Book reviewer extraordinaire!

Archive for May, 2014

Baby Eagles


ASL for Pre-K

So, I am teaching my students sign language. Not the “normal” job of the ‘library media specialist’? In the world of education today library teachers, teacher-librarians, media specialists, librarians, whatever-you-call-us do not just check out books and read to students any more.

I begin each school year with six lesson plans; PK, K, 1-4 level. As the weeks progress the lessons adjust to meet the scheduling issues, students issues, and whatever else that may interfere with out plans. In my case, and many others’, I only see my classes once a week. If they miss a class we are behind. By the end of the school year each of my 26 classes could have a different lesson being taught in one week. Crazy but true.

So, why ASL? Because my Prekindergarten students are not on top of their alphabet this year. I have tried working with PK teachers to get the list of letters they cover each week – no, they do not start at A and end at Z, this would be too easy. So I am conducting an experiment to use a different portion of their brains to identify the alphabet. It is working! I had a couple of little ones’ say good morning to me, as they got off the bus, in ASL. AWESOME!!!!

I put up a letter, they sign in back to me. We are moving onto colors and basics like thank you and good morning. Next week we will practice alphabet with words (A is for Apple) and have them sign along as well. I love having them show off for others to build their confidence. They are reciprocating with initiating the signing to me. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

I will be signing to my pre-k from the get-go next year! This year, I am tired. Thankfully, only two more weeks and we will not be seeing each other for much of it as I proctor state exams. Crazy as it seems, the library closes in many schools across the US so we can watch teachers to make sure they don’t cheat. This must happen a lot right? Teachers cheating on state exams? Actually, no. We don’t. I’d venture to say less that .001% of teachers assist or out-right cheat on state exams … but that is another rant. I won’t see my PK students for the next 30 days – well, hit or miss. Wish me luck as we keep moving on.

Another Challenge

I love my students. I really do. You would think they would learn; however, not to challenge me to a reading competition. Ms. Jones’ fourth grade class has challenged me to read and take AR quizzes on the Carole Marsh Mysteries: Real Kids, Real Places Series (the US cities set), which currently encompasses forty books. We do not have that many in our library at school but we have a great many of them; twenty three in all. If this was the school beginning instead of ending they might have a chance, but as it stands … I am clearly going to kick some fourth grade bum.

Oh, the kicker is, after they challenged me I let them know they only had until the 30th of the month to get it done as all books are due back in the library at that time. I am on my third book … if I don’t do anything else I will finish the remaining three I brought home tonight. Fortunately, I do have a life that consists of a family, a home, a garden, and a few other priorities!

I have read so far:
The Mystery at Kill Devil Hills
The Mystery on the Mighty Mississippi
The Ghost of the Grand Canyon (reading now)

So, why do I do it? My students need a taste of other cultures. They need an understanding of US history outside of the “four walls” of their small community. This is why I like these books. Students get to learn a little about other places. I might challenge another group to read the other series that focuses on places around the world.

The kids love Geronimo Stilton so maybe these will encourage them to learn about what lies beyond their minute boarders.

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