La Bibliothèque de South Sahali

What are we about?

What have we been up to in the 2013-2014 school year?

School Library Goals

Our school library goals are the following:
  • to encourage and foster the love of reading in both English and French
  • to assist students in finding the resources they need for their school assignments
  • to help students find information on the internet, evaluate it and use it for assignments
  • to teach students how to take notes, put together assignments and cite sources, be they print or visual
  • to foster an enthusiasm for the love of learning and inquiry
  • to introduce students to new ways of representing their learning
  • to provide a space for students to work on assignments, with support, and read during lunch hour

Library Staffing

Teacher-Librarian: Melisa Hunter
Library Assistant: Andrea Shafthuizen

Library Staffing Numbers for our school with a population of 331 students or 14 divisions:
  • 0.40 FTE teacher-librarian (12 periods or 2 days a week)
  • 12 hours/week library assistant (2 days a week)

Library Programs for September 2013 to March 2014

Kindergarten and Grade 1:
  • storytime in French
  • instruction on how to use library
  • helping students choose books
  • book exchange
  • guided inquiry on dinosaurs for the K's
  • science inquiry on force and motion and magnets with the 1's

Grade 2/3
  • instruction on how to use the library
  • instruction on how to find information in non-fiction texts
  • using grade appropriate websites and World Book online
  • research project on penguins: discussing, wondering, looking for information, recording
  • promoting French and English books
  • book exchange
  • research project on Canadian provinces and territories for 2's
  • research project on personal heritage for 3's

Grade 4:

  • instruction on how to use the library
  • promoting French and English books
  • looking at text features of non-fiction books

Grade 5:

  • promoting French and English books
  • book exchange
  • research project on the history of Canadian immigration
  • Passport to the Internet: internet safety, effective internet searches, evaluation of online sources

Grade 5/6:

  • Passport to the Internet: internet safety, effective internet searches, evaluation of online sources
  • creating a digital presentation for a research project on a country

Grade 6/7:

  • research project on Japan: looking for resources, taking notes, citing sources, composing paragraphs from notes, creating a pamphlet to represent learning
  • creating a Mystery Country Quest on Libre Office Impress
  • writing book reviews and posting them to Destiny Quest, part of our OPAC system
  • having the students participate in the Mystery Quest game to practice internet search skills

Additional Programs for 2013-2014

Red Cedar Book Award Club:

This club is run as a pull-out club from January to April, every Wednesday morning from 9:35 to 10:20. A total of 25 intermediate students are participating. There is a selection of 12 novels and 12 non-fiction books to read. If students read 5 books from a category they can vote on what they think is the best book. Votes are cast by students all over BC to determine which books will win the Red Cedar Award this year.

At our meetings we discuss the books, write summaries and book reviews and blog about our opinions. We are sharing our blogs with a class from Aberdeen Elementary. This gives us the opportunity to discuss the books with even more students. We hope to have a video conference with this class from Aberdeen sometime later in the spring. We are looking forward to interviewing one of the Red Cedar authors on Skype, as this was a highlight for us last year.

We are extremely grateful to our PAC who gave us a $500 grant to purchase the books for this program.


Our students love to read!

We have seen a 36% increase in circulation in our library compared to last year over the same period of time. I think that it can be attributed to the concerted effort that I have made to improve the promotion of English and French books in the library. I also must say that the teachers at South Sahali are very enthusiastic about reading, for recreational purposes and as part of the Daily 5 and Readers' Workshop programs.
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2013-2014 Budget

School Board Funding: $5500.00
PAC Grant: $800.00
Total: $6300.00

Ways that I support the school, as teacher-librarian

  • purchase books and resources for the library with a budget of $6300.00
  • maintain the library website to support students and staff
  • search out resources for teachers and students from our library, other libraries in the school district, the HGEC and online, often assisting teachers with purchases for their classrooms
  • collaboratively plan with teachers
  • troubleshoot technology questions and issues
  • offer the Heritage Fair program to interested students
  • coordinate the Young Authors' application forms for our school

My Professional Development:

Member of the Inquiry-Based Learning Group organized by Judy Dunn
and Carol Rees

I attended the following workshops:
  • Smarter Science Inquiry Workshop led by Mike Newnham and Rick Pardo
  • Assessment of Inquiry Based Learning led by Mike Newnham and Rick Pardo
  • Inquiry Across the Curriculum led by Carol Rees
  • Historical Thinking and Learning Inquiry led by Tom Morton
  • Information Inquiry led by Shelley Wright
  • a number of workshops where we shared what we were doing in our schools; we learned much about the how to lead, implement and assess inquiry here.

I am also attending a workshop series led by Tracy Poelzer and Andrea Wallin on curriculum mapping, using search strategies, to support the new BCED plan.

My Role on Working Committees

Pro-D chair at South Sahali Elementary School
  • as a committee, we are are focusing on personal Pro-D
  • our staff is pursuing self-guided professional development where we work collaboratively and share our learning and successes at regular meetings
  • in order to meet these Pro-D goals, staff attends workshops offered in the district and also works on personal goals guided by professional books and collaboration

Secretary of the SD 73 Teacher-Librarian LSA

Library Goals for Next Year

  • to continue with the programs that are in place this year
  • to explore inquiry based learning with more teachers and students
  • to continue to promote recreational reading, in both French and English, to the upper intermediate students via book talks and book trailers
  • to try out new digital storytelling tools with the students to give them more options to show their learning
  • to offer mini-workshops to staff on the school district's digital resources (Canadian Points of View, NFB, Novelist etc), and other topics of interest in technology, such as student blogging, and the use of Twitter in Education

We are accomplishing a lot this year, but with more TL time in the library we could:

  • teach research skills and digital literacy on a more regular basis to all of the classes
  • promote reading on a more regular basis to all of the classes
  • work collaboratively on a more regular basis on inquiry projects with more teachers: this results in better ideas for projects and more one-on-one teacher time with the students

Melisa Hunter: Teacher-Librarian

I am a French Immersion elementary school teacher-librarian who is passionate about reading, inquiry based learning and technology in education. I teach the equivalent of two days a week in the library and one day a week in the Grade 4 French Immersion class. I have very recently completed my Teacher-Librarian Diploma through UBC.