Info Smackdown !

Mrs. Layne adapted Brenda Boyer’s Search App Smackdown (see the article in School Library Journal) to work with Dr. Newett’s classes on using DISCUS. She created a flipped lesson in which students watched a short video created by her to learn the basics of using three databases in DISCUS. When they arrived in the library, students were randomly split into groups. Groups read questions (one at a time) and competed to see who could earn the most points. You can view the smackdown in the video below.

Evaluating Websites

Mrs. Myers worked with Mrs. Gibson’s Freshmen English classes on March 22nd on evaluating websites. After showing them a quick video about everything being true on the Internet (oh boy – that French model!!), she used a modified version of Kathy Schrock’s 5 W’s of Website Evaluation. Mrs. Myers also explained how students could use the Advanced search function in Google to force Google to find better sites. After that, the students and Mrs. Myers looked at a website together and used the 5 W’s to decide if the website was real or a fake website. For the final activity, students accessed a Socrative quiz that Mrs. Myers created and looked at different sites that were fake and sites that were real. We all loved the hospital site (very fake).

mar 22 socrative evaluating the website
mar 22 socrative example question
mar 22 socrative seeing if answer is correct

Cyber-Bullying and Write-Around

nov 13 write around reading the passage Dr. Newett’s and Mrs. Bridwell’s ninth grade social studies classes visited the library for their last digital citizenship lesson.  The topic for this lesson was cyber-bullying.  Mrs. Myers found a transcript and video from a special piece that CBS did on cyber-bullying last year.  She divided the transcript into sections – apps, school involvement, parent response, etc – and glued those responses onto bulletin board papers.

Students were told that they would be reading pieces from a piece of work (but were not told what the complete work was) and that they would be writing responses to the piece they read.  Mrs. Myers gave them some preliminary guidance telling students to think about their response. Did the information make them feel an emotion or did they have questions about the information given?  She then went over the rules – work quietly, write the entire time, students could write comments or questions, and the comments must be kind.nov 13 write around groups busy writing

Mrs. Myers and the teachers divided the students up into groups and sent them to the tables where the bulletin board papers were lying.  After passing out thin markers, students go to work.  Mrs. Myers set the timer to two minutes and thirty seconds.  Once the timer went off, students were told to stop, get up, and rotate to the next table.  Once every group had visited every table, Mrs. Myers asked them what the pieces of text were from.  A couple of students in every class session were able to deduce that they were all from a news article.  Mrs. Myers then showed the video from which the transcript had been taken.

Most of the groups made very thoughtful comments.  All of them took two tables (or so) to settle in and get into the concept.

The library hopes to move this concept to a digital format (maybe Office 365) and to try this with other subject areas.
nov 13 write around personal viewpoint reactions

For where we got the inspiration for write-around, see the Unquiet Librarian’s excellent blog post at The Unquiet Librarian.

Book Tasting

Thank you to the Unquiet Librarian for writing such detailed posts and sharing documents for conducting book tasting with classes.

I worked with two ninth grade teachers and their English classes.  Both teachers bring the classes in on a regular basis to check out books and give students time in class to read silently.  I used MAP scores to pull books that started slightly above the lowest level reading score.  Using the score range, I used the catalog filter function to help find sports, historical fiction, romance, music, and travel books.  I put them on carts, labelled them, and spread them across the back area of the media center.

When classes came, I told them they were going to taste books, and they would have five minutes to read.  I made the mistake of pointing out the scale and writing response and so the first couple of groups spent more time writing than reading.  I made sure to encourage later groups to JUST read and they would have time to write.  Time wise, each round of tasting took about ten minutes (including asking students questions about how many loved their book or who had the best cover).

Every group except one really got into the activity.  There is one group that has some very reluctant readers.

I plan to move from this to trying out the musical chairs version that the Unquiet Librarian did with her students.



Mr. Ware’s English classes visited the library to learn about Banned Books. We started off by playing a Kahoot, and students learned terms like banned and challenged as well as seeing some titles that have been banned. After Kahoot, Mrs. Myers walked through a presentation showing data about banned/challenged books from the American Library Association. Students learned how to find the Banned Books category in the catalog system and checked out a book from the Banned Books display,

oct 2 banned kahoot results