Innovation Center

October 2018

Policy Reminders

  • Please remember that, according to the faculty handbook, teachers must schedule a time to visit the innovation center with Ms. Ratliff in advance. Please refrain from showing up unannounced with your class. This includes bringing classes in while teachers use the printer or laminator. Ms. Ratliff can often accommodate teachers with just a day's notice, but the sooner the notice, the better! Thank you for your cooperation.
* Page 20 of Faculty Handbook: Teachers may arrange to bring classes to the innovation center. These arrangements should be made at least one week before bringing the class. Teachers must arrive and depart with their students. The innovation specialist welcomes collaboration with the faculty. We will be happy to collect resources for a specific assignment and/or do instructional presentations on using specific resources such as topical reference material or online databases. We will also provide information literacy presentations, such as website evaluation or the research process, as needed.
  • The innovation center has been very busy this first quarter! Thank you to all the literacy teachers who have been writing passes and sending students to the innovation center to check out books or to use the makerspaces. Thank you to Mr. Blankenship for instructing his book club on how to use Destiny to pick out their books before they came to the innovation center. Thank you to Ms. Loerch who brought her literacy class for a Breakout Edu library orientation.
  • More innovation center passes will be placed in teachers' boxes for quarter 2. If you have the majority of your class wanting to visit the innovation center, it might be better to schedule a time to bring your entire class. If you don't have time to write a bunch of passes, consider making a permanent library pass on a lanyard. Please continue to only send three students on a pass.
  • The mobile book drop in the cafeteria was moved near the door by the dean's office. Although this location is not as accessible as the cafeteria, it has cut down on trash being thrown in on top of books. Please remind students that they may return books here as an alternative to returning books to the innovation center.
  • Overdue book notices will not be printed this month as Destiny has some technical issues. Since there is no homeroom this year, notices will be delivered to literacy teachers this year.
  • Please remind students to not enter the side door of the innovation center. The door remains locked but does not shut tightly.
  • The sign in/out process for students in the innovation center is now digital and can be accessed by faculty. Click on the link below to see a list of students who visit the innovation center.
Innovation Center Student Sign In/Out List

New electronic sign in/out method for students: Check to see if your students signed in & out of the innovation center!

Makerspace Highlight: BreakoutEdu

This year's innovation center orientation came in the form of a BreakoutEdu game. Students learned about the innovation center policies and resources from a Prezi and then worked in groups to decode the clues to unlock the BreakoutEdu Box. Students had to use Destiny to search for call numbers to decipher the numberical combination on one lock. Students also had to move around to the different sections of the innovation center to decipher the directional combination on another lock. They loved using the blacklight to unveil hidden text! Groups took turns trying to unlock all four locks in the time allotted. The winning team discovered candy inside the box. BreakoutEdu has games for every subject matter and are very engaging. Ms. Ratliff can even make a custom BreakoutEdu game like the orientation game for any of the book club titles for quarter 2. Let her know if you are interested so that the game can be created!

Shelf Awareness

What's new on the shelves?
  • 8th-grade teachers, there is an entire display of new books that are only available to 8th graders for check out. These books contain mature themes and have a YA (Young Adult) sticker on the spine. If students are looking for fiction books with more worldly topics, please let them know about this section.
  • 353 new books have been added this school year already! Hundreds of more books will be added in quarter 2 including new class sets of novels (The Outsiders, The Hate U Give, &The Children of Blood and Bone).
  • The focus on collections this year will be updating the nonfiction section, building the graphic novel and Honor book sections, and establishing a section of hi-lo books for struggling readers.
  • Genre Spotlight: There will be a display each month highlighting a different genre in the innovation center. This month's spotlight are thrillers and horror.
  • Ms. Ratliff has read the Q2 selections for book club, so if you have any questions or looking for ideas for novel activities, please let her know. The Eureka Key, Restart, and Surrender the Key are all Sunshine State titles. There will be an SSYRA Facebook Live with Sarah Thomson, author of The Eureka Key, on Thursday, 10/18 at 12:00.

Classroom Libraries

Over 1,600 fiction books have recently been weeded from the library collection to make room for all of the new books! Once the books have been fully removed from the system, you are welcome to look through the discarded books and add them to your classroom libraries. Any books not claimed will be donated at the end of the month. Nonfiction books will be weeded at a later date and then available for perusal.


Do you want a way to manage your classroom libraries? Consider using the free site Booksource.com! Booksource's platform allows you to catalog your books and check them out to students. See Ms. Ratliff if you need help setting up your account.

Digital Citizenship Week

  • October 15th-19th is Digitial Citizenship Week. Please make sure you familiarize yourself with the basics of Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons by joining the following Google Classroom about best practices for educators: voqayoy.
  • Please know that Classroom Fair Use does NOT cover the reproduction of copyrighted text, whether it's from a purchased book or PDF.
  • See Ms. Ratliff if you have any questions about the reproduction or display of copyrighted material in the classroom.

Visit the innovation center!

"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life."

--Henry Ward Beecher