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Working SMARTER
Leslie Schoenherr, Editor
Got a great idea? CONTACT Leslie

 

Leslie Schoenherr
  

Don't Work Harder.....Work SMARTER:
Read Across America Readers Theater Teaching Bibliography
Put Your Hands In The Air
Labeling Boxes for Moving
Beyond the Basic Book Report
Professional Signage
Great Displays   Magazine Barcodes
Best Sites for MARC records Track Student Visits
Track Supplies
Netbook Cord Management
Portable Barcode Reader
 

Read Across America Readers Theater
This year staff will perform a Readers Theater of Jackie Mims Hopkins's The Gold Miner's Daughter: A Melodramatic Fairytale at our Read Across America assembly. The cast of characters includes an evil Mr. Bigglebottom and many traditional fairytale characters. The story provides lots of opportunities for fun costumes. Students love guessing who the fairytale characters are and responding with hissing and cheering to the rebus-like icons throughout the story.
Submitted by:
Rachel Keegan-McGlinn
School Librarian, Upham Elementary, Wellesley

Teaching Bibliography - How Does it Make YOU Feel? 

By its very nature, beginning to write bibliographies is confusing and tedious for many students.  I have found a fun way to introduce the topic of plagiarism to my fifth grade students and to explain the importance of giving credit where it is due.   

I begin by placing a small chunk of modeling clay at each student's place (I have table covers).  I tell them that I will give them 10 minutes to create something of their very own.  At the end of the ten minutes, I collect these "masterpieces"  and display them on a table.  I make a great show of placing these very carefully.  I prop a sign up that I made that says "Artwork Created by Mrs. Mari."  I then wait for the uproar.  Once the uproar of "Hey you didn't make those!" settles down, we talk about how they felt when I took credit for their work.  This starts up a lively discussion about intellectual property and ownership of ideas, which leads into a discussion about bibliography. 

At the next class, I remind them of the incident and we begin to write citations for a book, then add complexity with an encyclopedia, and then a website.  It never gets to be their favorite thing to do, but it does become easier.   

I've made it a point in my school to share a bibliography example sheet around at my school.  I notice that if I color code the bibliography example sheet, it seems to help.

Submitted by:
Pati Mari
Norris School, Southhampton

Put Your Hands In The Air 
It drives me crazy that after a class is in the library, the chairs are left a mess. I have started doing this: when it is time for cleanup, I tell the kids to stand up where they are, put their books and papers away and when that is done, I tell them to put their hands in the air. Then sometimes we dance a little! Then I say to put their hands on their wooden chair that is in front of them, and to push the chair in or take it to the place from which they got it. Don't know how well this would go over with high school students!
 Submitted by:
Sharon Hamer
Belmonte Middle School, Saugus

Labeling Boxes for Moving as Easy as 1-2-3

DO NOT mark boxes with the range of call numbers of their contents.  I found a much faster and less error-prone way that I used after I moved the first of six libraries.  The method I used allows you to mark boxes before filling them and makes it almost impossible to "lose" a box.

There's a major advantage to acquiring same-size boxes for moving books if you have the funds to do so. During one move, I had a local company make cardboard boxes to my specifications. My principal liked the idea so much that he ordered another 1000 boxes for teachers to use.  After our move was over, we were able to sell the boxes to another school district, so the cost to us was minimal.

Non-fiction example (for 300s):  I labeled boxes ahead of time based on a guesstimate of how many boxes I needed:  300-1, 300-2, 300-3, 300-4, etc., etc. (My guesstimate of how many boxes I needed was determined by the number of books in the 300s we had, divided by the number of books that would fit in one box.)  This pre-labeling was generally accurate to within a couple of boxes, more or less. Then, we would start at the beginning of the 300s and fill boxes in order from the shelves.  We might have ended up with the last of the 300s in a box labeled 300-23, and we also labeled this one "last box."

Every Dewey class had a set of boxes number sequentially using the method above.  We had cardboard boxes especially made for us, and I was actually able to put books in them in the exact order in which they came off the shelves with their spine labels facing up.  So re-shelving them after the move was also very easy.  They also can't be too heavy. Fiction and Reference were packed similarly, using the designations FIC-1, FIC-2, etc., and REF-1, REF-2, etc.

This method had three advantages:

  • Boxes are much easier to label and can be labeled in advance of packing them, a great time-saver.
  • Different classes of non-fiction can be packed simultaneously, i.e. one person can pack 300s, and another can pack 400s, or fiction for that matter.
  • It's almost impossible to miss a box when reshelving them because they're labeled very simply and sequentially.  We had students and parent volunteers both packing and unpacking boxes.  They did need a little training and supervision, however, to make sure books were packed and reshelved correctly. 

A major caveat!  Don't get too much help with moving.  Use only the number of people that you and your staff can manage to adequately supervise.  More is not necessarily better and can result in your having to redo things when your helpers make mistakes.  Also, if you can work this out, you're better off bringing a limited number of books into the new library when reshelving rather than bringing all boxes in at once.  Bring some in, then reshelve them.  Then bring more books in, and reshelve them.  This will avoid a lot confusion and reshelving problems.

 Submitted by:Rich Winnik, Bement School, Deerfield
Professional Looking Library Signs 
Owen Maloney (Director, Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown) recently queried the listserv about creating professional, aesthetically pleasing and reasonably priced signs. Two creative responses below:
Sturgis graphicsWe currently use Microsoft Publisher, but have also used Photoshop Elements.  Both are available through TechSoup for nonprofits at a greatly reduced price.
 Submitted by:Lucy Loomis
Library Director,Sturgis Library, Barnstable Village

Katie Huffman, our Adult Service Librarian, has come up with an inexpensive sign system that works very well for us. She creates ourWilmington graphics large signs by designing a sign using Photoshop (you can use another program, but your end result needs to be a pdf file). Then she uploads the pdf to GotPrint (an online based printing company).  

They print the file on high quality printers and ship it to us.  The price is $15 for a 22x28" poster.  For smaller signs, we've cut the product down to the size we want.  We've been using acrylic poster sign holders to display the end product.  We purchased the 22x28" sign holders from Gaylord for $60 each.

 Submitted by:Christina A. Stewart
Library Director, Wilmington Memorial Library
Displays That Highlight Your Collection  
Having trouble being creative with your library displays? Here's an easy way to come up with 10 displays while highlighting your collection. Rotate your library displays by Dewey class! Make a sign for each class, i.e.: Highlighting the 100's (Philosophy & Psychology) and then pull some stellar titles from that class to display. Not only is it easy to keep displays fresh, but it puts titles on display that may not see the light of day. I read this tip in LMC recently and started using it in my library. It doesn't take much effort but the displays pique interest through frequent rotation.
 Submitted by:Leslie Schoenherr
School Librarian. Lexington Christian Academy
Magazine Barcodes at Your Fingertips 
Magazines- Pre-Print the barcodes for the year(s) subscription, one for each month or edition and place them in a folder. Then when the issue comes in the barcode labels/stickers just go on the magazine and out it goes. It is apparent if any issue is missing for that month and you can call the supplier quickly.
  Submitted by:Judy Williams, School Librarian
Van Sickle Middle School, Springfield
Best Sites for MARC records 
http://www.delicious.com/vansickle.library/MarcRecords
  Submitted by:Judy Williams, School Librarian
Van Sickle Middle School, Springfield
Track Student Visits
 
Student visits to library before or after school- Students pick up a pre-made laminated pass (from a central location such as the main office or guidance office) with a barcode number cataloged as a “book” in Destiny or any library software. The student then comes to the library checks out the pass and his/her ID number at the library circulation desk. This way you can track student visits before and after school, plus students have a central place to pick up a pass and a limited number of passes, limits the number of patrons at any one time to a safe amount of students.
  Submitted by:Judy Williams, School Librarian
Van Sickle Middle School, Springfield
Track Those Supplies 
Other materials- Students are always asking for scissors, tape, glue, etc. Place a barcode one for each type of material onto old circulation cards and check it out to the student who is borrowing the material. This way you can track when something doesn’t come back. Just remember to check them back in when it’s returned. Barcode everything! Overhead projectors, TV carts, lap tops, scissors, tape dispensers, glue stick, etc. You could also place those barcodes in a binder and have that on hand rather than the old catalog cards.
  Submitted by:Judy Williams, School Librarian
Van Sickle Middle School, Springfield
Netbook Cart Cord Management 
I purchased clips to adhere to the inside of the cart in each slot. I placed the clip about an two inches from the top of each divider. I loop the cord for recharging through the clip which hangs above the net book. When I plug the net books in I can easily see which net books are charging.  The cords don't come loose from the back or get jammed and tangled because they are hanging from the top of the slot.
  Submitted by:Julie Farrell, School Librarian
Overlook Middle School, Ashburnham
Creative "Portable" Barcode Reader 

We can't afford a portable device to take to the shelves and read barcodes for inventory.  For years, I have been successful taking the desktop computer on a cart with a long network connection cord that IT made for me.  I scan the barcodes directly into the computer and manage the inventory on that computer.  I suppose, if we ever get wifi and laptops this won't be necessary, but it works well for now.

 Submitted by:Mary Saunders, School Librarian
Gloucester High School
Beyond the Basic Book Report 
Posted to the MSLA Listserv on January 17, 2011 by Laura Gardner: What sorts of projects do either you or your English teachers do as alternative ways to assess students on their free reading projects?
Members responded with both Web 2.0 and non-tech assessments:  
  • Readers Theater
  • Book Trailers or Book Commercials using Microsoft PhotoStory to produce mini movies
  • Podcast
  • Booktalk Groups that organize a report and share with the class
  • Game created by students about the book
  • Design a cereal box and commercial
  • Postcard correspondence in the voices of the two main characters, design appropriate artwork on the front
  • Scrapbook/Memory book report
  • CD, either actual or just the cover, with thematic cover, song titles and lyrics that demonstrate comprehension of the book
  • Blog, either fictional blog from the point of view of the character or a response blog
  • Glogster
  • Wordle
  • Animoto
  • Voicethread
  • Write/perform a monologue from one character's point of view
  • Goodreads group/discussion forum
  • Write a review for the OPAC
  • Piclits.com
  • Write an alternative ending
  • Poster presentations
  • Letters to the author
  • Book in a Bag report
  • Book Report Sandwich http://www.scholastic.com/kids/homework/sandwich.asp
  • http://ksumail.kennesaw.edu/~jcope/Eng3391/ABRIdeas.pdf
  • http://www.middleweb.com/mw/workshop/williams_altbkrpts.pdf
 

Thanks to the following members for sharing their ideas:

   Rachel Keegan-McGlinn
   Michelle Tanguay
   Laurie Cleveland
   Britt Sorensen
   Rochelle Garfinkel
   Judy Williams
   Carol Holley
   Laurie Dias-Mitchell
   Carol Kelly
   Sharon Hamer
   Jessica Pollock
   Pamela Valee
   Laura Gardner





 

Last Updated ( Monday, 28 February 2011 )
 

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