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Media Center News: November 2013

It’s been a crazy fall in the Media Center.  A few weeks after school started, a pipe running beneath the Media Center floor was found to be broken.  It took some time to get us back to working shape, but we’re in the groove now.  Thanks to all the teachers and students for their flexibility during the down-time; Marion was visiting classrooms with read-aloud and everyone was very accommodating.
The Media Center has been working with the Middle School as they work toward completion of their independent projects this fall.  Marion went along on the Ann Arbor District Library visit, and has been helping students locate the elusive pieces of information they need.  Media Center time for Middle School students has been used for project work, and is now reverting to its usual read-aloud and book selection time each week.
The Fall Book Fair, sponsored by Nicola’s Books, went very well at the Fall Festival.  At one point in the evening, the line for purchasing stretched to the door; thank you, Honey Creek!  Nicola’s will be letting us know how much we earned in credits toward new books for the Media Center.  We’re planning our Spring Book Fair for May 16, during Curriculum Celebration.
Students may now come into the Media Center on their lunch recess time, if they’re seeking a quiet place to read or work.  Several students each day enjoy the peace the Media Center provides to break from the pace of school work and enjoy a good book or get a head start on their homework.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2/3 students are welcomed in; on Wednesdays and Fridays it’s 4/5s, and Middle School students may come in every day with passes from their base class teachers.  Most students are very good about maintaining the peaceful atmosphere which is so appreciated by those who need some of that in their day.
The Leveled Reader collection purchased last year is very close to completely cataloged.  All items have been labeled with a letter-level sticker, and categorized broadly into Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology, and General Reading. The lower grades teachers have been making use of the collection and are pleased with how its organization is proceeding.

The Media Center encourages our students to bring in pieces of their art, to be displayed as the “Student Artist of the Week.”  We love to show student’s work in the Media Center for the Honey Creek community to admire.  If your student would like to display a piece of their work, please let Marion know, and it will be put up for its week in the spotlight.

As you plan your holiday shopping, please remember that the Media Center is grateful for donations of books.  We keep a wish-list on Amazon.com for those items we could especially use.  To make finding this list easy, we’ve included a link to it, on the Media Center’s home page, found near the bottom of the page, in the link “Help Build Our Collection.”

Media Center News: June 2013

Media Center
It has been a busy and productive year in the Media Center.  As the school year comes to a close, I ask the community to join me in thanking my two volunteer parents, who came in almost every week to help keep up with the shelving: Katy Kramp and Liz Meurer.  Thanks, both of you, for helping to keep the Media Center running smoothly.
Students have begun to receive check-lists of the items they need to return before the end of the year.  If there are items on the list that are shown as Lost, the replacement cost is listed.  We also take replacement copies if one can be found.  Media Center items can also be returned during the summer to the Honey Creek office.  Keeping track of Media Center material, and seeing that it is returned, is one of those continuing lessons in responsibility that kids keep working on.  Thanks to all who help them develop that sense.
As summer comes, so do the reading programs at the area’s public libraries.  I urge you to take your students to the libraries during the summer and let them enjoy both the reading and the fun activities that my public colleagues have planned.  If your K/1 student doesn’t yet have a library card, this should be the summer s/he gets one!  Getting one’s first library card should be a celebration for every kid!
Have a fun and relaxing summer; don’t forget to read every day!  Marion

Media Center News: May 2013

Spring Book Fair is coming up!  It’s on the night of Curriculum Celebration, and will be sponsored by our local bookseller, Nicola’s Books. Add to your own library and help support HCCS Media Center at the same time!

Media Center News: April 2013

The Media Center has been busy, especially with 4/5 students doing biography research.  They saw a presentation introducing them to using databases as sources of information, and made use of the links to the database that Marion put onto the Media Center’s web page. They are also starting a science fiction unit, and have selected books from Honey Creek’s collection.

Looking ahead, we’ll be having our annual Spring Book Fair as part of Curriculum Celebration on Friday evening, May 17, from 5-7 pm. The sale is a great way to get books for summer reading, birthday gifts, or as gifts honoring a graduate.  Sponsored by Nicola’s Books, our local bookseller, you won’t want to miss this.  Honey Creek Media Center gets 20% of sales in book credits to help build our collection.
Looking way ahead, there are only ten weeks of school left!  That means that it’s time to clean out the home bookshelves, under the sofa, in the back seat of the van, for those items that need to come back.  The Media Center will be sending notes listing what students should be returning.  Please email Marion if you have questions about your student’s list.

Honey Creek is Proud to Introduce the New Non-Fiction Leveled Reading Library

Research and practice have shown that providing the opportunity for children to read books at their reading level is one of the most effective ways to increase their reading skills. While our school library collection is fabulous and growing, the Common Core State Standards are placing a much bigger emphasis on nonfiction text.

Over the past year, Honey Creek students, teachers, and families have come together to raise funds for a K-8 non-fiction leveled reading library. This community effort has resulted in our school acquiring more than 1,000 new non-fiction titles. All students, in all grades, at all reading levels, will have access to these books.

We are honored and privileged both to host this collection and to have the support of such an active, engaged community.

Media Center News: March 2013

The Spring Book Fair hosted by Nicola’s will be on May 17, the same day as the Curriculum Celebration!

Media Center News: January 2013

We’re back after a wonderful winter break, ready to keep on reading and researching.

The 2/3 students will be working on traders and Native Americans, and then on states of matter, and we’ve pulled out support material for these projects.  The 4/5s will soon start reading historical fiction, and a collection of these novels has been set aside for them to make their selection easier.  The K/1s will be reading “how to” books, of which we have a nice variety.

We’d like to thank Tammy Hall, David VanLoo, and the Hills for their recent donations of stuffed animals to enrich our read-aloud time with the younger students.  We now have enough critters that every student in a class can have an animal to hold while they listen, and later read to and select books with.  Students have become very responsible in returning each animal to its designated “house” in a storage unit in the Media Center before they return to class.

We’ve been enjoying sharing space with our reading/math interventionist, Dianne Baker, and working with both her and the Title 1 material that is now housed in the Media Center.  The material is being cataloged steadily, starting with the items that are immediately needed each week.  We’ve also worked with her and some of her 4/5 students on report-writing.

Winter is a great time to settle in with an enjoyable book; encourage your students to always have a fun reading item available for free reading time.

Media Center News: October 2012

We’re happy to be back at it here in the Media Center. The beginning of school always comes in like a tidal wave of projects, great ideas, and hopes for the new year. Joining Marion in the Media Center this fall semester are Middle School student workers Evan, Nyah, Alix and Noah. They’re helping to keep the Media Center running smoothly and looking good, while working on some job skills like punctuality and following directions. We also welcome adult volunteer Liz Meurer, who comes in on some Friday mornings to help  shelve books and work with the classes that come in. Glad to have them here! A marvelous- and NEW!- addition to the Media Center’s  capabilities is a set of four computers, which Bill has been working to get fully set up and ready for student projects and research. We appreciate all the work he’s put into both keeping our four elderly machines working last year, and in getting the four new ones up and running. These computers will be a wonderful extension of our ability to help our students succeed. The Media Center is playing a role in the Middle School’s independent project, which started in mid- September. They’re researching local places, concentrating on the areas in which they live. Marion presented some information and strategies for researching local history, and the students heard presentations on the land on which Honey Creek School now stands, and on doing research in their individual towns from representatives of local history groups. They will likely be approaching family members for memories of what the town in which they live looked like back in the day. Please mark your calendars- and your winter holiday shopping lists for the Fall Festival Book Fair coming on Friday, October 26. Our wonderful local bookseller, Nicola’s, will be hosting the sale in the Media Center, and will give 20% of all sales to the Media Center to build its collection. With the coming of fall also comes a slew of new books, which our students are already asking for. The Book Fair is a great chance to do some winter holiday shopping for the kids on your list, an opportunity to support a local business, and a way to help Honey Creek’s Media Center grow! Recess in the Media Center will begin again on October 2.  Each day, a portion of our students is welcomed into the Media Center during recess for that quiet reading time or homework-catchup time that some crave during a busy day. Grades 2/3 can come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4/5s come on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Middle School students may come in any day with a pre-arranged pass from their base class teachers to do their work or reading. While it suits some students best to be active on the playground, we try to preserve a space of calm during the day for others  to relax and take a break with a good book. If you are among the generous Honey Creek community who enjoys contributing to the  library, please take a look at our wish list that is kept on Amazon.com From the school home page, click on “Current Families” and then on “Media Center.” You’ll see a link called “Help Build our Collection.” The link will drop down when you click, and you can see the items we’re looking to add to the library. There is no need to buy the items from Amazon if you want to buy locally; just use it as an idea source for the things we need the most. Thanks in advance to all who contribute material to the Media Center’s collection! Here’s to a great, productive, and fun fall!

Media Center News: May 2012

The end of this school year is approaching fast and, like every classroom, the Media Center will have things to be accomplished before the last day.  The Media Center  will close to checkouts/classes and for Recess on May 29.  This gives until June 8 to gather in the material currently checked out, and to do a complete inventory.

This process is important in clearing up long-standing inaccuracies in the record of what is owned or is still showing in the catalog as checked out to students or staff from months (years?) past.  We think that we’ll be able to finalize the inventory this spring after two years of clean-up work.

Please reassure your students that no overdue fees are charged; lost material must be either paid for or replaced with another copy of the same item.  If you’re worried about material that your student has possibly lost, payment or replacement needn’t take place until the last couple of days of school; there is time to do the last searching for those elusive items.  Teachers may want to look over their classroom book collections for stray Media Center material; items checked out to students sometimes end up there.  If you find Media Center material during the summer, please return it to the Honey Creek office.

Our wonderful Spring Book Fair is this month!  Look for the Fair during Curriculum Celebration, in the Media Center from 5:00- 7:00 p.m. on May 18.  Nicola’s Books will have copies of recently-released items as well as a number of things requested by teachers and students.  Please support both our Media Center and our local bookseller by shopping the Book Fair.

Honey Creek now has an Archive!  During this spring, I have been locating, accurately cataloging, and arranging the material in our collection that has been written or generated by Honey Creek students and staff over the years.  This Archive is available to anyone in the Honey Creek community who wants a look back at some of the projects and initiatives done at our school since the mid-1990s.  The Media Center is happy to make copies of any information you might want from the Archives.

I’d like to offer thanks, on behalf of the Honey Creek community, to Dianne McLaren-Brighton.  She recently completed here Master’s degree studies in school media center management, and worked with us for her field work.  She’s also volunteered to help with some of the year-end inventory and clean-up in preparation for 2012-2013.  Thanks, Dianne, for everything you’ve done for our Media Center this semester!

Thanks to each one of you for all the help you give to the Media Center all year; I hope that we’ve been a good part of your year, too.

Media Center News: April 2012

There are several projects going on now in the school that the Media Center is part of.  The 2/3s are just about to begin their first research project.  The subject is animals, and we have been busy planning with their teachers, arranging some demos of resources they’ll need and putting links onto the Media Center’s web page, and gathering print material ahead of time. We’re really looking forward to this, as it will be the first time students have done organized research that will result in the answering of key questions about animals and presenting their findings.  It will, hopefully, be a fun assignment for them; it certainly is for us!

The 4/5s are doing two projects: a Newbery-medal winner reading challenge, and a Social Studies research project on colonial American regions.  They are trying to answer the question, “What was life like in…?”  We’ve gathered print and electronic resources for this one, too, and have been working with students to ferret out the tricky, hard-to-find bits of info.  There is also a cart full of all the Newbery winner and honor books that the collection holds.  Our student librarian, Dianne McLaren-Brighton, has been busy compiling lists of these, and of the titles we don’t yet own.  This list will be part of next year’s collection development plan.

Coming up in May is an event the Honey Creek community won’t want to miss: the Spring Book Fair, hosted by our local bookseller, Nicola’s Books.  The Fair will run during the spring Curriculum Celebration, and will have lots of good books that students and others will want to have ready to go for summer reading.

Anyone who would like to honor a graduate, a good year’s work by a student, a birthday, or other special event by donating a book in that person’s honor to Honey Creek Media Center may want to shop the Book Fair on May 18.  The Media Center keeps a wish-list on Amazon.com that can be used to select items particularly needed.  Nicola’s can likely get anything on this list if you want to buy locally.

Though she’s been busy making Newbery lists, Dianne has also been active in working with our students during her field placement time here.  She’s doing read-aloud with some of the classes, is working on a presentation on the poet Shel Silverstein, has done lots of research and reference help with students, book selection for next year, and many of the daily tasks that keep a media center running smoothly.  She’ll be here until the end of April, when she will finish her program.

As we start to close in on the end of the school year, the Media Center will be sending out reminder notices to students of the items they have checked out.  The lists will include both current check-outs and items they’ve had for some time.  Those planning to be in another school next year are asked to pay particular attention to these, as all borrowers’ accounts should be clear by the end of school.  We’re grateful for all the help we receive from parents who work with their kids to develop responsibility for borrowed items, and who return things by the bagful!  Thank you!

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