Disclaimer: This is not going to be a post about why we need to genrefy or the epic debate among librarians across the world on the pros and cons. You do you. Only you know your students, your staff, your school improvement plan, etc. etc. etc. No judgement here!
This is a post about how I completed our genrefication project and how I prepared students for the new layout afterwards because it was a decisions that benefits our students and aligns directly to our school improvement plan.
Deciding on genres is hard. And easy. And hard. It's easy because there are so many others before me that have created genre lists already. It would be super simple just to copy and paste. It's hard because my brain jumps to subgenres and how important those are to nuances within genres...But at the end of the day, with help from my student advisory group and some awesome ELA teachers, here is what we came up with:
If you want the signs I created, those are located here. I used Canva to create the signs.
How to Label
Because most people are visual and I have a new media clerk (who has never been a media clerk before) and I have parent volunteers who come in to help shelve books, I decided to go with the genre stickers from Demco to make the genre as clear as possible. It makes it easier on all parties to see the sticker clearly. There is a part of me that genuinely does not like the visual sticker as it covers more of the spine. Not to mention cost is a concern for purchasing stickers for a large collection. I could have used colored book tape over the spine label to save on visual concerns and cost, but at the end of the day, I knew the stickers would work best for our needs.
Grouping & Moving the Books
This was the longest part of the process. I weeded books as I labeled books (as it had not been done in years with the previous media specialist) so I was able to see and count spaces as I was labeling. I decided to label and weed prior to moving anything. It made the journey much easier! Having a ton of book carts made this easier too. When I was ready to move the books, I was able to complete that in just one day.
I chose Classic Fiction to start with as it was one of our small genres and started by moving all of the books in that area to book carts. Then I added all of our books labeled Classic Fiction to that book shelf. After that, I grouped genres by theme (Classic Fiction went well with Historical Fiction, etc.). Once I started, it was like a snowball effect. People I've talked to say this sounds the most intimidating when they start the process, but this really was the least scary part to me.
Updating the Catalog System
I decided to not update our Destiny Catalog System by call number. Instead, I updated the sublocation and created categories for the genres to make this process a tad easier. Before you can do bulk updates, you need to create the sublocations and the categories.
To create sublocations
To create categories
To find out how I shared our new genre system with the students, visit Part 2 here!
On the twelfth day of Techmas: Bloxels, a hands on platform for kids to build, collaborate, and tell stories through video game creation
Bloxels has been the biggest hit in our MakerSpace!
Bloxels is a hands-on platform for kids to build, collaborate, and tell stories through video game creation. Students can use colored blocks to design their characters and settings to tell their own amazing stories! The game board is scanned using the free iPad app to make the creation come to life! This engaging classroom tool is transforming learning off the paper and putting it in the hands of students. Imagine designing a scientific process, a historical location, or even a story about yourself! The possibilities are endless!
If you create an educator account, you have access to the educator hub with lesson plans and activities. Also, for every kit you order, you receive student accounts so that students can login and save their work.
Check out the Bloxels EDU website for more information and how to purchase your own kit!
What is Google Spotlight Stories?
This app puts the reader in the middle of a growing number of virtual reality stories and demonstrates new possibilities for interactive storytelling. Each of the stories is a 360 video experience to be viewed within a VR viewer or on a device or screen. Users are prompted to download a story before reading for easy repeat access. Among the elementary stories are The Windy Day, Buggy Night and Duet. The reader focuses attention on the scene, with the story adjusting and presenting a personalized experience.
Don't have the ability to use this as an app? That's ok! It's on YouTube as well!
What is GooseChase?
GooseChase is an educational scavenger hunt for the 21st century! It blends the traditional approach of a scavenger hunt with mobile technology to create a fun and engaging learning experience.
What can you do in the game?
Start a game and add missions! Missions can be to take a photo/video, text an answer, or add a GPS location. Students complete the missions to earn points!
Once the GooseChase is active, participants are able to see the missions to be completed, view the leaderboard, and see what the other teams have submitted in the Activity Feed. After the game has been completed, submissions can be reviewed as a class or individually. The leaderboard keeps score so that the teacher can recognize the winners at the end if they choose to.
What can you do?
Ideas for the classroom:
What are BookSnaps?
A BookSnap is simply a digital, visual representation used to annotate and share reflections of any excerpt of a book or text.
If you are anything like me, you are always trying to find ways to balance motivating students to read while also challenging them to think deeper about their text. I love, love, love #BookSnaps because it helps students visualize their thoughts about their reading, makes reading more social and interactive, and helps students use technology beyond a consumption tool. Technology can be used with purpose and you can still have fun learning!
Why use BookSnaps?
Creating BookSnaps is a SNAP!
*SnapChat - The original creator of #BookSnaps used SnapChat to take a picture of the text, used Bitmojis, the text generator, etc. to emphasize her thoughts about the text. This can be a pretty powerful tool to use and show high school students SnapChat and social media can be used for more than just poop pictures.
*Buncee - It's no secret that I love Buncee! When I read this blog about how to use #BookSnaps with Buncee, I was blown away again by how amazing this tech tool is. The best part is you can use this within the Google Classroom platform or SeeSaw, making this so much easier for students to share their work.
*Book Creator app on iPads - If you have iPads available, the Book Creator app is completely free and well worth the effort to install on the iPads. While it may take students thinkering a bit to get used to the ins and outs of the tool, this is a great option to create #BookSnaps in the elementary or middle school setting. I've used Book Creator for all sorts of projects in middle, but had never thought about using it for #BookSnaps until this blog post. For the social media aspect, I recommend students sharing their creations with you and then posting through a generic library Instagram or Twitter account students can follow as most social media platforms are for 13 years of age and up.
*Instagram or Facebook allows for you to create "stories" where you can create BookSnaps, post to your live feed, and has the option to save the image/video for later.
*Students can post their #BookSnaps to Padlet (love the collaborative element here where students can interact with other classmates's thoughts), SeeSaw, Google Classroom, Edmodo, and more.
Example Lesson: Google Slides Template Document Analysis
On the sixth day of Techmas: VoiceIn Voice Typing, a speech recognition extension to be able to read on ANY website!
Get the extension here.
On the fifth day of Techmas: Webcam Record,a quick & easy way to make 30-90 second videos that are automatically saved to your Google Drive!
Download the extension here.
Quiver Vision is awesome!
Quiver Vision is a favorite tool of mine for its' ability to include augmented reality in a simple way in your classroom. I use it every year for International Dot Day as well as for reading promotion events. During our International Dot Day event at school this year, several teachers approached me about having never heard of Quiver Vision before. In case you have not heard of it either, this is for you!
What is it?
Quiver allows you to take your coloring to the next level with augmented reality! There are so many options through the Quiver Vision website you print off for your students to color and then use the iPad app to use the augmented reality component. Hold the iPad above the picture to see it come to life!
The app is available for free for the Google Play store, App Store, and Amazon.
What can you do?
I suggest using the Quiver Education app for added components like being able to record audio over the app. When using the app, students can also record themselves speaking along with the process of scanning the coloring page and it has the option to download the video! Appsmashing wtih Flipgrid can help make this experience into an opportunity for deeper learning and collaboration.
Social Studies/ELA: There are TONS of holiday ideas for Quiver. Try printing off the Christmas Tree coloring page. While students are learning about how different countries celebrate Christmas or the holidays, have students record a video using the Quiver app to explain what the most eye-opening or neatest tradition that they learned was. Students can then upload the videos to Flipgrid in order to create a whole class compilation of what they learned. Share it with parents on your weekly newsletter or through Seesaw. You can also use this for students to share what some of their own holiday traditions are! Virtual holiday cards to military.
Science: The volcano and the cell have the 3D experience that users love about Quiver but they also contain an added bonus, a quiz@ You can view the image as you colored it, but you can also be quizzed on parts of the volcano or the cell. The app asks you to identify a feature and gives you a selection of choices to tap. If you tap the wrong one, it shows the correct one. It is a fun way to check on progress.
Math: PI Day in March would be an awesome day to use Quiver!
The ideas are endless with this app and it's educational components.