@your school library

April Newsletter

The Groovy Book Fair is Coming!

The PTA's spring book fair is upon us! The theme for this book fair is Feeling Groovy: Peace, Love and Books. Now that is a cool theme that I can get behind, so put on your tie dyed threads and let's have a far-out time, you dig? The hip fair is April 4th - 8th. I know that this flower child thinks it's going to be a fab book fair!!!! The "Far Out" Family Night is on Thursday at 6:30. There will be a scavenger hunt, photo booth, face painting, popcorn, and prizes! April 1st is the teacher preview (10:00 - 2:00). Please come and enter into a drawing and create your wish lists! Hang loose and let's help support our PTA!

Mad about Makerspaces….

Those 2 weeks with Mrs. Hernandez in our Library Makerspace were amazing! The students were tinkering, creating, exploring, and having a great time while doing it. We hope to continue exposing our students to makerspaces in the future and are working on acquiring more materials....we will keep you posted!

21st century libraries are no longer simply a holding area for books, they have also become a central learning commons. A place where patrons gather to share ideas, collaborate, create and enrich their learning. In an effort to promote this idea, many school libraries are embracing the idea of including makerspaces in their environments.

What is a makerspace?

Makerspace.com defines it as: a place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects….it can adapt to a wide variety of uses and can be shaped by educational purposes as well as the students’ creative goals.

Tinkering, collaborative learning, play, conversations for learning, intergenerational learning, experimentation, inquiry, the act of creation, and problem solving–these are just some of the qualities that can happen in makerspaces and encourage participatory learning. Library as Incubator Project

***Makerspaces in the school library = a place to create not only consume!

Interested in becoming involved in the maker movement? There is a public makerspace nearby, in Carrollton, where you can visit and let your creative juices flow: https://dallasmakerspace.org/

National Autism Awareness Month

I love that the month of April brings awareness to Autism. The Dallas Zoo is having a special day for children with autism. On Sunday, April 24th, the Dallas Zoo will host its first ever Sensory Friendly Day for children with autism. The zoo will have lowered sound levels, calming areas and social stories. There will be a social activity tour including primates, reptiles, and more hands-on activities. The cost is $5.00 for an all day admission pass.

April Celebrations

In addition to National Autism Awareness Month, April is also Scottish American Heritage Month, and National Poetry Month. I LOVE teaching students about poetry. Sooooo, if you have a poetry unit coming up, who you gonna call????? Your loquacious librarian, that's who! Let's collaborate! And to get your creative & poetic juices flowing, check out the following resources for some great ideas: Edutopia, ProTeacher, and CanTeach.

Also, National Earth Day is April 22! The most common practice of celebration is to plant new trees for Earth Day. Who's feeling green? Dallas is dedicating a few days to it on April 22-24 by hosting Earth Day Texas, a festival that promotes living a green lifestyle. Click on the links to see more ideas for Earth Day: NEA, EarthDay.org, ReadWriteThink, Education World.

Springtime is in the air and all the festivals that it brings with it. I love attending festivals and if you do too, look at the ones popping up in the metroplex:

Dallas offers a National Tartan Day, a celebration with a bit of "Scottish" family fun. It will include demos of Highland dancing, traditional pipes and drums! Click here for the deets taking place on April 10th.

In Denton, on April 8 & 9, the North Texas Book Festival is being held, featuring authors and their latest books. It proves to be quite the event for book nerds like me.

In our own backyard, Lewisville will host Chalk This Way, again. The yearly event takes place on April 9th and the website describes it as "entertainment to keep the whole family creatively engaged.....cheerful and eclectic festival"!

And for one of the biggest and most well know festivals around, take a hike to Waxahachie and join the Scarborough Renaissance Faire! This is a fun event with something for everyone in your family and, oh boy, do those people ever stay in character! Join the fun anytime between April 9th - May 30th!

Getting the festival vibe? Here is a site with plenty more in the metroplex: https://www.everfest.com/texas/dallas-festivals

Virtual and Augmented Reality

In my last newsletter, I said I would share some more information this month about Augmented and Virtual Reality. The following AR\Virtual Reality Apps are very useful and/or just plain fun.

Google Translate - this app will literally translate any print for you into just about any language. Also, it has a microphone feature. If you want to hear what something sounds like in another language, just speak into the mic and it will say it back to you in your selected language. How do you say "I need to talk to you about your child" in Spanish?

Yelp - Hungry? This is a great little app to help you find the nearest restaurants, coffee shops, or places that deliver food. Just open it up and and point it to your surroundings and restaurants, etc. around you will pop up! It's that simple!

Blippar - a user friendly augmented reality app that can be used when teaching about the solar system, plant life, and/or volcanoes (land forms). The solar system marker, for example, will allow students to turn in a 360° circle and view the various planets, and if they need more information about one, they need only touch that planet and more information will pop up.

*For your personal use, Blippar is used on products all around us. The next time you are in a grocery store, look for the logo (orange square with a lowercase b) and using the Blippar app, scan it. Videos, recipes, games, and/or more about the product will pop up. You can also hold up your smartphone to virtually any thing and it will show words describing it but this is still in the "working stages". An example of this is, when using the app and pointing to a dog, the app will tell you what breed of dog it is. Coolio! I can't wait until this is perfected.

Vrse - a virtual "storytelling" app that can be used for not only teaching your students current events but also, "it's greatest storytelling power", according to its website, is "transporting empathy; putting someone behind the eyes of another person. There is no technological medium today that transfers empathy to the viewers like VR (virtual reality)". Their 1st person documentary, Clouds over Sidra, is proving this while delivering a powerful experience about a girl living in a refugee camp. I'll be honest, their collection is still small but I can't wait for them to build up their library more!

***There are too many to list here so if you're interested, stop by and I'll tell you about some more!

Just for kicks and grins contest!

April 1st, April Fool's Day, is a date very near and dear to my heart! If you care to guess why, and are the first one to email me with the correct answer, you will win a prize! "May the odds be ever in your favor"!