Saturday, September 19, 2020

Just a little brag 😊

Every year in the spring teachers in the building nominate someone for Teacher of the Year. We all have a chance to nominate, then there is a vote, then the winner is announced at the District-wide Back-to-School Breakfast at the beginning of the year.

This year, Covid-19 hit and all norms went right out the window! I maybe thought about Teacher of the Year briefly when I realized we weren’t doing the District Breakfast, but that was about it.  I assumed we were not doing it this year due to Covid.  There is A LOT we are not doing this year because of Covid! But you know what they say about assuming…

At our first official staff meeting, held virtually, of course, Mr. D announced the two longevity awards (for teachers who have been in the district for a long time) and then said this:  Video

I had no idea! If I even suspected, I would have done my hair and not been eating an apple! :)  The one day I woke up late, threw my hair in a ponytail, and tossed some random foods in my lunch box… turns out to be the day the whole school is looking at me!  LOL.

Teacher of the Year plaqueI feel super appreciated though!

Later in the evening I logged into the high school performing arts department’s Welcome Back zoom meeting for parents and students. When the music teachers pulled up the website to show parents, they also gave me a shout-out for all the work I’ve done on it and how awesome it is.

I work hard, for sure, and I never feel taken advantage of, but it is pretty nice to get the accolades!  And the plaque!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Vermont Middle Grade Book Award*

As many of you know, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award program is being renamed.  The Vermont Department of Libraries formed a committee last spring, consisting of teachers, students, and Dept. of Libraries staff.  Students from around the state submitted name ideas and I was hoping the committee would have a new name before school starts, but instead they have picked their top 10 and will let students vote on the final name.  I'll be sure to share the voting information when it becomes available.  

For now, regardless of the name, there are new award books to read this year!  As usual, read them and enjoy them. When you read five or more books you get to vote on your favorite one.  The book that gets the most votes from students around the state gets an award. 


(Click on any book to view the book trailer.)

Check out some of the winners from past years:
2020 - Small Spaces, by Katherine Arden 
2019 - Refugee, by Alan Gratz 
2018 - Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II, by Alan Gratz 
2017 - The Terrible Two, by Jory John & Mac Barnett 
2016 - El Deafo, by Cece Bell 
2015 - Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, by Chris Grabenstein 
2014 - Wonder, by R. J. Palacio 
2013 - The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen 
2012 - Smile, by Raina Telgemeier 
2011 - 11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass 
2010 - Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins 

 See the complete list of winners from 1957-2020.

* Formerly the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award

Friday, June 19, 2020

The new and improved OPAC

OPAC = online public access catalog

Welcome to your ONLINE library catalog!  You now have the ability to LOG ON using your school Google account!  When you log on with Google, you can see which books you have checked out and when they are due. You can also create lists of your favorite books, and place books on hold.  Check it out!! Start by going to: http://www.dbsvt.com/librarycatalog

Thenk, click Log On in the top, right corner.


Then select Sign in with Google and find or enter your school email account and password.


Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Libraries are for everyone

Check out this amazing graphic from Hafuboti! She has versions is dozens of different languages as well.  They are so beautiful!





Even better, they are posted under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so you can download, share, modify, and use the images. In fact, she encourages it!


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Home Learning




It's hard to believe, but we are in our sixth week of remote learning, with six more weeks to go! If you had asked me back in February if we would have closed schools, I never would have guessed it!  The idea that we took a whole school (a whole district, and state, and country!) and switched withing a mater of days from classroom learning to remote learning is just mind boggling!  I saw this quote on Facebook today and really like it.

Apparently he is a professor of religion, but don't mind that. I just connect with the idea that we are figuring out how to do remote learning only moments before trying to teach it to children and families. Every step of the way we are trying to decide what is best for teachers, students, and families.  How can we engage kids, keep them learning (or at least stop them from un-learning!), while also supporting families and teachers in this unprecedented time of trauma and uncertainty.  It is certainly an experience we will never forget.

That said, I am extremely impressed with how well we as a school community are doing with this new experience.  The teachers and staff are all working hard to deliver the best possible lessons, while trying to teach students how to use the technology, and trying to balance the amount of time kids spend online and off.  Students are working hard to engage with their teachers and get their school work done, even though we know they are missing friends and school activities. The district is working hard to make sure everyone has food they need for their bellies, the technology they need for their education, the child care that essential workers need to keep our society functioning, and the milestone experiences that we all have all been hoping for and planning on. These are not easy tasks for anyone, yet everyone in this community is pulling together to make it work. I'm proud to be part of this community and this school.

On a lighter note, in the past two weeks my library assignments have included art activities to create a patchwork elephant (Elmer) and a rainbow garden (Planting a Rainbow).  Check out some of the beautiful elephants and gardens that are filling my Seesaw feed!





I could go on and on with the beautiful elephants and rainbow gardens, but I'll stop here. We are now moving on to a few weeks of digital citizenship lessons.  Less colorful, but maybe a little more educational. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Keep on reading! #dbsreads

I will miss reading to all of my DBS friends during this Home Learning adventure, but I hope the kiddos don't miss hearing stories!  Please continue reading with your children and feel free to share some of the many great online resources available.  As coronvirus sweeps across the nation, authors everywhere have begun offering story times online, via social media or just posting on their websites.  Check out some of these great ones:
  • The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds & Activities
    This is a curated list of authors who are reading their own books and offering literacy activities.  Some authors have done one-time readings,while others are offering daily stories on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
  • Storyline Online
    Well-known celebrities read popular picture books. This is a project from the Screen Actor's Guild Foundation. 
  • Story Time from Space
    This is one of my favorites! Astronauts read popular children's books FROM SPACE! You can see them floating in the International Space Station. You can see the Space Station behind them. It's very cool! 
  • Audible
    Audible is one of the most popular audio book services. My family uses it all the time! We listen to classics, and new books, YA novels and self-help books, picture books and best sellers.  They have everything (mostly) and they are offering it free to students whose schools have been closed due to coronavirus.  
  • Scholastic Learn at Home
    Scholastic has created day-by-day literacy projects to keep kids learning at home home. These are great supplemental activities to your child's literacy education -- and fun too!
  • Epic!
    Epic! provides thousands of digital books for students to read free online.  Check with your classroom teacher for a class code. 
I will record myself reading some stories as well and post them as activities in Google Classroom or Seesaw.  Remember, reading and being read to are equally valuable. Read to your kids and explore these online resources together.  Take advantage of this time when your children are home. Enjoy!

Image result for reading statistics scholastic   Image result for readers are made on the laps of their parents

Friday, March 20, 2020

DBS Tech Support

Hey all, I've created a site specifically tech support issues related to Home Learning. Please look for support here first: Home Learning Tech Support

If you still have questions, don't hesitate to reach out via email. I'll respond to you as soon as possible.

Thanks!
Tessa Johnson
DBS Library Media Specialist
johnsont@hartfordschools.net