Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week 10

Book Fair is gone, but it's still not back to normal
October 2012 will go down in history as "crazy month" for the Shaw Library. This is the third week that we have not been able to go back to our "normal," which is still hectic, but it feels familiar. After Book Fair was packed away, we had a staff development day on Monday. Tuesday was a self-checkout day because Wednesday and Thursday were reserved for the district's mock election to take place in the library. I attended the Plano Library Expo on Friday, so I was off campus and had a sub.

Mr. Ankrum and Dixie Cup
On Tuesday, my assistant principal came to me at 9:51 and said, "What's going on in here at 10:20? We need a place for all of the Kindergarten classes to gather to listen to someone read to them." Since I didn't have a class coming in at that time (just kids coming in randomly in groups of 3 for self-checkout throughout the day), I said, "I'll make that happen!" So I moved all of the tables and chairs out of the way in warp speed (my workout for the day), and voila! 105 kindergarteners marched in to listen to one of our retired assistant principals read The Hallo-wiener with his beloved Dachshund Dixie Cup. I'm still not sure who arranged for him to come, and let me make it clear that this kind of "spur of the moment read-aloud" has never happened before. But I am sharing this with you because I think it proves an important point about librarians: we must be flexible, and we can often be viewed as the heroes when we choose flexibility and adopt an "I'll make that happen" mantra. Tuesday was also my Snapshot Day to collect data for ALA, so I looked at it as that's 105 more bodies to count AND an "event" to include in my data. I am a "glass is always half-full" kind of girl, so I love spinning an inconvenience into a positive. That's just how I roll.

Have you ever seen this many Kindergarteners sitting still?

Wednesday and Thursday were our district's mock election, and sadly, I did not take any pictures because I was busy teaching a mini-lesson on the electoral college and making sure that 18 classes voted each day. I also had the help of our amazing speech therapist, who gave up two days to come help me. I couldn't have done it without her! Teachers signed up to bring their class in for a 15 minute slot of time in which the kids voted for the presidential race on the computers  (I used my 5 desktop Macs that were logged in to the district's Google doc that had been created for this specific purpose by our Social Studies department), and then I showed a School House Rock video about the electoral college and shared how it works (I think I'm an expert now), and I also shared this video from the Ron Clark Academy. Love this!

You can see the district's results of the mock election. This was a wonderful experience, and it went so smoothly because it was a team effort in our district. Librarians worked together to troubleshoot the logistics of getting so many kids into the library to vote; our social studies department shared lessons with the teachers and created the voting website; our teachers objectively taught about each candidate and let the kids decide who to vote for. It was truly democracy in action!

I am itching to read to kids next week! I have missed being a teacher! Librarians must wear many hats, so I included all of these non-read-aloud weeks in the blog to prove this. I can't wait to see these smiling faces next week and get back to our normal routine of enjoying books together.

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