Friday, September 8, 2017

The First One of the Year!

Please welcome Ms. Pacelli as the new NCHS Librarian! Ms. Pacelli comes to us from Stratford. She lives in Trumbull, where she also taught for many years. She has two grown boys; one who is getting married in October and the other who will graduate from Syracuse University in December. She loves to do yoga, read, knit and travel when she's not working with technology. She's had wonderful experiences visiting The Southwest, Alaska, Paris, Norway, and South Africa, and would love to talk about those adventures. Stop by and say hi!

We are so excited to have a fresh look in the library! Students asked for a lounge and they got one. This summer, the district upgraded the library flooring, painted the walls, transformed the old computer lab into a second ColLab, added cafe-style seating to the upper library, flexible instructional seating to the lower library, and moved the makerspace into any maker's dream space! We now have room to accommodate as many as five classes at once. Teachers are encouraged to sign-up through our Google Calendars (ColLabA, ColLabB, LibNorth, LibSouth, and Makerspace) to bring their classes. Students may do so upon request. Please scroll through the photos below to see how students are learning in our updated space:

NCHS Library 2017-2018
NCHS Library's 2017-2018 Flickr Album
When students enter the library, they can review the Library Use Schedule on the easels to determine which spaces are available to individual students.

The new flexible furniture allows us to now pair up overlapping classes for library instruction in the lower library (see below). This is great for grade-level collaboration and it improves alignment between librarian availability and teachers' instructional schedules.

Co-teaching made easier!
Seven classes have already made use of the makerspace. While we are still working on sorting and organization, students have made great use of the space to complete assigned projects. 

So far, we've hosted booltaks for three English class, and two social studies classes. We have several more scheduled over the next few weeks.

With the social studies classes, we showcased special collections: The Big History Read, and The Big Legal Read. These collections were curated with the course curriculum in mind. Students are asked to read one book per quarter in their class. Selection day is a fun and eagerly anticipated event by all.

Somewhat Virtual Book Club (SWVBC) met on September 3rd for the BYOBook season opener and will continue to meet regularly on the first Wednesday of each month. Next month's selection is The Hate U Give. We will meet in the library at 6PM on Wednesday October 4 and connect virtually with schools in 4 other states via Google Hangouts to discuss the book.

We sent out an invitation to social studies teachers to schedule librarian co-teaching on Friday, September 1. My Monday, we had enough responses to fill our schedules for the following three weeks. We feel very fortunate to teach in such a collaborative learning community!

We are returning to Flickr as a photo curation tool this year. We set up the album and it is streaming on our website (and at the top of this post). 

We made a few changes to the high school library website. Stay tuned for more!

Can you spot the changes?
The New Canaan Advertiser interviewed us about collaboration in libraries. Here is the article.

For those who are new to the high school library program, we offer both face-to-face and virtual instruction. All of our lessons are archived on THE ANNEX@ Here is our first 9th grade lesson of the school year:

Create your own Playlist on LessonPaths!
Our S.T.E.A.M. Team, which combines our Techxperts with our Maker Majors is growing fast! Students who wish to facilitate makerspace usage one period out of their 8-day rotation are invited to sign up in the makerspace. We are scheduling this old-school style on a sheet of paper until the calendar is set. We meet on the second Wednesday of each month right after school in the ... wait for it... MAKERSPACE! Ms. Pacelli is the team's faculty advisor and the Techxpert teacher. 

We met with freshman social studies teachers to give the first 9th grade research project of the year a makeover. It is now called Is Geography Destiny? Through collaboration, our butcher block paper meeting notes evolved into a multi-day co-taught lesson which launched in ColLabB today.

We set up a meeting with Special Education teachers to show them how to access all the resources available though our new interactive eBooks (LightBox). These resources will be valuable to learners of all kinds. Our initial collection is comprised of the following books, but Ms. Pivovar loved them so much that she requested several more. Needless to say, this collection is growing fast!

  • The Cold War    
  • Deforestation    
  • The Great Depression    
  • The Great Gatsby    
  • Macbeth    
  • Migrants and refugees    
  • New century conflicts    
  • Night    
  • To kill a mockingbird    
  • The Vietnam War    
  • World War I    
  • World War II