Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mapping the Library

While reading another school librarian Tamara Cox's post on non-traditiional shelving, I began thinking about how I can make my library more user friendly. Sadly, I keep trying to think of ways to help students use their library on their own without assistance from an adult. Students have recently been practicing ratios in math. Maps and map reading are always a part of social studies and even language arts.
                              © Qtrix StockFreeImages.com & Dreamstime
I came up with the idea of making a map of the library and having several copies of it available near the sign in area to help students find materials independently when necessary. Then, I thought, "Why not have students make the map?"  And so the "make a map of the library" contest was born. Entries were due March 30th and only five maps came in despite the prize of book fair bucks. I think I made my requirements too detailed. I had over twenty required items for the maps.

In any case, if none of the student made maps work out, I will make my own and see what the response is like. Even if I don't make copies, I can post the map for student reference. I definitely see myself using it with my new 6th graders during orientation. This would even be a great project on the school level. What a better way to help school visitors find their way than with a student made map.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Read! Write! Win!

I did a book review program last year that I would like to share. I was certainly inspired by someone else, but I cannot remember who or where.  I do not claim that this is my original idea.  It was fun and I am going to do it again soon.

I called my version of this sticky note book review program, "Read! Write! Win!" students had to read a book, and get a numbered sticky note from someone at the circulation desk. Each sticky note had a different number on it. On their sticky note they had to write the title of their book, the author's name and a review of the book. The review had to assign a number of stars to the book with five stars being the best.

I did this program for a month. Each week we drew a number and matched that number with the number on the sticky note to determine who the winner was. The sticky note reviews kept coming in and brought a nice pop of color to the library. They filled up two doors and a door sized column.

When I do this again I will keep a running list of titles and star ratings and post it somewhere in the library and on the library blog. I enjoyed watching students read each other's reviews and use the reviews to get reading suggestions. .