Friday, July 3, 2015

STS Blog Saying Goodbye, But Please Check out the Sharing the Shelves Facebook Fan Page

This little blog hasn't been doing much in the last year.  However the Sharing the Shelves Facebook fan page seems to get a lot of use.  So here's the plan.  I am going to discontinue blog posts here,  but the Sharing the Shelves Facebook fan page will stay active, for now. We'll see how that goes.

I want to say thank you to all the past contributors to this blog and the readers.  I hope that you found something helpful on Sharing the Shelves.

Please be sure to "Like" the  Sharing the Shelves Facebook fan page to see posts from other teacher librarians and tech specialist that you might interesting and helpful. Feel free to post comments or messages to the page as well.

And thanks...for  Sharing the Shelves.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Calling all Teacher Librarians and Media Specialists!

Sharing the Shelves is a place to share library/media center ideas with other teacher librarians and media specialists. I'd love to add you to the list of authors!  If you are interested in blogging for Sharing the Shelves, just shoot me an email.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Have fun reading with STORYBOTS!

In December I came across a resource on Facebook that I am happy to share. It is called Storybots and it allows you to take a photo of your child or student and put them in the ebook that is created on the app or website. My oldest daughter has a print book like this her grandpa made for her where she visits Sesame Street and we still read it seven years after he gave it to her, so I knew my girls would love it.

I downloaded the app on my iPad and found out you get one free book, but then you have to pay $4.99 a month to get access to the other books and resources. Before I jumped in, I wanted to make sure my girls would use it. It was a hit - even my 2 year old laughed and giggled as her face moved across the screen in the characters body.

So I emailed to see about getting a subscription and what it all entailed and if it might also work on the Kindle we purchased for the holidays. I was very happy with the response. They do not currently have an android app, but they are working on one. They do have some of the apps available on the website - including Starring You Videos, ABC and Learning Videos, and Activity Sheets and I just got an email that Starring You Stories will be making a website appearance soon. They were also VERY kind to let me know that since I was an educator I could get a FREE subscription to all of their apps. This includes all the apps listed here which are the ones I listed on the web, plus these for apple products - Math Racer Starring You, Tap & Sing Interactive Music, Beep & Bop, Kids Radio, Kid Quoter, Coin Flip, Share Timer, and some holiday themed videos starring your class or family. All you have to do is fill out this form and they will send you an access code. And they were very quick and friendly to check in with me to see that the code worked for me.

I have not had time to try all of the apps, but my Kindergarten students absolutely love starting our time together with the ABC videos on the website and my 1st and 2nd graders have had fun seeing themselves star in the stories we have had time to read together.

This is a fun and exciting way to fill your digital shelf with some free books! Please take some time to check it out!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How can we help?

I always thought I did a good job advocating my library program and making sure the library was the center of what the students were doing at school. I knew there was more I could do and I was ready to do it, but sadly I was not given the chance.

When it came down to a hard budget cut in my state, the position was reduced to have one person cover both the elementary and middle school library in our school. In an impromptu survey of school websites in the area it appears that is the case in many schools in my area, with some only having one teacher-librarian to cover all buildings and some cases even multiple districts. In my state school districts are only required to employ one teacher-librarian, which is a step up from when teacher-librarians were written out of the requirements in the late 90's.

As part of a class I am taking to finish up my reading endorsement, I have spent some time revisiting the 21 state studies that show the positive link between having a quality library program with a full time librarian and reading test scores. More information can be found on the Library Research Service page and my blog if you want specifics, but all 21 states that did the studies showed the positive effects that happen.

Looking at this information again made me even more excited about being a teacher-librarian again. So I got to work creating a Prezi (click on the word Prezi to see it) to share this importance with my former administration and anyone who would listen.

I was kindly thanked for my information, but informed the school was facing declining enrollment and tough budget decisions again, so now was not the time to be looking at adding positions back.

I am very grateful my information was looked at and the importance is known, but I want more. I want to help, so my question is now what? If the funding is not there, what can be done? How can we make sure our students get the most quality library program without money available? Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The librarian in search for some shelves,

Melissa K

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Design!

Sharing the Shelves is getting a new blog design! The change will take place over the next several weeks as I shop around for and play around with new blog designs. Previous blog posts and pages will remain intact.  Only the look is changing.   So stay tuned to see what the final design will be...

...and thanks for Sharing the Shelves!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sharing the Shelves is Looking for Librarian/Media Specialist Bloggers!

Sharing the Shelves is a place to share library/media center ideas with other teacher librarians and media specialists. I'd love to add you to the list of authors!  If you are interested in blogging for Sharing the Shelves, just shoot me an email.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Free Internet Safety Curriuculum

Part of my job as the Instructional Technology teacher at my previous school was to teach about Internet Safety, even to Kindergarten. It's never too early to start learning how to be safe on the Internet.

When I first started out, I had no curriculum to go by, but after searching the for resources, I soon found CyberSmart! It was a comprehensive FREE Internet safety curriculum that included parent letters, handouts, lessons and lots of links. They even offer online workshops for teachers. My county paid for one teacher per school to take the training. I was chosen for my school. I found it very informative and even fun.

I also learned about Common Sense Media about the same time and soon began to use it to look up information about websites, movies, video games, and books for my students and kids.  It gave reviews from CSM editors as well as it's users and I have continued to find it a valuable tool.  I often direct parents to this site when they are wondering about whether or not a book or a movie is appropriate for their child. It is a wonderful, free website that all parents and teachers should utilize.

CyberSmart has since merged with Common Sense Media, but the free curriculum has not suffered with the merge. There are still FREE parent letters, handouts, lessons and links to enhance lessons.  But now there are also videos to go along with each lesson.

If you have not checked out Common Sense Media's free curriculum, I highly recommend it.