ROARing Through the First Week of School

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The first week of school always amazes me. It’s two completely opposite extremes: the first day is so new and unfamiliar for the students, and then, suddenly, by day three, it’s like they’ve been students forever! I am continually impressed with the enthusiasm and open-mindedness of Johnson’s students and staff as they meet new teachers, new friends, and come head to head with new guidelines and challenges. Johnson’s overall attitude of positivity and happiness has been palpable in the hallways these last few days, from our littlest pre-schoolers to our welcoming administration. If you’re new to the Johnson community, welcome! We are so happy to have you. Johnson is such a special, one-of-a-kind place, and I think you’re going to love it, too.

If you’re new to the blog, let me introduce myself – my name is Miss Messham, and this is my second year as the Library Media Specialist at Johnson Elementary School. I love coming to work everyday, and sharing my love of literature, technology, and information literacy with students is my biggest passion. If you want to know more about me, my teaching style, and my goals for the library, head on over to the About Miss Messham page and check it out. And then stop by the Learning Leopard Library in person, and say hello!

This blog is a place to share information about the Johnson Elementary School Library with Johnson staff, parents, students, and community members. Within its pages you can find library policies, important dates for upcoming events, records of past events, student written work, student and staff interviews, and a glimpse into the world of the Learning Leopard Library each week. I love to give you a sneak peek of what’s happening within the library walls! In my weekly posts, you can find information about the books we’re reading, the questions we’re answering, and the progress we’re making in becoming well-rounded, curious citizens (both in the world and online). I hope that you’ll check back often!

These last few days have been extra special for me, as I have gotten to introduce the new library space to friends both old and new. I wish I could share the looks of amazement on our students’ faces when they see the new classroom area, spacious storytime carpet, expanded fiction section, and other big changes! I am so proud of the hard work that our custodial staff and administration put in to transform this space over the summer. It was worth every minute!

This week, all classes are learning about the best way to use the Learning Leopard Library, and how to put themselves on the path to success in library class. While the older students brainstorm what ROARing in the library looks like (don’t be fooled, it’s very different than ROARing in the gym or in the cafeteria!), the younger grades are learning how to stand on the Learning Leopard Library Spots, to sit on the storytime carpet, and what it looks like to be a good listener. Kindergarten and first grade even earned a story on their first day of class, and we all laughed as we shared Mike Thaler’s story of library worries, The Librarian from the Black Lagoon.

On Thursday, I visited each classroom to tell the students all about our new checkout procedure. This year, students will visit the library during their regularly scheduled library specials spot and receive 30 minutes of information literacy instruction. Then, on Thursday, each class has been assigned an additional library time exclusively for checkout. This will give the students more time for instruction, as well as providing more time for guidance and exploration through our ever-changing library collection. Even better, teachers will accompany their classes to this additional checkout time, helping to guide students towards books that suit their reading level and ongoing classroom curriculum. I am thrilled to have more time with our students and to continue to help them to feel confident and comfortable choosing books from the Learning Leopard Library shelves. Next Thursday, students will travel to the library during their designated checkout time, and receive a tour of their new space so that they can find all of their favorite stories, graphic novels, non-fiction texts, biographies, and easy readers. With that extra bit of practice, they will be ready and excited to choose their own books for checkout the following week!

The 2014-2015 Birthday Book Club kicked off yesterday, as each student in the school received a flyer with information about the fundraiser in their folders to go home. With just one day under our belts, we’ve already raised more than $100 for new library books! The Birthday Book Club is a fun and unique opportunity to support the Johnson Library while celebrating your child’s birthday. If you’d like to learn more about the Birthday Book Club, check out our Birthday Book Club blog page here.

On Tuesday, the PTO will be hosting a Social for Johnson parents and teachers in the outdoor space right outside of the library (in case of rain, the event will be moved into the library). Tables will include information about Johnson’s gardening program, after school activities, our wonderful PTO, library programs like Birthday Book Club and the Johnson Book Fair Scholarship Team, as well as school volunteering opportunities. Please come by the event to meet teachers and staff members, gather information about some of Johnson’s amazing programs, and join the PTO! I hope to see all of you there!

Keep an eye out for today’s Friday Photo, which will introduce you to some of the changes in our library space. Have a wonderful weekend – you’ve all earned it after this first week of hard work returning to school!

– Miss Messham

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