JISD Library Services Newsletter

December 2019

In this Newsletter

Technically Speaking

Friends of JISD Libraries

Hour of Code Week in JISD

Events & Activities in Your JISD Libraries

Coming in January

Save the Date - NEW

Librarians Outside the Library - NEW

Technically Speaking

Learn 360

Do you miss Discovery Education? Then you should try Learn360, one of our new TexQuest resources this year. All of our TexQuest digital resources are available from your library's webpage, but HERE is the direct link to all of our resources. Click HERE to access the username and passwords. Only JISD users may access the credentials, so please sign into Google with those credentials.

Learn360 offers thousands of videos, audio clips, printables, games & activities, maps & flags, and STEM lessons. One of my favorite features is the transcript feature. You can have the transcript on one side of the screen while it highlights the words with the speakers voice. See the picture below. This is a helpful feature for our ELL students as well as hearing impaired students! Transcripts also make it easier to use a video as a source for research.

All of the videos may be shared with others and/or put in your Google Classroom. If you don't want to share an entire video, you may also select specific segments to show. Citations are available so that students and teachers can cite their citations correctly, if necessary.

The selection of videos is broad too. They cover all of the core course, of course, but they also provide videos on career and tech, languages other than English, engineering & technology, health & guidance, and professional development videos.

Videos is not their only game though! Check out the printables! They provide fact sheets, science diagrams, science experiments, and math activities. See picture below of just a few examples.

It's a great resource. I hope you make time to peruse it during the Holidays or upon your return in January. Please contact your librarian if you need more help or information.

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friED Technology: Education Technology Professional Learning & Development

Want an easy way to keep up with all the updates and improvements in G-Suite? Follow Fried Technology at https://www.friedtechnology.com. They have a great team working to provide you with the best ways to incorporate the new features into your classroom. Look for information on


  • Rubrics in Google Classroom
  • Priority Page in Google Drive
  • Blank Screens and Timings in Google Slides
  • Comparing Documents in Google Docs


Thanks to Wagner High School librarian, Raelene Tschirhart, for sharing this blog.

Friends of JISD Libraries

Mission Statement

The mission of the organization is to promote literacy and the essential role of school libraries in JISD while providing district-wide equity in literacy experiences, connecting all stakeholders to a community of readers and writers for a lifelong love of literacy.

Jingle Bell Jamboree

JISD Library Services participated in the Jingle Bell Jamboree on Saturday, December 9th. We sold our mugs to raise money for our upcoming summer programs. Judson High School librarian, Mariya Ortiz, supplied engaging maker space activities for FREE. Students were able to make duct tape earrings and code the robot mouse to go through a self-created maze. Fun was had by all, and the parents were amazed!

Mugs to Support FJL

We have more mugs! If you would like to support FJL, please purchase a mug from your librarian for $12. Proceeds will go towards funding our summer programming.

Mug Shots

Send us a picture of you and your mugs, and we'll show off your support in our monthly newsletter! Thanks to some of our first supporters!

Thank you to Gary West who led the sale of our mugs at the ERC and around the district. He also supplied our first round of mug shots.

You may send your photo to parevalothompson@judsonisd.org

"Mug Shots" inspired by "Sunday Today with Willie Geist. National Broadcasting Corporation, WOAI, San Antonio, TX. December 15, 2019."

Summer Programming in our Community

As our mission statement says, we want to offer equity in programming throughout our district, and we hope to start with Summer Programming in 2020. We are hoping to offer programs throughout the summer and throughout all of our municipalities. Some of our ideas include bringing the illustrator for Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super Soaking Stream of Inventions to Live Oak; K.A. Holt, author of middle grade books in verse to Selma; Xavier Garza, local author of graphic novels such as Charro Clause to Kirby. We will also be asking our district personnel to read around our community as well.

We still have more planning to do, and we need more money to pay for all of these great opportunities for our students. If you want to donate and/or you know a business owner that would like to donate or sponsor an event, please contact Pamela Thompson, lead librarian, at parevalothompson@judsonisd.org

We appreciate your support. Look for updates in our newsletter each month.

Hour of Code Week in JISD Libraries

Coding @ JHS

The Judson HS Library was closed for STAAR EoC and TSI testing, so we took our coding activities to the cafeteria during all the lunches. One activity focused on teaching directional coding. Students and staff were challenged to face off in a head-to-head coding challenge to create the code that would direct the robot mouse through a maze to the cheese. The other activity focused on teaching binary coding by having students and staff create key chains showcasing their initials in binary code.

Hour of Code @ Paschall

December 9th – 15th was Hour of Code week at Paschall and across the United States. Students from all grade levels were introduced to coding and given the opportunity to participate in an Hour of Code. Students played Box Island or Lightbot on the ipads, tried to program Dash (the blue robot) to move through 4 different mazes, or used different codes to program an Ozobot to go faster, turn in circles, zig zag along a drawn path or win a race against other Ozobots. You can learn too. Go to https://code.org/learn to play more coding games.

Unplugged Coding @ RME

Students at Rolling Meadows Elementary watched a video called “What makes a computer a computer?” Our tangrams were the input and the completed puzzle was the output. They had to figure that part out and also tell their partner an algorithm for solving the puzzle.

Librarian, Jennifer Heine, also did a procedural text tie in with classroom TEKS and read them a recipe for frozen yogurt treats, and discussed the input/output and algorithm and what would happen if you change the algorithm (recipe).

Events & Activities @ Your JISD Libraries

Scuba Diver @ RME

Fourth grade students at Rolling Meadows Elementary got to visit with a scuba diver while she was underwater thanks to the Texas State Aquarium. The students were even able to ask the diver questions. They asked to see a specific type of fish, and she found one for them! The students also learned about identifying fish with a dichotomous key and life in a coral reef.

Christmas Fun @ Metzger MS

Students at Metzger Middle School got to show off their creativity building their own sock and rice snowmen after school. They also enjoyed a holiday movie and a snack.

Bites & Books @ Wortham Oaks

Come to your library, and get some Bites and Books! Students and staff members can enjoy Cocoa and Cookies! Now that'll make any Story Sweeter!

The Wortham Oaks Library hosted an event, HEB Loves Reading, to promote literacy and build on community partnerships. The Wortham Oaks Librarian reached out to their local HEB on 281 for a donation and all students and staff members were invited into the library for a delicious treat. This event was an effort to ensure that every student had fresh books to read over the Christmas break. It was also an opportunity to encourage reading as an enjoyable activity, and create a warm memory for all students and staff!

Activities @ Converse Elementary

Students at Converse Elementary were busy this month! They made Christmas trees using damaged books, made their name with "snowmen," and made their own catapults using the book What do you do with an Idea?

Before School @ KHMS

The KHMS library is open daily to students starting at 7:15. Students may read a book, check out a book, play a board game or computer games, or come and do homework. As you see in the picture below, KHMS's library is usually a full house before school. In December, students were particularly interested in participating in BINGO. December is BINGO's Birthday Month. "December is Bingo's Birthday Month! Bingo was first manufactured in 1929 by by Edwin S. Lowe. The game first came to North America in 1929, but it can be traced back to 1530. It was originally called beano."

“Bingo's Birthday Month.” Holiday Smart, www.holidaysmart.com/holidays/monthly/december/bingos-birthday-month.

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Show Us Your Shelfie Contest @ JHS

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Activities @ Escondido

Story Walks @ Paschall

Paschall Elementary had a Story Walk. One story was posted in the foyer and another in the cafeteria. Classrooms partnered with other grade levels to walk around and read a story (pages from an actual book) mounted on construction paper. The 2 classrooms then met together to create a STEM project connected to the story. After students read The Littlest Christmas Tree by R. A. Herman, they built the tallest Christmas tree possible with 25 green cups and pom poms. After students read Olive the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh, they created an airplane to fly Olive the farthest.

Reindeer Shapes @ Copperfield

MakerSpace and Marketing/Advertising Class @ JHS

Students from Ms. T. Foster’s class created their own products and then were asked to design marketing campaigns for their product lines. They learned about Maker-communities like Etsy and talked about how entrepreneurs raise awareness about their products. These young women are modeling their duct tape earrings they created. The young men are showing off their marble-painted Christmas ornaments.

Hands-On @ CWE & Hopkins

Candlewood and Hopkins students completed design, measurement, and building activities after reading The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier.

Fifth graders at Candlewood created FlipGrid response videos describing the author’s purpose of a selected book. Teachers and students have enjoyed learning this tech tool that allows a variety of response types.

Coming in January

Holocaust Remembrance Week

HRW is the last week of January, the 27th through the 31st. Please plan at least one lesson that week focusing on the Holocaust or subjects related to the Holocaust, like bullying, upstanding, etc., especially for elementary students. See the links below for book recommendations and lesson ideas.

Bluebonnet Voting

Each year, 20 books are chosen for the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List. Schools and libraries around the state participate in the program, encouraging students to read a minimum of five books from the list. In January, students vote for their favorite title. The author of the book receiving the most votes wins the Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) which is presented at the Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon held during the TLA Annual Conference in the spring.

Students from around Judson ISD will be participating in the vote! Interested in the Texas Bluebonnet List? Click HERE to see the titles.

Save the Dates

Library Palooza

Library Palooza is Saturday, February 29th, and it features six young adult authors. The authors this year are Alan Gratz (Refugee and Allies), Tiffany D. Jackson (Monday's Not Coming), Renee Ahdieh (The Beautiful), Sandhya Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi), Marissa Meyer (Cinder), and Judd Winick (HiLo graphic novel series).

The JISD librarians will be coordinating with one another to take buses to this Friends of North Side Libraries event at Brandies High School. Please check with your middle school or high school librarian in your feeder pattern to find the nearest bus pick up. Everyone is welcome at this event, so parents can take their child to the event. Entrance is free. Money is only needed to purchase books and/or lunch.

Battle of the Books

The Battle of the Books competition for fifth grade students will be on Wednesday, April 22nd, at Veterans Memorial High School. Students will participate in teams and will read 15 pre-selected books. Click HERE for a list of the books.

Letters to Rose

Holocaust survivor, Rose Williams, and co-authors, Mrs. Rebecca Hoag and Mrs. Robin Philbrick will visit JISD on Tuesday, April 28th from 6:30-8:00 P.M. at the Judson Performing Arts Center.

Sponsored by the Friends of JISD Libraries, the presentation will be open to all schools, families and employees in JISD. Parents are welcome to attend with your younger children, who may have questions following Rose’s very detailed account of her life as a prisoner in several concentration camps. As you can imagine, the subject matter may be frightening and sad at times.

Before and after the presentation, the authors, will have signed books available for purchase as follows: paperback ($16.23) and hardcover ($27). Rose will also dedicate books and will be available for photos.

This event is free and open to all JISD families, employees and community members. For questions or concerns please contact your school librarian or lead librarian, Pamela Arevalo-Thompson at parevalothompson@judsonisd.org. Please join us for this night of unforgettable historical significance.

Librarians Outside the Library

On Wednesday, December 11th, Mrs. Boyd, JHS Assistant Librarian, joined 59 other members of the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers as the accompaniment to famed Italian singer Andrea Bocelli at his concert at the Tobin Center.

Congratulations to Mrs. Boyd on this prestigious accomplishment!