This Month in Photos: 3/1-4/1

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With all of the special events and distinguished guests gracing the Johnson hallways in March, I’ve fallen behind in sharing our everyday excitement with you. Between the author visits and Cat in the Hat parties, we’ve had a wonderful month of learning, growing, and falling love with reading.

Library circulation broke 14,000 books this month, and the number of students that have reached their Book It goal soared over 350 (382 as of this morning, to be exact!). Take a look at some of the cool things we’ve been doing this month!

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DSC01909Pre-school students sing, march, dance, craft, and play in the library. Learning through song and play is the way we spend our mornings around here! Look closer to see some dedicated fourth grade helpers lending a hand to the lucky students in the Early Childhood Special Education program.

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Kindergarten and first grade readers enjoy some Book Preview Time with their preview glasses before choosing just one book for checkout. I have spent this year collaborating with Johnson’s kindergarten team and instructional coach to help Johnson’s youngest patrons become stronger, more independent readers. This preview time is a great opportunity for them to flex their reading muscles and work on their stamina! Plus, it’s extra fun to read while you’re stylin’ in sunglasses 🙂

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Did you know that March was the last month of Johnson’s Book It program for the 2014-2015 school year? To celebrate, we have been pulling Book It raffle winners from our pool of participating students every Thursday morning. Our books generously donated by contributors through DonorsChoose.org have been a HUGE hit, and it is impossible to capture the excitement and joy through just photos (although I dare you not to smile when you see some of those faces!!). Students have the opportunity to turn in completed March Book It logs through next Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning, we will be calling our GRAND PRIZE Book It winners. Students that have completed the challenge each month and encouraged classmates to do their best have an extra chance to win! Students can also be nominated or honored by their teachers for excellence in reading and Book It participation throughout the year. Check back next week to see our winners, and their prizes!

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At this point in the year, many students feel overwhelmed or overworked in their classes. To get some smiles, I have a game going with second, third, and fourth grade students – creative and wacky warmups to take their minds off of testing and report cards when they walk in the door. Last week’s warm up, pictured above, challenged them to think like a four-legged friend! Students without pets at home got to “borrow” mine, a cat named Mo. Our warm-ups get wackier and wackier as the year goes on, challenging students to step outside the box to think (and write) in a creative and fun way before getting started with our lesson for the day.

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Third graders spent the week RUNNING to show off their reference skills! Two teams raced to match research questions to the corresponding reference tool. For example, which reference tool would you use to answer this question: Which states border Virginia? If you answered the atlas, then you’re right!

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A second grade class searches for the perfect books to check out with Mrs. Covington during their checkout time. In the last two pictures, two role model students show off some of the changes with our new computer system. Our old checkout computer was a touch screen, but our new computer offers faster and more reliable checkout for students. It has been a challenge for some students to get used to using a mouse – above, Thimson and Brandon show the steps for a successful checkout, including clicking the pawprint on the mouse and listening for the happy noise after you scan your book. Thanks for the help, guys!

Did you know that classes visit the library TWICE each week? Once for a 30 minute information literacy lesson, and again on Thursday for a 15 minute check out time. This time is dedicated to finding the best books for each student. Teachers accompany their classes to help students find books that are challenging, interesting, and on an appropriate reading level. I see every single first, second, third, and fourth grade class on Thursdays for checkout – it’s a busy day, and one of my favorite days each week!

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Have you ever wondered what it looks like when 300 students return their library books on the same day? Every Thursday, I check in and shelve between 300 and 500 books, just for them to go back out before the end of the day. It’s an exhausting and rewarding process! Above is a snapshot of what my book return cart looked like at about 8:20 this morning.

Off to do some more shelving! Enjoy the sunshine!

– Miss Messham

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