Thursday, April 30, 2015

An Accidental Collaboration

Sometimes things just work out. It's a glorious day when they do, in general. But when things align perfectly at the END OF THE YEAR, it's a miracle! Today was one of those days.

All of my classes had previously participated in celebrating National Library Month by collaboratively authoring a book. Fourth grade has been studying the branches of government and American symbols in their classroom. These two completely separate lessons collided today during a live feed speech from President Obama. During this live feed "virtual field trip", President Obama answered student questions while in Anacostia Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C. He highlighted the importance of reading, writing, and using technology as a tool for learning.

I received an email yesterday through the Arkansas Library Association listserv sharing details about the event. Immediately, I flew (Ok, I walked) to Ms. Jessica, the fourth grade literacy teacher to tell her about it. We decided that she would have her class watch the presentation! Today, when they began to watch, the other fourth grade classes crashed her classroom to watch, too! Ms. Jessica texted me to let me know when they were starting. When I arrived, the room was completely silent. The students were completely enthralled and totally engaged in hearing the President speak. I was impressed with the style of the conversation taking place among the students physically at the library and Mr. Obama.

Tomorrow, fourth graders will follow up with a journal entry discussing the President's Virtual Session, National Library Month, and the branches of government, tying everything up with a nice pretty bow!


If you're interested in viewing the speech, it is available here or you can go to Be aware, if you use the link, it doesn't actually begin on the video until around the 40 minute mark.

Student journal entries:



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

National Library Week-Student Responses

April is National Library Month! I struggled with finding an activity to do with all of my students that would be meaningful AND help us celebrate National Library Month. I settled on transforming my students into authors. Each student was given the assignment of telling me what they loved about their library.

Kindergarten and first grade students began with the sentence "I love my library because..." They then illustrated their response.

I love my library because I can get a book from book fair and I get to sit on bean bags and I get to have a stuffted animal. -Taylor, first grade

 I love my library because it has books. -Henry, kindergarten
I love my library because Ms. Ashley. -Landon, first grade
**He assured me that I didn't look like that! It's a pigeon from Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.**

Second through sixth grades utilized their typing skills to write a paragraph or two about their library. I posted seven questions, and they picked two to answer. Second grade worked in a Word document, saved, and printed it. Third through sixth grade students composed their essay in their Google account. Most were able to print...but the Tech gods were not smiling on us the entire week and some students shared their document and I printed it later. We roll with the punches here!

I bound the essays by grade level using my handy, dandy CoverOne Book Binding machine (I found it STILL IN THE BOX in the back of the library).

Students have enjoyed reading each other's responses! I think I'll recycle this activity each year.

Some of my favorite responses:
Books are good for you.
I would be bored without the library.
Unlimited possibilities @ your library makes me feel free. Free to shout with joy and happiness. Free to do whatever I want and anything is possible.
My favorite thing about my school library is that is provides everyone with awesome books and has special programs like book fair.
I love my library because it is osm. (awesome)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two Years in the Making

For two years, I've tossed and turned the idea of a blog around in my mind, and with as crowded as my mind is, it kept getting tossed somewhere behind "oh, my gosh, why can't I find my good ink pen?" and "seriously, where have all the binder clips gone?" and "I ate lunch today, didn't I?"

I've wanted to share the ups and downs of being an elementary librarian with the world (dream big, right?). To start, here is a link to my library website.

P.S. Someone actually let me speak on the radio TWICE this year. They wouldn't let me say, "Gooooood morning Vietnam!", though.

Can't wait 'til my next post! Until then, you can follow me on Twitter @AshleyCooksey2.

A Ginger Librarian