Little Free Library Progress Update

Athens Home Depot is building and donating 2 Little Free Libraries for us to decorate

Athens Home Depot is building and donating 2 Little Free Libraries for us to decorate

Very exciting news! We just heard from Home Depot in Athens that our 2 Little Free Libraries are almost ready for delivery to the school. Kenneth Simms, Operations Manager, sent us a photo of the progress late last night. We can’t wait to get these libraries to our school to begin decorating them in art!  We can’t thank Home Depot enough for all they are doing!

Second Little Free Library

Joel typed his letter, conference with me and his teachers, addressed his envelope, and dropped it in the mail

Joel typed his letter, conference with me and his teachers, addressed his envelope, and dropped it in the mail

We are currently looking for a home for our 2nd Little Free Library that is being built by Home Depot.  Our school attendance zone stretches from Five Points into downtown Athens, so the students wanted a library to go in each end of our zone.  Many of our students live near Lay Park, Lyndon House, and the downtown fire department so they really want our 2nd library to go near that area.  Today, a letter was mailed out to Lay Park by a student who goes to Lay Park a lot.  Many of our students use this space during the summer and after school, so it really would be a perfect spot for our 2nd library.  Students who live in that area could take books from our school donation site and make sure the library stays full.  It would be a great source of community service and responsibility for our students.  I’m sure that there will be many steps to get approval to put a library in a spot like this.  Now, we will wait and see what the response is from the county and Lay Park, but we are going o think positive thoughts for now.

Joel's letter explains LFL and makes a personal connection

Joel’s letter explains LFL and makes a personal connection

 

Little Free Library Update

A display is ready to inform shoppers at our book fair about our Little Free Library project

A display is ready to inform shoppers at our book fair about our Little Free Library project

We have very exciting news in our 5th grade Little Free Library project.  Before spring break about 14 kids mailed letters to Home Depot in Athens to ask if they could support our project with some materials.  Kenneth Sims, operation manager, emailed me back to ask for a specific list of what we needed.  After some more research on the Little Free Library site and consulting with my talented Dad, I sent him a list of what we would need.  I knew the list was a lot to ask for, so I told him that we would appreciate anything that they could do.

He emailed me back with great news.  Home Depot is donating all of the materials we need to build the libraries, building both libraries for us, delivering them to our school for the kids to decorate, and helping us install them when the time comes.  I was absolutely floored.  I even got a call from the builder before he started the project to just make sure that all of the plans that they were doing fit with what we needed.  I can’t wait to share pictures with you of our project.

We went into this project with a lot of faith that our community would come through for us to make this project happen.  It is so great to know that a major business in the community is so giving of their resources in the name of children, community, and literacy.

Now, we have a lot of work to do, but one major weight is lifted off our shoulders.  The kids were beaming when I went to their classes to share the news with them.  One student in particular was very excited because we realized that she included my email address in her letter in order for the manager to contact us.  She was the only student to do this.

Our next steps include:

  • Painting the designs on our libraries
  • Nailing down our second location with some more persuasive letters
  • Raising money for the registration of the libraries
  • Doing a book drive to fill the libraries and have a stock pile of books to replenish the libraries
  • Writing speeches to present the libraries at the Moving On Ceremony.
  • Installing the downtown library in its location
  • Probably some things we haven’t thought of!

If you would love to help us with our project, we are wide open for help.  One way you could help us is by purchasing a book at our book fair next week or shopping our wishlist at our online book fair through April 5th.  Here’s info on our online fair:

It’s Book Fair time at our school! I’ve created a classroom wish list to add new books to our classroom library. You can view my classroom wish list and purchase books from our school Book Fair website. These books will be treasured by students for years to come.

You can visit our online Book Fair anytime until 04/05/2013. All books purchased will be shipped directly to me at school with no shipping charge. Thanks for getting our class excited about reading.

Your support is appreciated,

Andy Plemmons

Scholastic Book Fairs inspire a lifetime love of reading. A percentage of the total proceeds raised during the Book Fair will stay with the school and help get more kids reading, kids reading more! Visit the Book Fair Web site for detailed information.

 

Student Book Budget 2012-2013 Finale

IMG_0331 IMG_0332 IMG_0333 IMG_0334 IMG_0335Today was an exciting day.  The 105 books purchased by the students in this year’s book budget groups went into circulation.  I announced on BTV that the books were ready.  Teachers played this video in class.

IMG_0337It didn’t take long until students began pouring into the library on their own and in classes to checkout the books.  Almost every student who visited the library got one of the new books, and by lunch, there were only 5 books left!

Only 5 books remained at Noon.

Only 5 books remained at Noon.

It was also an exciting day for the book budget students because they got to see their hard work pay off with students getting excited about reading their selections and they were surprised with superhero bags donated by Capstone Press.  As always, I was amazed by the customer service of Capstone and how they responded to the work of these students.  They featured the students’ on their blog, sent us 4 new princess books, and gave all of the students a Capstone bag.IMG_0336 IMG_0339 IMG_0338

Once again, this process has proved to be very effective in matching books to student interests.  I think the participatory aspect of this along with the student ownership is what drives this to be so successful each year.  It’s a great way to give back to the students what they put into the library program each year through lessons, reading, contests, and book fairs.  It will be interesting to see if student interests change through the coming years as our books on princesses, sports, superheroes, etc continue to grow.

 

Transmedia Poetry with Thinglink

Fourth graders have been working on a poetry project for a few weeks now.  The goal was to write poem based in the science standards of light and sound and incorporate figurative language.  The teachers also wanted students to use some kind of technology for the project.  I decided to use a tool called Thinglink because it allows you to take an image and make it interactive.  You can put multiple related links on one image to create a transmedia experience, which means that the poem is experienced across multiple platforms.  We thought students could explore their poem in different ways:  informational text, video, image, and poetry text.  Other options could have included song, online games, and ebooks related to the poem’s topic.

 

The sequence of lessons looked something like this:

  • Lesson 1:  Look at onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, and personification in several mentor poems and then do a poetry dig in poetry books to find more examples of that figurative language.

 

  • Lesson 2:  Look at specific poems that focus on light and sound.  Examine the science standards and the idea of “found poetry” so that students might incorporate language from the standard in their poem.  Begin writing poems.

 

  • Lesson 3:  Finish writing poems in Google doc and begin Thinglink project.  This lesson took longer than we expected because students had to setup a Youtube Channel, create a Thinglink account, search for a creative commons image, and change the privacy setting on their Google Doc.  We did this step by step together.

 

  • Lesson 4:  Create a Thinglink.  The goal was to have an image with links to the Google doc, a video of the student reading the poem, and links to informational sites about the topic of the poem.

This was a fun project, but because there were so many accounts to log in to, it made the progress slow down significantly.  Students had a hard time remembering all of the steps that it took to login to multiple accounts at the same time and navigate back and forth between multiple tabs to get the links that they needed.  I think it really opened our eyes to some skills we need to focus on at the beginning of the year in order to make projects like this successful.

As students finished their work, they submitted their poem in a Google form and I added it to our Smore webpage of interactive poetry images.  Smore was very easy to use and a great way to collect and display a whole grade level’s work.  As students submitted their links, I copied the link and then embedded it on the Smore page with one click.  Then, on the Google spreadsheet, I highlighted the student’s name so that I knew I had already added their work.

I encourage you to take a look at the students’ work on our Smore page.  We could have made this project much more complex, but it was a great first step.  I think a second round of Thinglink would be much smoother.