Monday, April 26, 2010

SLIS 5720 Conclusion

At the beginning of this course I stated that I thought I was pretty strong when it came to technology. I know now that I have a LOT more to learn. I feel like I've just barely uncovered the potential of Web 2.0 tools and classroom technologies. I don't know that I will ever again be naive enough to think I am "strong" in technology. With constantly changing innovations, I know now that I will always be a student of technology. I've accepted this and have vowed to stay proactive with new technologies and how they are used. While I cannot become an expert at everything, I will keep an eye out for those technologies that will contribute to a better library experience. To help with this daunting task, I will stay in touch with younger generations and let them have input into what technologies are offered in the library. I will read blogs and contribute to wikis. I am thinking of starting a wiki for library patrons to contribute their ideas for the library. I would like to blend the traditional library settings with virtual by incorporating social networking sites where patrons can share the books they read and users can add their own content. Users will be able to do their own booktalks for their peers to see. I am excited about sharing this part of my job with the students. I will have them as my coworkers, championing books alongside me. I am positive the will be better at "selling" the books than I am, and that does not sadden me. When the message of literacy is given by their peers, it is much more effective! My library patrons will become a part of the library themselves as their ideas shape the information technology within.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Module #13

Module #13- The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Warner, Gertrude Chandler. The Boxcar Children. Niles, Ill. : A. Whitman, c1977.

Summary: Four children head out on their own after their parents death. They are running away from being sent to the grandfather's house, whom they've never met but are sure is not very nice. After the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to make it their home. Henry, the oldest goes to look for work in town as the younger children Jessie, Violet, and the youngest, Benny, take over making the boxcar a home. The kids enjoy their new home and take pleasure in the small treasures they find. Eventually, they find out that the kind man who has hired Henry is their grandfather. He moves the boxcar to his backyard as a gift to celebrate them moving in with him.
Tattered Cover says: A very wholesome and easy to read book. Kids will be drawn to the idea of living alone without adults and making do in the woods. I love this story and think the easy wording is great for below level readers.
How to use this in a library: With its easy readability, this would work great for a literacy circle of kids with reading disabilities. The fact that it is a chapter book, yet easy to read, will make it a great way for these kids to feel included.
by Amanda Porick "Mandie Porick"
I read these books in 3rd grade. I'm 25 now. I still think fondly about the times when I read the Boxcar Children series. I still remember the vivid explaination by Gertrude Chandler Warner of the treasures the children find including a cup with a chip in it that they use to survive while living in the boxcar.

This is one of the many books that helped me develop a great love for reading. As an educator, I can now say that this is one of the literary gems out there that is timeless for students (and adults) of all ages to enjoy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

SLIS 5720- Handheld Devices

With $10,000 to use on handheld devices, I would first look at the composition of my library patrons and try to support their needs as is suggested in Nancy Courtney's Library 2.0 and Beyond (2007.) I will be using my current elementary school in this case. The majority of my students are considered low income. They are also considered "at-risk" due to being English language learners. Our school makes sure every household receives a free computer. Therefore, most of the students at my school have access to computers at home. However, because of financial difficulties, very few have access to internet. My students, for the most part do not have access to email or printers.Homework or projects that require technology aren't practical for these students. For these reasons, I think it is very necessary to buy MP3 players that can be used as storage devices so that students can transport their work between school and home. Also the MP3 players can also be used to read aloud directions to students for at home work (since most parents cannot read the English directions.) In addition, books and songs can be read abd sung aloud onto the MP3 so that the students can read/sing along with them at home (again because the parents are often unable to read with their children.) There are many uses for MP3s in schools with a majority of English language learners. To get the most bang for my buck, I would spend the majority of my money on MP3s ($5,000). In an elementary school, I also have to be aware of what is appropriate for the responsibility level of the students for this reason the rest of my purchases will be for check out by staff only. I would buy a few gaming devices like Nintendo DS or Sony PSP ($3,000) and make them available for checkout by teachers to use in the classroom. There are lots of educational games out there and these forms of education are motivating to even the most reluctant learners. I would also buy a few Blackberries or IPhones ($2,000) for staff members that need to be accessible to teachers during the day for questions and help. These would be for personnel such as the Principal, Vice Principal, Behavioral Specialists, counselors, instructional facilitators and even for teachers who are out at trainings or field trips and need to be able to stay in touch by email. I believe, considering the age and demographics of my school, this would be the most efficient use of my money.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Module #12

Module #12- Martin's Big Words by Doreen, Rappaport
Rappaport, Doreen. Martin's Big Words. New York: Jump at the Sun/ Hyperion Books, 2001.

Summary: This book tells the tale of how young Martin felt growing up during the segregation years. As a boy he sees the signs denoting what was for "whites" and what was for "blacks." Even to a child, this was obviously wrong. Martin's Big Words tells of the strength and bravery MLK had in taking a stand for what he knew was right. Through very simple and carefully selected quotes, Rappaport weaves a great account of the life of a great man.
Tattered Cover says: This is a great introduction for young reader's learning about one of the most influential leaders of our time. The easy to read, big words are meaningful and strong. The artwork is beautiful and captures the feelings and inspiration of this great man.
How to use this in a library: I am a big believer that research should be introduced at a young age. I think this a great book for young reader's to use in research for a biography of great American leaders.
Horn Book starred (Spring, 2002)

The text is a mix of finely honed biographical narrative and appropriate quotes from King himself, emphasizing the concept that from his youth Martin had sought to inspire others with his words. The essential events of King's life are presented in a straightforward yet moving style. The facts are extended by breathtaking collage illustrations. A chronology and informative notes from author and illustrator are included.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Module #11

Module #11- Harvesting Hope by Kathleen Krull
Krull, Kathleen. Harvesting Hope. San Diego: Harcourt, 2003.

Summary: Cesar Chavez was born and spent the first part of his childhood in Arizona on his family's farm. In Harvesting Hope, Cesar describes his childhood in Arizona as peaceful and happy, filled with wonderful memories of family gathering. After a devastating fire and his father's death, Cesar and his other family members are forced to move to California as migrant workers. Moving from place to place in search of work, Cesar is shocked by the changes in his life. As Cesar becomes aware of the poor conditions of migrant life and the lack of right it entails, he is determined to do something about it. Starting off brave yet shy, Cesar works to get the migrant workers to united for their rights. Always staying true to his ideals of peaceful change, Cesar eventually wins rights for the migrant workers. Chavez continues his fight until his death.
Tattered Cover says: This is a beautiful story about a very brave man. The author successfully captured the drastic change in living conditions Chavez experienced. I was enthralled by this sweet, shy man who worked for such an important cause. It is a heart wrenching book that everyone, adult and kid, should read. I highly recommend it!
How to use this in a library: This book should be read aloud to every student! Cesar Chavez is an inspiration to everyone who has a dream. He is a champion for the underdog. The issues of racial segregation between Hispanics and whites is not well known but should be. With the high (and growing) percentage of Hispanics in the U.S., teachers need to ensure that their history is taught and the work of Chavez is not forgotten.
Kirkus Review (July 1, 2003)

"Cesar Chavez, like his heroes Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, believed in non-violent change. He fought ceaselessly for the rights of migrant farm workers to have a decent living conditions and a living wage. Krull does not offer a birth-to-death biography, instead focusing on the influences of his early years, the organization of the National Farm Workers Association, and the first contract with the grape growers. She portrays Chavez as a quiet, patient, strong-willed man who believed implicitly in his "causa" and worked tirelessly for his people. She presents additional events in his life and the circumstances of his death in an author's note. Morales uses bright acrylic colors that flow across the pages, mirroring the constant movement in Chavez's life. The overall look of the work is reminiscent of a Diego Rivera mural. Krull and Morales introduce a long-neglected figure from recent history to a new audience in an informative, eye-catching manner. A notable achievement."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Module #10

Module #10- Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2002.

Summary: 16 year old Matilda "Mattie" Cook lives with her mother and grandfather running a coffehouse in Philadelphia. The epidemic becomes personal when Mattie learns that their servant girl has died of yellow fever. This begins Matilda's journey of coping and survival as the disease decimates the city, turning the place into a ghost town. With her mother missing, Matilda mess grow up quickly and learn to take care of herself and her grandfather who becomes ill. After the death of her grandfather, Mattie faces hunger, robbers, hostile neighbors, and illness. She comes to rely on her former cook, a free African American with whom she has a special relationship. Together they forge ahead to survive the fever.
Tattered Cover says: This book has been carefully researched and gives rich details about the era in which it is set. Each chapter begins with quotes from books or correspondence of the late eighteenth century. I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from this novel. It proves you can learn much about history from a fictional story.
How to use this in a library: Students and teachers can use this book to back up and extend teaching about life after the America Revolution. The details about politics, cities, and the inclusion of famous people (Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, etc.) will allow readers an insider's look at life in the 1790's.
Reviews: "
Publishers Weekly (March 4, 2002)

"PW called this ambitious novel about the yellow fever epidemic that ravaged 18th-century Philadelphia "extremely well researched. However, larger scale views take precedence over the kind of intimate scenes that Anderson crafted so masterfully in Speak." Cahners Business Information.