Media Center Musings
Mission ~ The DRMS Instructional Technology and Library Media Sciences provides engaging learning experiences that empower students to grow as readers, learners, and individuals.Vision ~ A positive, student-centered physical and virtual community where students take ownership of their library and learning.
National Library Week 2015Posted by Kristen Ziller at 4/20/2015The DRMS Media Center celebrated National Library Week (NLW) during the week of April 13 through 17. This year's theme was Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library. In the weeks leading up to NLW, students reflected on what this theme meant to them, The most popular responses were featured on our 'larger-than-life' word cloud posted in the media center hallway.Monday, April 13 was Snapshot Day. Media centers from across the state of North Carolina participated. The media staff collected data throughout the day about how students and staff used the media center, how many people were involved in library services, and some anecdotal data, such as quotes and examples of reference questions asked by students and staff.On Monday, we sponsored MakerSpace @ Lunch, a time for students to come make a craft and take it with them. Students used paper, markers, string, and assorted materials Mrs. Edwards picked up at the ScrapExchange to make their creation. Students had a great time and are interested in participating in this type of event in the future.Throughout the week, students who checked out a book could enter their name in the 'daily free book drawing.' A name was chosen each morning and the winning student could select a book from our free book stash. Many students also visited the media center to vote for their favorite poem in the student poetry contest. Voting closes on Wednesday, April 22 to allow for track 4 students to vote. Be sure to stop by before the deadline!We culminated the week with a visit from author and DRMS alum, John Choquette. He shared details about his life as a writer and specifics about his book, Burlwood Forest. All book club students were invited to attend and purchase an autographed book. It was a wonderful end to this very special week!
Sixth Grade Roll of Thunder Literary CafePosted by Janice Edwards at 4/6/2015
Sixth grade Language Arts classes are doing a Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Literary Café to enhance their reading of the novel by Mildred D. Taylor. The Literary Café is designed so students can dig deeper into some of the issues and themes in the novel in order to gain a better understanding of the context of the times. The topics chosen are boycotts; segregation and Jim Crow laws; and sharecropping.
Students work independently and collaboratively. They watch video clips, read informational text, play a sharecropper simulation game, create a line graph on sharecropping, and use Canva to create posters and photo collages.
From Lenin’s Propaganda to Rasputin’s BeardPosted by Julie Stivers at 3/31/2015
From Lenin’s Propaganda to Rasputin’s Beard: 7th Graders Study the Russian Revolution
Earlier this year, 7th grade students from all tracks participated in a 3-day unit on the Russian Revolution with the Library Media Center, culminating in a creative writing product. This unit was built around the eWISE research model where students are guided through a process that allows them to Wonder, Investigate, Synthesize, and Express. The essential question framing the unit was: “How did the Russian Revolution affect its nation’s different citizens?”
Specifically, for this unit, students began by viewing historical photographs of Russian citizens—from the Romanovs and peasants to Bolsheviks and Lenin—and were asked to ‘wonder’ about their lives, based on evidence in the photographs and their own prior knowledge. Students then chose a person to ‘investigate’ or research. Choice was a key element of this entire unit and students were free to pick anyone living in Russia at the time. It could be a specific person—such as Anastasia Romanov or Lenin—or a group of people, such as Bolshevik soldiers. Using sweetsearch.com—a search engine specifically developed for students—they compiled information on their chosen research subject. Classes then ‘synthesized’ what they learned by organizing their facts and participating in small group discussions. To prepare for the final stage—‘express’, students looked at examples of historical diary entries and even learned some simple Russian words and phrases.
To express what they had learned about their chosen subject and the Russian Revolution as a whole, students then wrote a diary entry from the point of view of their chosen person. Students were encouraged to truly imagine what it was like to live at that time and place in history. The completed diary entries were fantastic—they showcased students’ skill with personal narratives, their creative writing talents, learned knowledge of the Russian Revolution, and even their interest in writing Cyrillic words!
~Julie Stivers, UNC Library School graduate student intern
Gear-Up for BasketballPosted by Kristen Ziller at 3/20/2015[gallery type="slideshow" columns="5" link="file" ids="2190,2192,2189,2191,2193"] Sixth grade track 3 students in Mrs. Desmarais's Gear-Up class have been working on a basketball inquiry project. First, students wondered about basketball and brainstormed questions and thoughts about the sport. Next, they formed groups and wrote a focus question that would guide their research. Students then incorporated some mathematical computations into their project. They culminated their research findings in a Canva, an online digital poster resource. Students presented their Canvas to their peers in a presentation in the media center.Examples of student focus questions included:
- Does the height of a player affect where and how they score baskets?
- What percentage of players in the NBA shoot from the side?
- Why do the baskets switch after half time?
- What percentage of players in the NBA are over 7 ft. tall?
- What is the most common basketball injury?
- Why do mascots matter?
- Are games won based upon the coaches plays or the players stats?
- What percentage of NBA players get injured every season?
- What is the average number of coaches who coach where they went to college?
- Why is the 'back court violation' a rule?
Family History Wrap-UpPosted by Kristen Ziller at 3/10/2015
8th grade track 1 students have been working on a year-long family history project, which culminated in their final project presentations on Friday, March 6th. After students interviewed the 'kin keeper' of their family, they used their family stories and ancestral information as a springboard to guiding their own research experience. Some students focused on the cultural background of their ancestors, while others 'climbed their trees' by tracing back a specific branch of their ancestry. Ancestry.com, newspapers.com, and fold3.com were popular research sources, but many students also discovered culturally-specific sites that helped them uncover more about their roots. A few of our students' research focus questions included:
- What is the story behind my great-grandfather's service during WWI?
- Why was sexism toward women acceptable when my grandmother was growing up?
- What was it like growing up in the Marshall Islands in early 1960s?
- Who was the first person in my family to die from cancer?
- Did anyone in my family do something to change history?
- What was order 9066 and how did it impact my ancestors?
- What were my ancestors' jobs through several generations?
Students used a variety of web 2.0 tools to present their findings to their classmates. Students were encouraged to use a tool they were unfamiliar with so they could add a new tool to their technology toolbelt. In their selection process, students determined which type of tool would be best to present their information. A timeline? A slide show? An online poster? They then selected a tool based on their answers to those questions. Canva, TikiToki, BiteSlide, Timeglider, smore, Zoho show, Animoto, and VoiceThread were just some of the tools students selected from! This family history project showcases inquiry learning at it's finest, where students are in charge of the entire research process, from focus-question creation through their research journey, and finally creating their final product to share with others.
'It looks like Barnes & Noble in here!'Posted by Kristen Ziller at 2/12/2015Tables, book holders, and the tops of bookshelves are covered in displays of shiny new books this week. Students have enjoyed exploring the collection and checking out some brand-new titles. The media staff is excited about the diversity of materials this year. There are plenty of engaging informational texts, continuations in popular fiction series, memoirs and personal stories of people overcoming challenges, and graphic novels that tell a story through text and images. Many of these books were selected from DRMS student recommendations. It's their library and their books so naturally we think it's important to involve them in the selection process. Stop by this week while they're all on display . . . they're moving quickly!
Bookfair is open in the media centerPosted by Janice Edwards at 1/26/2015
Students will come to the Scholastic Book Fair with their Language Arts class all this week. Students may also come before school starts from 7:45 to 8:10 and after school until 3:15. Stop by the media center and find some amazing books to buy!
All proceeds will support your Durant Media Center.
Coding WeekPosted by Spencer Ziegler at 12/19/2014
Last week we wrapped up our week long emphasis on coding. This wasn't just something that wasn't just taking place at Durant, but all throughout the globe. In fact, over 80, 000,000 students from over 180 countries participated in this event. Which begs the question: Why learn how to code?
We kicked off the week with a coding lunch, where over 90 students stopped by to learn how to develop their own apps, games, and websites. Based on request, this will now become a monthly occurrence. The next meeting will take place on Friday, January 30.
Later that week, employees of SAS stopped by the classes of Ms. Haase and Mr. Marion to teach students of the benefits of coding. After a brief introduction, the kids got involved with a hands-on simulation on how coding works.
Although the week of code is technically behind us, this is an area that we will continue to focus on at Durant Road. In addition to the monthly coding lunches, a website has been created to provide students with resources on coding. We'd also recommend you check out some of the lessons and activities at code.org and Codecademy. Code on!
Student Blogger, Kellise FreemanPosted by Kristen Ziller at 12/17/2014The media center is a big resource @ Durant Road Middle School. It has a wide range of periodicals, music, and books, and also videos and equipment. One thing I like about the media center is that the atmosphere is always pleasant and just relaxing. The staff is ready to help and they always have an open ear to what you are looking for and what type of book you like. They try their best to fit your needs. Once when I was in the sixth grade, I had a project due in Language Arts and Ms. Ziller helped me find different resources to help me reach my goal to turn in this assignment to the best of my ability. When I left the media center, another child had come in with the same problem and I saw her later that day and she was still smiling. If you're always looking for an open ear and a nice pleasant place to hang out then go straight to the media center.The media center is also the best source to get any type of book that you like. You always get the friendliest help. When you are in a bad mood and walk into the media center, it lights up your whole entire inside. Looking for a smile? Ms. Ziller has it for you. :-) If you need help with a report, there are computers. When you are just looking for a place to chill and cool down, the library is the most quiet, helpful, and just most relaxing place ever. My favorite thing about the media center is that everybody is always smiling and just happy to see you. You can never be in a funky mood with the media center and if you come in with one, then you sure won't leave with one. :-)
Genealogy JourneyPosted by Kristen Ziller at 12/8/2014
In continuing the family history dialog with 8th grade students, Mrs. Richardson and Ms. Ziller shared their personal genealogy interest and stories about their ancestors in a presentation to students in the auditorium on track-out day. Mrs. Richardson shared details about her great-grandfather, who was president of Georgia Tech University, and his role in allowing women and minorities to attend the university. She shared the history of her Van Leer lineage and how her ancestry has been traced back to the 1400s!
Ms. Ziller shared details of her #ancestryaugust where she spent a month focused on her great-grandfather's life. He left the Tyrol region of Italy, immigrated through Ellis Island in 1913, and settled in the mountains of Pennsylvania to mine coal. By 1940 he owned his own home. He successfully pursued the American Dream!
Both Mrs. Richardson and Ms. Ziller shared details of American history and social issues that were occurring during their ancestor's experiences. These are the types of connections students will be making when they begin researching in early 2015. The upcoming holidays will provide many more opportunities for students to connect with their families and share stories with one another.