Monday, September 29, 2008

Beginning of the School Year 2008-2009

Well, the new school year has begun and I've finally got my schedule set. Since I have to juggle two libraries it hasn't been easy. I am at Hayes on Monday and Tuesday and Alpha on Thursday and Friday. I spend alternate Wednesdays at each building. It took me an hour or so to figure out the Wednesday schedule since I had to account for all the days off and such.

Scheduling classes isn't easy what with my limited time at each building, but I'm making it work so far! There was some talk of getting an educational assistant that would go to each school on the days that I wasn't there. That way classes could do research and computer work when I'm not there. So far they've not done that. With all the cuts that they've had to make I doubt that will even happen. I love both of my schools but I wish that I would only have to be in one of them. Things would be so much easier. I don't know of anyone else who has the same situation that I do. If anyone out there knows of anyone with a similar situation that could give me some advice please let me know.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I have a few hobbies in my spare time. The first is that I love bicycling. I ride mostly on rail trails. During the summer I ride most every day. I try to ride between 20 and 25 miles a day weather and schedule permitting. So far this year I've ridden over 1,000 miles. I have a logging program where I keep track of my mileage, average speed, top speed, heart rate and calories burned off during each ride. I am the bicycle team captain for the community cup. It is a local competition sponsored by the YMCA for companys and organizations to compete against each other. The bike race is a time prediction race. One person rides 2 miles, one four, one 6 and one 8 miles making for a four person team. I have two teams competiting. You have to predict how long it will take your team to ride through the course. You can't wear watches, use a speedometer, listen to music, or anything else that will help you pace yourself during the race. Last year my team got first place in our division.

The longest standing hobby I have is reading. I have been an avid reader since I was in elementary school. I mostly read novels but I like alot of non-fiction too. So far this summer I've read several books. I had a sixth grade student last year who loves to read also. He and I are both going to read the Chronicles of Narnia over summer vacation and then discuss the books when school resumes in September. I plan on starting "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" later today. After I finish it I'm going to read the rest of the series.

Another hobby that I've had since elementary school is knitting. I love to knit. It relaxes me. I've made all kinds of things: purses, socks, afghans, ipod socks, purses, sweaters, dishcloths, wallets, shrugs, belts, shawls, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, tank tops and probably some other things too. Right now my favorite things to knit are socks, dishcloths and purses. I like to try new patterns out on dishcloths. They are small and don't take long to make. The picture that you see at the top of this post is of an afghan that I'm working on. It has trees and flowers on it. Right now it's about twice the length of this picture. There is second set of trees and about half the flower pattern is done.

History Day

The longest on-going project that we have at Hayes Middle School is the National History Day contest. If you're not familiar with this, it is a contest for middle and high school students. Every year there is a theme around which students must develop a project. The project must be in the form of a paper, documentary, or an exhibit. This year all of our gifted and honors 7th and 8th grader classes were required to do a history day project. They could work as individuals or in groups. Every Friday from October until around January they came to the library during their history class to work on the project. The history teacher, gifted teacher and I evaluated the projects.

We choose one group to continue on into the district competition in the spring. The gifted specialist and I helped them improve their project. Their documentary was on the closing of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. They received first place in their catagory. They also got a second place prize from the local historical society. The society gives awards every year to those who do projects about local history.

After the disctrict competition the students worked like crazy for the state competition. They spent many of their lunch periods with me in the library. I also let them work after school in the library. One evening we stayed until 7 pm trying to finish. Since I teach in an inner-city school most of the students don't have computers at home so they have to do most of their work at school. Unfortunately the girls didn't make it to the second round of state competition but they scored higher than any group in the past. They learned so much from this experience. Not only did they learn about local history but they learned alot about computer technology in the process. I taught them how to record their narration and add it to their power point show. You can listen to two short podcasts about their experiences at the Hayes Library website.

Science Fair

One of the biggest projects we do at school every year is the science fair. Every student in the school is required to do a project. That means lots of time researching in the library. This past year all of our science teachers were either new to the building and/or teaching science for the first time. Only one of them had taught science before so they looked to me for help. One of the things that I did to assist them was adding a large science fair section to my school website. It includes links for experiments, steps to creating a project, and a downloadable form for typing a science research paper. You can check it out at the Hayes Library website. You must go to the files page link to download the template for the reasearch paper. Hope you enjoy my website!

My School Library

Hi! For the past two years I have been the school librarian at Hayes Middle School in Youngstown, Ohio. Prior to that I was an elementary music specialist in Youngstown City Schools for twenty years. I love teaching both music and library skills. This coming year, due to budget cuts I will be the librarian at two middle schools, Hayes and Alpha. It will be tough keeping up with all the clerical duties but I'm looking forward to getting to know the staff and students at Alpha. I especially enjoy helping students with computer research.

I have created a power point show of the Dewey Decimal System for my students to view this coming school year. I have alot of students ask me where to find books on different subjects and I'm hoping this video will help them. You can view it below. Please let me know what you think about it. I'm open to suggestions for improvement.