Monday, May 6, 2013


This week, I subbed for a librarian who is retiring. I also applied for her job, and I have her and another school librarian I respect as references. Even if I don't get the job, I may look into getting a "Learning Resources" endorsement. I'll contact Western Governor's University next week to see if they offer a program, since I'm already accepted there.

Some of the things I learned this week are little things to make the library run smoothly, like teaching kids to line the books up so I can scan them quickly. I like the forms one of the schools use to have students request books. I may alter that form, so the same slips can be put in the books when they come in, by putting the teacher's name on top. That way I can grab the books on hold when a particular class comes into the library.

As each class came in, I introduced myself and told them that a signal I use is "One two three, eyes on me" to which they should respond, "One, two, eyes on you, hands folded too." We practiced the signal, then I taught a small lesson before giving them time to check out.
I read a cool book to the Kindergarteners and first graders called "Mousetronaut" by Astronaut Mark Kelly, who is Gabrielle Gifford's husband. Then, I gave the kids who could not check out a coloring sheet. I gave the students who could check out, their cards with their patron number on it, and a shelf marker. For some of the Kindergarten classes, I reminded them how to use shelf markers, with explicit instructions.

For the second grade classes, I taught them how to shelve Fiction Books using a lesson on the Smart Board. Since only one person can touch the smart board at a time, I made little cards for the students to sort at tables while other students were at the smart board. This increased the student engagement in the lesson.

For the third and fourth grade classes, I taught about the Dewey Decimal classification system for Nonfiction books. This was a good refresher for me. I like to think of the 10 sections as a progression:
000s are General Information -where we put things that don't belong in any other category
100s are Philosophy and Psychology - How people think and how people feel; I think of this likse journaling
200s are Religion and Mythology - how people think about where we come from
300s are Folklore and Social Science - stories from past generations, from around the world and about the world
400s are Language - to help you communicate with people around the world after you learn about them
500s are Math and Science - the universal languages
600s are Technology - things you produce with math and science
700s are Arts and Recreation - everything else you can produce
800s are Literature - plays, poems, and collections of children's books
900s are History - when and where things happen

I introduced a cool internet resource,, to some of the fifth grade classes. This is a great resource for doing research, which they can use in the middle school next year too.

As I am thinking about the possibility of actually becoming a full-time librarian next year, I have some interesting ideas I would consider implementing. One idea is to create a club of "shelf elves," consisting of 4th and 5th graders who would like to shelve books during their lunch recess time. They would have to pass a test to be included in the club, but they could get a perk like a free book from the book fair. Another idea is to use some of the library time for "Reading Buddies." For instance, if I scheduled an upper grade back-to-back with a primary grade, the upper grade students may be able to stay an extra 10 minutes and read to the younger students. I think this will help build the school community.

Finally, I would apply for the Tier 3 training and try to get a class set of iPod touches. It would be great to use these with as many classes as possible, in order to get the technology into more hands. I would assign numbers to students in every class, and check that all are put back before each class leaves the library. Now, I will have to wait and see if I get the opportunity to interview for the position.

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