GCS School Library News
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
High School Students Share the Love of Reading
Times Oil Grant Brings New Books to Belmont Middle
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:
iMovie Book Trailers- iPad
Crafting with Duct Tape
Stop Motion- iPad
Tinker Toy Building
Comic Strip Design- iPad
- Computer Disassembling
Submitted by Brandi Maples, SLMC North Belmont Elementary
March Madness at Highland School of Technology
Submitted by Laura Long, SLMC Highland School of Technology
“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
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
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.
Professional Development Opportunities
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