Friday, April 28, 2017

Large spaces, small spaces, and virtual spaces: Celebrating the Library Media Programs at Alston Ridge ES, Richland Creek ES, and Wilburn ES

No two of our library programs are alike. Rightly so, since they function to meet the needs of our unique schools. To round out our recognition of school library month, we feature 3 unique elementary library programs that work to enhance learning in each of their schools in different ways.

Alston Ridge Elementary boasts one of our largest enrollments at the elementary school level. As a result, Lindsay Stetson's media center is bursting at the seams with activity (and people!). Her space truly exemplifies how multiple things can happen in the media center at the same time: circulation, media classes, technology classes, small group intervention, and more. Lindsay has a great mindset about all the bustle--she sees it as giving her increased opportunities for collaboration. 

Across the county, Richland Creek is home to a much smaller school community. Laura Herman is able to create specialized clubs for her students in addition to their regular instructional time in the library. Just look at the smiles on the faces of these students in the Elephant and Piggie book club!

With her background in programming, Laura also especially loves incorporating makerspace and coding activities into the media center. 


Finally, at Wilburn Elementary, Ivelisse Maldonado's students engage with literature both physically and virtually. Ivelisse uses augmented reality to get students excited about reading, and even took a group of students to present about their project at NCTIES. Take a look at the video she created to capture their experience sharing their learning outside of their school!

Thanks to these media coordinators, and all of the others throughout Wake County, who work to provide unique, engaging programs that meet the specific needs of their school communities!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bonus: Who Says High School Students Don't Read?

Before we close out #slm17 for the WCPSS middle and high schools, we wanted to share these images from Sanderson High School. Who reads? SPARTANS READ!

Celebrating National Poetry Month at Daniels Middle School

April is a pretty outstanding month to be a school library media coordinator. Not only is it School Library Month, but it is also National Poetry Month. Many WCPSS library media programs hold poetry slams, sponsor poetry writing contests, promote "Poem in my Pocket" days, and creatively display poetry throughout the library media center.

Today, library media coordinator Kathy McDaniel shares the fantastic "book spine poetry" created by 8th grade students at Daniels Middle School. Book spine poetry falls into the larger category of "found poetry." According to Scholastic, found poetry includes "poems made up of text lifted from different sources." In this case, Kathy helped her students source the titles of books already in the library media center to be the building blocks of their poems. 

Take a look at what they wrote:

Library Transformation in Progress: Durant Road Middle School

When Amy Myers, library media coordinator, took the job at Durant Road Middle School this year, it wasn't a new library media center to her. She had worked there years before and felt that it was a homecoming, a return to a place she liked and a place in which she saw great potential. Inheriting a historically strong library media program, Amy was ready to infuse her own personality and vision.

Taking a look at the photos from Durant Road Middle, it is clear that a lot has been happening in the past months to begin the transformation. From colorful displays to a therapy dog program to new pieces of furniture, the library media program and the space have begun to take on new life. (We're particularly excited about the removal of the old security gates--hello, accessibility!) However, the work is not done yet. As a recipient of the Active Learning Spaces funding, Durant Road Middle looks to incorporate more changes in the year ahead to increase creative outlets for students and to design a vibrant space that is both welcoming and facilitative of the type of learning activities that allow flexibility to meet students' needs.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hives of Activity: Holly Grove Middle School and West Lake Middle School

#slm17: The great part about working in a middle school library media center is that no two days are ever alike. Whether it's because of the activities or the students, the work is never dull or repetitive. It's also been said that to work in a middle school, it takes a special kind of person--sometimes a special kind of crazy. 

Today, we are featuring two library media coordinators who thrive in their middle school environments and who have created programs and spaces that reflect the flexibility necessary to engage students, invite collaboration with staff, and keep up with the ebb and flow of life between the ages of 11 and 14. Thank you to Angel Murdock at Holly Grove Middle and Kelli Jones at West Lake Middle for their dedication to adapting their professional practice to serve their school communities.

As you take a look at the videos from these schools, note the phenomenal, out-of-this-world displays at Holly Grove and the student choice at West Lake Middle. You'll also notice the digital instruction as well as student collaboration throughout the media centers. These are active, humming places--exactly what it takes to foster successful middle school library media programs. 

Holly Grove Middle School Video Link

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Charting new territory at Scotts Ridge and Pleasant Grove Elementary

It takes a lot of bravery and a spirit of adventure to chart new territory. Not only are Scotts Ridge Elementary and Pleasant Grove Elementary two of our newer school libraries, they are led by two of our newer school librarians!

Stephanie Powell leads the Sailors at Scotts Ridge in exploration. She sets an example as a lifelong learner who isn't afraid to try new things, whether its robotics or author visits!

Lisa Woodard is helping the Fliers at PGES soar to new heights in their brand new library. With support from her PLT, Lisa is always learning and looking for ways to make the most of her experience managing a new space.

Opening a new library means creating processes and procedures from scratch, and helping to build the culture of the school. They're certainly helping to create a culture that embraces wonder. Under their direction, students and teachers at these schools work collaboratively to experiment with new technology tools and follow their curiosities. We'll continue to watch closely to see where their adventures take them!

Scotts Ridge Video

Monday, April 24, 2017

Creating dynamic library media programs at Powell and Reedy Creek Elementary

If you're looking for some great examples of the 4C's at work in the library, take a look at these two feature elementary programs!

Powell Elementary embraced a new magnet theme this year--Play and Ingenuity! We know that their media coordinator, Jessica Gill has enjoyed the challenge of incorporating this theme into the media center. In additional to some fun design ideas (part of the room is a "Collaboratory"--so fitting for the magnet theme!) this video shows students using critical thinking to create and design games in the media center! Can we come play, too?! 

Jessica Gill's Slidely by Slidely Slideshow

Reedy Creek Elementary's library is full of creativity as well! If you attended her poetry session at convergence, you saw first hand that Erin Wasko is a treasure trove of great ideas! This video she shares highlights the fun displays and inquiry-based lessons that Erin leads in her library. We personally would love to hear more about the 5th grade invasive species research--how cool!

Thanks, Erin and Jessica, for all of the hard work you put forth in creating exciting opportunities for students to collaborate, think critically, communicate their ideas, and show off their creativity! We celebrate you and your impact on student learning at your schools!

The Old Makes Way for New: Fuquay-Varina High School and Apex High School

School Library Month still has a week to go, and we've saved some great school library media programs to round out a stellar month of celebrating the students and staff of WCPSS. 

On this Monday, we're not letting the soggy weather get us down. Instead, we're heading into the heart of two fantastic high school library media centers that have a few things in common. 1. Both Fuquay-Varina High and Apex High share the same basic school design. 2. Both schools are also on the schedule for upcoming major renovations, which will give them entirely new library media centers.

We want to celebrate the work of the library media coordinators at both of these schools--Blake Norby & Allie McAuley (FVHS) and Heather Munger & Patricia Evans (AHS)--to transform their programs in advance of their upcoming major moves and renovations. These women are consummate professionals who advocate strongly for their students and their programs. We cannot wait to see what they're able to do in the years to come and know that they'll take their school communities through the next phases of change with loads of student input and visionary best practice.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mills Park Middle and Lufkin Road Middle: Mt. Everest and hula hoops

We'll admit it. We were so excited to see everyone at Convergence on Monday and Tuesday that we missed sharing our excitement over two library media programs as part of our ongoing School Library Month celebration. So... We're doubling up today and tomorrow to make amends and to ensure that we squeeze in everyone who has answered our casting call.

First up today is Mills Park Middle School, home of the leopards, where Mindy Tomasevich and Kim Shelton form a dynamic school library media coordinator team to serve the largest middle school student population in the district. Their work is never dull or boring as students pour in and out of the library media center all day. Taking a look at their video, we can see why too. With so many great collaborations with teachers and grade levels that bring in classes, special events like author visits and expert guests beaming in via Skype, and interactive activities and displays for students, there is a constant buzz in the room of learning and fun. Next time you talk to climbers on Everest, let us know. It'll be the closest we ever get to checking "reaching the summit" off of our bucket list.

Heading down the road, we're visiting Lufkin Road Middle School, home of the lightning. At the helm of the Lufkin Road Library Media Center is Diane Ruby, a talented library media coordinator who has worked hard to develop a library media program in a nontraditional library space. Watching this video, we've learned two things: 1. there are some talented students at this school, and 2. there are middle school kids who get as excited as we do about unpacking boxes of new books. Earlier this month, we saw the student who could dunk a basketball while reading; today, we have a response to that challenge--hula-hooping while reading. Boom.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Collaboration at Forestville Road Elementary

The best student learning occurs when school library media coordinators collaborate with classroom teachers to create meaningful lessons that integrate research and literacy skills. Today, we applaud the collaboration efforts of Sharon Hart, school library media coordinator at Forestville Rd. Elementary School in Knightdale. Sharon helps support a climate and culture of reading at the school by creating opportunities for students to explore and discover their personal preferences for different types of texts through activities like the "book tasting" pictured below.

In addition to helping students develop a taste for books, Sharon also nurtures their curiosity by collaborating with teachers to integrate research into their science instruction. Her students learn that the investigate step of the eWISE model can include a variety of methods for gathering information, including hands-on scientific observation. 

Thanks, Sharon, for the work you do to provide a well-rounded school library program to support and enhance learning at Forestville Road!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Need a Book? Take a Look at East Cary Middle School!

Whether it's Spring Break or a long weekend, having days off is a great time to catch up on reading. No assignments, no quizzes, no reports or projects. It's time to kick back for uninterrupted independent reading, and we know that the students at East Cary Middle School know just where to go to find a good book and perhaps a little inspiration too to get creative, to get crafty, and to run into a friend--the library media center! 

Library media coordinator Deanna Harris takes us on a journey around the ECMS library media center where if you look high and low you'll find something interesting like nuggets of information or directions to read alikes. Since research shows how independent reading activity declines heavily when students reach middle school, it's encouraging to see photos like these of students engaging with the library media center.

Follow this link to view the slideshow:

Speaking of time to read...we're off for a long weekend, and we look forward to seeing everyone at Convergence on Monday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 18. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wiley ES Library--a Rich History and Bright Future!

The library at Wiley Elementary is rich with history. The school is over 100 years old, and the library is located in what was originally a theater. Just take a look at the architecture in this image: Those windows. That moulding. It's not shown in the pictures, but y'all, there's a stage with a proscenium arch!

The librarian at Wiley, Lynn Christiansen, has shared these pictures of an average day in her media center. She balances the tradition and history of the space with innovative and forward-thinking library programming. The students at Wiley find quiet corners and nooks to read in, and fun ways to experiment and express themselves.

      We're excited that Lynn moved to North Carolina this year and joined our #wonderwake family! We can't wait to see what the future holds for her and the Wiley ES library!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Learning is FUN in the Knightdale Elementary Media Center

We want our library programs to serve many purposes for our students. We design them to facilitate group instruction, small group collaboration, and individual inquiry. They are both calm refuges and spaces buzzing with discovery. They are a place in which kids can no longer perceive a difference between learning and fun. As we continue our celebration of #slm17, we're happy to put a smile on your face by sharing this joyful video created by Summer Pittman, SLMC at Knightdale Elementary. Not only are her students having a blast in the library, they're also engaged in active and participatory learning. Whether drawing, performing, searching, teaching one another, reading, or using augmented reality, these students are having FUN while learning. Thanks, Summer, for giving us a peek inside your library!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pine Hollow Pilots Take Flight in the LLC

Pine Hollow, Year 1 ~ School Library Month 2017 by Slidely Slideshow

We've made it to Week 2 of School Library Month; for Day 6, we're heading toward the airport to stop in for a visit at Pine Hollow Middle School. Pine Hollow is one of five new schools that opened in the 2016-2017 school year, and library media coordinator Kristen Ziller presents the evolution of the Library Learning Commons (LLC) from its quiet beginnings last summer to its vibrant hum of activity this spring. If you look closely, you'll catch students in action as they imagine, design, and create their own book displays. Ms. Ziller has made it a particular focus this year to encourage student involvement and ownership as the program takes flight in its maiden voyage. We hope to continue to see great things taking off all around this beautiful space as students continue to engage in seminar discussions, listen to guest speakers, find interesting places to land, share their learning on the many dry erase surfaces, and celebrate a love of reading. The Pine Hollow LLC loves to welcome visitors, so let Ms. Ziller know if you'd like to take a trip to see the Pilots in action.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Making connections through the Yates Mill Elementary Media Center

For Day 5 of our School Library Month celebration, we're excited to share Yates Mill Elementary's library media program. Whether it's participating in Global Read Aloud, leading a flash mob with her students at the public library, or greeting students in their neighborhood with snacks and paperbacks, Jane Miller's library program reaches beyond the walls of her media center! Jane empowers her students to make connections by encouraging them to create and share their ideas with their school community. Thanks, Jane, for creating this video that highlights the learning happening in the Yates Mill media center.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Possibilities: No End in Sight at Wakefield Middle

On Day 4 of our School Library Month celebration, we journey to Wakefield Middle School where school library media coordinator Kathy Brown and instructional technology facilitator Kristen Pearce work together to develop a learning environment that not only engages students but also allows them freedom of expression. Digging deeper than textbooks and sharing more than multiple choice answers on a test, students have opportunities in the library media center to interact in collaboration with one another and to communicate their thoughts, ideas, and understanding through poetry readings, green screen videos, digital breakouts, and group research.
We thank Kathy and Kristen for enabling a library media center where the students truly benefit from social and participatory learning practices. From independent reading to dramatic performance to content investigation, it's all happening in this student-centered library media program.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Millbrook Elementary: Changing the World

Millbrook Elementary’s vision is todevelop caring citizens who will change the world”. This focus is evident throughout the building, especially in the school library. Stacy Darwin has embraced the school’s International Baccalaureate magnet theme, and created a learning environment that encourages students’ global awareness. The library is student-centered, with clear signage to help little learners browse and explore, and plenty of self-circulation stations to encourage independence. (If you’re looking for ideas in this area, plan to attend her upcoming convergence session!). With students participating in the See Spot Read program, classes checking out books, and maker materials at the ready, this library has the “hub of the school” feel that we all strive to create.

Millbrook mural 2.JPGMillbrook mural.JPG

Stacy makes the most of her flexible schedule in the library to collaborate with teachers to weave information and technology skills into the science and social studies curriculum. Currently, she’s guiding Kindergartners in an investigation of weather around the world using a combination of literature, maps, hands-on manipulatives, and green screen. Millbrook’s library program is empowering students by encouraging them to wonder, think, and create--the very skills they’ll need to change the world.

Millbrook K lesson.JPGMillbrook lego wall.JPG

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mannequin Challenge - Panther Creek Style

Today, we're thrilled to share a video from Panther Creek High School submitted by library media coordinators Kira Berggren and Jill Bliss. The videographer needs an award for capturing these crazy Catamounts reading in their native habitats. Who would've thought that dunking a basketball and reading a book could be done simultaneously? I'll put that challenge to any of the National Champion Tar Heels. These kids have a leg up on the competition. Such skills!
So for anyone out there interested in a challenge, can your library media program live up to this Mannequin Challenge from Panther Creek? The bar has been set. Great job, Catamounts!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hilburn Academy - Engaged Readers, Thinkers, and Creators

In honor of School Library Month (April) 2017, WCPSS ITLMS is highlighting and celebrating library media programs across the school district.
A member of the NC STEM Collaboration Network and the district's only PreK-8 program, Hilburn Academy is known for its application of the Engineering Design Process, project-based learning, and authentic use of technology. The school's focus and initiatives take center stage in its library media program where students display ownership and engagement with the space and its resources. Discovery abounds as students get lost in books, solve problems with manipulatives, design and create unique products, and express visions through artwork and construction.
And to the students who created the phenomenal bubble wands--where can we get some of those? We're pretty sure our team would love to play with your creations. Scratch that. We're pretty sure everyone attending Convergence would love to test out your bubble wands to see what crazy shapes they make.
The video is courtesy of Sharon Freeze, Hilburn Academy school library media coordinator. Thank you, Sharon!