SES Annual Report 2010-2011


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SES Annual Report 2010-2011

  1. 1. SES LibraryAnnual Report2010-2011Teacher Librarian: Heather Turner-1184275-914400<br />2010-2011 Solvay Elementary Library Annual Report<br />43237151216660"Kids must learn to think across disciplines, since that's where most new breakthroughs are made. It's interdisciplinary combinations—design and technology, mathematics and art—"that produce YouTube and Google," says Thomas Friedman, the best-selling author of The World Is Flat. Collaboration and motivation are the cornerstones of a successful school media program. Students are individuals who all have the ability to be successful. 21st Century skills tied to information literacy coupled with a love of literature are the keys to creating lifelong learners.  I strive to create the space and community to achieve these goals. <br />Physical Space Changes<br />4453890903605There have been many changes this year in the elementary library. One of the first changes was the layout. In an effort to increase access and circulation, a new layout was created by Ms. Turner, the school librarian. Flexible space is also paramount in a space that is used for meetings, classes, book fairs, and much much more. Therefore, all bookcases were moved to the periphery in order to maximize space. The glass was also removed from the mini-lab in order to create a more open and flexible environment where technology and literacy combine. Long and circle tables were replaced with six circular tables to encourage collaboration between students during library classes - not to mention additional flexible space. In addition, the PTO purchased bean bag chairs for the library to encourage free reading. Students love the comfortable chairs for reading.<br />Books<br />During the fall, 3rd and 2nd grade students learned about genres. As a result, all fiction books in the library were reorganized into Genres. This aids students in located books they might be interested in. If they enjoy Captain Underpants, they may also like the other books located in the Humor genre. Much like a bookstore or the public library, books are beginning to be organized based on their genre and plot. Students are beginning to expand their book choices from their favorites into new and exciting choices. <br />Weeding of the picture book section was accomplished during the fall. The criteria used included circulation history, age of the title, condition, and relevance to curriculum and student interests. Approximately 435 books were weeded.<br />3431540145415Circulation<br />There has been a sharp increase in circulation this year to 17, 839 checkouts. In part this has to do with collection of books in the morning via a Red Rider Wagon. This is both a visual and auditory reminder. <br />Students also have time in the morning before announcements to exchange books any day. The number of books each student can take out has also been increased in order to keep students -466725-400050engaged and reading. Flexibility for elementary level students is taken into account during book exchange times. Students can select books to be held until the next day when their books are returned. This has sharply increased student return rates. <br />During the second half of the year, students were encouraged to put books on reserve. This allows students to check out the books of their choice that might not be in when they come to the library. This gave students ownership of their library. They can also access the catalog from any location with internet access which increases access to library resources to 24 hours. <br />Collaborations<br />Ms. Turner has collaborated with several teachers this year on research projects and literacy based projects. During the Fall, Mrs. Patterson’s class read books of their choice. We took these books and created book trailers using These can be viewed on the SES Library Website ( These book trailers will be added to the library catalog so that future students can view them when searching for books. <br />In addition, during the winter Animal projects were completed with Mrs. Patterson’s and Mr. Cavalieri’s classes. Students chose an animal and were then led in a notetaking lesson in the library resulting in a research paper completed in the classroom. Using the classroom curriculum to teach library skills is very important. This creates relevance for the skills and encourages students to use them beyond the library setting. This process was repeated with both classes for a Biography project in the Spring.<br />It is important to Ms. Turner to create connections with the classroom. Although library is a break period for teachers, she tries to connect with them prior to the class to link my activities and lessons to classroom units. She also sets aside books relating to said units and emails new materials that might be helpful to teachers.<br />Professional Development<br />During the October and May professional development days, Ms. Turner taught workshops on Web 2.0 technologies. She strives to bring the most relevant technologies to Solvay and highlight them for teachers. Many of these technologies are free and easy to use. <br />During the October PD day, Ms. Turner taught two packed sessions on Prezi ( Prezi is a flash-based presentation tool much like Powerpoint. However, it differs from Powerpoint in its ability to work non-linearly. Videos, Images, and even previously created Powerpoints can be imported into this zooming presentation tool. <br />During the Spring, Ms. Turner taught a workshop on Educational Web 2.0 tools. She went through several tools including a free green screen tool called, a digital storytelling site called, and many more. Again, it is important to present these tools in the guise of use in the classroom and that is what she tries to do. All of the tools Ms. Turner covered can be view online on the library website from <br />In the Spring, Ms. Turner taught a BOCES Professional Development on Book Trailers and digital storytelling. During a half day session she taught fellow librarians and teachers ways to utilize, Photostory 3, and in their classrooms and libraries.<br />In contrast, during the winter professional development day, Ms. Turner was joined by the High School and Middle School Librarians to complete a grant for technology. They spent time fine-tuning a grant for approximately $25,000.00 for netbook carts for the district. It is important for the transition of the Solvay Libraries into a Learning Commons. This grant is through ING and the results will be posted in the fall.<br />4319905118745Student Projects<br />Animoto is a video creation site that easily allows users to create short videos with music, text, and pictures. Third Grade students read a book and created a script for a book trailer. A Book Trailer, much like a movie trailer, is meant to entice readers. The goal of the project was to have students think about why liked the book they read. Why would others enjoy reading it? Students then found open source images that matched their script. Everything was combined into Animotos. Students then assessed each other by watching each book trailer and completing a rubric.<br /> is a digital storytelling site that allows users to paint (online), record, and type books. An eBook is created after the successful completion of each part. Kindergarten and First Grade students created books based on the Biscuit series written by our visiting author. The Smartboard was used to create an interactive storytelling experience. Students recorded their voices reading their story and were able to present them to the visiting author when she came.<br />44932601756410-221615166370Skype is a videoconferencing solution that allows anyone to connect via an internet connection and the software. Many teachers are utilizing this technology to freely connect with other classrooms. With a simple webcam, doors are opened to places students could never travel to in a school day. This year students visited Iowa, New Jersey, and North Syracuse. To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Mrs. Lewis’ kindergarten class connected with a class in New Jersey. We read a story and shared questions and songs. In order to learn about state information, Mrs. Jerome’s class visited Iowa to share and learn. They were also able to ask questions such as do they have movies and do you ride a bus to school. Students were engaged and riveted by their fellow students’ answers. Lastly, we traveled next door to North Syracuse for additional Dr. Seuss festivities. Mrs. Kowalski’s class enjoyed getting to know Mrs. Haake’s 1st graders. It is truly amazing to see the wonder of the students when talking to students. They are so interested in finding out about their new friends.<br />-335915503555Green Screen is a technology that uses a green background as a canvas for additional media such as a video. is a free site that allows anyone to use green screen with a camera and a computer. Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade classes were introduced to this technology during library classes. Videos were created of students with the song Gotta Keep Reading in order to promote summer reading and as a culmination of the Read-a-thon. These can also be viewed on the SES Library Website. Technological knowledge and readiness is an important part of being literate. <br />School-wide Projects<br />55245620395School-wide events are important because they create a sense of community and fun. Students enjoy the solidarity and celebration of such events. Although there were many events during the school year the library presented a few during the year.<br />3359785454660Dr. Seuss is an important author at the elementary level. Therefore, to celebrate his birthday Solvay Elementary had a Wacky Week. Students were invited to dress up in a funny outfit for a week. Students and staff alike enjoyed the wackiness. <br />During the Month of April, students were encouraged to participate in a Read-a-thon to celebrate reading and School Library Month. During the month of April, students kept track of the number of pages they read each day. At the end of each week, classroom teachers emailed the library their totals. If the d students reached 30,000 pages by the end of the month, they would win a Chocolate Party during their first May library class inspired by the book Mr. Klutz is Nuts by Dan Gutman. Much to everyone’s surprise, students achieved the goal in 3 weeks! Another goal was needed and Ms. Turner promised students that if they read another 20,000 pages that she would dress up like a fairy! Not only did they reach that goal but students read over 80,000 pages in the month of April! <br />-25971567945As a result, Ms. Turner borrowed two Wiis from School Library Systems to add to the Chocolate Party. It was a roaring success and students were already asking if we would do it again next year. Students were able to play Just Dance 2 and Mario Cart. Although the students enjoyed the Wii tremendously, it was also an excellent time for teachers to see the uses of game systems in education. Math and collaboration are a big part of many Wii games. Gaming is an excellent way to engage students. <br />In addition, the PTO sponsored and Ms. Turner organized a Book Swap for students. Students were encouraged to bring in books to the library during the month of May. These books were then sorted for the Book Swap. Each student was given time to search for a book of their choice for summer reading during their library time during June. The PTO graciously included brand-new books for each third grader to choose from. Each student left school with a summer reading book to enjoy.<br />-222250138430Video Announcements<br />Presentation is a key skill students need to learn and experience. As a result, Ms. Turner used a vBrick borrowed from North Syracuse Central School District to present video announcements. This piece of equipment uses the network to send a video feed to each classroom. <br />Each class had the opportunity to send students to recite announcements. We also included birthdays each day for students near the end of the year. Video Announcements began during January though the end of the year on Tuesday through Thursday. Each Monday and Friday the entire school meets in the Gymnasium for morning program. <br />Technology Club<br />Ms. Turner has a passion for technology and wanted to share her passion with students outside of regular class time. As a result, 3rd grade students were invited to sign up for Technology Club. Technology Club was held during quite a few different sessions due to the overwhelming popularity from students. During the Spring, over 50 students participated learning about green screen, video announcements (backend), website creation, and movie creation. The club was directed by student interests. <br />Library Website <br />356552561595Reimagining the library website was a large part of the redesign of the library. The website is both for students and parents. It is an online portal into the library. Student projects, the library catalog, education websites, schedules, and much much more are housed on the website. It was important when designing the website to make it as user friendly as possible. Keeping it up-to-date is also paramount. During the year, Ms. Turner updated the website at least once a week. Read alouds were included via a Shelfari giving access to these books to students at any time.<br />-391795123825Technology Blog (<br /> Ms. Turner created a blog (online journal) on technology for education. It is self-hosted and includes articles on new freely available technology for education. This blog is viewed internationally and has resulted in connections around the world. This has created connections for Skype during library classes. It has also been featured on Twitter via LearnBoost a Web 2.0 technology web company. <br />Author Visit<br />-118110340360Thanks to the Parent Teacher Organization and Arts and Education, author Alyssa Satin Capucilli visited Solvay Elementary. Ms. Capucilli has written over eighty books in the Biscuit series. Her books are very popular with beginning readers and anyone who loves puppies. Most of the students had read her books or remembered reading them when they were younger. She was one of the best author visits and really engaged the students. Her down to earth manner and knowledge were truly inspiring. She not only discussed the opportunities as authors but also illustrators. She recreated the mythos of an author for students.<br />Ms. Capucilli ate lunch with a student from each class. These students were picked at random and each came away with a signed postcard and an amazing memory. She signed numerous books purchased and brought in by students. In fact, one student forgot her book and brought it in the next day. Ms. Turner emailed Ms. Capucilli and she mailed out a book plate the very next day. <br />394906599695Although one would think Ms. Capucilli would focus on the younger students, she did not. She had three presentations geared toward each group. The older students were introduced to the bookmaking process in more detail, whereas the younger students had a presentation on Biscuit and book creation. Students and staff alike continued to talk about the presentation. Students are still asking to take out Biscuit books!<br />Library Fieldtrip @ Solvay Public Library<br />In order to further promote summer reading and a connection with the Solvay Public Library, all library classes went on a field trip to the Solvay Public Library. Each student was given the opportunity to sign up for a library card prior to going to the public library. Prior to going to the library 17% of students had library cards. The public librarian, Cara Barton forgave all overdue fines. After this fieldtrip the number of students with a library card has soared to 75-80%. <br />Students were then able to check out books and explore the children's area of the library. Ms. Turner discussed summer reading with students. Students were encouraged to read two books over the summer and create a creative project based on one of those books. It is a project of their choice, however, many suggestions were given and discussed at the Public Library. It is important to give students choice to allow students to play toward their strengths. Information about summer reading can be found on the Elementary Library Website ( and English Department Website. <br />Final Thoughts<br />There have been many changes in the library this year. The staff and students have been supportive and open. Students have enjoyed utilizing new and interesting resources and connecting with fellow students around the world. Teachers have enjoyed increased accessibility of resources including media and a/v. The addition of six digital cameras, iTouches, and Flip Video cameras in the library have given users options. An atmosphere of collaboration and discovery has opened the doors to new learning and collaboration. Next year looks to be another grand adventure. <br />