Last year was my first as an elementary school library media specialist after spending my long career in middle school as an ELA/SS teacher turned middle school library media specialist. And it's not just elementary. It's just 2nd and 3rd grade. We have 750 students and I was just trying to keep my head above water while learning the new district, new kids, new grade level, teaching technology classes, and trying to renovate our library to a more future ready library. I had so many ideas and activities I wanted to try last year, but so many were put the wayside as I tried to survive.
Not this year! One of the biggest things I regret last year was not putting more of an effort into library orientation. Yes, I was hired two weeks before my start date, but that is the FIRST time our kiddos are exposed to the wonders of our library, to me, to reading at school...So this year, I wanted to go big or go home. As a total nerd, I have loved seeing how Pokemon has been included into the classroom. What better way to get our 2nd and 3rd graders excited than using what they like and are excited about to get them excited about learning?! I came across the idea to use a Pokemon scavenger hunt from The Daring Librarian (another hero of mine). She is amazing and showed how she used it in the library, shared her resources, and gave some ideas on how to tweak it to fit our students. I used her template, changed some things around, and although I wish our iPads had been here in time to use the augmented reality aspect of it, it was a total hit!
I started orientation off the way we should always start a library lesson-with a new read! This summer I came across If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't by Elise Parsley. It's so cute and funny, but also touches on important themes I am focusing on in our library this year like using our imagination (the tinker station) and helping on another (ties into our PBIS initiative for the year with #TheWildcatWay). The kiddos giggled and we were able to put some context to how we should interact within the library. This was perfect for our new 2nd graders, but I am still looking for the perfect 3rd grade read for the beginning of the year...So any suggestions are welcome! Afterwards, I talked our library policies and expectations for the school year. (Check out the Prezi here). Then, we started the PokemonGo Scavenger Hunt with our 3rd graders (2nd grade ended up taking much longer on learning how to check in and out our books). The first ones to find all the Pokemon won a cool prize from the "B" box! Lastly, the kiddos were able to check out their first books of the year. They loved how the books were moved into genres (although I am looking forward to more lessons throughout the year on what genres are and how we can use them), loved the new chill & read zone, and it was fun for me to talk about books with students and teachers again!