This is my latest newsletter. I created this with Smore.com.
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I recently attended the Fall New York City School Library System Conference at Citifield. We were fortunate to hear from Barbara Stripling, former president of A.L.A. One of the most powerful things she told us was to lead from the middle. “You are more powerful than the principal and your colleagues.”
It is so encouraging to remember how important we are as librarians. I also heard Dr. David Loertscher, creator of the School Learning Commons website. As librarians, we have to make it happen. The whole world shifted with the creation of google. It is our job to bridge the gap, collaborate with teachers and help them create and empower our learning communities.
Finally, we were so lucky to hear Sharon Draper, winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award, five time National Teacher of the Year Award and author of Tears of a Tiger, Out of My Mind, and many other books for teens. She told us “don’t just tell me about your story, write the book.” She reminded us of the need for diverse books and how there could never be enough books for the diverse student body around the country. Her advice to new librarians: “read 100 books, then read another 100 books, so you are always ready to find the perfect book for the child who says ‘I don’t read books’.”
I promote my library using the platform smore.com. One of the great features of this platform is that I can follow the analytics. In this newsletter, I promoted hstory, a great website for students to create their own timelines. I also highlight famous author birthdays each month and tie it in to our collection. Read the newsletter online.
English Language Learners comprise over twenty percent of our student body. There is a strong emphasis under the common core to differentiate learning by providing students with the best resources to meet their needs. Below are some resources we use to reach the English as a New Language Student.
News in Levels: Breaks down news articles in 3 levels, each article has a reading, listening, writing and speaking part. Cite can be searched.
Newsela.com: Articles are categorized in 8 different subjects, each article is written on four different lexile levels. Other features are text sets about different topics, editor’s favorite choices and most loved of the month.
We also subscribe to the ELL Database by Ebsco. The database has articles on a variety of topics. Each article has difficult words defined within the article. There is also a translate feature and a reading feature. Read a sample article about Attila the Hun.
Some databases offered to our library from NOVEL also have translate and read aloud features which can help the English Language Learner. For example, Gale Opposing Viewpoints translates the articles into twelve languages.
I recommend you explore the databases you already subscribe to. See if they offer a read aloud feature and a translate feature. If they do, market these features to your English as a New Language Learners.
I recently started a newsletter at Flushing High School to inform staff about recent updates and websites which are useful to teaching. I am using smore.com to publish the website. I like it because I get analytical updates which let me know how many people looked at the newsletter and where they viewed it. It is also easy to use and format. Here is the latest newsletter: Flushing H. S. Library Newsblast. Enjoy!
During the months of April and May I ran a “breakfast buddies club” at 7:15 am. Each morning a group of students would meet and create healthy smoothies to start their day. They would also read the Wall Street Journal, which our school subscribed to. A special thank you goes to Amie Hamlin, director of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, which helped us get a Vitamix blender to create the smoothies!!! I received a service learning grant to create the Breakfast Buddies program. Students learned how to eat healthier and at the same time observe how eating a healthy breakfast impacted their mood, energy and grades. I collaborated with the health teachers and trained students how to research.