GCS School Library News

April 2016

Thank YOU!

Happy School Library Month! A special thanks to each of you for all you do to help Gaston County Schools and its students every day!

~Dr. Adriane Mingo, Katherine Plecnik, Joan McCarver

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School Library Month is the American Association of School Librarians' celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning. Click here to learn more about the history of School Library Month.
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National Library Week - April 10-16, 2016: http://www.ala.org/nlw - The 2016 theme is Libraries Transform.

Submitted by Katherine Plecnik, GCS Professional Learning Specialist

Congratulations Belmont Middle

On Friday, April 8, Belmont Middle School won first place in the Regional Battle of the Books competition! They competed against the first place schools from 9 other counties and are now headed to the state competition on May 6, 2016 in Raleigh.

High School Students Share the Love of Reading

Tenth grade students at Highland School of Technology read Sam and Dave Dig a Hole via Google Hangouts with students at Woodhill Elementary, Springfield Elementary, Pinewood Elementary and Costner Elementary!
Submitted by Laura Long, SLMC Highland School of Technology

Times Oil Grant Brings New Books to Belmont Middle

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Submitted by Linda M. Cathcart, SLMC Belmont Middle School

Makerspaces Come to North Belmont!

When Makerspaces were first introduced in the library, the third and fourth grade students were not familiar with the concept. The students brainstormed a bit before viewing this awesome video to help explain the Makerspace movement.

Given that this was new to them, the students were only given one choice of Makerspace- Build and Design. After the class developed their own expectations for this Makerspace the students were placed into random teams and given the task of designing signage for the library. The teams spent the first week planning out their sign and needed supplies. A variety of re-purposed materials and craft supplies were available to use.

Ready to build! This is where the groups really took off. All along, the importance of teamwork was stressed; however, watching it unfold was inspiring! Throughout the building process there was time set aside for group and class reflection, “what did/didn’t work?”, “did you change your original design/why?”, “is your team working together well?”, etc. This reflection piece is key. It forces the students to recognize what works or doesn’t work in teamwork, design, building, etc., and that it’s okay to fail as long as we don’t give up.

In mid-April, there will be a “Genius Hour” where each team will present their finished sign and field questions from other teams.

At the conclusion of this Makerspace, the students will be introduced to permanent Makerspaces which will be available for individual, partner, or team use during open checkout times. Some of the Makerspaces that will be available are:

  • Legos

  • Coding

  • iMovie Book Trailers- iPad

  • Crafting with Duct Tape

  • Stop Motion- iPad

  • littleBits Circuits

  • Tinker Toy Building

  • Comic Strip Design- iPad

  • Computer Disassembling

Submitted by Brandi Maples, SLMC North Belmont Elementary

March Madness at Highland School of Technology

Before Spring Break, over 260 students at Highland School of Technology participated in a Tournament of Books by voting for their favorite book. The sweet 16 came from the school's circulation statistics and then voting began! John Green's Paper Towns came out on top as the winner.

Submitted by Laura Long, SLMC Highland School of Technology

Road Trip!

Before Spring Break arrived in March, student media assistants helped create a Road Trip book display featuring titles involving travel and carefree road trips. This was a popular display with our students!

Submitted by Vanessa Griffith, SLMC Stuart W. Cramer High

“Shelvers” Add spirit and Service to Gardner Park Media Center

Joyce Wolfe and Joe Bell became the shared Media team when Kathy D’Aurelio retired at the end of the first semester at Gardner Park Elementary School. Coming into a busy library with students self-checking in and out, they wanted to continue the flow but improve the organization and look of the library. Time constraints made a regular shelving process untenable.

Kathy had used students to help straighten shelves and the AR-leveled check-out carts some, but to make the library really function, a new level of help was needed. That’s where the “Shelvers” came in. Shelvers are students who come in each day to help straighten shelves and care for the library. Interested students had to be approved by their teachers as having satisfactory academic progress and conduct, and be available for at least 20 minutes before or after school. After a 2 week trial period, students were selected to work 5 or 6 at a time for 30 minutes each morning and evening around school hours.

Each day, shelvers are given varying assignments, depending on need. Some students go to a set of 3-4 shelves and “straighten”, checking each book, fronting the shelf and reshelving any improperly shelved. Others go through the library finding unshelved books and straightening the library up. Still others go to the magazines or “Everybody” section and reshelve those materials. Each shelver leaves on time for school or a ride home with a small treat each day for their work. And it works!

Thirty different students worked at least 1 shift. Some students weren’t ready for the increased workload, or the lack of social interaction while working. But 11 students worked at least 8 shifts (4 hours) in the past 6 weeks! They enjoy the work, take pride in the way they help keep the library up, and are a little better known at school because of their role!

The first set of shelvers completed their work on April 1 with a mini-celebration April 6. Some of them will be continuing, and new “Shelvers” have been selected to help starting this week for the next 4 weeks.

Opportunity, responsibility, accountability, teamwork and giving back to your school all make the “shelvers” a great part of Gardner Park!

Submitted by Joe Bell, SLMC Interim Gardner Park Elementary

Stuart Cramer Students Use RiseVision to Promote Media Center

Students in the Stuart Cramer Leadership in Media classes have been making use of RiseVision, a digital signage content management platform, to relay information to staff and students about school events and to promote the Stuart Cramer library programs. RiseVision allows users to create digital signage freely and display on an unlimited number of monitors. All you need is an internet connection and you can transform any closed-circuit TV system or computer into a digital signage display. We love the ability to update our signage remotely from any computer at any time of the day without taking down what is currently showing to students and staff. Some free widgets are available, such as a Google calendar scroll and a clock, and presentations can be scheduled to show at different times of the day. Free templates are also available. We have used this system to promote the media center by advertising a book of the day, which is almost always checked out by lunch time! We have also shared photos and information about new book displays as well as updates on extended library hours, resources available for projects that we know are currently being completed in our classes, and new book arrivals. RiseVision will also provide a link to your presentation that you can share on a website, newsletter, or any other way that you communicate to your students, teachers and parents. Sign up is easy using your Google account. For those of you looking for ways to utilize older computers in your library, this may be something for you and your students to enjoy!

Submitted by Vanessa Griffith, SLMC Stuart W. Cramer High

App Review

Need a free app like iMovie. Try Vidra.

Vidra is a movie making program that has options like educreations and powerpoint. When you download the app, click the pre-made video, "How to make a Vidra". The setting buttons has options to change the background music, how long the slides will be played, and background.

You can turn down the background music if your students voice is too soft. Vidra is FREE, however it does offer a paid option which means that some of the options on the free version are limited. You can house up to 5 videos at a time BUT you can save them to your camera roll.

I love the way that Vidra breaks down the components into slides. Students have a much easier time recording their voice and checking to see how it turned out.

Looking for more apps try...

40 Apps that Librarians Love


Submitted by Sherry Wilson, SLMC Pinewood Elementary

Library Scavenger Hunt Goes Digital

All freshmen students, while enrolled in English 9 at Stuart W. Cramer High School, complete a series of research classes designed to provide students with the skill set to successfully locate, evaluate and use information wisely for various purposes. Students begin their unit of study with a group scavenger hunt in the media center and end with creating an annotated bibliography. This year we utilized GooseChase to create an online scavenger hunt where students are able to submit their answers digitally with a photo. GooseChase allows the instructor to create a mission and students use the GooseChase app to complete this mission. Mission items included locating resource lists in Destiny, finding specific titles and areas of the media center, and completing research questions. Progress can be tracked on the Smartboard as students can view a real-time activity feed and rankings. This program really livened up the traditional library scavenger hunt and allowed groups to become competitive and have fun with their photos!

Submitted by Vanessa Griffith, SLMC Stuart W. Cramer High

GCS’s Media Website

Have you visited GCS’s Media Website? A BIG “Thank you!” To Robin Jordan, SLMC at North Gaston, for creating and maintaining this powerful tool for collaboration and communication.

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Professional Development Opportunities

Online PD Opportunity

Library 2.016: Library as Classroom

Explore libraries as creative classrooms while networking with others.

Submitted by Edie Crook, SLMC Woodhill Elementary
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Save the dates! The 2016 Gaston County Schools Teaching & Learning Conference (T&LC) will be held August 8 and 9 at Gaston College. This annual conference, held since 2004, is a forum to network and exchange information about effective teaching and learning strategies. The T&LC emphasizes timely topics of particular interest to all education professionals from effective best practices to emerging technologies.

August 8 & 9, 2016

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April 30, 2016

Stuart Cramer High School

8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Check-in starts at 8:00 AM

Go to http://edcampgaston.weebly.com

to reserve your ticket now!

Register in Truenorthlogic to earn CEU credit! Course #:10574

What’s an EdCamp? Click here to learn more!


Missed any of the monthly highlight? Check out past issues to see what has been going on in the media centers in Gaston County:

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