• Oh, The Places You'll Go!

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 3/5/2015
    Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
    It's March which means it's Seuss Month!  We celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2nd every year at Brandon.  In the past, we've celebrated by putting on a musical story time in the media center, having "Who Hair" Day, eating green eggs and ham and of course, reading his many books!  This year, we set up life-sized birthday cards in the media center for the students and teachers to sign.  Everyone loves wishing Mr. Geisel at happy birthday.  He would've been 111 this
     Seuss birthday card     Seuss birthday card      Seuss Birthday card
    This week, we have been reading "Oh, the places you'll go" during story time.  
    The students reflected on the places that they will go and the things they would like to learn by participating in an activity after hearing the story.  Our students have some awesome goals!  Check them out.
    Seuss worksheet     Seuss worksheet
     Students wearing seuss hats
    Have a Seussical day!
     ~Ms. Waddell 
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  • What have you "Red" lately?

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 2/6/2015
    Happy February!
    February book display  
     Happy Valentine's Day!
    ~Ms. Waddell 
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  • What's Your Story?

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 1/15/2015
    Our second graders are busy learning about biographies in the media center!  We have a large biography section where students can check out books about their favorite historic figures, athletes and even celebrities!  During our lesson we read the biography Snowflake Bentley and discussed what we learned.  Students identified the different parts of a biography including:
    • Date and place of birth
    • Childhood/early life
    • Education
    • Major achievements
    • Life obstacles
    • Legacy
    snowflake bentley
    Once we finished our discussion, the students were paired up to create a 'biography person' about each other!  They interviewed their partner and asked them questions about their birthday, place of birth, favorite color, favorite food and one interesting fact.  They also were asked to choose one IB word that would describe them and why.  They did an awesome job!  They are on display in the library now!
     biography display      what's your story?  biography people      biography people    biography people
     What's YOUR story?
    ~Ms. Waddell  
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  • The Hour of Code

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 12/12/2014
    All week we have been participating in the "Hour of Code."  The hour of code is an initiative that supports and promotes computer science in schools.  School typically don't require classes on writing code; however once our students hit the job market, coding will most likely be a basic skill that potential job candidates should know. 
    Grades 2nd - 5th visited the website code.org in the media center and played coding games with the characters of Frozen and Angry Birds.  The games are engaging and force students to solve different puzzles by using 'blockly' - a program that teaches the basics of coding.  The best part is that students can go home and play and learn on code.org for hours if they are interested.  Check it out yourself:  code.org
    Kids coding    Kids coding   Kids coding
    Happy coding!
    ~Ms. Waddell
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  • Happy Winter!

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 12/5/2014
    It's winter in Georgia which means freezing nights and afternoons in the sixties.  Do we keep the heat on or off?  Do I really need to take off my winter coat while driving home from work and then realize I'm still hot and need to turn the AC on?  Even though our winter weather is fickle here in the South, we try to keep it somewhat festive and snowy in the media center by creating fun book displays.  Come and check out our winter and holiday book display before Winter Break!
     Stay warm! (or cool if it's 70 degrees in December)
    ~Ms. Waddell 
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  • Choose Kind

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 12/1/2014
    Choose Kind
    December 1 - 5 is "Inclusion Week" in APS schools.  This is a week to help emphasize including everyone in your school, even those that are different.  Every school has been asked to incorporate lessons, wear Navy on a certain day and simply raise awareness about being kind to everyone.  
    When I heard about this initiative, so many great books came to mind.  Two of my most favorite books that I've read in my years as being a media specialist are the books Wonder by RJ Palacio and Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.  Both books are about choosing to be kind when not everyone else is following suit.  It's so important to discuss 'choosing kind', especially in elementary school.  These books are both tough and sad, but important enough in their message that every student should read them.  
    each kindness      wonder
    This week, I've invited classes to come to the media center to listen to the picture book, Each Kindness.  We discuss the book and what we can learn from it.  We go over what it means to be a caring and open-minded person and how we can actively choose to be kind to someone.  This book talks about the 'ripple effect' and how when we are kind, it can effect the entire world.  In order to expand upon this idea, I asked my students to write and illustrate a small piece on how they can "change the world" by being kind - either something they want to do or something they have already done.  I've seen some amazing ideas and acts of kindness.  Our bees are so kind hearted, it's extremely heart warming to see their ideas.  
    We are also signing the "Choose Kind" pledge!  You can sign here, too:
    Happy pledging!
    ~Ms. Waddell 
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  • November is Picture Book Month!

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 11/4/2014
    November is Picture Book Month!
    picture book month
    We are celebrating picture book month in the library!  All grades are being exposed to many picture books - even 5th graders!  Make sure to pick up your favorite picture book at your public library, our library or a local bookstore.  Here are some of my favorites:
    Picture Books  
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  • Creative Bees

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 9/24/2014
    Seeing spots
    Did you know there was such a thing as "Dot Day?"  Me either, apparently, because it was on September 15th.  But lucky for me, I follow some superstar librarians on social media and learned all about Dot Day!  So, even though we were technically late to the party, I decided we our 2nd graders would celebrate Dot WEEK.  A week-long (or two) celebration is better than a day anyway, right?  
    International Dot Day was created to celebrate art, reading, creativity, confidence and learning!  It's all centered around this wonderful book by Peter H. Reynolds:
    The Dot  
    The book teaches us that we won't achieve anything, unless we try.  And once we try, we can create beautiful things!
    Mrs. Gholston's 2nd grade students were the first to celebrate!  We began by reading the book.  After a quick discussion, the students created their own dot:
    Each dot was so unique!
    The students then used our new cart of iPad minis to make their dots 3D!  We used an app called 'colAR mix'.
    It takes a drawing (using coloring sheets printed out from the app's website) and makes it come to life.  The students' reactions were priceless as they watched their dots pop up, start moving and make patterns.  Check it out:
    dot day
    The students even did a "gallery walk" and looked at their classmate's artwork in 3D using their iPad minis. 
    dot day
    Dot Day
    Come and check out our gallery of dots in the media center!

    New Artwork Up at the Main Campus 
    You might see some new artwork up in the halls of the main campus.  Last year, children's book illustrator, Michael P. White, visited with our students.  He is the illustrator of books like The Library Dragon and The Return of the Library Dragon.  He taught the students how to draw just like him.  It was a really fun day!
    Lucky for us, Mr. White left his entire sketch book with us as a parting gift.  Now his quirky and colorful artwork is framed and decorating our halls.  You can find pieces in the media center, in the staircase near Ms. Plumer's desk, in the breezeway and near the cafeteria.  We hope you enjoy seeing them just as much as we enjoyed Mr. White creating them right before our eyes.
    drawing of a bee  
    drawings of bees  
    Drawings of bees  
     Happy Reading!
    ~Ms. Waddell 
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  • iPads, Fall and Reading Bowl!

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 9/18/2014
    It's Fall, Y'all!
    Wait...is it technically fall, yet? I'll need to google that one.  Speaking of googling...I really try to promote the use of educational databases like Galileo (psst...password is 'reptile').  Galileo is an amazing database that is kid friendly and used throughout all of Atlanta Public Schools.  Actually, I even used Galileo in college many, many moons ago.  It even gives you the citation (look at the bottom of that article!).  How cool is that?  Makes my heart happy.  Anyway, I thought I'd sneak in a Galileo lesson with our 4th graders using the awesome new iPad mini cart.  No lesson can be boring with an iPad mini...even a database lesson!  
    Fourth grade is learning about Native Americans so we used that that as our guided search term.  Mrs. Steigerwalt's class was the first to try out Galileo on the iPads.  Her class researched the Hopi tribe and filled out a graphic organizer using Britannica Kids and Sirs Discoverer - both databases found within Galileo. 
    ipad lesson      ipad lesson                   ipad lesson     ipad lesson      worksheet
    Mrs. Steigerwalt's class did a great job of using Galileo and finding interesting facts about the Hopi Tribe.  Great job!
    In other news, reading bowl tryouts started today!  I love the first few weeks of reading bowl...lots of 4th and 5th graders curled up with a good book in the library!  During this next month, these 4th and 5th graders will work hard reading, taking AR quizzes and writing questions for each book.  Good luck!!
    Just look at these readers (5th graders are having a blast in Jekyll Island, but these 4th graders are relaxing and reading at reading bowl):
    reading bowl team
    And finally, I'm a little obsessed with our new bulletin board in the media center.  With the help of Mrs. Plumer (because she is the best), we created this fall display!  
    Somehow, even with this display, I still get asked where the Halloween books are located ;)  But I sincerely hope all of you do "carve out time to read" this month!
    Happy reading
    ~Ms. Waddell
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  • Everyone Loves the Book Fair!

    Posted by Lindsay Waddell on 9/16/2014
    Scholastic Book Fair!
    It's that time of year when the leaves are starting to fall, kids are settled in to their school routines and the air is…well, still humid.  It's also BOOK FAIR TIME!  This is one of the happiest times of the year in the media center.  Everyone loves a good book fair, adults included.  This year, we welcomed Scholastic with dreams of Bad Kitty, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I Survived and many, many more favorites and we were not disappointed.  The book fair was large and in charge and the kids had a blast. 
    I want to especially thank our awesome book fair chairs, Leslie Causey and Jennifer Rosenfeld, who did an amazing job heading up the book fair and raising money for the media center.  It's our main fund raiser to buy books and materials and we could not do this without the support of our PTA.  THANK YOU.  
    Here are some pictures from our fair!  Clifford was even sniffing around for some new books!
    Clifford and Ms. Waddell    Clifford
    Book Fair   Book Fair  Book Fair  Book Fair
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