Top 10 Reasons

to visit the Richmond Hill Elementary School Library in 2018

Let's make 2018 the best year yet!

2017 was an amazing year!

  • We traveled to 7 different countries, 4 continents, and thousands of miles during virtual field trips, author visits, and Mystery Skypes.
  • We collaborated on research projects, STEM challenges, and dove head first into our MakerSpace challenges.
  • We celebrated World Read Aloud Day by Skyping with authors around the world and Read Across America by hosting the athletic teams from Richmond Hill High School.
  • We rewarded our top readers of Book BINGO with laser tag and started our zen coloring station for students and staff.
  • We celebrated our summer reading program by hosting a breakfast for all the students who completed their choice in summer reading as well as partnering with Midnight Star Pottery for students to make their own star reader pottery and a new book.
  • We genrefied our fiction and nonfiction selections to help motivate our reluctant readers and expose students to different types of reading materials. We began diversifying our collection.
  • We added 30 iPads and collaborative stations thanks to our amazing PTSO which we have been using to teach information literacy skills, hosting the Hour of Code, app smashing with Flipgrid, and giving students a voice in their library.
  • This isn’t even all the amazing day to day, heart to heart activities, talks, learning experiences, and readers advisory that went on with our students and staff. I’m looking forward to an amazing 2018!!

Check out the top 10 reasons you should visit the Richmond Hill Elementary School Library and to work with your library media specialist in 2018. Our goal is to help enhance what you're doing in the classroom and help students become empowered learners and creators. Bring your students and let's have an awesome year!

Big image

Reason #10: Sphero

Use our Sphero SPRKs! Sphero SPRKs are robots designed to inspire tomorrow's inventors and innovators. Using the Sphero EDU app, students easily learn programming while working out the navigation of the robot through mazes and obstacle courses. Let them earn their driver's license by accomplishing missions like building and racing mazes with the Sphero app.

Reason #9: Ebooks

We have an ebooks station! Students can utilize our iPads to access their Epic! account through the library, which has access to over 25,000 ebooks, audio books, read-with-me books, and informational videos. Students can earn badges the more they read to unlock fun features for their profile. So far this school year we have read almost 900 ebooks and over 190 hours!

Reason #8: Our MakerSpace

Have you heard of the MakerSpace movement in libraries and classrooms? It's about giving our students and staff access to a space and tools where they can make, create, explore, and learn. We have Legos, Snap Circuits, LittleBits, MakeyMakey, 3D printing software, and more. Students can use these materials on their own during library time or we can plan a literary lesson around them!

We also have an online MakerSpace you can access from the classroom on Chromebooks or desktops. Visit it here:

Reason #7: Instructional Partnerships

Collaborative lessons are a great way for us to team up to teach information literacy skills, brainstorm and create an engaging project, or for me to help curate resources for your classroom. We have so many resources like PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next, Epic!, and tons of apps like ChatterKids, SuperHero Comic Maker, Princess Fairy Tale Maker, and Book Creator (make your own ebooks that can be downloaded as PDFs) or I can make a HyperDoc or Destiny Collection with resources for your unit.

Reason #6: Monthly STEAM Challenges

Each month, we have different STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) challenges setup in the library. Some of our favorites have been creating holiday ornaments out of recycled Chromebook boxes, making literary snowmen, and using our critical thinking/literary skills to match snowmen to their book characters. Check back each month to see what's new!

Reason #5: Bloxels

Bloxels is not just another tech-enabled toy. It's a hands-on, brains-on, creativity and technology experience. Bloxels uniquely unlocks students’ innate creativity by leveraging something they love: video games. Students can play fun games and channel their creative potential as they gain greater understanding of important topics like design logic, and computer science and demonstrate their knowledge of history, science and mathematics and more through the games they create. Let's work together to help students create video games to share what they've learned in your classroom!

Reason #4: Professional Development

Do you want to know about our new mentor texts, books, and resources I've purchased for your classrooms? Do you want to learn more about using storybooks to introduce STEM concepts? Do you want to learn more about G Suite for Education like Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Slides, or Hyperdocs? Have you heard about Flipgrid and want to incorporate it more into your classroom? I will be hosting another Bagels and Books and 15 minute tidbit sessions this semester or you can always email, drop by, text, Facebook, Tweet, or send a pigeon and I'll help in any way I can! Some of my expertise areas: I'm Google Certified, an Epic! Master Teacher, Flipgrid Certified, a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, and gamification.

Reason #3: Virtual Field Trips and Mystery Skypes

Would you like to connect what your students are learning in the classroom to a real world event, connect with an expert, connect with another classroom around the world, or involve critical thinking and social studies skills into your lessons? Try one of our virtual field trips or a Mystery Skype!

Reason #2: Author Visits and Literary Connections

We have a lot to look forward to in the world of reading this semester! We are celebrating World Read Aloud Day the week of February 5th with over 10 author visits. Read Across America is coming up on Friday, March 2nd and we'll have some amazing Richmond Hill High School volunteer readers again this year. We've also been chosen by Follett to host a new book fair this Spring (February 26th-March 2nd)-only one other school in Georgia received this honor. It's going to be different than you're used to but we're super excited about this new opportunity!

Reason #1: Reading

THE BOOKS, of course!!! The primary purpose of the library STILL remains THE BOOKS! All of our books are now genrefied and we've added over 400 new books this school year already!

If you haven't read Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer yet, do yourself a favor and read it. Here are a couple of important quotes from The Book Whisperer:

“Readers are made, not born. Few students spring out of the ground fully formed as readers. They need help, and we cannot assume that they will get it from home, but they should always get it from us, their teachers.”

“By middle school, students have an image of themselves as readers or nonreaders. Students who do not read see reading as a talent that they do not have rather than as an attainable skill.”

"Students will read if we give them the books, the time, and the enthusiastic encouragement to do so. If we make them wait for the one unit a year in which they are allowed to choose their own books and become readers, they may never read at all. To keep our students reading, we have to let them."

Martha Bongiorno, library media specialist

This is my 2nd year at RHES and my ninth in education. My husband and I have two spunky children, Izzy (7) and Aris (3). Our family can often be found outside hiking around the coastal trails or fostering a love of all things nerd in our children by adventuring to historical places, festivals, or DragonCon. Before coming to RHES, my focus was in designing and integrating STEAM education into social studies and language arts right outside of Athens, Georgia and laying the ground work for the first STEM program at Arthur Williams Middle School in Jesup, Georgia. I firmly believe the library is the center of the school in which knowledge and understanding is constructed from not just books, but from each other and asking questions. When you visit the library, you will often hear classical Led Zeppelin playing and rarely will you find me "shhhing" students in our library. I am available to collaborate on projects and lessons, find resources, research, find the perfect book, and lend a hand or two to fix the random tech issues which arise when we least want them to.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, a Master of Science in Learning, Design, and Technology from the University of Georgia, and my Ed.S. in Instructional Technology from the University of Georgia.