob’s came into the library with a giant check announcing we had won $1500.00 in the lottery. We were able to buy 2 loveseats and 2 chairs that totally fill the space. It has created a warmth that this room really needed. Everyone loves the furniture and the kids can’t wait to sit in them.

Submitted by: Sharon Hamer, Belmonte Middle School, Saugus

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 January 2011 )
 

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