Making Connections

The Rockwood Library Newsletter - February 2018

Rockwood Librarians Focus on Digital Citizenship

Our students can't remember life without the internet, smartphones, and tablets. Many of them can't imagine life without Snapchat, Instagram, and their other favorite social media platforms. The option of creating and sharing information with a worldwide audience is part of everyday life for them. Due to the constant presence of digital media in today's society, students (and adults) must be responsible digital citizens. That's why digital citizenship is an important part of Rockwood's library curriculum and why Rockwood librarians incorporate it into their lessons and everyday interactions with students whenever they can. Here are six examples of how Rockwood librarians addressed digital citizenship in February:

WMS Library Welcomes Special Guest Speaker

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Eighth-grade students at WMS have been studying World War II and the Holocaust. On February 26, they heard a first-hand account of the war from Lt. Clifford Smith, a 96-year-old World War II veteran. Mr. Smith was an engineer who flew 31 bombing missions over Japan. On his first mission, he and his crew had to "ditch" their B-29 in the sea fifty miles off the coast of Japan due to one of the engines having trouble and using too much fuel. Four crew members were lost in the "ditch," and the remaining seven crew members were picked up by a submarine after floating in two rafts for more than 24 hours. Needless to say, students found his stories very engaging.

WMS librarian Karen Brown, who worked with teachers to arrange Mr. Smith's visit, said, "We are thankful to Mr. Smith for his service to country and for sharing his experiences with our youth."

According to the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, approximately 558,000 of 16 million Americans who served in WWII were still alive in 2017, a statistic that highlights how fortunate the WMS students are to have a veteran share his experiences with them.

Using Primary Sources to Make Connections To Literature and History

As third grade students at Uthoff Valley prepare for Immigration Day in their classrooms, librarian Julie Owens is using primary source pictures to spark inquiry and literature to build background knowledge. Owens had each student work with a partner to study primary source pictures from Ellis Island and fill out an "I See, I Think, I Wonder" chart. The following week, Owens read the book The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman, and students made connections between the book and the primary source pictures.

Owens' decision to use primary sources was purposeful. She said, "I think primary sources are a valuable teaching tool because they help students connect with history. For example, when students analyze old pictures before a read aloud, they are noticing very specific details about people living in that point in time. This gives them a deeper understanding and helps foster connections during the lesson. The pictures also build a natural curiosity and excitement for learning!"

Students agree. Landon, one of the third graders who participated in the lessons, said, "I like learning about primary sources. They tell you about people in the past."

Students Work Out, Win Prizes, and Have Fun During February RSMS Library Events

RSMS students accepted the "healthy heart” challenge the library posed to them the first week of February by doing 30 seconds of cardio. They jumped rope, ran in place, or they did 30 jumping jacks as well as wrote healthy heart tips for the library’s Valentine doors. The library also observed Black History Month with trivia and “I Have a Dream” statements that students wrote and put inside balloons that were hung in the library. And, during the third week of February, students entered various Winter Olympics library events, which included book curling, winter sports trivia, and a geography quiz. All participants were invited to sign the Library Olympics Dream mural.

The events were organized by RSMS librarian Janet Griffard. She says that even though the events may not be directly related to the curriculum, the "students are having fun participating. I am building relationships with students by making connections, providing enjoyment, and making students feel safe in the library."

LHS Library's "Free Library"

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LHS librarians Nicci Ballard-Long & Melissa Twombly started a "free library" in February. According to Ballard-Long, they want "a place where students and staff can pick up and/or trade any book with the idea that we wanted another means to provide materials for students, and a place where staff and students may pass along books they no longer want or need. Upcycling books! The shelf is outside the library, so anytime the library is closed, there is still a place where students and staff--or even parents-- can grab their next great book."

Also In February...