Top 10 Reasons

to visit the Autrey Mill MS Learning Commons in 2020!

Let's make 2020 the best year yet!

2019 was an amazing year!

  • traveled over 50,000 miles to participate in author visits, Skype-A-Scientist, and classroom collaborations!
  • collaborated on research projects, BreakoutEDU lessons, reading programs, STEM challenges, embedded Compassionate Makers into our MakerSpace, and shared technology uses in professional development with teachers.
  • hosted the Lions Literacy Alliance book club each month to build up the reading lives of our students, staff, and parents.
  • hosted the AMMS Technology Fair, from which 6 teams are moving on to the state competition in March.
  • celebrated Banned Books Week with every student at AMMS to teach students about our freedom to read and think critically about what they read.
  • participated in the Hour of Code with coding challenge stations.
  • hosted our Open Mic morning to celebrate the interests and talents of our community
  • hosted a Harry Potter themed Book Fair & trivia day that ended in over 1,000 students walking away with a brand new book and gifted books to 15 students who could not afford a new book.
  • added 400 new physical books and 300 new ebooks/audiobooks to our collection!
  • continue to add high interest reads to our genrefied fiction selections to help motivate our reluctant readers and expose students to different types of reading materials.
  • encouraged our students to participate in the 40 Book Challenge.
  • hosted reading clubs during lunch for 90 students each week.

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 2020!!

Check out the top 10 reasons you should visit the Autrey Mill Middle School Learning Commons and to work with your library media specialist in 2020. 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!

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Reason #10: School Library Website

Did you know the AMMS Library has a website students can access 24/7 that houses our databases, links to resources, tips & tricks, reading suggestions, and more?! Our library's moto is "Discovering the Remarkable" because we believe libraries help you discover the remarkable things around you and within yourself. Find your remarkable online, too!

We also try to keep our blog updated with the awesome lessons, challenges, and projects that go on in the learning commons. Students already have the AMMS Library website bookmarked on their iPads so they have access to it whenever they have WiFi.

Reason #9: digital literacy

Students can utilize their iPads to access our ebooks on Sora, MackinVIA, and Epic! which has access to over thousands of ebooks, audio books, read-with-me books, and informational videos. We have read 40,459 copies so far this year!
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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 before school, during lunch, for school-related projects, or we can plan a literary lesson around them!

We also have an online MakerSpace you can access from the classroom on iPads 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 Gale research databases, MackinVIA, OverDrive, Epic!, and apps like 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. We can partner on book projects, using the library space, or bringing in guest speakers too!

Reason #6: Research & Digital Literacy Skills

Googling has made our lives easy, but there is an important difference between Googling an answer and understanding the why. While most students understand how to use a search engine, it is up to us to help our students with the necessary skills to take answers to the next level. That's where our research and digital literacy skills come into our lives! We should teach our students how to evaluate and question sources, draw conclusions, spot fake news, and push students to new levels of creativity. In partnering with us, you can also help teach digital citizenship, mend a digital divide with our lower economic status students, and work on providing a personalized, differentiated approach to learning.

Reason #5: Social-Emotional Learning

Creating a space that is judgment-free has always been high on my list of ways to make a library welcoming, comfortable, and safe. Our library includes books that offer windows and mirrors so that all students feel welcomed and supported. Our Lions Literacy Alliance books have focused on marginalized groups so that we can hear and be heard. Mrs. Bongiorno curated lists of books for each of the seven mindsets and shares out curated resources that offer insight into communities of color, religions, and gender identity. We have also increased our nonfiction selection this year of biographies of people from marginalized communities, current events, and healthy lifestyles including ways to combat stress.

In our MakerSpace, we have included Compassionate Maker challenges, destress coloring activities, and hands-on collaboration challenges to build community within our school.

Most recently our library acquired two stationary exercise bikes! Learn about the benefits of this here.

Reason #4: Professional Development

Do you want to know about resources I've purchased for the library and your classrooms? 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 Bagels, Books and Bytes this semester - a 15 minute tidbit session on tech tools that can enhance your teaching. You can also 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 Level 2 Google Certified, a Flipgrid Certified Ambassador, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and enjoy 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

Becky Albertalli was able to visit with us in February for World Read Aloud Day and our students loved it! Her work with us in promoting acceptance among our marginalized students led to our ability to invite Aisha Saeed to AMMS. Both visits were enriching for our students and experiences we will never forget!

We Skyped with 12 authors in 2019 with 7 of them being on the Georgia Children's Award list.

This year for World Read Aloud Day, we are working on collaborating with other schools and to connect with more authors.

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 700 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."