I've always heard that, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". I'd like to change that up a little bit and say that,"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade AND read!"
I hope that during this strange time you have been able to find some positive things in your life and I really hope that included a special book. Let me tell you a little bit about a special book that got me through a difficult childhood. This special book, A Little Princess by Frances H. Burnett, gave me hope and helped me when I needed it most. I included a picture of the book cover below, although it's an old cover. This book is about a little girl, beloved of her soldier father, who sends her to boarding school while he is away during war. At first, boarding school is good because the little girl is well-to-do (her father had money) and she fits in with the other girls. However, her father gets hurt in battle and is presumed dead, which changes EVERYTHING! Almost overnight the little girl goes from regular student to an orphan who is made to work as a servant in the school she once attended. The girls who were once friendly have now turned on her and treat her very unkindly. How sad, right? Well, I won't tell you the rest of the story because I think you might like to read it for yourself, but this book helped make me who I am today. A happy, positive person who always tries to find something good when things don't look so good.
So, I just wanted to let each of you know that I'm thinking about you and hoping to see all of you soon. In the meantime, turn those lemons into lemonade and read a special book (or maybe many, many books!).
We have been busy, busy, busy with analyzing. When I explain the "why" we need to analyze in the library, it's like light bulbs go off over student's heads. We analyze information and situations everyday, we just do not label it as that. To illustrate how we analyze when we read I will show a page of text and a page from a graphic text. We make connections between the two. When we read we analyze the words to form comprehension, pictures and ideas about the text. When we read a visual (like in a graphic text) we analyze the pictures or drawings and develop meaning. And just like that...we have analyzed something!
So, what are we currently analyzing in the library, you ask? A few weeks ago students in 1st through 5th grade reviewed some typical literary genres and then voted on their current favorite. This week students are analyzing and discussing that data with partners. They are seeing some trends not only in their grade band, but throughout the school. We are going to use our findings to help decide collection needs and budget allocations for the library. Analyzing at it's best, in context and real world applications.
Students chanted, "I can analyze!" and that is something to be proud of!
What is new in the library? Well, first of all, I am new! This is not my first year as a library media specialist (it's my 19th!) but it is my first year with the wonderful Ritta Rangers. I hope that the students will get to know my teaching style and embrace the changes that are taking place.
One of the changes this year is the mindset of growing independence. Most students are being trained to check out their own library books (k and 1 won't do that right now) and students have jobs. I look forward to watching them grow and take a new part in their library experience.
Something else new this year is Remind classes. Remind is a communication app that easily lets me share out brief messages about what each grade band is doing in the library. This is something I have never tried but I think it will be a great way for us to keep in touch. Information on how to sign up was and will be given out at parent information nights. If you didn't get a handout, please let me know and I will send you the information.
I am looking forward to a great year here at Ritta!