Media Memo

APS Media Services Newsletter | December 13, 2019

Happy Holidays!

This time of year is always exciting, fast paced, and delicious. The amount of tasty desserts and treats are enough to destroy anyone's calorie count. Be sure to take some time to enjoy this season. Spend time with those who you love the most. And enjoy one more piece of chocolate! Happy holidays to each of you & enjoy your quickly approaching holiday break!

HRRB Lunch Requests - IMPORTANT - Action Required by December 18, 2019

If you would like for your students to receive lunch during the 2020 Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, please complete this form by Wednesday, December 18, 2019. If you do not submit the names and lunch numbers of the students who need a lunch, he/she will not receive a lunch during the HRRB.

Thank you to Harper Archer Elementary School for already submitting this information!

Lesson Suggestion: Helping Students Make New Year's Resolutions

Just like the adults around them, our students may be looking at the new year as a fresh start - an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. We can help them. When our students return in January, the well wishes of "Happy New Year" will be heard so why not make a new year's resolution lesson out of it? Here is a idea of how to facilitate a new year's resolution lesson:

1. Get warmed up - Learn360 has a short explanation of how New Year's Day is celebrated in America. Share this as a way to introduce your lesson. Ask students if any of them have made a new year's resolution yet. Allow them to share (out loud, with a partner or by writing it down). Talk about your own resolution - if you have one. Some students may not want to share publicly, and that is okay.

2. Explore different kinds of resolutions - One of the main goals of this lesson is to give students a better sense of things in their lives they DO have control over. That's an important message; one that can empower them to take ownership for their choices and start making big changes. This message will be most effective if students are exposed to a broad range of possibilities, rather than limit themselves to ideas they happen to come up with on their own. Here are some ideas:

  • Health Resolutions: eat less junk food, exercise more, get better sleep
  • Academic Resolutions: set up a homework routine, keep school materials organized
  • Relationship Resolutions: be a better listener, stop gossiping, spend more time with family
  • Personal Growth Resolutions: learn a new hobby or skill, spend less time on devices, read a new book

3. Explain how to turn a resolution into a goal - One of the reasons some resolutions fail is because they aren't specific or measurable. If a person resolves to "eat healthier," that's hard to measure and hard to track. With a broad resolution, it's easy to fall into a gray area and eventually drop it altogether. So teach students how to take a vague resolution like "give my dog more attention" and turn it into a specific, measurable goal like "spend 10 minutes a day petting and playing with my dog." Introduce students to the concept of SMART goals so they can craft a goal that meets all five criteria.

4. Show students how to track their goals - explain to students that people generally have a greater chance of meeting their goals if they keep track of their progress in some way. Then show them how to do it. Our APS initiatives (Race2Read, AR, MyOn) are easy ways to help support goals set by students.


The Mailbox

The Mailbox is a resource available to our teachers in elementary and middle school. If you are looking for lesson ideas, make this one of your go-to resources!

Featured in the December lesson/activity ideas is "Don't Take it Personally, Leo!" This is a lesson about idioms which takes students through journal entries written by Leo. Students are directed to read, analyze the journal entry and derive a meaning from the idiom.

Visit The Mailbox (located in MyBackpack - no additional log on required) to help spark lesson ideas!

Follett Destiny - Circulation Check

As we end the first semester, this is a good time to check your book circulation. As a rule of thumb, circulation numbers should reflect each student checking out at least 2 books a month. Determine your FTE, number of months x 2 books for each student. Here's how to pull a circulation report:

1. Log into Follett Destiny

2. Select REPORTS



5. Set the dates for this school year

6. Select RUN REPORT

7. View report when completed.

Information Needed - Action Required

Do you have an upcoming parent engagement event or literacy event at your school? Please complete this form so we may extend the opportunity to collaborate and share information about literacy and what is available to all of our students via the Fulton County Library System. Be sure to consider events during the holiday season and during the second semester.

High School AR Updates

Our high school students are engaging with AR more and more each day! Continue to remind them to take AR tests when they have completed a book. Here are the latest summary results for our top 5 high schools:

North Atlanta - 14,806.2 points

Maynard Jackson - 2973.5 points

South Atlanta - 1121.5 points

Therrell - 578.7 points

Grady - 543.3 points

Read to the Final Four - Attention Elementary Schools - Action Required

The Atlanta Basketball Host Committee is collecting a few key pieces of information about each participating school to help with prize distribution and planning. Please complete the short survey (5 questions) below at your earliest convenience. Thank you to schools who have already completed this. If you haven’t, please take 2-3 minutes to complete it now so there is no delay in getting prizes and information to your school site.

Read to the Final Four School Survey

The Atlanta Basketball Host Committee has shared the prizes that students will receive by participating in the program and advancing through the rounds of the bracket-style competition. Please click on the link below to a PDF of the prizing document. Feel free to print this information page out and share with your students. This is a perfect motivator heading into winter break!

Prize Information Document

Winter break is right around the corner for you and your students. Remember, the contest keeps going even when school is not in session, so it is important to come up with a plan to encourage your students to continue reading as much as possible over break. Reading over school breaks is important for students continued academic growth! Below are some ideas on how to set your students up for success:

  • Send home the newly released Prize Information Sheet to motivate and excite students
  • Create a login flyer so students and families know how to access myON from home over break
  • Incentivize students to read over break by setting a minute read goal and recognize students who meet those goals
  • Give a prize to the 3rd grade class who reads the most minutes over break

Coming Soon: #APSRace2Read Prize Patrol!


The #12DaysofReading event is to specifically target our middle school students. The goal is to highlight reading activities that take place for our middle school students. Be sure to highlight the exciting events that take place in your media center or throughout the school highlighting reading. Need some ideas? Check out GLMA's Twitter feed as they share ideas from media centers around the state.

Additionally, each middle school received a supply of books to distribute to every student. Please distribute to every student before December 20. This is just one of the activities that can be included in your #12DaysofReading event. Other ideas include 20 minutes of D.E.A.R. time for each of the 12 days.

We can't wait to see the engaging reading activities taking place at our middle schools!

Big picture
Big picture

APS Media Services

Patrice Laird-Walker, Ed.S

Media Services Coordinator


Jennifer Saunders, Ed.S.

Media Specialist At-Large


Click here to request support