This is the third year that I have been using Edmodo in the library with students. It takes time to introduce it to the new students but a worthwhile endeavor when I see students taking the time to log in outside of school. We have used Emodo already to take a reading survey and a technology survey; these surveys gave students a chance to let me know your reading interests and to find out which students have access to technology at home. Then, after discussing digital citizenship, students posted to the class the best book they read over the summer. Students were then able to comment on each other’s posts. Students will also be using Edmodo to turn in assignments as well as view book trailer videos to encourage and promote reading. Parents can get involved in Edmodo, creating a parent account.
Using Edmodo to keep the lines of communication open is important to me. I have a fixed schedule, seeing students once a week, which does not provide much time to discuss books and other questions students may have about library. Edmodo is a great venue to share the excitement of reading. I also enjoy seeing students carry on conversations about the books they are reading.
We are one full week into the school year! Hooray! One of my goals this year is to do more to inspire reading. I already read as many new titles as I can to share with my students and teachers, but I don’t see the excitement in the students. Throughout the previous school year, I posted a “Currently Reading” sign in the library with a picture of the book I was currently reading. Sure, this shows that I read (a lot!), but what about my students? Where are they getting their inspiration from?
This year I have added some new ways to inspire readers. First is my new display of “Mrs. Arendt has read…” Since the first day of school, I have added a picture of each book I have read. I will continue to do this throughout the school year. I have had several teachers comment on the display, curious to see what I have just finished. Hopefully students will get curious, too. I only hope I don’t run out of room before the school year ends!
I have also started sharing book trailers at the beginning of each library class. Sometimes, book trailers just do it better. I can talk about how great a book is, but sometimes, students like the visual hook. I have had fun looking for great book trailers of new titles and even mixed in a few oldies but goodies. But after the first week, that wasn’t really enough. Some of the books aren’t available yet, and I don’t want students to forget the titles.
So, I made book marks for students to use to keep track of books they want to read. It was pretty simple: Got Books: What to Read Next. I got the idea from Donalyn Miller’s book Reading in the Wild. She believes that students should have a list of titles they want to read so they always have an idea for their next great read. I always have a list of books to read that I keep on Goodreads, but I also keep a list on my computer (and phone) so I can keep track of the books I really want to buy as soon as they come out! Now, students can pull out the bookmark out of their library folder and add the title from the book trailers we watch. After library classes today, some of my third and fourth graders added Nightmares by Jason Segel and Kristen Miller to their bookmarks. Now, they will will not be at a loss for what to read next!
Mrs. Arendt Has Read…
Today was the first day with students, and I have to say, I enjoy spending the day with students far more than attending a conference day. Maybe it’s because I like to talk, and I get to do that a lot the first week of school. Someone has to tell the students the rules, procedures, expectations, and then share some cool new books (yippee)! And it lasts the first five days because I only see students once a week, so, I do feel redundant after a day! So much so that I am considering not doing the usual presentation for fifth grade and diving right into setting up Edmodo (after talking about some new books, of course!). But in reality, I think I enjoy the first day/week so much because I like seeing the students get excited about checking out books! Everyone checks out the first week because no one has forgotten to return books yet! It’s the best start to the new year. We added 185 new books over the summer, and students are able to see all the titles in our catalog by checking out the resource list titled New Books August 2014. It would be so much more fun to talk about all 185 books, but there is only so much time in class. Sigh! So, I showed students the resource list online and they were awed! Good books aren’t too hard to find!
Just a few of the books that were borrowed on the first day of school!