Friday, September 10, 2010

How do you share what you read?

Inspired by Donalyn Miller's book to share what I am reading in my reader's notebook and online, I recently looked into LibrayThing and Goodreads, deciding eventually to sign up with Goodreads because it looked more user-friendly and inviting. Today a friend mentioned another site that I had not heard of before: Shelfari. And I must say, I just like the look of this one even better: my books are all nicely arranged on a book shelf. How cool is that? Nothing beats the look of this! It was also super easy to sign up (for free), to add books and information and to create the widget I have added to my blog. There are still a few things I haven't figured out yet, e.g. why my ratings don't show. I would love to hear from you. Are you signed up with any of these sites? Which one do you prefer or find most useful? For the time being I will keep both of my accounts up, posting newly read books and reviews on both sides. Maybe I could keep one to share books with my friends and the other to allow students to see what I am reading and recommending especially to them. But that wouldn't give a complete picture of my reading...hmmm.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

How was your start to the new school year?

Tomorrow we are beginning our third full week back at school already. I can hardly believe it - but then time always flies when you just love what you are doing. A really significant move during these first days was that we made a shift in our language use to reflect the changes in the world of information technology and libraries. We are now refering to the scheduled visits of our students to the media center (consisting of libraries and IT labs) as information literacy. Everyone working with students in the libraries and IT labs is part of the IL team. We all feel really good about this decision but know that more work lies ahead to make as a real unit.
I also enjoyed some new learning engagements and changed my routines for the first visits of our students. Our youngest students met me as Ms. Tanja, the book doctor, all dressed up in a white coat, with glasses, mask, and stethoscope, examining books. This was a recommendation from a fellow librarian to explore book care with students and it was a great success. When reviewing genres with upper elementary students I decided to turn it into a library version of musical chairs. I prepared a basket for each genre filled with books of that particular genre. The baskets were placed in a circle on the floor and students walked around the baskets as long as the music was playing. When the music stopped, students explored the genre/basket right in front of them until the music continued playing. We had lots of fun with this.
What else is new so far this year? Oh yes, we created a media center wiki to which we plan on adding new resources as the year progresses and I keep a reader's notebook on my desk, as already mentioned in my previous post. Especially older students have shown interest for browsing through my notes, checking on what I have been reading lately - and I enjoy keeping track of my own reading as well.
All in all I am really excited about the start to the school year. It's great to be surrounded again by students, colleagues and friends, talking about books, sharing our passion for reading and inquiry, and creating new tools and resources. And how was your start?