Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teen Me - What Teachers Read in High School

This may be the most fun library display I've done to date! Yes, it takes a bit of time and yes, more than a little prodding to remind teachers to bring photos of themselves as teens, but the end result is soooooooo worth it.  

A few weeks ago, my intern Janet designed a flyer featuring some of the best 70s, 80s and 90s fashion mistakes statements ever, along with a request for teachers to submit photos or scans of themselves from 'back in the day' along with a few titles of books they read in high school. A few trickled in but with added email prompts and *ahem* nagging from moi, I started to get in quite a few. Better still, our cafeteria staff and school nurse even contributed, to which I say, "Hey, the more the scarier merrier!" Well, we are talking about teens rocking past trends such as bell bottoms, polyester suits, big HAR, puffy sleeves, feathered hair, and - Lord forgive me - 'Like a Virgin'-era Madonna.

The layers of jewelry, the gloves, the big hair bow...yep, that's me my senior year of high school along with a few of my favorite reads from the era.  

I created the "Teen Me" poster using PPT, as always, and made sure to feature books my teachers and staff had read during their teens - such as Carrie, Jaws, Go Ask, Alice, and Killing Mr. Griffin. Some were upfront about the fact that they only read what they were made to read in school, so they shared their favorite required reads (The Count of Monte Cristo seemed to be the winner there). Others hung their head in shame to share they'd love Harlequin Romances and/or Fear Street, to which I was all, "Child, so did I. No judgment here." While the most popular author through the years appears to be Stephen King - no surprise, there - the book that popped up most frequently on people's lists was V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic. Not for nothing do I have the words 'teen angst' in this blog's title. Dark and angsty has always ruled teen hearts. <3

For the teachers worried about losing their precious pictures, I reminded them we now live in the digital age. I only needed their picture long enough to scan it on our copier and send digitally to myself via email...and done! Along with each picture, I included a colored clipart of a book with the book titles of the teacher's favorite book(s) listed on the front.

No sooner did I get up the display, than students stopped to point, read and laugh at their teachers. Mission accomplished. ;-)


Friday, February 22, 2013

Scappenger Hunt - Teen Tech Month

The month of March is so chockful of activities - research papers, digital newsletters, our state's school librarians conference, instruction on online safety, PASS testing - that I can't possibly be expected to recognize Teen Tech Week in just a...week. Nope. If I'm gonna do this mother justice, it's going to need to be a month-long event. *cue Bobby Brown* That's myyyyyy perogative.

So since I'm giving myself some extra time for this, I decided to adapt a scavenger hunt idea I saw on Pinterest (but, of course!) to use with my kiddos for Teen Tech Month. The plan is to sponsor a month-long "Scappenger Hunt."

Students who wish to participate will be given a card filled with apps, as seen in the picture above, and as they complete tasks having to do with those apps (see below), I'll hole-punch them until they're done. The prize will be a giftcard to the new WalMart opening in our town this March, and everyone who gives it the ol' high school try will get some candy for their efforts. Students can use their Smartphones, iPods, iPads, and other devices to complete their mission both in the library with me or at home.

No surprise, my school district blocks more than a few of these app sites, which is why I am going to allow students to use their Smartphones and devices in my presence for a few of the hole-punches. Others can be done on their own time at home - they're probably on many of these sites already.

I may tinker a bit more with these tasks, but so far I've got...

Facebook – “Like” our Powdersville High School Facebook page
Twitter – start following @PatriotsRead1 which is our new library Twitter feed!
Pinterest – tweet a funny/humorous pin you like from Pinterest to @PatriotsRead1
Goodreads – post to Edmodo the link to a suggested Listopia of good books you'd recommend to others
Bump – share a picture of Hello Kitty with Mrs. Chesney
Instagram – tweet an Instagram pic of you either reading or doing some activity in our library to @PatriotsRead1
Dropbox - upload a picture of your favorite book/magazine/manga to www.dropitto.me/PatriotsRead1  password: *****
Tumblr – tweet a link to your favorite tumblr to @PatriotsRead1 and share what’s awesome about it
QRCode reader – view one of the movie trailers from the ‘Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You’ poster outside the library
Edmodo – answer the poll and comment your favorite app on the poll on our Edmodo Book Freaks page
ReplayIt – share a picture using the ReplayIt app to our yearbook staff (they might even use it in the yearbook!)
Pandora – find the 80s Pop music station and tweet the first song you hear to @PatriotsRead1
YouTube – watch a book trailer and tweet @PatriotsRead1 the link
Camscanner – scan a written homework assignment  and save to Evernote to show Mrs. Chesney
Shazam – identify a song Mrs. Chesney will play over the iHome in the library
Evernote – show Mrs. Chesney the assignment you saved using Camscanner
I've just set up a school library Twitter account at @PatriotsRead1 and thought this would be a great way to get students following it. If you have any other suggestions, please comment them! I won't be doing this until the month of March, so I've got a little time to adapt and then promote.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Talking Dead

Business offices have watercoolers - schools have libraries. When AMC's "The Walking Dead" returns this Sunday - which, squee! - my students who are fans of the show are going to get the opportunity to dissect and discuss Sunday night's show the following Monday morning in the library. Yep, Monday mornings just got a little less suckier!

Last fall as the first half of season three aired, I found students dropping in throughout the next day to ask if I'd watched the previous night's show, sharing what they thought about so-and-so getting killed, wondering what the Governor was really up to, fangirling over how hot Daryl Dixon is...you get the picture. With such a huge student fanbase, I decided to tap into that and sponsor "Talking Dead." Every Monday morning starting Feb. 11, fans are invited to gather in the library before school at 7:40 so we can talk all things Dead.

I put up posters promoting the event earlier today and have already had about twenty students pop in to ask about it and say they'll be there. Interestingly, I've found some of my more shy boys are the ones who stop being tongue-tied and awkward when it comes to talking about their favorite show - which is a great opportunity for me to tear down some walls and build relationships! Can't wait...