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Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's National Library Week and School Library Month!

Hello everyone! We are excited to share that it is National Library Week and School Library Month! It is our privilege to serve you as a part of our school community! Please some in and see us to help you find resources, create something, share an idea, read a book or an ebook, solve a problem, or any other reason you'd like to come in! Here is a PSA video to promote our school libraries! Check it out!  
Julianne Moore's School Library PSA

Monday, February 23, 2015

Girls on the Run Starting Next week!

Hello 6th and 7th grade girls!
Our amazing club starts next week and we have a few slots open for more girls to attend with us! We meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from March through Mid-May and we will participate in the Denver area 5K race on Saturday, May 9th. Please see Mrs. Biller in the counseling office if you are interested in joining us! It will be a fantastic season--and you can be a part of it!

Here is a link to the Girls on the Run website and the 5K information!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

6th Grade Ottawa Core-Guest Speaker

All across the grade level, 6th graders in our school are learning about cause and effect through the study of natural disasters and the human experience. To deepen their level of understanding of the effects of hurricanes, Mrs. Nielsen of the Ottawa core invited guest speaker, Tim Ellis to talk with the students. Tim and his family were survivors of Hurricane Katrina, the 3rd most destructive natural disaster in American history. Here are a couple of shots during his talk with the 6th graders in Ottawa. Thank you, Mr. Ellis, for your time!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Come visit our book fair!

We will be hosting our Scholastic Book Fair in the Learning Commons this Wednesday, February 3rd through next Wednesday, February 11th! We are open a bit before school, open through the day, a bit after school, and in the evenings for parent teacher conferences! 

Come check out the book fair!!
If you prefer to shop online, please click here!

It's a great time to get excited about reading! We will have a fun "Under the Sea" theme and be giving away gift certificates each day of the book fair for answering our trivia question of the day. Please stop in and see us!  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Author, Dom Testa, Visits The International School!

On Thursday, January 15th, award-winning author, speaker, and broadcaster Mr. Dom Testa visited our school! He met with 3 groups of students and shared his love of reading and writing as well as gave many writing tips to our students!

The Battle of the Books group got to meet with him first, as he gave us the "behind the scenes" about writing his Galahad series of books! He shared how important character biographies are before writing the plot of your story. He also shared how he comes up with names for characters and other names in his books. For example, making a lis of options in naming the comet Bhaktul. Investing time researching was also a key idea he shared from an author's viewpoint. He made the distinct connection between reading and writing for our students and even showed his writing journal from when he was in 3rd grade! There was a lot of time for us to ask questions of Dom, lending the visit to be quite personal. Battle of the Books participants received a Galahad poster and bookmark from Dom at the end of the session! Each student will also be receiving Dom's first two books--The Comet's Curse and The Web of Titan! 

Next up, Dom met with one of Ms. Hershberger's 6th grade journalism classes. His focus here was giving tips on blogging and putting your writing on the screen of your audience. Some tips include: take your own pictures to use on your blog (do NOT use Google Images--remember his copyright nightmare story?), don't make posts too long, vary your topics and format, and post your blog on social media. Again, our students had time to ask Dom numerous questions and he gladly entertained them!

We ended our day in Mrs. Hyman's 6th grade Exploring Literacy class. The main topic was writing mystery books, as Dom is about to publish a new series! He talked about how authors plan out a series and often have the first 3 books tie together and then write related, stand-alone books after that. He also showed us the mystery books he read as a youngster, as these served as one of his inspirations. The most exciting thing? Dom is going to send a piece of his new, not-yet-published Cooper James mystery to the class for feedback! They will be writing literary reviews to help him with his last round of refining. How cool is that? 
As a digital literacy teacher/teacher librarian, this special day was years in the making! This is my 7th year in the library (though in our building, we call it the "learning commons") and I have wanted Dom to visit each of those years. It was well worth the wait, as careful planning made it possible for his visit to deeply impact specific groups of students.  And the greatest residual effect?  We have his wonderful books to enjoy throughout the building! The Galahad books are available in the learning commons for checking out, and his two books, Shaking Demons and Madison Cooley's Shoes will be available in classroom libraries for students to read. (These last two titles are published under Dom's pen name, Buster Blank.) 


Many thanks to you, Dom Testa, for such a memorable day at The International School at Thornton Middle! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November in YOUR Learning Commons!

Hello to our amazing school community! 

     While thankfulness at this time of year is expected, we want to express our sincere gratitude for being such an integral part of our school. The Learning Commons is a busy place day in and day out, and for that, we are thankful! We love being able to assist students and teachers with print and online resources, integrate and troubleshoot technology, and connect with students through clubs like Battle of the Books and Technology Club! 

Here are a few notable statistics about the first few months of school (August-November)
Walk in students: 2,081
Classes in the Learning Commons: 250
Small Groups in the Learning Commons: 163
Physical resources checked out: 4,272
ebooks viewed: 789
Database Use (Through Mackin VIA): 83 (November only)
Classes taught with Digital Literacy Teacher: 195
We couldn't do this without YOU...and we are grateful! Happy Thanksgiving!

     We have received our latest shipment of just under 200 books and still have about 120 on their way! We have MANY new picture books and some great new fiction and informational books! Please stop in and see us--we have so many new titles that need to be read! Take note of the "NEW" labels on display to help you find the newest books to our collection! You can also see them in the "New Arrival" portion of Destiny Quest! 

The Hour of Code 
     Have you heard of The Hour of Code? During the week of December 8-12th students from around the globe will spend (at least) one hour experiencing what it is like to learn and create using coding language! Check out the Library Website for some fun resources to try!
Here is a great video I saw for the first time last year, but is still quite relevant and inspiring for the Hour of Code!

Have you heard of these tools?

  • Kahoot-A game-based response system for schools, ANY device connecting to the internet can be used! 
  • Flubaroo-An "add on" in Google Drive that will score your Google Forms for you! 
  • LucidCharts-Create graphic organizers and share them with students/teachers via Google Drive! Already available when you click "More" under your Adams 12 Google Apps! :) 

WorldBook Online Research tools
     Through our district subscription, we have access to several WorldBook databases and resources! When you log on through the Inquiry page of the Learning Commons website you will see several choices! Here's a quick run down of the varying places you can go!

General Searching:

  • WorldBook Discover-a friendly search interface for inquirers at an upper elementary-middle school reading level.
    • Features: visual dictionary, a bank of "explains" videos (some primary sources!), researching and creating timelines
  • WorldBook Student-a reliable resource written at approximately middle school reading level.
    • Features: set up an account and save your research into a folder, compare places, citation builder, timelines, featured video, biography center, related websites and magazine articles
  • WorldBook Advanced-In-depth articles written at a higher reading level
    • Features: Several tools from Student Edition, Today in History, Primary sources!, World Newspapers (Very cool for Language B teachers!
Specific Searching:
  • WorldBook Ancient Peoples-All about ancient civilizations
  • WorldBook Living Green-Environmental issues, energy, goods, buildings
  • WorldBook Inventions and Discoveries-Innovation and technological advances related to science and math areas
  • WorldBook Hallazgos-Online Encyclopedia in Spanish

Please stop in and see us with any questions! 

We are happy to support you in your learning endeavors!Happy Thanksgiving!