December 2020/January 2021

Barrington Middle School Library Media Center

Trimester Check-In with Our Students

Since the library is not physically open to patrons this school year, some ELA teachers have been kind enough to ask their students to fill out a Google form survey for us to get a pulse on their reading lives during a pandemic. I do like knowing how students are feeling and what they are thinking. It helps determine what genres and formats to purchase for them. It helps me determine which lessons I might be able to Zoom into classes to ensure access to resources. And it helps me think about the ways in which we can honor their reading identities. Here are some of the takeaways from the trimester 1 survey. I have included some responses for the last question: What do you want us to know about your reading life this school year?
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December 9 - Virtual Family Hour of Code Night

Mr. Davis and Mrs. Roy co-hosted a Family Hour of Code night on December 9th from 6-7pm. This year's theme was #CSforSocialJustice. We developed coding activities around the UN Sustainable Goals. You can find these activities in Canvas in Digital and Media Literacy. Participants were entered into a raffle to win Code.org swag and even a mask with embedded LED to craft your own message banner.
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December 15, 2020

When we got the email that we would be switching over to distance learning for the three days leading up to the winter break, we realized we needed to get the trimester 2 books into the hands of our 839 readers. It was a team effort with even Mrs. Anita DiMatteo coming up to lend a hand! Ms. Trahan was kind enough to print student labels which made it look extremely professional. First we handed out books to students in the building. Then we put together carts for students not in the building. Carts were left outside during school hours for families to pick up their materials.
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December 18 - Last Chance to Check Out Books Before Break!

We took our mobile library around to classrooms in the hopes of enticing students to check out a title or two before leaving for distance learning and break. We have put genres into the tops of copy box lids to make perusing a little more convenient for our readers.
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January 12 - Mrs. Elaine Van Leer Prepares

Our incredible part-time library assistant, Mrs. Elaine Van Leer, has been taking advantage of the quiet going book by book to add a genre label to each spine in the fiction section. She even makes note of books that could use some "TLC" and comes back to give them a proper "wash" with some Goo Gone. This is all in preparation of our "genrefying" project to welcome students back when Covid restrictions lift. Students will be greeted with a new fiction section by genre which we are hoping makes it more inviting which will lead to more check-outs! This is a labor of love for our detail-oriented wizard Mrs. Van Leer! Special thanks to Mrs. Gower for letting us borrow the PE scooters!
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January 20 - BMS Family Un-Book Club

On Wednesday, January 20 Ms. August, Dr. Fernandes and Mrs. Roy met with families to discuss fantasy titles of our choice. We started out by watching everyone's Flipgrid video introducing our books which was a fun way to settle in and get familiar with our choices. Then we chatted about similarities and differences between our chosen titles as well as character traits, conflicts and more. We are meeting to chat about graphic novels in any genre we choose in March. The more the merrier! We hope you'll join us!
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January 21 - Bernie Makes an Appearance

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January 25 - American Library Association Youth Media Awards

The Youth Media Awards are announced at the American Library Association's Mid-Winter conference each year. Normally I invite students to join me in the library before classes start to watch together. In fact, I created a score sheet so we can track the winners as we watch. This year we had a state PD day so students were working from home. I provided the link to watch the awards livestreamed at 9am with a score sheet they could use to track the winners. I then followed up with a Google slidedeck of the winners you can access here. I was thrilled to see so many of the books I have recommended this year get shiny stickers! Click here to see my weekly recommendation in virtual bookshelf form.
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2021 ALA Youth Media Award Winners

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January 25 - Common Sense Media Lesson 2

During the PD day students were assigned the second Common Sense Media lesson of the school year. This was created in Nearpod so that students could work at their own pace to complete the lesson.


Grade 6: Digital Drama Unplugged


Learning Objectives:

  • Reflect on how easily drama can escalate online.

  • Identify de-escalation strategies when dealing with digital drama.

  • Reflect on how digital drama can affect not only oneself but also those around us.


Grade 7: Big, Big Data


Learning Objectives:


  • Explain why information about them and their behaviors is valuable to companies.

  • Analyze how certain types of data are used by companies.

  • Learn three strategies to limit individual data collection by companies.


Grade 8: Responding to Online Hate Speech


Learning Objectives:

  • Examine and respond to a piece of artwork about the power of technology.

  • Analyze an online hate speech dilemma using the Feelings & Options steps.

  • Identify specific actions to positively affect a situation involving hate speech.

Classical Music and Digital Snow to Match the Outdoor Snow

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January 28 - Mrs. Van Leer Is Moving Genres into Their New Homes

Mrs. Van Leer has finished labeling spines so she moved on to pulling books to be with their genres. She added the genre to the "sublocation" in our library catalog. Now they are ready to move to their new home within the fiction section.The first section is the "Love and Laughter" wall holding the romance and humor genres.
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Social Media Interns

In an effort to provide more student voice, I am working with four eighth grade students who expressed in interest in becoming social media interns for our school. We meet weekly during FAST period to create an action plan and next steps in our process. Mrs. Sarah Bouvier, the Library Communications Manager from the Cranston Public Library, was a guest expert who explained social media and how we can use it to amplify student voices and the good work being done here in our school. We met with Dr. Anderson to understand his vision for what our social media interns would do for the school. Then the interns reached out to connect with student ambassadors in grades 6 and 7 who can regularly provide updates on interesting projects happening in their clusters and in the allied arts.

Dr. Anderson shared out a blurb the interns created to collect ideas from the learning community in his weekly newsletter. Feel free to add something to this Google Form.

The interns will be posting daily content on Instagram @bmsstudentcommunity and on the @bms_ri Twitter account. They will also update the BMS slideshow that run on loop in the front corridor.

Circulation Stats for December 2020 and January 2021

December 1 - 18, 2020


Circulation: 1,391

Holds: 87

Books Lent to Other Libraries: 9

Books Borrowed from Other Libraries: 2


January 11 - 29, 2021


Circulation: 279

Holds: 92

Books Lent to Other Libraries: 4

Books Borrowed from Other Libraries: 21

Top Titles for December and January

The Death Cure - James Dashner - science fiction - 4 checkouts

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Top Patrons for December and January combined

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