So, I decided I want to get in tough with my instructional designer roots a bit, and I created this short little how-to video on how to brand your Bitmoji. Enjoy!
I just realized I never finished up and talked about my final results!!!
So, it took me roughly a week to relabel everything. Then, came the moving. THAT was probably one of the most difficult things to do… and made more interesting by the fact that I was collaborating with one of the ELA teachers on book speed dating!
It actually helped that we had the speed dating right around the same time that I was genrefying. First, it helped students to see that there were changes being made. It also helped students discover what genres interested them. Finally, it allowed me to start the shuffle of books! That was the best part I think.
I have seen most people easily shift their books on their carts. But, as I stated in an earlier post, I had a previous librarian shelve books by title…. so the best thing for me was to take the books all down, one genre or so at a time, empty some shelves, and then re-alphabetize them. Was it a pain…. um, yes. But, in a lot of ways it was good because I was able to actually touch, assess, and really look at my collection.
The shift took me another few days, but the end result = awesome!
My students have been very happy with the result. I have heard many many times how much “easier” it is to find things that they want to read. I’ve had students ask me for suggestions in their “genres,” students go right to the colored section they know they’ll enjoy, and it really is so much easier to direct people!
But wait. What about the catalog??? Well, I did what many people did: I changed the sublocation in Destiny to the genre. Of course when I want to, I can’t find the directions I used, and so I’ll have to save that for another post (I’m thinking I’m going to be busy at break!)
So, in part one I talked about how I was writing the genre in every book cover. This took forever! Well, it felt like it. It took more like 4 more days.
I noticed something during that time – there was no way that Sci Fi and Fantasy could stay together. There are way too many in that category to stay together. And, it was something I considered anyhow, since I could justify having them together, but kind of not. So, like any sane librarian, I Googled to see what others did. I found some who kept them together; others did not. And I could see why – one belongs with magic and spells, witchcraft, etc. The other belongs with dystopian, with futuristic, with robots. So, I decided to separate them. But this led to another problem – labels.
As I showed last post, I had my categories set. I had actually already purchased my labels (this was an exciting adventure, but one for another post) so I was stuck. Or so I thought. I then realized my romance section wasn’t as large as some of the others, and so by not labeling the graphic novels, I had what I needed. 🙂 So, of course I had to switch around colors. Now, romance/relationships are purple, Sci-Fi is blue, Action/Adventure is red. It works.
So, back to genrefying books. As I said it took me close to 4 days just to get every book labeled with its genre. It definitely took time! I recommend anyone who does this to be patient and have perseverance. There were times I wanted to just stop. But, I got through it.
By that point, my colored labels came in. It was an exciting day when they came in. And it was perfect, because at that point I was working on a collaborative project with one of the ELA teachers in my building. She does speed book dating, which I’ll get to in another post. So, getting books labeled with extremely important to do, and do quickly. But, there was a slight hitch – the former librarian chose to relabel book series with the start of the series title instead of the authors name. So, I have to go back and relabel the spine labels and then put the genre labels on. So, more time. With 4 days in, I”m about 75% done with the fiction labeling. I mostly just have to print and relabel spine labels and then put the genre labels on. But, it’s going!
Oh, my favorite thing. My students have been watching me do this for now 2 weeks if they come in the library, which most do when they need something from the printer. The look at me and one day, one asked, “Ms Becker, are you going to have to do this to all the books?!?” Yes, yes I am. But the end result will be worth it.
So, I have decided to genrefy my new library. Not only have I wanted to genrefy, but I feel that should help circulation. I have seen many sites and articles stating that. So, this is my story.
I’m starting with going through the collection and writing small on the inside cover what section it belongs to. And I’m noticing some things. First. I don’t have a section for something that several books belong to, and they don’t seem to belong to something else… this is frustrating. Had I realized, I would have ordered more/different labels. So, I may be switching things around…. Second. This takes a hecka long time! I worked for around 2 hours today and got three shelves done. That’s not including the new books I already got, plus the ones on my reshelving cart which I also got. So, this will definitely take several more days, depending on interruptions.
Then, of course, there is the labeling itself. I just (excitedly) ordered my supplies for this. Excited because I got to actually order myself, but that’s another story for another post. But, yeah, they are ordered and hopefully won’t take too long to get here. Hence why I’m doing the genre figuring out first. I also have to relabel a hecka lot of books… another story though.
Overall, I’m excited for this project. It is a labor of love. But, as I talk it up more to people, I’m definitely getting some buy in. We shall see…
My current genre list…
So I have done BreakoutEDU boxes a couple times. At edcamps, as well as during a half-day PD where a colleague brought in her set. I love them. If you have no idea about BreakoutEDU boxes, check out this video to get you started.
Anyhow, I love the boxes as I said, but I could not figure out how to justify paying $125 per box. Sorry BreakoutEDU people, that’s a toughy for me. Apparently they used to have an open source list to build your own, but it has since gone away (see link at the end). So, in true Jennifer Lagarde style (who unbeknownst to me literally just wrote a blog post about this exact thing!) and #MacGyverLibrarianship, I searched online, sourced different blogs, and made my own.
So, I should mention some things. First, I love Menards. Obviously. Second, I bought several things on sale or for different prices that what I have found as of today. That will definitely change prices if you choose to go a similar way to me. Third, my goal was to create 5 boxes. I have almost 4 sets (reason is because of that one darn 4 digit lock that has failed.) I have a few things I need to add to make the 5th set, which may or may not cost a bit more overall. But, I think I did well in doing a little bit of #MacGyverLibrarianship! I’m really looking forward to using these with my students, as soon as I get them to school.
What have your experiences with these boxes been like? How about when students open them? Did you add a treat or something other than just the sign? I’d love to hear what you did!
Other blogs sourced (link goes directly to the post):
So, during the last week before break, I gave my students a couple of choices. They could work on coding, on typing practice, or create something (school appropriate) on Google Drawing. My one student, E.B., completely blew me away. He is not a student who is usually focused. But, this time, he was. I was so amazed and shocked at what he came up with! I did not help him one bit – he took his time, worked hard, and created this amazing image! I printed it out for him in color to give to his mom for Christmas. I mean, how could I not! This was truly a success from my Google Drawing lesson.
At the beginning of December, my 3rd-6th graders participated in Hour of Code week.
Each class was given an hour to work on several options from the code.org website. There were many things that went well, and several that didn’t.
The first was buy-in. Getting buy-in from my students can be difficult. That’s another story for another post, though. My 3rd and 4th graders absolutely loved it. They loved working on Frozen, Moana, Star Wars, among others. The favorite was Tynker’s Dragon Dash. A lot of students really loved that one. My 5th and 6th, however, were more difficult. Many from those grades enjoyed it, but others were just not interested. I have a difficult time doing many things with the 5th and 6th, though, so I don’t look at it as a fail.
Opening students minds. My students don’t always tend to be challenged, well, as much as we would like at least. I know teachers in my school work hard to try. But, some of my students, they just don’t want to use their minds. However, I was pleasantly surprised in how many were actually trying, especially after an initial difficulty. Students also worked together too, which was a plus.
I am not sure what I would do differently. With my students, I’m really just giving introductions to different aspects of computers, the internet, and its capabilities. Someday I’d like to have a computer club or coding club, for students who would be very interested in it overall. But for now, I’ll continue to use it as another option for computer free time.