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It's that time again. I get butterflies each year about this time. That very last free weekend. Please share your best new idea for this school year. We could all use some inspiration!

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We are a PreK-5 school.  I am planning on installing library "centers" throughout the space, e.g., listening (audiobooks on iPods); drawing/bookmaking; SmartTable; writing boxes (see http://mybrary.wikispaces.com/file/view/writingbox.pdf); board games; ebooks. For this we will need to purchase a few e-readers and iPods.  This is a way of distributing the devices when we don't have the budget to buy whole-class sets, and it encourages independence and choice.
This year I have decided to explore the issue of using mobile devices (especially cell phones) in the classroom.  All of our kids have smartphones hidden away in their backpacks, and I want to focus on how these could be used to enhance education instead of just prohibit their use!  I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had success with this transition.
Adding mobile apps for online databases and designing mobile versions of library website pages. Our district has insisted everyone use the district's web site subscription so I'm working within its limitations. Success so far as students are downloading QR code reader to scan the first Gale databases & logging in. My co-librarian is focusing on book talks for freshmen academic labs plus adding media book reviews to Destiny Quest catalog.
I'm working with many classes at my school in the "Global Read Aloud." Fifth graders are hearing "Tuck Everlasting"and second graders are enjoying "Flat Stanley." We are using Edmodo, Wallwisher and VoiceThread. We've also connected with several classes around the country through Skype. It's been a fabulous project.
Teaching two sections of High School Read 180 in the school library in addition to seeing every class every week. (14 classes K-12). It's been a challenge but really keeps me on my game.

The trend in our area is to move the librarians into the classroom and have an aide running the library.  Fortunately for me I have the most wonderful aide who can be me almost as much as I can.   I am looking forward to her excitement over the new books that come in over the summer and seeing the students again as they find them for the first time too.

This year I am also looking forward to an all new curriculum for my classes (I've spent the ENTIRE summer so far creating it) and actually getting a lunch during a regular time!  Last year lunch was half way through a morning class - I had to walk out and have my aide close the library if I wanted to eat outside of the classroom.

Karen, what subject(s) are they having you teach?

I teach yearbook for both the high school and junior high, web design, a journalism/desktop publishing combination and 7th grade computers.  I am also the primary mentor for online classes through education 2020.

I always have way-too-ambitious plans at this point in the year. This will be my 3rd year without an assistant at a middle school of around 650 students. Last year we were closed every other week for research instruction, and the collection was such a mess that it was hard for the students to find what they were looking for. This year I'm planning to focus more on basic library services and less on direct instruction. I'll (hopefully) be creating videos that the teachers can use for research instruction. We are just starting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, and I'm interested to see how that will play out. I'm investigating using QR codes to help students find their way around the library, with the guidance of Gwyneth Jones' lessons (http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/).

I'd love to hear how your BYOD program goes as well.  Our students aren't supposed to, but do bring in their own and I just turn a blind eye.  Our entire building was finally 100% wifi last year so that helped but we had a few issues with their not being able to print because they weren't logged in on the wifi, they were using the guest access.  Please keep me informed on how your changes go!

I've developed a reading program for 3-5 students to encourage them to read various genres. I'm calling it 'Read Around the Media Center.' I created a sheet that lists 9 different genres (historical fiction, science fiction, etc.) with a  place to add a title and author.  I then developed a list of 9 different projects for students to create (book poster, book talk, etc.) When students finish reading a book and creating a project they get to check-out an extra book and when they finish all 9 projects they get a prize.

I am expanding my Digital Citizenship course into 3rd grade and up to 6th. My 4th and 5th grade units are onto their 3rd and 4th year respectively so it was definitely time to formalize things into these next grades. I am excited for this expansion since it is so needed at our school that is now almost completely 1-1 iPad from 2-5 grades and 8th grade.

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